9/17 Free agency not the answer now

The Cubs offense has sputtered this season, and one of Theo Epstein’s offseason goals is to find creative ways to have a more productive lineup, just don’t expect the team to be spending on free agents.

“Right now, we’re clearly no where close to where we want to be offensively,” said Epstein, who met with manager Dale Sveum on Tuesday to discuss the roster. “Getting on base will be a hallmark of this organization and we’re not good at it yet. And frankly, a lot of the more talented young hitters who we have coming tend to be more aggressive and not naturally on the patient side.”

Finding those perfect hitters won’t be easy.

“I don’t think we’re going to get to where we need to be through free agency for the short term, honestly,” Epstein said. “Given the needs that we have and where we are and the likely price tags on the market, I don’t think we’ll have the ability to add multiple impact pieces in free agency.

“We’re going to have to take a multi-dimensional approach to changing things,” he said. “We won’t solve our problems through free agency. It’s a very viable and sometimes attractive way to add talent and to be a great organization you have to do it from time to time. Given our situation on a lot of fronts it’s not the cure for our ills.”

The Cubs have gotten the go-ahead from the city of Chicago to install a video scoreboard at Wrigley Field next season but have yet to determine whether they can do that because of possible litigation from roof top owners. What does that have to do with the team? The Cubs need the revenue from advertising on the scoreboard.

“We know we’re not going to be able to pick and chose what we want in free agency,” Epstein said. “We’re going to be aggressive where we can be, and when we can be.”

— Carrie Muskat


I think what Mr. Epstein is saying, is “don’t expect much improvement for at least the next couple of years.” The ambiance of roof top seating is nothing to sneeze at and for the Cubs to have a public disagreement over it does not bode well especially for the new leadership. We shall see.

You may have a problem with reading and comprehending Diamondjim. Try to break it down by paragraph. ( GETTING ON BASE WILL BE A HALLMARK OF THIS ORGANIZATION) That tells me that Management is very unhappy with OBP’s. That is why we discussed the terrible job of the hitting coach and Assistant ROB DEER three weeks ago. You starting to put it together?
FA’s for the short term. (“Given the needs that we have and where we are and the likely price tags on the market, I don’t think we’ll have the ability to add multiple impact pieces in free agency.) In other words to many FA’s would be needed to make the team competitive.
The Cubs have added much youth in the Farm system as proved by three Playoff teams. Now its a waiting game for promotions, while you continue to sign and build the three A teams after A players are promoted next year. That’s why the Draft pick is so important. Not only will the Cubs get that 4th or 5th pick in the 1st round, but every round after. You starting to get it?
If you are looking for a winning team next year, you might want to choose another team. If your a Cub fan, look deeper, they are doing very good things. Then again, all you do is complain, this is a great home for you the next year or so.

I for one appreciate the fresh approach, candor and honesty from Epstein. It shows a certain amount of respect for us fans not being gullible and to be taken for fools. We KNOW it will be years before competing FOR A TITLE, we KNOW Sveum won’t be the manager, we KNOW the organization is putting an emphasis on the BUSSINESS end of the franchise just as much as the minor leagues. Thanks Mr. Epstein for NOT being Jim Hendry or Andy McPhail.

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Does this mean we are not going to pursue Jacoby Ellsbury in the off-season as has been rumored?

I don’t think that Theo’s comments were only directed towards the media as information. I think it is also a wake up call throughout the whole system that says “If you can’t get on base, you are not welcome here”. I think the regression of Castro and Rizzo will also be a serious knock on Sveum and the hitting coachs. I kind of expect that closet to be cleaned this off season, especially with Theo’s dance around the subject. The “Multiple Free Agents” comments means that maybe one could be coming … Choo? Ellsbury? Maybe trades will be made? Could be a different looking team next year.

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