The Cubs may be done with the big moves this off-season. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are still talking to teams, including the Rays, and have not ruled out making a deal if the front office feels it can improve the roster going into Spring Training.
Jed Hoyer somewhat addressed the Austin Jackson rumors and the possibility of the Cubs re-signing Dexter Fowler during an interview Friday on MLB Network Radio.
Jim Bowden asked Hoyer directly if the Cubs were interested in bringing back Austin Jackson and have there been any recent conversations with him.
“I think this is the time of the winter where you start to look and see what pieces make sense,” Hoyer said. “I think our starting lineup, sort of speak, I think is something we feel is set. But looking around at guys that can complement the roster well is something that just makes sense this time of year.”
“There are really good players on the market that don’t have jobs. For various reasons they might not have found the fit they like yet either. This is definitely a busy time of year in that regard trying to talk to agents and see if there is a fit with a guy that might have been out on the market a little longer than they probably thought.”
Various reports have indicated the Cubs could re-sign Dexter Fowler, especially with him still being available late in the off-season. But to this point, the assumption has been that if Fowler was re-signed the front office would have to trade Jorge Soler to open a spot in the everyday lineup for Fowler.
The Cubs do not appear to have any interest in re-signing Fowler. Jim Duquette asked Hoyer about Fowler possibly returning to the Cubs.
“I don’t want to talk directly about that … that match. He was terrific for us,” Hoyer said. “He’s great in the clubhouse and had a heck of a year for us. Really was a catalyst of our lineup.”
“Whether it’s with us or someone else, I do wish him incredibly well because he was a really integral part of a very special season for all of us. I think he will certainly find a really good job and will help a team wherever he goes.”
The Cubs currently do not have any room on the 40-man roster to sign a player to a Major League contract. Space can always be created, but with less than a month to go before pitchers and catchers report, the Cubs would likely sign players to minor league contracts with invites to big league camp.
Sometimes the small moves a team makes toward the end of an off-season can pay big dividends during the season … Stay Tuned.