Cubs Offseason About Lengthening Roster

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer addressed the media on Monday, speaking at length about the direction of the upcoming off-season for the Cubs.

It’s going to be kind of a big one. This organization will attempt to flip the switch and try to build a competitive, possibly even a contending, squad for the first time here.

Much is yet to be determined, but here is what we do know about the plans: The Cubs will make a play for a top-of-the-rotation-type starter–cough, cough, Jon Lester–as well as another bona fide rotation piece. We also know the Cubs want to add a couple of veterans to the positional player mix.

Hoyer has recently spoken about the virtues of adding some left-handed hitters who can get on base. We have broached the possibilities of players like Denard Span or even Nick Markakis.

We have also heard for over a season now that the Cubs do not view Wellington Castillo as the long-term answer at catcher. They seemingly are letting everyone in on that secret of late.

With that in mind, our own Dabynsky openly pined for Russell Martin just the other day. Other local media members have followed suit and have written about the value of adding a veteran like the Pirates backstop.

Keep in mind, however, that signing Martin would require the Cubs to give up a draft pick. Another name that I have heard floated before in connection with Cubs interest is Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero.

Montero comes with 3 years and $40 million remaining on his contract and could viewed as a possible salary dump by Arizona. Therefore, the Cubs might not be required to give up much in return in the way of prospects, as there could be some cash relief involved. I’m getting ahead of things here though, since the D-Backs first need a new GM in place.

Either Montero or Russell could possibly hold the position down until the Cubs decide whether or not Kyle Schwarber is indeed their catcher of the future. Hoyer also stated Monday the Cubs would like to “lengthen” their positional player mix, which seems pretty easy to do at this point.

If Kris Bryant is in the mix by early spring, which we all expect, Luis Valbuena becomes quite a valuable utility player. If the Cubs add a Span type, Chris Coghlan and Justin Ruggiano then become part of a deep bench.

The Cubs have also seen fringe prospects like Logan Watkins and Matt Szczur come through their system recently, both of whom look like they could be very useful at the bottom of the roster. So again, “lengthening” doesn’t appear to be much of a daunting task as the Cubs boast a young, cheap, talented core throughout their line-up.

Adding the right vets to that mix will now occupy Hoyer’s winter.

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