Cubs planning conservative approach

The Cubs missed out on one of the top-tier free agents – catcher Russell Martin, who signed a five-year, $82 million contract with the Blue Jays — on Monday, and they’re prepared for that process to repeat itself with other players, as well.

While many people – fans and media included – are pinning high hopes on the Cubs to make a big splash this winter, the inter-organizational thinking is quite a bit more conservative. The Cubs will certainly do their due diligence at the top of the starting pitching market, for example (they were reportedly meeting with Jon Lester on Tuesday), but, according to a Major League source, they are generally leery of the top-of-the-market prices and more inclined to abstain.

The Cubs do plan to make meaningful additions (a reunion with Jason Hammel, for instance, remains possible), but they know that their young position players are going to need time to develop at the big-league level, particularly in a division as deep as the NL Central (a division that became even more difficult Monday, when the Cardinals acquired Jason Heyward). They also know that next winter’s free-agent pitching class (which could include David Price, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos and old friend Jeff Samardzija, among others) could be even deeper than this year’s, so there could be value to patience.

 –Anthony Castrovince

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