(670 The Score) The Cubs made a pair of key additions in right-hander Jameson Taillon and outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger at the Winter Meetings earlier this week, but they intend for that to only be the start of their offseason work.
“There’s a ton of talent still to be added and then the trade market really opens up in earnest after the big free agents are gone,” Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenny said on the Mully & Haugh Show on Friday morning. “We may be in the third inning of our offseason in terms of how the roster will look come February.”
The Cubs added Taillon on a four-year, $68-million deal and Bellinger on a one-year, $17.5-million deal. They still want to add a star shortstop, and Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson are the two that are left after Trea Turner signed with the Phillies and Xander Bogaerts joined the Padres. The Cubs also have a hole at third base, could use another starter and want to find another catcher to pair with Yan Gomes after they let Willson Contreras walk to the Cardinals in free agency.
There wasn’t a direct mandate from ownership for the Cubs to spend this offseason, Kenney said, but there’s a “lot of flexibility in the budget” this winter.
“The business is still healthy, and that left Jed (Hoyer) with a lot of money to spend this year – like last year, where he didn’t spend all the money he had last year because he didn’t see transactions that made sense to him. I hope there are transactions that make sense to us this year to spend all the money that he has. He’s gotten off to a good start. The goal is always the same – it’s to win another championship. If a player can help us get closer to that goal, I think you’re going to see him be very aggressive.”
In detailing how free agency has played out and what is still to come, Kenney also made a telling comment as the Cubs come off a 74-88 season in 2022.
“There’s no reason to think we wouldn’t be a playoff team this year,” Kenney said.