Author Topic: Cubs in '20  (Read 40648 times)

Reb

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1681
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #45 on: September 30, 2019, 09:50:17 pm »
Theo saidómaybe even emphasized- that Cubs donít know what will be available to them in trade market. So, would not be so sure about big moves with position players. Depends.

Regarding Contreras, I think he was asked a specific question about Contreras and, therefore, went on in some detail in response.  Called him a potential league MVP. Pretty effusive if you take it at face value.

If recall correctly, a year ago Theo kind of minimized leadoff at his end of season presser. Thought he was a bit more needy about it compared to a year ago. Guessing they get somebody significant.

Basically agree with CBJ that bolstering top end of rotation is the move to make for 2020, if possible. As Ron notes, Theo was clear that the 2019 rotation was not the trump card he expected, compared to rest of division. Yeah, would be nice to still have Dylan Cease but not going to hit on all trades when you look back. Thatís just baseball.

I think that IF Cubs trade Bryant, it will be more a matter of getting something good for him now instead of watching him leave in two years and getting a compensation 4th round pick back for losing him. But, hard to see how trading him upgrades Cubs run scoring ability. Not really a fan of such a move now.

Cubs have other major league players of value to trade: Happ, Caratini, Boteó with years of control and youth. And there are prospects of value to supplement trades, without trading top 3 or 4 prospects.

Kind of doubt will move Schwarber. After the break, batted .280 and .997 OPS. Was hitting ball to opposite field and doing what they wanted him to work on. Among other things, not sure it sends a good message trading a guy who managed to do that and change his game somewhat.


CUBluejays

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13552
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #46 on: September 30, 2019, 10:01:24 pm »
Did Dylan Cease learn how to throw strikes?

Ron

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7592
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #47 on: September 30, 2019, 10:12:02 pm »
craig - Thanks for the clarification and specificity. I do not consider Schwarber a "core" player, but I do consider him to be a valuable part of the team, and someone who could bring a substantial return were he to be traded (particularly to an AL team).

Among the position players, I agree that Bryant, Rizzo, Baez and Contreras should be considered core players.  I don't think there is any chance Rizzo would be traded. Theo explicitly did not rule out trading anybody, and I think his suggestion that the failure to reach an extension with other guys who will be free agents (Bryant and Baez) will factor into trade decisions was meaningful.  Given the high probability Bryant won't agree to a deal, I expect him to be aggressively shopped. While I do not expect Baez to be traded, if he doesn't agree to an extension I think that is possible.

I know some are skeptical or even cynical about Theo being serious about making substantial changes, based on his failure to do so after the 2018 season, but it seems to me he is clearly in a different place now, and I think anyone who listened to this press conference should come away convinced of that. He explicitly acknowledged that he was slow to accept the limitations of players who had made the team so successful in prior years. He also focused heavily on the need to build a new team that is built for the future, not the past. Hard to do that without some meaningful change in personnel.

I fully expect him to try to force the issue of a trade or trades to make a fairly basic change in the makeup of the team on the field. Granted, he'll need to find a favorable deal, but I expect there will be some very aggressive offers for Bryant, if not for others.

guest61

  • Guest
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #48 on: September 30, 2019, 10:16:08 pm »
Im betting Schwarber and/or Bryant go [possibly Happ,Almora,and Russell too],we resign Castellanos,bring in a leadoff man in CF,leave Hoerner at 2nd,and go after a #1 starter.

I say we hire Girardi.

ben

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1815
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #49 on: September 30, 2019, 10:18:16 pm »
CUBluejays, those are interesting stats on how much behind Dodgers our SPs were.  Thanks for those stats.  Clearly, we've got some SERIOUS starting pitcher issues!  Good starting pitching can mask lots of team deficiencies...and the Cards (and other teams in our division) should have plus starting pitching next year!!  We will seemingly need to land a #3 starter, at the least, to keep up, if we can!  Other pitching moves will need to be made, too, one would think (e.g. Lester as swing man?? Wick with a more prominent role)

As for Schwarber and/or Castellanos, Nick CLEARLY fits the Cub - and EVERY other team's - lineup...yet with Boras as his agent, why should we think Cubs will outbid everyone else to land him (at a likely ridiculous price), particularly with our starting pitcher needs?  I'd love to think Nick would give us a discount due to how he mashes at Wrigley etc., but that's just not what Boras' clients tend to do. 

Maybe the future Kyle Schwarber will be the 2nd half guy?  He's now had 1.600 or so ABs and many scouts talk about 1,200 as the magic number for a lot of MLB hitters to better handle MLB pitching and gain more consistent success. 

Schwarber may or may not be close to Nick Castellanos as an offensive force next year or in future years; however, it's VERY clear that Kyle will be a LOT less expensive for at least the next couple of years and, as we look to add better starting pitching and other help, MONEY will be a requirement.  At least next year, we will be blessed with some things (and another high payroll is one of them), but seemingly not MLB-ready starters at the AAA level!! 

I'm not complaining (as what Theo et al have accomplished for Cub fans over the past 5 years has been unprecedented in our lifetimes), but improving Cub pitching in 2020 seems to me the #1 priority.   I'll always believe what Joe Torre said as Yankee manager, "I used to think pitching was 70% of the game.  Then, I became a manager and realized it's a whole helluva lot more important than that!"
Like Like x 1 View List

craig

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10136
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #50 on: September 30, 2019, 10:26:05 pm »
Craig say the Cubs replace Hamels and Quintana in the rotation and Strop, Cishek, Kintzler, Phelps, Brach, Morrow, Duensing in the bullpen. Would that be a big change?

Not sure how to answer that! 
A.  In terms of the fan base perception, I don't know?  Not sure deeg and br would say yes?

B.  Personally, I would be very comfortable with that level of change myself, Blue.  I think that's a lot of change.  And that's the sort of the level of change that I'd have anticipated, prior to Theo's press conference; and still think is quite possible, once he gets actual offers.   

C.  Theo-wise, I'm not quite sure that's the change Theo's presser would suggest, though?  What do you think, Blue?  Ron, how about you?  The reason I wonder if Theo would view that as the "big change" he seemed to be talking about is because: 
1.  That's entirely pitching-staff changes.... yet his 2-hour presser spoke relatively little about pitching. 
2.  To my ears, more of his comments spoke to lineup.   ["least contact"  "fewest fastballs" "parts of the strike zone we're otherwise vulnerable too", "team that can be game-planned-for".]  So replacing Q, Phelps, Duensing etc. doesn't really address those game-plan-vulnerabilities that he seemed to talk about?   
3.  He also seemed to talk about having stuck too long with his 2016 core, but now being ready to "change".  Personally I'm good with your pitching changes; but if Theo again brings back the same 2016 guys lineup-wise, would that be the "change" Theo himself maybe seemed to be implying today? 

I have no idea. 

Ron

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7592
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #51 on: September 30, 2019, 10:55:09 pm »
I re-listened to parts of the press conference and wanted to add some observations.

Re Theo's assessment of the offense: he specifically noted that the Cubs had the lowest contact rate in baseball and as evidence of how easy it is "game plan" the Cubs the fact that they see the fewest fastballs in baseball. He expressed frustration that the Cubs have not adjusted to these issues. He also bemoaned having the most outs on the bases in baseball. Seems to me that these are clear areas he wants to focus on in player acquisition (and development) going forward.

He referred to the results from the leadoff position as "unacceptable numbers." He said the best solution would be to acquire a prototypical leadoff hitter, but said if they cannot do that the best solution is "to get as many players who specialize in getting on base as possible, and if they can be a great baserunner all the better." He referred to improving the performance from the leadoff position as "the lowest possible hanging fruit there is."  He said he places "a huge priority on getting on base" which would provide "lots of options."  He said "if you have as a goal leading the league in on base percentage you usually are not going to be wanting in the leadoff spot ... but the best outcome by far is to get someone who is comfortable in that spot, thrives in that spot, provides energy."

He pointed out that while the Cubs had the 5th most runs in the league, they had the 3rd best ERA in the league, saying that the pitching outperformed the offense in that regard (though he went on to point out the Cubs' very poor pitching in high leverage situations).

So I do not believe that making significant changes in the pitching staff alone would come near satisfying Theo.


« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 10:58:31 pm by Ron »
Informative Informative x 1 View List

Ron

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7592
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #52 on: September 30, 2019, 11:12:38 pm »
Zobrist, Rizzo, Hoerner, Kemp, Lucroy, Heyward, Caratini, Almora, Bryant, Schwarber, Descalso, Happ, Russell, LESTER, Castellanos, Bote, Contreras, DARVISH, Baez, HENDRICKS.
This is the Cubs top 20 hitters by contact rate. My phone didnít reset it to 50 PA my first post and guys like Zagunis and Taylor Davis where in there. 

Iím not sure why Baez gets a pass when it comes to contact rates. I love him, but he is the streakiest player on the team.

Of the guys in front of Bryant, Zobrist (who will presuably not be back) and Rizzo are obviously no surprise.  Hoerner has not been exposed to major league pitching enough to draw conclusions from his numbers, but obviously Theo likes that quality in him. Kemp, Lucroy and Almora obviously have not had the kind of contact that is all that useful are really not relevant. It is interesting that Heyward does as well as he does, considering that he seems to have hit the ball hard this season, and that Caratini shows up there - Theo has to like that.

I don't think Baez gets a pass on contact rates, but there are so many other aspects to his game that his contact rate is something you can live with - if your lineup has enough contact guys.  And the reason I think that Bryant is more likely to be traded is not only because he's less likely to sign a long term contract, but also because replacing Baez at SS would be way more difficult than replacing Bryant at 3B.
Agree Agree x 1 View List

Ron

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7592
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #53 on: September 30, 2019, 11:23:23 pm »
I think the Cubs would be fine with living with low contact rates of Baez and Contreras if they had six other regulars with good (reasonably hard) contact rates in the lineup. Rizzo and (hopefully) Hoerner are a start. Maybe Heyward and Schwarber would count?  I look for the Cubs to try hard to get a CF (and if they trade Bryant a 3B), and maybe a transitional 2B who fits that bill.

Ron

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7592
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #54 on: September 30, 2019, 11:33:04 pm »
Theo saidómaybe even emphasized- that Cubs donít know what will be available to them in trade market. So, would not be so sure about big moves with position players. Depends.

I think that IF Cubs trade Bryant, it will be more a matter of getting something good for him now instead of watching him leave in two years and getting a compensation 4th round pick back for losing him. But, hard to see how trading him upgrades Cubs run scoring ability. Not really a fan of such a move now.

Kind of doubt will move Schwarber. After the break, batted .280 and .997 OPS. Was hitting ball to opposite field and doing what they wanted him to work on. Among other things, not sure it sends a good message trading a guy who managed to do that and change his game somewhat.


Yes, Theo pointed out that it all depends on what/who is available in trades. Obviously he isn't going to just trade Bryant or anyone else without getting what he considers fair value in return.  One of the things he emphasized was that he was more concerned with what he would get back in a trade than what he would give up.

To me that implied that he was willing to give up a lot (Bryant, Contreras, Schwarber?) so long as he received the quality and types of players he seeks in return. The anticipated loss of Bryant after 2021 sounded to me like a very significant factor in Theo's thinking, and his emphasis on preparing for a "new window" after 2021 reinforced that for me.  He is still thinking long term, whether or not he's going to be around after 2021.
Informative Informative x 1 View List

Ron

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7592
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #55 on: September 30, 2019, 11:57:14 pm »
Sahadev Sharma has chimed in on Theo's press conference.

Here are some excerpts. There are lots of quotes from Theo mixed into the article as well. It is a good summary/analysis, well worth a read.

This is a group thatís notorious for chasing breaking balls out of the zone and failing to make contact with high fastballs. So along with pitching Ė both starters and bullpen Ė the Cubs will be looking for contact-oriented hitters who know how to control the zone and handle those troublesome high fastballs. They need to upgrade at both center field and second base. Their production from the leadoff spot ó the .294 OBP from the top of the lineup was worst in baseball ó was atrocious.
...
While Anthony Rizzo or Javier BŠez being traded would come as quite a surprise, there are other valuable players who could be made available. Happ and Schwarber are easy to point to, but itís certainly not out of the question that one of Bryant or Contreras is traded.
...
While Epstein was effusive in his praise of Contreras, his description of him also almost sounded like a sales pitch to teams who may be interested. And as good as Bryant is when healthy, he has two years remaining on his contract, meaning now may be the best time to maximize his value on the trade market.
...
The Cubs have engaged Bryant and BŠez in extension talks in previous offseasons. There will be discussions again this offseason. The smart money is on BŠez being more amenable to an extension. He seemed open to the idea prior to Sundayís season finale, saying heíd like to stay with the Cubs his whole career.
...
The Cubs arenít tearing it down. There wonít be another run like 2012-14 now or in the near future. But would taking a step back for 2020 be something thatís necessary to avoid a total teardown a year or two later?
...
The short answer seems to be that while contending is preferred for 2020, ignoring the seasons beyond is not a route theyíll take. There are those who will say itís foolish to move key pieces when this team has proven it can win. But Epstein seems over being stuck in the past. He admits that perhaps they misevaluated just how good this group would be and clung too long to certain players.
...
An 11-16 September and 2-9 stretch to end the season pushed the Cubs to this point. There can be no more masking of the failures. No more pointing to high win totals or deceiving statistics that donít truly expose the flaws of the roster. Change is essential, at all levels.

So, is the reckoning finally here?


https://theathletic.com/1256530/2019/09/30/whenever-you-dont-make-it-its-horrible-around-here-a-winter-of-change-awaits-the-cubs/
Informative Informative x 1 View List

wmljohn

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3467
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #56 on: October 01, 2019, 07:00:09 am »
Quote
discussing players nearing end of control, said if longer deal cannot be reached that would be a factor in openness to trades. Said he cared more about what they would receive in trade than what they would give up.

KB.  KB.  KB...

Trade his ass to a shitty team for some young talented players and then see how bad he wants to return to Chicago in two years.  Don't do what Washington did with Harper.

Robb

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4704
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #57 on: October 01, 2019, 08:05:08 am »
I will consider this offseason a success if they can sign Cole or possibly Strasburg if he opts out, trade either Contrerras or Bryant for impact talent and remove Russell, Almora, Happ and finally, eat whatever they have to of Heyward's contract to trade him.  As a bonus signing Castellanos and bringing in a healthy high k/low walk guy or two for the bullpen wouldn't hurt either.

Robb

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4704
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #58 on: October 01, 2019, 08:09:34 am »
Wick, Wieck and Ryan are a nice start to next year's bullpen. Short an injury Kimbrel will be there. Is there anyone else you want back from this year's crew? I've seen enough of Cishek and Kintzler. Maybe Strop based on his final, presumably healthy weeks? Chatwood is back but could be given a sniff at the rotation. Maybe pick up Q's option, trade him and then plug in Chatwood/Mills as 5th starter?

dev

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1420
Re: Cubs in '20
« Reply #59 on: October 01, 2019, 08:32:51 am »
Brandon Morrow is a free agent now....<ducks>