Truth be told, the Chicago Cubs getting as close as they did to a postseason berth made for an enjoyable summer this year. Still, there are multiple "what ifs" that you can discuss. It's easy to nitpick and think "could have, would have, should have," but ultimately, the game is a team effort. Of course, some performances really do hurt you overall, and those are the ones we must discuss in hopes that history won't repeat itself next year. Here are three horrible moves that doomed the Chicago Cubs in 2023.
3 moves that doomed the Cubs in 2023 - 3. Signing Jameson Taillon
When the Chicago Cubs signed Jameson Taillon this past offseason, my initial response was intrigue. Given that they also had just landed Cody Bellinger, I respected the Cubs front office for clearly getting ready to take a more aggressive approach for the 2023 season. This, too, was before the inevitably landed Dansby Swanson.
Nevertheless, Once I dove into Taillon's peripherals, my response became less confident in the signing but more optimistic that the Cubs front office and revamped pitching infrastructure would unlock something in him. After all, Carter Hawkins and the rest of Jed Hoyer's team have done a fantastic job overhauling that department.
Sadly, reality crept up rather quickly that Taillon was already unraveling when he had registered an 8.04 ERA by the end of May. By the end of June, he was still flirting with a near-7.00 ERA, and his record was unimpressive at just 2-6. Considering how close the Cubs were to the postseason this year, it's hard not to imagine what could have been. Not to pin it all on one guy, but it certainly doesn't help when you paid $68.0M for four years of some of the worst numbers in baseball to that point.
Taillon started to turn a corner toward the end of the season, and he must continue doing so in 2024. His ability to perform when he is on is noticeable, but he will need to string together more consistency for the front office to remain confident in him.