It appears that Chicago Cubs fans that are hoping the team will swoop in and make some big-time free agent signings right before Spring Training begins might be disappointed. Theo Epstein gave an interview earlier this week that once again seemed geared at making trades rather than signing a big free agent. The team's president talked to the Chicago Tribune and also attempted to make it clear that while he understands there are people who are not happy with the relative quiet the Cubs have shown this offseason.

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Cole Hamels the biggest signing of the year?

The 2018 offseason looked like it was getting off to a bang when the Chicago Cubs picked up the option on Cole Hamels. That contract cost the team $20 million. That's quite a bit of money for a pitcher who had been a mid-season pickup, is aging and will likely take up the third, or fourth starter in the rotation. Many fans felt like picking up the option meant the club was about to spend some serious cash, especially on Bryce Harper.

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Since that signing, the team has made moves that were more about ditching contracts than adding players. There was the addition of Daniel Descalso, but even that move would have been considered rather a low key compared to the kind of free-agent signings the Theo Epstein and company have made in the last few years. The team president is well aware the signings are underwhelming. "I know thus far we haven’t added the big names that get the fans excited. I understand that’s part of the expectations in the offseason," he told the paper.

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What trades can materialize for the Chicago Cubs?

Epstein's claims the team is focusing on trades might be a smokescreen for making no moves at all. The team's farm system has been depleted by big trades over the last few years as well. Most of those trades have either landed them players that aren't with the club anymore or have greatly underperformed. While there are explanations for all those trades, the bottom line is the Cubs don't have a ton of trade chips left on the table.

MLB Trade Rumors reports the trades could still be in anticipation of making the biggest move of the offseason. The Chicago Cubs have enough talent on the current roster to compete. If they are able to add Bryce Harper, they become the odds-on favorite to win the NL Central again. Rumors around the Chicago Cubs is that a big contract could be offloaded in order to make room for the outfielder and finish a quiet offseason with a bang.

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