Is hope dwindling for Jed Hoyer to upgrade the Chicago Cubs in time?

The Chicago Cubs are struggling to keep their heads above water, and their lifeguard's hands are tied.
San Diego Padres v Chicago Cubs
San Diego Padres v Chicago Cubs / Griffin Quinn/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs have spent much of the past month clawing to stay relevant in MLB. There's no soft way to put it anymore. With a dreadful record of 9-18 in the last calendar month, upgrades are needed across the board. From the catcher position to the bullpen to the underperforming offense, the Cubs do not have time on their side for much longer to wait around for the MLB trade deadline to make moves.

It becomes difficult to point the finger here, as this coin has two sides. One tells you, why isn't Hoyer making roster upgrades? Where are the trades? Is he just going to let this team sink? Then there's your other side: Is Tom Ricketts willing to go over the luxury tax? Because if not, it's easy to think the blame starts at the very top with ownership and their reluctance to spend.

Here's the thing: Ricketts opened the checkbook to spend up to the luxury tax this past winter, and this was the team Hoyer constructed. He is on the hook for that. Factoring in also that the Cubs aren't as far out of a playoff spot as it seems, we're not in an emergency panic just yet. Nor will the teams that know they will be sellers give Hoyer a deal when they can get something better for their assets at the deadline when more teams are involved in a bidding war. Regardless of payroll constraints, it's not as easy as just picking up the phone and making a trade because we want to.

The seat is getting hot for Jed Hoyer.

We look over some of the past dud moves Hoyer has made. The Trey Mancini's, Eric Hosmer's, Tucker Barnhart. All three were later DFAed, including Garrett Cooper, David Peralta, etc. Meanwhile, Free agents such as Teoscar Hernandez (17 HR, 50 RBIs) and J.D. Martinez (eight homers, 27 RBIs in 44 games since returning from injury) always seem to be an afterthought. They brought back Cody Bellinger on a 30.0M per year basis, but let's be brutally honest and ask ourselves this question: Did the Cubs overpay for Bellinger?

Ian Happ was extended but has yet to live up to the contract's price, and Dansby Swanson's second year as a Cub has left much to be desired offensively and defensively. This intelligent spending has hardly worked out outside of Shota Imanaga, who has been a stud for Chicago so far.

Simply put, The Cubs need to play better, and if they don't soon, hope is dwindling fast. Unless Hoyer gets lucky, there isn't significant outside help coming any time soon. We've seen this team's upside when they click on all cylinders, and there's at least optimism that the team should turn a corner. At least Hoyer believes so, and we need him to be correct. 2024 was supposed to be a competitive year, and although they aren't out of any race yet, Hoyer's construction of the major league roster could have been better. His hands are tied for now, and he can only hope the team goes on a hot streak.

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