On Monday, the day after the Royals defeated the Mets to win the World Series, the Cubs were listed as the favorites to win the 2016 World Series.
That didn’t surprise the quacks who predicted the Cubs were going to win it all this season – wait, that was me! I was one of the quacks who got caught up in the moment after the Cardinals playoff series and, history be damned, saw the Cubs finally winning it all.
To review: That didn’t happen.
Now there is work to be done, and it will involve money. But, hey, no problem. You might recall Crane Kenney’s famous quote in a Bloomberg Businessweek story before the 2015 season: “Basically, my job is fill a wheelbarrow with money, take it to Theo’s office and dump it.”
Kenney is the Cubs president of business operations, Theo Epstein is the Cubs president of baseball operations and the wheelbarrow is somewhere. If it does exist, no one knows how big it is. No one knows how much money Epstein will have to sign the two quality starters necessary to put the team in a better position to win the World Series. He thought he was going to get enough money at the 2015 trade deadline to get a third starter. He did not.
The free-agency period is approaching, and it will entail spending money, lots of it, to make the Cubs what Bovada says they are, 11-1 favorites to win the World Series.
At some point, the Cubs are going to have to ditch the small-market payroll and mindset, and start aiming higher, via spending and trading. No more Clayton Richard when Cole Hamels is necessary.
Sounds like a plan.