The Cub’s lack of activity at the trade deadline is a sign of what the team’s direction will be for the next year or two. The decision by the front office to not deal Aramis Ramirez, pending his cooperation, and Carlos Pena shows that the team is looking to supply a similar product for the near future.
Players like Jeff Baker, Reed Johnson, Marlon Byrd, and so forth would have made great additions to teams looking to make a late push for the postseason, while bringing in prospects to the franchise. Instead they were held on to, which to me signals that the ownership is maxed out and won’t be prepared to go after big free agents in the offseason.
Instead, we will most likely see the Cubs bringing Pena back on a multi-year deal at first base, until they add a long term solution or convince Tyler Colvin that he can play there. Same goes for Aramis, if they don’t decide to pick up his 16 million option, they see Jeff Baker as the future. Why not? A switch from the future top 3B free agent to a glorified utility man won’t be that big of a change… If that’s their choice, I really hope young Vitters can figure it out and stay healthy. But at least the front office was able to shed Fukudome this year but still there is a lot of dead weight left on the ball club.
For the next few years the Cubs are going to be a guessing game. There will be a lot of plugging of players and confusing moves. The team can avoid all this if they can dedicate themselves to a specific direction. There should be no halfway point, either go young or go big. A combination of the two will lead to a repeat of this year.
Who knows what this team will look like next year. But the one thing I do know is that we will be stuck with Soriano until he’s an official member of the AARP.