Cubs president Jed Hoyer says club will be ‘really active’ in free agency following midsummer teardown
The Chicago Cubs are in the waning days of a miserable season that might see them lose 90-plus games for the first time since 2013. At minimum, this year will be remembered as the one that saw the Cubs trade franchise mainstays, like Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, instead of signing them to long-term extensions. The Cubs’ reluctance to keep their own stars does not mean that Chicago intends to be quiet this winter, however, according to comments made by team president Jed Hoyer on Friday.
“We plan to be really active in free agency,” Hoyer told reporters, including ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. “We plan to spend money intelligently. We’re scouting that market heavily. We’re going to analyze that market heavily. There’s offseasons when free agency is something you do a little bit of, and obviously we have to be a little more active than usual to fill out our roster, because we have a lot more open spots.”
The Cubs should have the financial means to do as they please this winter. According to Cot’s Contracts, they have less than $40 million in guaranteed money on the books for next season. That figure will increase once arbitration prizes are awarded to catcher Willson Contreras and outfielder Ian Happ, provided both remain with the organization, yet the Cubs fielded an Opening Day payroll of $147 million this season. Chicago wouldn’t have to spend the whole difference to make multiple splashes this offseason.
Here’s a look at all of the Cubs’ guaranteed commitments for 2022:
It stands to reason the Cubs will be active on the shortstop front after trading Javier Báez at the deadline. This winter’s shortstop class is the strongest in recent memory, as it’s expected to include Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, and Corey Seager. (Báez will also be available, though it’s unclear if the Cubs would consider a reunion.)
Whichever free agents the Cubs pursue will likely be negotiating with a new general manager. Hoyer told Rogers that the team hopes to make an external hire for the position ahead of November’s GM meetings.