As is the case with every team not playing beyond game 162, the Cubs spent the first week after the regular season ended talking about their plans for the off-season and what the goals are for next year.
The Cubs are expected to be active in free agency this winter as the front office tries to add impact talent from outside the organization over the next 15 months. The Cubs not only have the financial flexibility to sign free agents but the team also possesses the prospect currency it would take to acquire a top of the rotation-type starter or an impact position player from another team.
When the Cubs made the waiver claim on Cole Hamels in August it signified the front office has the financial flexibility to add the type of contract that is usually attached to an impact player.
Jed Hoyer discussed the backing that the front office receives from Tom Ricketts with David Kaplan and Davis Haugh (The Kap & Haugh Show, 87.7 The Game) earlier in the week.
The Cubs GM said there is no question in his mind if he or Theo Epstein went to Tom Ricketts and asked to add to the payroll that Ricketts would give them the clearance to make the commitment.
“No question. Tom [Ricketts] has been so patient and so good to us as we’ve come to him and talked about our process and our plan and what we are trying to build,” Hoyer said. “He is totally on board.”
“I think the beauty of having an owner to look at this as something that they want to own through their family forever, and they look at it as let’s take the time now to build this the right way so we can become one of those organizations that everyone looks to. I think when you look at what we’ve done on the baseball side and what they are doing on the business side, it is very clear they have a very long vision for what they are doing. I think that when an owner has that long-term vision it almost always works out. Actually having a long-term vision in this business, having patience in this business is almost always rewarded.”
“There is no doubt that if we need the bullets and we need to put the hammer down, that we will be able to do it. They have totally been on board with what we are doing and we are excited that they’ve had that kind of patience.”
With the way the roster has been built to this point, there is very little financial commitment to the players that could be on the roster next season. Plus the young talent coming through the system will be at league minimum, or just a little bit over, for the first three years before becoming arbitration eligible. And by that time, the Cubs are expecting the ad revenue from a restored Wrigley Field to kick in as well as being that much closer to the new TV deal that the Theo Epstein is expecting to be a game changer.
- Theo Epstein: Cubs Goal in 2015 is to Win the National League Central Division