For lots of baseball fans, myself included, the offseason can be every bit as fun as watching a game itself. Independent of the final outcome, I find pleasure in simply watching it unfurl, trying to discern the Cubs’ final direction by studying their interim moves.
Each offseason is a competition. And I don’t mean in the traditional sense of “winning.” After all, few teams crowned offseason winners actually carry that through to the World Series. Consider the Yankees (Giancarlo Stanton trade) and Angels (Shohei Ohtani signing) last year; the Red Sox in 2016-17 (Chris Sale trade); the Braves in 2015-16 (separately trading Shelby Miller and Andrelton Simmons for Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte and Sean Newcombe); and the Cubs after 2014 (Joe Maddon, Jon Lester signings).
Rather, I mean watching the clash of front-office philosophies for constructing rosters, managing budgets, and valuing talent. From that perspective, the Theo Epstein era in Chicago has been a joy to observe, both in its unique tactics and philosophical transparency. But starting last offseason, matching Epstein’s words to his actions has become more challenging.
After 2017, Epstein diagnosed some pretty clear priority areas for the Cubs: Replace two departing starters, address the bullpen’s league-worst non-intentional walk rate, and …Read the Rest
Source:: Cubs Insider