Cubs' Hoyer: 'We plan to be active in free-agency'
Cubs fans might see this as stating the obvious, but president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer reiterated his strategy heading into the offseason.
"We plan to be really active in free agency," Hoyer told reporters Friday. "We plan to spend money intelligently."
The Cubs payroll is a mostly empty ledger at the moment. Kyle Hendricks, Jason Heyward and David Bote are under contract, while Willson Contreras and Ian Happ are arbitration eligible.
Some other players likely to be on next year's roster, like Nick Madrigal, Nico Hoerner, Frank Schwindel, Patrick Wisdom, Justin Steele, Adbert Alzolay and Codi Heuer are under team control and relatively inexpensive.
"We're scouting that market heavily," Hoyer said. "We're going to analyze that market heavily. There's offseasons when free agency is something that you do a little bit of. And obviously this year, we're going to be probably a little more active than usual to fill out our roster because we have a lot of open spots."
How it all plays out is the question. The Cubs could use a couple starting pitchers and some star-caliber bats in the lineup. All eyes will be on the recently-traded World Series heroes, former Cubs OF Nick Castellanos and several available shortstops.
Ross here to stay:
Jed Hoyer also confirmed David Ross is likely to remain manager of the Cubs for a long time.
"I think he's been fantastic, and I love working with him," Hoyer said. "It's obviously been a trying year for a lot of reasons, and I think he's done a really wonderful job these last two months of keeping these guys playing hard. And I think that's a testament to him and the respect they have for him."
When the season ends, Ross will head to Arizona, where most of the Cubs top prospects are playing in instructional league.
"He's really excited about building a culture with these young guys," Hoyer said. "All of our conversations about building the next great Cubs team, he's totally on board. He's into imprinting it the right way, and I love that passion."
Shortstop Nico Hoerner was scratched from Saturday's lineup due to general soreness. ... Cubs pitcher Jason Adam completed a remarkable comeback Friday. He suffered an open dislocation and fracture of his left ankle on May 21 in Iowa in a batting practice accident. He was back on the mound for the Cubs and struck out the side in the seventh inning of Game 1.