Chicago Cubs weighing options as GM meetings come to a close


The Chicago Cubs are weighing options as the General Manager meetings have come to a close in Florida.

Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein met with reporters one last time before leaving the General Manager meetings on Thursday.

Epstein told reporters that there is credibility to the idea that the Cubs want to stack the most talent on their roster over the course of the next two seasons.

“It’s hard to argue that the next two years represent a great chance to sort of amass maybe the most talent onto a single roster that we can,” Epstein said. “Because the young guys haven’t started to make a lot of money yet and Arrieta’s locked in and Lester’s pitching at the top of his game.”

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“One way to look at it is (this) might be the best opportunity to have the single most talented roster that you can. But things get a little more complicated as you move forward.”

Complicated in the sense that the Cubs already have one starting pitcher in Jon Lester that will be making over $20 million per season into his late 30s. There may be hesitation for the Cubs to sign another starting pitcher such as Zack Greinke or David Price that would fall under the same category as Lester.

In a sense, the Cubs have to balance their short term window with their long term window of sustained success. That is a realization that is not lost upon Epstein.

“It’s a balancing act,” Epstein said. “You want to use the dollars that you have available to your advantage, especially when you’re in a position (where) every added win has great impact.

“And then you want to try to avoid a situation where you’re tied into too many big, long contracts that may lead to dead money on the books and inhibit your flexibility in the future.

“We’re out there trying to put the best team we can on the field, given the resources that we have.”

Epstein also realizes that every win that the team adds this off-season could have a dramatic impact on the 2016 season.

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“We’re right at that point in the win curve where every win that we can tack onto this roster on paper is potentially really, really meaningful,” Epstein said. “I don’t take that for granted at all.

“Those wins could be really important. They can be the difference between getting in, not getting in. They can be the difference between winning the division or winning the wild card. If things go really wrong, it could be keeping you in contention so you can reshuffle the deck midseason and still make a run at it.”

Still though, Epstein’s goal is to have sustained success as that gives the Cubs the best chance of eventually winning the World Series.

“You can’t count on building a super-team and that will translate to winning the World Series,” Epstein said. “The best way to do it is have really good teams year after year, get in year after year. And eventually you’ll win it.”

Going back to his days in Boston, Epstein has never been a proponent of super-teams. With the exception being when his bosses forced him to sign starting pitcher John Lackey and outfielder Carl Crawford in back-to-back off-seasons in 2010 and 2011. Epstein has proven to be successful at balancing short-term windows against long-term windows and that will be no different for the Cubs as they enter the beginning of what should be sustained success at the Major League level.