As some of the big names left over from the November free-agency rush start coming off the board, the Cubs start camp with post-prime Andrelton Simmons as their big addition. So even with Carlos Correa possibly willing to go for a much shorter deal than anticipated, Jed Hoyer addressed the media with his typical composure and said he’s “happy with our middle infield.”
Here’s to hoping he was lying through his teeth, or at least playing coy. It certainly seems as though he’s simply denying the heat of the irons the Cubs have in the fire, particularly when he’s talking about the work they still have left to do.
“Certainly, we’re going to add a lot more players,” Hoyer said.
As for whether any of those will be of the impact variety, well, that’s when the baseball boss teased the crowd.
“We’re having a lot of conversations,” Hoyer explained. “I’ve done this too long to assume that anything gets across the finish line. So, you try to keep a lot of balls in the air. And some of those may be, as you guys would deem, ‘significant.’ Some may not be.”
A significant addition?
Hoyer: "We're having a lot of conversations. I've done this too long to assume that anything gets across the finish line. So, you try to keep a lot of balls in the air. And some of those may be, as you guys would deem, 'significant.' Some may not be." https://t.co/Bp8uyXK31Z
— Maddie Lee (@maddie_m_lee) March 14, 2022
We might do something, we might not. Maybe we’ll sign a big-time player and maybe we won’t. Typical exec-speak for the most part, except that the Cubs have shown very little outward activity at a time when most of their would-be targets are coming off the board.
Hard-throwing lefty Yusei Kikuchi signed a very reasonable three-year, $36 million deal with the Blue Jays. Matt Olson was traded to the Braves, seemingly putting the Dodgers in the driver’s seat for Freddie Freeman and leaving Anthony Rizzo with the Yankees. Seiya Suzuki has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Padres for five years and $70 million and we could see something formalized soon.
If the Cubs are involved in the Correa talks on at least a peripheral level, could there still be other impact players on their radar? Perhaps Nick Castellanos now that the NL has the designated hitter on a permanent basis. The qualifying offer may cloud that pursuit a bit, but adding two big-time hitters would mitigate concerns about losing a pick.
Though it’s purely anecdotal, you might be able to find a way to convince yourself that a reunion is possible if only because the Cubs are already on a tear when it comes to bringing back short-tenured fan-favorites. Neither Jesse Chavez nor Robel Garcia moved the needle, but Castellanos sure would. There’s also a cloak-and-dagger feel a la the Dexter Fowler deal in 2016 because little has been reported about the outfielder’s courtship.
And you know what? Maybe the big move(s) the Cubs have planned involve trades that would bring back prospects or pitchers. The Padres have long been looking to unload salary and the Cubs have been involved in some of those talks. The two teams match up pretty well on such a deal, though it probably wouldn’t be the sort of thing meant to spur immediate contention on the North Side.
We’ll know more in the next few days as the Cubs look to solidify their roster before spring games get started. The market seems to be picking up steam in a big way of late as well, so I’d expect a lot of action this week.