There are numerous ways to be good as a baseball organization. The Dodgers rarely make development mistakes, and have plenty of money to spend. For nearly a century, the Cardinals effectively pushed an envied talent pipeline. The Rays assess other teams' pipelines very well. The Cleveland organizagion has gotten scary-good at pitcher development. The Astros seemingly developed terminology and technology to assess what used to be considered random. The Cubs have shrubbery on the walls. Perhaps the reason Jed Hoyer's General Manager position is open is because nobody qualified wants it.
I was expecting an outcry against the Yu Darvish trade return. I wasn't expecting to amplify it. The problem isn't that Owen Caissie, Reginald Preciado, Yeison Santana, and Ismael Mena can't eventually be good. They could be. It's that the Cubs no longer seem to be particularly good at anything baseball-related.
The owners are acting financially as if the repossession people are coming to reclaim the family Geo Metro next week. That Hoyer will get peppered with lousy trade offers for any remaining talent should be expected. "Sure, we'll take Kris Bryant for a top 15 prospect or two in the DSL, as long as you're paying the first $16 million." There's no reason for Tom Ricketts to be taken seriously as an owner, which makes the GM job of the Cubs a toothless gig, especially with three executives rushed into assistant GM spots over a month before the spot was filled.
Why leave a good job to walk into a horrific environment for success?
I was looking forward to talking about the upside of the talent the Cubs received for Darvish and Victor Caratini. Caissie, a 2020 draft pick, hasn't played in a pro game with a box score. Nor has Preciado. Ismael Mena is similarly inexperienced. Santana has fewer than 200 plate appearances in the US, all in the Arizona Rookie League. You're justified in questioning ownership's commitment to a well-run franchise.
The Cubs are verging on being "Bill Cartwright as the Bulls coach" hopeless, and for the same reason. I really hope college and minor league games start up soon, because I can't see planning a summer of prioritizing Chicago Cubs games for an entire season. The owner is aloof, the baseball operations guy has been exposed as a tool in his first major league transaction in the role, and nobody ought to consider the Cubs a serious contender for anything positive until they show they're good at something that is a baseball positive. Success or failure flows from the top of an organization. No good GM candidate ought to accept the role with the Cubs. Wait for a good job offer.