Author Topic: Cubs in '22  (Read 41816 times)

Playtwo

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2021, 12:21:31 pm »
I view Contreras as a strong asset on the field and in the clubhouse.  He's not superstar, that's for sure, but he's an excellent ballplayer.
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Deeg

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2021, 11:42:02 pm »
He’s a good player, about to enter a phase of his career where he likely transitions to an average player.  If he wants to be paid like a star, that’s a pass.  If his expectations are realistic an extension might make sense, but the Cubs are very unlikely to be any good for a few seasons.

craig

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2021, 08:19:29 am »
From Kevin Goldstein's FanGraphs chat:

..The notion that Contreras is someone you can build around is a weird narrative in the Chicago media.

Unclear what Goldstein is thinking.  Contreras is a good, valuable player.  But he doesn't get a lot of hits.  I'm guessing Goldstein is viewing a "build-around" guy as one who'd be a lineup asset offensively, a middle-of-the-order bat that's better than average even relative to other middle-of-the-order hitters. 

A defense-oriented player can absolutely be a core player and a valuable part of a winning team, we all know that.  But given how hard scoring is, I can understand how Goldstein would envision a "build-around" guy as one who'd be an excellent hitter who gives your team an advantage in scoring runs. 

Willson is hitting .226 this year.  His OPS is a HR-driven .750, which is fine for a strong-defense catcher. 2019 was an outlier big season.  But otherwise his OPS hasn't exceeded .763 in the other 3 recent seasons, and his batting average has dropped every year since the World Series other than 2019.  A good-defense run-prevention catcher who OPS's in the .700's is a useful, good major leaguer, for sure.  But run-creation is part of baseball, and if your build-around star has a .750-OPS, your run-creation side of the game is going to struggle.  He's not a bad hitter, but he's more of a support bat than you're build-around bat. 

If he's your best player, good chance you're going to have a really bad offense and a losing team.

deeg is right, too, that Contreras in his 30's probably isn't going to develop into a better hitter.  He's had thousands of AB's already to develop as best he could.  If we're lucky, he'll stay what he is for some years.  But little chance of getting better, and larger chance that some decline will continue to varying degree and rate. 

wmljohn

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2021, 08:35:14 am »
Quote
deeg is right, too, that Contreras in his 30's probably isn't going to develop into a better hitter.  He's had thousands of AB's already to develop as best he could.  If we're lucky, he'll stay what he is for some years.  But little chance of getting better, and larger chance that some decline will continue to varying degree and rate.

Sounds like it is the prime time to trade him.  Sell high...

Reb

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #34 on: August 18, 2021, 01:20:20 pm »
As I noted couple of weeks ago with hard data, Contreras has less wear and tear/innings caught compared to his top notch catching peers.

So, there is really no factual basis to infer some kind of inevitable decline. See Posey, s. Perez, lately.

Obviously, that will come—as it does for everybody. But, there should be no problem extending him at market value.
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craig

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #35 on: August 18, 2021, 02:13:00 pm »
Whatever and whenever future decline might come, the Cubs evaluation of his market value should probably factor that he has ALREADY declined.  Rookie/sophomore Contreras was a good-average hitter (.282, .276) with strong asset OPS .845, .855.  I think for us Cubs fans, there was a justifiable sense that he might be an MVP guy, and that the best might still be ahead for him... as a hitter. 

That shouldn't be the mind-set for his next contract.  It should be as a high-energy plus-defense guy, who's probably going to be a low-average hitter with a low-mid-.700's OPS until at some point he declines.  IN three of the four last years, he's slugged .390, .407, and .417.  In three of the last four years, he's batted .249, .243, and .226.  He's not the hitter he was, and his contract shouldn't assume so. 

I think this might be similiar to the other guys.  Player might want to get paid as if he was back at his peak.  Hoyer's offers will perhaps be more moderated by some recentism.  The player will probably prefer to "bet on myself, and test the market". 
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Reb

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #36 on: August 18, 2021, 02:52:41 pm »
Players vary from year-to-year and, of course, have to take age into account as do with everybody.

For example, Contreras had a poor 2018 offensive season and then got better again.

Currently, Contreras has 3.8 bWAR in only 104 games played——All Star caliber.  Fangraphs has him considerably lower, so there’s room for debate.

The way I see it is that IF you treat Contreras as a guy inevitably in decline——that’s a formula for another contract dump and then we can play another nobody at catcher for a few seasons.

I don’t see that but rather see Contreras as one of the better catchers in baseball going forward. Not arguing that he’s a “Build Around” type of player but a very good core piece at a critical position.

So, pay market value and extend him.

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Playtwo

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #37 on: August 18, 2021, 02:53:27 pm »
I totally agree, Reb.
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Dave23

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #38 on: August 18, 2021, 02:54:40 pm »
Same…
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CUBluejays

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2021, 02:56:51 pm »
It depends on when the Cubs feel like they are going to compete.  If it isn't 2022 or 2023 then keeping Hendricks/Contreras is all about keeping attendance vs building the "Next Great Cubs Team TM."

Playtwo

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #40 on: August 18, 2021, 03:02:49 pm »
It not hard to see why management would assume the team won't compete in 2022.  But why make moves that make it impossible to compete in 2023?  The likelihood is that they won't compete in 2023, but why concede that now? 

Reb

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #41 on: August 18, 2021, 03:06:40 pm »
It’s not solely about attendance.

If Royals can give a lucrative contract to Salvador Perez, then the Cubs can re-sign Contreras regardless of the outlook for 2022-23—not necessarily for Perez money but post-2021 market value. It’s just a solid baseball decision and Cubs are still in the baseball industry.


craig

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #42 on: August 18, 2021, 04:08:11 pm »
It not hard to see why management would assume the team won't compete in 2022.  But why make moves that make it impossible to compete in 2023?  The likelihood is that they won't compete in 2023, but why concede that now? 

Yes.  You build a good team once player at a time.  If you are set with a good catcher for a while, that's one fewer spot you need to solve.  IMO, you want to have enough spots filled so that outside FA's can figure that by adding them in, if they play well the team has a chance to be good.  Build it one player at a time, and Contreras can certainly be one of those. 

Still, bad-value contracts have consequences, and limit future options. 

reb, you're certainly right, that players aren't consistent and that Contreras had a much better year in 2019 than in 2018 before or 2020 or 2021 after.  So, if you want to give him a contract at a price that assumes he'd frame like 2020-21 and hit like 2019, that's fine, and may prove wise. 

And you may be proven very wise to have done so.  But there's certainly a real possibility that over his next contract, that he'll maybe hit more like the 2017-2018 versions of Heyward (.715, .731 OPS), than like Willson's 2019 season.  It's just the risk you take. 

I'm not very concerned about risking what might turn out to be an inflated contract.  Who else is going to take the Cubs money, until they build up enough of a skeleton that a good pricey FA thinks he can join it and enable it to contend?  So offering a bad contract, or what proves to become a bad contract, might be totally acceptable. 

CUBluejays

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #43 on: August 18, 2021, 05:04:11 pm »
Hendricks will be 33 in 2023 and 34 in 2024. 
His underlying numbers have fallen the last 2 years.  When the next great Cubs team comes together is he really somebody we are going to want to have in the rotation?

Willson will be 31 and 32 in those years.  His offense has already declined from the peak. 

Plus you get rid of those two and then you can get a high draft pick in 2023.  There are already a bunch of interesting college guys that are going to be in that draft because of 2020's draft.

CurtOne

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Re: Cubs in '22
« Reply #44 on: August 18, 2021, 05:36:12 pm »
33 and 34!  Hell, just euthanize him.