The end of an era came fast for the Cubs last summer when they blew up their championship core in a series of trades at the deadline in July.
But in hindsight, should they have done something sooner to shake things up?
“Thinking back on should we have made some those move moves earlier?” Cubs president Jed Hoyer said Wednesday on ESPN 1000’s “Kap and J Hood.”
“Yeah, I think we probably should have.”
The Cubs have said versions of this in recent years; Theo Epstein talked after the 2019 season about shaking up the core after the Cubs missed the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
They didn't begin to shake things up until after the shortened 2020 season, when Hoyer non-tendered Kyle Schwarber in a pandemic cost-cutting move.
The trades of Kris Bryant, Javy Báez and Anthony Rizzo followed last summer, only a few months before they were set to become free agents.
Now the Cubs are rebuilding for the second time in a decade.
“We were too stubborn with that group, I guess is the way I would put it,” Hoyer said. “We saw what they did at 22, 23 years old. We believed that we were going to get back to that point with the same group.
“We did really honor what they had done for this city, and we wanted to do this with them.
"We didn’t. There's no other way to say it. We weren't able to rekindle that with that group that was really talented, unbelievably talented.”
Sticking with the core is one thing. The Cubs’ player development also stagnated in the years after 2016, and they had to build their rotation and back of the bullpen through free agency, an expensive proposition that put them against the luxury tax.
“Going back and sort of playing this thing in reverse,” Hoyer said, “I think we probably at that moment after ’18, yeah, we probably should have done something like you described and reset things, changed the mix.
“But we didn’t. I can't go back in time and change that, but I can certainly learn from it.”