Cubs News: Pressure on Jed Hoyer, Dansby Swanson update, and more

Dec 7, 2016; National Harbor, MD, USA; Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer speaks with the media
Dec 7, 2016; National Harbor, MD, USA; Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer speaks with the media / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Monday was another disappointing day for the Chicago Cubs offseason as the team lost out on two of their catching targets as Christian Vazquez signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Twins worth $30MM and Oakland Athletics' catcher Sean Murphy was acquired by the Atlanta Braves in a three-team trade that also saw the Milwaukee Brewers acquire William Contreras from the Braves. The Cubs also lost out on free-agent starting pitcher target Chris Bassitt as he signed a three-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays worth $68MM.

Hopefully, Jed Hoyer remained off Twitter on Monday evening as there is no doubt that pressure is mounting for the Cubs' president of baseball operations. With the information that is generating by Cubs' chairman Tom Ricketts and president of business operations Crane Kenney this offseason, Hoyer has been pinned in a corner. Ricketts and Kenney insist that the money is there for Hoyer to spend but with the team routinely missing on their top targets this offseason outside of starting pitcher Jameson Taillon and outfielder Cody Bellinger, the question that persists is what is keeping Hoyer from spending that money that is available?

From 2015 to 2018, the Cubs were actively spending big in free agency. The aftermath of the Jason Heyward contract and the early returns of the Yu Darvish contract in 2018 altered the flow of resources from the Cubs' business side to the team's baseball side. It is no secret that Bryce Harper was meant to be a part of the plan for the next Cubs' core but Ricketts handcuffed the team's spending ability in 2018 as the results were not present on the field. Operating under the theory proposed by Sahadev Sharma, it is possible that Hoyer is avoiding a big contract this offseason because he wants to maintain the flexibility he has for the next offseason.

The issue for that is that much like Bryce Harper was the perfect fit for the post-2016 Cubs' core, Carlos Correa is that fit for the team this offseason. It is looking more and more likely that the Cubs are distancing themselves from Correa's market and likely have an emphasis on Dansby Swanson but if the team misses on both, Hoyer's seat may quickly become hot.

Dansby Swanson or bust for the Chicago Cubs?

With it becoming more and more apparent that Dansby Swanson is the only realistic option for the Chicago Cubs and their pursuit of a premium free-agent shortstop, Jon Heyman of the New York Post offered this update:

"The Giants and incumbent Twins are among teams locked in bidding for Correa, the top remaining shortstop on a market that once saw four All-Star shortstops free. Dansby Swanson remains a free agent, and the Cubs are a candidate to sign him, possibly along with the Dodgers, Red Sox, and second-place finisher for Correa."

Jon Heyman, New York Post

If the Cubs miss on both Correa and Swanson, then multiple questions will need to be asked in regard to what exactly the team's plan is. Signing free-agent starting pitcher Jameson Taillon to a four-year deal worth $68MM and then not committing fully to the idea of spending in order to contend makes no sense for the team's front office.

Even if the Cubs are able to sign Swanson, there is still a long path ahead of them in regards to reaching the point where they would be able to contend in 2023.

MLB News and Notes

The New York Yankees may be preparing a push to sign free-agent starting pitcher Carlos Rodon.

The Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks have had trade discussions around Diamondbacks' outfielder Daulton Varsho.

The Miami Marlins have made an offer to free-agent third baseman Justin Turner.