Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson was formally introduced by the team on Wednesday afternoon and a large part of the reason why Swanson chose to sign with the Cubs was because of the plan that team president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer and general manager Carter Hawkins shared with the shortstop in regard to the plan for the team to return to winning.
"“Yeah, there was,” Swanson said. “Obviously I can’t go into detail about all that, that’s not my job. But they definitely have a clear plan for what they want to do. The types of people, the types of players that they want to bring on board. I feel like the first step is fully building a winning culture. You’ve got to show everybody that you want to win and that you’re going to win. Then people really start to buy into that vision. They definitely have plans in mind.”"- Dansby Swanson via The Athletic
Hoyer confirmed as much when first greeting reporters.
"“How are you guys going to win?” team president Jed Hoyer said was Swanson’s biggest question when deciding where to sign during his free agency courtship. “What’s your plan, what’s your philosophy and what players are going surround me with? It was very clear winning was the priority.”"- Jed Hoyer via The Athletic
For a team that won only 74 games last season and there were legitimate questions at the beginning of the offseason as to whether or not Hoyer's plan was the correct path for the organization, there was a glimmer of hope created on Wednesday that the Cubs are headed in the right direction. Swanson has no intentions of losing with the Cubs so it will be interesting to see the moves that Hoyer has up his sleeve for the remainder of the offseason.
Jon Lester recruiting for the Chicago Cubs
There were reports earlier this offseason that former Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester was assisting in the team's efforts to recruit free agents to Chicago and that was no different for Lester's efforts with Dansby Swanson. In a report from Patrick Mooney of The Athletic, there was an indication that Lester's recruiting video for Swanson helped seal the deal.
"Swanson still had lingering questions when he brought the leftover desserts home from Maggiano’s. The Cubs planned ahead for the closing stages, sending an in-house production team to Jon Lester’s house in Georgia for a recruiting video. Lester personalized the message to Swanson, explaining how he signed with a last-place team after the 2014 season because he believed in what the Cubs were building. Lester highlighted the organization’s first-class aspects, how the Cubs took care of his family off the field and helped his charitable foundation grow. Lester’s voice mixed with images of his performances at Wrigley Field and his view of the championship parade in 2016. "- Patrick Mooney, The Athletic
Drew Smyly signing with the Chicago Cubs imminent?
The South Bend Cubs shared a tribute tweet to Drew Smyly on Thursday and that could be a sign that the Chicago Cubs may be prepared to make the official announcement on his re-signing soon.