Setting aside all money-related considerations for the moment – who wants to keep thinking about that stuff, right? – one of the primary focuses for the Chicago Cubs this offseason, by their own words, is to bring in some more veteran leadership.
GM Jed Hoyer said they had it in 2015, 2016, and 2017, with David Ross and then Jon Jay, but it was missing in 2018, and the front office had miscalculated on that front. For a roster that featured, among others, Ben Zobrist, Anthony Rizzo, and Jason Heyward, it would be easy to wonder what Hoyer was talking about, since there clearly was some veteran leadership – or at least leadership qualities – on the roster.
To that end, and to help clarify what the front office means, Theo Epstein spoke on the topic tonight:
More from Cubs president of baseball ops Theo Epstein today on the reasoning behind wanting more veteran leadership in 2019… pic.twitter.com/twkFmVKbel
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) December 12, 2018
The answer from Epstein seems to harken back to some rumors we heard earlier this offseason – namely, that the Cubs were looking to add some “edge” to the clubhouse, which they may not have had internally in 2018. Although the Cubs have guys who lead by example, maybe they need something a little more than that from a guy who can push the rest of the group throughout the season. It’ll be interesting to view any bench additions from here through that lens.
By the way, in case you were wondering if anything was imminent tonight, Epstein indicated that it is not:
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) December 12, 2018