The Cubs are not a better team today without Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson and Geovany Soto.
They would be even worse without Matt Garza, and that still might happen by the Aug. 30 waiver deadline.
Either way, though, the Cubs organization is better today. In theory, anyway.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer stripped the major-league team of several current assets that don’t figure to help at a decent price down the road. They went about gathering all the young pitching talent they could.
That was the point of this season once Epstein came in and evaluated all the talent. Pitching, pitching, pitching. Volume, volume, volume.
Thing is, while piling up young arms is a great plan, it doesn’t lead to sustained success unless the Cubs can develop half the young talent.
It’s one thing for Epstein and Hoyer to raze the roster in order to rebuild, but it’s another thing for Epstein and Hoyer and their scouts to know what they’re looking at. It’s still another thing for the minor-league coaches to make it major-league caliber.
This is yet another part of the Epstein experience that demands patience and trust. Either they know what they’re doing with players you’ve never heard of or there’s no hope that this franchise will see another World Series.
The Cubs figure to be bad again next year and maybe the season after that. But at least it involves being bad with a plan, as opposed to being bad with Mike Quade.