(CBS) A year after making a big splash ahead of the trade deadline by acquiring closer Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees for highly touted shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres, the Cubs are unsure of how they’ll approach the trade market this summer.
Entering play Thursday, Chicago was 20-19 and two games behind St. Louis in the NL Central. The Cubs’ uneven play early in the season is markedly different from 2016, when they started 25-6 en route to a championship. From mid-May on in 2016, the Cubs knew they would be buying big ahead of the trade deadline.
As it sits now, they’re still unsure of their role.
“Last year’s team made it really clear that we needed to be aggressive, with the way they played coming out of the gate, with how balanced the team was,” general manager Jed Hoyer said Thursday on the Spiegel and Parkins Show. “We felt there was one, clear obvious need to be a dominant playoff team, and that was to get that guy in the back end of the bullpen. Sort of our mantra, so to speak, is ‘If not now, when? If we’re not going to do an aggressive move to bolster this team in a year we’re going to win the division, we’re going to win a ton of games, we’re healthy and we have balance, then you’re not ever going to do it.
“I don’t know yet. We’ll have to figure out where we are as a team, how we’re performing. You want to make sure when you do make those big bets, you want to make sure you’re making those big bets on teams you feel can win. And I think this team certainly can. Obviously, we have a lot of baseball left to play and we have to be healthy. And we have to figure out where our holes are.”