Cubs Now Only Team Without Big-League Acquisition This Offseason

By signing righty reliever Josh Staumont to a one-year deal for a little less than $1 million, the Twins became the 29th MLB team to sign (24) or trade for (5) a guaranteed big-league deal this offseason. As you probably know already from the headline, the Cubs are the lone holdout. While they’ve signed several non-roster players to minor-league deals thus far, they have not added to their 40-man roster from outside the organization.

You can talk all you want about being methodical and spending intelligently because money doesn’t guarantee championships, but literally being the last team to make a move is concerning. Jed Hoyer could change all that with a whirlwind post-Christmas spree that includes deals with Cody Bellinger, Rhys Hoskins, Jordan Montgomery, and/or Shōta Imanaga, so maybe our collective hand-wringing will be for naught by the time we ring in the new year.

At the moment, however, Hoyer remains on the naughty list because of what he hasn’t done. It’s not about missing out on Shohei Ohtani, who never really considered any teams other than the Dodgers. Nor is it about falling out of the Yoshinobu Yamamoto race only to see him land the largest deal ever for a pitcher. Again, the Dodgers were probably the only team willing to do that.

Hell, we can’t even lament stopgap deals because the Cubs haven’t done anything to block their prospects or prevent Christopher Morel from getting every opportunity to win the third base gig. Depending on your perspective, we can view this in a number of different ways. Would you rather see them develop a homegrown star or pay big money for Matt Chapman and end up with nowhere to put Morel and Matt Shaw?

I don’t like the idea of waiting so long that leaning almost exclusively on the farm system ends up being the best decision by default and Hoyer’s not there yet, but it’s getting closer all the time. As a (sometimes begrudging) optimist, I still view the glass as being half-full. A growing number of fans see it not only as half-empty but as containing little more than backwash.

And you know what? I can’t blame them.

The ongoing doldrums will eventually make the first breezes of activity that much sweeter, I only hope we’re not left to convince ourselves that it’s not just the organization blowing smoke up our backside.

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