Team president Tom Ricketts attributed the drop in spending to a myriad of factors. As early as 2019, he claimed that the Cubs “no longer” had the resources to engage in the payroll, and ever since he referred to the “dead weight loss” associated with paying the luxury tax and “biblical” losses. during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2021 season, of course, saw the Cubs explode the core of their 2016 World Series winning team. They traded Kris Bryant, Antoine Rizzo and Javier Baez (along with several other veterans) before the deadline. Now, with a much clearer payroll, Ricketts has publicly indicated for the first time in several years that the club plan to spend to some extent this winter.
“We have the resources to compete in 2022 and beyond, and we will use them,” Ricketts wrote in a letter to season subscribers Friday. “We will be active in free will and will continue to make thoughtful decisions to strengthen our list. He goes on to stress that the organization “respects” the “high expectations” of fans and shares their desire to win. “We are committed to building a competitive team that reflects your unmatched support,” added Ricketts.
Cubs fans will surely be relieved to see any mention of spending ownership after a few seasons marked by pay cuts. That said, Ricketts’ use of “thoughtful” might not pave the way for major spending – especially when taken in conjunction with recent comments by President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer on the fact that he is doing so. ‘to be “opportunistic”. Hoyer noted that the type of flashy, aggressive moves made when teams strive to “win the offseason” can quickly turn to be detrimental once the initial excitement wears off.
Having gone out of his way to promise the club will be active in free agency, Ricketts will surely push the front office to spend to some extent. The most significant question will come down to what constitutes an “active” offseason, especially after Hoyer’s more measured comments last week. Gordon Wittenmyer’s recent interview with Carlos Correa At NBC Sports Chicago, Cubs fans will no doubt dream of a mega-deal for a new franchise shortstop, but it’s hard to imagine the team taking such an aggressive leadership even a year after this process. retooling / reconstruction.
Hoyer has been clear that it won’t be a complete teardown to the extent of the Cubs’ previous rebuild, but Chicago lacks depth all over the diamond. Pouring so many resources into a position at a time when there is an urgent need to pitch, outfield help, and long-term options elsewhere in the infield would be a surprise. The Cubs probably have that kind of financial backing – we’ve seen so many in the past – but Hoyer’s comments point to a series of smaller-scale signings aimed at meeting many needs from the top to the bottom of the list.