SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It’s a good week for the Chicago Cubs‘ front office to reacquaint themselves with many of their counterparts from other teams. After all, they could be huddled together behind closed doors for hours this winter. After years of utilizing the free-agent market to augment a young position player core, the script has flipped in Chicago, where the Cubs hold some of the keys to the hot stove season.
“We enjoyed a lot of success and stability and good feelings all around,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said from the general managers meetings in Arizona. “And when things evolved to a place we’re not as proud of, there’s accountability for all of us. That means a lot of change and difficult decisions and trying to move forward and create something new. Change is not always easy, but it’s necessary.”
The change Epstein is referring to has come because of a few factors: The team came up short in the standings the past two years. The Cubs have a group of players who will all become free agents at the same time, after the 2021 season. Finally, there’s the competitive balance tax. Simply put, the Cubs’ payroll comes down if they subtract from their major league roster.