The Cardinals traded for Paul Goldschmidt. The Milwaukee Brewers won the NL Central and advanced to the 2018 NLCS. The Cubs faltered down the stretch, lost in the Wild Card game, and disappointed Cubs fans across the country.
There have been rumblings that the Cubs are not going to go after a top tier free agent this offseason because of the luxury tax consequences. There are rumors that the Cubs are just going to make a few tweaks and believe with a healthy team they can contend for a World Series once again in 2019.
I am telling you to not believe any of this.
Theo Epstein will not sit still while the rest of the NL Central continue to pass him by. I can promise you that. Theo Epstein has signed multiple players to large contracts since he has signed on with the Cubs. He has traded away future assets to put this franchise in the best position to win right now. He is not afraid to make a splash. Do you really think Theo Epstein is okay with going into this season with the same exact lineup as last year? Do you really think he is fine with banking on everyone being healthy? Not my Theo.
Let me tell you something that a lot of these writers forget to include when talking about this team. The Chicago Cubs print money. Literally. They didn’t just renovate all of Wrigleyville for fun. They did that because they knew it would help the franchise but more importantly bolster their bottom line. Sure, the luxury tax penalty is steep. I understand that could be a big issue. Tom Ricketts is not going to tell Theo he cannot sign a big name free agent because it will cost him a few more pennies. Get out of here. I refuse to believe that is the reason the Cubs will not go after a generational talent in Bryce Harper.
The Cardinals just added one of the best players in baseball to their lineup. The Brewers are just getting started. The NL Central could be the best division in baseball next year. Theo Epstein knows your window to win is very limited. This roster will not be around forever. He knows there are extreme offensive issues. I do not believe he thinks a new hitting coach will fix everything.
I am not saying Bryce Harper or Manny Machado are going to sign with the Cubs for a fact. I am here to tell you what Theo has been saying in regards to the Cubs spending and offseason plans is all part of his strategy. To be honest, it makes perfect sense. What does Theo gain by saying the Cubs are going to actively pursue Bryce? That just means clubs are going to come in with higher offers and a much more extravagant sales pitch. He knows he has assets he can ship off to make this work financially. Don’t forget folks, Theo Epstein built this team. He knows what he is doing.
Don’t freak out because it seems like the Cubs have done nothing this offseason. It’s not even Christmas. Take a look at when Boras’ biggest clients signed last year: Eric Hosmer on Feb. 18, J.D. Martinez on Feb. 26 and Jake Arrieta on March 12. Boras is going to take his time and vet out every option possible for his client.
Be patient, let Theo work his magic This is Theo’s league, don’t you ever forget that.