It’s Your Move, Theo.
(Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)
Look, I’ve never been one to criticize Theo Epstein. And if I have, I haven’t done it often. But we’re getting close to me getting angry and very critical. Critical to the point where I’m going to be ready to move on from Theo Epstein if things are like this again next offseason, if I have this same feeling.
I’m all about the praising Theo for finally bringing the a World Series to the North Side. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it was one of my favorite memories in my lifetime. But, I’m not here to settle. And I know for a fact Theo Epstein isn’t here to settle either. This isn’t the old Cubs anymore. This is a new era where the Cubs are a top tier team in baseball and need to continue to be for years to come. The Cubs have placed themselves back up in the top tier category with the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Dodgers (Not that they can win a World Series), teams like that. Why? Because of what Theo has done. But right now, I’m frustrated because there’s a chance Theo tried to do to much in the past few years.
I’m frustrated that the Brewers won the division. I’m frustrated the Cardinals just went and got a soon to be MVP in Paul Goldschmidt. The Cubs are still the favorite in the division, but it’s getting tighter, fast. Let’s talk.
Money Money Money
There have been reports circulating all offseason about how the Cubs have no money to spend. I just don’t get it. If this is true that is. WHY would Theo go out and recklessly spend money on Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, and Tyler Chatwood when HE KNEW Bryce Harper and Manny Machado were going to be free agents this year? I completely get the Jason Heyward signing. It was part of a World Series run whether he was terrible or not (great speech though). But WHY WHY WHY would Theo burn all the Cubs money on Darvish, Morrow, and Chatwood if it meant he wasn’t going to be able to have the Cubs in the mix for Bryce Harper. A guy they have been linked to for two years now. It makes absolutely ZERO sense. There’s three options here:
OPTION 1: IT’S NOT TRUE (My personal favorite):
Maybe these reports aren’t true. I’ve seen a few now from a source, who had Darvish to the Cubs about a month before anyone else, who says the Cubs are going to make an “aggressive” pitch to Harper at the Winter Meetings and that there’s going to be a lot of noise between the Cubs and Harper this week. Theo could be playing possum with us and he is actually ready to be a major player for Harper even when he suggests they are not. I don’t know. But this better be the case.
(I know my source is a cat. But he’s been accurate)
OPTION 2: THEY DON’T WANT HARPER, THEY WANT ARENADO IN 2019:
I like this option as well. Maybe the Cubs didn’t actually ever want Harper, but they want Nolan Arenado when he hits free agency next year and that was the plan the last few years. I don’t believe it though. One could argue that Arenado is better than Harper and Kris Bryant isn’t good defensively at third so move him to the outfield. But, I find it hard to believe that Theo was thinking about another third baseman with Kris Bryant on this team. This just seems far fetched and I don’t know the money situation for next year.
OPTION 3: THERE IS NO MONEY LEFT. HOT SEAT TIME FOR THEO (I DON’T THINK THIS IS THE CASE):
The guy has been said to be the best executive in sports. I agree with it. But Theo also burned Boston to the ground with bad contracts and then got the hell out of there. Theo deserves all the praise for breaking two curses. But shit, if he really blew all the Cubs money and wants this team to just get better from within while the championship window is starting to shrink, then it’s time to put him on the hot seat. Call me crazy, be upset with me, I don’t care. Theo knew about this free agent class. He knew Bryce Harper was going to test the market. Why did he go sign Darvish and Co. if the money put them over the edge? Why did he pick up Cole Hamels 20 Million Dollar option if he didn’t have the money. Again, it makes absolutely no sense and if this is the truth, if there is no money and they sit on their hands and don’t do much this offseason, I will probably lose my mind. We’ve been blessed with Theo spending money in free agency the last few years, but I’m praying he didn’t do it recklessly on the wrong free agent classes.
I’m sure we will start to learn which option is actually the truth during the Winter Meetings next week. And I still trust Theo. But I’m frustrated right now and I need Theo to make it stop.