Earlier this week, when he was making the rounds discussing The Big Trade, Chicago Cubs GM Jed Hoyer also spoke about the Cubs’ near-term future, an appropriate topic given the nature of the Cubs’ approach right now (still gathering young, cost-controlled assets, eschewing expensive, older players).
The question, offered by Dave Kaplan on The Game was pretty simple: Do you anticipate a far more active offseason than we saw last winter?
Hoyer had been asked a variant of that question before by Kaplan, but, given the timing – coordinated with a trade that was consistent with a near-term (2015/16) competitive timeline – it was an appropriate, and more specific, re-ask.
Hoyer’s response this time around was even more pointed.
“I think it probably will be. It’s hard to say. Certainly we’ll be a popular team that teams will come to if they’re trying to address hitting needs, there’s no doubt about that. But also we have some money to spend. Obviously we don’t have a lot of long-term contracts on our books, and I expect to be active. You can never force it. I feel really good about the health of the organization, and the last thing we want to do is try to be overly active and hurt that. But that said, I think if the right things come about, there’s no reason to think we can’t be really aggressive this Winter or the following Winter at some point.”
Hoyer then added, unprompted, that one of the most attractive things about Addison Russell as the center piece in The Big Trade is that he’s already at AA, and the Cubs are very talented at AA and AAA right now. So they’re trying to time things up – and the implication was, the timing is soon.
All in all, that’s as specific as you’re ever going to hear this front office get. No, they didn’t say, “We’re going to spend a bunch of money this offseason because we have hardly any financial commitments,” but they’re never going to say that. (Nor should they, because it really doesn’t do anyone any good.) Hoyer did, however, say the things we want to hear: money is available, the Cubs expect to use it, the timing is right to be more aggressive, and the Cubs might do some big-ish things.
That’s really all you can hope to hear right now.