Chicago Cubs Rumors: Team continues to push spending narrative

St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / David Banks/GettyImages

The biggest takeaway from the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings for the Chicago Cubs has been the report that team chairman Tom Ricketts has ordered a mandate to team president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer to spend what it takes to allow for the team to return to the postseason in 2023. That narrative seemed to have instant validation when the team signed free agents Cody Bellinger and Jameson Taillon the day after the reports leaked of Ricketts opening his wallet.

Missing from the Cubs' spending thus far in the offseason is the big-ticket item. The recent 11-year contract that Trea Turner signed with the Philadelphia Phillies worth $300MM and the 11-year deal that Xander Bogaerts signed with the San Diego Padres worth $280MM has led to skepticism emerging regarding the Cubs' pursuit of the two remaining shortstops--Dansby Swanson and Carlos Correa.

In regards to the latest on Swanson and Correa, Jon Heyman offered this update in the New York Post:

"However, at least five teams still seek a shortstop — and the top of the market is now down to only Correa and Dansby Swanson, who’s terrific but doesn’t match Correa for persona and pizzazz. The Cubs are looking at both Correa and Swanson, though Swanson seems like the more obvious fit for them since his fiancée, Mallory Pugh, is a star of the Chicago Red Stars soccer club, and he’ll be cheaper than Correa. "

New York Post

But, are the Cubs willing to spend what it takes this offseason to land either of the two remaining premium free-agent shortstops? Cubs' president of business operations Crane Kenney joined 670 The Score this morning and did nothing to quell the expectation that the Cubs will sign one of the shortstops.

With the reporting over the Winter Meetings and now these public comments from Kenney, the Cubs have seemingly left themselves without an out in the event that they do not land one of the shortstops this offseason. Based on the expectations that the Cubs have set, coming away from this offseason without a premium shortstop would be a failure and no excuse would satisfy in regard to why they weren't able to complete the deal.