By trying to fill one position for the long term, two positions, all of them?
It appears the Cubs will be filling most of the holes this winter through free agency rather than trades, which makes sense given their glaring lack of tradable talent.
"It's (not) the type of offseason where we have a ton of fits with 25 of the 29 other clubs," team President Theo Epstein said. "We'll pursue everything, but, realistically, our fits might be narrower this year, (which would) give us more time to focus on the free-agent market.
"We're going to have a fairly well-defined trade market early because we don't have unlimited assets to deal and we don't necessarily have redundancy at positions in the big leagues or upper (minor league) levels."
That doesn't mean the Cubs will be pursuing the big-money free agents, even though they have the money to do it.
"We'll try to be disciplined … (to) keep in mind we're not only trying to build for 2013, but we want to make sure we have a very solid future as well.
"There are a lot of opportunities to get better because there were a lot of weaknesses on the club. … We have to make sure we take advantage of those."
The Cubs already called off one potential trade after closer Carlos Marmol agreed to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Angels for pitcher Dan Haren. Hoyer and Epstein got cold feet at the last minute, reportedly after studying medical records of Haren's bothersome back.
Hoyer said they had spoken with Marmol since the deal was called off after causing a Twitter flurry.
"It was unfortunate. It was a miscommunication," Hoyer said. "Carlos ran with it that (he thought) he had been traded and the deal wasn't complete. …
"We should have made it clearer to him, that this is a theoretical, 'Hey, would you do this' as opposed to this is a done deal. Maybe we deserve some of blame for that, too."
Hoyer hinted that the Cubs might be open to locking up starter Jeff Samardzija with a long-term deal.
"He had a great year and we certainly hope he's in a Cubs uniform for a long time," Hoyer said. "He's a great competitor, the kind of guy teammates really look up to and who has the potential to be a really good leader.
"So far, he has had to worry about himself (getting better). It's hard to be a leader when you're also (trying to build) a career. He can be that guy."