The Cubs were one of the busiest teams of deadline season, moving many of their veteran players in a series of trades that officially closed the curse-breaking era of Wrigleyville baseball. However, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer feels the next window of contention will open sooner rather than later thanks to these deals, telling The Chicago Tribune’s Meghan Montemurro and other reporters that “we did everything we could today and over the last week to try to reset this organization and to try to make the best decisions possible.”
Citing the recent examples of the Phillies, Tigers, and Giants, Hoyer wanted to avoid a scenario that would’ve seen the Cubs perhaps wait too long to make that “reset,” as Hoyer said those other clubs “basically ran to the end of the cliff and they fell off and they had to rebuild.” While Hoyer said that the organization was “willing to go to that point if this was a winning team this year,” the team’s 11-game losing streak from June 25 to July 6 essentially ended the Cubs’ chances of competing in the NL Central, especially since the Brewers got hot and broke out to a big lead.
Rather than seeing impending free agents like Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, or Anthony Rizzo all potentially leave for nothing this winter, the decision was made to move them at the deadline. “We were able to, in my mind, speed that process up dramatically because we’re able to acquire a lot of young talent, some on the major-league team, some that’ll be in the minors,” Hoyer said.
Of course, there was no shortage of “real emotion” that went into trading some of the iconic Cubs figures of recent years, and Hoyer didn’t rule out pursuing reunions with any of these now-former stars in free agency this winter. As Montemurro notes, however, such re-signings are perhaps a little unlikely, given how the Cubs had extension talks with several of their top players dating back to 2020, yet couldn’t come to terms on a long-term deal.
There don’t appear to be any hard feelings on at least Baez’s side, as the newly-minted Mets infielder told Russell Dorsey of The Chicago Sun-Times that “I think the communication here has been really good between the players in the [Cubs’] front office. They talked to us straight up told us what the chances were. We understand the business side. It happens. Hopefully happens for the best for the organization.”
Catcher Willson Contreras (controlled through the 2022 season) is one of the few notable stars remaining on the roster, and it stands to reason that the Cubs might explore trading Contreras this winter, after discussing some potential deals with teams last offseason. For Contreras’ part, however, he would “love to stay here….This is the only team I’ve played for, and if they want to rebuild around me, I’m happy to talk.”