Cubs must enter winter meetings with urgency to compete in 2023

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Welcome to the 2022 MLB Winter Meetings. It will be a hectic 72+ hours in San Diego as teams including the Chicago Cubs look to blow the doors of free agency wide open. We will be tracking and reporting on every Cubs rumor as it pops up, so make sure to keep refreshing Cubbies Crib for the latest breaking news. As it sits, the most significant flare-up we've gotten is the increase in Dansby Swanson rumors over the last few days. Let's dive right in and discuss that and much more concerning the Chicago Cubs.

First, if you're a believer in "where there is smoke, there's fire", then be sure to click here, here, and here. Jon Heyman first reported the Cubs were the favorites to land Swanson back on December 1, and since then the Cubs have only remained hot on the trail for a marquee shortstop. I want to point out that even though there is a Trea Turner, Carlos Correa, and Xander Bogaerts out there, landing Swanson in Chicago is just fine. There is no reason not to get excited about an all-star caliber player coming on board.

Will the Cubs have to add more firepower to the lineup if Swanson is who they ink to a deal? Yes. Is it better than not landing any of the shortstops? Absolutely. Especially when you think about the Cubs only having four 40-man roster spots at the moment. The fact that the Cubs aren't out using those spots on guys who won't move the needle is at least proof that they are really after a competitive season in 2023. The Lucrative offer to Jose Abreu only reinforced that the front office isn't trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the fanbase.

Chicago Cubs: How can the Cubs land their targets this week?

First, missing out on Abreu was extremely unfortunate. It was an excellent opportunity to show other free agents are serious about achieving a lasting winning culture on the north side. Nevertheless, the offer itself holds water to that declaration. What the Cubs must do now is push the envelope and get aggressive. There is no time for idly sitting by. Offers will need to be made and followed up on. All we have seen this winter is an uptick in spending. Jed Hoyer and, more importantly, Tom Ricketts need to be ready and willing to pull the trigger on a deal, even if it's a little more than they wish it would be.

If you want to upgrade the Cubs, money will have to be spent in the next few days. The Cubs are supposed to be a big-market team. I understand the ideology of "spending intelligently." Still, when you have these expensive relievers and below-average starting pitchers going for upwards of 13.0MM per year, it shows that if you are trying to land yourself a fantastic deal, you will be out-bid and lose that player extremely quickly this winter.

Next. More Dansby Swanson connections for the Cubs. dark

The following 72-96 hours are essential for the Cubs. Within that time frame, multiple trades and key names on which the team has their eye will be off the board. After the Winter Meetings, if you haven't landed anyone of significance to that part, it will prove extremely difficult to field a competitive product in 2023. Yes, the top prospects in the Cubs organization are still a couple of years away from making a difference. In the meantime, there's no reason not to add a few guys to multi-year deals who can be around when the next core is called up. The time to strike is now.