The harsh truth facing the Chicago Cubs at the MLB Trade Deadline

Jed Hoyer's time with the Chicago Cubs is a crossroads.
San Francisco Giants v Chicago Cubs
San Francisco Giants v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

For the first time since joining the Chicago Cubs front office over a decade ago, real questions have emerged over the performance of Jed Hoyer and whether or not he is the right individual to lead the team forward.

No longer shielded by Theo Epstein, Hoyer is the frontman for the Cubs' baseball operations and has been under fire for much of the past month. The issue for the Cubs is not a spending problem. The issue for the Cubs is how they have spent their money as the decisions in the bullpen and backend of their roster have crippled a season that was support to represent the start of their contention window.

The crippling nature of the Cubs' 2024 season has placed Hoyer deservedly on the hot seat. Hoyer's contract with the Cubs expires after the 2025 season. Meaning, if the Cubs miss the post-season this season, there will be real questions about whether or not the team should bring Hoyer back.

That is why, in talking about the moves the Cubs could make at the MLB Trade Deadline next month, it's not a matter of buying or selling. Given the parity in the National League and the roster construction of the Cubs, the team does not have much to sell.

For the Cubs, the question is how aggressively they will buy at the trade deadline. As The Athletic (Subscription Required) offers a primer on the Trade Deadline, they offered this about the Cubs.

How the Cubs perform over the next month-plus will influence which prospects from a top-rated farm system might go in deals, and how much additional money ownership is willing to kick in for a playoff push. Across the industry, the third wild card is a major incentive to stay in the race.

-The Athletic

The 2024 MLB Trade Deadline is setting up to be a major point of inflection for the Cubs and Hoyer. The decision that Hoyer makes at the deadline next month will have long-term ramifications on the Cubs beyond this season.

The question that faces Hoyer is does he trade from his plethora of top prospects to push for the post-season in a year where the Cubs are likely to be battling for the final wild-card spot and not a legitimate threat to win the World Series; or, does he make a small-buy and risk the consequences of what might happen if the Cubs don't make the post-season. Neither scenario has an ideal resolution for the Cubs but this is the bed that Hoyer chose to lay in.