Last offseason, the Chicago Cubs ranked among the biggest spenders in all of baseball, spending in excess of $300 million on free agents, headlined by shortstop Dansby Swanson and former MVP and Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger.
Despite Swanson earning an All-Star selection and winning a Gold Glove and Bellinger bringing home NL Comeback Player of the Year honors, the Cubs managed just 83 wins and missed the postseason. It's clear Chicago needs to add some firepower this winter, especially with Bellinger hitting the open market after re-establishing his value with his monster summer in Wrigleyville.
That love affair could continue for years to come. That's up to Jed Hoyer, Bellinger himself - and his agent, Scott Boras, one of the game's premier power brokers. He had this to say when talking about the Cubs in his GM meetings comments in Arizona this week.
"“They’ve made moves. You have to say, ‘Do I want to win my division or do I want to win a World Series?’ When you’re in the Central, there’s been a lot of focus on winning the division. I think the component of who’s winning the World Series, you have to really look at every element of the league and say, ‘Where are they coming from? What do we need to do?’"- Scott Boras on the Cubs
For Cubs to win, they need to add some major pieces this offseason
Last winter was a good start. Swanson came exactly as advertised and Bellinger set the tone for the offense. Extensions for Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ ensured the duo will be in Chicago, along with Seiya Suzuki, through at least 2026. But there were some misses too, relying on the likes of Tucker Barnhart, Eric Hosmer and Trey Mancini early in the year - not to mention Jameson Taillon's brutal start to his Cubs career before turning it around down the stretch.
Still, there's a big gap between the likes of Happ, Hoerner and Suzuki and someone like Bellinger, who turned in his best season since 2019 while narrowly missing out on a 30/100 campaign - or the white whale of the offseason, two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, who could command a half-billion dollars or more this winter.
They're not alone. Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto is making the jump to MLB at just 25 years of age with an already-impressive resume. Big trade pieces could be on the move, including the likes of Pete Alonso and Juan Soto.
More often than not, Boras and his pressers grind my gears - and they still do, to a degree. But he hit it on the head: the Cubs need to build to win a World Series, not just the division. Then, good things can happen.