After tearing apart the team a season ago, Jed Hoyer is getting set for his second straight trade deadline as being a seller. Regardless of what you thought about the moves from a season ago, Hoyer simply had to break down the team and start over.
It sounds as if Hoyer is going to use the same strategy during the 2022 season, but it’s simply not necessary. Instead of simply looking to build up the farm system, Hoyer and Cubs fans should be demanding other things before the trade deadline.
It’s hard to be sellers one year and then contenders the next, but Hoyer could actually pull this off if he is smart. There are a couple of glaring needs for this team, but there are also some moves that shouldn’t be made.
Read more about the Cubs in 2022.
MLB Level Pitching
The Cubs have plenty of talented individual pieces, and teams are going to come calling later this month. Hoyer has to listen to those calls, but he should be very specific about what he seeks in return.
Last year Hoyer was able to load up the farm system with top-level prospects from other teams, and the Cubs are actually in good shape now in the Minor Leagues. Instead of focusing on getting depth, Hoyer needs to go after pitching.
Hoyer should begin and end every single conversation during the Trade Deadline asking for MLB-ready starting pitching. It doesn’t even have to be a top pitcher for another team, but the Cubs have to find a way to get more arms on the team.
If starting pitching is going to be unavailable then the Cubs at least need to be receiving some MLB players or prospects that are at the Triple AAA level. Getting back 20-year-old prospects won’t help the Cubs be competitive next season, and it’s time to stop waiting around.
We are getting to the point in which we have too many positional prospects in the organization, which is similar to what took place in 2015-16.
Keep Happ and Contreras
The next big thing on the wish list of every (most) Cubs fans is to find a way to keep Ian Happ and Willson Contreras around. There is a reason that these two players continue to pop up in trade rumors and that’s because they are terrific assets.
Both Happ and Contreras have made it clear that they wish to stay with the Cubs throughout the remainder of their career, and that’s exactly what should happen. Both players should be All-Stars this season and they seem to keep getting better as time goes on.
There is going to come a time when the Cubs are going to be ready to compete in the NL Central again, and they will need players as talented as Happ and Conteras. Hoyer needs to do the right thing and find a way to keep these stars around.