Financial Questions, Cubs Season Success, Part Two Rebuild, More

Chicago Cubs owner and CEO Tom Ricketts doesn’t meet with the media very often, so when he does speak in public, it’s a very noticeable thing. Even if, frankly, he’s always been very careful to acquiesce in baseball operations and not commit to much of anything concrete.

You already know the big question that Ricketts will be facing this year, especially after the team’s payroll has dropped dramatically and The business side has talked about moving money into next year: Are the Cubs going to spend a lot of money in the off-season or what?

You can see Ricketts’ full comments over hereAnd the over hereAnd the over hereAnd the over hereAnd the over hereamong other places, but this should give you an idea of ​​how Ricketts would approach this particular question:

“The ball is in his court when it comes to how and where he puts finances to work. He has a lot of flexibility. So I let him do that. I let him decide what he wants to do…. You guys know how to do it. We calculate our expectations. We determine the cost of putting games And we pay people to run the organization and everything else. And then it all goes to the baseball players. Good has the resources to add people. If he feels like he’s the right person at the right time, he has 100% support from me. I’ll leave it to him.”

There is some money. Jed Heuer and his crew will decide how to spend it. That’s it.

You won’t get more Ricketts after 13 years of owning the team. He (and the front office) believes that nothing good can come from an unseen commitment to a certain amount of spending in a given season, and instead will simply say the money is there if the signature is right.

It’s the stock answer at this point, which I understand isn’t what some fans want to hear, but in practice, *is* how you want to play this stuff: make as much money as possible available for baseball operations, and then let the baseball people decide how best to spend it . When owners start getting involved in everyday baseball decisions, well, we’ve seen in other establishments how often that works.

also? It’s at least a basic checkpoint that nothing jumped into Ricketts’ comments as flashing warning signs about more spending restrictions. I didn’t find any reason to be concerned about tightening the wallet chains.

Meanwhile, among Ricketts’ other comments…

In describing this season as a success, and pointing to development steps: “The truth is you can’t buy a championship team in baseball. You have to build it. And that’s what we do. And in order to build it, you have to take years where you let the guys stand at bat, and give them a chance. To prove themselves and know who you have to build around. That’s what this year is all about. And it’s success…. There’s kind of a point in your development where you have to let the guys play and see what they have. It turns out that some guys really look like they’re going to be key players for a long time. Second “At all levels, there’s been guys coming up. Some guys we’ve dealt with in the last year, some people we’ve drafted or signed over the last few years – there are a lot of guys that look like they’re going to be big guys soon. Third, in general, You guys must admit (in the media) that the infrastructure for displaying advertisements has already been provided.”

On a related and somewhat troubling point about rebuilding: “Obviously, following a similar process or strategy as we did 10 years ago, doing it once – especially with pretty much the same people – gives me great confidence that we’re going to do it the right way.” once again. So I’m very comfortable with where we are and very excited about our future.” Given what happened in the aftermath of the 2016 championship, and the problems that escalated under the hood, I’m not sure this is as comfortable as Ricketts wanted.

(However, I don’t actually agree that “pretty much the same people” are to blame this time around, as nearly all of the top decision makers in the front office and scouting/player development have shifted since 2013-14. It’s really, for the most part, Jed Hoyer only, and then a whole lot of new people he’s brought in or been promoted over the past few years. And I think it’s a good thing, and I see at least some Signs that the dramatic exploration and player development issues that surfaced last time around might be avoided this time around.)