<
>

Cubs need to get 'creative' to sign 2 big free agents

"If we want to do two things we have to get pretty creative," Theo Epstein said. "Even if we do one really big thing we have to get creative." Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

BOCA RATON -- The offseason signing spree hasn't quite kicked into high gear as agents and general managers arrived for talks this week. Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein revealed little news on Monday but did reiterate a stance from a year ago: Don't expect two $100 million free-agent signings in the same offseason. It's just not feasible right now.

"If we want to do two things we have to get pretty creative," Epstein said Monday afternoon. "Even if we do one really big thing we have to get creative."

By creative he means back load some salary or free up some money via trades. Both are possible, just not likely, meaning one major signing and then a few smaller ones is what to be expected.

"We have the ability to add a little bit from where we are right now," Epstein said. "I don't think we have room to do everything that's been speculated in some areas."

His comments come on the heels of general manager Jed Hoyer saying the Cubs will add via free agency "within reason" and the Cubs will focus their monetary assets on pitching. After that a player like Ben Zobrist is more likely to be a Cub than Jason Heyward. Last season the Cubs accomplished a lot with more holes to fill.

"A nice orderly winter," Epstein described it. "Sometimes you have to follow a more creative path."

We'll see how things play out but if the Cubs choose that creative path there's a chance at a bigger-than-expected haul this winter, otherwise they'll add as they did last year and see where that gets them. They should do well either way.

"We'll have more money down the line than we have right now," Epstein said. "Just have to keep that in mind."