As we mercifully approach the end of this 2013 regular season, there still remains a great mystery as to what the Chicago Cubs plan to do this winter. Heading into the third year of the rebuild, and with impatience growing among the Wrigley faithful, will there be dramatic change?
That’s completely unlikely. The front office has shown that they are unwilling to waiver on their policy of not going after big name talent at this point in the rebuild. However, heading into a year in which they are expecting to be improved and competition, likely a .500 ballclub, there are some intriguing names out there.
The Cubs aren’t going to be in on Robinson Cano. It’s simply unreasonable to think that they’re going to shell out that kind of dough for a guy who will be past his prime by the time they’re ready to seriously contend for World Series title. Not to mention the infield prospects in the system.
Players that do offer up more intrigue are the likes of Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo. Both play in the outfield, where the Cubs have exactly zero players signed for the big league club next season. Both offer up different options for the front office, though.
In Ellsbury, you have a likely massive contract. He’s a franchise type player, and not the type that the Cubs are expected to look at. However, his connection to the front office does make him intriguing. And the Cubs could use a leadoff hitter and centerfielder. Choo would be pricey, but not nearly as much. However, he’s not likely the solution in center.
The bottom line is this: the Chicago Cubs cannot rely on their prospect pipeline 100 percent. They have impact prospects yet, but sooner or later they’re going to have to go after some proven commodities. Choo and Ellsbury each represent that in one form or another. Whether or not the Cubs are able to find a deal with one of them, that fits what they’re trying to do as a franchise, however, remains to be seen.