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General Category => Bleacher Bums Forum => Topic started by: mO on October 02, 2018, 09:05:55 pm


Title: Cubs in '19
Post by: mO on October 02, 2018, 09:05:55 pm
May as well...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 02, 2018, 09:09:26 pm
I'm not a big scapegoat the coaches kinda guy, but I would say you have to dump Davis at this point.  There's just no excuse for this offense to be this dysfunctional with these players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 02, 2018, 09:17:51 pm
Yeah, the hitting coach has to go when a team underperforms this much as a group.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 02, 2018, 09:21:41 pm
Honestly, I think you have to look hard at changing everything.  Hitting coach and sign one of Harper or Machado for sure.  But I don't think there should be any sacred cows here, either when it comes to the core players or the manager. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 02, 2018, 09:26:38 pm
The biggest sacred cow will be the luxury tax.  The Cubs are right on the edge, and I don't think that management will go over it.  How do they sign a top free agent without going way over.  And how do you trade underachievers for someone that won't also be an underachiever?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 02, 2018, 09:33:44 pm
There’s zero chance the Cubs don’t go over next season. The trick is going to avoid the repeater penalties.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Chris27 on October 02, 2018, 09:40:00 pm
Machado a rumored prima donna. Course, Harper's not exactly Mr. Congeniality.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 02, 2018, 09:41:13 pm
The thing you want to avoid is the highest level tax where you get penalized in the draft. The repeated penalties only affect the Ricketts bottom line.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 02, 2018, 09:41:21 pm
Who cares? By all accounts, Heyward and Almora are great guys. I'll take a prima donna who hits over them any day.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 02, 2018, 10:03:54 pm
Give me Harper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 02, 2018, 10:55:35 pm
The thing you want to avoid is the highest level tax where you get penalized in the draft. The repeated penalties only affect the Ricketts bottom line.

Which will, in turn, be rolled back the the payroll.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 02, 2018, 11:00:58 pm
New TV deal, hotel across the street, houses behind the bleachers. A lot of ways for the Ricketts to make money outside of what the have to report as Cubs income.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: mO on October 02, 2018, 11:02:30 pm
Is Bryant the primary 3B next year?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 02, 2018, 11:03:59 pm
Yes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 02, 2018, 11:04:59 pm
Unless they sign Machado.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 02, 2018, 11:06:22 pm
Unless they sign Machado.  So Bryant will be the third baseman
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 02, 2018, 11:10:04 pm
With Russell 99.9% gone, I don't think a Machado signing is that far-fetched.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 02, 2018, 11:13:25 pm
I would love it, but I think there is almost no chance of it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 02, 2018, 11:13:38 pm
We're arguing the post-mortem while the game is still in the balance.  That's so Cub.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 02, 2018, 11:22:23 pm
It's not really a post-mortem.  I doubt if the questioned signing will hinge upon what happens in this game.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 03, 2018, 12:29:29 am
The first big decision - and it's huge - is Hamels.  Hard to see how you can let your best pitcher walk away on what is, by today's standards, a reasonable salary.  But this team has to spend a lot of money addressing its other needs and they do have a lot of SP under contract (even if none of them are as good as Hamels).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 03, 2018, 01:19:54 am
If you want some hope amidst the gloom, Chavez said after the game he's retiring if the Cubs don't bring him back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 03, 2018, 10:03:15 am
We're a big market team and Im sure we'll be active this offseason.

Our run isnt done.

I do think the roster needs a thorough cleansing though.

Im living the good life at the beach right now so I dont have time to get into it but a top of the line leadoff man seems more necessary to me than Harper or Machado and the pitching staff needs a few new pieces.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 03, 2018, 10:32:09 am
Im living the good life at the beach right now so I dont have time to get into it but a top of the line leadoff man seems more necessary to me than Harper or Machado

I think they're both necessary.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: vander-built on October 03, 2018, 11:17:49 am
So who are the potential leadoff types that we could sign or trade for?  If we sign Harper, I imagine Happ, Schwarber, or Almora become trade bait.  Who is out there that would be available?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on October 03, 2018, 11:37:31 am
I wonder if Washington would let Eaton go to free up another OF spot?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 03, 2018, 11:41:51 am
There aren't really any leadoff types on the free agent market. AJ Pollock and Brian Dozier have done it before. But Pollock hasn't really been a good OBP guy since 2014-15, and his injury history makes him pretty scary at 31 years old. Dozier is coming off a terrible season, so I don't think you can count on him being a top of the order guy.

The trade market isn't that much better, but there may be a few options. The Royals should trade Whit Merrifield because he's 29 and probably will be in decline by the the next time the Royals are good, but I don't think they have the stomach to do it.

I could see the Nationals wanting to shake up their lineup, So Adam Eaton could be available. His bat fits well, but his injury problems are of some concern. I know a lot of Cubs fans hate him too...I'm not sure if that's just because he played for the White Sox or if there is something specific he did to make him a bad clubhouse guy.

The Rays are unpredictable, so I guess Tommy Pham could go back on the market...but I doubt it. The Braves would probably trade Ender Inciarte for the right price, but he's coming off a down year (and I don't think it's clear he's much more than a LH Almora anyway).

The Rangers would probably trade Elivs Andrus. He appeared to have finally emerged as that type of hitter in 2016-17, but was bad this year after he broke his wrist in April. If you buy that the injury killed his season, he could be an option.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2018, 11:51:54 am
Why wouldn't Zobrist work as the leadoff hitter?  In 140 PA this year leading off he was .285/.371/.439?  He gives you a professional AB and is a switch hitter.

1) Zobrist 2B
2.) Bryant 3B
3.) Harper CF/RF
4.) Baez SS
5.) Rizzo 1B
6.) Contreras C
7.) Schwarber LF
8.) Hayward/Happ/Almora CF/RF

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: vander-built on October 03, 2018, 11:55:01 am
How many games can you rely on him to play? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 03, 2018, 11:56:01 am
I think Zobrist must have some aversion to hitting leadoff that Maddon tries to accommodate as much as possible. Otherwise, he would've just lead off all the time this year.

He's also probably going to be even more of a part time player next year, and he'll be 38 years old in May. At some point soon, he's going to decline.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2018, 01:36:29 pm
139 games at 37.  The guy just wakes up and hits.  The fact that he could play second would make it easier with Russell likely done.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 03, 2018, 01:47:40 pm
He only started 108 of those 139 games, though. He had most of a day off once every 3 games this year, and that will likely happen more frequently next year.

I don't think they should count on Zobrist for more than 400-450 PA next year. I'd like for the Cubs to have a guy at the top of the lineup that can be expected to play far more than that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 03, 2018, 01:58:36 pm
If only Terrance Gore could hit somewhere north of .200

With the versatility of many of the current players, I hope they could find a roster spot for him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2018, 02:42:03 pm
I don't think they should count on Zobrist for more than 400-450 PA next year. I'd like for the Cubs to have a guy at the top of the lineup that can be expected to play far more than that.

The problem is who and where do they play. 

Whitfield is the only really interesting guy I've seen mentioned and for the Royals to trade him it would be expensive. 

Just looking at the middle infielder, OF leaderboards on Fangraphs and guys that are FA for OBP
2B Jed Lowrie
2B Logan Forsythe
OF Andrew McCutchen
OF Nick Markakis
* Marwin Gonzalez if you believe 2017 was real

That isn't a great group to chose from.

For trades it is guys like Whitfield, Cesar Hernandez, Pham and Mallex Smith.  None of them maybe available and the Rays are rumored to not want to trade with Cubs.  Get enough good hitters and the leadoff guy doesn't matter.

The Red Sox hit Mookie Betts as their main leadoff hitter, so I'm not convinced hitting Rizzo or Bryant there is a bad idea either.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Robb on October 03, 2018, 03:00:28 pm
I like Whitfield, although this year was his best and he won't be cheap.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 03, 2018, 03:02:47 pm
This probably won't impact the Cubs because I doubt he'll still be in the organization by next spring, by just FYI...

Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs
Should have breaking news on Addison Russell’s situation momentarily. Suspension forthcoming. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-40 games.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on October 03, 2018, 03:15:46 pm
As we look into 2019, one glaring item is how our front office has prioritized "older" pitchers and young every-day players (except Grandpa Zobrist) and that formula has worked pretty well.  So far.   

Is that prioritization of older pitchers more out of necessity or does our brain trust place greater value than other teams on pitchers who are in their 30s and have "learned how to pitch" at the top level?

If we sign Hamels for next season, our starters will be:
* 35 - Hamels and Lester
* 32/33 - Darvish (turns 33 in August)
* 30 - Quintana
* 29 - Hendricks

Our non-starting pitchers aren't exactly young by MLB standards either:
* 34/35 - Morrow (35 in July)
* 33/34 - Strop (34 in June)
* 35/36 - Chavez (36 in August)
* 32/33 - Cishek (33 in June)
* 31/32 - Wilson (32 in August)
* 29/30 - Monty (30 on July 1)
* 27/28 - Edwards (28 in Sept)

No doubt our brain trust will try to bring in some good young pitching, too, tho' it tends to be so costly and at least somewhat unpredictable.

Despite 4 consecutive playoff years, most of our core players are still quite young:
* 29 - Rizzo and Heyward (both turned 29 in August)
* 26 - Bryant and Contreras
* 25 - Baez (will turn 26 in December), Schwarber (will turn 26 in March)
* 24 - Almora and Happ (who turned only 24 in April and August, respectively)
Bote turned 25 in April and Russell played the entire season at age 24.

As for Russell, if Cubs are rather convinced he did the very bad stuff he's accused of, I'd guess he's gone pretty quickly...if they aren't convinced, they may still wish to move him after he gets at least somewhat hot.  After all, before his personal problems surfaced, in '16 he hit 21 HRs (95 RBIs) with 49 extra-base hits at the age of 22 (some in the biggest moments)! 

Some of the young Cub hitters will likely make significant improvements next season. One could well imagine Bryant coming back with a great season in '19 and some of Contreras, Schwarber, Almora, Happ and Russell could have much better seasons, too, due to expected improvement as they move toward their peak years.

Of course, some will get hurt and/or regress for one reason or another.  It will be interesting to see if we do make a run at Machado or Harper or some other big FA.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on October 03, 2018, 03:21:02 pm
Just seeing Rogers' suggestion that, following MLB's investigation, Russell will get 25+ game suspension. 

I'd guess Theo will conclude MLB did a thorough investigation...and Russell is as good as gone.  And he should be...no room on the team for such guys!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: mO on October 03, 2018, 03:22:53 pm
40 games, retro to 9/21
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JR on October 03, 2018, 03:38:50 pm
This probably won't impact the Cubs because I doubt he'll still be in the organization by next spring, by just FYI...

Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs
Should have breaking news on Addison Russell’s situation momentarily. Suspension forthcoming. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-40 games.


Yeah that might need to be moved to Cubs History before long.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 03, 2018, 04:05:33 pm
Some of the young Cub hitters will likely make significant improvements next season. ...some of Contreras, Schwarber, Almora, Happ and Russell could have much better seasons, too, due to expected improvement as they move toward their peak years.....

This is the challenge.  It's going to be easy to roll out rationalizations:  some guys weren't entirely healthy, and our young guys got tired because they needed a day off in September. 

But I admit I do wonder.  Maybe I'm blinded by my eyes watching games, maybe it's recentism, and maybe I should get away what I saw watching games and should look at some statistical stuff.  But watching Schwarber and Happ, it's kind of hard to see how or why they should be much more productive, Schwarber especially, because it will be his year 5. 

Happ, maybe has a little more chance.  Think he's been trying to analyze and figure out why he can't hit much, maybe he's thinking too much and perhaps he'll hypothetically simplify to a see-it-and-let-it-rip approach and hypothetically end up blossoming into a .250 hitter or something.  But watching their swings, and how rarely they can hit strikes or fastballs, it's hard to really see why we should naturally expect a lot of improvement. 

I think one of the other factors with hitters is that sometimes with extended struggle, I suspect that can erode a guy's confidence.  A guy used to be good; but now you're not that good anymore, hard contact has become rare and flukey rather than normal, and you've tried everything you can and it doesn't help much?  Hard to swing with confidence when hard contact is so uncommon. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 03, 2018, 04:32:48 pm
Russell's suspension does impact the Cubs, because it torpedoes whatever trade value he still has.

I've never been more divided about a manager than I am about Maddon.  On the one hand he's clearly great at managing a clubhouse and shielding his players from the media.  On the other, he's an abomination at handling a pitching staff and these inexplicable in-game decisions are really getting old.  Then there's the fact that if he's back, it's almost surely going to be on a contract extension because neither he nor Theo will want him here as a lame duck.  Is he full of himself?  Of course, but that in itself isn't really a decisive factor.

There's more of Dusty Baker in Joe Maddon than anyone would like to admit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2018, 04:59:15 pm
But I admit I do wonder.  Maybe I'm blinded by my eyes watching games, maybe it's recentism, and maybe I should get away what I saw watching games and should look at some statistical stuff.  But watching Schwarber and Happ, it's kind of hard to see how or why they should be much more productive, Schwarber especially, because it will be his year 5. 

Happ, maybe has a little more chance.  Think he's been trying to analyze and figure out why he can't hit much, maybe he's thinking too much and perhaps he'll hypothetically simplify to a see-it-and-let-it-rip approach and hypothetically end up blossoming into a .250 hitter or something.  But watching their swings, and how rarely they can hit strikes or fastballs, it's hard to really see why we should naturally expect a lot of improvement. 

I think one of the other factors with hitters is that sometimes with extended struggle, I suspect that can erode a guy's confidence.  A guy used to be good; but now you're not that good anymore, hard contact has become rare and flukey rather than normal, and you've tried everything you can and it doesn't help much?  Hard to swing with confidence when hard contact is so uncommon. 

Schwarber's power was down this year.  His ISO was .229 vs .241 and .256 in 2015 and 2017.  His wRC+ was 115.  That tied for 63rd in MLB for qualified hitters and that is your 5-7th hitter.  Maybe he doesn't reach Rizzo levels, but he's still good.

Happ, like Baez before him needs to drop his K%.  Maybe he can, maybe he doesn't.  He has a career wRC+ of 109 and was 106 and he's basically a back up. 

Look at it this way, if you take the Red Sox team and guys with more than 250 PA.  Schwarber would rank 5th and Happ 7th in terms of wRC+.  On the Cubs they ranked 5th and 6th.  The difference between the Cubs and Red Sox is Betts and Martinez performed like superstars and Bryant and Rizzo didn't. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on October 03, 2018, 05:37:43 pm
Craig, don't forget that Schwarber, Almora and Happ have only 1,086, 855 and 751 MLB at bats, respectively.  Not a lot. 

Contreras has barely 1,100 ABs in his career.

Some scouts say it takes most good players 1,500 MLB at bats to perform against MLB pitching.  Javy had almost 1,200 ABs before this breakthrough season. 

Our guys have been around a while, so it's easy to forget how young they are.  Of course, not all improve a lot, but some do.  My best guess is that AT LEAST two of Schwarber, Almora, Happ and Contreras will take their offensive games to the next level (with more power) in the next year or two, though no real way of knowing which.  Another of those four may not figure it out offensively until age 28 - 30. 

If Russell gets his personal life straightened out, I won't be surprised if he returns to his 2016 hitting form or better. 

It usually takes time - and ABs - with good young players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on October 03, 2018, 06:25:17 pm
Replace Russell with Machado and with the likely bounce back of Bryant and Contreras you will have a fine offense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 03, 2018, 06:47:45 pm
I'm not sold on how likely that bounce back is for either guy. There's clearly something wrong with Bryant's shoulder above and beyond simple fatigue, and it sounds like surgery hasn't been ruled out.  And Contreras flat out regressed this season, above and beyond simple overuse.  Simply banking on stuff like that is taking a big gamb le.

As for Machado, obviously a great player but if signing him comes with an expectation that he plays SS, I'm out - he's already a liability there.  He's super young for an elite FA but it's scary to commit so many years and so much money to a guy whose value is so tied in to defense and is already regressing there.  Depending on the money of course, Harper may be a less risky option.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 03, 2018, 06:57:51 pm
what are you guys figuring for payroll?  $250-270 or so?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 03, 2018, 07:07:59 pm
what are you guys figuring for payroll?  $250-270 or so?
I  just read that depending on who doesn't come back, the Twins could have only $24 million committed towards 2019.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 03, 2018, 07:35:16 pm
I'm pretty confident that the main problem for Contreras was fatigue. As some here have pointed out, he didn't allow himself to have a real offseason last year--he was immediately working on getting ready for the season. He caught far more than any other catcher in baseball this year...I looked it up about a month ago, and based on pitches caught, he was behind the plate for something like 8-10 full games worth more pitches than the second most active catcher in baseball. He had no All Star break.

And the numbers were there for the first 4 months of the season. After the game on August 1, he was hitting .283/.372/.458. The batting average and OBP were career highs (by 1 point and 15 points, respectively). The slugging was down from .494 over his first two seasons. But a part of that was that a few homers had turned into triples (he had 5 triples by that point this year; he had none in 2017 in about the same number of PAs). He had lost a few extra base hits since 2017, but nothing that would throw up any warning signs over a 384 PA sample when all the other numbers looked good. The fact that he just fell off a cliff for the last two months just fits with him wearing down.

Bryant, though...shoulder injuries are tricky. Especially vague shoulder issues that don't really have a clear diagnosis.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on October 03, 2018, 08:08:40 pm
If a player is on a multiyear contract with an option year, the luxury tax "hit" for the guaranteed years is the AAV of the guaranteed years.  Does anyone know for certain what the luxury tax "hit" is for the option year(s)?  I presume it's simply the value of the option.  But can anyone confirm?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2018, 08:22:01 pm
I’m less worried about Bryant’s shoulder healing if he doesn’t need surgery.  If Bryant has surgery then I’m worried about next year. Is it possible the Cubs medical staff missed something with multiple MRIs. Yes. Could it be a issue next year?  Yes, but it is much less scary without surgery.


Last year Mookie Betts had a wRC+ 106, Bogarts 96, Benintendi 102, Joc Pederson 100, Machado 103. Sometimes young guys struggle or deal with injury issues.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 03, 2018, 08:46:41 pm
Last year Mookie Betts had a wRC+ 106, Bogarts 96, Benintendi 102, Joc Pederson 100, Machado 103. Sometimes young guys struggle or deal with injury issues.

Three of those five had something in common with the Cubs' young hitters in 2018.

Part of a hitting coach's job is helping young players develop. I don't see how they can justify keeping Chili Davis around.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 03, 2018, 09:05:57 pm
I believe what Theo said was something along the lines of “Do not believe he will need surgery but have not gotten the full medical report”, wasn’t it? That hardly rules out the possibility.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2018, 09:14:31 pm
He said the current medical plan doesn’t include surgery and Kris will meet with the doctors soon for a recheck and that he still doesn’t expect it to include surgery.

The only reason surgery would be needed is if an MRI showed structural damage or his shoulder wasn’t improving. If his shoulder didn’t improve he would have never gotten back into game action.

Theo didn’t rule out surgery, but it is very unlikely.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 03, 2018, 09:18:50 pm
Is that like "If Strop's hammy hadn't improved he never would have gotten back on the mound"?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2018, 09:32:28 pm
Three of those five had something in common with the Cubs' young hitters in 2018.

Part of a hitting coach's job is helping young players develop. I don't see how they can justify keeping Chili Davis around.

Maybe he's the problem maybe he isn't.  Here is their wRC+ under Chili

Mookie
2015 120
2016 136

Benintendi
2016 118 PA, 121

Bogaerts (pre Chili)
2013 50 PA, 85
2014 81
2015 (Chili) 111
2016 114
2017 injured wrist

Heck look at Harper 137, 115, 197, 111, 155, 135

Look at the Cubs this year guys Contreras, Rizzo, Bryant, Almora and Russell where the guys that fell off.  4/5 of those guys had injuries and or over use confirmed.  The only guy that didn't is Almora and as bad as he played in the second half I wouldn't be shocked if he had something going on.

Happ was basically the same.

Baez, Zobrist, Heyward, Schwarber all improved over last year.

Development isn't linear.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 03, 2018, 10:09:42 pm
What was Russell's injury deal this year?  I know he had a sore knuckle late in the season.  Was his knuckle bothering him all year?  Or did he have a shoulder injury too? 

I hadn't actually realized he was injured all season.  That makes two years straight that were bad because of injuries?   
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 03, 2018, 10:34:33 pm
I love this idea that a Almora must have been hiding an injury when in fact, he was the exact same player he’s been every year since AA. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 03, 2018, 10:41:25 pm
Don't worry, Almora's breakout is right around the corner.

Some people on this board will still be expecting that he'll turn into an All Star any day when he's 38 and has been out of baseball for 6 years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 03, 2018, 10:41:29 pm
I'm pretty confident that the main problem for Contreras was fatigue. As some here have pointed out, he didn't allow himself to have a real offseason last year--he was immediately working on getting ready for the season. He caught far more than any other catcher in baseball this year...I looked it up about a month ago, and based on pitches caught, he was behind the plate for something like 8-10 full games worth more pitches than the second most active catcher in baseball. He had no All Star break.

And the numbers were there for the first 4 months of the season. After the game on August 1, he was hitting .283/.372/.458. The batting average and OBP were career highs (by 1 point and 15 points, respectively). The slugging was down from .494 over his first two seasons. But a part of that was that a few homers had turned into triples (he had 5 triples by that point this year; he had none in 2017 in about the same number of PAs). He had lost a few extra base hits since 2017, but nothing that would throw up any warning signs over a 384 PA sample when all the other numbers looked good. The fact that he just fell off a cliff for the last two months just fits with him wearing down.

Bryant, though...shoulder injuries are tricky. Especially vague shoulder issues that don't really have a clear diagnosis.

I agree.  I am more confident of Contreras coming back to previous norms than I am about Bryant.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2018, 10:51:56 pm
Almora has around 600 PA be around a league average hitter and 168 PA being worse than Darwin Barney. A league average hitter with + defense in CF has value.

The Cubs don’t need 8 guys with wRC+ of 130 to be an amazing offense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 03, 2018, 10:58:49 pm
I didn't think Contreras seemed as good first half either.  Thought he struggled more often than he had in past, but that he'd had a couple of blazing bursts that lifted the composite numbers.  Yes, of course I realize that everybody's numbers are lifted by their hottest bursts.  But I thought that was much more extreme for Contreras first half. 

I say that not to be negative.  But that maybe there were indications he wasn't as good in April and May, when he shouldn't have been tired.  When August-September rolled around, those difficulties were amplified, and being both off in the first place plus tired besides was double-whammy.  But I guess I'm not super confident that giving an extra day off each weak next year will bring back 2016 Contreras. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2018, 11:10:41 pm
What was Russell's injury deal this year?  I know he had a sore knuckle late in the season.  Was his knuckle bothering him all year?  Or did he have a shoulder injury too? 

I hadn't actually realized he was injured all season.  That makes two years straight that were bad because of injuries?   

I thought he had a leg issue, but he hurt his knuckle in around July 1 which is close enough to end of the first half.

First half he slashed .272/.345/.391 For a wRC+ 101. Second half .198/.246/.222 for a wRC+ 28.

Almora had a similar drop off. .319/.357/.438 for a wRC+ 115, to .232/.267/ .280 for w RC+ 47

 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 03, 2018, 11:11:16 pm
Almora has around 600 PA be around a league average hitter and 168 PA being worse than Darwin Barney. A league average hitter with + defense in CF has value.


Yes, he does - some.  And that's exactly what Almora is, a league average hitter as long as it's mostly against lefties.  So inventing a supposed hidden injury to explain that is looking for a black cat in a dark room that isn't there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2018, 11:17:07 pm
From July 1 on Almora had a .616 OPS vs lefties.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 03, 2018, 11:30:49 pm
For most of the first half, Almora's BABIP was approaching .400. His success was never going to last.

I just don't get what everyone sees in him. He's a great defender. He's been a mediocre hitter for most of his minor league career and all of his MLB career.

He's a 4th or 5th outfielder on a team that is looking to win a championship every year. He could be a second division starter, though. When the Cubs go back to accepting being a mediocre team most years, he's probably a better solution than Damon Buford.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 04, 2018, 12:35:31 am
I don't even think he's a great defender, personally.  Above-average is more like it.

I actually like Almora as a useful piece, because his skills play well if deployed judiciously.  Platoon vs. lefties in CF, 4th OF, defensive replacement, RH PH option.  Just don't try and get any more than that (444 ABs is way, way too many) out of him.  And if some GM is convinced you can, trade him and let them overpay.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on October 04, 2018, 08:01:39 am
I  just read that depending on who doesn't come back, the Twins could have only $24 million committed towards 2019.

If Ray's trade Kevin keirermeir and vj Cron they will have every single player on the 25 man be a pre arb.... Payroll below 15 million.

Ray's are also getting ready to ask Hillsborough county for a 700 million tax increase for a new stadium. Their current lease is through 2027.

In 2019 they are projected to get 55 million in revenue sharing $$$.

Hope the Ray's move to Charlotte.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on October 04, 2018, 08:17:02 am
Willson's OPS by month this season:  March/April: .767; May: .869; June: .731; July: .876; August: .623; September/October: .465.
                                    last season:                    .699;         .787           .760          1.019             1.185                               .776.


He was fine at the beginning of the season this year.  But he failed to sustain a relatively hot July the way he did last season.  If he had put up anything close to the numbers he did last year in the second half, we almost certainly would have won the Division.  Unless he has an undisclosed injury, exhaustion seems like the most likely cause.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 04, 2018, 09:12:11 am
For most of the first half, Almora's BABIP was approaching .400. His success was never going to last.

I just don't get what everyone sees in him. He's a great defender. He's been a mediocre hitter for most of his minor league career and all of his MLB career.

He's a 4th or 5th outfielder on a team that is looking to win a championship every year. He could be a second division starter, though. When the Cubs go back to accepting being a mediocre team most years, he's probably a better solution than Damon Buford.

Who had a higher BABIP Christian Yelich for 2018 or Almora in the first half?
 Almora had a high BABIP and his results where going to be less, sure. The real problem was his ISO went from .120 to .048.

He’s better than Buford and he’s better than a 4th/5th OF. If his offense stays the same as this year he’s Jackie Bradley Jr, should the Red Sox be cutting his playing time?

Almora had 12 Outs Above Average this year, which was 8th in MLB. Cain has 17 with about the equivalent of 22+ extra games in CF. Almora doesn’t have to be an All-Star to have value as a starter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 04, 2018, 04:47:48 pm
Hopefully Theo doesn't see Almora as an everyday player too, because he's not one on a contending team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 04, 2018, 04:52:44 pm
Hopefully Theo doesn't see Almora as an everyday player too, because he's not one on a contending team.

You and I have never seen eye to eye on Almora. I think he could well be an every day player on a contending team. But I agree that he probably should not be an every day player for the Cubs, given their existing roster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 04, 2018, 05:30:44 pm
I think you saw what happened this season when he was overexposed. 250-300 ABs in situational deployment is the way to go with him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on October 04, 2018, 05:40:30 pm
Maybe Almora will never hit better than he has in his first few hundred MLB ABs; however, it's worth noting that he just finished his 24-year old season.

MOST guys hit better (and with more power) as they near 27-28 with more MLB seasoning and greater strength.  Some take it to an entirely different, better level.

We shall see with Almora...and Happ and Schwarber and Contreras and... 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 04, 2018, 07:14:40 pm
Most guys who hit better at 27-28 have minor league numbers that suggest the possibility.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on October 04, 2018, 07:28:28 pm
And some do not...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 04, 2018, 07:35:38 pm
And some do not...

And some successful SP don’t throw 90+ fastballs. Most do. I’m not sitting around waiting for Zastryzny to develop into the next Kyle Hendricks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: wmljohn on October 05, 2018, 08:31:01 am
The Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, and fellow NL East foe Philadelphia Phillies all have higher odds to sign Harper than the Nats.

The Cubs are the overwhelming favorite to sign the six-time All-Star, with even odds right now. Rumors of Harper going to the Windy City are not new, as the possibility to reunite with Little League teammate and close friend Kris Bryant while playing for an annual World Series contender is widely intriguing to him.

After the Cubs, there is a tremendous dropoff, as the Dodgers have the second highest odds at +500. The Phillies come in at +550 odds, while the Yankees are just slightly behind them at +600.

The Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, and San Francisco Giants are all long shots to land Harper.

While it is way to early to have a good idea where Harper will play next, the Bovada oddsmakers have one clear favorite.

MLB Free agency begins on Nov. 2.

Updated odds for which team Bryce Harper will be on for the first game of 2019 (@BovadaOfficial):

Cubs EVEN
LAD +500
PHI +550
NYY +600
WSH +700
BOS +1100
LAA +1200
SF +1600
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 05, 2018, 08:47:46 am
May as well ask - what number would you be willing to go to for Harper?  I'll kick it off - $7/200, reluctantly.  And I suspect that wouldn't be enough.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 05, 2018, 08:56:38 am
Does anyone know how close we are to the luxury tax level?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Robb on October 05, 2018, 08:59:16 am
I think Harper wants 300 million and ten years. Don't know if he'll get it, but I don't see him being happy with a 7 year deal. If they do give him a big deal I just hope it doesn't include early opt outs. Those are solely in favor of the player.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on October 05, 2018, 08:59:35 am
May as well ask - what number would you be willing to go to for Harper?  I'll kick it off - $7/200, reluctantly.  And I suspect that wouldn't be enough.

10 years / $350M with opt outs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 05, 2018, 09:04:11 am
Harper is obviously an impact hitter, and very young for a FA.  But his defense has seemingly declined already if defensive metrics (which are suspect of course) are to be believed - and if it's true, it's puzzling.  And he's only ever had a .900 OPS twice in his career, though both times were way over.  He's going to be just 26 next season I know, but - 10/300?  I don't see that.  He may get it, but I hope it's not from us.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on October 05, 2018, 09:13:58 am
10/300 with an opt out after year 3 and 6.

Opt outs can be good. if you can end up with Harper for 3/90 how is that a bad thing?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Robb on October 05, 2018, 12:31:13 pm
Just wait until Chili Davis gets a hold of him!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 05, 2018, 03:58:51 pm
Damn I dont want anything to do with Harper's contract.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on October 05, 2018, 04:14:55 pm
As soon as we sign Harper, we can trade Bryant.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on October 05, 2018, 04:58:11 pm
Damn I dont want anything to do with Harper's contract.

Good news, you don’t have to pay any of it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 05, 2018, 06:22:05 pm
The production of several Cubs players declined quite a bit this year, and everyone is convinced that they will never return to prior performance levels.

Harper's production declined quite a bit this year, and most people expect him to immediately bounce back to prior performance levels.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 05, 2018, 06:25:28 pm
With the new Cubs TV network, it seems like they should be joining the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox in the category of teams who don't really care about the luxury tax. Once every 3-5 years, they'll try to dip below it to reset the penalties. But even a record-setting Harper contract shouldn't rule out other big moves (such as keeping Bryant or Baez) in the future.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Robb on October 05, 2018, 06:42:19 pm
Keep in mind the new CBA is coming when the union is expected to play hardball after giving up the farm in the last deal. If they can get a little relief from the luxury tax that would make things better for the suddenly cash rich Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 05, 2018, 06:45:33 pm
The current TV agreement goes through 2019.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 05, 2018, 07:09:21 pm
You almost have to believe the Cubs are going to be serious players on either Harper or Machado, even if things eventually get too rich for their blood. The question is probably which one.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 05, 2018, 08:48:03 pm
I assume they're going to be serious players on both. I don't think there's any circumstance where they sign both--they'll have a preference for one, and they'll have serious enough conversations to be able to quickly pivot to the other if their first choice signs somewhere else.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 05, 2018, 09:20:29 pm
Jeff will get this closer, but I'm guessing the payroll might increase by ~$40 million just by keeping the guys they've got? 

1.  Hamels: paying him all year, big increase
2.  Bryant A2 arb raises.  (even if Bryant's year wasn't that good.)
3.  Hendricks A2 arb raise.  Big. 
3.  Baez:  A1, big raise relative to $0.65
4.  Schwarber;
Edwards;
Montgomery are all A1 arb guys now; they won't be playing for $0.6K anymore, so those will add up even if they aren't getting Baez A1 salary.
5.  Russell is A2, if they keep him. 
6.  Kintzler, whole year of his salary.

So a whole lot of built-in payroll inflation just to stand pat, before you even start talking Machado or Harper. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on October 05, 2018, 09:27:52 pm
Craig, here are my drunken estimates for our arb eligibles.  You - and others - please weigh in.

OF   Kyle Schwarber     $3,000,000
IF   Kris Bryant     $13,000,000
IF   Addison Russell     $3,600,000
IF   Javier Baez     $4,500,000
IF   Tommy La Stella  $1,500,000
SP   Kyle Hendricks     $8,500,000
RP   Mike Montgomery $2,500,000
RP   Carl Edwards Jr.    $2,000,000
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 05, 2018, 09:29:02 pm
Russell will be gone. If they can't find a trade for him by the arb deadline, he'll be non-tendered.

I think Kintzler will be gone somehow. Maybe he'll opt out (he has a $5 million player option--he may think he can find more than that). If not, then someone who needs bullpen depth will take him off the Cubs hands.

They'll ultimately figure out some kind of multi-year deal for Hamels, and it'll cost less next year than just picking up the option.

I think Schwarber, Montgomery, and Edwards are all in play in the right trade this offseason, so one or more of those salaries might not impact the payroll either.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 05, 2018, 09:34:25 pm
Before option and Arbs are factored in Cots has them $61.393 million below the tax threshold of $206 million. Cot’s had them almost $14 million under the $197 million tax threshold this year.

Just dumping Chatwood and Kintzler contracts would about pay for Hamels.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 05, 2018, 09:49:52 pm
I dont think they'll just release Addison.

If nobody wants him (and somebody will) we'll just keep him.

I do believe we'd like to get rid of him though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 05, 2018, 10:01:18 pm
Think some of that is a little too optimistic. 
1.  "Just dumping Chatwood and Kintzler" and "Maybe he'll opt out ... If not, then someone who needs bullpen depth will take him off the Cubs hands"sounds kinda easier than it is? 
*With guaranteed contracts, either you pay them or you exchange them for somebody else's repulsive contract. 

2.  Cots:  Did you check their numbers and are you sure they're good?  When I look at their spreadsheet, they've got Quintana listed at $1 and Strop at $0.5?  I'm not saying your numbers are wrong, just asking.  Or maybe I don't understand their spreadsheet, and that's format for entering options.  But, I htink we can safely say the Cubs aren't likley to opt out of either Q or Strop. 
 https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VJ9nVwD1eUJabnL9tuQuxJa1K2oM2HXyqJS8Od0pMIo/pubhtml

3.  Jeff:  Your numbers are usually pretty good.  I might've guessed a little higher for each of Bryant, Baez, and Hendricks? 
Bryant was already $11 as an A1, so I'd guess he'd get a bigger jump than only $2?
Baez is coming off almost-MVP season; may not match Bryant's $11 A1, but I'd think he'd be somewhat nearer $11 than $4.8? 
Hendricks too, I'd think he'll be variably north of $8.5. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 05, 2018, 10:26:01 pm
If some team thinks Kintzler's true talent is closer to the version that was closing for the Twins a season and a half ago, $5 million isn't much to take on. It also doesn't take too much of an ego for a player with recent success to think he can make more than that on the open market.

I think they can dump a pretty good portion of Chatwood's contract. He was very popular on the free agent market last year, so it's possible some other team will still want to take a chance on him. And if the Cubs eat enough, he's a good buy low guy for someone like the Tigers who have money but few payroll commitments (and could flip him easily at the deadline if he pitches well). Or maybe the Padres or Angels, who have very weak pitching staffs, and should probably prefer a high risk high reward guy to a similarly priced bottom of rotation free agent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 05, 2018, 10:34:42 pm
Laughable to think Kintzler would decline his option or that another team would take him. We’ll either have to pay down 3 million or so or throw in a decent prospect to get some other team to absorb that deal.

As for Hamels, I do think some sort of multi-year renegotiated deal is the most likely solution, though it would be great I’d it were no longer than 2 years. Most likely three.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 05, 2018, 11:41:56 pm
Think some of that is a little too optimistic. 
1.  "Just dumping Chatwood and Kintzler" and "Maybe he'll opt out ... If not, then someone who needs bullpen depth will take him off the Cubs hands"sounds kinda easier than it is? 
*With guaranteed contracts, either you pay them or you exchange them for somebody else's repulsive contract. 

2.  Cots:  Did you check their numbers and are you sure they're good?  When I look at their spreadsheet, they've got Quintana listed at $1 and Strop at $0.5?  I'm not saying your numbers are wrong, just asking.  Or maybe I don't understand their spreadsheet, and that's format for entering options.  But, I htink we can safely say the Cubs aren't likley to opt out of either Q or Strop. 
 https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VJ9nVwD1eUJabnL9tuQuxJa1K2oM2HXyqJS8Od0pMIo/pubhtml

3.  Jeff:  Your numbers are usually pretty good.  I might've guessed a little higher for each of Bryant, Baez, and Hendricks? 
Bryant was already $11 as an A1, so I'd guess he'd get a bigger jump than only $2?
Baez is coming off almost-MVP season; may not match Bryant's $11 A1, but I'd think he'd be somewhat nearer $11 than $4.8? 
Hendricks too, I'd think he'll be variably north of $8.5. 

1) I mean it will take prospects. A non-contender could take Kintzler and a prospect for a $5 million chance he could get flipped at the deadline. The prospect cost wouldn’t be that high. He can at least eat innings for them. Chatwood at 2/$25 isn’t horrible for a fifth starter and if you think you can fix his control issues he could have some value. He’d take a better prospect, but you aren’t looking at a top prospect.
2) MLB Trade rumors usually does pretty bang on arb numbers in a month or two. I’m not sure how the options are handled for the luxury tax. Contracts are AAV so Quintana was $4.2 million luxury tax number vs his $8.85 million salary. I think his option is $9 million ish so I’m not sure if that gets averaged vs it being just considered a 1 year contract.

The numbers I took where from the luxury tax tab which is different than the salary tab. I’m not too concerned about the Cubs having salary limit vs them going too high on the luxury tax.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: wmljohn on October 06, 2018, 08:05:29 am
I say the Cubs sign both Machado and Harper
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 06, 2018, 11:13:18 am
Good luck with that one.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 06, 2018, 11:15:05 am
With the new Cubs TV network, it seems like they should be joining the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox in the category of teams who don't really care about the luxury tax. Once every 3-5 years, they'll try to dip below it to reset the penalties. But even a record-setting Harper contract shouldn't rule out other big moves (such as keeping Bryant or Baez) in the future.

I don't think that money would be the issue.  But I believe that reduction of draft and International signing ability is something that this front office would take very seriously.  I have not reviewed the rules, but if it is only a problem of money the first year, it would not be a concern, but if it means the loss of one or two first round draft choices and the inability to sign tot international free agents, I doubt that they would allow a long term contract to get them into a bind.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: chgojhawk on October 06, 2018, 12:05:05 pm
I don't think that money would be the issue.  But I believe that reduction of draft and International signing ability is something that this front office would take very seriously.  I have not reviewed the rules, but if it is only a problem of money the first year, it would not be a concern, but if it means the loss of one or two first round draft choices and the inability to sign tot international free agents, I doubt that they would allow a long term contract to get them into a bind.

You are correct.  They will exceed the luxury tax for a year, but they are very concerned about the ramifications for exceeding the luxury tax in consecutive seasons.  Then again if they have longer contracts the hit is less.  Also some contracts will come off the books or be reduced after next season.  Zobrist will go from 16.5 down to 12.5 this coming year and then 0 the following year.  Lester will drop from 27.5 to an even 20M in 2020.  Between those 2 that saves 20M.  Add in the $9M added prior to the luxury tax for this season and we may have more wiggle room even before the next collective bargaining agreement.

For this coming year Darvish will drop from 25M to 20M but then goes back to 22M in 2020.

Don't be surprised to see the team go over the luxury tax this year, but then try to wiggle down under it in 2020.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on October 06, 2018, 12:34:33 pm
A player's salary dropping over the course of a multiyear contract is irrelevant for luxury tax purposes.

The luxury tax impact is the average annual value of the guaranteed portion of the contract.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 06, 2018, 03:29:09 pm
You are correct.  They will exceed the luxury tax for a year, but they are very concerned about the ramifications for exceeding the luxury tax in consecutive seasons.  Then again if they have longer contracts the hit is less.  Also some contracts will come off the books or be reduced after next season.  Zobrist will go from 16.5 down to 12.5 this coming year and then 0 the following year.  Lester will drop from 27.5 to an even 20M in 2020.  Between those 2 that saves 20M.  Add in the $9M added prior to the luxury tax for this season and we may have more wiggle room even before the next collective bargaining agreement.

For this coming year Darvish will drop from 25M to 20M but then goes back to 22M in 2020.

Don't be surprised to see the team go over the luxury tax this year, but then try to wiggle down under it in 2020.

I have no idea how to verify it, but I believe Jeff is correct.  My understanding was that the hit to the luxury tax is based on the average of the guaranteed years, and will continue until the contract is fulfilled or transferred to another team.  And if their payroll will go up substantially this year just because of those entering arbitration, I expect the increase next year will be even greater.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on October 06, 2018, 08:19:15 pm
Watching the playoffs makes one realize - sadly - how talent deficient we are.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on October 06, 2018, 10:14:41 pm
I thought you were pretty good at watching.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: dev on October 07, 2018, 09:34:31 am
Kimbrel and/or David Robertson
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 07, 2018, 09:48:53 am
Wouldn't be shocked to see Theo try and buy low-ish on Andrew Miller.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 07, 2018, 01:08:32 pm
Miller would be interesting, but it depends on what is going on with his knee.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bluebufoon on October 07, 2018, 02:54:00 pm
Don't the Cubs have the option of opting-out on Jason Heyward's contract this off-season ?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 07, 2018, 03:03:16 pm
Don't the Cubs have the option of opting-out on Jason Heyward's contract this off-season ?
The 2018 option is Heyward's.  In 2019 it applies if he reaches 550 plate appearances.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 07, 2018, 06:56:38 pm
There are no club buyouts anywhere in J-Hey's contract, are there?

One element of going after Bryce, of course, is that you're going to have to play Heyward in CF (or bench him) for the rest of his deal.  He can play there of course, but he might not be thrilled about it.  And will he still be a decent defensive CF in three years?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 07, 2018, 08:15:35 pm
He’d be 32 so there shouldn’t be a ton of decline and if he can stay league average-ish with the bat it plays a lot better in CF.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 07, 2018, 08:53:50 pm
An awful lot of guys decline precipitously in CF by their early 30's.  It's a serious worry.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 08, 2018, 10:17:08 am
True.  Not so much for those that can play a decent RF.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 08, 2018, 11:35:07 am
An awful lot of guys decline precipitously in CF by their early 30's.  It's a serious worry.

How old is the MLB leader in DRS and UZR/150 at the CF position in 2018?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 08, 2018, 04:23:30 pm
How does citing the stats of 1 guy have any relevance?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 08, 2018, 10:26:45 pm
That maybe elite defenders can still play defense at 32, and they aren’t destined to decline.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 09, 2018, 12:00:35 am
"It was cooler than normal last Tuesday.  Ergo, climate change is a myth."
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 09, 2018, 08:49:42 am
Edmonds didn’t decline until 35. How about you cite one elite defender that declined a lot before age 32 that wasn’t due to conditioning or injury?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 09, 2018, 04:10:33 pm
https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/10/09/the-initial-2019-cubs-arbitration-projections-are-out-bryant-baez-hendricks-russell-more/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 09, 2018, 04:43:25 pm
Thanks blue.  Those are pleasantly modest, lower than I expected. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 09, 2018, 05:42:42 pm
ArizonaPhil's take on 2019 Cubs payroll and free agent possibilities:

So the Cubs will be about $10M inder the 2019 Competitive Balance Tax ("Luxury Tax") threshold even if they sign no free-agents, and that's even after they decline the 2019 $20M option on Cole Hamels (which they almost certainly will). They would save about $5M AAV by non-tendering Addison Russell (which would get their AAV+PBC down to $190M), but otherwise there won't be much wiggle-room unless the Cubs are able to unload contracts in a trade.

It's possible that the Cubs will attempt to trade one or two arbitration-eligibles like Kyle Schwarber and/or Mike Montgomery for prospects, but even doing that won't save more than about another $5M AAV combined, and they probably couldn't get "A"-level prospects back for either player. And while Jose Quintana might seem like a trade-candidate because he is making $10.5M (presuming the Cubs pick-up his club option) in 2019, the AAV of his contract is only $4.45M because he signed his multi-year deal when he was still pre-arbitration, so there isn't much savings in 2019 payroll AAV if the Cubs trade Quintana. 

Otherwise, unless they can find takers for Tyler Chatwood, Brandon Kintzler, Brian Duensing, and/or Drew Smyly (whose combined contracts are worth $25M AAV), or eat a large chunk of his salary ($23M AAV) and trade Heyward (who now can be traded - see comment below), the Cubs are pretty-much stuck payroll-wise going into the post- 2018 off-season.

And so unless they are OK with exceeding the CBT threshold (and suffer the penalties that go along with that), there is almost no way they can sign a free-agent like Bryce Harper or Manny Machado to a high-AAV contract this coming off-season, and in fact they probably couldn't even re-sign somebody like RHRP Jesse Chavez without exceeding the CBT threshold unless they non-tender Russell or trade Schwarber and Montgomery.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 09, 2018, 06:37:40 pm
Why is CBT for '19 even being debated?  Zero chance we don't go over it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 09, 2018, 06:49:46 pm
Yeah, the Cubs have the cash to do exactly what the Dodgers, Yankees, and Red Sox do. Based just on financial penalties, they should be over the threshold most years going forward.

From MLB.com (link below), it appears that the only draft penalty occurs if they go at least $40 million over (which would be spending at least $246 million next year). And the only penalty would be that their first pick in the draft would drop 10 spots (unless the Cubs have one of the first 6 picks--then their second pick would drop 10 spots instead). That shouldn't be a big concern for the Cubs either--dropping from the 26th pick in the draft to the 36th pick isn't a big deal if it means you can sign Harper instead of, say, AJ Pollock. The Cubs shouldn't be picking high enough in the draft for that to be a really meaningful penalty.

http://m.mlb.com/glossary/transactions/competitive-balance-tax
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 10, 2018, 10:22:39 am
It seems like everybody is focusing on what Cubs hitters are going to get moved in the offseason, but I think the pitching is more interesting.

If the Cubs bring back Hamels that sets the rotation up for
Lester
Hamels
Darvish
Hendricks
Quintana

Then at the major league level you have
Montgomery
Smyly
Chatwood

In the minors at AA or above
Alzolay
Steele
Lange

Throw in Mills who I believe is out of options and that is going to make the rotation and bullpen crowded with guys I'm not sure you want to lose, but I'm not sure they really fit in a bullpen either.  Theo at his press conference said he doesn't want to trade any starting pitching, but doesn't he kind of have if the bring back Hamels?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on October 10, 2018, 10:37:14 am
One of the hitters is going to get traded away to get someone to take chatwood's salary off their hands.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 10, 2018, 11:17:31 am
Len Kasper

Courtesy @joe_sheehan, the team that hits more HRs in this post-season is 11-0 & there's been a 3.5% increase in runs via the HR compared to the regular season. Soooooooo.......yeah. Kinda ruins some analysis when it boils down to "Just hit a bunch of homers," but that's kinda it


Also

https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/10/10/report-cubs-offered-kris-bryant-extension-well-north-of-200-million-but-bryant-declined/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: BearHit on October 10, 2018, 11:22:44 am
Man's gotta feed his family...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 10, 2018, 12:20:23 pm
..the team that hits more HRs in this post-season is 11-0 & there's been a 3.5% increase in runs via the HR compared to the regular season. Soooooooo.......yeah. Kinda ruins some analysis when it boils down to "Just hit a bunch of homers," but that's kinda it

Think the 3.5% is kinda trivial and small-sample meaningless, probably?
* Does he mean 3.5% higher than MLB normal (which includes no-power teams like Cubs and Padres factored in? 
*Or is the 3.5% higher than what the big-power HR-hitting teams like LA, Milwaukee, Boston, and Houston themselves were doing in the regular season? 

I think he's meaning that it's slightly higher than league-wise normal, but probably not high relative to what was normal for the final four during the regular season?  I'm sure all the final four teams were way more than 3.5% above regular-season league average during the season, right? 
 
Like I always say, against post-season pitching it's harder than ever to bundle multiple singles and doubles in a single inning. 

Post-season pitchers still make mistakes, just not as many.   So I think the relative frequency of scoring via multiple BIP-hits is seriously reduced, and the relative importance of the occasional HR becomes more determinative than ever.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 10, 2018, 01:01:04 pm
From 1968 to 2018 seasons most HR
2017 6105
2000 5693
2016 5610
2018 5585
1999 5528

1987 is #23 and is the first year that isn't late 90's or in the 2000.  Some of that is there are more teams so here are the ISO
Top 5 ISO
2017 .171
2000 .167
2001 .163
1999 .163
2006 .163

1987 jumps all the way to #19

Just for fun from 1968 to 1983
1977 is tops with 3644 HR and an ISO .137
1981 is the lowest with 1781 HR and the lowest ISO is 1968 at .104

More fun with numbers.  The Yankees hit 267 HR this year.  That would be 14.99% of the total hit in MLB in 1981. The Marlins where last at 128 in 1981.  The A's led 1981 with 104 HR and the Yankees were second at 100.  The Padres where last at 32. The Yankees had the highest ISO in 1981 at .139, it would have ranked 28th in 2018 by .001 above the Tigers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ticohans on October 10, 2018, 01:13:36 pm
Kaplan reporting that Bryant turned down a contract extension worth "well-north" of $200M. Wow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 10, 2018, 01:59:29 pm
Kaplan reporting that Bryant turned down a contract extension worth "well-north" of $200M. Wow.

Quote from: Bleacher Nation
Dave Kaplan just dropped a bomb on ESPN1000 today, reporting that he’s heard from a source that the Cubs approached Kris Bryant and his agent Scott Boras “in the last several months” about a “massive extension” worth “well north of $200 million.” That extension was – again, according to the source – turned down by Bryant and Boras, who preferred instead to go year-to-year in arbitration.

A lot more

https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/10/10/report-cubs-offered-kris-bryant-extension-well-north-of-200-million-but-bryant-declined/



Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 10, 2018, 04:32:31 pm
Wouldn't shock me to see Quintana dealt for either pitching prospects or offense if the Cubs really believe Smyly is capable of pitching like he did pre-surgery.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 10, 2018, 04:41:57 pm
I don't think Quintana would bring much back at this point in a trade after his down year. I'd also be very reluctant to trade a reliably healthy starter when you don't really know what to expect from Lester or Darvish going forward.

Smyly has been far better as a reliever in his career. He was a difference maker in that role in 2013 as a Tiger; he's been more of an average #3/#4 starter type when in the rotation. They should pencil him in as a reliever.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 10, 2018, 04:49:37 pm
Well, that's what Quintana is right now.  And Quintana won't bring nearly what we paid for him, obviously, but he's a guy that does have at least some positive trade value.  Trading Chatwood now to me makes no sense.  You try and fix him to the point where he can at least be rotation depth.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 10, 2018, 06:22:13 pm
Yeah, the Cubs have the cash to do exactly what the Dodgers, Yankees, and Red Sox do. Based just on financial penalties, they should be over the threshold most years going forward.

From MLB.com (link below), it appears that the only draft penalty occurs if they go at least $40 million over (which would be spending at least $246 million next year). And the only penalty would be that their first pick in the draft would drop 10 spots (unless the Cubs have one of the first 6 picks--then their second pick would drop 10 spots instead). That shouldn't be a big concern for the Cubs either--dropping from the 26th pick in the draft to the 36th pick isn't a big deal if it means you can sign Harper instead of, say, AJ Pollock. The Cubs shouldn't be picking high enough in the draft for that to be a really meaningful penalty.

http://m.mlb.com/glossary/transactions/competitive-balance-tax

If that is the only penalty, then I agree that it will have very little impact on what free agents decide to try to sign.  I had heard it reported differently, but do not remember where the reports came from.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 10, 2018, 06:28:51 pm
If the Cubs really offered Bryant the amount mentioned, it means one thing, at least.  They and their medical staff are not too worried about the long term effects of his shoulder problem.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 10, 2018, 06:56:06 pm
You knew Boras wasnt gonna cut us any deals.

Kris is betting on himself and you gotta respect that.

We often forget that this is their job and they like most of us arent loyal to an employer but instead loyal to themselves.

Ive often figured KB longed to get back to California anyway.

Im no fan of any certain player.

Im a fan of the Cubs.

If its in our best interest to send him down the road since he wont sign an extension then so be it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 10, 2018, 07:12:29 pm
Signing Kris Bryant to a multi-year deal would be helpful if the Cubs are serious about going after Bryce Harper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 10, 2018, 07:37:06 pm
When does Bryant become a free agent?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 10, 2018, 07:40:45 pm
'22.  Under those circumstances and given the year he had, anything over $200 seems quite feasible, but this is Boras we're talking about.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 10, 2018, 07:40:59 pm
3 more years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on October 11, 2018, 08:34:40 am
I love Bryant, but maybe Javy is the guy we should be thinking about locking up long term.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 11, 2018, 08:51:22 am
Sharma and Kaplan are in a bitchslapping contest on twitter about that Bryant report.  It's pretty hilarious.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Robb on October 11, 2018, 10:32:59 am
I wonder if the Cubs could do a multi-player trade for Andrelton Simmons. Weird is he will be available as the Angels look to shake things up. Would a package of Schwarber, Russell and Montgomery be too much or not enough?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on October 11, 2018, 10:37:20 am
Why would the angels trade him? he single handedly fixed their infield defense issues.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 11, 2018, 04:24:43 pm
One of my best friends at my old job is a huge Angels fan and very knowledgeable, and he's convinced they love Simmons to death.  He's a building block, not a trade chip.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Robb on October 11, 2018, 04:35:20 pm
Makes sense they would keep him. I wonder why there is so much speculation that they would move him? Just internet smoke I guess.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 11, 2018, 06:26:17 pm
Chili Davis has been fired.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 11, 2018, 06:27:35 pm
Well...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 11, 2018, 06:34:51 pm
I wonder if they’ll try and bring Hinskie back from the Angels.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 11, 2018, 06:50:55 pm
Teams love firing hitting and pitching coaches.  Cheap, and makes a lot of noise.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 11, 2018, 07:38:22 pm
Davis was the front office’s hand-picked guy, though. Getting rid of him reflects pretty poorly on them. Front offices aren’t always willing to admit those mistakes.

Other tweets are now saying that feedback from the players on exit interviews was bad and that was a major part of the decision.

In any case, that’s the easy move of the three they need to make this offseason. Still need a top of the lineup type and one of the big two free agents.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 11, 2018, 07:40:05 pm
One element that’s intriguing in all this is, how could the Cubs screw up this badly with Davis?  Did Maddon push hard to get Mallee fired and Davis hired, as some have reported? If so this is another indication that things between he and the front office are continuing to sour.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 11, 2018, 07:42:34 pm
#Cubs source says that player exit-interview feedback against Chili Davis was "too strong to ignore," and it "would have been counterproductive" to go into next season with him. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 11, 2018, 08:07:11 pm
One element that’s intriguing in all this is, how could the Cubs screw up this badly with Davis?  Did Maddon push hard to get Mallee fired and Davis hired, as some have reported? If so this is another indication that things between he and the front office are continuing to sour.

I haven’t seen any reports that Maddon really pushed this. My impression has always been that the decision to get Davis came more from the front office than from Maddon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 11, 2018, 08:12:41 pm
Maddon does like going the other way on offense. I think it was a combo of the front office buying into situational hitting being a problem, strike outs etc...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 11, 2018, 08:30:29 pm
I haven’t seen any reports that Maddon really pushed this. My impression has always been that the decision to get Davis came more from the front office than from Maddon.

There were plenty of reports.  One thing that's indisputable is that Theo (with quite notable unambiguity) said *Any coach Joe wants back will be back.", and a few days later Mallee was fired.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 11, 2018, 10:00:22 pm
Chili Davis has been fired.

Wow.  Didn't take long, I guess.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 11, 2018, 10:25:28 pm
I think that someone said that Bryant has three more years before he becomes a free agent.  If that is true, it makes the contract offer substantially different than I first thought.  I never saw specifics reported, but lets take numbers at random. 

Lets say that he plays for the Cubs for the next 3 years, and earns through arbitration 14, 17 and 20 million each year.  At age 29, he might then get a 7 year contract at 30 million per year and hit the free agent market again at age 36.

On the other hand, if he gets a contract now from the Cubs for  years at AAV of 30 million per year, that means he will get an extra 39 million dollars over the next three years, and hit the free agent market again at age 33.  No matter what the actual numbers are, that has to be a difficult thing to pass up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 11, 2018, 10:47:25 pm
#Cubs source says that player exit-interview feedback against Chili Davis was "too strong to ignore," and it "would have been counterproductive" to go into next season with him. 

Interesting.   

Certainly deeg you're right; easy to fire a coach, and to tell yourself that the talent you've assembled is better than it's performed, and that a new coach is going to bring it out. 

But the limits that Schwarber, Happ, Heyward and Russell have to try to work around are probably pretty much beyond coaching.

Even so, I'm glad they made the move.  The offense was poor and got worse. 

And the prioritization on opposite-field seemed excessive and counterproductive.  A guy like Russell isn't going to hit the ball square very often at all; but you'd think using the whole field would make sense, including left.  Not using opposite field is a problem, obviously, but not sure why not using the pull side is any less so? 

Think it's good that if a mistake was made, that they move on.  (Unfortunately lots easier to move on from a coaching mistake than from a Chatwood mistake.....) 

But yeah, Theo was a huge opposite-way guy.  IN his press conference, in addition to talking up the first half (when Almora was excellent and Heyward was hot) as if that's what should be true always, he also was all positive about the increase in opposite-field hitting. 

So I suspect Theo and Maddon were mutual drivers to want opposite field and to get an opposite-field hitting coach.   



Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 11, 2018, 11:18:34 pm
I don't think they had a choice in making the move - the results speak volumes.  I just think the whole fiasco reflects badly on Joe, Theo and the organization.  And firing the scapegoat is the easy part.  The hard part is finding the right replacement, and the harder part is if you do that and it still doesn't fix the problem.  Then there's no option but to look at the players - and the mirror.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on October 11, 2018, 11:42:11 pm
Quote
My impression has always been that the decision to get Davis came more from the front office than from Maddon.

This is what I read. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 12, 2018, 07:29:19 am
I agree with that, Davis seemed primarily a Theo guy more than Maddon. 
In his press conference, Theo said that he'd been a hard worker.  Heh heh, kinda faint praise, seemed pretty evident he was going to be replaced. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on October 12, 2018, 09:18:20 am
One way to look at the Davis situation is that certain Cub hitters (e.g., Russell, Almora, Happ, Contreras) simply do not have the talent to be able to take the next step offensively, and that there was nothing Davis could have been expected to do to change that.  The Cubs with the requisite talent (e.g., Baez, Rizzo, Zobrist, Schwarber) did fine under Davis (although Schwarber's advancement was limited).  Another way to look at it would be that Davis has a very specific hitting philosophy and that some of the Cub young players have skills that don't fit that philosophy.  In that case, Davis' job would be to help those players maximize the skills that they do have, something that did not happen.

If you accept the first point of view, you look to trade some of these young players before their value drops further (I don't include Contreras in that group).  If you accept the second point of view, changing hitting coaches to find someone better at maximizing the potential of players with limited offensive skills makes sense. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 12, 2018, 09:33:17 am
Sahadev Sharma and Patrick Mooney each have articles on the Davis firing.  To my mind, the  difference between the two articles is a good example of the difference between the two writers. I've always thought Mooney had a tendency to go for a somewhat more provocative/sensationalist and not-particularly-in-depth approach, whereas Sharma has always struck me as far more thoughtful, analytical and nuanced in his approach. Judge for yourselves.

Mooney
https://theathletic.com/584702/2018/10/11/what-firing-chili-davis-says-about-the-myth-of-the-cubs-way/

Sharma
https://theathletic.com/584840/2018/10/12/with-chili-davis-gone-on-cubs-to-fix-offensive-issues/?source=dailyemail




Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on October 12, 2018, 10:12:10 am
We don’t necessarily need an opposite field hitting coach as much as we need a hit the damn ball where it’s pitched coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 12, 2018, 12:15:35 pm
Jesse Rogers named Andy Haines, Eric Hinskie, Anthony Iapoce and Ross as possible replacements for Davis.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 12, 2018, 01:23:48 pm
Thanks for those links, Ron.  Those were both interesting and good articles.  Certainly Mooney was more provocative. 

Sharma had a nice tweet quoted, that I hadn't seen presented that way before: 
Quote
#Cubs 2018 offense
(MLB Ranks)
                      Pre All-Star     Post All-Star
Runs/game    5.12 (4th)         4.07 (23rd)
OBP                .345 (1st)         .316 (17th)
SLG                 .426 (7th)        .389 (27th)
Ground Ball%  44.8% (14th)  49.2% (1st)


That's pretty telling, having been 1st in ground-ball rate and 27th slugging post-break. 


Still, I think it's a dangerous premise to view the pre stats as the natural and ought-to-be numbers, and the post-AS as the outlier.  I've mentioned this before, but I think there were at least four things that inflated the pre-break numbers:
1. Almora.  Flukishly and non-sustainably good 1st half.
2. Heyward:  Same.
3. Bote. 
4. Cubs scored about 40 runs in hot-weather weekend versus the Twins pitching badly.  I wonder how the pre-post numbers would compare if you deleted that series from the pre stats; or added that series to the post stats?  My point here is that I'm not sure the pre/post contrast would otherwise look as bipolar and dramatic? 


Looking ahead, I don't see a ton of reason to to expect Heyward, Almora, or Bote to reproduce their first-half hitting. 


Mooney has some great quotes from post-17 Theo, including "have an adjustable swing, an adjustable approach for those situations".  And Sharma from Theo this month: "players who do certain things at 22 and 23, should be progressing into a better, more productive phase of their career at 24, 25, and 26."   


I wonder if Theo's selection of players like Schwarber, Russell, Happ, and Bryant just isn't really conducive to "adjustable swing, adjustable approach"?  Not sure it's really in their skillset?  reb would often note the importance of making adjustments; I'm not sure Russell, Happ, Schwarber, Bote, and Heyward have the capacity to adjust to what scouting has ID'd as vulnerabilities? 


Think maybe the "fastball up" revolution has been particularly unkind to Happ and Schwarbs, and it's unclear that they can successfully adjust? 


4 things could sure help, though:
1.  Bryant being back as a >.900 guy
2.  Adding Harper or Machado
3.  Getting Contreras back as a good hitter.   
4.  Getting some anti-awful regression from Schwarber and Russell in terms of clutch situations. 



Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 12, 2018, 01:52:05 pm
From Mooney's article, maybe it's kind of snarky comment, but I admit it sure rings true to me:
 
"It would be nice if the Cubs weren’t constantly looking back at the home plate umpires and making faces after called third strikes."  :):):)
That seemed to happen often, including frequently on calls that didn't even seem wrong, much less egregiously wrong!  :) 

"But this is what the Cubs have become now, a second-place team with a sense of entitlement." 

Yes, Theo faulted the sense of urgency, so Mooney feels entitled to use the pejorative. 
*Personally I still question Theo on this.  Think Theo may be just mis-scouting his talent, and over-valuing the talent the front office has assembled; then faulting the players and staff for playing below the talent Theo has given them.  Maybe the performance played to the talent just fine?  Or actually outperformed the talent?  (Q, Lester, Hendricks, Zobrist.....) 

If Theo doesn't have limitless money, the sense of entitlement might be sunsetting.  Might be perceived more as a got-a-chance-to-make-the-playoffs team, but perhaps no longer as "expected" or "favorite". 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 12, 2018, 02:00:29 pm
David Ross couldnt hit a lick.

I wouldnt want him coaching our hitters.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 12, 2018, 02:02:19 pm
Almora had a change in the second half.  His BABIP went from .372 to .279 and brought it down to .337 for the year which is fine, but that wasn't it all.

His ISO went from .120 to .048.  His previous 2 years with the Cubs it was .179 and .149.



Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on October 12, 2018, 02:31:06 pm
All opinions are certainly welcome, but I'm struck by the volume of teeth-gnashing in Cub Nation these days!  The Mooney article (thanks, Ron) paints a rather negative picture that doesn't feel quite right to me...not after a 95-win season and the most wins in MLB over the past 4 years.

It's not like other teams and front offices aren't pretty good, too!  95 wins is rather solid!  Hats off to the Brewers who went wild in September and deserve to still be playing.  (they may find it harder to sustain their success next season...who knows?)

At exactly NO point in my 67 years have the Cubs been nearly as good, as well managed, or as well led by one of the best - if not the best - front office in baseball.

Would it be really nice if we had hit better in the 2nd half?  Sure.  Will we likely hit better next year?  I think so, due to young hitters maturing, if not a new coaching influence...but who knows?  MLB - and people - are rather unpredictable that way.

I'd LOVE to think we have another World Championship in this run; however, I'm not going to lose sight of the fact that we've ALREADY won a World Championship with the same front office, manager and core talent...and that title remains one of the all-time greatest feats in the history of sports!  I still pinch myself that it did occur!

IMHO, Theo et al have EARNED the benefit of the doubt.  As DaveP recently pointed out, we might know 10% of what they know and they must make regular decisions based on human beings, some of whom have undisclosed injuries or other frailties the management must carefully consider, but never go public with. 

I think our leadership will find a way to keep us competitive and, just maybe, we will be the hot team at the right time again next year...but who knows.  I'm happy our beloved franchise is as strong as it is today and that it's not totally unrealistic for us to speculate about what it may take to get us back on top again next season! 
GO Cubs!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 12, 2018, 02:46:11 pm

Thanks, Ben

IMHO, Theo et al have EARNED the benefit of the doubt.  As DaveP recently pointed out, we might know 10% of what they know and they must make regular decisions based on human beings, some of whom have undisclosed injuries or other frailties the management must carefully consider, but never go public with. 


The all-time winningest college football coach, John Gagliardi of St. John's in Minnesota, recently died at 91.  Among things he was noted for were all practices were non-contact.   This definitely applies to baseball too:

  Legendary St. John’s football coach John Gagliardi when asked if he will be second-guessing his successor:   -  - - -  “I probably will because now I'll be one of the fans, and I know the fans up in the stands know everything," Gagliardi said. "I always marvel how the fans know everything without having watched our films and practices. But they know everything immediately. - - - "I'm hoping to get some of that insight.
 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on October 12, 2018, 03:07:21 pm
In my observation, the vast majority of times that Cub hitters looked back at umps and made faces on called third strikes were on pitches that were close but missed the strike zone.  Also, I didn't notice them doing this more than players on other teams.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 12, 2018, 03:37:59 pm
I can't remember it for certain, but I thought Schwarber led the majors in called strike outside the zone.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on October 12, 2018, 05:24:10 pm
I agree with that, Davis seemed primarily a Theo guy more than Maddon. 
In his press conference, Theo said that he'd been a hard worker.  Heh heh, kinda faint praise, seemed pretty evident he was going to be replaced. 
Reminds of a time years ago, I was coaching a girls softball team.  I'm driving the team van one day and the girls are talking about things coaches say, knowing full well I could hear them.  One girl said, "I hate it when he says I'm a trooper."  "Why," someone asked.  "Trooper means you try hard but you suck."
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Robb on October 12, 2018, 06:28:04 pm
Hey Ron, you think Chili will be let go yet?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 12, 2018, 06:50:46 pm
Theo is an amazing exec, but it's amazing the contortions people (though not Theo himself, generally) will go through to exonerate him from any blame whatsoever when things go badly.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on October 12, 2018, 07:20:24 pm
Deeg, I'm glad Theo has the highest expectations for the Cubs and is determined to improve the team's hitting next season.

However, I personally think 95 wins (and tied for the best record in the NL) establishes that things went quite well overall - not badly - for the Cubs this year.

Of course, I've been following the Cubs one helluva lot longer than Theo has!



Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 12, 2018, 07:38:58 pm
I dont buy into all the gloom and doom either.

A few moves this offseason and Im not even talking Machado or Harper and we'll be NL favorites again.

Theo and Jed have made a few mistakes but what GM hasnt?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on October 13, 2018, 08:13:32 am
When things don't go as well as expected, blame must be placed, right?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 13, 2018, 11:26:27 am
It is just like the stock market.  The experts can always tell you exactly why it went up or down yesterday, but can never tell you whether it will go up or down tomorrow.

The front office of every team makes hundreds of decisions every year.  The vast majority of those decisions are successful or unsuccessful because of events that could not be foreseen or controlled.  No one could have been certain that Darvish would have had injury problems that rendered him worthless?  If instead, he had performed well, the Cubs would probably still be playing.

If Bryant had not hurt his shoulder diving into first base, the offense might have been a strong point this year, rather than a weakness.  Especially if Contreras had not been worn to a nubbin with overuse.  If Chatwood had merely performed as he has in past years, we would have had a much stronger rotation.  He did not need to be a star to help the team.  Instead, he harmed the team greatly. 

Most of these decisions are balanced on a razor edge.  Minor events, totally unable to be foreseen, can change a decision from a brilliant one to a horrible one.  Pointing to any one failure, or even several failures in a short period of time can be a fun intellectual discussion, but anyone that actually believes that they could have foreseen all these events isn't living in the real world.

The only way to evaluate a team or a front office is their performance over an extended period of time, and the performance of this particular front office since they have been in power has been magnificent.  Rooting for a team should be fun.  Let's nor make ourselves miserable over something that should be making us feel great.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 13, 2018, 11:43:00 am
The only way to evaluate a team or a front office is their performance over an extended period of time, and the performance of this particular front office since they have been in power has been magnificent.  Rooting for a team should be fun.  Let's nor make ourselves miserable over something that should be making us feel great.

Well said.

Theo stressed from the beginning that there would be mistakes and disappointments, and that progress is never linear. It should be no surprise that some decisions have turned out badly. But few things in life go as well as the performance of the Cubs has over the last four years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 15, 2018, 09:10:34 am
The guys at The Athletic had some fun discussing the Cubs' decisions and moves going forward. At times it's (intentionally) humorous, at times serious.  But I recommend it whether for genuine value or simple fun.  Not surprisingly, I liked Sahadev Sharma's contributions the best. But I thought Mooney's weren't bad.

Of particular interest might be the answers to the question of what four moves (realistic or wildly optimistic) should the Cubs make to be a "top-level playoff threat."  Here is Sharma's response:

This is probably wildly optimistic in the sense that a couple of these moves happening are realistic, but all of them? That would be a grand-slam winter. First of all, go get a veteran backup catcher who can spell Contreras, who led baseball with 1,109 2/3 innings caught. I think ideally they’d like to get a lefty bat there, but that may not be possible. I’d say one who has superior defense and knows how to handle a staff would be a priority, with René Rivera and Martín Maldonado topping the list.

After that, go get a left-handed reliever who can share closing duties with Brandon Morrow. Zach Britton and Andrew Miller are available via free agency, but they both might have their best years behind them. I say with a likely shuffling of the offense coming and trades being made, one of them should be to try and snag Sean Doolittle from a Washington Nationals team that may be looking to reload if Bryce Harper walks.

Speaking of Harper, instead of bringing him in the fold, the Cubs add Manny Machado. (Am I the first to suggest that move?) Imagine an infield of a healthy Bryant at third, Machado at shortstop (his defense has been significantly better at that position with Los Angeles), Báez at second and Rizzo at first. My lord, that’s scary for the opposition to think about. Then add in Contreras bouncing back? That’s how you fix an offense.

And looking for a little edge and some depth to the outfield? This one is a little out there and completely depends on how much he’s willing to take on a deal, but how about adding Andrew McCutchen? Sell him on the fact that this team can get him that ring he craves and start him about 110 times in favorable matchups. He had a 115 wRC+ in 130 games with the Giants this year and then in 25 with the Yankees, he posted a 149. If he hit anything in between there, it would be perfect for the Cubs. He also has hit .310/.416/.484 at Wrigley Field, so the reporters who love asking incoming free agents “How excited are you to play at Wrigley Field?” would have a legit angle.

https://theathletic.com/587544/2018/10/14/cubs-roundtable-four-pressing-questions-for-chicagos-favorite-nl-wild-card-losing-team/?source=dailyemail
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 15, 2018, 02:47:04 pm
Anthony Lapoce will be the new Cubs hitting coach.  He was the hitting coach for the Rangers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 15, 2018, 02:48:43 pm
Lapoce bio

http://m.mlb.com/tex/roster/coach/437676/anthony-iapoce
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 15, 2018, 03:00:06 pm
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dpkuf9WVsAAbao-.jpg:small)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 15, 2018, 03:02:55 pm
Bruce Miles  @BruceMiles2112  16m16 minutes ago
Anthony Iapoce is a close associate of former #Cubs hitting coach John Mallee and is well regarded up and down Cubs organization.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 15, 2018, 03:11:03 pm
I think Hyde overlapped with him at the Marlins as well.

I'd be scared about Machado at SS, so I guess it would depend on what the Cubs think about his defense at SS.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 15, 2018, 03:12:16 pm
Correction:  It's Iapoce, not Lapoce
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on October 15, 2018, 03:20:43 pm
Correction:  It's Iapoce, not Lapoce

How does one pronounce that?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on October 15, 2018, 03:24:13 pm
It's pronounced Iapoce.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 15, 2018, 03:38:48 pm
How does one pronounce that?
I was wondering the same thing

Pronunciation:    yah-POH'-chay.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on October 15, 2018, 04:03:12 pm
His bio says "eye-uh-poh-SEE"...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JR on October 15, 2018, 04:25:05 pm
Spelled backwards, it's Ecopai. 

Harry would have loved this guy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 15, 2018, 04:26:00 pm
Bruce Levine


According to sources out west,the Giants have shown real interest in the Cubs VP of minors and scouting Jason McLeod for their open GM post.

Jesse Rogers


 
More
Eye-o-pocee. Some obvious things to like but I don’t know him RT @acctgteach: @ESPNChiCubs how do you pronounce his name and what are your thoughts on the hire?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 15, 2018, 04:33:29 pm
How does one pronounce that?

I believe it's "anyone but Davis".
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 15, 2018, 04:44:08 pm
Quote from: MLB.com
Prior to joining the Rangers, Iapoce was the Cubs' special assistant to the general manager/player development from 2013-15, and oversaw the Minor League hitting program. He worked with young players such as Kris Bryant, Albert Almora Jr. and Kyle Schwarber.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 15, 2018, 04:44:31 pm
I won't pretend I've followed them closely, and I know they haven't been putting the '27 Yankees out there, but Texas' offense has gotten worse every year for the past 3 years.  FWIW.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 15, 2018, 06:14:54 pm
What do new hitting coach Anthony Iapoce,  manager Joe Maddon, pitching coach Jim Hickey, third base coach Brian Butterfield, bench coach Brandon Hyde, and catching coach Mike Borzello have in common?

None played in the major leagues.

That has to be some sort of record.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 15, 2018, 06:34:49 pm
I thought you were going for "all will likely be gone after the '19 season".
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 15, 2018, 06:53:35 pm
No, but it might mean first base coach Will Venable's job is in jeopardy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on October 15, 2018, 08:45:22 pm
I'll hope we can win 95+ again next season and get in the playoff hunt once again!

Thereafter, it will remain a crapshoot of sorts.  ALL the teams/players are good!

Just like this year, one seldom knows in January, or even May, who will be the top MLB performers in October. 

Imagine if our free agent signings last off-season would have been Brewers' pitchers Miley and Chacin rather than Darvish and Chatwood??

Who knew? 

When it comes to MLB, hindsight truly is 20/20...SO unpredictable this time of year!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 15, 2018, 09:59:37 pm
Shiraz Rehman is leaving the Cubs front office for the Rangers. Rehman started the analytics department for the Cubs.

McLeod also interviewed for the Giants GM job.  If they lose him I'd really like to bring Porter back from the DBacks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Tuffy on October 16, 2018, 05:36:05 pm
I was wondering the same thing

Pronunciation:    yah-POH'-chay.   

I went to college with a guy with this last name; his nickname was "The Poach".
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: mO on October 16, 2018, 08:28:16 pm
Hung around bars at closing?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 16, 2018, 09:20:50 pm
Interesting that the media has finally picked up on what I said right after Theo’s postmortem presser - that was coded language from a very unhappy exec. But how exactly does he go about adding “edge” to the clubhouse? He’s not changing managers (yet).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 16, 2018, 09:40:29 pm
The most obvious way to go about adding edge to the clubhouse is Harper. He's a pretty intense player.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 16, 2018, 10:05:01 pm
Yeah, that does seem to be the most obvious direction. Harper being a red-ass is hardy the main draw but I guess if it’s edge you want, it doesn’t hurt.

I don’t think it’s preposterous to suggest the clubhouse was never the same after Ross retired. Hard to overstate how important his presence was, and that’s more clear now than ever.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 16, 2018, 10:26:46 pm
Even though he wasn't the clubhouse red ass, I still think losing Fowler hurt more than Ross. The lineup just worked so much better with him leading off everyday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 16, 2018, 11:33:21 pm
Think it's interesting where Theo is supposedly all about attitude and edge and focus, and talent doesn't seem to be a priority?  Seems like all the draft picks, there was so much talk about character qualities being top priority, you'd think by this point that they'd have plenty of what you want.  Obviously Heyward is $180 of leadership, not bat; but he's not the leader that Theo wants either, I guess, too laid-back? 

As for Harper, hasn't he been in trouble for non-hustle and Disrespect-90 and stuff?  I don't know, just wondering whether he's actually a 162-games-urgency guy, or maybe not so much? 

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on October 16, 2018, 11:46:26 pm
I'd like to see us go after Josh Donaldson.  That would pretty much push Bryant to the outfield, but that may happen anyway.  It would preclude Schwarber and maybe another OF being traded, but it would be the kind of bat we could use in the middle of the lineup.  But, the big reason I'd like to see it is that the Cardinals are going after him.  A lot of Theo's success in the past is denying the player your biggest threats want by grabbing him yourself.  Donaldson in the middle of that Cardinal lineup would be formidable.   (Some are suggesting that Donaldson will be a bargain in this year's free agent scramble.  We could use one or two of those too.)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 16, 2018, 11:56:54 pm
Pass on Donaldson.  33 next month, declining on defense for years.  Maybe he was just hurt this year, or maybe he's on the wrong side of the divide.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 17, 2018, 02:48:57 am
I'd rather have Machado than Harper.

He just fits better and is a better player too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 17, 2018, 06:52:52 am
Maybe they should bring in Lackey as a mental skills coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: BearHit on October 17, 2018, 08:32:10 am
Lackey definitely has EDGE
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Robb on October 17, 2018, 09:11:02 am
I think the edge comment is mostly directed at the players. It is inevitable that the players who broke the curse could be feeling a sense of entitlement, especially when they were able to sleep walk through the first half of 2017 and turn it on to win the division. Yes, they failed in the NLCS, but hey, you can't expect to win it all every year; right? I don't know that they had a sense of entitlement coming into this year. Schwarber worked his tail off this offseason to improve his conditioning. Contreras seemingly worked himself to death this offseason. Bryant is always trying to improve over last year and before his injury it was working. The starters were certainly underwhelming the first half but carried the team the second half. Were they lacking that edge? Or were the numbers plagued by a mediocre to bad Darvish and just horrible Chatwood? The bullpen had the edge early but was so overworked they struggled down the stretch, a consequence of injury and starters struggles in the first half, not a lack of an edge. Maybe there was a sense of entitlement by a few. But the biggest problem the team had this year could be attributed to nearly every move Theo made in the offseason blowing up. Darvish, Chatwood, Morrow, Chili Davis. Not one of those were around or helping in the second half. Theo should probably look in the mirror if he wants to see the primary culprit for 2018 ending in disaster. And I say this as a big fan of his.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on October 17, 2018, 09:12:21 am
They are maybe somewhat touchy about edge, though?  Montero had some edge. 
*Maybe edgy enough to question whether Maddon communicated well to him as one of the non-star little people?
*And edgy enough to say what should have been obvious, that Arrieta and other pitchers showed little urgency about little parts of the game like holding runners on? 

I suspect there's a fine line in management's view between being a little edgy and urgent and pushing both yourself and other people in a good way, versus being a little edgy and maybe pushing other people and management not liking that.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 17, 2018, 09:48:03 am
I think the Cubs coming off a disappointing season will have some of that edge back next year.  1 WS win and 3 straight NLCS could cause some complacency. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 17, 2018, 10:16:55 am
I think the Cubs coming off a disappointing season will have some of that edge back next year.  1 WS win and 3 straight NLCS could cause some complacency. 

Doug Glanville with a compelling essay on team expectations

Quote
The language the Cubs players used throughout the 2018 campaign and after they were knocked out reflected the highest of expectation. The idea that every year is not just a playoff appearance, a 90-win season, a better-than-last-year achievement. It is a year measured by the singular accomplishment of being a world champion.

https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/glanville-changing-expectations-have-made-it-so-95-wins-not-enough-cubs-world-series
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on October 17, 2018, 10:28:50 am
Its funny to read the Edge comments here... same thing happened for Madden with the Rays. Folks started questioning if the players lost their edge due to the type of atmosphere Madden runs in the club house. where is the sense of urgency?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: BearHit on October 17, 2018, 10:48:22 am
You see some at-bats where the guy is fouling off pitch after pitch - even if may be out of strike zone - and then finally getting a hit or walk

And then you see some at-bats (like pitchers) who look like they have no plan when they go up there...

If these guys batted as if their salary depended on it each at-bat - wouldn't we see better offense?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 17, 2018, 05:25:38 pm
I think the Cubs coming off a disappointing season will have some of that edge back next year.  1 WS win and 3 straight NLCS could cause some complacency. 

One would have hoped the way last year ended would have had that effect, and it didn’t. Why should a repeat have any more impact?

Every baseball move was made for valid reasons. But look at who the Cubs lost, collectively, since the WS: Ross, Lackey, Fowler, Montero, Arrieta. A lot of intensity removed from the equation collectively, and a lot of low-key guys left behind (including the manager). Maybe the mix has gotten a little out of balance now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 17, 2018, 06:18:02 pm
Losing the division and losing the Wild Card game is a lot different than winning the division and going to the NLCS coming off a World Series win.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 17, 2018, 06:30:00 pm
If you say so.

Rather than depend on that gene somehow kicking in, I’m on board with changing the dynamic externally, as long as it doesn’t compromise the lineup you out on the field.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 17, 2018, 06:32:32 pm
McLeod also interviewed for the Giants GM job.  If they lose him I'd really like to bring Porter back from the DBacks.

I think I read this somewhere else, so it's not my idea...but I don't see that anyone has posted it on this board, so I'll repeat it here.

If McLeod goes to the Giants, he's presumably going to be rebuilding--their championship window is closed. It's probably a given that McLeod will be going somewhere else within the next year or two, so a rebuilding Giants team might not be the worst place for him to land from the Cubs' perspective. His familiarity with the Cubs system could give them the inside track if they wanted to try to trade for Will Smith (very good but not elite LHP who is a free agent after next year, so he's probably a guy who the Cubs could afford in a trade). And if McLeod was one of the believers in Tyler Chatwood, I could see a bad contract swap of Chatwood for Melancon making some sense for both sides.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 17, 2018, 07:19:53 pm
McLeod is the guy I hate to lose, much more so than Hoyer, but I guess it’s inevitable.  He’s overqualified for what he’s doing for the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 17, 2018, 07:23:29 pm
The FO has been really good at finding relievers for cheap. I don’t think I’d want to pay the price for Smith.

I’m not sure what I’d want to do with Chatwood, but Melancon is just a softer throwing Kintzler.

Watson might be interesting trade target from though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 17, 2018, 07:42:27 pm
I just don’t think Smith should cost that much. He’s a pretty equivalent pitcher to Justin Wilson at the time of that trade, but he has a half season less team control. And he doesn’t come with Avila. Wilson really was affordable, so Smith should be too.

Melancon was far better than Kintzler at his peak, and has gotten better results lately. I’m not a huge fan, but he’s a better fit than Chatwood. Other than Zack Cozart, I don’t think there’s another bad contract deal that remotely makes sense.

(I think rebuilding teams and those looking to follow the 2015 Cubs/2018 Braves as surprise contenders should be interested in Chatwood, by the way...so a better solution would be to convince some team of that. But I don’t think that’s likely to happen)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 17, 2018, 08:20:46 pm
Melancon is already terrible (1.6 WHIP) and getting worse. I’d sooner try and fix Chatwood.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 17, 2018, 08:24:32 pm
I’m not sure with Posey and MadBum still on the team it will be a full rebuild next year even though they should.

Smith was clearly better than Wilson has ever been last year. 33.8% K% and 7.1% BB%. For a full year that will bring back a top 100ish prospect.

Melancon has been injured the last years and this year was a 17.8% K% and 8.1% BB%. I’d rather turn Chatwood into a reliever than deal with another pitch to contact reliever that struggles with walks.

The Padres have a 40 man roster crunch and crappy starting options for next year. I wonder if you could talk them into Chatwood if you flip them Montgomery or Smyly as well for some guys they would lose in to Rule 5 that could give you some pitching depth. Cubs Insider mentioned doing the same thing with Russell, but I think Tatis will be up soon next year for them.


Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 17, 2018, 09:36:05 pm
https://www.instagram.com/p/BpDa8jMgc5r/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 17, 2018, 09:36:44 pm
Look at Ben's shirt.

My man.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 21, 2018, 06:55:34 pm
Jon Heyman  @JonHeyman   9h9 hours ago

Girardi surprised reds by pulling out Friday. He had a chance to win job at that point but they never got to point of talking money with him. He also pulled out of rangers derby. Industry speculation: he’s waiting a year on Chicago
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 21, 2018, 07:30:08 pm
Girardi may be waiting for the Cubs job to open up, but I can't imagine this front office wanting him. There have been rumors that one of the reasons the Cubs may be willing to move on from Maddon is that he just does whatever he wants. I'm sure Girardi would expect that same freedom.

If someone else doesn't hire Brandon Hyde in the next week or two, I would be pretty shocked if he's not the next Cubs manager.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 21, 2018, 08:51:43 pm
I think Hyde would be in contention, but there will be other candidates. Ross if he gets into coaching and the same goes for Derosa. Rocco Baldelli sounds like an interesting coach with the Rays.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 21, 2018, 08:52:36 pm
I agree Hyde would be the favorite, but I'll be surprised if he's not snatched up in the next two weeks.

On Girardi, there are obvious culture fit issues there.  But if Theo decides he wants to do a complete shift from the laid-back Maddon, Girardi does sort of fit the bill.  I think it's pretty clear Theo is tired of celebrity managers, but Girardi isn't that in the same way Maddon is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 21, 2018, 09:03:07 pm
I don't think one year of coaching will get Ross or DeRosa the job. Outside of Counsell, the track record for guys who didn't spend at least a few years coaching and/or managing in the minors has been pretty bad.

I get that Girardi is a temperament change from Maddon...but they can get a hardass without going to another $5 million/year manager who doesn't feel like he has to listen to the front office.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 21, 2018, 09:16:11 pm
Alex Cora had 1 year as the Astros bench coach. Aaron Boone had no experience. Roberts had all of 4 years as coach, three years as a first base coach and 1 as a bench coach.

I think an experienced bench coach and analytics can limit lack of experience.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 21, 2018, 09:22:22 pm
I always liked Mark DeRosa as a player.  But the last I knew, DeRosa is extremely skeptical about modern analytics. I don't think he'll be managing the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 21, 2018, 09:31:02 pm
I dont know where any of you have got that Maddon is a dead man walking and that Theo is tired of him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 21, 2018, 09:35:49 pm
I always liked Mark DeRosa as a player.  But the last I knew, DeRosa is extremely skeptical about modern analytics. I don't think he'll be managing the Cubs.

After his Mets interview he acknowledge he had to learn it. I don’t think anybody that wants to manage this n baseball can ignore it anymore.

As far as Madden goes he could get extended or he could get replaced. I think he was the perfect guy to break the 108 year curse and last year was his most difficult. Marrow and Strop’s handling have me concerned.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 22, 2018, 02:55:10 am
I don't think one year of coaching will get Ross or DeRosa the job. Outside of Counsell, the track record for guys who didn't spend at least a few years coaching and/or managing in the minors has been pretty bad.

I get that Girardi is a temperament change from Maddon...but they can get a hardass without going to another $5 million/year manager who doesn't feel like he has to listen to the front office.

I don’t think Girardi will get 5 millibar this point, and I don’t see him necessarily as a guy who refuses to listen to the front office. My bigger concern is that he doesn’t seem all that enthusiastic about advanced statistics.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 22, 2018, 08:25:44 am
After his Mets interview he acknowledge he had to learn it. I don’t think anybody that wants to manage this n baseball can ignore it anymore.

As far as Madden goes he could get extended or he could get replaced. I think he was the perfect guy to break the 108 year curse and last year was his most difficult. Marrow and Strop’s handling have me concerned.

I don't believe Theo is going to hire someone to manage the Cubs who has (belatedly) decided he needs to learn about analytics.

Others may well be better than I at reading tea leaves, but I see no reason to assume that Theo has soured on Maddon, whatever differences they may have.  It won't surprise me in the least if Maddon is still managing the Cubs after next season.  Perhaps that will depend more than anything on what happens next season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 22, 2018, 08:41:55 am
I dont know where any of you have got that Maddon is a dead man walking and that Theo is tired of him.
The current discussion was started by Jon Heyman saying that industry speculation has Girardi interested in the job.

One item that may or may not mean anything is that Joe Maddon will be 65 in February.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 22, 2018, 11:16:36 am
I don't believe Theo is going to hire someone to manage the Cubs who has (belatedly) decided he needs to learn about analytics.

Others may well be better than I at reading tea leaves, but I see no reason to assume that Theo has soured on Maddon, whatever differences they may have.  It won't surprise me in the least if Maddon is still managing the Cubs after next season.  Perhaps that will depend more than anything on what happens next season.

I think it could be him more interesting.  One of the bigger problems with analytics is getting it from the nerds in the front office to the players in a way that they can use.  Somebody that came it later and is a former player might be able to put it in a more relatable way for certain types of players.

One of the things that has happened so far this season is the guy in charge of the analytics department Shiraz Rehman taking a lateral move to the Rangers.  Maybe he did it to get a better chance at advancement, but McDaniel and Longerhagen have be taking about how teams use analytics and their are 6 teams that they mentioned (Yanks, Astros, Dodgers amoung them) that are way ahead of the curve.  The Cubs weren't mentioned in that group so I wonder if Rehman left of his own free will or the Cubs are trying to revamp the department.  Being able to do what the Yankees seem to do with ease in add velocity to pitchers that they draft or sign as IFA would be great, or how the Dodgers can take scrubs off the scrap heap and turn them into above average hitters.  I think the analytic department plays a role if identifying those types of players and then major/minor league coaching is able to develop it in a way the Cubs haven't figured out yet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 22, 2018, 11:18:55 am
I have no reason to think that the front office is unhappy with Maddon.  However, if they are, one reason could be that he seems to have abandoned the "shifting" that seemed to be successful previously, and has all but been dumped this past season or so.  I have no idea if the front office has (or wants to) talk to him about it.  However, it is the only thing about Maddon that I can think of that they might not have been aware of at the time they hired him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on October 22, 2018, 11:41:40 am
I think it could be him more interesting.  One of the bigger problems with analytics is getting it from the nerds in the front office to the players in a way that they can use.  Somebody that came it later and is a former player might be able to put it in a more relatable way for certain types of players.

One of the things that has happened so far this season is the guy in charge of the analytics department Shiraz Rehman taking a lateral move to the Rangers.  Maybe he did it to get a better chance at advancement, but McDaniel and Longerhagen have be taking about how teams use analytics and their are 6 teams that they mentioned (Yanks, Astros, Dodgers amoung them) that are way ahead of the curve.  The Cubs weren't mentioned in that group so I wonder if Rehman left of his own free will or the Cubs are trying to revamp the department.  Being able to do what the Yankees seem to do with ease in add velocity to pitchers that they draft or sign as IFA would be great, or how the Dodgers can take scrubs off the scrap heap and turn them into above average hitters.  I think the analytic department plays a role if identifying those types of players and then major/minor league coaching is able to develop it in a way the Cubs haven't figured out yet.

That’s interesting.  I know Shiraz (our kids are in school together) but not well enough that I’d have any insights into his professional life. But, I do know that he and his family appear pretty settled here so taking a job that appears to be a lateral move may very well be an indication of his standing with the Cubs.  Who knows, maybe it’s not lateral but from what I have observed from him and his family, they don’t look like people who were unhappy with life in Chicago and wanted out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 22, 2018, 11:55:42 am
Cub reporters have described it as lateral, Ranger reporters say he'll have a bunch of responsibilities.  What the Rangers reporters list would fall under just heading an analytics department to my perspective.  It could be a GM in waiting type of thing too.  I have no clue. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 25, 2018, 10:44:18 pm
Kaplan apparently speculated a couple days ago that the Cubs could trade Schwarber for Merrifield this offseason. The author at this Royals SB Nation blog picked that up and thinks it would be a reasonable deal. Personally, I think the Royals would reject it pretty quickly. I don't know why the Royals would want a worse performing player with less team control, even if he is 4 years younger. But maybe I'm wrong.

https://www.royalsreview.com/2018/10/25/18022972/thoughts-on-a-theoretical-merrifield-schwarber-swap
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 25, 2018, 11:47:51 pm
Maybe they think they are selling high on him?

Merrifield is interesting.  His defense at 2b the last 2 years is blah according to UZR/150. He only has 547 innings in the OF and they have been blah to except for the 200 innings in CF this year, but that is a small sample size.

His offensive value this year was tied in his base running and OBP. He walked more this year and rarely strikes out which are nice, but his OBP was fuled by his BABIP. When it wasn’t .370+ he was monthly wRC+ was 101,103, 106.  105 wRC+ was a 2.9 fWAR player last year in 145 games. His sprint speed would lead the Cubs at 29.1 to Baez 28.9.

Taking into account Whitfield turnin 30 and last year was likely his career year I’d pass, not to mention his minor league stats look very Albert Almora-ish.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 26, 2018, 01:43:54 am
That is sort of an interesting possibility.  Small but not tiny sample size in CF is pretty encouraging, not a butcher at 2B.  The minor league #s definitely don't wow you, but maybe that's Schwarber's realistic value right now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on October 26, 2018, 08:09:28 am
Schwarber just played his age 25 season and has fewer than 1,200 MLB ABs with not that much minor league seasoning.  He improved in some categories this season.

He may be a guy who doesn't improve a lot going forward, but who knows?  I seriously doubt Theo will sell low on Schwarber and Merrifield would be selling low!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 26, 2018, 08:28:42 am
Schwarber only has 3 years of control left. He's starting to get more expensive, and he hasn't come close to living up to the potential the front office thought he had. He's not that young anymore either--at 26 years old, he's starting to get to the point where the default expectation is that he just is who he's going to be. He's just not that valuable in a trade anymore--I think Cubs fans overvalue him.

Merrifield was 16th in MLB in fWAR and 25th in rWAR this year. He's probably going to get a few down-ballot MVP votes. He's a little older...but if anyone would be selling their player at a discount in that speculated deal, it's the Royals.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on October 26, 2018, 09:24:19 am
brjones, it could be that Schwarber this season was about all he will be...however, with barely 1,500 professional ABs TOTAL (less than 1,100 MLB), my guess is that Theo et al see that differently, particularly as he grew in some respects this season.

Of course, we shall see.  There are many other factors, such as whether our FO still views Schwarber as the kind of person/player who will do what it takes to fulfill his potential (if they believe he does have quite a bit of untapped potential...as I certainly want to believe).



Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on October 26, 2018, 09:46:12 am
Given the current state of the team, I like the idea of adding Machado (rather than Harper).  Against RHP, you go with Schwarber, Happ/Almora, Heyward/Zobrist in the OF, with Bryant, Machado, Baez, Rizzo around the infield.  Against LHP, Bryant and Happ play corner OF, Machado moves to third, Baez to SS, and Zobrist to 2B.  Assuming some progression by Happ and Schwarber, and a likely comeback year for Contreras, this would be a pretty formidable offense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 26, 2018, 10:21:07 am
I will be surprised (and disappointed) if the Cubs sign Machado. He does not seem to me to fit the "character" profile the Cubs are looking for, particularly in a star player.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 26, 2018, 10:48:11 am
Machado had that incident with Aguilar in the NLCS, which was bad. But really, I don't remember him being consistently controversial. He's certainly not a Milton Bradley type--at worst, he seems to be an AJ Pierzynski type who is liked by his teammates but frustrates the opposition. And we know he's close with Almora. I have no issue signing him if he is the best fit from a talent perspective.

I'll say again that the Cubs need two hitters this offseason: Harper or Machado and a top of order/leadoff type. I don't have a strong preference on the stars--I lean towards Harper a little, but it also depends on what players are available to be that second hitter. If the best fit for that role is an outfielder, maybe that Machado/OF pair is a better fit than a Harper/IF pair.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 26, 2018, 11:21:09 am
Harper over Machado all day.  Harper and a healthy Bryant fixes the offense.

1) Zobrist 2B
2.) Harper RF
3.) Bryant 3B
4.) Rizzo 1B
5.) Baez SS
6.) Schwarber LF
7.) Contreras C
8.) Heyward/Amora CF

Have Bolte as 3B/2B/emergency SS.  You can limit Zobrists playing time for the playoffs.  I haven't seen an offense yet proposed that tops that and you aren't sacrificing much on defense either.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 26, 2018, 01:29:10 pm
Some history on Manny Machado, before his disgraceful episode with Aguilar.

Throwing his bat at the opposing 3B and hitting a catcher in the head (twice) then smiling about it.

http://www.sportingnews.com/us/mlb/news/manny-machado-throws-bat-video-knee-fernando-abad-athletics-orioles-bench-clearing-brawl/zexydnu7zp9y1i7y8lrgibzc3

https://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2014/6/9/5795156/manny-machado-orioles-bat-throwing-josh-donaldson-athletics-mlb

Spiking Duston Pedroia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVIcxSSt8gU

His comment on not hustling to 1B:

Machado responded to that criticism and might have stoked the flames even more. Here’s what he told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic: (emphasis ours)

“I’ve been thinking about it and it happens every time, there’s no excuse for it honestly. I’ve never given excuses for not running. I’m not hurt, there’s no excuse but I’ve been the same player … I’ve been doing this for eight years, I’m in The Show for eight years, I’ve done the same thing for eight years, I’ve been the same player. (Machado actually just completed his seventh season.)

“Obviously I’m not going to change, I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle,’ and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen. That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am.

“Should I have run on that pitch? Yeah … but I didn’t and I gotta pay the consequences for it. It does look bad. It looks terrible. I look back at the video and I’m like, ‘Woah, what was I doing?’ You know, just the emotions of the game … I’m the type of player that has stayed in the zone, I’m playing and I’m just in the zone.”

Machado is a great player, no question. Sammy Sosa was a great player for the Cubs as well, but he was poison in the clubhouse and his arrogance and focus on himself were harmful. Maybe that could be tolerated on a team that had been so unsuccessful and was so dependent on him. That was then, and this is now - a team that has lots of talent and a great culture. And while Sosa didn't create problems with other teams, Machado has single-handedly created animosity between his team and at least three others (A's, Red Sox and Brewers). The Cubs don't need that kind of distraction.  Adding Machado to this team, which focuses so much culture and team approach, would, in my opinion be a very big mistake.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 26, 2018, 01:41:31 pm
Ill take Machado over Harper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on October 26, 2018, 02:52:30 pm
My best guess is there's NO way Theo goes after Machado!

(Ron's above post lays it out rather clearly)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 26, 2018, 03:07:12 pm
My best guess is there's NO way Theo goes after Machado!

(Ron's above post lays it out rather clearly)

No guessing about it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on October 26, 2018, 04:09:46 pm
Here's a player with character:

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2802882-mookie-betts-praised-for-feeding-homeless-after-game-2-world-series-win?utm_source=cnn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=editorial
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JR on October 26, 2018, 04:11:01 pm
One thing I reluctantly have to like about the Red Sox is that Nashville area guys like Mookie Betts and David Price are representing well there. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on October 26, 2018, 04:14:01 pm
One thing I reluctantly have to like about the Red Sox is that Nashville area guys like Mookie Betts and David Price are representing well there. 
Yeah, but you even things out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 26, 2018, 06:24:29 pm
Schwarber only has 3 years of control left. He's starting to get more expensive, and he hasn't come close to living up to the potential the front office thought he had. He's not that young anymore either--at 26 years old, he's starting to get to the point where the default expectation is that he just is who he's going to be. He's just not that valuable in a trade anymore--I think Cubs fans overvalue him.

Merrifield was 16th in MLB in fWAR and 25th in rWAR this year. He's probably going to get a few down-ballot MVP votes. He's a little older...but if anyone would be selling their player at a discount in that speculated deal, it's the Royals.

But Merrifield is, right now, almost assuredly as good as he's ever going to be.  It's the quintessence of selling high.  With Schwarber there's the chance that something clicks, and you get a superstar.  I'm not saying it's a slam dunk but I can see the appeal from the Royals' perspective.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 26, 2018, 06:42:03 pm
Yeah, but there's virtually no chance the Royals are going to be a contender again before Schwarber hits free agency. I don't think he has much trade value in general, and I think he has even less to a team like the Royals who are going to be bad for a while.

Of course, Dayton Moore says the Royals not tearing down all the way, so they probably will trade Merrifield for major league-ready prospects or young major leaguers rather than the highest ceiling prospect they can get (which is what they should do). So maybe I am really am wrong on Schwarber...but I don't think he has the control left for them to be interested.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 26, 2018, 07:10:15 pm
I think Schwarber has some trade value.  He legitimately improved defensively to the point where he's probably league average in left.  He's still over .800 OPS despite some terrible luck and a low BA.  He seems to be a high-character guy.  He can even be a 3rd catcher, which is a minor but not negligible benefit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 26, 2018, 09:07:49 pm
I think if the Cubs trade Schwarber they will be hard pressed to replace his offensive value as it is and he still has upside of wRC+ 130.

If the Cubs trade a hitter my guess is Happ as he really doesn’t have a position. His second base defense isn’t great, his outfield defense isn’t great. He has more control and some upside on offense if he cuts down on his strike outs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 26, 2018, 10:32:16 pm
More on Machado (from tonight):

@ScottMillerBbl
1h1 hour ago
Rick Monday on #Dodgers radio broadcast: "Machado hit the ball and didn't run. He became a spectator. And this is the World Series."


 
@Joelsherman1
 1h1 hour ago
Manny Machado just watched a line drive that he thought would be a homer. It smashed off the wall. He got a single. Getting a double in the World Series is not his cup of tea. #Dodgers[/size]
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on October 27, 2018, 08:17:03 am
Interesting that last night's hero, Max Muncy, became the player he is "overnight" - in his age 27-28 season!  After more than 2,600 professional ABs!

Muncy has been fantastic this season!  Yet he did not play in the majors in 2017!

Before this season, he was racking up professional ABs like crazy, but had only 215 MLB ABs.  In those 215 (pre-2018) MLB ABs, over two seasons, here are his #s:
* 5 bombs (this season he hit 35)
* BA under .200 (this season .263)
* OBP under .300  (this season .391)
* SLG under .350  (this season .582)
* OPS about .600...whereas this season his OPS was .973.

In fact, Muncy accumulated MORE THAN FIVE TIMES the amount of professional ABs (before making his mark this year) than Kyle Schwarber accumulated before MLB!

Some guys make a career jump in MLB and some don't.  It's rather hard to predict whose career will/won't jump - particularly VERY early in one's MLB career! 

Is Schwarber a finished product?  He may be, but he might go Max Muncy next year or the year after or the one after that...in HIS age 28 season. 

So might Ian Happ. 

I'm sanguine in the knowledge that Theo et al know all of that WAY better than I!  Of course, when it comes to human performance, NO ONE can predict the future!



   
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on October 27, 2018, 08:59:27 am
I should have concluded my last post with: no one can predict the future with certainty.

That's part of the fun of these types of discussions, of course.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 28, 2018, 07:15:13 pm
Scott Boras (on Bryce Harper): "We know who the team is, it's already completed and done."
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 28, 2018, 07:26:22 pm
Scott Boras (on Bryce Harper): "We know who the team is, it's already completed and done."

Source:

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/bryce-harper-free-agency-rumors-scott-boras-says-theres-already-a-done-deal-in-place/


After laying out three different explanations for Boras' statement, the article ends with this: "My vote: Boras knew this would get out and he's just messing around."
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 28, 2018, 07:30:54 pm
Hell somewhere on Twitter.

Ive never been accused of making up rumors here.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on October 28, 2018, 07:32:14 pm
I just looked it up.

My source is everywhere on Twitter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 28, 2018, 08:16:50 pm
I can't imagine a scenario where this makes sense - it's either BS or Boras is trolling the media.  If he'd agreed to an extension with the Nats why not just announce it?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on October 28, 2018, 08:19:45 pm
According to Chelsea Janes, Nats reporter, on Twitter it was a joke by Boras.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 28, 2018, 08:20:29 pm
I can't imagine a scenario where this makes sense - it's either BS or Boras is trolling the media.  If he'd agreed to an extension with the Nats why not just announce it?

That's pretty much what the article says.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 28, 2018, 08:23:20 pm
I don't think it is legitimate.  But my understanding is that the MLB strongly requests that no deals be announced during the World Series.  They don't want to share the spotlight or publicity.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 28, 2018, 08:55:45 pm
Yeah, but stuff leaks all the time, and this would be huge.

Besides -  I don't think Harper is going back to D.C. at all, but certainly not before he seriously tests the market.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 28, 2018, 09:06:45 pm
Yeah, but stuff leaks all the time, and this would be huge.

Besides -  I don't think Harper is going back to D.C. at all, but certainly not before he seriously tests the market.


This wasn't a leak though. It was Boras in a radio interview.  It's pretty hard to believe he didn't know exactly what he was doing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 28, 2018, 09:16:52 pm
This wasn't a leak though. It was Boras in a radio interview.  It's pretty hard to believe he didn't know exactly what he was doing.

Right...  But I think Dave was suggesting the possibility that he'd agreed to a deal with Washington, but it hadn't gotten out because of the MLB news blackout.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 28, 2018, 09:17:34 pm
Right...  But I think Dave was suggesting the possibility that he'd agreed to a deal with Washington, but it hadn't gotten out because of the MLB news blackout.

Ahhh, get it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 29, 2018, 08:44:30 am
Quote from: Bleacher Nation
As of this moment, with the offseason upon us, several Cubs are no longer Cubs, automatically becoming free agents:

  • Jesse Chavez, RHP
  • Jorge De La Rosa, LHP
  • Jaime Garcia, LHP
  • Daniel Murphy, 2B
  • Bobby Wilson, C
  • Justin Wilson, LHP
Each of those players can, of course, still re-sign with the Cubs, but they are now officially off the 40-man roster (which stands at 34). They can sign with new teams starting this weekend.


Re-sign Chavez and De La Rosa.  Only if the price is right for Justin Wilson.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 29, 2018, 09:01:12 am
Bring back Chavez (assuming reasonable cost), let the rest walk.

I'm willing to take a shot that Chavez's change to his release point last year will produce sustainable results. I don't think there was a similar change reported for De La Rosa, so I think you let him walk.

It's still a couple of days until something has to be done about Hamels' option. Hopefully they'll be able to come to an agreement similar to Lackey's contract from a couple of years ago.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on October 29, 2018, 09:33:25 am
Right...  But I think Dave was suggesting the possibility that he'd agreed to a deal with Washington, but it hadn't gotten out because of the MLB news blackout.

Thanks, Deeg.  I didn't mean to suggest that Boras was lying.  Merely that clubs are prohibited from making such agreements official during the World Series.  It might well be true, or it might merely have been a publicity stunt by Boras.

Besides, if I understand ArizonaPhil correctly, no one becomes a free agent until 5? days after the end of the World Series, so nothing can be done officially until then anyway.  One way or the other, we will find out for sure in a few days.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: dallen7908 on October 30, 2018, 11:06:37 am
 https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2018/10/29/where-will-bryce-harper-play-comprehensive-free-agency-guide/?utm_term=.b1b48b1e193f
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: goblue007 on October 30, 2018, 02:43:59 pm
JeffH do you have a roster break down yet?  ;D

Love your suit buddy
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 31, 2018, 08:36:50 am
Quote from: AP
CHICAGO -- The Cubs have declined a $10 million team option on right-hander Brandon Kintzler, who now must decide this week whether to exercise a $5 million player option.

A 34-year-old right-hander, Kintzler was 3-3 with a 4.60 ERA for Washington and the Cubs, who acquired him July 31 for minor league right-hander Jhon Romero. He had a $5 million base salary.

He was a first-time All-Star in 2017 and has 48 career saves. He also has pitched for Milwaukee (2010-15) and Minnesota (2016-17).


https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/10/31/cubs-reportedly-decline-team-option-on-brandon-kintzler-but-now-the-balls-in-his-court/ (https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/10/31/cubs-reportedly-decline-team-option-on-brandon-kintzler-but-now-the-balls-in-his-court/)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 31, 2018, 08:57:21 am
Is there anyone who seriously thinks Kintzler won’t take that option?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on October 31, 2018, 08:57:36 am
Jim Duquette has a top 25 Free Agents list on MLB.com, that includes "interested" teams.  According to Duquette, the Cubs are "interested" in 9 of them. 

https://www.mlb.com/news/ranking-top-2018-19-free-agents/c-294514102
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 31, 2018, 09:02:52 am
Jim Duquette has a top 25 Free Agents list on MLB.com, that includes "interested" teams.  According to Duquette, the Cubs are "interested" in 9 of them. 

https://www.mlb.com/news/ranking-top-2018-19-free-agents/c-294514102

Some loopy stuff on that list. Don’t see the Cubs being interested in Murphy, and why would they go after Britton and not Miller?  Hard to see why they wouldn’t be in on Ottavino as well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 31, 2018, 09:42:31 am
I think all of those "interested teams" are Duquette's speculation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on October 31, 2018, 11:06:27 am
No, I'm sure they all emailed him
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 31, 2018, 12:23:10 pm
Kintzler is exercising his option according to Jesse Rogers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on October 31, 2018, 03:20:43 pm
Mark Gonzales  @MDGonzales  8m8 minutes ago

Cubs pick up 2019 option on LHP Jose Quintana, claim LHP Jerry Vasto off waivers from KC. 40-man roster now at 35.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JR on October 31, 2018, 03:34:24 pm
Cubs pick up 2019 option on LHP Jose Quintana, claim LHP Jerry Vasto off waivers from KC. 40-man roster now at 35.

I wonder how many times Jerry Vasto is going to get claimed off of waivers this winter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 31, 2018, 05:29:50 pm
I would guess a Vasto number.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 31, 2018, 06:23:11 pm
I'm not surprised that the Hamels option decision is going down to the deadline--I'm sure they're trying to get him to sign a 2-3 year deal. But I would've expected Strop's option to be picked up at the same time Quintana's was...are they trying to extend him too? That seems unlikely.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on October 31, 2018, 06:48:13 pm
Why is that unlikely?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 31, 2018, 06:53:11 pm
Because extending a reliever in his mid-30s a year before his contract expires is a bad idea, even if he's been as consistently good as Strop.

I guess it's possible they could work something out where he gives them a big bargain. But that seems unlikely too--players rarely give big hometown discounts when they don't need to.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on October 31, 2018, 06:57:27 pm
What's your definition of a "big bargain"?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 31, 2018, 07:15:33 pm
What's your definition of a "big bargain"?

2 years, 6.26 million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on October 31, 2018, 07:24:04 pm
Going rate for pitchers in Strop’s class last year (Cishek, Shaw, McGee, Reed, etc.) was 2-3 years at $7-$10 million per. So a bargain would be somewhere significantly below that. I don’t think Strop would accept that.

The reason to extend Hamels is because it’ll likely get his AAV down to $15 million or so to help the luxury tax. Otherwise, they’d just pick up the option. With Strop, I don’t think there would be any AAV savings.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on October 31, 2018, 07:44:32 pm
Something like 2/34 for Hamels seems semi-reasonable, since it actually means 40 for Hamels. But I suspect he could do better on the open market.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 01, 2018, 04:42:45 pm
Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales
Cubs pick up $6.25 million option on Pedro Strop.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 01, 2018, 04:43:05 pm

Patrick Mooney
@PJ_Mooney
As anticipated, the #Cubs have picked up their $6.25 million option on bullpen leader Pedro Strop. Unclear if there will be another "Dress Like Pedro Strop" themed road trip next season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 01, 2018, 06:24:49 pm
From ESPN

NEW YORK -- Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward and San Francisco reliever Mark Melancon let the deadline pass for exercising opt-out provisions in their contracts.

Doing the same were two Cuban outfielders who have been major disappointments and spent all of this season in the minor leagues: Boston's Rusney Castillo and Arizona's Yasmany Tomas.

Heyward keeps the $184 million, eight-year deal that pays him $106 million in the next five seasons. The others all have two years left in their contracts: Melancon is owed $28 million, Tomas $32.5 million and Castillo $24.5 million.

They all had to make their decisions by Wednesday night.

The 29-year-old Heyward, who in 2016 helped the Cubs to their first title in 108 years, hit .270 with eight homers and 58 RBI in 127 games this season. He is owed $20 million in 2019, $21 million in each of the following two seasons and $22 million apiece in the final two years. If he has 550 plate appearances next year, he would again have the right to void the deal and become a free agent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on November 01, 2018, 07:56:23 pm
Sure seems unlikely to me that Cubs would consider Machado.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 01, 2018, 08:43:54 pm
I really don't understand the complete shift on Machado over the past few weeks. I expect the front office to have the same level of interest in him that they would've had if his season had ended a month ago and he hadn't had a couple bad PR days in the last month. In other words, they'll (rightfully) have considerable interest.

The guy is 26 years old and already has accumulated about 31 fWAR/34 rWAR. He just had arguably his best season, and he's still in his prime. It's probably already more likely than not that he's eventually going into the Hall of Fame. This front office is too smart to change their minds about a player based on one month of bad PR in a 6 1/2 year (HOF-pace) career.

Unless there is some new story that I haven't seen yet, I am confident they'll be talking to his agent regularly this offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 01, 2018, 09:20:00 pm
Give me Machado over Harper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 01, 2018, 09:42:22 pm
Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal
#Cubs might make a trade to clear salary before picking up Hamels’ $20M option, sources tell The Athletic. At this point, a long-term deal for Hamels is unlikely. If Cubs decline option and make Hamels a free agent, #Rangers will pay his $6M buyout. But goal is to keep him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Chris27 on November 01, 2018, 09:54:43 pm
As I've mentioned before, Machado didn't have a sterling reputation even prior to his playoff shenanigans. The front office seems to like "character" guys like Heyward more. Can't imagine they're interested in Machado at this point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on November 01, 2018, 10:14:15 pm
Agree, Chris.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 02, 2018, 09:42:47 am
Jerry Crasnick @jcrasnick
The #Cubs are picking up Cole Hamels' $20 million option today, according to sources. In a related move, they're trading pitcher Drew Smiley to the #Rangers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 02, 2018, 09:46:28 am
Too bad they couldn't convince the Rangers to take Kintzler instead.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 02, 2018, 09:52:58 am
Jerry Crasnick @jcrasnick
The #Cubs are picking up Cole Hamels' $20 million option today, according to sources. In a related move, they're trading pitcher Drew Smiley to the #Rangers.

The Hamels decision had to be made by today.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 02, 2018, 10:40:53 am
Locking in Hamels and trading Smyly leaves the 40-man roster at 36.

By 4:00 p.m. Central today, the Cubs have to empty their 60-day disabled list.  If they simply transfer those players to the 40-man, that will make it full at 40.

Currently on the 60-day DL:

Yu Darvish
Justin Hancock
Brandon Morrow
Drew Smyly (reportedly gone)
Mark Zagunis
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 02, 2018, 10:46:18 am
Interesting. 

1.  Had hoped Smyly might be one of the surprise get-some-value guys next year, whether in bullpen, or maybe even in rotation. 

2.  Will be interesting if the "trade" actually returns any talent value, or if it's basically a salary dump, with some token non-prospect coming in return? 

3.  If the Cubs were to get to the World Series, would they be able to set any records for the older rotation in baseball history?  They are REALLY getting old, older, and oldest.  Memory is shallow, but I can't ever remember a Cubs rotation that was even close to this old-old-old. 

4.  Given Hamels age, and that I think his stuff is generally in decline, I'm kinda glad the Cubs just took the big-dollar one-year deal, rather than extending and committing more long-term money.  (I'm lazy baseball reference guy, but he's coming off 3.78 and 4.20 ERA's, with FIP's of 4.49 and 4.62.  One of the other FIP's is probably better and more favorable, but the numbers aren't that hot, and at age 35 he's not likely to get a lot faster or better.....)

5.  I wonder how this worked with Texas?  Had they let him go, Texas would have got socked with $6M bill.  So, I wonder whether Cubs told them "We're not going to pay $7 for Smyly and $20 for Hamels.  So, would you like to pay $6 for Hamels?  Or would you rather pay $7 and get Smyly?" 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 02, 2018, 10:48:56 am
Wonder how much cash came in the Smyly trade?  "Look, Rangers, we're going to decline Hamels' option which will cost you 6 mil, or we can send you Drew Smyly for 6 mil and pick up the option."  Meaning, less Smyly, we're paying Hamels $12.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 02, 2018, 10:49:48 am
Craig on the same page.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 02, 2018, 11:04:48 am
3.  If the Cubs were to get to the World Series, would they be able to set any records for the older rotation in baseball history?  They are REALLY getting old, older, and oldest.  Memory is shallow, but I can't ever remember a Cubs rotation that was even close to this old-old-old. 

Projected 2019 Starting Rotation for the Cubs on opening day.

Cole Hamels - 35 (birthday in Dec)
Jon Lester - 35 (birthday in Jan)
Yu Darvish - 32 (turns 33 in Aug)
Jose Quintana - 30 (birthday in Jan)
Kyle Hendricks - 28 (birthday in Dec)

Only Hamels & Lester are "old" in any sense, seems to me. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 02, 2018, 11:49:33 am
The moves are official. The trade is actually Smyly and a PTBNL to the Rangers for a PTBNL. Interesting that there's a PTBNL on both sides.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 02, 2018, 12:19:00 pm
Interesting.  So, basically a salary dump. 

I imagine some possible contingencies on the PTBNL? 
*If SMyly is no good, we give them somebody to offset the million? 
*If Smyly ends up being good, maybe we get a decent prospect in the 15-30 range of the Rangers system? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on November 02, 2018, 12:28:59 pm
Interesting.  So, basically a salary dump. 

I imagine some possible contingencies on the PTBNL? 
*If SMyly is no good, we give them somebody to offset the million? 
*If Smyly ends up being good, maybe we get a decent prospect in the 15-30 range of the Rangers system?

With his injury history, its likely a innings # to hit for a good prospect.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 02, 2018, 12:35:16 pm
The Cubs manager in waiting will still be around next year:

Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs
More Cubs news today: Bench coach Brandon Hyde will return to the team in the same role after being a finalist for several managerial openings this off season, per a source.  https://es.pn/2zrtu1I
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 02, 2018, 12:35:29 pm
Given this, what was the point in picking up Smyly in the first place?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on November 02, 2018, 12:36:51 pm
They didnt have Hamels when they picked up smyly. Hamels changed the plan by being a better option.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 02, 2018, 12:45:36 pm
Good point.  Smyly probably requested to be traded if the Cubs were going to pick up Hamels' option, realizing that his chances of cracking the rotation were slim and presumably not wanting to be relegated to the pen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 02, 2018, 12:53:46 pm
Smyly was used as an asset. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 02, 2018, 01:03:03 pm
Given this, what was the point in picking up Smyly in the first place?

How would you answer? 

In hindsight, another of the winter decisions.  Spent $200 million on four post-surgery arms.  The only arm that held up couldn't find the strike zone. 

In some markets, if you flush $180M one winter, and flush another $200 two winters later, you'd get in some trouble.  Theo is probably fortunate to work for a big-market operation that can absorb some unsuccessful decisions. 

I'm not suggesting any were dumb or illogical, they just didn't work.  Who knows, maybe this year Smyly, Chatwood, Morrow, and Darvish will all be very effective and healthy too.  Maybe Kinzler will be a solid workman, too. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 02, 2018, 01:44:04 pm
Based on my first calculation, the Cubs will have a luxury tax figure of around $227 without bringing in any outside talent.  The luxury tax threshold for 2019 is $206.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 02, 2018, 01:44:11 pm
I think method and Curt are correct.  Smyly was picked up as a potential buy low asset who might fit in the 2019 rotation (or bullpen) depending on how things developed.  As it turns out, there isn't a clear place for Smyly in the rotation and he likely prefers a chance at starting rather than being relegated to the pen.  We'll need to see who the PTBNLs are before we can assess the cost of the Smyly escapade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on November 02, 2018, 04:16:48 pm
This is another one where it's hard to know exactly what's going on because we're not in the room.  Is Smyly just a salary dump because they need to control costs?  Saving money for something else?  Did they not see what they wanted in terms of health and don't think he will be effective?  Don't want to start the season without a rotation spot available for him (I don't like this one--pitchers get hurt)?  Texas really wanted Smyly?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 02, 2018, 04:42:05 pm
Sahadev Sharma

Verified account
 
@sahadevsharma

Cubs claimed INF Jack Reinheimer off waivers from Mets,
reinstated Yu, Morrow, Hancock and Zagunis off 60-day DL and
outrighted Gore and Freeman. 40-man now at 39
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 02, 2018, 05:41:54 pm
I was hoping that with the Cubs having as many players who can cover multiple positions as they do, that they could find a way to keep Terrance Gore.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 02, 2018, 05:46:01 pm
I think that there's a decent chance that no one will claim Gore. 40 man roster spots are too valuable for good teams to waste on a guy who can't do anything but steal bases. And bad teams don't really need a running specialist they're only going to use in September. So he might ultimately agree to stay with the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 02, 2018, 06:01:06 pm
Mooney has an article on The Athletic that says it's very unlikely that the Cubs will really pursue Harper (or Machado) this offseason because of financial reasons. Olney tweeted something along the same lines this morning.

https://theathletic.com/630609/2018/11/02/what-the-cole-hamels-option-means-for-the-cubs-and-bryce-harper/

Given Theo's postseason press conference about how the lineup was broken and how they needed to start seeing performance instead of potential, I don't see how they can just bring back the same group of players and try again. If Harper and Machado aren't options, I don't really see how they transform the broken lineup in any meaningful way without adding at least two hitters. But the only other free agent hitters that I see as a potential fit are the second tier outfielders--Brantley, Pollock, and McCutchen. Brantley and Pollock are scary because of their injury histories, and McCutchen is scary because of how much he has already declined.

It'll be interesting to see how the offseason plays out. Maybe Theo can pull a rabbit out of his hat and find a way to move 2/3 of the money tied up in the Chatwood, Duensing, and Kintzler contracts.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 02, 2018, 06:21:33 pm
I think that there's a decent chance that no one will claim Gore. 40 man roster spots are too valuable for good teams to waste on a guy who can't do anything but steal bases. And bad teams don't really need a running specialist they're only going to use in September. So he might ultimately agree to stay with the Cubs.
I keep thinking back to when teams did not need a 13-man pitching staff.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 02, 2018, 06:38:30 pm
I think you'd have to get down to a 10 man pitching staff for there to be a role for Gore on a 25 man roster. I think we lose sight of how bad he is overall because he is so good at the one thing he can do. He'd easily be the worst hitting position player in the majors--even in AAA, he has a .575 career OPS.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 02, 2018, 06:55:35 pm
I hate to see Smyly go.  That may really bite us.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 02, 2018, 07:00:23 pm
Mooney has an article on The Athletic that says it's very unlikely that the Cubs will really pursue Harper (or Machado) this offseason because of financial reasons. Olney tweeted something along the same lines this morning.

https://theathletic.com/630609/2018/11/02/what-the-cole-hamels-option-means-for-the-cubs-and-bryce-harper/

Given Theo's postseason press conference about how the lineup was broken and how they needed to start seeing performance instead of potential, I don't see how they can just bring back the same group of players and try again. If Harper and Machado aren't options, I don't really see how they transform the broken lineup in any meaningful way without adding at least two hitters. But the only other free agent hitters that I see as a potential fit are the second tier outfielders--Brantley, Pollock, and McCutchen. Brantley and Pollock are scary because of their injury histories, and McCutchen is scary because of how much he has already declined.

It'll be interesting to see how the offseason plays out. Maybe Theo can pull a rabbit out of his hat and find a way to move 2/3 of the money tied up in the Chatwood, Duensing, and Kintzler contracts.

If that is indeed the case, either Theo is operating under financial restrictions he wasn't expecting to when he made those comments, or his plan is to trade core guys in order to reshape the lineup.

Either way, with the income the club generates and a huge new TV deal coming in a year, that would be pretty disappointing.  There's really no reason the Cubs shouldn't be operating in the same salary zip code as the likes of Boston, NYY and LAD.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 02, 2018, 07:45:49 pm
There's really no reason the Cubs shouldn't be operating in the same salary zip code as the likes of Boston, NYY and LAD.

In the Cubs' defense, Fangraphs had an article today about team payrolls. Once arb raises are factored in, it appears the Cubs have the highest 2019 payroll in baseball right now.

That said...I was listening to The Athletic's Cubs podcast earlier, and I agree with what Sharma had to say--the Cubs are at a position right now where they should be willing to blow past all luxury tax limits. They are about to get the new TV contract money, and they'll have a lot of money coming off the payroll in the next two years (Zobrist, Morrow, Strop, and Cishek after 2019; the entire rotation (including Chatwood) outside of Darvish after 2020).

The competitive window is as open as it's going to be for the next two years, so go all out for Harper now and give him an opt out in 2-3 years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 02, 2018, 07:59:48 pm
By the way, we've heard some speculation regarding Whit Merrifield in the last 2-3 weeks, but nothing concrete. But the Cubs' apparent lack of money really makes me wonder if he might become one of the front office's top targets (assuming they buy his development as a hitter over the last two seasons). He's still a year away from arbitration, but the fact that he'll be 30 next season limits his trade value. And Dayton Moore really seems opposed to a full rebuild, so the Royals might actually match up with the players the Cubs have to offer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 02, 2018, 08:49:39 pm
I think that there's a decent chance that no one will claim Gore. 40 man roster spots are too valuable for good teams to waste on a guy who can't do anything but steal bases. And bad teams don't really need a running specialist they're only going to use in September. So he might ultimately agree to stay with the Cubs.

If I were in charge of a bad team, I would claim Gore and keep him until the trading deadline to see of a playoff team like the Cubs (hopefully) will trade something decent for him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 02, 2018, 08:55:59 pm
He netted cash this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 02, 2018, 09:55:22 pm
Based on my first calculation, the Cubs will have a luxury tax figure of around $227 without bringing in any outside talent.  The luxury tax threshold for 2019 is $206.

Craig Jeff Initial Payroll Projection Luxury Tax $$$$.  (I'm trying to put in some keywords so I can search and find his post weeks from now!  :):):)) 

1.  deeg and br, I don't think I could actually fault the Cubs too badly as cheap for going to battle >$20+ over the luxury line. 

2.  Jeff can answer better, but they're going to need to spend some additional spread-it-around cash, no?  [Maybe a couple of relief guys, maybe a LaStella replacement; maybe a Russell replacement; possibly a Caratini replacement...] 

3.  Are any thrift guys (Caratini, La Stella, and Bote) or minor leaguers ready to replace a movable salary?  Not sure. With no farm system, it's hard to replace a salary you might trade.  And salaries like Heyward, Kinsler, Chatwood, and Darvish nobody wants.  So, kinda hard to free up any spending money. 

4.  Theo presumably plans for a sharply programmed salary spiral for the next couple of years.  Baez, Contreras, Bryant, Schwarber, Almora, Hendricks, Theo ***hopes*** they'll be earning big jumps next year.  The only way not is if they play badly. 

In a sense they're kinda stuck.  Building with the young guys gave a window of free years for each of them; that window has closed for all but Happ.  The internal salaries will continue to inflate through the arbitration years.  And with no farm system, buying talent is their avenue to new talent.  But already being way over the luxury tax, and with the payroll programmed to continue to spiral during upcoming arb years, it's going to be hard to just keep buying their wants.

I think it's going to be some tinkering, going back to battle with largely the same personnel, and hoping better health will make it work out better.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 02, 2018, 10:08:21 pm
Packaging Edwards or Russell to move Chatwood’s contract could be a possibility. I’d rather just keep him and try to fix him but that may not be an option.

Craig, the issue for me is that this is a unicorn year for FA because Harper at his age is a unicorn free agent. If you believe he’s the guy that could make the difference and choose to sit out because of financial concerns, that’d be a real shame.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 02, 2018, 10:43:19 pm
I really think some bad team with money (maybe the Tigers?) should trade for Chatwood and take on a significant portion of his contract. They have nothing to lose, but he has great stuff and real upside in the very unlikely scenario that he figures out his command.

The alternative is giving someone like Jeremy Hellickson $6 million with the hope that he'll be good enough to get some other team's 17th best prospect at the deadline. Why not bet on Chatwood's upside instead?

Packaging Edwards or Russell to move Chatwood’s contract could be a possibility.

I don't think packaging Russell with anyone helps. He's just not that good at anything but defense, and it's a big PR hit to add him. I'd bet a cheap steak dinner that he's non-tendered in a few weeks. But Theo's good, maybe he'll convince some other team to take him.

the issue for me is that this is a unicorn year for FA because Harper at his age is a unicorn free agent.

The real unicorn was Yelich last offseason. I'm never giving this up--Cubs should've been all in on him last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brs2 on November 02, 2018, 10:44:21 pm
In the absence of these articles, I would not necessarily read the Smyly trade as a sign of financial limitation. The Hamels option was very unique, and gave the Cubs momentary $6mm leverage over the Rangers. With a Hamels signing, Smyly’s opportunities to start with the Cubs are greatly reduced, and $7 is a high price for a complete unknown in the bullpen. Plus because of Smyly’s uncertainty / risk, relying on him in 2019 would make it more difficult to move other pieces (and the Cubs may have felt the need to bring in another BOR starter FA). …. So at the end of the day, the Cubs increase payroll by only $7 ($14 for Hamels - $7 from Smyly), give themselves more depth / flexibility in the rotation, clear a roster space, and move an unnecessary contract to perhaps the only team which had any incentive to take him with his risk / salary (without bundling a better piece with him).  For the Rangers, they essentially get the Smyly spin of the wheel for $1. And Smyly gets a better chance to start. Win-Win-Win…..
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 03, 2018, 02:34:59 am
This team can be fixed without investing 300 million dollars into one single player.

I'd like to see us look into acquiring a real leadoff man and another closer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 03, 2018, 07:48:51 am
I like that approach, Dusty.  Who do you have in mind?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 03, 2018, 07:56:14 am
Theo didn't sound like he wanted to be a surgeon this offseason, more like a lumberjack.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 03, 2018, 08:09:09 am
Theo is a master of the misdirection.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: chgojhawk on November 03, 2018, 09:03:35 am
The Cubs couldn’t move Russell last year. They will get nothing for him this year.

Finances will NOT be an issue this season. We will exceed the luxury tax threshold if Theo feels it makes sense.

The team would prefer to not stay over the luxury tax for multiple consecutive years but no concern about doing so for 1 or possibly 2 seasons.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 03, 2018, 09:08:09 am
...…. So at the end of the day, the Cubs increase payroll by only $7 ($14 for Hamels - $7 from Smyly)....  For the Rangers, they essentially get the Smyly spin of the wheel for $1. And Smyly gets a better chance to start. Win-Win-Win…..

AGree with logic, but the numbers are off by $6.  :)   Cubs are paying Hamels $20, not $14.  So, $13 in payroll bump. 

I don't totally see the "no room for Smyly" part, though.  If a guy is good as a starter, he should be good in relief; usually better, because he doesn't have to pace himself and can throw harder, and he doesn't need to be wasting pitches throwing his 3rd and 4th best pitches trying to set guy up for 2nd and 3rd time through the order.  And having 5 well-used starters is no guarantee that they'll stay good and available all year; so having a guy in relief who could swing to rotation seems like a desirable contingency protection to me.  Whether he'd have been worth the $7M they'd contracted for that purpose, not sure.  (Especially since he was never that good in the first place, and has always been a home-run factory even when healthy.)  But, basically other than their budget challenges, his situation now must be pretty much what they expected when they signed him.  They new 2018 was a rehab year; and they should have known that coming off a rehab year maybe their would be no way to trust that he'd be worth entrusting a rotation spot to.

Two things have changed, of course.  At the time they signed him then, they did NOT expect to be spending $128M on Yu.  Nor that they'd be looking at a $20/1 option on Hamels.  So, I don't think entering last year that they anticipated being so spent out as the ensuing months have enabled. 

2nd, I believe they had a belief last year that signing injured pitchers was a value opportunity:  post-surgery guys cost less, so **IF** health proves fine, you've got some bargain potential.  I imagine it's possible that going 0-4 in gambling on post-surgery pitchers last year, that maybe they have re-evaltuated and chilled on that strategy, and are reluctant to play that lottery again this winter? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 03, 2018, 11:25:30 am
Smyly had a lot of incentives in his contract for starting and relieving. If he was a reliever he could of made an additional $2.6 million and more if he was a starter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on November 03, 2018, 12:25:51 pm
After watching Gore's last at bat, I don't ever want to see him at the plate again for the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 03, 2018, 12:46:19 pm
Cubs will need to hire a new assistant hitting coach:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
Andy Haines was hired by brewers as hitting coach
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 03, 2018, 12:47:03 pm
Andy Haines hired by the Brewers as their hitting coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 03, 2018, 02:08:39 pm
I like that approach, Dusty.  Who do you have in mind?

I'd say go after Kimbrel first but as far as leadoff options I dont see many great ones.

Pollack maybe and move Happ to 2nd and Javy to SS after whatever we do with Russell.

Russell for Merrifield would be ideal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 03, 2018, 03:03:01 pm
Russell has no trade value.

Outside of Harper or Machado it is hard to see any external improvements to the offense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on November 03, 2018, 03:12:32 pm


Russell for Merrifield would be ideal.

Thats a good one!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 03, 2018, 03:26:58 pm
It would be wouldnt it?

Im all for it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 03, 2018, 06:28:14 pm
Of course it would be a great trade because Russell is more expensive, has less team control, is a domestic abuser, and isn't as good of a player.

I know a lot of people here want to spend a lot on relievers, but I still see expensive relievers as too big of a risk. Cubs need to bring back Chavez at a reasonable price, then trade for one of the Giants lefties (Will Smith or Tony Watson). Stay away from Kimbrel.

MLB Trade Rumors released their top 50 prospects and predictions yesterday. They had the Cubs signing McCutchen (3 years, $45 million) and Chavez (2 years, $8 million). I like Chavez at that price. I'm not sure about McCutchen, though.

They have all three second tier outfielders at $15 million a year (McCutchen & Brantley for 3 years; Pollock for 4 years). If the Cubs were to sign a non-Harper OF, which of these three would posters here prefer? I think I'd lean Brantley. His health history is bad, but he stayed healthy in 2018. Of the three, I think he's the best bet to just be a solid all-around hitter, which is what the Cubs need. I especially like some of what Keith Law had in his write-up (Law's #4 free agent after Machado, Harper, and Corbin):

Quote
Brantley is an extremely disciplined hitter who had positive run values for all six pitch types this year per FanGraphs, making him one of only 11 qualified hitters to do so (and the only one who's a free agent). He's an average defender in left, which limits his total upside, and even in this homer-laden era, he has never topped 20 home runs. But he's also fully healthy and has at least some of the skills we'd want to see in a hitter about to sign a contract that will take him into his mid-30s. I could see him holding 3-4 wins a year for some time, with a good chance of a 5.0 win season somewhere in the next few years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 03, 2018, 06:43:51 pm
I would do Schwarber for Merrifield, personally.  Don't think KC would but it's not impossible.  Then try and sign Miller.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 03, 2018, 06:50:12 pm
If we have to sign one, give me McCutchen.  Play him in RF and bat him leadoff.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 03, 2018, 07:56:20 pm
If you’re looking for a pure leadoff guy I don’t know if McCutcheon makes the most sense. And that move weakens your defense a lot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 03, 2018, 08:13:00 pm
If you're playing Ian Happ as the heavy part of CF platoon, replacing him with Heyward and installing McCutchen in RF doesn't really hurt your defense much at all.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 03, 2018, 08:26:31 pm
McCutchen has only had 1 season with an OBP below .360.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 03, 2018, 08:36:49 pm
Brantley would be interesting as a leadoff option, the injury history and price tag would scare me.  He is worse than Schwarber in left field. Can he play RF? 

Without Schwarber that would mean the Cubs would have 2 OF with double digit HR on the roster in Happ and Brantley which kinda makes the Cubs lack of power in the second half worse.  The Cubs nonpitchers had a .344 OBP and the 8th lowest K% in the majors. They were 20th in ISO.

 

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 03, 2018, 09:24:01 pm
McCutchen has only had 1 season with an OBP below .360.

He’s a speed-based player on the wrong side of the hill. Unless it’s a one-year deal I’m out. Much rather bring in a true CF who can lead off and leave Heyward in right.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 03, 2018, 09:25:37 pm
Without Schwarber that would mean the Cubs would have 2 OF with double digit HR on the roster in Happ and Brantley which kinda makes the Cubs lack of power in the second half worse.  The Cubs nonpitchers had a .344 OBP and the 8th lowest K% in the majors. They were 20th in ISO.

Merrifield has 31 HR in the last 2 seasons.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 03, 2018, 09:46:25 pm
Merrifield never had more than 10 HR in a minor league season.  He's had 2 (332 PA), 19 (630 PA), 12 (707 PA) in the majors.  His .134 ISO last year was less than the Cubs non-pitcher ISO of .159 which ranked 20th in MLB and was the lowest of any teams that made the playoffs.  Schwarber was second on the Cubs with a .229 ISO.  Trading Schwarber for Merrifield makes things worse.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 03, 2018, 09:56:25 pm
How is 31 HR in 2 seasons not an “OF with double digit HR”?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 03, 2018, 10:44:11 pm
How is 31 HR in 2 seasons not an “OF with double digit HR”?

My example didn't have Merrifield on the Cubs, but lets move Schwarber for him and sign Brantley.  Last year the Cubs produced 31 HR in LF, 13 HR in CF, 12 HR in RF.  How many HR do you think Brantley, Merrifield, Heyward produce as your starters?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 03, 2018, 11:07:51 pm
If I moved Schwarber for Merrifield i wouldn’t sign Brantley, so for me it’s a moot point. But I would say the over/under on HR with either of those guys on HR is about 15 if they play a full season (which Merrifield is the better bet to).

To me, if you sign Brantley (which I would be very wary of based on age and health related imminent decline), you keep Kyle.  If you did trade Kyle for Merrifield I think that would actually be a scenario where signing McCutcheon might make sense.  But the big draw for Merrifield is that he can play legit and maybe even plus defense at both 2B and especially CF.  Brantley is strictly a left fielder and at this stage, not even an especially good one.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 04, 2018, 12:22:28 am
In what universe is Merrifield a plus defender?  He’s barely league average at 2B and his defense in the OF has been below average.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 04, 2018, 01:31:24 am
The one where defensive metrics showed he was above average in range at both 2B and CF last year and 2B in 2017, and where he was +1.4 dWAR last season?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 04, 2018, 06:58:17 am
At second base from 2017-18 he has 500 balls in his zone at second base.  He made plays on 355 balls, only Robison Cano had a lower percentage.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 04, 2018, 07:23:11 am
In what universe is Merrifield a plus defender?  He’s barely league average at 2B and his defense in the OF has been below average.

Sorry, should have said "the huge one you habitually ignore whenever it doesn't support whatever failed narrative you're peddling this week."
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 04, 2018, 08:29:00 am
Andy Haines hired by the Brewers as their hitting coach.

Bleacher Nation:  You also don’t love the fact that someone like Haines, who saw many of these Cubs hitters in the Minors and again in the big leagues over the past three seasons, is going directly to a divisional rival, where he might just be able to share various weaknesses with the pitching coach and staff. Shrug. It happens. And it was probably part of the calculus for Milwaukee.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 04, 2018, 08:44:53 am
I think any other team who has decent professional scouts already has a pretty good idea of Schwarber's, Happ's, Almora's, Russell's, and Baez's respective weaknesses. They're all flawed hitters (even Baez, though his superior talent clearly can mostly cover those weaknesses) who aren't that hard to figure out. That's why the offense fell apart this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 04, 2018, 10:42:55 am
Kaplan tweeted this morning and said that based on conversations he’d had this weekend, he’s more convinced than ever that the Cubs aren’t spending on Harper.

What bats are on the trade market that might fit? The Diamondbacks are rumored to be tearing down, would David Peralta or Ketel Marte fit? Adam Eaton if the Nationals bring back Harper?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on November 04, 2018, 11:56:00 am
Wasn't a significant part of Cubs' "broken" offense in the 2nd half the result of Bryant being "broken" due to shoulder problems?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 04, 2018, 12:49:10 pm
The offseason goes back and forth 100 different ways based on what we believe from certain writers until we actually see the truth with signings.

Ive found that Dave Kaplan normally knows what he's talking about though.

Ive made it clear that I didnt want Harper and his contract but I do find it disappointing if we truly are strapped for cash and dont intend to spend what's needed.

300 million for 1 player? No but 100 million or so for a few I was hoping.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 04, 2018, 01:14:17 pm
I would love for the Cubs to sign Harper (not Machado), but I have never thought it particularly likely the Cubs would sign him, given other huge current and future commitments, not to mention the fact that there are other teams who need him at least as much who will be competing for him. 

My guess is that they will express interest and see where the market goes with Harper.  If it is true that the Cubs are not prepared to commit $300-360 over 10-11 years (or whatever similar amount it would take), that seems reasonable to me.  That doesn't mean they aren't willing to spend big to improve the team, however.  Apparently it is inevitable that they will blow by the salary cap, so it's not like they are pinching pennies. It seems to me that we and the press have been wrong in the past in speculating just how limited the Cubs' budget would be in the coming season.  Let's see how things pan out before reaching any conclusions about what their limitations are.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on November 04, 2018, 01:25:30 pm
What are the future commitments that would be better/more important than Harper?  Assuming they are going to have some huge contracts coming up, there is nobody on the team who better than Harper. Why save to spend money on worse (and at the time, older) players?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 04, 2018, 05:10:33 pm
The Cubs are in a small bind in that to really entertain Brantley or Harper or any outfielder, they need to unload one or two first, otherwise they will deal from a weaker position.  On the other hand, with all these outfielders on the free agent table, who wants to deal for an outfielder?  Catch 22.  And the Cubs are in it.  As far as our outfielders are concerned, I'm not sure of Schwarber's value.  An AL team may see him with real value as a DH, but what return would the Cubs get?  Almora?  With Happ in a trade, we'd probably regret the most.  Heyward's contract ain't goin' anywhere. 

As far as Russell is concerned, another headache.  Best may be to let him serve out his suspension, try to spin his return as good as possible, and trade him on his first hot streak.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 04, 2018, 05:37:58 pm
Wasn't a significant part of Cubs' "broken" offense in the 2nd half the result of Bryant being "broken" due to shoulder problems?

Shoulder problems which may or may not be fixed (and recurring).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 04, 2018, 05:45:44 pm
Say the Cubs add Harper. The Cubs could go Schwarber in left, Heyward/Almora platoon, Harper in right. Against lefties you could put Bryant in left and let Bolte play third.

Longengagen was proprosed a Jon Gray for Happ trade and he said the Cubs would turn it down. So Happ could net something interesting.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 04, 2018, 05:59:01 pm
I think Schwarber's trade value is interesting. I don't think he's as valuable as most Cubs fans think, and rebuilding teams probably aren't interested. But I also think he could still be pretty valuable in the right situation. I wouldn't be shocked if he could be the primary piece in a deal for Carrasco, for example, because he's probably close to the best Cleveland can do for a hitter who can help them now but still fit within their budget. There are probably other situations like that out there.

IMO, I don't think they can bring Russell back. His bat has just never developed, so he's not that good--he's not a hot streak away from having significant value again. If the budget is as tight as it's being portrayed to be, they need that $5 million they would be paying him more than they need a marginally better prospect they'd get from letting him play a couple months. They should give him away for whatever they can get in the next couple of weeks or non-tender him at the end of the month.

I'd hate to lose Happ just because of his versatility, but I also think his trade value is undersold by Cubs fans. I'd love to still have him coming off the bench and getting about 400 AB next year. But he's probably going to have to go if they're going to make a big trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 04, 2018, 05:59:31 pm
Here's Kaplan's tweet... Good morning! After talking with a handful of MLB sources this weekend, I am starting to believe more than ever the Cubs will not be a factor for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. The only way that changes is if Theo and Jed and Co. are able to move serious money off the books.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 04, 2018, 06:00:13 pm
Patrick Mooney says the Cubs are strongly considering keeping Addison Russell.

Hell we welcomed Aroldis Chapman with open arms under the same regime.

I wouldnt trade him unless it was in our best interest baseball wise.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 04, 2018, 06:16:32 pm
There is a baseball reason. The Cubs have a dysfunctional offense, and Russell isn't a good major league hitter. So replacing him with someone better would help the team.

The fact that there's also an off-the-field reason he should go just makes it that much easier to dump him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 04, 2018, 07:59:05 pm
"Dump" is the key word.  Probably no real value there, so what's the hurry?  Do it now or do it in March after exhausting all avenues, the result is the same.

BR, I'm not convinced most Cub fans think Schwarber's trade value is all that high.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on November 04, 2018, 08:15:41 pm
Only time will definitively tell about Bryant's shoulder, but here's what Theo said after the season ended:

"With the offseason of rest and getting a full winter's worth of work in, he's gonna be 100 percent and better than ever," Epstein said. "...He is taking a really positive approach to it where he's learned a lot from the time that he missed."

We shall see.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 04, 2018, 09:47:36 pm
The Cubs are in a small bind in that to really entertain Brantley or Harper or any outfielder, they need to unload one or two first, otherwise they will deal from a weaker position.  On the other hand, with all these outfielders on the free agent table, who wants to deal for an outfielder?  Catch 22.  And the Cubs are in it.  As far as our outfielders are concerned, I'm not sure of Schwarber's value.  An AL team may see him with real value as a DH, but what return would the Cubs get?  Almora?  With Happ in a trade, we'd probably regret the most.  Heyward's contract ain't goin' anywhere. 

As far as Russell is concerned, another headache.  Best may be to let him serve out his suspension, try to spin his return as good as possible, and trade him on his first hot streak.

The Cubs traded for Chapman, who admitted to doing worse things than Russell has been only accused of, with little concern from the vast majority of the fans.  If Russell actually begins to fulfill his offensive promise, I doubt that they would trade him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 04, 2018, 10:45:47 pm
I finally read Mooney's piece on the Cubs and Russell.  There sure didn't seem to much substance to it, which I think is not terribly unusual for Mooney. Much of the article consists of Theo's quotes from his press conference after the end of the season.

Is it a surprise, given Theo's presumably carefully crafted comments, that the Cubs have not yet made any firm decision on Russell? I assume the Cubs are monitoring Russell's counseling and that they are in touch with his ex-wife, and sensitive to her own views on this. And that they are involved in considerable internal discussion about how to best respond to this situation, both as it directly relates to Russell and his ex, but also how to minimize the potential for this sort of thing in the future with other players.  I can't imagine otherwise.

Is there a scenario in which Russell might be welcomed back?  I imagine there is, however unlikely. Russell has already moved from a total denial of doing anything wrong to accepting the unpaid suspension without appeal. If the Cubs come to believe that Russell truly understands the seriousness of what he did, is genuinely repentant and seems determined to become a better man; and his ex-wife is supportive of the decision to give him another chance, then I could see the Cubs offering him a second chance.  Sometimes people do change, and Theo strikes me as someone who would want to be open to that.

I am confident that there is no one on this board who feels more strongly about domestic violence than I do, and as a general matter I think abusers tend to continue to be abusers. But even I am open to the potential that Russell could be an exception and I pretty much trust Theo and company to be exercise good judgment in determining the way forward with regard to Russell.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 05, 2018, 08:09:39 am
If it's OK for Russell to play for other teams, why isn't it OK for him to play for the Cubs?  If I were the Cubs, I would be concerned about whether Russell will be an asset baseball-wise, whether he is a significant risk to have another episode where he might be suspended for even longer, and whether he is a detriment in the clubhouse.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 05, 2018, 09:05:06 am
How much of Addison Russell's poor 2018 season was due to his finger and shoulder injuries and how much can be attributed to the pressure of his legal situation?

Assuming he is now healthy, it may come down to how well he is able to become his old self.   In this case, the potential reward is much greater than the risk.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 05, 2018, 09:12:56 am
Seems to me, in sports, if he can help the team, she had it coming.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 05, 2018, 10:30:56 am
Sahadev Sharma on the Cubs' off-season options.

https://theathletic.com/634635/2018/11/05/sharma-will-the-cubs-risk-closing-their-window-by-keeping-the-status-quo-this-offseason/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 05, 2018, 03:47:54 pm
If indeed the Cubs bring Russell back, it needs to be at 2B with Baez at SS.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 05, 2018, 04:45:15 pm
Russell is the better defensive SS.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 05, 2018, 04:48:09 pm
If Russell is back, it’s only to play well enough to build up a little trade value. The future at SS is Baez either way and the Cubs need to see just how much he elevates his defense playing there every day. He was already doing so by the end of last season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 05, 2018, 05:44:37 pm
Guessing that Cubs will try to find a trade partner for Russell this month--before tender deadline end of the month. 

Wonder if Royals would see value in taking on Russell--in a Merrifield deal?

Royals might like Happ too, with five years of control. Merrifield has four years of control, so think Happ, at five, might be more appealing to them than Schwarber, at three years of control.  Would rather keep Schwarber here in any case, especially with no Bryce.

Merrifield is 8.1 fWar guy over last two years and 9.3 bWAR. And, sometimes we overlook out-of-fashion things, like SBs--but Merrifield is an 80% base stealer and has led AL in steals two years running.  Would like that at top of Cubs lineup with a guy who also was #1 in AL in hits and #6 in doubles and BA. Don't really care about his minor league stats with two years running in majors with good performance and plenty of PAs.

Defensive Runs Saved has Merrifield with most in baseball at 2B over last two seasons, other than GG guys LeMahieu and Kinsler and Fielding Bible winner Wong. 

Think that trumps the zone chances stuff that Fangraphs notes "has fallen out of fashion over the years" in light of other, better stats, such as DRS.  In any case, if folks are like me and don't get to see KC much, probably better to just admit we don't know a whole lot about Merrifield defense with any confidence. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 05, 2018, 06:14:55 pm
Reb?  Reb?  We used to have a guy named Reb.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 05, 2018, 06:22:04 pm
I don't see any chance KC would take Happ and Russell for Merrifield, largely because right now I don't think Russell has any positive trade value.  If they would I'd make that deal in a heartbeat.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 05, 2018, 06:40:29 pm
Welcome back, Reb.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 05, 2018, 06:49:00 pm
Merrifield in 2076 iinnings at 2B has 13 DRS, which is the only advanced stat that likes his fielding.

Baez in 1203 has 10, Zobrist in 937 has 7 for comparison.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 05, 2018, 06:59:41 pm
#Cubs unlikely to add significant $ this offseason. Best chance for substantial change would be if they move a core piece such as Schwarber to address other needs.--Joel Sherman
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 05, 2018, 07:31:16 pm
Theo Epstein confirms the Cubs are digging into the Addison Russell case and feel a responsibility to get it right because "this happened on our watch." Epstein says: "Everything remains an open question."--Patrick Mooney
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 05, 2018, 07:50:40 pm
Biggest news so far is no extension for Joe and they won’t talk about until the end of the next season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 05, 2018, 07:59:07 pm
Insofar as Merrifield’s defense goes, we can’t use RZR. That tells us that Zobrist is a better 2B last two seasons than LeMahieu, Wong, and Baez. So, let’s discount that.

DRS says Merrifield has been better than Albies but not as good as the premier guys.

As I said before, you have to mix in some eyeballing scouting and would like to hear from anybody who has been watching Royals games regularly last two seasons.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 05, 2018, 08:09:43 pm
I don't see any chance KC would take Happ and Russell for Merrifield, largely because right now I don't think Russell has any positive trade value.  If they would I'd make that deal in a heartbeat.

Really hard to know about Russell value. If the perception is that 28 other teams don’t want him, period, or that Cubs will non-tender him in the end, then the one other club who maybe wants him will get him for next to nothing.

But, not so sure either is true. Mostly guesswork to know what the industry thinks at this point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 05, 2018, 08:30:30 pm
Insofar as Merrifield’s defense goes, we can’t use RZR. That tells us that Zobrist is a better 2B last two seasons than LeMahieu, Wong, and Baez. So, let’s discount that.

DRS says Merrifield has been better than Albies but not as good as the premier guys.

As I said before, you have to mix in some eyeballing scouting and would like to hear from anybody who has been watching Royals games regularly last two seasons.

Also worth considering that in a small but not minuscule sample size both scouts and advanced defensive metrics liked Merrifield's defense in CF pretty well.  And that could be his primary role as a Cub, depending on what else they might do this offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 05, 2018, 08:52:17 pm
This sounds like Theo is walking back his end-of-season press conference where he accurately defined the offense as "broken." I guess two years of dysfunctional offense and lack of development from several young hitters isn't enough to convince him that they need to make some changes. He'd fit in well on this board.

Gordon Wittenmyer @GDubCub
Theo says 2019 is big year for where team goes next/competitive window (for him, mgr player core): "I think we’re really talented. … It’s time to produce or else there’s a chance for significant change for the group. So that’s really where our focus is. … It’s a pivotal year."


Hopefully this is just posturing. This team will be hoping to sneak in to the playoffs through a wild card spot next year if they don't make significant changes to the offense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 05, 2018, 09:07:14 pm
Insofar as Merrifield’s defense goes, we can’t use RZR. That tells us that Zobrist is a better 2B last two seasons than LeMahieu, Wong, and Baez. So, let’s discount that.

DRS says Merrifield has been better than Albies but not as good as the premier guys.

As I said before, you have to mix in some eyeballing scouting and would like to hear from anybody who has been watching Royals games regularly last two seasons.

Tango Tiger runs a fan scouting report at his site and Fangraphs posts it.

Baez had a 77, 84, 73 overall the last 3 years
Zobrist 47, 54, 43
Merrifield 53, 58


Merrifield
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 05, 2018, 09:17:59 pm
Also worth considering that in a small but not minuscule sample size both scouts and advanced defensive metrics liked Merrifield's defense in CF pretty well.  And that could be his primary role as a Cub, depending on what else they might do this offseason.

They also liked Happ’s CF defense in 100 more innings than Merrifield in 2017. 
 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 05, 2018, 09:23:26 pm
Also worth considering that in a small but not minuscule sample size both scouts and advanced defensive metrics liked Merrifield's defense in CF pretty well.  And that could be his primary role as a Cub, depending on what else they might do this offseason.

It’s possible that Merrifield could have a Zobrist-Lite type career, without the HR power but more speed. Zobrist too didn’t become a major league regular until age 28. That would be optimistic. Zobrist is moving up the all-time 2B career bWAR totals—-ahead of a couple HOFers already (Schoendiest and Maz).  Of course we know Cubs brass values versatility.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 05, 2018, 09:25:23 pm
This sounds like Theo is walking back his end-of-season press conference where he accurately defined the offense as "broken." I guess two years of dysfunctional offense and lack of development from several young hitters isn't enough to convince him that they need to make some changes. He'd fit in well on this board.

Gordon Wittenmyer @GDubCub
Theo says 2019 is big year for where team goes next/competitive window (for him, mgr player core): "I think we’re really talented. … It’s time to produce or else there’s a chance for significant change for the group. So that’s really where our focus is. … It’s a pivotal year."


Hopefully this is just posturing. This team will be hoping to sneak in to the playoffs through a wild card spot next year if they don't make significant changes to the offense.

The quote was broken in the second half.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 05, 2018, 09:41:05 pm
One way the events of the past few weeks could be interpreted is that Theo has a lot less money to spend then he thought he did when he had that press conference.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 05, 2018, 09:45:43 pm
I'm highly skeptical about the speculation concerning Theo's plans for 2019.  He plays it close to the vest.  I'm looking forward to some significant moves.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 06, 2018, 12:11:59 am
I don't buy it.  This whole situation surrounding the Cubs is taking on the air of the surreal.  First Theo says things are broken and - quire testily by his standards - implies big changes are coming.  Now he says he's basically rolling with what he has but that the manager and the team are effectively on trial, and if things don't improve he's going to blow it up?

Don't care what anybody says - this is not normal.  And after what's gone down if the team does struggle next season things could get really ugly.  Management by ultimatum almost never works, and it seems very out of character for Theo.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 06, 2018, 02:45:01 am
I just read a few articles mentioning DJ LeMahieu as someone to keep an eye on.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 06, 2018, 07:43:49 am
Quote from: Bruce Miles
Speaking of LeMahieu, he might look good coming back to the Cubs, who traded him in December 2011 in a clunker of a deal that brought third baseman Ian Stewart to Chicago. Stewart played in only 55 games with the Cubs, batting .201 while LeMahieu is a two-time all-star.
Miles isn't doing anything more than thinking out loud and does not suggest a trade might be in the work.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 06, 2018, 08:52:24 am
and then we can go get that Brock guy and Joe Carter and Josh Donaldson and
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 06, 2018, 09:31:42 am
The quote was broken in the second half.

Quite often, people hear (and read) what they want to hear.  Saying the offense was broken in the second half is quite different than saying that the offense is broken (permanently).  I haven't seen the numbers, but I suspect that if Bryant and Contreras had years in 2018 similar to those in 2017, we wouldn't be talking about broken offenses.  And there is good reason to expect that both Bryant and Contreras will return to what has been typical performances prior to last year.  I don't think that this front office is planning to make MAJOR changes to the offense (Harper or Machado) unless the market drops to the point where they think it is a bargain, as happened with Darvish last year.

I think that they will be looking to add a middle-of-the-rotation starter (a Chatsworth type) and perhaps a mid-level offensive player such as Lemehieu, but I don't look for blockbuster moves unless one falls into their lap.

This team won 95 games last year with offensive problems that hopefully are non-recurring.  This is hardly the time to clean house.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on November 06, 2018, 09:43:16 am
Agree, DaveP.  Well said.  95 wins doesn't suggest it's time to "clean house" and the way I'm reading the tea leaves, Theo agrees.   In fact, just hearing a clip of what Theo said about "Addy," I think Theo will give him a shot to prove he's rehabilitated and provide him a 2nd chance.

One of the hard lessons MLB (and life) teaches is that change doesn't always work out to be better!

IF Bryant is Bryant going forward (as Theo believes he will be) and Contreras hits better next season (as Theo believes he will), the offense shouldn't be "broken" in 2019.  Seems to me Theo also believes Schwarber and Happ will be better next season, which feels realistic to me.

You have to give up something to get something.  I'd be thrilled if we sign Harper, but I'm not aware of all of the implications of making such a HUGE financial move.  Theo will be.  If we don't get Harper or another top player, I'll be sanguine in the knowledge that Theo looked at the situation 10 different ways and made a careful, reasonable assessment...which may turn out best or not. 

His crystal ball isn't perfect either.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 06, 2018, 09:45:26 am
Dave, don't think rotation of the caliber or magnitude of Chatwood last year. 
1.  They've already got 6:  Hamel, Lester, Quintana, Hendricks, and Darvish for rotation, Montgomery as #6. 
2.  Given other needs, they won't invest much of their limited resources towards rotation.
3.  Smyly seemed a nice fit as a contingency #7 starter, and to address the acute need for lefty reliever.  But they contract-dumped him to save $7M.  That suggests how little they want to spend on rotation depth. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 06, 2018, 09:50:57 am
Dave, don't think rotation of the caliber or magnitude of Chatwood last year. 
1.  They've already got 6:  Hamel, Lester, Quintana, Hendricks, and Darvish for rotation, Montgomery as #6. 
2.  Given other needs, they won't invest much of their limited resources towards rotation.
3.  Smyly seemed a nice fit as a contingency #7 starter, and to address the acute need for lefty reliever.  But they contract-dumped him to save $7M.  That suggests how little they want to spend on rotation depth. 

I'm guessing the Cubs hope that Albert Alzolay will provide some additional backup for the starting rotation.  Before his injury last year, wasn't that the expectation for 2018?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 06, 2018, 10:09:15 am
....His crystal ball isn't perfect either.

This may be true.  His crystal ball had Russell as a quality character and a middle-of-the-order hitter.   His crystal ball had (and perhaps still has) Schwarber as a really gifted hitter, whose competitiveness and will would make him a big-game star; rather than the player with perhaps historically bad in-the-clutch hitting productivity.  His ball had Almora's power developing into a good HR-hitter.  He foresaw Soler as a huge, middle-of-the-order impact bat.  Of course his ball had Heyward being a really good, asset hitter who'd hit with more power and productivity than in his St. Louis and Atlanta years.  And his crystal ball had each of Happ, Almora, Schwarber, Soler, Heyward, and Russell getting better and better as hitters with time. 

I kinda worry that Theo's talent-evaluation is somewhat cloudy, and that he's struggled to evaluate what the guys really are rather than what he'd once imagined them becoming.  That may also relate to the urgency perspective.  It may be that Happ, Schwarber, and Russell have a lot of trouble hitting strikes for reasons other than not trying hard enough or lacking urgency. 

That might also cloud perspective on roster-revision.  If you over-rate the talents of your guys, you may think at press-conference that you've got excellent trade value; but if the rest of baseball doesn't agree, you don't have the opportunity to restructure your roster the way you thought you'd be able to. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 06, 2018, 10:15:21 am
I'm guessing the Cubs hope that Albert Alzolay will provide some additional backup for the starting rotation.  Before his injury last year, wasn't that the expectation for 2018?

Agree, that was and is a hope.  That would really help, if he could emerge as a good pitcher and be available as needed.  Cubs really haven't had that yet during Hoyer's run with the Cubs; to have a capable prospect ready and waiting in case a need arises would be really fun.  I'd say the same could go for helping in relief, too.  **IF** he's a good pitcher, I don't see why he'd not perhaps be able to pick up some innings in relief if/when the need arises. 

That said, Adbert had a 4.76 ERA in Iowa, and was a lot worse than that after a couple of good outings at the beginning.  So he's probably got some significant improvement needed to become a big-league asset.  Hopefully that happens, creating some new talent from the farm could really change a lot. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 06, 2018, 10:44:10 am
This may be true.  His crystal ball had Russell as a quality character and a middle-of-the-order hitter.   His crystal ball had (and perhaps still has) Schwarber as a really gifted hitter, whose competitiveness and will would make him a big-game star; rather than the player with perhaps historically bad in-the-clutch hitting productivity.  His ball had Almora's power developing into a good HR-hitter.  He foresaw Soler as a huge, middle-of-the-order impact bat.  Of course his ball had Heyward being a really good, asset hitter who'd hit with more power and productivity than in his St. Louis and Atlanta years.  And his crystal ball had each of Happ, Almora, Schwarber, Soler, Heyward, and Russell getting better and better as hitters with time. 

I kinda worry that Theo's talent-evaluation is somewhat cloudy, and that he's struggled to evaluate what the guys really are rather than what he'd once imagined them becoming.  That may also relate to the urgency perspective.  It may be that Happ, Schwarber, and Russell have a lot of trouble hitting strikes for reasons other than not trying hard enough or lacking urgency. 

That might also cloud perspective on roster-revision.  If you over-rate the talents of your guys, you may think at press-conference that you've got excellent trade value; but if the rest of baseball doesn't agree, you don't have the opportunity to restructure your roster the way you thought you'd be able to. 

From the time Theo came to the Cubs he has cautioned that not all prospects will work out and that mistakes are inevitable.  It is truly astonishing that Cub prospects other than Soler (Baez, Almora, Bryant, Russell, Schwarber and Happ - not to mention Torres & Jimenez) have all worked out, either as decent/good major leaguers or as outright stars. That not all have or will become stars should be no surprise. I mean, really?

That Theo and his colleagues may have erred in some of their projections is certainly no surprise to them. It shouldn't be a surprise to any of us either. That's the nature of projections. And it certainly shouldn't diminish our appreciation of the extraordinary quality of talent in the front office.  Let's not over-react.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 06, 2018, 10:46:06 am
Other thought, is that I don't think they really anticipated spending the big money on Darvish last year.  I think the long-term plan had been to spend less then, and have more discretionary money available this year and going forward for the great FA crop.  But I wonder if to some extent they perceived an opportunity with Darvish, and decided to strike while the opportunity was there?  Even if that might mean taking themselves out of some of the big-ticket opportunities available now? 

They might have also anticipated producing a bundle of millions in playoff revenue, which didn't quite actualize with just one wildcard game? 

Yu was probably an "unplanned" big-ticket, and the same was probably true for Heyward?  By all accounts, Heyward was an unplanned, over-budget expenditure that required special approval from Crane K and Ricketts, etc..  But I think they just saw Heyward and Darvish as such unique opportunities that they maybe borrowed forward to get those guys that they liked so much, when opportunity unexpectedly opened itself. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 06, 2018, 12:59:50 pm
The Cubs just picked up a $20 million option on a pitcher and they are above the CBT, they aren't exactly being cheap.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 06, 2018, 01:17:27 pm
This may be true.  His crystal ball had Russell as a quality character and a middle-of-the-order hitter.   His crystal ball had (and perhaps still has) Schwarber as a really gifted hitter, whose competitiveness and will would make him a big-game star; rather than the player with perhaps historically bad in-the-clutch hitting productivity.  His ball had Almora's power developing into a good HR-hitter.  He foresaw Soler as a huge, middle-of-the-order impact bat.  Of course his ball had Heyward being a really good, asset hitter who'd hit with more power and productivity than in his St. Louis and Atlanta years.  And his crystal ball had each of Happ, Almora, Schwarber, Soler, Heyward, and Russell getting better and better as hitters with time. 

I kinda worry that Theo's talent-evaluation is somewhat cloudy, and that he's struggled to evaluate what the guys really are rather than what he'd once imagined them becoming.  That may also relate to the urgency perspective.  It may be that Happ, Schwarber, and Russell have a lot of trouble hitting strikes for reasons other than not trying hard enough or lacking urgency. 

That might also cloud perspective on roster-revision.  If you over-rate the talents of your guys, you may think at press-conference that you've got excellent trade value; but if the rest of baseball doesn't agree, you don't have the opportunity to restructure your roster the way you thought you'd be able to. 


You seem to believe that at the age of 24 - 26, these players have all reached their peak.  Believe it or not, some players actually get better after they pass the mid twenties.

Russell already WAS a middle of the order hitter, with 21 home runs and 95 RBIs at age 22 or so.  Last year he was plagued by injuries.  Will he return to his 2016 form?  I have no idea.  But it seems to be a little early to decide definitely that he will not.

I don't recall anyone with the expectation that Almora would develop into a power hitter.  As I see it, he is pretty much as was expected - a very good defensive center fielder with a decent offensive capability.  His career OPS is currently .738, not insubstantial for an excellent defensive center fielder, and again, occasionally, players actually get better after age 24.

Schwarber had an OPS of .823, and provided left handed power to a very weak lineup.  He has not performed as a superstar, but that is a pretty high bar to set for any prospect.  Of course, since he is 25, it is probably too late for his hitting to improve very much.

Happ should be written off, since after two seasons, he has yet to OPS higher than .842.  What hope could there possibly be for him.

They obviously missed on Soler, and Chatwood has been horrible, as well as some others.  I don't know of any front office that has not had their share of really big misses.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 06, 2018, 01:28:44 pm
I've seen several reports on Twitter today that the Mariners might be tearing down. Any fits there for the Cubs? Obviously Haniger and Diaz fit, but some of the reports say that those are the two players they plan to hold onto (and I don't think the Cubs could afford them anyway). Maybe Jean Segura? He'd make it that much easier to walk away from Russell.

There was also a new Twitter report today that the Diamondbacks are willing to listen on everyone, even Goldschmidt. Ketel Marte is somewhat interesting (in part because he helps make Russell go away), and David Peralta is probably a better fit than any of the second tier OF free agents.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 06, 2018, 01:43:21 pm
Arizona just exercised a $14.5 million team option on Paul Goldschmidt who will be a free agent after the 2019 season.  Goldy will not be in Harper or Machado territory in 2020 but he won't be far behind.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on November 06, 2018, 01:45:07 pm
He is a lot older then Machado or Harper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 06, 2018, 02:10:39 pm
Not very keen on trading Schwarber, so hoping trade conjecture about him is misplaced.

Very impressed how Schwarber improved his defense last season to better-than-decent. He’s basically a 3 WAR guy... and maybe some upside left? Would hold my cards with him.

But, not so impressed with Happ last year. Really frustrating watching him swing-and-miss on pitches IN the strike zone. Fangraphs Z-contact rate had him at about 70%. MLB average is about 85%. Worrisome when a guy isn’t making enough contact on strikes. Maybe he’s just guessing wrong too often and, granted, ball jumps off his bat on good contact but maybe let another club take on his upside—-which is there. With five years of control and versatility and power, would think has considerable trade value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 06, 2018, 02:20:33 pm
With all the limited payroll talk about Cubs, hard to know if they can actually add a $12-15 guy...but McCutcheon seems like maybe a good fit here. Maybe gets two years max somewhere?

Presuming that Cubs trade an OFer for other help, there would be an OF opening. Good clubhouse chemistry guy, gets on base, 20 HR power. Not a CFer anymore but think would be valuable in OF mix. Always liked him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 06, 2018, 02:54:13 pm
"McCutchen"
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 06, 2018, 02:56:38 pm
"McCutchen"

Thank you.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 06, 2018, 03:24:04 pm
..Fangraphs Z-contact rate had him at about 70%. MLB average is about 85%. Worrisome when a guy isn’t making enough contact on strikes. Maybe he’s just guessing wrong too often and, granted, ball jumps off his bat on good contact but maybe let another club take on his upside—-which is there. With five years of control and versatility and power, would think has considerable trade value.

Schwarber is 78.7% career Z-contact.  That's a problem area for him, too, although not as acute as with Happ.  Schwarber had a career year, at 80.8% it's his first year over 79.1%. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 06, 2018, 03:42:57 pm
I'm not sure how one can call Schwarber a 3 WAR player when he's at 2.7 for his entire career.

If you compare Schwarber and Happ's stats, their careers have started off in very similar fashion - almost eerily so, in fact.  One could make the case that having both of them is overkill,  and that Happ is the more valuable because of his defensive versatility.  I think it's very likely one of them will go this winter, but I'm not sure which one Theo would rather deal.  Depends on return, I suppose.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 06, 2018, 04:01:04 pm
Because there are multiple versions on WAR and you need to specify which one you are using.

By Fangraphs he had 3.2 fWAR last year and 6.6 for his career, Steamer projects him to 2.9 next year.  Adding up fWAR vs Win totals last year.  4 teams differed by 4 wins, 6 by 3 wins, 9 by 2 wins, 10 by 1 win and 9 had a 0 win difference.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 06, 2018, 04:51:15 pm
I wouldnt want to trade Schwarber or Happ.

I'd move Almora.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 06, 2018, 05:43:08 pm
Hoyer mentioned that the Cubs could still have some turnover.

According to Rogers Hickey hasn’t been confirmed to be back as pitching coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Robb on November 06, 2018, 11:48:17 pm
I wonder if anyone would bite on Yu Darvish? Moving him could give the flexibility the Cubs lack.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 07, 2018, 12:55:32 am
That’s not even a discussion. No one will take that contract until Yu shows he’s recovered from his elbow issues, and if he has it will look like a bargain.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Robb on November 07, 2018, 10:25:15 am
There are some rumblings that the Rangers would take him back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 07, 2018, 10:36:33 am
for 50 bucks in international money and we pay 100% of his salary?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 07, 2018, 12:07:22 pm
Bruce Levine @MLBBruceLevine
Baseball exec after some meetings with different teams . “ Cubs and White Sox are looking for bullpen help. Sox are seeking a starter who can bring some experience to their rotation .Cubs looking for versatility in position players”


A lot of responses to this on Twitter seem to think Marwin Gonzalez is going to be the "versatility" target, which would be pretty disappointing. He's not that good--he's basically the 2018 version of Ian Happ at the plate minus a few strikeouts--so he doesn't really move the needle on fixing the lineup.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 07, 2018, 12:19:28 pm
If Bryant and Contreras return to their previous levels, the lineup will largely be fixed.  I doubt that they are going to bring in any free agent or trade for anyone that will make a major impact on their lineup without that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 07, 2018, 12:32:51 pm
If the Cubs can't move Chatwood and he doesn't have a place in the starting rotation because the other five are healthy and ready to go, the Cubs have eight "salaried" relievers already, plus an out-of-options Allen Webster.

Chatwood, Tyler
Cishek, Steve
Duensing, Brian
Edwards, Carl Jr.
Kintzler, Brandon
Montgomery, Mike
Morrow, Brandon
Strop, Pedro

There will have to be some creative movement if they want to bring back Chavez and add someone else even on top of that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 07, 2018, 12:35:14 pm
Is Duensing still under contract?  Option or no option, I see Kintzler being released.  Tyler Chatwood may also have to be released and bite the bullet.  He doesn't have the control to be a reliever.  Offer him a spot in Iowa, and if doesn't want it, offer him his walking papers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 07, 2018, 12:40:53 pm
Yes, Brian Duensing is under contract for 2019 at $3.5.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 07, 2018, 12:41:59 pm
For your use.

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 07, 2018, 12:46:00 pm
Thanks, Jeff.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 07, 2018, 12:49:17 pm
Looks like Hickey may be out:

https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/11/07/yeesh-is-cubs-pitching-coach-jim-hickey-headed-out-the-door-too/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 07, 2018, 12:56:10 pm
heh.  I hear Bosio's available.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 07, 2018, 01:28:48 pm
Wow. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 07, 2018, 01:30:15 pm
I know Maddon's an old guy, and maybe tends to pick up old guys that he's had experience with way back when.  But I wonder if they might not want somebody younger, who's trying to climb? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 07, 2018, 01:32:16 pm
Could there be anything performance-based that would justify getting rid of Hickey?  Other than possibly the failure to get Chatwood on track?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 07, 2018, 01:40:38 pm
I listened to Jesse Rogers on ESPN 1000 about half an hour ago. He said again that he thinks Hickey is gone--he says the perception is that Hickey doesn't get the best out of pitchers. He's there to pat them on the back and go through the motions, but he's not engaged enough in trying to make pitchers better.

He also mentioned the Cubs are talking to a lot of teams about trades. He mentioned the Marlins and Mariners specifically (though it may be just because those are two teams that are known to be selling off).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 07, 2018, 01:47:55 pm
This is really dumb, and I should know this, but what are the contractual obligations to a salaried guy like Chatwood? 

Basically what I'm wondering is whether the Cubs can just plan to send Chatwood to Iowa?  And then only call him up if his Iowa performance justifies doing so?  Or no? 

He's obviously not going to walk away from his salary; and obviously nobody else is going to claim him **if** doing so would obligate them to pay his salary. 

Or if you try to send him to Iowa and Detroit claims him, would they only need to pay minimum, while the Cubs would have to pay the rest of his salary?  In which case sending him down might not be so easy, if you still think there's a chance he'll get fixed? 

If the Cubs can't move Chatwood and he doesn't have a place in the starting rotation because the other five are healthy and ready to go, the Cubs have eight "salaried" relievers already, plus an out-of-options Allen Webster.

Chatwood, Tyler
Cishek, Steve
Duensing, Brian
Edwards, Carl Jr.
Kintzler, Brandon
Montgomery, Mike
Morrow, Brandon
Strop, Pedro

There will have to be some creative movement if they want to bring back Chavez and add someone else even on top of that.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 07, 2018, 01:54:47 pm
Craig, this is the passage that applies to sending Chatwood to the minors.

https://www.thecubreporter.com/right-refuse-outright-assignment-or-elect-free-agency-if-outrighted

If the Cubs tried to do that, Chatwood could simply refuse.  If he refused, this paragraph kicks in:

If a player with Article XIX-A rights refuses an Outright Assignment but does not elect free-agency, the club must either retain the player on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), trade the player, or give the player his unconditional release.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 07, 2018, 02:03:30 pm
Perfect, thanks Jeff. 

So, if he declines and the Cubs give him his unconditional release, then the Cubs pay full salary?  So *IF* the Cardinals pick him up and fix him, the Cards would pay minimum, and the the Cubs would pay $24-25/2 instead slighly reduced from the full $26/2?? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 07, 2018, 02:04:32 pm
Yes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 07, 2018, 02:04:49 pm
https://670thescore.radio.com/cubs-search-bullpen-help-free-agency-gm-meetings
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 07, 2018, 03:52:45 pm
The Cubs should be less worried about finding guys who can play multiple positions and more worried about finding guys that can hit consistently.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 07, 2018, 04:14:35 pm
Bruce Levine @MLBBruceLevine
Baseball exec after some meetings with different teams . “ Cubs and White Sox are looking for bullpen help. Sox are seeking a starter who can bring some experience to their rotation .”



Quintana for Jimenez and Cease?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on November 07, 2018, 04:19:12 pm
Hell, let's throw in Kintzler as well...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 07, 2018, 05:04:02 pm
Think that Kintzler has a decent chance to be an asset in 2019. He has been a solid reliever three years running, except for his 18 IP with the Cubs—-with a good formula traditionally: low walks combined with low homers.

In those 18 innings, too many walks and too many homers (and a .380 BABIP). But, it’s still 18 IP, a third of a season. Not nothing but preceded by mostly pretty good work.

Maybe his style is out of fashion these days with all the power relievers around but, at this point, I think you go into 2019 opening day with him on the 25-man and see whether he will regain his usual form.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 07, 2018, 05:38:29 pm
Kintzler’s numbers with Washington last season were hardly scintillating either, though certainly better than after the trade.

I’d be happy if we took a flyer on him on a minimum deal. The problem is he’s getting 5 million and we’re apparently in a major payroll crunch.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 07, 2018, 06:16:52 pm
This front office is pretty creative, I’m hopeful they’ll be able to move Kintzler’s and Duensing’s contracts in a trade. They won’t get anything back, or it may be as a throw-in to offset another contract in a bigger deal. $5 million just isn’t that much on modern baseball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 07, 2018, 07:04:43 pm
Boras: "Addison is getting therapy. Addison is growing and understanding the responsibilities of his team, his league, his city. The learning curve of this is good for everybody. It’s been really, really good for Addison going forward.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 07, 2018, 07:31:37 pm
Translation: "Addison is a worthless, piece of **** ****.  Pay him!"
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 07, 2018, 07:40:07 pm
Did you feel this way about Aroldis Chapman in say November '16?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 07, 2018, 07:55:19 pm
I'm translating.  Try not to be a dope.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 07, 2018, 08:13:51 pm
How am I being a dope?

Its become OK around these parts to call me whatever anyone likes but what's dopish about my question?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 07, 2018, 08:17:18 pm
As a kid who's dad did smack his mom a few times but as a man who has never done it I just wonder if Addison was a little better baseball player would the hate here for him be as strong?

Remember that in her statement she never accused him of hitting her so does say giving her a good cussing every now and then and being unfaithful enough to merit hate especially when he's so mean to her she's rocking a Louis Vuiton purse,lady's Rolex,and driving an Escalade.

I bet all of our wives wish we mistreated them like that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 07, 2018, 08:24:59 pm
Actually, she was quite clear about him having hit her.

“The first time I was physically mistreated by my spouse, I was in shock,” Reidy-Russell wrote. “I couldn’t wrap my head around what just happened. … Why did he get so angry? What did I do for him to want to put his hands on me?"

If you want to be taken seriously around here, please try not to be worthless lying sack of ****.

No offense to you personally.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 07, 2018, 08:30:17 pm
OK I didnt see the part about him putting hands on her.

Ive never "lied" on this board even once.

Worthless and sack of **** is your opinion.

Something else I dont think Ive ever done enough to be called.

God bless you.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 07, 2018, 08:40:48 pm
Get serious.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 07, 2018, 08:44:44 pm
Whatever you say Brother.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 07, 2018, 08:55:41 pm
Glad to see you coming around!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2018, 06:22:48 am
You know, it's actually kind of surprising Maddon hasn't decided to bag this whole situation, considering he'd have no issues finding another job and how highly he thinks of himself.  Basically the offseason has been:


Theo says your team lacks urgency.
Theo says the team is "broken", then says a few weeks later he's basically going to roll with it.
The F.O. blows up the coaching purge you instigated and fires the guys you wanted brought in.
The F.O. not only refuses an extension, but says you'll be "evaluated" during the season.


For someone with Joe's pedigree this seems like a really untenable situation, a big blow to his pride at the very least.  If things don't start off well next season there's potential for them to go off the rails quickly and disastrously.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 08, 2018, 07:40:32 am
You know, it's actually kind of surprising Maddon hasn't decided to bag this whole situation, considering he'd have no issues finding another job and how highly he thinks of himself. 
Totally agree.  As I said a year or so ago:  "If you don't know how good he is, just ask him.  He'll tell you."  You see that attitude with the way he is answers some questions.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2018, 07:56:15 am
FIGJAM II.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 08, 2018, 05:34:50 pm
Bryce Harper reportedly spotted in Chicago & is supposed to attend the Blackhawks game tonight. In addition - there’s a picture going around of Harper’s name previewed at the United Center in a recruiting process for the White Sox. Unsure if Harper’s camp is meeting w/ Cubs too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2018, 05:40:53 pm
That's comedy gold.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 08, 2018, 05:46:44 pm
https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/cubs-considering-adding-veteran-backup-catcher-here-are-some-potential-fits-contreras-caratini-mccann-vogt?amp&__twitter_impression=true
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 08, 2018, 06:35:22 pm
Bleacher Nation suggests Dee Gordon could be a creative Cubs target this offseason (based on comments from Levine):

https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/11/08/could-dee-gordon-become-a-creative-cubs-trade-target-this-winter/

Getting creative with the Mariners to acquire one of their mid-priced middle infielders isn't a bad idea...but that mid-priced middle infielder who they should try to get is Jean Segura. We've talked some here about how Whit Merrifield could be a fit...but Segura is a similar (and more established) hitter who can play good defense at shortstop (as opposed to average defense at second base).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2018, 06:41:04 pm
Gordon was awful last year and his whole value is built around (eroding) speed.  Blech.

Rumors are just rumors, but the names the Cubs are being connected with (apart from Merrifield and Miller) are incredibly uninspiring.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 08, 2018, 06:47:49 pm
Im a fan of speed.

Im all for Gordon and keeping Gore.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 08, 2018, 06:48:48 pm
Just letting you all know a lot of what Im posting is just cut and paste from Twitter.

Not actually me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 08, 2018, 07:04:37 pm
Thanks for passing those rumors along, Dusty.  It's fun. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 08, 2018, 07:07:29 pm
Gordon was awful last year and his whole value is built around (eroding) speed.  Blech.

Rumors are just rumors, but the names the Cubs are being connected with (apart from Merrifield and Miller) are incredibly uninspiring.

Yeah...to be clear, Gordon would be awful. I don't know if I made that clear in my first post. He was awful this year.

I'd say Miller is pretty uninspiring too at this point. He looks like Cleveland may have broken him with his work loads in 2016-17.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on November 08, 2018, 07:17:39 pm
What if it was Gordon for Chatwood?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2018, 07:24:47 pm
Bleacher Nation was talking about either Chatwood (similar $ left, but would save the Cubs $3 million in AAV) or Heyward for him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2018, 07:32:21 pm
Yeah...to be clear, Gordon would be awful. I don't know if I made that clear in my first post. He was awful this year.

I'd say Miller is pretty uninspiring too at this point. He looks like Cleveland may have broken him with his work loads in 2016-17.

Yeah, that's possible.  But if the knee is healthy (a big if) I think there's a decent chance he returns to something close to his dominant form (which was about as good as it gets).  I'd be a lot more comfortable on a two-year deal, though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2018, 07:34:04 pm
What if it was Gordon for Chatwood?

I wouldn't make that deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 08, 2018, 07:37:40 pm
No way they’d take Heyward.

There was a lot of interest in Chatwood last year. Even though he was terrible last year, he clearly has great stuff. The Cubs should be able to find some non-contending team who is willing to take on half his contract to try to catch lightning in a bottle instead of spending similar money on Jeremy Hellickson.

Gordon is pure dead money. He’s a one tool player (at least on offense—I haven’t looked up his defensive stats). And his one tool is the one that seems to fade earliest. There’s a good chance he’s just be an expensive version of Gore at this point, which is a waste of a roster spot before September.

I’d rather take my chances that they could salvage more out of a pure dump of Chatwood.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 08, 2018, 09:15:55 pm
What if it was Gordon for Chatwood?

Gordon was a 3.6 fWAR guy in 2017. 200 hits, over 100 runs scored, 60 SBs. That’s a good season.

Of course—like Chatwood—was bad in 2018.

Kind of an interesting idea, actually, especially at a lower AAV for luxury tax. After all, talking bad contract for bad contract here. 

But, as a versatile bench guy, of course—-not as a regular. Depends what Cubs do, if anything, with some current guys because only room for three non-catcher bench guys. Would think might have more value than La Stella, for example, if that’s the choice.

If the same Chatwood shows up in 2019, you can’t use him in any role. I don’t know. Depends how badly want to get rid of Chatwood.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2018, 09:33:54 pm
Gordon 2017 is an example of what happens when a guy that depends on high BABIP doesn’t get it. In a bad contract swap as bench guy it could be worse. I’d at least consider him for Chatwood.

The Mariners really do have some interesting relievers outside of Diaz. Nicasio and Colome from the right side and Pazos from the left.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 08, 2018, 09:37:04 pm
Informative q and a from Jesse Rogers...

https://twitter.com/ESPNChiCubs/status/1060733892083113984?s=19
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 08, 2018, 10:02:06 pm
Gordon is precisely the type of player that ordinarily figures to have a high BABIP.

That’s his game. For example:

MLB average BABIP in 2018 was .296.

Gordon career BABIP is .338.

So, yes, some bad luck is going to impact his value (.304 BABIP in 2018).

But, generally, he figures to be way, way, higher BABIP than league average.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2018, 10:12:46 pm
His legs are going, and that's only going to get worse.  And they're really all he has.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 08, 2018, 10:19:37 pm
Jean Segura is also the type of player that ordinarily figures to have a high BABIP. And he's actually good. He also has defensive value, moderate power, and a below-average-but-acceptable-walk-rate to fall back on if he slows down. Dee Gordon has none of that.

If the Cubs are going to trade with the Mariners for a player with a contract they might be willing to move, target him. Otherwise, they have nothing to offer that the Cubs can afford and/or should want.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 08, 2018, 10:22:23 pm
Cub FO seems to respond to player exit interviews.  Chili is gone.  Hickey is gone.   Wonder if what they said about Maddon is the reason for no contract extension at this time.   I think the guys love a lot about him, but something's not 100% kosher.   Seems like blasphemy to wonder about it though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 08, 2018, 10:39:41 pm
If the Cubs are playing possum for Harper etc then they're doing a heck of a job because even other agents (not Boras) at the meetings don't believe they will be spending big.  Time will tell.--Jesse Rogers
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2018, 10:47:36 pm
Just because he’s fast doesn’t mean he is going to be a high BABIP hitter. He hits the ball on the ground and his average exit velocity is barely better than Billy Hamilton.

Of the top 30 BABIP leaders last year only 9 had an ISO below .150, only 3 had an ISO below or equal to .110. That was Matt Duffy, Lorenzo Cain and Mallex Smith.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2018, 10:58:02 pm
Jean Segura is also the type of player that ordinarily figures to have a high BABIP. And he's actually good. He also has defensive value, moderate power, and a below-average-but-acceptable-walk-rate to fall back on if he slows down.

I’d just like to point out that Almora has a higher career BB% and higher career ISO than Segura. Segura has had 2 positive UZR/150 in 7 seasons and 4 total DRS in his career. Almora already has 10.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2018, 11:02:55 pm
Segura also has 13 WAR over the past three seasons and 171 career SB, and he plays in one of the worst hitters parks in baseball.  He's much more valuable than Almora - not even close.  Playing at 2B would help his defensive numbers, too.

Sadly, I suspect all that would price him out of the Cubs' range as a trade candidate.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 08, 2018, 11:39:16 pm
Almora is a superstar. It's right around the corner (according to most of the people on BBF).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 09, 2018, 01:31:00 am
Just because he’s fast doesn’t mean he is going to be a high BABIP hitter. He hits the ball on the ground and his average exit velocity is barely better than Billy Hamilton.

Of the top 30 BABIP leaders last year only 9 had an ISO below .150, only 3 had an ISO below or equal to .110. That was Matt Duffy, Lorenzo Cain and Mallex Smith.


You are right that another very good way of having a high BABIP is to have really good iso power and hitting the ball hard.  But, it's not the only way.  There is another category of high BABIP guys who do it differently. Was referring to the latter when said this is Gordon's type of game.

Gordon is a high BABIP because he generally gets a ton of bunt and infield hits--which of course connects with speed. BR and Fangraphs have somewhat different calculations as to infield hits/bunt hits but, according to BR, 275 of Gordon's 977 career hits are infield hits/bunt hits, which is mind-boggling. Not saying that is the way to go, but it's a distinct category. 

Cain and Mallex Smith also get a lot of infield hits.  Other fast guys, like Trea Turner and Starling Marte get a lot of infield hits.  All have unusually high career BABIP.  Not saying that every speed guy is going to do that. But, there is a category of these guys.

In 2015, according to BR, Gordon had 57 infield/bunt hits.  The next highest guy had 38. Had even more in 2014. Last two seasons, he had 84 combined, according to BR. 

Not saying that Gordon is a good player for 2019.  Just saying that, for considering a trade of bad contracts, he might be a reasonable swap for Chatwood.  That is not a high bar.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 09, 2018, 01:48:22 am
It’s a higher bar than that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2018, 07:23:42 am
Almora is a superstar. It's right around the corner (according to most of the people on BBF).

Not saying that at all, Segura’s numbers aren’t great outside of his speed.

Segura also has 13 WAR over the past three seasons and 171 career SB, and he plays in one of the worst hitters parks in baseball.  He's much more valuable than Almora - not even close.  Playing at 2B would help his defensive numbers, too.

Segura played 2016 at second base and he wasn’t good there either. 0 DRS saved and -2.4 UZR/150. His fWAR the last 5 years is 0.1, 0.1, 5.1, 3.0, 3.8.

Gordon has only had more than 10 bunt hits 3 times in his career.  Last year he was 8/30. Infield hits are usually the definition of Luke.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 09, 2018, 08:22:40 am
I’d just like to point out that Almora has a higher career BB% and higher career ISO than Segura. Segura has had 2 positive UZR/150 in 7 seasons and 4 total DRS in his career. Almora already has 10.

Not only that, but the MLB really hamstrung Segura when they took away his strongest talent - the ability to steal first base.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 09, 2018, 08:27:04 am
Almora is a superstar. It's right around the corner (according to most of the people on BBF).

I don't read every post on BBF, so I may well have missed it.  Can you give us a few posts where the poster said that Almora is going to be a superstar?  It doesn't have to cover most people on the BBF, just a few.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on November 09, 2018, 08:54:21 am
Yeah, that won't happen...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 09, 2018, 10:12:00 am
Almora is a superstar. It's right around the corner (according to most of the people on BBF).

Actually, I don't know anyone who has claimed that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 09, 2018, 10:46:20 am
Maybe it was in purple.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2018, 11:15:40 am
I think I've claimed he can me a 3 WAR player with good defense and league average offense in CF.  I don't think that means he's a superstar.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 09, 2018, 11:29:08 am
It was CBJ!  Off with his head!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 09, 2018, 01:03:42 pm
Cubs open to trading 3B Kris Bryant
11:47 AM MT
Buster Olney
ESPN Senior Writer

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25226392/chicago-cubs-open-trading-3b-kris-bryant
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 09, 2018, 01:14:21 pm
Im a Cub fan. Im not a fan of any particular player. If we can **** somebody for 5 studs then send KB down the road.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on November 09, 2018, 01:16:53 pm
Is that article the first we have had of a possible disconnect between Chili Davis and Bryant?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on November 09, 2018, 01:23:02 pm
This would be the worst possible time to trade bryant... his value has never been lower. He's a super two guy going in for a huge raise with shoulder injury concerns.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: wmljohn on November 09, 2018, 02:14:13 pm
I am sure every team is "open" to trading every player on their roster.  The right price might not be feasible but they are open to it...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2018, 02:24:34 pm
The chances of the Cubs trading Bryant for so small it isn't even funny. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: vander-built on November 09, 2018, 02:26:10 pm
I was gonna post last night that they should consider this because KB will not be cheap and I wonder if a team like San Diego would overbid for him. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 09, 2018, 02:32:06 pm
Theo says nobody is untouchable, standard management-speak.  But says it's almost inconceivable to imagine an offer that would make sense for Rizzo or Bryant.  Both statements can be true. 

Putting the vague Davis quote in a Bryant article is suggestive.  But I'm not sure a national guy like Olney has any clue who was or was not not receptive to Chili'd adjustments.  Kris might have clicked and bought in more than anybody else, who knows?   

Although it is maybe easy to imagine Bryant as one who might not have bought in easily?  Bryant, his father and Mallee have had some thought-out ideas and concepts that have driven their approach, and that have some data to support them, and Bryant is a pretty intelligent, thoughtful guy.  I can well imagine Bryant might have some firm convictions, and be hesitant to necessarily buy into whatever the new coach-of-the-year says.  That said, Bryant started off the year really well, prior to the concussion and the shoulder injury; so perhaps the healthy Bryant bought in with Chili just fine, who knows?

Think Chili's got a fair point, though.  The Cubs don't have any new hitters, they are pretty much all multi-year veterans now.  Think the scouts know all the weaknesses, and that naturally teams have a way to pitch them and defend them now that wasn't as informed early in their careers.  Seems pretty natural that if they aren't able to adjust and punish, that things won't be as good or easy for some of the guys as when the guys were rookies.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 09, 2018, 03:04:09 pm
Another option for bad contract/bad contract swap for Chatwood??

Joel Sherman:

The Blue Jays are willing to eat a portion of the $20 million Russell Martin is owed in 2019 to facilitate a trade. Martin, though, turns 36 in February and is coming off a .194 season. Nevertheless, he still is a patient hitter with some pop who is thought of as a good leader and defender

Martin’s AAV luxury hit is $16.4—about $4 more than Chatwood. His contract ends in 2019. Could figure that $4 is cost of a backup catcher anyway.

Think that Cubs went after Martin some years ago when Martin hit free agency. Of course, not the same guy now. Might be a good tutor for Contreras on framing, etc. Still has plate discipline. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 09, 2018, 03:28:32 pm
I don't get the urgency to trade Chatwood for another bad contract.  I thought the whole idea was to trim the payroll?  If the money evens out just keep Chatwood and try to fix him - he has great stuff.

Some twitter buzz that the Cubs are trying to find a taker for Heyward by sweetening with prospects, but I'm highly skeptical.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 09, 2018, 03:30:44 pm
That'd be great.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 09, 2018, 03:46:31 pm
With Chatwood, I wonder what his psyche is, his mental toughness? 

We know he's got good stuff.  And we know the Cubs are pretty comfortable going with wild, inconsistent relievers.  And the Cubs think they've got awesome player development, even if that may be self-delusion when it comes to pitchers. 

Why they should maybe keep him:  His stuff is plenty good.  He might thrive as a short reliever, getting used several times a week.  A few tweaks to his delivery, some confidence, and you might have a very, very effective relief arm, capable of going >1 inning.  And *IF* he did get squared away, you might have a very desirable rotation-replacement, if/when injury necessitates.  Also think that obviously nobody is going to claim him and pay him.  So I think you've got a fair chance to send him to Iowa and let him regain his confidence, without needing to waste a roster-spot at the beginning.  (That chance depends on him not refusing to go, which of course he might.  That's partly where his mind-set and psyche and sense of Cub loyalty and trust, or lack thereof, factors.)

Why they shouldn't:  Not many Steve Blass recovery guys.  May think you've "fixed" it, but the second a pitch or two goes wild, that brain might be going "here we go again", and rebuilt confidence can vanish in a second.  So I think it may be much harder to get back to the bad-control Rockies version this second time than it was getting to anti-awful control originally.  He didn't have all these crazy bad memories originally.  Second, he may not have any Cub loyalty and trust.  They had all kinds of ideas to improve him when they got him; major fail.  And they had ideas to help him fix, also failed.  Plus obviously they lost trust in him; so it wouldn't be surprising if he'd see this as the worst place for him to be, and that he'd reject an Iowa assignment. 

Not sure what I think.  I kinda feel like trading him will just lock in a loser contract, and that you aren't really going to offset any signfiicant salary.  And that it might almost be best to give him another shot; that his chance of becoming useful, slim as that chance is, might almost be less slim than the bad-contract you'd need to take on in order to offload him?  If you release him in the spring and eat the contract, not sure that's really going to be any worse than taking on some bad contract and bad player instead. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 09, 2018, 03:55:39 pm
George Ofman

Verified account
 
@georgeofman
 2h2 hours ago
More
Just a better understanding regarding Bryant: He’s available because the Cubs believe he eventually won’t re-sign with them. Told there is an effort to deal him. Doesn’t mean it will happen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 09, 2018, 04:07:04 pm
If the Cubs trade Kris Bryant, I believe it will be to Colorado for Nolan Arenado plus.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 09, 2018, 04:20:02 pm
If the Cubs trade Kris Bryant, I believe it will be to Colorado for Nolan Arenado plus.

Interesting idea.

Maybe Arenado accepts the Cubs offer that Bryant declined—-and you have a trade with extension. Rockies get a three-year controlled guy (Bryant) for a one-year controlled guy (Arenado). Arenado used to be a Boras guy but switched to another agent, by the way.

Of course, alternatively, instead of a trade now, Cubs just keep Bryant, sign Arenado a year from now for that Bryant-declined money, and then trade two years of Bryant for something else good.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2018, 04:45:47 pm
Arenado in 2018
Home .347/.424/.681 wRC+ 161 ISO .333
Away .248/.325/.447 wRC+ 104 ISO .199

Career
Home .320/.374/.609 wRC+ 129 ISO .290
Away .263/.318/.469 wRC+ 108  ISO .206

Bryant Career
Home .279/.387/.541 wRC+ 148  ISO .262
Away .290/.384/.490  wRC+ 133 ISO .200

I'd have real reservations about Arenado outside of Coors.  I don't think he'd be as bad as his splits, but I don't think he would be anywhere close to an MVP candidate without Coors.  Trading Bryant is dumb.  Theo isn't dumb.  If he won't sign an extension or as a free agent you let him walk when his control is up.


Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 09, 2018, 04:49:22 pm
Ive been wrong as much or more than anyone here but Ive said before I thought Bryant would end up back in California.

If he indeed dont want to be here the earlier you trade him the more you get for him.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 09, 2018, 04:52:44 pm
I don’t think the Cubs will trade Bryant. But contrary to what was noted earlier, if they actually wanted to I think this might be the only time they could. If he was coming off a big season that would be an impossible sell to the fanbase.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2018, 04:53:31 pm
The Cubs should just go into a rebuild then.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 09, 2018, 05:35:36 pm
If a team with the Cubs’ resources goes into salary dump mode, fires its coaches two years running and sends its manager into the season with his head in a guillotine, lots of wild gossip is inevitable.  Most of these rumors are silly but they’ve brought it on themselves.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 09, 2018, 05:40:16 pm
If a team with the Cubs’ resources goes into salary dump mode, fires its coaches two years running and sends its manager into the season with his head in a guillotine, lots of wild gossip is inevitable.  Most of these rumors are silly but they’ve brought it on themselves.

"Salary dump mode."  Huh?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on November 09, 2018, 05:42:38 pm
Theo knows the window is OPEN right now (and will be through 2021)!

Assuming decent health, Cubs have a very solid starting rotation for 2019, at the least.

Theo is ALL IN on the next Cub Championship - sooner, rather than later! 

He's driving URGENCY throughout the organization...hope that works as well as most everything else he's done in his MLB career!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 09, 2018, 05:43:16 pm
"Salary dump mode."  Huh?

Either that or Academy Award mode, since they seem to have convinced every major agent that’s what’s going on. Could be an all-time fakeout, I suppose.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 09, 2018, 05:56:36 pm
Either that or Academy Award mode, since they seem to have convinced every major agent that’s what’s going on. Could be an all-time fakeout, I suppose.

Please provide examples of reports of "salary dump mode" by the Cubs.  That's not nearly the same thing as limiting how much their budget will increase.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2018, 06:18:32 pm
If the Cubs are dumping dollars shouldn’t the payroll be going down not up?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 09, 2018, 06:32:36 pm
I think self-limiting to no more than $40 over the luxury tax threshold is perfectly reasonable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 09, 2018, 08:28:22 pm
Theo isn't dumb.  If he won't sign an extension or as a free agent you let him walk when his control is up.

I hope Theo isn't that dumb.  The worst thing you can do is let a superstar (lets assume he becomes healthy) walk away as a free agent.

Any and all of them should be signed to an extension or traded in the off season before free agency.  At the very least, traded at the last year deadline.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2018, 08:42:52 pm
And if they are in the hunt for the World Series you would still tear the team down?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 09, 2018, 08:49:17 pm
There may come a point when, if you strongly believe a guy like Bryant won't re-sign, you look to deal him.  And it can be done without tearing down the team - if he rebounds to '17 form he'd have huge value, even with only a year left on his deal.  The issue is we're nowhere near that time yet, so he's not going anywhere.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2018, 09:15:43 pm
A healthy Bryant is a 6-7 WAR player. No team is going to give up a 6-7 WAR player with more control for him and the team will be less likely to win trading him away. The Nationals without Harper are a lot farther from a WS win than with him and no prospects would change that.

The only move that could be close would be trading Garciparra, but he was never elite after the trade again. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 09, 2018, 09:18:09 pm
Less likely, possibly.  But that's not synonymous with "tearing down".
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 10, 2018, 07:50:12 am
I was going through NSBB site and in the rumors thread Brad Weick was mentioned as somebody to possibly target. He’s a 6-9 lefty reliever with a 92 mph fastball and a plus curve. The Padres seem like a trade target to ship Russell of to and Weick+ some other pitching prospects would seem possible. The Padres will have a 40 man issues and som body like Chatwood might intrest them too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 10, 2018, 07:59:43 am
Wieck.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 10, 2018, 08:09:24 am
Theo says to a reporter: Who know where I'll be in two years?  I might get cancer and die.  I might retire altogether.

Next day the media reports: Epstein may have cancer which could force retirement.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 10, 2018, 08:52:39 am
And if they are in the hunt for the World Series you would still tear the team down?

If they don't let their assets walk away without getting good value in return, they will be in the hunt for the World Series every year.  A good example was Arrieta.  I was in favor if trading him the year before he became a free agent.  If they had traded him in the winter after the World Series, they could have gotten a haul that would be adding both offense and pitching to the upcoming years team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jimmer on November 10, 2018, 09:28:17 am
Is it possible the lack of a Joe Maddon extension is that Theo recognizes the window could close in 2019 if a lot of things go wrong and the cost to keep the core exceeds the value they would get in return? And so they do a mini rebuild in the offseason and think Joe is not the manager (or would want to at his age) for a rebuild.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 10, 2018, 09:33:31 am
Theo says to the media: Nobody’s untouchable, even Bryant.
Media says: Bryant on the block!
Cub fans say: Holy Sh!t!
Cardinal front office says: Let’s offer Wainwright and Cecil.  They fell for it once before.
Hoyer says: Wish I’d gotten that Frisco job.
This board says: We’re getting Arenado!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 10, 2018, 10:17:24 am
First, a Reb return, and now a Jimmer sighting!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 10, 2018, 10:48:10 am
First, a Reb return, and now a Jimmer sighting!

I am sure that is THE Jimmer's grandson.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 10, 2018, 11:10:31 am
Is it possible the lack of a Joe Maddon extension is that Theo recognizes the window could close in 2019 if a lot of things go wrong and the cost to keep the core exceeds the value they would get in return? And so they do a mini rebuild in the offseason and think Joe is not the manager (or would want to at his age) for a rebuild.

[/quote
If they don't let their assets walk away without getting good value in return, they will be in the hunt for the World Series every year.  A good example was Arrieta.  I was in favor if trading him the year before he became a free agent.  If they had traded him in the winter after the World Series, they could have gotten a haul that would be adding both offense and pitching to the upcoming years team.

That would have created another hole in the rotation that the Cubs would have had to fill that off season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 10, 2018, 11:28:46 am
I would rather fill that hole with a middle of the road pitcher for one year, and have strong new assets coming up in following years.  A good front office looks 3 to 5 years down the road, as well as the upcoming season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 10, 2018, 11:59:18 am
How often do teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers make trades like that? Pretty much never.

Big market, World Series contending teams don't need to weaken this year's team to get players who might help in 3-5 years when the team is not guaranteed to be a contender. They try to win the World Series this year. Future seasons are secondary. Tampa's and Oakland's front offices may need to run that way, but the Cubs should not be looking to marginally improve their farm system by taking a few wins away from the current team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Chris27 on November 10, 2018, 03:34:23 pm
but the Cubs should not be looking to marginally improve their farm system by taking a few wins away from the current team.


You must not think that much of Bryant's value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 10, 2018, 03:35:50 pm
I'm not talking about Bryant. That whole rumor was silly.

I was referring more to the suggestion that they should've traded Arrieta a year before free agency.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 10, 2018, 04:25:35 pm
The rumor of Harper’s value at the deadline was JB Bustakus, the Astros #15 prospect and a lottery ticket. Bryant might return a little more, but that is what you are looking to get in a Bryant trade at a deadline.

Trade him before that and you’d get more, but it turns the Cubs into what they were this year with an injured Bryant.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Chris27 on November 10, 2018, 04:55:00 pm
The rumor of Harper’s value at the deadline was JB Bustakus, the Astros #15 prospect and a lottery ticket. Bryant might return a little more, but that is what you are looking to get in a Bryant trade at a deadline.

Why only a little more? Harper would've been a three-month rental.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 10, 2018, 05:06:45 pm
I mentioned at the deadline.

Do people really think that a team like the Blue Jays is going to trade Vald Jr for him?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 10, 2018, 05:17:52 pm
At the deadline, the Cubs will still control Bryant for 2 1/2 more years. He'd be much, much more valuable than Harper.

The control the Cubs have left is the biggest reason the rumors were ridiculous from the start, though. The idea that the Cubs were shopping Bryant primarily because they were worried he wouldn't sign an extension in three years (at least I think that was the reasoning Olney or someone else presented) is ludicrous.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 10, 2018, 05:40:34 pm
I meant trading him when he has no control left at the deadline.

If you trade him now you aren’t getting a similar talent with more control. You keep Bryant and let him walk if he’s a free agent, he gives you the best chance to win.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 12, 2018, 10:54:56 am
Interesting perspective about the luxury tax:

https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/11/12/how-much-would-the-luxury-tax-actually-cost-the-cubs-at-a-260m-payroll/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 12, 2018, 12:17:41 pm
Interesting indeed.  Does he have a correct understanding of the facts? 
1.  He says the tax thresholds are $206, $226, and $246, with tax rates of 20%, 32%, and 42.5%. 
2.  Suppose you pay $256, which would be $10 over the top threshold but $50 over the bottom threshold.  Is his understanding that you'd pay 42.5% only on $10, 32% on $20, and 20% on $20?  Or would you actually get docked for 42.5% on all of the $50 that's above the original threshold? 

I assume he's right, just wanted to make sure it doesn't have sharper prohibitions on clearing the 2nd and 3rd thresholds. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 12, 2018, 12:20:02 pm
This requires a sharper finance man than I.  Jeff?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 12, 2018, 12:39:59 pm
The author's interpretation is correct.

Navigate to page 107.

http://www.mlbplayers.com/pdf9/5450407.pdf
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Robb on November 12, 2018, 12:48:49 pm
Fangraphs projects the Cubs at 88 wins next year before free agency and other moves. Interestingly enough, they project the Brewers to win only 80. I know these numbers are preliminary and are often lower than reality, but their stats do seem to show that the Brewers played well beyond their talent last year. We'll see if Yelich, Cain, Shaw, Santana, Aguilar and the rest can do it again.  https://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=Standings
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on November 12, 2018, 01:41:53 pm
Santana did not do much of anything for them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 12, 2018, 01:51:16 pm
Yelich in the second half
.367/.449/.770 for a 1.219 OPS.

In the first half he was .292/.364/.459 .823 OPS.  For his career he is .297/.375/.463.  Steamer is projecting .296/.380/.513.  That seems like a pretty reasonable projection for him moving from Marlins park to Miller.  I doubt Yelich is gonna keep preforming like steroid era Bonds.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 12, 2018, 10:15:55 pm
Mooney brings a dose of reality to the notion that Bryant could be traded and provides some spicy quotes from Theo.

https://theathletic.com/650125/2018/11/12/what-a-kris-bryant-trade-rumor-reveals-about-theo-epsteins-state-of-mind/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 12, 2018, 10:56:31 pm
Theo be wiggin' out.

One seriously gets the sense that Theo is feeling trapped at the moment - he has an idea in his head of what needs to happen but doesn't think he'll have the freedom to execute it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on November 12, 2018, 11:20:37 pm
I don't get the sense from the article that Theo feels trapped...more that:

Cubs (and Theo) have a 3-year window to get the job done again.

And it's GOTTA get done (one way or another)!!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 13, 2018, 09:51:24 am
Interesting perspective about the luxury tax:

https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/11/12/how-much-would-the-luxury-tax-actually-cost-the-cubs-at-a-260m-payroll/


The author seems to be dismissive of some of the most damaging effects of going over the spending limit.  Much of that is shown by the things that he leaves out of his article.

First, my understanding is that the penalties get stronger for each successive year that a team remains over the threshold.  If they sign Harper, for instance. for 30 million per year, it will NOT be for a one year contract, but for a large number of years.  And the salary cap problems will get worse rather than better for several years into the future.  The core of the team will go through more arbitrations, and will get more expensive, not less so.  The chances are overwhelming that their total salary will get higher, not lower, as the next few years progress, and the penalties get stronger and stronger.  I have not seen the details of the progressive penalties, but if he were going to allow us to evaluate the situation, he should have spelled out what happens in future years.

Second, it has been reported that an additional penalty for going and staying over the threshold is a severe reduction in money allowed to be spend in the International Free Agent market.  Some have indicated that this is a greater penalty than the reduction of draft choice slots.  It is difficult to assess the situation since he chose to omit this side of the argument.

From what I have seen in various reports, the actual money involved is not the primary issue.  It is the other penalties that he seems to dismiss as unimportant, but are probably extremely important to all teams.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 13, 2018, 12:10:26 pm
Still waiting for someone to dispel the information in the piece, that the Cubs have communicated to other teams they are prepared to listen to offers for Bryant -- and that's a shift from previous offseasons, not some general GM operating philosophy.-philosophy.--Olney
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2018, 01:16:03 pm
So Jessie Rogers went on Kap's show to defend Buster.

Kap asked Jessie what is the chance to Bryant gets traded before 2019?  Jessie's reply was 1/100.  The highest Jessie went to was 30% before he comes a free agent.  Click bait.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 13, 2018, 01:19:48 pm
1 in 100?  Wow.  He's out the door.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 13, 2018, 01:35:40 pm
Surprising that Olney is digging in his heels on this.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 02:01:44 pm
Yeah, it’s certainly overblown in the sense of anything happening with Bryant.

But, Buster’s report is not really inconsistent with 1/100 actual likelihood.

He’s reporting that Cubs are doing something different than before re. Bryant in talking to other clubs—perhaps bringing his name up when Cubs never did that ever before.

Is that newsworthy?

Yes, it is—so long as the report is from an actual known person (Buster) who is credible (yes) and has credible sources (yes).

Cubs are doing something different re. Bryant. Okay, fine.

As happens frequently, other people in the media and elsewhere put a gloss on the original report and maybe exaggerate or overstate it. Maybe the “doing something different” is so miniscule a change it’s not worth talking about. But, it’s Kris Bryant and it’s Hot Stove season.

Buster’s report, for me, is way, way, way more worthy of discussion that a report by a non-professional who knows somebody who knows somebody else and likely has zero expertise in accurately repeating what the somebody else claims they know or assessing the somebody’s credibility—-which is so worthless to hear I’d rather not hear it in the first place.

Buster is a pro, well-sourced, and knows how to accurately set forth what his credible source(s) said. So, it’s worth knowing. Seems to me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2018, 03:07:37 pm
If Buster would have said the Cubs are more open to listening on Bryant than they were before, but still extremely unlikely to trade him I could see that point.  The headline and the story sure left the impression that the Cubs were considering trading him than they actually are.  At 1/100 odds, it seems like a nonstory.  The headline was the real problem and even Rogers admitted that it was a fair criticism.

Plus Buster sources are from other FO people outside of the Cubs.  So it is still conjecture on their part about how open the Cubs are to trading Bryant.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 04:15:31 pm
Let’s remember: real journalists report facts.

The ultimate outcome—flowing from those facts—is often conjecture. It’s something different, that is, the likelihood of Y happening because of the fact of X.

Buster is reporting the X fact that Cubs are willing to discuss Bryant with other clubs in a way different than ever before. As he says, nobody has yet refuted that factual assertion.

Buster probably doesn’t know from his sources, as a factual matter, the likelihood of the Y outcome. Yes, he could have said in the story “extremely unlikely” or “very unlikely” or whatever, but he probably doesn’t have the facts here on that point one way or the other. As you say, his sources don’t know that likelihood of Y and so there’s nothing to report on that issue as a factual matter.

In some other trade stories generally, you might see the likely outcome reported.  Why? Because there are facts to draw that conclusion. Club A is close to trading Player B. But, here, no facts on that, so the Buster story is limited to the fact Cubs are willing to discuss in a way different than before. That’s the story.

As to the headline, “willing to discuss” from the story would have been better than “open to”—-it’s pretty close but not identical. Former is a bit softer. Don’t know how ESPN works, but in newspaper business the story writer doesn’t write the headline.... but the story is the story.

Bottom line is that the specific fact that Buster reported is, I think, newsworthy. If we want to know the degree of likelihood of a partcular outcome, we’ll have to wait to see if more facts emerge....or not.

 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2018, 04:49:29 pm
Let’s remember: real journalists report facts.

The ultimate outcome—flowing from those facts—is often conjecture. It’s something different, that is, the likelihood of Y happening because of the fact of X.

Buster is reporting the X fact that Cubs are willing to discuss Bryant with other clubs in a way different than ever before. As he says, nobody has yet refuted that factual assertion.

Buster probably doesn’t know from his sources, as a factual matter, the likelihood of the Y outcome.

Buster source for story is a front office person(s) from other teams.  It is their perception of the willingness to deal Bryant that is the basis for the story.  Since his source isn't in the Cubs front office he can't guess at an outcome.  That fact that Rogers contributed the only Cubs quotes to the story and puts of the odds of trade happening at 1/100, makes it pretty much a non-story.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: mO on November 13, 2018, 05:01:54 pm
We need chgojhawk to chime in and give us the real dope...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 13, 2018, 05:08:29 pm
...I'm not believing any of this until Mrs. Bryant's hairdresser's boyfriend's bartender fills us in.   Or is that chgojhawk?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 13, 2018, 05:18:15 pm
The Cubs would like Bryant to make a long term commitment to the Cubs at what is almost surely less money than he will make by waiting a few more years.  If he (reasonably) doesn't want to do so, the Cubs will seriously consider trading him down the road.  The time hasn't come yet, but that time is not that far away (perhaps as soon as after next season).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 05:38:35 pm
Buster source for story is a front office person(s) from other teams.  It is their perception of the willingness to deal Bryant that is the basis for the story.  Since his source isn't in the Cubs front office he can't guess at an outcome.  That fact that Rogers contributed the only Cubs quotes to the story and puts of the odds of trade happening at 1/100, makes it pretty much a non-story.

The basis of the story is what the Cubs are saying to other clubs. Don't think Buster is going to write that story just on somebody's conjecture. Whats somebody SAID is a fact.  CBJ said this or said that.  Words were said.  One can report something based on what somebody said, obviously. 

Those words--presumably told to Buster--maybe the exact words or maybe a characterization of what was said---that's the basis of Buster's report.  They are telling clubs they are willing to discuss. That's a new fact.  If Buster's story is based on nothing the Cubs actually said to anybody, I would be very disappointed in his reporting.  Doubt that is true.

Cubs did not address Buster's story in any specific way which, of course, nobody would expect them to do. 

I think the reaction to the story is overblown to the extent folks are reading more into it than was actually reported.  But, even if its 1/100, can still speculate about a trade return.  We've done that here before on less than 1/100.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on November 13, 2018, 05:43:19 pm
Fine, then let’s discuss some prospective trade parameters...anyone have any proposals?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 05:44:38 pm
The Cubs would like Bryant to make a long term commitment to the Cubs at what is almost surely less money than he will make by waiting a few more years.  If he (reasonably) doesn't want to do so, the Cubs will seriously consider trading him down the road.  The time hasn't come yet, but that time is not that far away (perhaps as soon as after next season).

Jeff speculated about Arenado.  One can debate the merits of that, but that would be the kind of trade if it happened this off-season---for the reasons discussed here previously.  Can't imagine they would trade Bryant for prospects.  There is some logic there based on Arenado's pending free agency and perhaps willingness to accept what Bryant turned down.

Speculation, not fact.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on November 13, 2018, 05:44:50 pm
The basis of the story is what the Cubs are saying to other clubs. Don't think Buster is going to write that story just on somebody's conjecture. Whats somebody SAID is a fact.  CBJ said this or said that.  Words were said.  One can report something based on what somebody said, obviously. 

Those words--presumably told to Buster--maybe the exact words or maybe a characterization of what was said---that's the basis of Buster's report.  They are telling clubs they are willing to discuss. That's a new fact.  If Buster's story is based on nothing the Cubs actually said to anybody, I would be very disappointed in his reporting.  Doubt that is true.

Cubs did not address Buster's story in any specific way which, of course, nobody would expect them to do. 

I think the reaction to the story is overblown to the extent folks are reading more into it than was actually reported.  But, even if its 1/100, can still speculate about a trade return.  We've done that here before on less than 1/100.

You use a lot of words.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 05:55:50 pm
You use a lot of words.

That’s a fact.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 13, 2018, 06:00:37 pm
You could have said:  "True".
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: chgojhawk on November 13, 2018, 06:01:49 pm
Appreciate the confidence!  I owe a phone call anyhow so I will see what I can find out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 13, 2018, 06:10:07 pm
You could have said:  "True".
I don't disagree with that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2018, 06:27:29 pm
Words can have interruptions which can result in widely different meanings to people.

I highly doubt Buster was getting a blow by blow account of trade discussions. Listen to Jeff Passan on the Effectivley Wild podcast discussing trade rumors.  A lot of trade talk is occurring over text messages and the reporters are getting rumors from people on the fringes of trade talk. You aren’t getting Theo on the phone. I doubt Buster’s sources are any better than than Passan’s.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 13, 2018, 06:29:37 pm
Buster is reporting the X fact that Cubs are willing to discuss Bryant with other clubs in a way different than ever before. As he says, nobody has yet refuted that factual assertion.

Buster probably doesn’t know from his sources, as a factual matter, the likelihood of the Y outcome. Yes, he could have said in the story “extremely unlikely” or “very unlikely” or whatever, but he probably doesn’t have the facts here on that point one way or the other. As you say, his sources don’t know that likelihood of Y and so there’s nothing to report on that issue as a factual matter.

In some other trade stories generally, you might see the likely outcome reported.  Why? Because there are facts to draw that conclusion. Club A is close to trading Player B. But, here, no facts on that, so the Buster story is limited to the fact Cubs are willing to discuss in a way different than before. That’s the story.

As to the headline, “willing to discuss” from the story would have been better than “open to”—-it’s pretty close but not identical. Former is a bit softer. Don’t know how ESPN works, but in newspaper business the story writer doesn’t write the headline.... but the story is the story.

Bottom line is that the specific fact that Buster reported is, I think, newsworthy. If we want to know the degree of likelihood of a partcular outcome, we’ll have to wait to see if more facts emerge....or not.

My understanding is that the Olney quote was "the Cubs have indicated to other teams they are willing to discuss trade proposals for almost all of the players on their roster, including Bryant."  That statement does not say anything about the Cubs' position on Bryant having changed.  Did he say something else?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 07:45:50 pm
Twitter.

Still waiting for someone to dispel the information in the piece, that the Cubs have communicated to other teams they are prepared to listen to offers for Bryant -- and that's a shift from previous offseasons, not some general GM operating philosophy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 07:49:58 pm
Words can have interruptions which can result in widely different meanings to people.

I highly doubt Buster was getting a blow by blow account of trade discussions. Listen to Jeff Passan on the Effectivley Wild podcast discussing trade rumors.  A lot of trade talk is occurring over text messages and the reporters are getting rumors from people on the fringes of trade talk. You aren’t getting Theo on the phone. I doubt Buster’s sources are any better than than Passan’s.

What did Passan report about Bryant that’s different than what Buster said?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on November 13, 2018, 08:13:39 pm
Quote
Words can have interruptions which can result in widely different meanings to people.

You meant interpretations, right?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2018, 08:27:13 pm
You meant interpretations, right?

Auto correct on the phone, but yes.

What did Passan report about Bryant that’s different than what Buster said?

Passan was talking about the process of breaking rumors and trades, no one is getting this from the GM level.  Sherman, Passan and even Nightengale have been silent on Bryant/trades.  Heyman agreeing with Mooney's article is the only national guy talking about it.  Buster/Rogers are on an island by themselves.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 08:50:11 pm
Auto correct on the phone, but yes.

Passan was talking about the process of breaking rumors and trades, no one is getting this from the GM level.

So, Passan is not doing any reporting so far about Bryant. Buster IS doing reporting about Bryant. Therefore, it follows that there is no factual conflict about “interpreting” anything regarding Bryant, between Buster and Passan.

No clue about Buster’s actual sources but he’s a professional with a lot of good sources and many years of credibility regardng how to report a story. I think he knows how to report what somebody says to him and whether that source is in a position to know. That’s what journalists do. If it was a non-professional who knows a guy who knows a guy, then I’m with you.

You don’t have to have a source at the very top of the food chain to have an accurate, credible story. Not the way that journalism works when the top guy isn’t talking.

I get the notion that there’s been too much hoopla about this story given the unlikelihood of a trade. But, I don’t get the notion that there’s something inaccurate or not credible about Buster’s story.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 13, 2018, 08:57:59 pm
Fun hypothetical.

Would you trade Bryant, Quintana/Montgomery (whichever one Colorado wanted), and maybe a small "plus" for Arenado, Dahl, and Gray?

Would your answer change depending upon whether Arenado signed a "Cubs friendly" extension?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 13, 2018, 09:14:42 pm
Twitter.

Still waiting for someone to dispel the information in the piece, that the Cubs have communicated to other teams they are prepared to listen to offers for Bryant -- and that's a shift from previous offseasons, not some general GM operating philosophy.

Reb - I'm not trying to be difficult here, but it isn't clear to me that this is any change from the past. "Communicated to other teams" isn't so far as I know how Olney characterized this "news."  If other teams have asked whether the Cubs would be willing to discuss Bryant, and Theo failed to say "no," then Olney's specific statement that"the Cubs have indicated to other teams they are willing to discuss trade proposals for almost all of the players on their roster, including Bryant" 'would both be accurate, and not necessarily represent a change from the past.

Did Olney specifically claim that there was a change in position?  Do we know that Theo has refused to even listen to interest in Bryant in the past.  It's a serious question, as I have no way of knowing one way or the other.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 09:23:46 pm
Reb - I'm not trying to be difficult here, but it isn't clear to me that this is any change from the past. Did Olney specifically claim this?  Do we know that Theo has refused to even listen to interest in Bryant in the past.  It's a serious question, as I have no way of knowing one way or the other.

Buster says a “shift from previous offseasons.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 13, 2018, 09:24:51 pm
Buster says a “shift from previous offseasons.”

OK. Thanks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 13, 2018, 09:24:55 pm
I'd do it if Arenado signed an extension.

I read a story a week or so ago that said the Cubs coveted Arenado and favored waiting on him over Harper or Machado.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 09:56:49 pm
Ron- One more on Twitter/Facebook:

Bruce Levine (to Buster):

The question is who would trade real market value for a player who is coming off a shoulder injury and missed 70 games.

Buster (to Levine):

Guess you'll never know unless you encourage other teams to make offers, if interested. Which is what they've done.

As an aside, the notion that silence by some other national reporters about Buster's report is somehow a refutation of Buster's report is misplaced. Lot of reasons why that might happen:   they have nothing to add or subtract from Buster's report; or Buster has different sources or maybe they don't think it's worth reporting about in the first place, or other reasons.  And Mooney doesn't really contradict anything in Buster's story factually, as Buster never said Bryant will or won't be traded. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2018, 09:58:43 pm
So, Passan is not doing any reporting so far about Bryant. Buster IS doing reporting about Bryant. Therefore, it follows that there is no factual conflict about “interpreting” anything regarding Bryant, between Buster and Passan.

No clue about Buster’s actual sources but he’s a professional with a lot of good sources and many years of credibility regardng how to report a story. I think he knows how to report what somebody says to him and whether that source is in a position to know. That’s what journalists do. If it was a non-professional who knows a guy who knows a guy, then I’m with you.

You don’t have to have a source at the very top of the food chain to have an accurate, credible story. Not the way that journalism works when the top guy isn’t talking.

I get the notion that there’s been too much hoopla about this story given the unlikelihood of a trade. But, I don’t get the notion that there’s something inaccurate or not credible about Buster’s story.



IF the Cubs were actively listening on Bryant it would be a much bigger story.  Passan, Heyman, Nightengale would all be writing and tweeting about it.  The local Cub reporters would be going nuts. 

The non-professional guy with an acutal source might have better info.  Reporters aren't getting a blow by blow account of trade talks.  They are getting bits and pieces and they are getting it from people down the food chain. 

To tag onto a later post it would be more accurate to say another team(s) believe the Cubs have a change in their approach to talks about Bryant.  As no Cub source has deviated from we have no untouchables.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 13, 2018, 10:03:11 pm
Just a thought: maybe this stuff got out there because the Cubs wanted Bryant to hear it.

Olney never struck me as the sort of reporter who pulled stuff out of thin air just to get a headline.  He’s always been fairly conservative when it comes to rumors, seems to me.  He’s wrong a lot because they all are, but he’s better connected than most.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2018, 10:18:36 pm
Buster Olney
@Buster_ESPN
 11h11 hours ago
More
It's all part of the business and the talks that go on between teams. There is nuance to the conversations between execs. It doesn't mean they're trading him; it doesn't mean they're intent on trading him. But they're making an assessment of what's possible.
@Buster_ESPN
 11h11 hours ago
More
Replying to @pnutfinger
1. There aren't a lot of ways they feel like they can get younger/better for 2019. One of those might be a Bryant deal; they'll never know unless they gather info/hear offers.
2. Bryant/CHC haven't reached a long-term deal. if they had, they wouldn't talk KB trade at all.

Buster Olney

Verified account
 
@Buster_ESPN
 11h11 hours ago
More
Replying to @pnutfinger
1. You have no idea if they might get better until you see what's possible. What if the Padres offered them a great, overpay package of young players?
2. You just provided context for convos -- if the Cubs believe, as you do, that he'll be a FA, then yes, they'll listen.

Pavel Dovsky

 
@Pavdov10
 11h11 hours ago
More
Or the Rays with Archer, White Sox with Sale, Dbacks now with Goldschmidt. Yawn.
Buster Olney

Verified account
 
@Buster_ESPN
Following Following @Buster_ESPN
More
Replying to @Pavdov10 @pnutfinger
Exactly.

So let's unpack Buster on twitter.

He's implying the Cubs are actively shopping Bryant.  If this was happening this would be a much bigger story with National/Local guys being all over it.

The Padres offer Tatis, Gore etc..  Make it a real overpay.  It still makes the 2019 Cubs, even if they sign Machado/Harper to replace him worse.  Even with an injury plagued 2018.  Here is the fWAR leaders ahead of Bryant from 2015-18.  Bryant has 23.1 fWAR.  Trout 35.6, Betts 28.7, Altuve 23.7.
The Rays/White Sox/Dbacks aren't in the group of teams competing for a World Series.  If the Cubs trade Bryant they might as well just rebuild.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 10:20:32 pm
....To tag onto a later post it would be more accurate to say another team(s) believe the Cubs have a change in their approach to talks about Bryant.  As no Cub source has deviated from we have no untouchables.

You keep saying that it's only some kind of subjective "belief" by the source...but that is highly unlikely given Buster's professionalism.  A good journalist is going to press for details to his source(s):  what did they say to you, specifically.  Tell me the words.  who said it.  Directly or what format?

If somebody is only giving some kind of "belief" divorced from facts, rather than relaying what Cubs are actually saying, Buster is not going to find that worthy of a story, I'm confident.   

Buster is saying Cubs are encouraging clubs to make an offer, if the club wants to.  They've never done that before, he says, which strikes me as very likely true.  Would they do that a year ago?  Can't imagine.

As to Cubs "actively listening"---Buster is not saying they have anything to listen to, yet.  Says encouraging to make an offer if clubs interested.  Maybe (probably), nothing heats up for local guys to report about.  It's the difference between soliciting an offer and actually having an offer to actively consider.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 13, 2018, 10:21:22 pm
Just a thought: maybe this stuff got out there because the Cubs wanted Bryant to hear it.

Good point.  Guy totally trusts his agent to do whatever agent deems best.  But maybe guy really likes it here, and doesn't actually want to go.  Perhaps some media that if you want to stay, you may want to communicate that to your agent, and have a voice in where your career and contract goes?

Some other thoughts:
1.  Is it possible that Theo who wants all the passion and urgency and wants guys trying harder, thinks Bryant is too quiet and calm?  Not quite the urgency and fire that Theo ideally prefers in the clubhouse?  Too much nice, not enough fire?
2.  Is it possible that Theo thinks, as Chili expressed re some Cub hitters, that pitchers have a method against Bryant, and that Bryant may never be able to hit HR's like the 39 he hit in 2016? 
3.  Is it possible that Theo is concerned that Kris will now need to stick with the two-handed follow-through to stay healthy; and that if so that he may not have MVP 39-HR-power again? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2018, 10:29:00 pm
From Mooney
"To be clear, sources said the Cubs aren’t shopping Bryant or planning to deal him as the first move that completely reimagines this team. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein already issued denials to the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, dismissing last week’s ESPN report and signaling the Cubs will continue building around Bryant."

"Tribune baseball columnist Paul Sullivan pressed Epstein with another follow-up question: But do you want some players to maybe think “I better get my **** together” this offseason?

No, I don’t believe in sending messages through the media,” Epstein said. “Or your exact quote was ‘I better get my **** together’ or something. I don’t believe in that. I just believe in communicating — not in the media — directly with players about where we think they should be at in their careers. And validate the things we’re doing really well and identify things they need to do better and try to work with them to make sure that happens."
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 13, 2018, 10:31:10 pm
Good point.  Guy totally trusts his agent to do whatever agent deems best.  But maybe guy really likes it here, and doesn't actually want to go.  Perhaps some media that if you want to stay, you may want to communicate that to your agent, and have a voice in where your career and contract goes?

Some other thoughts:
1.  Is it possible that Theo who wants all the passion and urgency and wants guys trying harder, thinks Bryant is too quiet and calm?  Not quite the urgency and fire that Theo ideally prefers in the clubhouse?  Too much nice, not enough fire?
2.  Is it possible that Theo thinks, as Chili expressed re some Cub hitters, that pitchers have a method against Bryant, and that Bryant may never be able to hit HR's like the 39 he hit in 2016? 
3.  Is it possible that Theo is concerned that Kris will now need to stick with the two-handed follow-through to stay healthy; and that if so that he may not have MVP 39-HR-power again? 

1. Yes/yes/yes
2. Probably not
3. Yes

IMHO...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 13, 2018, 10:33:07 pm
From Mooney
"To be clear, sources said the Cubs aren’t shopping Bryant or planning to deal him as the first move that completely reimagines this team. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein already issued denials to the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, dismissing last week’s ESPN report and signaling the Cubs will continue building around Bryant."

"Tribune baseball columnist Paul Sullivan pressed Epstein with another follow-up question: But do you want some players to maybe think “I better get my **** together” this offseason?

No, I don’t believe in sending messages through the media,” Epstein said. “Or your exact quote was ‘I better get my **** together’ or something. I don’t believe in that. I just believe in communicating — not in the media — directly with players about where we think they should be at in their careers. And validate the things we’re doing really well and identify things they need to do better and try to work with them to make sure that happens."

Because of course if Theo were sending a message through the media he’d admit it...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 10:33:31 pm
Buster isn't saying or implying "actively shopping" Bryant. 

If he was saying that, he wouldn't have said:  "it doesn't mean they're intent on trading him." 

He is saying Cubs are encouraging clubs to make an offer, if the other clubs see fit to do that.  Then, if they get an offer(s), they'll evaluate the offer and have discussions about it.  To me, "actively shopping" means the club wants to move the guy and will do so if get near 100 cents on the dollar.

In previous years, they have not encouraged anybody to make an offer.  That's the difference.

When you say "actively shopping," that is the kind of gloss I referred to previously that is beyond what Buster is reporting. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2018, 10:37:55 pm
Some other thoughts:
1.  Is it possible that Theo who wants all the passion and urgency and wants guys trying harder, thinks Bryant is too quiet and calm?  Not quite the urgency and fire that Theo ideally prefers in the clubhouse?  Too much nice, not enough fire?
2.  Is it possible that Theo thinks, as Chili expressed re some Cub hitters, that pitchers have a method against Bryant, and that Bryant may never be able to hit HR's like the 39 he hit in 2016? 
3.  Is it possible that Theo is concerned that Kris will now need to stick with the two-handed follow-through to stay healthy; and that if so that he may not have MVP 39-HR-power again? 

1) Maybe, but I kinda doubt it
2.) Bryant before the injury had more walks than strike outs and was hitting for power.  He was amazing.
3.) In another pitch to why the Athletic is better.  Sharma had an excellent piece on hitters with shoulder injuries similar to Bryant and how they did the next year.  The returned to their previous career norms.  As longs as Bryant doesn't need surgery he will be fine.  If he needed surgery it would be a much bigger issue.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 10:42:11 pm
Regarding Jeff's hypothetical trade with Rockies--have read that Rockies are crazy about Dahl, love him. So, can't see that. Talk about a Coors home field guy.  His splits are WIDE.

Arenado, including what Dusty noted, I could see that a year from now when Arenado hits free agency.  (Or, even now if Arenado signed an extension).  CBJ has raised legit points about his home/road but think we can all agree that Arenado is a wonderful player.  Think he's near the top end of the most likely future HOFers among the younger guys around today. So, when Bryant is two years away from FA a year from now---could see going after Arenado.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2018, 10:53:31 pm
Buster isn't saying or implying "actively shopping" Bryant. 

If he was saying that, he wouldn't have said:  "it doesn't mean they're intent on trading him." 

He is saying Cubs are encouraging clubs to make an offer, if the other clubs see fit to do that.  Then, if they get an offer(s), they'll evaluate the offer and have discussions about it.  To me, "actively shopping" means the club wants to move the guy and will do so if get near 100 cents on the dollar.

In previous years, they have not encouraged anybody to make an offer.  That's the difference.

When you say "actively shopping," that is the kind of gloss I referred to previously that is beyond what Buster is reporting. 

What would you call "encouraging offers?"  That is more than passively listening.  Encouraging offers is a far more active stance for the Cubs front office. 
Buster probably said that they weren't intent on trading him as CYA. If the Cubs don't trade Bryant, and World Series contenders don't trade Bryant level players, he would get this thrown back at him constantly.  He now has an out of saying, I never said they were actually going to do it.

Because of course if Theo were sending a message through the media he’d admit it...

Theo truly is an evil genius, he got another front office to leak that the Cubs where shopping Bryant to light a fire under Bryant.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 11:02:35 pm
Look, Bryant is a great player.  His fire and passion? Come on, give me a break. And, no, pitchers have not figured out how to solve him. And, no, we don't know with certainty that the shoulder will be fine. Very likely will be fine, but can't know for sure. Not much in baseball is for sure.  All, basically, non-issues, I think, regarding the off-season.

Whatever Cubs are actually contemplating as to Bryant and his future Cubs tenure---Cubs are going to school on the Bryce Harper situation playing out today.  Boras, check, great players, check, current club loves the player, check, current club willing to go over the luxury tax,check. Now, Nats very, very likely to see Harper leave. Bryant, check, three years from now say goodbye? 

So, clubs out there, make me an offer on Bryant.  See what's out there.  If there's a good baseball move at some point (including signing Arenado to play 3B a year from now), Cubs want to know their options. Different than a year ago because we're getting closer to Bryant FA and Cubs have not won the World Series two years running...and that's too long for the New Cubs Tradition.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 13, 2018, 11:06:30 pm

Good point.  Guy totally trusts his agent to do whatever agent deems best.  But maybe guy really likes it here, and doesn't actually want to go.  Perhaps some media that if you want to stay, you may want to communicate that to your agent, and have a voice in where your career and contract goes?


Some other thoughts:
1.  Is it possible that Theo who wants all the passion and urgency and wants guys trying harder, thinks Bryant is too quiet and calm?  Not quite the urgency and fire that Theo ideally prefers in the clubhouse?  Too much nice, not enough fire?
2.  Is it possible that Theo thinks, as Chili expressed re some Cub hitters, that pitchers have a method against Bryant, and that Bryant may never be able to hit HR's like the 39 he hit in 2016? 
3.  Is it possible that Theo is concerned that Kris will now need to stick with the two-handed follow-through to stay healthy; and that if so that he may not have MVP 39-HR-power again? 
1. No. Theo isn't going to expect everybody to have a big voice.  No one questions Bryant's devotion and hard work.
2. No. Chili got fired. He's the guy who Theo decided needed to go, not Bryant. Theo has never waivered from "launch angle" and he's made that clear.
3. Very doubtful - Bryant was only using the two-handed swing in BP, not during games, so that seems very, very far fetched.

I really do think there is WAY too much being made of this stuff.  A function, I suppose, of there nothing actually happening right now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 11:17:21 pm
Buster is today saying that Cubs not intent on trading Bryant because it is totally consistent with the initial report.  Not a CYA at all.  He's responding to those who are blowing up what he said to be something more than what he said.

Yes, "encouraging offers" is more than "passively listening."  But, you characterized Buster as saying "actively shopping."  The key word there is "shopping."  (Isn't "shopping" always active? What is passive shopping?).

Think we all know what actively shopping generally means.  You go into the store and you intend to come out of the store with something you didn't have before.  Not what Buster is saying.

Don't know why what Buster is actually saying is so hard to fathom.  There are reasons why they might want to do what Buster says they are doing. It's a narrow point. But, it's a change from before and, given Bryant's stature, it's newsworthy, I think.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2018, 11:19:00 pm
. And, no, we don't know with certainty that the shoulder will be fine. Very likely will be fine, but can't know for sure. Not much in baseball is for sure.

We don't know for certainty that the team plane won't crash killing all on board either, so what is the point of this.

Whatever Cubs are actually contemplating as to Bryant and his future Cubs tenure---Cubs are going to school on the Bryce Harper situation playing out today.  Boras, check, great players, check, current club loves the player, check, current club willing to go over the luxury tax,check. Now, Nats very, very likely to see Harper leave. Bryant, check, three years from now say goodbye? 

Every other team with World Series dreams keeps their best players.  If the Cubs blow up like the Nationals did in Bryant's freee agent year, maybe that is a reason to trade him at the deadline, but if you are contending getting rid of him makes the team worse.

So, clubs out there, make me an offer on Bryant.  See what's out there.  If there's a good baseball move at some point (including signing Arenado to play 3B a year from now), Cubs want to know their options. Different than a year ago because we're getting closer to Bryant FA and Cubs have not won the World Series two years running...and that's too long for the New Cubs Tradition.

Carlos Correa also said he won't sign an extension.  I'll wait for Astros should trade him articles because he might leave and all they'd get are a draft pick. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2018, 11:34:24 pm
If you think that the Harper situation is irrelevant to the Cubs long-term thinking about Bryant, think you are wrong about that.

It would very hard for Cubs to be better by trading Bryant. Totally agree with you on that. But, Theo thinks Big Picture and I think he doesn't want to get to Nats situation of today, if he can avoid it. Every club, of course, has a different context but there may be ways to address this,who knows. One reason why Arenado's pending FA is interesting. Sign another terrific (albeit lesser) 3B than Bryant and trade Bryant a year from now for good stuff.  Or, Theo being far more creative and knowledgeable than either you or me--do something else that didn't occur to us, at some point. And, you can encourage offers this off-season that might be more realistic a year from now. Or, two. Could be a long-term process.

As to Correa, if Astros do with Correa what Buster says Cubs are doing with Bryant, you'll want to hear about it--or at least Astros fans will want to hear about it.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on November 13, 2018, 11:37:18 pm
Quote
Just a thought: maybe this stuff got out there because the Cubs wanted Bryant to hear it.

This was my first thought when I heard about it.  One percent chance that they trade Bryant seems about right.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 14, 2018, 12:00:55 am
The Nats situation wouldn’t be much better off if the traded Harper at the deadline.  The Nats for all the doom and gloom still have a talented roster with Soto, Turner, Max, Strasberg and Rendon. Losing Harper hurts, but they still aren’t gutting their team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 14, 2018, 12:19:33 am
The Nats situation wouldn’t be much better off if the traded Harper at the deadline.  The Nats for all the doom and gloom still have a talented roster with Soto, Turner, Max, Strasberg and Rendon. Losing Harper hurts, but they still aren’t gutting their team.

Agree with all of that.

But, Nats are now in a situation where Harper is very likely gone and the compensation is limited. They will still have a very good OF, in part because they traded for Eaton when he became available. And, of course, Soto developed faster (and better) than anticipated. They will be fine. But, it will be kind of a bummer going to Nats games and not getting to see Harper play.  Saw one of his first games at Nats Park and have seen several amazing long home runs over the years. Think it will take something out of the fan base in the short-term.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 14, 2018, 07:30:20 am
Perhaps the message to Bryant is that we can add Harper and keep you long term only if you agree to an extension now/soon. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 14, 2018, 01:10:00 pm
https://thebiglead.com/2018/11/14/buster-olney-espn-kris-bryant-mlb-pitcher-limits/

The Bryant stuff starts right at the beginning.  His story is described as the sense of other teams.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 14, 2018, 02:26:53 pm
Yeah, clubs got a sense about Cubs and Bryant because of what Cubs SAID to them. Actual words that convey a plain meaning.

According to Buster, Cubs said: “if you’re interested in making an offer on Kris Bryant, we’re all ears.”

If somebody said exactly that to you about something they owned, say, a car, wouldn’t you have a rational “sense“ that they are ready to discuss selling you their car? Think you would, no? It’s not some kind of subjective sense but rather is based on the plain meaning of what they told you.

By the way, did you find what Buster said about Bryant credible?—-and thanks for posting the interview as it was interesting on other points too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 14, 2018, 02:35:19 pm
Love the four pitchers limit idea.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on November 14, 2018, 02:42:55 pm
If you are a GM, and you're not listening to every offer made by any other GM for any player in your system, you're not doing your job worth a damn...regardless of how seriously you entertain the offer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 14, 2018, 02:46:22 pm
For sure, Dave.  But somehow I don't anticipate the Cubs are going around to teams saying
“if you’re interested in making an offer on Javier Baez, we’re all ears.”  Same for Rizzo. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 14, 2018, 02:54:28 pm
For sure, Dave.  But somehow I don't anticipate the Cubs are going around to teams saying
“if you’re interested in making an offer on Javier Baez, we’re all ears.”  Same for Rizzo. 

Yes, exactly.

A year ago, same for Bryant. That’s why Buster’s story is newsworthy. There’s a change from before.

And, still newsworthy even though likelihood of a trade is very low.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on November 14, 2018, 02:54:39 pm
But how do we know they aren't?

Just as one man's trash may be another man's treasure...one man's treasure could be another man's grail.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 14, 2018, 04:14:51 pm
I'm not as concerned about the Cubs trading Bryant as I am about what the Cardinals may do this offseason.    Trading for Goldschmidt, signing Donaldson for 3rd, and even overreaching and signing Harper would make them very very formidable. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 14, 2018, 04:22:26 pm
Yeah, clubs got a sense about Cubs and Bryant because of what Cubs SAID to them. Actual words that convey a plain meaning.

So Buster's story was entirely about the perception of a nuanced conversation for someone that is removed from the direct conservation by at least 1 person, possibly more.  This story is a nothing and people playing it up are being ridiculous.  Mr anti-rumor sure has changed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 14, 2018, 04:29:51 pm
Takes a lot of guts to rip Buster for this considering that even if his sources are legit, it’s still overwhelmingly likely Bryant won’t be traded and the peanut gallery can just cackle about how they were right and he was wrong.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 14, 2018, 05:05:50 pm
https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/mlb-trade-rumors-cubs-sell-hold-stock-young-players-schwarber-happ-almora-caratini?amp&__twitter_impression=true
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 14, 2018, 05:27:11 pm
So Buster's story was entirely about the perception of a nuanced conversation for someone that is removed from the direct conservation by at least 1 person, possibly more.  This story is a nothing and people playing it up are being ridiculous.  Mr anti-rumor sure has changed.

It's called journalism.  You get a information from a reliable source(s) and report it accurately.  That's what happened.

Because it is sourced, it is not a "rumor."  Definition of rumor according to Websters:  a report "disseminated with no discernible source."  Are you saying Buster made this up without a source?  Do you think Buster is credible? 

The only ones "playing it up" are those who misrepresent the story and/or who don't care to understand how journalists do their work. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 14, 2018, 06:24:59 pm
"I do not believe Kris Bryant will resign with the Cubs after 2021."--Dave Kaplan
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 14, 2018, 06:40:54 pm
You know what I haven’t missed, definitions. I’ll inform MLB Trade Rumors that they should rename their site to MLB Trade Journalism.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 14, 2018, 06:48:02 pm
Believe me, if MLBTR had no links and posted up nothing but unsubstantiated rumors from unknown non-journalists, the site would have disappeared long ago. On the contrary, the core of what they do is linking to, and summarizing, well-sourced journalists.

That’s why you read it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 14, 2018, 10:25:39 pm
I have to say that as Olney has become more specific about the way the Cubs have reportedly spoken about Bryant, it certainly does appear that there has been a change in their attitude.  I was skeptical initially, but not any more. It is interesting even though I don't think anyone expects anything to be done this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2018, 12:37:24 am
Ron, I truly believe this is out there because the Cubs wanted Bryant to hear it, not because they seriously expect to deal him.  Either they weren't 100% sold on his rehab habits or (more likely) they want him to understand that if he plays hardball on an extension, they're under no obligation to see that he completes his pre-FA years as a Cub.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on November 15, 2018, 09:55:10 am
Quote
Ron, I truly believe this is out there because the Cubs wanted Bryant to hear it, not because they seriously expect to deal him.  Either they weren't 100% sold on his rehab habits or (more likely) they want him to understand that if he plays hardball on an extension, they're under no obligation to see that he completes his pre-FA years as a Cub.

This is where I am.  It's the last bit.

It will be disappointing if hard feelings over the extra stay in Iowa (something every club would have done) ultimately leads to KB being traded.  It won't be this year, but it could happen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 15, 2018, 12:43:31 pm
I think Onley heard what he heard, but I'm not convinced that it is any sort of change in the Cubs stance. 

Since this came from other teams, I'm not sure how the Cubs are the ones wanting Bryant to hear it.  It would require Theo picking a team (s), saying sure we are  open to trading Bryant and we really want offers on him and then hoping that team leaks it to a reporter that runs with the story.  It all seems convoluted to me.  If the Cubs wanted it leaked, somebody would have mentioned it to Kaplan and he would have run with it.

As far as trading Bryant goes I've yet to hear a proposal that makes the Cubs a better team and saves them money.  In your World Series window you aren't trading your best player for prospects.  If you trade him for another major leaguer, the list of players that improves the Cubs is basically Trout and Betts.  I doubt either guy is getting traded.  For an equal value everyday player, most are going to be older and more expensive. 

The Cubs knew that when they took Bryant he was repped by Boras and the chances where high that he was going to test free agency no matter what.  The Cubs will have the option of bidding for him like everybody else and will have a nice TV contract and only Darvish and Heyward under contract.  The Cubs will have to make some decisions in 2022 as to what direction they go with Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Schwarber, Russell and Theo becoming free agents. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 15, 2018, 12:59:56 pm

....Since this came from other teams, I'm not sure how the Cubs are the ones wanting Bryant to hear it.  It would require Theo picking a team (s), saying sure we are  open to trading Bryant and we really want offers on him and then hoping that team leaks it to a reporter that runs with the story.  It all seems convoluted to me.  If the Cubs wanted it leaked, somebody would have mentioned it to Kaplan and he would have run with it...l

Yes, totally agree with CBJ on that. Just too convoluted. Indeed, the local Chicago writers have mostly soft-peddled the Buster story—which wouldn’t be the case if Cubs were trying to send a message.

Also, to try to influence Bryant to sign and extend this way—-way too clumsy a method for a sophisticated operation that Theo runs. Cubs might believe that Boras/Bryant are going to change course this way? Don’t see that. Ham-handed. They know it wouldn’t work.

 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 15, 2018, 03:45:18 pm
Sharma with another fine article. This one is on shifting lineups and playing time.

https://theathletic.com/655689/2018/11/15/are-joe-maddons-lineups-a-problem-for-the-cubs-or-the-main-reason-they-won-95-games-in-a-down-season/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2018, 04:39:35 pm
Olney talked about the Cubs on his podcast and Jesse Rogers responded.

Olney said the are Cubs are “boxed in” with their payroll. Rogers says “I would not have said that 6-8 weeks ago as the season ended. I thought for sure they’d be in on the Bryce Harper sweepstakes and making some other changes. But I think the rhetoric changed once the front office got its budget. I think ownership drew a line.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 15, 2018, 05:35:01 pm
Sharma with another fine article. This one is on shifting lineups and playing time.

https://theathletic.com/655689/2018/11/15/are-joe-maddons-lineups-a-problem-for-the-cubs-or-the-main-reason-they-won-95-games-in-a-down-season/

Olney talked about the Cubs on his podcast and Jesse Rogers responded.

Olney said the are Cubs are “boxed in” with their payroll. Rogers says “I would not have said that 6-8 weeks ago as the season ended. I thought for sure they’d be in on the Bryce Harper sweepstakes and making some other changes. But I think the rhetoric changed once the front office got its budget. I think ownership drew a line.”

The way the media is reporting, it's looking more and more that they'll go into the season with the same dysfunctional mix of position players they've had the last two years. If this is the way they go, I think we're going to see them take a big step back in 2019.

I think the worst case scenario is that they have just enough money to make one medium-sized move and they decide to double down on their current versatility model by signing Marwin Gonzalez. All he does is add another hitter to the mix who has many of the same flaws that half the lineup already has.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2018, 05:40:53 pm
Javy finishes second in the MVP, and gets the one first place vote that didn’t go to Yelich.  The result was obviously a fait acompli and no reasonable person could argue with it based on the way Yelich finished the season.  Still, it’s a great day for Javy and it’s a real vindication for everyone who believed in him while the skeptics were writing him off.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 15, 2018, 06:01:54 pm
The way the media is reporting, it's looking more and more that they'll go into the season with the same dysfunctional mix of position players they've had the last two years. If this is the way they go, I think we're going to see them take a big step back in 2019.

I think the worst case scenario is that they have just enough money to make one medium-sized move and they decide to double down on their current versatility model by signing Marwin Gonzalez. All he does is add another hitter to the mix who has many of the same flaws that half the lineup already has.

What I don’t understand is if the budget is tight why would you pick up the $20 million option on Hemels. I like Hamels, but I think there would be more impact adding Harper for an extra $10 million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 15, 2018, 06:30:07 pm
I understand trying to get something for Bryant especially if you think he's gonna leave as soon as he gets a chance and I know the sooner we trade him the more we can get for him.

My question is this.

Didn't we intentionally suck just so we could get these studs in their prime years for cheap?

Well now that we have an elite stud with 3 years left of control why would we want to get rid of him?

To restock a barren farm system with pitching?

Ok I understand but thats a small market move.

Do you believe in David Bote that strongly?

We should be better than that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 15, 2018, 06:53:40 pm
Buster said on podcast discussion with Jesse Rogers today that while Cubs open to discussing Bryant, that Cubs “not shopping” Bryant. So, nothing to indicate Cubs necessarily “want”  to trade him. Encouraging offers, he says, but think everyone agrees that a trade very unlikely.

A year from now, maybe different story, I think—-might swing to somewhat more likely than now—me guessing that, not Buster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2018, 06:58:58 pm
One might surmise that the problem, as much as this year and the luxury tax, is a direction from ownership that payroll is going to be strictly limited going forwards, long-term.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 15, 2018, 07:11:14 pm
Cubs don’t yet know how the post-2019 season TV deal(s) are going to shake out.

That is a big deal re. Payroll.

So, I would not infer that this off-season is a precursor of anything long-term just yet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2018, 08:29:41 pm
Except that if the uncertainty is taking them out of the bidding for a superstar who clearly fancies playing for them and would seemingly address a lot of the team's problems, the impact is already here.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 15, 2018, 09:38:52 pm
When you said going forward, long-term, thought you meant adding guys after this offseason.

If you meant long-term of losing out on Harper now, then, yes, that’s a long term impact immediately..
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2018, 10:21:05 pm
When you said going forward, long-term, thought you meant adding guys after this offseason.

If you meant long-term of losing out on Harper now, then, yes, that’s a long term impact immediately..

Yeah, that's certainly a fair distinction.  Guess I would say I meant both.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2018, 11:03:11 pm
Kind of surprising the Cubs haven't been linked to A.J. Pollock, another guy who offers some huge upside with a lot of risk.  Health is a big question but he'd certainly look good in CF if can stay off the DL.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 16, 2018, 11:03:55 am
.@dan_bernstein reporting that the Bryce Harper negotiations are picking up steam and that the Cubs are among the teams "in" on the free agent right fielder. https://t.co/tJn6KQF40G https://t.co/8UfoUewbBg
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 16, 2018, 11:11:22 am
For weeks, everyone who covers the Cubs has been saying they're not in on Harper. National writers like Olney and Passan have also said the Cubs don't have the budget to be in on Harper or Machado.

So I'm pretty skeptical of a rumor from one sports radio guy who usually isn't involved in the rumor mill. If it was Kaplan, maybe there'd be something there because he's usually plugged in. But as it is, I don't believe it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 16, 2018, 11:49:43 am
For weeks before that Harper was a rumored target as well.  Wasn't Bernstein talking about Darvish and the Cubs last year?  I thought I've heard him drop rumors in the past.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 16, 2018, 01:14:09 pm
Don’t know anything about Dan Bernstein but would hope that even a radio sports guy would have a credible source(s) before putting that out there.

Maybe that’s asking for too much.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 16, 2018, 01:55:16 pm
Good luck if you want to outbid Phillies for Harper (and/or Machado).

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2018/11/16/phillies-free-agency-bryce-harper-manny-machado/2016945002/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 16, 2018, 02:42:54 pm
Don't blame the Phillies.  They watched how many rings the Nationals won with Harper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 16, 2018, 04:00:12 pm
Carrie Muskat's replacement:

https://bastian.mlblogs.com/thanks-for-everything-cleveland-93f51c4be9ab

Also, Muskat's tweet in reply to that post seems to confirm that she'll be sticking around with a different publication:

Carrie Muskat @CarrieMuskat
Welcome home. And I'll see you at #Cubs games ...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 16, 2018, 05:25:15 pm
You think Bryant has Boston on his mind or California?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 16, 2018, 05:34:09 pm
Maybe Georgia
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 16, 2018, 05:43:16 pm
What team is moving to Las Vegas?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 16, 2018, 05:50:49 pm
Didnt his dad play for Boston and propose to his mom behind the green monster or something?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on November 16, 2018, 06:25:16 pm
Thanks for the link, brjones! 

Jordan Bastian writes really well and sure has the pedigree to do a GREAT job with MLB Cubs!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 16, 2018, 08:14:08 pm
https://www.cubsinsider.com/2018/11/16/report-bryce-harper-discussions-beginning-in-earnest-cubs-are-in/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 17, 2018, 09:11:04 am
Levine confirming Bernstein that the Cubs are in on Harper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 17, 2018, 09:22:27 am
I wonder if the Cubs could dump Heyward if they ate half his contract and threw in somebody like Russell or Edwards.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 17, 2018, 10:43:37 am
Levine said the Cubs didn’t have to shed money to sign Harper and that they have always been in on him.

Somebody suggested a Heyward for Cano trade. Cano for 5 more years is scary without a DH in the NL, but he’d be an upgrade on offense.  I don’t think Russell or Edwards would have enough value to off set Heyward, plus Edwards despite being inconsistent would be a loss in the bullpen. He is one of the few guys that can strike out people.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 17, 2018, 10:50:41 am
I think you would have to change the "or" to "and" to that trade to make it appealing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 17, 2018, 10:57:53 am
Levine said the Cubs didn’t have to shed money to sign Harper and that they have always been in on him.

I am not inclined to take Bruce Levine as seriously on something like this as I might be if it came from, say Kaplan. But at the same time, it's not nothing.  It seems to me that it's always a mistake to take too seriously early pundit predictions about what specific teams, particularly the Cubs, are going to do over the winter.  If it does turn out that the Cubs are seriously pursuing Harper, it should be yet another example of this.

That said, I'm skeptical the Cubs are doing anything beyond keeping options open.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 17, 2018, 11:07:15 am
If the perception is that the FA market will be slow and soft, there is no advantage for FAs to wait to make deals.  Early signings would make a lot of sense, and I expect that to happen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 17, 2018, 11:54:53 am
I wonder if the Cubs could dump Heyward if they ate half his contract and threw in somebody like Russell or Edwards.

I don't think Russell adds any value to most teams. He's a PR nightmare (especially for a team on the west coast like the Mariners--maybe the PR is easier to navigate in a more politically diverse or conservative area of the company). Plus, he's getting expensive and just isn't very good at anything but defense. He's a throw-in at best.

I'm sure this won't be a popular opinion on this board, but I think the Cubs should cash in on Edwards' value this offseason. He still seems to be perceived favorably...but he's not actually *that* young (27), and he melts down far too often in critical situations. Plus, his stuff was noticeably down after he came back from injury. With his command, he's not going to have a long career if he permanently loses anything off his pitches (see Carlos Marmol, for example). You also have to wonder if he might be a TJ candidate soon.

I think this is the last chance they have to get real value out of him. Next offseason, I don't think it's that much of a stretch to think he could be a non-tender candidate...or at least a dump-for-nothing guy who would've had value a year or two before (like Kyle Barraclough was for the Marlins earlier this offseason). That's assuming he's not recovering from TJ surgery.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 17, 2018, 12:05:06 pm
If the perception is that the FA market will be slow and soft, there is no advantage for FAs to wait to make deals.  Early signings would make a lot of sense, and I expect that to happen.

If there were going to be a lot of early signings, I would have expected it to start by now. With Thanksgiving week coming up, I'd be pretty surprised if more than a couple significant signings happen in the next 10 days or so. At that point, it's not really early in the offseason anymore--it'll have been a month since the World Series ended.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 17, 2018, 12:11:31 pm
Early relative to last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 17, 2018, 12:21:34 pm
I think Harper and Machado will move pretty early. But I think it's also likely that most of the secondary names (Donaldson, McCutchen, Pollock, etc.) will be waiting as long as Darvish and JD Martinez waited last year.

I could players who otherwise might have to take bench jobs or minor league contracts moving pretty fast to take the first offer they get. We might have seen the start of this in the last couple of days with Jeff Mathis and Steve Pearce signing pretty quickly.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 17, 2018, 01:14:57 pm
Unless the Phillies go nuts, Machado is going to sign before Harper so that Boras knows what number he has to beat. Once Machado signs I could see the rest market sorting itself out fairly quickly.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 17, 2018, 02:18:19 pm

Somebody suggested a Heyward for Cano trade. Cano for 5 more years is scary without a DH in the NL, but he’d be an upgrade on offense...

Yeah, a good way to upgrade the offense: Cano in place of Russell and Harper in place of Heyward.

That’s a lot of runs (even though lose runs on defense).

Let’s see Theo pull that off.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 17, 2018, 05:10:07 pm
I think you would have to change the "or" to "and" to that trade to make it appealing.

Even if you eat half Heyward's deal, as I said?  He's still the best RF in baseball defensively and above-average in center.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 17, 2018, 05:23:48 pm
I think the perception of other teams is that the Cubs are dealing from weakness.  They have pitchers losing velocity, pitchers injured, players like Schwarber, Heyward, Contreras, Russell playing below expectations, Russell with additional baggage.  It will be interesting to see if the FO makes a magic deal or they say the hell with it and pray the players turn it around. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 17, 2018, 07:25:55 pm
Yeah, I think to large degree they need to just take their chances and go with the same guys. 

I wonder if the Cubs maybe think their guys are better than other teams think they are?  Making a sensible trade kind of requires that the other side has similar (or higher) valuation of the talent you've got. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 17, 2018, 07:56:18 pm
That has been an issue from what I’ve read.

How do you value a guy like Happ with 5 years of control, 2 seasons of above average offense and a strike out problem. He has positional flexibility even if he isn’t great on offense. You wouldn’t trade him for a non-stud relief pitcher, but would he actually get one?  Starting pitching isn’t a need, but he’s bringing back more of a league averaging guy and that doesn’t really help the Cubs. If you are trading him for an offensive player you are going to have to get a guy with less control, but who is out there?  Say he’s part of a deal for Merrifield, there is a decent chance Happ could be more valuable on offense. They have the same career wRC+, but Happ alone likely wouldn’t get him.

Improving the offense and trading Schwarber is even harder.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 17, 2018, 07:59:14 pm
Maybe Schwarber would be enough of a sweetener to get somebody to take Heyward’s contract. That’s a thought if you somehow sign Harper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 20, 2018, 01:36:35 pm
Mark Gonzales  @MDGonzales  2m2 minutes ago

40-man roster now at 38.


Mark Gonzales  @MDGonzales  2m2 minutes ago

INF Jack Reinheimer claimed off waivers by Rangers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 20, 2018, 01:41:10 pm
The Rangers also outrighted former Cub Eddie Butler.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 20, 2018, 04:44:38 pm
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dseu8QAVYAAKb3D.jpg:small)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 20, 2018, 04:48:04 pm
Everything’s normal, nothing to see here.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 20, 2018, 05:20:18 pm
Rogers is tweeting it is personal and nothing to do with Madden.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 20, 2018, 05:52:42 pm
Trump is tweeting that Hickey could have gotten Bin Laden sooner.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 20, 2018, 05:58:09 pm
Rogers is tweeting it is personal and nothing to do with Madden.

That's so off-base it makes absolutely no sense, when it was Maddon who got Hickey hired in the first place.

No, it's not Maddon - it's Theo, and it's a message to Maddon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 20, 2018, 06:04:31 pm
Relief depth:

Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales
Cubs acquire pitcher Rowan Wick from Padres for infielder Jason Vosler. Wick will be added to 40-man roster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 20, 2018, 06:10:22 pm
If they are sending Madden a message why not fire him with Chili?  Why the delay?  ESPN radio in Chicago suggest the delay was due to him possibly taking a different job in the org.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 20, 2018, 06:21:42 pm
Relief depth:

Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales
Cubs acquire pitcher Rowan Wick from Padres for infielder Jason Vosler. Wick will be added to 40-man roster.


Don't see much there, but it's not like Vosler has any real value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 20, 2018, 06:38:19 pm
Wick is a former position player that converted to pitching.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on November 20, 2018, 07:34:40 pm
Maybe Wick is the next Jacob deGrom?  (position player turned pitcher) 

:)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 20, 2018, 07:38:11 pm
Cubs outrighted Vasto and Field and rostered Steele.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 20, 2018, 09:01:57 pm
Maybe Wick is the next Jacob deGrom?  (position player turned pitcher) 

:)

Wick can't hold a candle to deGrom.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 20, 2018, 10:36:54 pm
Interesting with Hickey.  deeg, of course you view and assume all things through the political filter of a Maddon/Theo power struggle.  And it's entirely possible that such a struggle exists and that Hickey is/was very much a player in such a conflict. 

But I think it's maybe at least possible that it really is personal and has nothing to do with Theo or Maddon?  It's a long season and a long career, and I'd think those coaches could have their own drugs and alcohol and marital problems all their own.  So too might a spouse left behind at home.  Plus family issues can come with life with kids needing help with stuff;  and Hickey's old enough where his parents might need help with stuff.   

To some degree the timing seems oddly late/slow *IF* this was really a case of Theo firing him?  If Theo and admin had decided that Hickey hadn't handled the staff well and would continue to fail to do so, I'm not sure I see how waiting until Thanksgiving would have been the standard or logical timeline?  Or why it would have taken them two months of post-season to reach that conclusion?  But **if** there were some personal things he was working through, or needed some time to see how a situation would develop, that might seem entirely consistent with this late announcement? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 20, 2018, 10:41:22 pm
Wick can't hold a candle to deGrom.
A pun worthy of P2
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 20, 2018, 11:31:10 pm
Craig, just to be clear I don’t see a power struggle. Theo has power and Joe doesn’t. As long as Theo is happy with Joe, that works out fine for everybody. When he isn’t...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 21, 2018, 12:55:45 pm
Jessie Rogers on Kapman confirmed it was in fact a personal issue that Hickey doesn't want to make public, it wasn't performance based.

Suggested that Tommy Hottovy will get promoted as the pitching coach.  He doesn't think it will be Price, Ferrell or Bosio.  The Assistant Hitting coach is still up in air, the might have missed out on their first choice.

Suggested their have been talks with Mariners and threw out Diaz's name as a possible target, I took it as more of a guess than an actual rumor.

He is guessing that the Cubs will tender Russell.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 21, 2018, 01:14:38 pm
The Mariners have several guys who could help the Cubs. But given how DiPoto has been talking, it sounds like they really don't want to trade Diaz. I can't imagine the Cubs having the pieces to give up for him--I wouldn't be surprised of they insisted on Contreras, which is a non-starter for me.

I do wonder if Haniger might be a little more available than it seems he should be. He's going to play next season at 28, so he'd be 30-31 by the time the Mariners are ready to compete (using DiPoto's overly optimistic 2021 timeframe as a guide). He'd be a perfect fit for this lineup.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 21, 2018, 02:25:51 pm
Like Happ+?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on November 21, 2018, 02:28:38 pm
Sign harper, send Schwarber and Happ off for Noah.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 21, 2018, 02:36:33 pm
Longenhagen on Wick/Vosler trade:

“Wick is a capable, generic middle reliever. He works 93-96, has an above-average slider, and a change-of-pace curveball.

Vosler is a an extreme fly ball hitter (over 50%) with huge platoon splits. He might be just a 30 bat, but Vosler can play third and first and he crushes lefties; I think he’s a corner bench bat or platoon player.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 21, 2018, 03:11:21 pm
I  think Schwarber will end up in the AL.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 21, 2018, 04:56:13 pm
Longenhagen on Wick/Vosler trade:“Wick is a capable, generic middle reliever. He works 93-96, has an above-average slider, and a change-of-pace curveball...”

Sounds like Wick's stuff is fine, as with a million other good-arm relievers, it's probably a question of command. 
Wick has 72BB in 142 minor league innings.  Problem got worse this year in high minors, 31BB/54 innings. 

Interesting that at age 26, he's only accumulate 142 minor-league innings.  So, maybe there is still some learning to do.  Although having come from the Cardinals development system, not likely that the Cubs development people will do better with a pitcher than the Cardinals did?   Heh heh, maybe a nice project for our new pitching coach!  :)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: chgojhawk on November 21, 2018, 07:36:33 pm
Sign harper, send Schwarber and Happ off for Noah.

Noah Who??
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on November 21, 2018, 08:05:09 pm
Noah Snydargaard (sp?)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 21, 2018, 08:11:01 pm
I'd hate to trade Schwarber or Happ.

I'd move Russell or Almora but Im inclined to believe Almora would make me regret it.

We better be talking Mike Troutt before we talk about Contreras.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 21, 2018, 08:42:05 pm
There's not enough absinthe in all of Manhattan to get them drunk enough to give us Syndergaard for Schwarber and Happ.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: chgojhawk on November 21, 2018, 08:55:06 pm
Noah Snydargaard (sp?)

Am I being trolled? 

Schwarber and Happ for Syndrrgaard? 

I’d even throw in Wick, Nitro Nick (if we still own his rights), a rookie ball middle reliever and a couple boxes of baseballs to make that happen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 21, 2018, 09:05:38 pm
Interesting that at age 26, he's only accumulate 142 minor-league innings.  So, maybe there is still some learning to do.  Although having come from the Cardinals development system, not likely that the Cubs development people will do better with a pitcher than the Cardinals did?   Heh heh, maybe a nice project for our new pitching coach!  :)

He’s a converted C/OF.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 21, 2018, 09:21:23 pm
Cubs don't have what the Mets will want for Syndergaard. Well, unless they want to make the team worse. The Mets would probably take Baez or Bryant for him.

I would be shocked if the Cubs added a premium starter this offseason. I could see a very unlikely scenario where the Cubs matched up uniquely with Cleveland and traded for Carrasco, who still seems to be undervalued...but even that is so remote it's barely worth considering.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 22, 2018, 09:49:00 am
Am I being trolled? 

Schwarber and Happ for Syndrrgaard? 

I’d even throw in Wick, Nitro Nick (if we still own his rights), a rookie ball middle reliever and a couple boxes of baseballs to make that happen.

They would have to be autographed baseballs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron Green on November 23, 2018, 11:23:09 am
You almost have to believe the Cubs are going to be serious players on either Harper or Machado, even if things eventually get too rich for their blood. The question is probably which one.

*IF* the Cubs signed Harper, you would have to expect them to move Heyward, which would likely require eating about $10M - 20M a year in his salary.  Ignoring the likelihood of any of it, if a team is paying part (or all) of the salary of a player they have traded away, are those payments counted toward the luxury tax?  If so, the cost of signing Harper needs to be viewed as not only the salary he would be paid and the resulting luxury tax, but also both the additional salary the Cubs would have to eat in moving Heyward... AND the luxury tax that move would cost.

Signing Harper could get very expensive very fast.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 23, 2018, 01:11:08 pm
AZ Phil speculation:

Arizona Phil  on Fri, 11/23/2018 - 12:04pm 
I would expect the Cubs to try and sign 2B-3B-LF Cory Spangenberg to a minor league contract with an NRI to ST once he clears Release Waivers. If the Cubs sign him he would essentially replace Jason Vosler at Iowa, and he could get a call-up at some point in 2019 (he has one minor league option left if he were to be added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster). Spangenberg was the 1st round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 2011 (one slot below Javier Baez) back when Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod were running the Padres, so there is that connection.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 23, 2018, 01:15:34 pm
Ron, welcome.  Don't be surprised if you don't get responses.   Thanksgiving weekend is usually dead.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 23, 2018, 10:47:12 pm
Ron, welcome.  Don't be surprised if you don't get responses.   Thanksgiving weekend is usually dead.

Only lonely people with no friends, like CurtOne, post on Thanksgiving weekend.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 23, 2018, 10:54:49 pm
I have friends.  They're just in hiding.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 24, 2018, 01:14:25 am
Witness protection?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 24, 2018, 01:16:15 pm
MLB Trade Rumors posted a list of players who could potentially be a part of contract swap trades this offseason:

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/2018-19-contract-swap-candidates.html

As it says in the introduction, not all of these contracts are underwater (Goldschmidt and Bumgarner are listed, for example)...they're just listed because salary could be part of the equation for finding a trade. That said, most are bad contracts.

Are there any good fits for swapping the Cubs bad contracts there? Since Kintzler has a strong history with Minnesota, I wonder if the Cubs could deal him for Jason Castro (and maybe involve Duensing or money as well to even out the cost).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 24, 2018, 06:10:14 pm
I have friends.  They're just in hiding.

From you.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 24, 2018, 06:12:26 pm
Man, I thought last winter was a slog but what a monumentally boring offseason it's been so far.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron Green on November 24, 2018, 07:31:20 pm
.... 2018 ending in disaster.

95 wins is hardly a disaster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 24, 2018, 07:34:11 pm
The ending was a disaster though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 25, 2018, 02:22:25 pm
Man, I thought last winter was a slog but what a monumentally boring offseason it's been so far.

Yeah, this is probably just the new normal until the CBA changes again.

Hopefully there will be a little action this week ahead of the deadline to tender contracts to players on Friday. If the Cubs are going to move on from Russell, they'd probably ideally like to deal him this week, or at least have someone in place to replace him so they can feel comfortable with a non-tender.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 25, 2018, 08:23:05 pm
If the Cubs do part ways with Russell, Richie Martin might be an interesting option as a back up.  He’s a good defensive SS. He makes contact, his career high K% is 20.8%. The last 2 years it has been 17.5 and 16.8% and he can take a walk. He is a plus runner with 25 steals in 35 attempts and he had a offensive breakout in AA. It was in the Texas league and he had a high BABIP, but his ISO improved too. He is eligible for the Rule 5 and the Cubs would need to trade up in the draft to get him, but a defensive guy that can run and put the ball in play wouldn’t be a horrible back up to Baez.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 25, 2018, 08:31:30 pm
And to the new guy. Welcome!

It mostly matters what the Cubs owners will allow in the budget. I posted something about the Braves making $100 million on a $133 million payroll for the 40 man roster. The Cubs had a $183 million payroll last year and the had 600,000 more in attendance, about $20 more in average ticket cost and a better TV deal. Just ball parking the numbers the Cubs get around an extra $83 million in attendance and $30-40 million more on the TV deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on November 26, 2018, 07:04:07 am
Amazon is involved in the bidding for the YES network. That’s very interesting.  The Cubs are a team with a national fan base which could be intriguing for Amazon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 26, 2018, 07:30:49 am
Last year, the storyline was that the teams were saving money for the big names in this year's free agency class.  I wonder if the lack of movement this year, is that the players are waiting for the big names to sign and set the bar and salary expectations.   Well, except for Deeg, who still believes in collusion.  The Mets sure screwed that up by hiring an agent to be GM didn't they?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 26, 2018, 07:34:06 am
Amazon is involved in the bidding for the YES network. That’s very interesting.  The Cubs are a team with a national fan base which could be intriguing for Amazon.

Bleacher Nation story dated November 21

Quote
This is something that should be on your radar, as it’s entirely possible the Cubs have already negotiated with Amazon about partnering on the creation of a hypothetical “network” that is available only on Amazon Prime (the mind boggles in thinking about how much the Cubs could charge Amazon for that …. ).

https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/11/21/another-sign-that-the-world-of-tv-rights-could-change-dramatically-amazon-bids-on-rsns/https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/11/21/another-sign-that-the-world-of-tv-rights-could-change-dramatically-amazon-bids-on-rsns/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 26, 2018, 08:10:53 am
Anyone who doesn’t believe in collusion may as well believe in the tooth fairy, based on their connection to reality.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 26, 2018, 08:16:30 am
Wait a minute.  Are you saying there's no tooth fairy?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 26, 2018, 08:41:45 am
I still don't think there's any collusion. I think front offices in general are smarter so they're not wasting money. And the CBA rewards not spending, so there are more free agents available than there are openings for them at the prices they're asking. Teams know they can wait out the market and get a discount price in January or February because guys like McCutchen, Pollock, and Keuchel aren't going to sit out a season.

Last year, the storyline was that the teams were saving money for the big names in this year's free agency class. 

I think that was a convenient excuse. This free agent class is weak behind Harper and Machado. At this time last year, Corbin hadn't broken out yet, so there wasn't even a TOR type starter guaranteed to hit the market. It was made-up reason for teams not to spend money last year. Within a week or two, I'm sure we'll start hearing how teams are holding back this year so they can sign next year's free agents (Goldschmidt, Arenado, Rendon, Bumgarner, Cole, Sale).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 26, 2018, 01:30:42 pm
Read an interesting suggestion over on the PSD forum (assuming they know what they're talking about regarding the luxury tax): Cubs send Chatwood, Kintzler, and Duensing to the rebuilding Diamondbacks for Yasmany Tomas. The money is pretty much a wash (though the Cubs' half is concentrated more in the first year).

Why it might make sense for the Cubs: Tomas has been DFA'd and is no longer on their 40 man. Therefore, his salary doesn't count for luxury tax purposes. If the Cubs are more concerned about reducing luxury tax implications than saving real money, it basically removes about $21 million from their 2019 luxury tax commitment.

Why it might make sense for the Diamondbacks: they're rebuilding, and Tomas is pure dead money. Assuming they won't have any 2019 luxury tax issues, they're probably better off with a possible lottery ticket in Chatwood and two middle relievers who could be moved if they're decent in the first half.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 26, 2018, 01:47:21 pm
Trading used toilets.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 26, 2018, 02:47:44 pm
Clarkin back the White Sox on a waiver claim......
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 26, 2018, 03:37:57 pm
Hinske going to the D-Backs as an assistant hitting coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 26, 2018, 04:59:19 pm
From Levine:

Quote
Joe Maddon told the Tampa Times he will spend more time on the field with actual coaching and less time with Media obligations . Maddon is responding to a challenge by the front office.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron Green on November 26, 2018, 06:17:08 pm
I still don't think there's any collusion. I think front offices in general are smarter so they're not wasting money. And the CBA rewards not spending, so there are more free agents available than there are openings for them at the prices they're asking. Teams know they can wait out the market and get a discount price in January or February because guys like McCutchen, Pollock, and Keuchel aren't going to sit out a season.


If teams KNOW they can wait until January or February AND that guys like McCutchen, Pollock and Keuchel are going to be around.... well, you would have just proven collusion.

The only way for teams to KNOW such players will not be around is if other teams, all of them, have agreed they are not going to sign them before then.

Otherwise it is impossible to KNOW they are not going to be around.... and even if all other GMs have said they are not going to sign them, it is hard to be sure some over anxious GM, wanting to get an edge on the competition, will not break ranks and sign them.  That is the real reason collusion is unlikely to exist, the fact that other teams, each wanting to be a winner, will break ranks and sign someone ahead of the time others agreed to wait until, or for just marginally more than the others had agreed they would hold contracts beneath.

Competition is the strongest assurance against collusion.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 26, 2018, 07:20:15 pm
I don’t want to speak for BR, but I think he was trying to say that baseball front offices are becoming more similar in how they value players. They don’t need to get together and say they aren’t going to sign players for more than X dollars, they just realize that is generally a bad idea. Unfortunately the CBA, agents and players haven’t adapted to how front offices value players so they will be around later for teams to pick up on cheaper deals later on.

If you aren’t hitting free agency at 26, players might be better off taking Josh Donaldson type deals. Higher AAV for shorter terms and betting on their health.   

The union is going to have to find a way to get their members paid earlier in their careers and that will hurt some of the players in the short term. It will be amazing if baseball doesn’t go on strike with the next CBA.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 26, 2018, 07:45:40 pm
You did a good job speaking for me. There’s no intentional collusion, but front offices are generally on the same page on how they value players.

On The Athletic, Mooney thinks Chris Denorfia could end up being the Cubs’ new Assistant Hitting Coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 26, 2018, 07:54:09 pm
Did he ever know how to hit?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 26, 2018, 08:37:59 pm
It might seem that good players aren't going to take reasonable offers this early.  The agents aren't colluding.  Just figuring that some teams holding their bullets for Harper/Machado won't get them, at which point they will shoot for players who are good but not THAT good.  So players wanting max bucks are waiting for more bidders. 


Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 26, 2018, 08:51:38 pm
Denofria had a career wRC+ of 103. That surprised me.

The Braves DFA’d Adam McCreery, a 6-9 LHRP, that just screams Cubs waiver claim. He averaged 92 in his 1 inning in the big leagues, but the fastball plays up with his extension. He strikes people out and has serious control issues.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 26, 2018, 09:10:53 pm
Serious control issues?  That's So Cub!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on November 26, 2018, 09:16:21 pm
Lotta tooth fairy enthusiasts in here.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 26, 2018, 09:58:02 pm

Why it might make sense for the Cubs: Tomas has been DFA'd and is no longer on their 40 man. Therefore, his salary doesn't count for luxury tax purposes. If the Cubs are more concerned about reducing luxury tax implications than saving real money, it basically removes about $21 million from their 2019 luxury tax commitment.


That is the first time I have heard the claim that luxury tax is only counted for those players on the 40 man roster.  It might be accurate, but it would certainly leave the system open for gaming it, and they have gone to great lengths to prevent gaming, such as making the computation the AAV of the entire contract, not merely the amount of money a player gets in any specific year.

However, it the claim is true, that would certainly be a reasonable trade for both teams.

Has any severely injured player with a long term contract merely been released, in order to avoid the luxury tax?  I don't recall any, but it might have happened without comment by the media?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 26, 2018, 10:57:11 pm
Lotta tooth fairy enthusiasts in here.

Nothing under their pillows though, I bet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 26, 2018, 11:30:32 pm
That is the first time I have heard the claim that luxury tax is only counted for those players on the 40 man roster.  It might be accurate, but it would certainly leave the system open for gaming it, and they have gone to great lengths to prevent gaming, such as making the computation the AAV of the entire contract, not merely the amount of money a player gets in any specific year.

However, it the claim is true, that would certainly be a reasonable trade for both teams.

Has any severely injured player with a long term contract merely been released, in order to avoid the luxury tax?  I don't recall any, but it might have happened without comment by the media?

Rusney Castillo is another example. From NSB if a player has less than 5 years of service time when the get DFA they have to go to the minors to keep their contract. If the have more than 5 years they can elect to be waived and keep the contract. So you’d have to have a young player that signed an extension or is an IFA that flames out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 27, 2018, 02:40:07 am
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=newssearch&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjyxvvulfTeAhVP0FMKHQ9FB4gQzPwBegQIARAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cincinnati.com%2Fstory%2Fsports%2Fmlb%2Freds%2F2018%2F11%2F25%2Fchicago-cubs-interview-bryan-price-john-farrell-per-report%2F2111429002%2F&psig=AOvVaw0JzX8dtwnlyM3Y5tEEShjy&ust=1543394278409320
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 27, 2018, 09:10:48 am
Jesse Rogers

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Cubs should be finalizing their coaching staff soon. I mentioned Chris Denorfia and Tommy Hottovoy on radio recently. Add former player Terrmel Sledge to the mix. All 3 could round out the staff. Sledge was with the Cubs (minors) in '15.

Sledge is a former OF and was the Dodgers AA hitting coach last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 27, 2018, 09:37:22 am
Didn't he sing "When a Man Loves a Woman"?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 27, 2018, 09:43:55 am
Fun fact: Terrmel Sledge collected the final RBI in Montreal Expos history.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 27, 2018, 09:49:42 am
Fun fact: Terrmel Sledge collected the final RBI in Montreal Expos history.
So he was Terminal Sledge?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 27, 2018, 10:24:16 am
Fun fact: Terrmel Sledge collected hammered out the final RBI in Montreal Expos history.
Fixed
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 27, 2018, 04:43:44 pm
This offseason is so dead Termel Sledge is the hot topic.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 27, 2018, 04:56:03 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g93mz_eZ5N4
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest118 on November 27, 2018, 04:58:13 pm
My biggest issue with the Cubs the last 2 years is no leadoff hitter like Dexter Fowler. I do not want the current Fowler back, but we need a leadoff hitter with speed.

The guy I want is Whit Merrifield - 2nd base from KC. He is 30 years old and will not be a part of KCs re-building. 45 stolen bases and .376 OB%.

I can't find another available player who fits the need and position better. I am guessing Baez plays short all next season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 27, 2018, 05:29:14 pm
HAS BEERFAN 1 BEEN FIRED YET?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 27, 2018, 06:22:38 pm
I can't find another available player who fits the need and position better. I am guessing Baez plays short all next season.

Jean Segura is the other guy who might fit that role. In some ways, I think he fits it better. He's a couple years younger and is more established--I'm worried about Merrifield being able to repeat his 2018 season since it was driven so much by BABIP, but Segura has been a quality leadoff type for three years now. Also, Segura can play SS--the Cubs will need someone to back up Baez at SS if they move on from Russell, and Merrifield can't do that. Segura is also probably more available and less expensive in a trade.

The big drawback of Segura is his contract--it's reasonable, but the Cubs probably can't take it on without moving some money. Moving Chatwood would offset it in the near term, so they'd probably have to convince the Mariners to take him back as part of the deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on November 28, 2018, 08:19:27 am
Big market, World Series contending teams don't need to weaken this year's team to get players who might help in 3-5 years when the team is not guaranteed to be a contender. They try to win the World Series this year. Future seasons are secondary. Tampa's and Oakland's front offices may need to run that way, but the Cubs should not be looking to marginally improve their farm system by taking a few wins away from the current team.

I seem to remember this very same kind of comment after Lee's monster season when the possibility of trading him was raised, and again when the possibility of completely tearing down the team and rebuilding (the very approach used by the Theocracy) was raised.  And, if I am not mistaken, it was raised then by the same folks saying it now.

It is no less wrong now than it was then.

If they sign Harper, for instance. for 30 million per year, it will NOT be for a one year contract, but for a large number of years.

What of the possibility of signing Harper for say three years at $45/year, getting him in the lineup during the period when the window of opportunity is widest, even if it meant overpaying a bit for those years, but also leaving Harper able to re-enter the market for another longer term killing when he is still young enough to get a big and lengthy contract?

Actually, she was quite clear about him having hit her.

“The first time I was physically mistreated by my spouse, I was in shock,” Reidy-Russell wrote. “I couldn’t wrap my head around what just happened. … Why did he get so angry? What did I do for him to want to put his hands on me?"

If you want to be taken seriously around here, please try not to be worthless lying sack of ****.

No offense to you personally.

Where in that quote does she say he HIT her?  "Put his hands on me" is not the same thing as "hit me."

Almora is a superstar. It's right around the corner (according to most of the people on BBF).

I have long thought I was one of Almora's stronger supporters here, and I have thought his realistic top side was being the equivalent of the late 1960's Curt Flood with a bit more power.  Flood was a three time All Star, with an average of just 6 HR a year, with a career OPS+ of just 100, only stole more that 11 bases a year once and had a career SB% of only 51%, but was a good old-school #2 hitter and was a key figure in three Cardinal pennants.  Nothing to dismiss, but nothing resembling a superstar.



For sure, Dave.  But somehow I don't anticipate the Cubs are going around to teams saying
“if you’re interested in making an offer on Javier Baez, we’re all ears.”  Same for Rizzo.

As is often the case, context is everything.

Theo calling other GM's and starting the call by saying, "I just wanted to check in with you to see if we might be able to help each other this off season and to make sure you know that if you're interested in making an offer on Bryant, we're all ears," would be vastly different from him making that comment in the middle of a call from another GM saying he wanted to talk about possible trades who during the discussion mentions his own team's desire for Bryant.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 28, 2018, 03:00:18 pm
Cubs acquire Ronald Torreyes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 28, 2018, 03:29:59 pm
Not very good at baseball, but SS depth for the post-Russell era I suppose.  I still remember when he traded for him way back in the day.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 28, 2018, 03:42:57 pm
Cubs also signed Kyle Ryan to a major league deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 28, 2018, 03:44:41 pm
If we couldn't afford Chavez at 2 years $8 million, I think maybe expectations need to be this sort of move and not much else.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 28, 2018, 04:25:57 pm
The 40-man roster is full, for the moment.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on November 28, 2018, 04:29:10 pm
Not very good at baseball, but SS depth for the post-Russell era I suppose.  I still remember when he traded for him way back in the day.

December 2011... And I still remember writing that he was likely the key return player we were getting back for Sean Marshall...  At the time of the trade, Torreyes had a minor league BA of better than .360 in more than 600 minor league AB, was also drawing walks and had an OPS above .900, and even if all of his games were at A level or lower he had only been 18 in his last season.

At this point I guess I can concede there is a remote chance I might have been wrong on that one.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 28, 2018, 06:22:43 pm
7:00 P.M. Friday is the non-tender deadline.

The Cubs have to decide whether to tender a contract to shortstop Addison Russell
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 29, 2018, 02:36:18 am
Torreyes isnt that bad.

No speed or power but a career .280 hitter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 29, 2018, 07:49:48 am
And a career OBP of .310
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on November 29, 2018, 09:59:46 am
He's a better insurance policy than Freeman, and a backup at SS and 2B while Russell is suspended. That's about it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2018, 10:22:46 am
Somebody menitioned he might still have an option left.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 29, 2018, 11:43:59 am
According to AZ Phil, Ryan and Torreyes each have one option remaining.

Torreyes is arb-eligible as a super-two.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 29, 2018, 12:44:55 pm
Discussion about this at Bleacher Nation—that Torreyes acquisition impacts LaStella significantly, as Torreyes can fill in as a backup SS off the bench and LaStella can’t.

That would not be as big a deal unless Russell is moved out.

Would be very disappointed if Russell non-tendered. Hoping to see him rehabilitated and reach his potential here. Or, at the least, include him in a deal for value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 29, 2018, 01:01:02 pm
I will be very surprised if Russell is non-tendered. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 29, 2018, 01:14:36 pm
I will be surprised if he's non-tendered, and I will also be disappointed when he's not non-tendered or traded. Even if he didn't have the non-baseball issues, he's just not that good on the field anywhere but on defense. He's shown no signs that his bat is developing, and has actually gotten worse the last two years. With the off-the-field issues and the fact that the Cubs just don't have much payroll flexibility added in, I just think it's time to move on.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 29, 2018, 01:24:33 pm
Russell's offensive numbers were excellent in the minor leagues, with great promise.  Unfortunately, he was brought up a year too early, but had very good offensiver numbers in both 2016 and 2017, for an outstanding defensive shortstop.  Last year he had nagging hand injuries most of the year added to his off field problems, and I expect him to continue to improve with time to be an excellent hitter, as well as fielder.

I hope the Cubs give him the opportunity to change his life both on and off the field.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on November 29, 2018, 01:25:29 pm
Couldn’t agree more...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2018, 01:37:15 pm
His offensive struggles have been around when he had a shoulder injury and hand injury this year.  He was above league on offense when he got hurt.  He's elite on defense at SS and if he can be league average on offense or better that is a 4-5 WAR player.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 29, 2018, 01:40:13 pm
Based on wRC+ and OPS+, Russell has never been an average MLB hitter. Even in 2016--his best year--he was about 5% below league average. Obviously, that's fine for a great defensive shortstop.

In 2017, his wRC+ was 85 and his OPS+ was 84. In 2018, his wRC+ was 80 and his OPS+ was 74. He has been a bad hitter the last two years.

Since Russell came into the league, his wRC+ is 88. Across Chicago, Tim Anderson came into the league a year later...has career wRC+ is 86. Russell has really just been a better fielding version of Tim Anderson.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 29, 2018, 01:48:59 pm
#metoo
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 29, 2018, 02:05:59 pm
Russell has 12.0 bWAR through his age 24 season. That includes some partial seasons too, so more like 12.0 WAR in 3 1/2 seasons. That’s really good.

Yeah, his offensive development has been disappointing and frustrating for us but with possible off-the-field/injury extenuating circumstances that may have had an impact.

Key thing is his still-young age. Maybe he won’t get better, who knows, but really like his game.

If he is non-tendered, sure hope it’s not because of a payroll issue.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2018, 02:27:28 pm
Based on wRC+ and OPS+, Russell has never been an average MLB hitter. Even in 2016--his best year--he was about 5% below league average. Obviously, that's fine for a great defensive shortstop.

In 2017, his wRC+ was 85 and his OPS+ was 84. In 2018, his wRC+ was 80 and his OPS+ was 74. He has been a bad hitter the last two years.

Since Russell came into the league, his wRC+ is 88. Across Chicago, Tim Anderson came into the league a year later...has career wRC+ is 86. Russell has really just been a better fielding version of Tim Anderson.

First half of the year before his hand injury he was wRC+ of 101.  His ISO went from .119 to .024 in the first to second half.  Last year after his shoulder improved he went from wRC+ 75 to 112.  His ISO was .154 to .242.  His K% is down from 28.5% as a rookie to 21.3%.  He walks around 8% of the time.  There are a lot of thing to be encouraged about that his offense will improve.  None of that really matters anymore, but I do think his offensive struggles have been health not talent related.

Anderson walks less, strikes out more, has less power, doesn't provide as much value running or on defense,  but except for all of that identical.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2018, 02:59:31 pm
Patrick Mooney

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Sources: The Cubs are planning to add Terrmel Sledge to Joe Maddon’s staff as the assistant hitting coach. Sledge worked in the Cubs’ farm system (2015) and as a Double-A hitting coach for the Dodgers (2016-18). After his big-league career, Sledge played with Yu Darvish in Japan.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2018, 03:02:08 pm

Tweets

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The #Cubs today traded INF Tommy La Stella to the #Angels for a player to be named or a cash consideration.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 29, 2018, 03:03:18 pm
I'm sure Jesse Rogers is devastated.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2018, 03:05:09 pm
Jesse Rogers

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Tommy La Stella has been traded to the Angels
Jesse Rogers

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ugh
Jesse Rogers

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I'll be on ESPN 1000 at 3:15 Ct to breakdown this heartbreaking trade
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2018, 03:06:08 pm
I liked Tommy as a pinch hitter, but it will be nice to not have to see him try and play defense again.
jon greenberg

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Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. #3AM4EVA

(Pictures of La Stella and Rodgers hugging accompanies this tweet)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 29, 2018, 03:09:05 pm
Did we get Trout in return?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2018, 03:09:21 pm
OHTANI!!!!!!!  (we can't afford Trout)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 29, 2018, 03:22:33 pm
Now that the Cubs seem to have permanently gone to a 13 man bullpen/4 man bench, there's just not room for a guy like La Stella whose one tool is hitting pinch hit singles.

Switching out La Stella for Torreyes probably doesn't mean anything. But it's probably very slightly easier to move on from Russell now that their 25th man can play shortstop.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 29, 2018, 03:29:16 pm
That cash in the La Stella deal is huge for the Rickettses.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 29, 2018, 04:40:53 pm
Cubs looking to add another infielder with versatility to play multiple spots . Free agent list likely place to find one .--Levine
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest118 on November 29, 2018, 04:50:51 pm
La Stella had a bad 2nd half. His OPS was .672 compared to 2017 at .861. OB% was .331 compared to .472 in 2017. The bad second half is why he is gone. He showed absolutely no power last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bad Century on November 29, 2018, 06:20:09 pm
Are we really taking shots at ownership ? 108 year drought ended . Wrigley vastly improved and around for another generation . Highest payroll in the game at the moment . Those bastards !!!!!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 29, 2018, 06:30:36 pm
We? Who are you?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on November 29, 2018, 06:43:29 pm
Now that the Cubs seem to have permanently gone to a 13 man bullpen/4 man bench, there's just not room for a guy like La Stella whose one tool is hitting pinch hit singles.

Switching out La Stella for Torreyes probably doesn't mean anything. But it's probably very slightly easier to move on from Russell now that their 25th man can play shortstop.

So you think the Theocracy is going to want to move Russell, because Russell "He has been a bad hitter the last two years," and will want to replace him with Torreyes?  And his OPS of .680 over the last two years?

Am I understanding you  right?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 29, 2018, 07:26:21 pm
La Stella had a bad 2nd half. His OPS was .672 compared to 2017 at .861. OB% was .331 compared to .472 in 2017. The bad second half is why he is gone. He showed absolutely no power last year.

Actually, La Stella was better 2nd half than 1st half.  He had a horrific June that sunk his 2018 numbers. I hope he does well with Angels. Seemed like he was popular among his Cubs teammates.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 29, 2018, 07:36:22 pm
It does indeed, which makes that entire weird incident where he threatened to retire rather than accept a demotion that much more odd.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 29, 2018, 07:49:10 pm
I must say it's highly irritating to see so many (not here, necessarily) equate the Heyward and Darvish signings as evidence the FO can't get it right on major FA signings.  Darvish missed almost the entire first year with an injury which at least in theory shouldn't impact him going forward.  Way, way premature to call that contract a disaster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 29, 2018, 09:13:38 pm
I don't blame the FO.  i blame Chris for Heyward and Deeg for Darvish.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 30, 2018, 09:23:54 am
I must say it's highly irritating to see so many (not here, necessarily) equate the Heyward and Darvish signings as evidence the FO can't get it right on major FA signings.  Darvish missed almost the entire first year with an injury which at least in theory shouldn't impact him going forward.  Way, way premature to call that contract a disaster.

Selective memory can prove just about anything.  Heyward and Darvish signings have turned out bad.  Hard to complain about the signings of Lester and Zobrist.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on November 30, 2018, 09:55:23 am
It’s way too early to say how the Darvish signing has turned out.   Bad first year but that’s it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 30, 2018, 10:11:06 am
A bad first makes it unlikely that the Cubs are going to get full value on the contract, but that doesn't mean it still can't be a good signing if he preforms well over the next couple of years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 30, 2018, 10:45:48 am
Sahadev Sharma on the importance of the leadoff position for the Cubs offense.

https://theathletic.com/682216/2018/11/29/mythbusters-did-the-lack-of-a-prototypical-leadoff-man-hurt-the-cubs-offense-in-2018/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 30, 2018, 11:25:04 am
Don’t think Sharma addressed the “robbing Peter to pay Paul” argument about leadoff.

Rizzo, Bryant, Baez combined for 42 leadoff starts. Rizzo had OPS of .979 at leadoff. These guys are good leadoff guys but they are good elsewhere too—and are going to contribute down in the lineup too, which is preferable.

Another 30 leadoff starts went to Murphy, who is now gone.

Almora at leadoff against lefties is good, but that’s lefties.

Even Zobrist is kind of nice to plug in at 6th or so, if you can.

Guess I’d like to see the 2018 version of Merrifield, or the like, leading off here in 2019—and maybe it should be more of a priority. Sure, you can do Rizzo leadoff but hurting lineup elsewhere when do that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: wmljohn on November 30, 2018, 12:47:57 pm
What's Bobby Derneir up to these days?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 30, 2018, 01:21:06 pm
Cubs likely to tender Addison Russell a contract . He still has 29 days of a suspension to serve at beginning of the season . He is not paid until after May 3.--Levine
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 30, 2018, 01:22:16 pm
Only a woman GM would have released him.

Im glad Theo and Jed werent as quick to castrate him as some here.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 30, 2018, 01:30:48 pm
Maybe he would have punched the lights out of a woman GM.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on November 30, 2018, 01:53:22 pm
In Dusty's world there would never be a woman GM.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on November 30, 2018, 02:26:21 pm
Agree with you, reb.  If you want to make Rizzo the leadoff guy, you'll get good leadoff stats.  But that's not the point. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 30, 2018, 02:27:18 pm
Cubs and Russell issue statements today about his status.

https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/11/30/cubs-and-addison-russell-release-lengthy-statements-about-his-suspension-and-his-tender/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 30, 2018, 02:37:00 pm
Cubs and Russell issue statements today about his status.

https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/11/30/cubs-and-addison-russell-release-lengthy-statements-about-his-suspension-and-his-tender/

Hard to imagine much better statements from either the Cubs or Russell
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 30, 2018, 02:39:11 pm
Agree with you, reb.  If you want to make Rizzo the leadoff guy, you'll get good leadoff stats.  But that's not the point. 

Getting your best hitters the most PA is kinda a good idea though.

1st 778 PA
2nd 763 PA
3rd 745 PA
4th 724 PA
5th 710 PA
6th 691 PA
7th 668 PA
8th 656 PA
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 30, 2018, 02:52:42 pm
Yeah, that’s the contra argument.

Mookie Betts hits leadoff. That works for the Sox.

Trout hits 2nd or 3rd.

Rizzo typically hits 3rd or 4th.

I’m fine with Rizzo anywhere between 2 and 4 but not crazy about hitting him leadoff in the context of this current lineup.

On other hand, if Cubs sign Bryce Harper, I’m good with Rizzo-Bryant-Harper-Baez in that order.

That would work, no?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on November 30, 2018, 03:11:27 pm
Quote
Hard to imagine much better statements from either the Cubs or Russell

Indeed.  I'm sure he had help writing it, and who knows whether he believes it or not, but I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.  I don't think we know the details of what her blog post reference to him being physical means, do we?  That leaves lots of room for interpretation.  Many people jump right to assuming he beat her on a regular basis, but (without going all Dusty) there are plausible scenarios that are a lot less egregious that more forgivable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on November 30, 2018, 03:33:07 pm
Look, at minimum, Russell engaged in criminal assault. He didn’t have to “beat her on a regular basis” to be engaged in criminal simple assault. Physical menace—even without hitting/touching—is assault in most jurisdictions when intended to cause fear of harm. He has not denied that he did at least that much, as far as I can tell.

Russell is fortunate he didn’t end up in criminal proceedings in some fashion and Cubs and MLB are doing the right thing by taking this very seriously. It’s not useful to mitigate anything about this situation by enphasizing that he didn’t do something worse.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on November 30, 2018, 03:40:44 pm
I’d actually prefer Harper-Bryant-Rizzo-Baez...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 30, 2018, 03:44:11 pm
Indeed.  I'm sure he had help writing it, and who knows whether he believes it or not, but I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.  I don't think we know the details of what her blog post reference to him being physical means, do we?  That leaves lots of room for interpretation.  Many people jump right to assuming he beat her on a regular basis, but (without going all Dusty) there are plausible scenarios that are a lot less egregious that more forgivable.
Rumor has it that Dusty helped Russell write his apology.  Russell was smart enough to delete the sentence, "The **** had it coming."
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on November 30, 2018, 04:04:29 pm
Hard to imagine much better statements from either the Cubs or Russell

I don’t know, a better statement from the Cubs would be announcing a non-tender. But, if they are going to stick with him, they said all the right things I guess.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 30, 2018, 04:09:59 pm
Just to show you who were dealing with here Addison's ex recently put on her instagram that part of her recovery consisted of a new boob job.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ticohans on November 30, 2018, 04:14:40 pm
Dude, just stop. For your own sake.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 30, 2018, 04:16:13 pm
I wont stop when I believe what I believe is right.

A woman isnt always right or always the victim just because she's a woman.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dihard on November 30, 2018, 04:40:40 pm
Just to show you who were dealing with here Addison's ex recently put on her instagram that part of her recovery consisted of a new boob job.

You’re a boob job.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 30, 2018, 04:49:26 pm
Reds will non- tender Billy Hamilton. Should the Cubs be a perspective landing spot for the veteran speedster.--Levine

Yes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on November 30, 2018, 05:06:23 pm
I wont stop when I believe what I believe is right.

A woman isnt always right or always the victim just because she's a woman.

Are you suggesting that he didn’t do anything wrong?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on November 30, 2018, 05:15:30 pm
Look, at minimum, Russell engaged in criminal assault. He didn’t have to “beat her on a regular basis” to be engaged in criminal simple assault. Physical menace—even without hitting/touching—is assault in most jurisdictions when intended to cause fear of harm. He has not denied that he did at least that much, as far as I can tell.

Russell is fortunate he didn’t end up in criminal proceedings in some fashion and Cubs and MLB are doing the right thing by taking this very seriously. It’s not useful to mitigate anything about this situation by enphasizing that he didn’t do something worse.

For all we know the "laid his hands on me" was him physically restraining her after SHE became violent with him, and that is assuming every word of what she has written was true and that she in no way exaggerated.  He may still have not "engaged in criminal assault."

You say he is "fortunate he didn’t end up in criminal proceedings in some fashion," but if he engaged in no criminal contact, then not being charged is not "fortunate," it is perfectly appropriate.

Many of you are eager to assume the worst here.

I am not even addressing the issue of whether her comments are the result of being a woman scorned or exaggeration or being a "gold digger" (Dusty's speculation) or having a distorted perception of what happened because she is looking at it all from her perspective.

I am taking everything she has written or been quoted as saying at face value and assuming every word of it to be the absolute truth.... and it is still quite easy to envision circumstances in which, even though everything she has claimed is true, he did nothing remotely close to criminal.  For those dismissing that possibility based on the fact that he accepted the suspension, he likely was acting on the advice of counsel, and it is easy to imagine an attorney advising him to let it go to avoid criminal prosecution, even though he did nothing wrong.  Domestic violence cases may at one time have been ignored and dismissed, and prosecuting attorney's and juries or judges may once have done nothing, but that has not been the case for about 20 years now (the O.J. case had a huge impact).  I have personally seen cases in which a husband was jailed for months awaiting trail when the only allegation against him was A) he tried to walk around his wife in the hallway when he was holding their two-year-old child in his arms and she was trying to block his way (he came into contact with her, but even she said he never pushed her or TRIED to push her out of the way); and B) after he was arrested and forced out of his house and given a no-contact order as a condition of his bond, he was foolish enough to go back home to have dinner with her before trial when she called him and ASKED him to come home to discuss reconciliation.

These cases can get very bad, very fast, even when the guy did not do a damn thing.

Am I saying Russell is a saint?

Of course not.  I am simply saying we have no reasonable basis to conclude he has ever been responsible for any physical abuse.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on November 30, 2018, 05:18:26 pm
You’re a boob job.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I have taken more than a few swipes at Dusty, but this was entirely unwarranted.  As is frequently the case with insults, and that includes any I have ever tossed, they tells us quite a bit about the person tossing them.  They tell us nothing at all about the target of the insult.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on November 30, 2018, 05:20:18 pm
What's Bobby Derneir up to these days?

I was thinking more along the lines of Kenny Lofton.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on November 30, 2018, 05:26:10 pm
Every now and then I click on the "show me the post" option for posts by Dusty or Jes. Today I did that and received vivid reminders for why I have both on "ignore."
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 30, 2018, 05:34:03 pm
What did Ron say?  I have him on Ignore.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 30, 2018, 05:58:30 pm
Only a woman GM would have released him.

Im glad Theo and Jed werent as quick to castrate him as some here.


The system really needs to be changed so that a post can be rated twice.  How can one possible choose between "sad" and "dumb" here?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 30, 2018, 05:59:45 pm
Here's a non-tender I could see the Cubs being interested in:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/solarya01.shtml?utm_campaign=Linker&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker-
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 30, 2018, 06:32:16 pm
Some buzz that the Cubs are trying to get in on Realmuto and would deal Contreras.  If they could pull that off wth the incoming and outgoing value being close, that would be a big upgrade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on November 30, 2018, 06:35:46 pm
Here's a non-tender I could see the Cubs being interested in:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/solarya01.shtml?utm_campaign=Linker&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker-

He had a .655 OPS this past year,  a .731 the year before,  is 31,  has a career range of less than the league average in every position he has played,  and has stolen only 6 bases in more than 2,500 career MLB AB.

Do you want the Cubs to sign him just so you can have some legitimacy when your complain that the Cubs are the worst organization in professional sports?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 30, 2018, 06:37:50 pm
No Cletus Im not suggesting he didnt do anything wrong.

What Im saying is we have no more reason to believe her than we do Addison and if he was playing better more people would believe him.

Case in point being Aroldis Chapman.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 30, 2018, 06:38:26 pm
I wasn't really clear on the Realmuto rumor...the Bleacher Nation write-up on the rumor seems to indicate it would be a swap of Contreras for Realmuto. But the original tweet from Craig Mish that started the speculation sounded more like the Cubs would trade for Realmuto, then spin Contreras somewhere else for an upgrade at a different position.

Trading for Realmuto then spinning Contreras in a deal for an outfielder or middle infielder who is a significant upgrade could be a really interesting move. But if it's just Contreras for Realmuto straight up, I'd rather keep the extra two years of control in Contreras.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on November 30, 2018, 06:40:36 pm
I think Contreras just saw the Realmuto rumor:

Willson Contreras @WContreras40
Lol....
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 30, 2018, 06:48:24 pm
If you "cut in line" and grabbed Realmuto, you could probably get something pretty nice from the Astros for Contreras.  They would like that extra two years of control.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 30, 2018, 06:50:31 pm
How about Contreras and Quintana for Syndergaard?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 30, 2018, 07:16:22 pm
LOL, Torreyes already non-tendered.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 30, 2018, 07:45:47 pm
I would not trade Contreras straight up for Realmuto. 

And trading Contreras for an outfielder would depend upon what we had to give up to get Realmuto.

Why not just trade the guys you would have traded for Realmuto, for an outfielder.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on November 30, 2018, 07:47:31 pm
LOL, Torreyes already non-tendered.

I assume that they have already have an agreement with Torreyes to resign him to a minor league contract with a NRI invitation to spring training.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on November 30, 2018, 07:49:38 pm
Of course, it depends upon what the specific team in question wants.

Could you trade Alzolay and some lower level parts (Lange, Marquez) for Realmuto?

Could you trade Contreras to the Astros for Kyle Tucker, with pieces parts added to both sides to balance it out?

Would any of that make sense?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 30, 2018, 07:56:17 pm
The price on Realmuto is a lot higher than Alozay. They are asking for Tucker or Whitley from the Astros.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 30, 2018, 08:17:09 pm
Kareem Hunt, who's been a superstar for the Chiefs this season, immediately released after revelations about violent behavior towards women come to light.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 30, 2018, 08:20:10 pm
When there was a video showing him whooping her ass and not just a jaded ex's word.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on November 30, 2018, 08:51:53 pm
Kareem Hunt, who's been a superstar for the Chiefs this season, immediately released after revelations about violent behavior towards women come to light.

In February and the team knew about it then.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 30, 2018, 08:54:49 pm
In February and the team knew about it then.

But he denied it!

On that note, it's fascinating that Russell's widely-praised apology today was for something he denied doing in the first place.  Which "past behavior" is he apologizing for - the domestic abuse or lying about it for 18 months?  Or I guess one should say, which behavior is Boras' PR copy writer apologizing for?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on November 30, 2018, 09:28:00 pm
Is Theo getting ready for a big move?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on November 30, 2018, 09:36:36 pm
Is Theo getting ready for a big move?

Anything specific that makes you ask that?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 30, 2018, 09:44:06 pm
But he denied it!

On that note, it's fascinating that Russell's widely-praised apology today was for something he denied doing in the first place.  Which "past behavior" is he apologizing for - the domestic abuse or lying about it for 18 months?  Or I guess one should say, which behavior is Boras' PR copy writer apologizing for?

If he had continued to say he didnt do it then you would have complained because he didnt accept responsibility and apologize but if he accepts responsibility and apologizes he's admitting guilt right?

So what you're saying is he's a wife beating bastard and belongs in the pit of hell?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on November 30, 2018, 09:53:44 pm
Many of us often are critical of players and executives who fail to take responsibility for off-field transgressions. Addison Russell’s statement is encouraging, and Theo Epstein’s is even better - a model for how a team should deal with a player who commits domestic violence.--Rosenthal
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on November 30, 2018, 10:49:40 pm
I don't think comparing MLB to the NFL in how they handle these domestic cases is fair.  Remember, the NFL deals more harshly with these things because of the total clusterf#ck they made of the Rice situation.  They got so much flack, they've dealt more swiftly since.  MLB has been able to learn from that.  Odd that so many RP's get in this mess.  Wonder if it has anything to do with the stress of their jobs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 01, 2018, 03:24:44 am
When there was a video showing him whooping her ass and not just a jaded ex's word.

As I have pointed out, the real question with Russell is NOT just the credibility of he ex.

The real question is exactly what it is that she alleges.

Take every word she has said as the absolute truth and there are still far more possible circumstances she could have been describing which were NOT criminal conduct by Russell than possible circumstances that were.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on December 01, 2018, 06:26:04 am
Deeg, they just cleared space on the 40 man.  I'm speculating that there could be a move soon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 01, 2018, 06:39:06 am
Ah, makes sense Play. My guess is they’re going to sign one of the other non-tenders, but I don’t know if you’d consider that a big move or not...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: dev on December 01, 2018, 12:46:39 pm
Ronald Torreyes, INF (non-tendered by Cubs)
Chicago acquired Torreyes in a trade with the Yankees last Wednesday before non-tendering him Friday. In four seasons, he's slashed .281/.310/.375.

Wait!! What?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 03, 2018, 06:15:31 pm
The more I think about a potential Haniger/Seager deal the better I like it from a Cubs perspective - if they weren't crying poverty of course.  Not only has Haniger been a very productive hitter but his D is outstanding in RF and he can even play an acceptable center, and his O numbers will likely improve if he's liberated from Safeco. A 4/100 deal for a "FA" Haniger in his prime sounds better than a 10/350 deal for Harper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 03, 2018, 06:28:25 pm
But again, the Mariners seem to be prioritizing getting money off the books for 2021 and beyond rather than having a cheap payroll immediately. If the Cubs were willing to take all of Seager's deal in 2021, I don't think requiring them to take Chatwood back would kill the deal. That would reduce the hit on the luxury tax to something like $7-$8 million. I think that's the more important number at this point. Then get them to take Kintzler or Duensing too and it becomes really manageable.

I don't think that money is the biggest obstacle to a Haniger/Seager deal. I think it's more likely that the Cubs don't have the players the Mariners would want (unless they really love Amaya or Happ).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 03, 2018, 06:36:48 pm
Based on how low they’ve been selling so far I think this is a fire sale more than a talent hunt for them. The priority is the long-term salary they’re dumping, not the players they’re getting back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 03, 2018, 07:59:20 pm
Not only has Haniger been a very productive hitter but his D is outstanding in RF and he can even play an acceptable center

What do you use to come up with your defensive assessments?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 03, 2018, 09:09:59 pm
Well apart from FP he looks pretty damn good in most of them.  You like DRS: 17 in the past two seasons in RF (despite missing substantial time last year and some starts n center). 6.1 UZR150 in in 2017. 2nd to Betts in DRS last season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 03, 2018, 09:30:25 pm
Toss an offer of Russell, Happ and Chatwood to the Ms for Haniger and Seager and see if they bite.  Almost surely not, but maybe the salary relied would tempt them a little.

Haniger is a pipe dream, so I hate getting too excited over him.  But he's basically a .900 OPS guy on the road the last two seasons, and guys who OPS .900 on the road with plus defense are pretty much MVP candidates most of the time.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 03, 2018, 09:55:50 pm
None of those numbers scream elite or outstanding defense.

DRS is my least favorite, but we can start there. Haniger 14 in 1976 career innings in RF and 17 over the 1800 or so innings. . Very few guys qualified in 2018, but Betts led the league with 20. In 2017 Betts had 31, Puig 18 and Heyward 18.

Of the more conventional advanced stats I like UZR/150 better. Haniger a career 3.2. Which is just a touch higher than average. Betts is 18.8, Heyward 13.  Cargo has a career 4.5.

What I really like is the Statcast OAA. Haniger was a -4 there and a -1 in catch probability added.

Haniger is a perfectly average RF, who you don’t want playing CF.


Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 03, 2018, 10:06:02 pm
Keep at it, by the law of averages one of these rants is going to be remotely convincing sooner or later.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 03, 2018, 10:12:13 pm
Toss an offer of Russell, Happ and Chatwood to the Ms for Haniger and Seager and see if they bite.  Almost surely not, but maybe the salary relied would tempt them a little.

I think you have to replace Russell with someone who has value. No one wants to give up anything to get him on their team right now. But yeah, Cubs should be all in on trying to get Haniger until he's traded or it's clear he's staying in Seattle. Getting him would come close to making up for not seriously pursuing Yelich last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 03, 2018, 10:17:17 pm
Keep at it, by the law of averages one of these rants is going to be remotely convincing sooner or later.

Your ability to judge rants is rivaled by your ability to judge defense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 05, 2018, 09:40:46 pm
"I do expect the #Cubs to do quite a bit this offseason." - @Ken_Rosenthal on the Goldschmidt trade's impact on the NL Central.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 06, 2018, 09:01:20 am
Recently non-tendered RHP Justin Hancock has signed a contract with a Japanese team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on December 06, 2018, 10:05:14 am
When the game began, as Davep can attest because he was there, players were positioned because they believed that was the best way to defend.   Today, we have computers tell us differently, and we have paychecks that cause us to rethink our approach.   The reason the MLB is concerned is because the two issues they are discussing...the other being attendance...are related.  The game has been become boring for many.  Defense has found a weapon, but the offense has not yet reciprocated.  The loft approach cannot equal the shift.  What can be done?  We dropped the height of the mound to help hitters.  What can we do to help hitters balance the shift?  Allow corked bats?  Re-define a checked swing to reduce K's? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: BearHit on December 06, 2018, 10:56:55 am
Lower ticket and concession prices has helped attendance numbers - try that
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2018, 11:03:44 am
It isn't just the shift though. 

Baseball has found that the best way to prevent runs is the strike out.  Pitchers are throwing harder and harder every year and facing hitters less which makes hitting more difficult.

Offenses have realized that the likely aren't stringing together 4 hits against mid-90's fastball and 90 mph sliders, so launch angle was born.  HR are the best way to score against modern pitchers and looking for your pitch to crush. 

All of this plus shifts has led to the modern 3 outcome and less action in the games.  How do you change it though?  Lowering the mound might help, but that just might spike HRs.  Playing around with the ball?  I have no clue.

Lower ticket and concession prices has helped attendance numbers - try that

I think making tanking less appealing at building teams would help.  The desire to pay amateurs less has led to tanking to being the way to build teams.  The worst place to be is a competitive, but not elite team.  Better teams, more exciting games.  Less blow outs will help.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on December 06, 2018, 11:23:31 am
So, discourage concentration of hard throwing pitchers on one team by expansion?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 06, 2018, 11:24:32 am
Please read this fangraphs post. It’s the opposite of what you usually find on that site. It’s a heartbreaking story that explains why, for at least one person, the Cubs keeping Addison Russell is a bad move.

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-human-side-of-the-cubs-addison-russell-decision/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2018, 11:34:35 am
So, discourage concentration of hard throwing pitchers on one team by expansion?

You have to add 5 or 6 teams.  Every team, but the Cubs, seems multiples of them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 06, 2018, 11:49:53 am

David Kaplan
@thekapman
I know the narratives that I read keep repeating that the Cubs won't be players for the big name players who are available this winter. My take? I'm not buying it. It's too damn quiet. They are in lockdown mode at the corner of Clark and Addison. Never count out Theo and Jed.

Jesse Rogers
@ESPNChiCubs
wait. you said you did not think they were getting Harper. So which is it, are they players for the big name hitters or not? There's only 2. (on paper)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on December 06, 2018, 12:33:40 pm
I believe that Theo is lying in the weeds.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2018, 01:00:20 pm
Please read this fangraphs post. It’s the opposite of what you usually find on that site. It’s a heartbreaking story that explains why, for at least one person, the Cubs keeping Addison Russell is a bad move.

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-human-side-of-the-cubs-addison-russell-decision/

Stories like this are why I'd prefer Russell to be gone from the Cubs.  At the same time I'm not sure if just cutting players is really the best answer to helping solve the problem.  If Theo really is interested in doing something different I think the Cubs should be given space to work on it.  Hopefully it is real and not just a BS excuse to keep Addison on the team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2018, 01:00:43 pm
David Kaplan
@thekapman
I know the narratives that I read keep repeating that the Cubs won't be players for the big name players who are available this winter. My take? I'm not buying it. It's too damn quiet. They are in lockdown mode at the corner of Clark and Addison. Never count out Theo and Jed.

Jesse Rogers
@ESPNChiCubs
wait. you said you did not think they were getting Harper. So which is it, are they players for the big name hitters or not? There's only 2. (on paper)

Reading some of Kaplan's replies after those tweets, he says the Cubs won't get Harper/Machado, but will likely make trades.

I just don't see what the Cubs have to trade that is going to get them a difference-making player. Maybe if the price falls far enough on Realmuto, they can get him--then they'd have a big trade chip in Contreras to go out and get an outfielder or middle infielder. But other than that, they don't really have any options but to shop for bargains on the trade market too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2018, 01:09:56 pm
I think this exchange is enlightening...

TheMoncadaArmada

You literally helped start that narrative Kap. Lol
        David Kaplan
        Good morning! After talking with a handful of MLB sources this weekend, I am starting to believe more than ever the Cubs will not be a factor for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. The only way that changes is if Theo and Jed and Co. are able to move serious money off the books. 11/4/18


David Kaplan
You are absolutely right. But as things have gone along I just find it hard to believe that with the Cubs window to win wide open right now that Theo and Jed won't find a way. When I tweeted that I was listening to a number of national analysts and agents.

I firmly believe that a lot of the Cubs have no money to spend comes from outside the org.  Some of it maybe the Cubs letting expectations get managed in case the Phillies do something stupid, but for the most part I don't think anyone has a clue what the Cubs are up to.  I have a hard time seeing how the Cubs get Realmuto without Contreras being in the deal.  I don't think Happ has that much more value than somebody like Nimmo.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2018, 01:28:25 pm
Realmuto has half the years of control that Contreras has. Realmuto's value is nowhere close to Contreras. Two bad months didn't hurt Contreras' value that much.

If/when Realmuto is traded, I think a lot of people are going to be surprised at how little it takes to get him. I think teams are done giving potential star prospects/young players for guys with only a year or two of control left. The centerpiece of the deal will be a Happ/Nimmo type.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2018, 01:45:05 pm
I think the answer to this question is what the anlytics people think. 

If you look at Baseball Prospectus with framing and their new offensive stat. 

Realmuto has the last 3 years has been 2.4, 4.5, 4.3 WAR player.  Contreras has been 1.5, 2.5, 0.6 WAR.

Control is important, but for the Cubs the the better player is more important than control.  Theo said as much when he mentioned getting a better player and giving up control.  If the Cubs analytics are close to BP it really isn't a hard choice, especially with Amaya possibly being ready to play 3 years from now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2018, 02:34:20 pm
Coaching staff changes/additions:

Sahadev Sharma @sahadevsharma
Tommy Hottovy named pitching coach, Borzello adds associate pitching coach to his title, Termell Sledge is assistant hitting coach, Chris Denorfia is quality assurance coach and Brandon Hyde will return as bench coach, pending interview with Baltimore
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 06, 2018, 03:17:27 pm
I don't think the Marlins would trade Realmuto for Contreras straight up, nor should they.  Nor would most GMs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 06, 2018, 03:25:42 pm
The hits just keep on comin'.


Quote

Patrick Mooney

Verified account

@PJ_Mooney
39m39 minutes ago
MoreTheo Epstein says Brandon Morrow may not be available by Opening Day 2019 after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his elbow in early November. The Cubs are obviously looking for more bullpen help this winter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on December 06, 2018, 03:39:48 pm
If he's only going to be available for half a season again, I prefer it to be the second half.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 06, 2018, 03:47:58 pm
Theo doing some big-time expectations-lowering today.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on December 06, 2018, 03:47:59 pm
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dtw427nXQAA2nUq.jpg:small)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2018, 04:15:45 pm
I wonder if that will put Zach Britton in play, with the Yankees he was much better.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2018, 04:47:14 pm
How about going out and getting a healthy reliever this time? That was the problem with Morrow, so why would they sign a guy who just missed half a season? No on Britton, no on Miller.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 06, 2018, 04:59:13 pm
How about going out and getting a healthy reliever this time? That was the problem with Morrow, so why would they sign a guy who just missed half a season? No on Britton, no on Miller.

Somebody like Chavez, you mean?

The problem is the Cubs are apparently standing on a corner holding out their hat for change. And good healthy relievers actually worth having are expensive.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on December 06, 2018, 05:26:50 pm
Does Britton have a history of injury, or just one isolated, recent incident?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2018, 05:29:00 pm
Well I guess it is good that Kintzler is heathly then. The list of cheap, healthy available value closers is small.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on December 06, 2018, 05:35:09 pm
What exactly is the deal with the cubs crying poor? this seems really strange for a team with bumper attendence 3-4 years in a row, a WS championship... but a full aversion to going past the soft cap.

If the window is now... get it done now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2018, 05:47:21 pm
Well I guess it is good that Kintzler is heathly then. The list of cheap, healthy available value closers is small.

Britton (and Miller) won’t exactly be cheap either. He might get a short contract, but his AAV is going to be in the same neighborhood as more durable non-Kimbrel closers like Robertson and Famiilia.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 06, 2018, 05:55:46 pm
Please read this fangraphs post. It’s the opposite of what you usually find on that site. It’s a heartbreaking story that explains why, for at least one person, the Cubs keeping Addison Russell is a bad move.

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-human-side-of-the-cubs-addison-russell-decision/

To me the only heartbreaking thing about this is the number of people who are eager to condemn Russell, not only without a trial, but without even hearing sufficient allegations to support a criminal charge being filed.

It is not just a question of whether he did or did not do "it," but instead a matter of no actual "it" having been alleged.

Again, I am NOT attacking his ex as a "gold digger", or pointing out that her allegations lack corroboration, or that she has never been subjected to cross-examination, but instead simply pointing out that if every word of what she says is true, there are multiple possibilities which would include absolutely no criminal behavior on the part of Russell.

THAT is what is heartbreaking here -- that some of us are so willing to condemn men that screw proof, we don't even really need actual allegations.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2018, 06:01:05 pm
Britton (and Miller) won’t exactly be cheap either. He might get a short contract, but his AAV is going to be in the same neighborhood as more durable non-Kimbrel closers like Robertson and Famiilia.

Robertson wants to be in the Northeast according to rumors and Famila has an injury history and domestic violence suspension.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on December 06, 2018, 06:22:46 pm
Robertson wants to be in the Northeast according to rumors and Famila has an injury history and domestic violence suspension.
When has domestic violence stopped the Cubs?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2018, 06:50:06 pm
Okay, scratch Familia--I had completely forgotten about his history (it's not hard to overlook someone who just played for the Mets and A's).

But I highly doubt that Robertson would refuse to consider the Cubs just because he prefers to play in the Northeast. There's also Joakim Soria, who has plenty of closing experience (including 16 saves last year) and has two consecutive years of almost 2 fWAR. And if you want to take a chance on a rebound candidate, why not try Cody Allen, who has at least been healthy?

There's also the trade market. Will Smith almost certainly will be traded. And as the Goldschmidt trade showed, there's a limit on the quality of return for a one year player. Archie Bradley is another late inning option if the Cubs want to try to find a multi-year solution, though he'd cost a lot in a trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 06, 2018, 07:04:50 pm
I would be on board with taking a flyer on Allen. If we’re truly going to act like the Royals or Marlins that sort of move may be about as potentially positive as we can muster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 06, 2018, 07:07:33 pm
What exactly is the deal with the cubs crying poor? this seems really strange for a team with bumper attendence 3-4 years in a row, a WS championship... but a full aversion to going past the soft cap.

If the window is now... get it done now.

I think it is unwise to reach any firm conclusions about the Cubs' intentions or limitations at this point of the off-season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 06, 2018, 07:14:59 pm
Please read this fangraphs post. It’s the opposite of what you usually find on that site. It’s a heartbreaking story that explains why, for at least one person, the Cubs keeping Addison Russell is a bad move.

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-human-side-of-the-cubs-addison-russell-decision/

That really does speak to the hidden, insidious costs of decisions like keeping Russell around.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 06, 2018, 10:23:15 pm
I think it is unwise to reach any firm conclusions about the Cubs' intentions or limitations at this point of the off-season.

It is also unwise to dismiss the long term ramifications of what is called a "soft cap".  It is true that going over the cap two years in a row results in a relatively small amount of luxury tax, and a loss of about 10 spots in the draft, but also results in a substantial curtailment of money available to sign IFAs, which IS a serious impediment to long term competition.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on December 07, 2018, 01:07:41 am
The Mob Mentality rush to justice is a scary thing.  Note to self:  don't ever get accused of anything.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2018, 08:13:22 am
Is it a rush to judgement when you get suspended and admit it?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 07, 2018, 08:24:24 am
Is it a rush to judgement when you get suspended and admit it?


It can be.

First what is the "it"?

Next, there are LOTS of people who simply decide to accept a punishment without a challenge AND without having done anything wrong.

I strongly suspect that the Cubs consulted with Russell's ex before deciding to tender and offer.  If she was persuaded to accept this, so long as Russell accepted his suspension or otherwise did not challenge her story, but might have made other claims if he did challenge, does Russell's decision mean he did something wrong, or merely that he made a perfectly rational decision that in the current environment, even if the only proof of her claim was what she would claim and there was NOTHING else to support any of it and even if the claim was an utter fabrication.... he might end up completely screwed and acquiescence is the better choice.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2018, 08:55:17 am

Patrick Mooney
@PJ_Mooney
So Brandon Morrow underwent elbow surgery on Nov. 6, and three weeks later the Cubs still let Jesse Chavez sign a two-year, $8 million deal with Texas. Kind of telling re: Theo's financial flexibility this winter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2018, 09:25:12 am
Or they didn't want to commit 2 years to a 35 year old reliever.

If money is that tight spending $20 million on Hamels is an odd choice.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ticohans on December 07, 2018, 10:27:18 am
That really does speak to the hidden, insidious costs of decisions like keeping Russell around.

It should be noted that, for as infrequently as FanGraphs has posts like this, they are awash in this kind of content compared to other sports media outlets. A significant reason for this is their recent push to hire non-male writers. In an industry that is about as male and white as you can get, major kudos to FG on this point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 07, 2018, 11:17:22 am
Mark Gonzales says the Cubs are interested in Joakim Soria:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-cubs-joakim-soria-20181206-story.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2018, 06:31:13 pm
Yeah, that sounds about right.

Even before the Cubs were in PTR mode, Theo has always seemed temperamentally inclined to try and do the bullpen on the cheap.  Probably not unfair to suggest that he's been slow to acknowledge or recognize the tantamount importance the bullpen has taken on in modern baseball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2018, 06:44:24 pm
How do we know Soria is going to cheap? 

The Rockies spending a crap ton of money on the bullpen worked out well for them....
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 07, 2018, 06:51:06 pm
Soria has the 10th highest fWAR and 5th best FIP among major league relievers over the last two years. He's a good target, especially if he can be signed for a reasonable price.

Sign Soria, trade for one of the Giants' lefties (preferably Smith, but Watson is good too). Should be a relatively affordable way to address the bullpen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2018, 07:02:41 pm
If age was the issue with Chavez, why isn't it with Soria? 

Soria is another guy who's a ticking time bomb - he's going to be on the downward slide soon enough, though maybe you're lucky and avoid it if you sign him to a 1-year deal (which I don't expect him to take).  He's not a dominating pitcher but as he is (or was), he's solid.  If he's cheap enough, fine - but like most FAs, he's going to get paid based on past performance and not future projection.  I'd rather take a flyer on Cody Allen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 07, 2018, 07:04:29 pm
Trevor Rosenthal would have been nice.

I played golf with a dude one time who claimed to be related to him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 07, 2018, 08:23:18 pm
Heyman’s most recent club-by-club roundup links Soria to about 6 or so clubs. Seems like Soria might land just about anywhere.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2018, 07:46:27 pm
Schwarber & Quintana for Kluber.  Who says no?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 08, 2018, 07:47:43 pm
What is his contract status?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2018, 07:51:34 pm
AFAIK signed for next year with team options for 20 and 21.


Edit: $17.5 and $18 million options (club) for 20-21.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on December 08, 2018, 07:55:34 pm
Schwarber & Quintana for Kluber.  Who says no?
Cleveland.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 08, 2018, 08:13:16 pm
Cleveland has no interest in Quintana. They're only trading Kluber/Bauer because they want to reduce their payroll. Quintana and Schwarber combined will be making almost as much as Kluber.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2018, 08:28:43 pm
They are still trying to win, though, and that gives them two pieces for slightly less than the price of 1.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 08, 2018, 08:33:29 pm
But those two pieces combined are worth less than Kluber. He's obviously one of the top 4 starters in baseball over the past 5 years (with Scherzer, Kershaw, and Sale). Schwarber is a platoon outfielder, and Quintana's value has taken a huge hit in the last year--he's nowhere close to a top 15 or so starter anymore.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on December 08, 2018, 08:38:36 pm
Heh heh, deeg, if you can somehow trick Cleveland into swallowing that dream deal, that would obviously be too ridiculously good to be true. 

Of course, even if you did get that implausibly done, Kluber would then probably get hurt right away or something. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2018, 08:42:39 pm
Hey, I think they'd say no too.  But this has been such a boring offseason that I'm desperate for something to talk about.

How about Schwarber, Alzolay and Happ?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 08, 2018, 08:46:56 pm
I'd hate to trade Schwarber.

Hate it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 08, 2018, 08:53:43 pm
I know we need an offensive upgrade but I'd still be happy with Contreras,Rizzo,Baez,Bryant,Schwarber,and Happ.

Zobrist is better suited in a utility role at this point and we're stuck with Heyward so our upgrades could come in CF,RF,or 2nd.

If we could find a leadoff man out of those spots and another table setter I'd be more than happy.

We need a closer too.

Ill go ahead and admit that I wouldnt give him a ton but Im game for giving Billy Hamilton a chance.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 08, 2018, 08:55:36 pm
How about Schwarber, Alzolay and Happ?

That might get them interested.

The Cubs need hitters more than pitchers, though. The offense is dysfunctional, they're not winning anything next year if they fail to add a good hitter or two.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2018, 08:57:00 pm
Harper 10/350 with opt outs, Brantley 5/80 or McCutcheon 3/45?  Go.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 08, 2018, 09:08:12 pm
Harper but I bet we'd regret it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 08, 2018, 09:10:36 pm
We need more than Harper and Im afraid it takes all we've got to sign him thus leaving us still with holes to fill.

He's another K'ing,all or nothing,power hitter.

We've got enough of those.

We need table setters and relievers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 08, 2018, 10:21:31 pm
Harper 10/350 with opt outs, Brantley 5/80 or McCutcheon 3/45?  Go.

Harper easily. But the Cubs aren't spending that much.

Of the other two, I like Brantley more as a player at this point...and I think their salaries will end up much closer than that.

I'm still hoping they find a way to trade for Haniger, but I'm prepared to be just as disappointed as I was when they didn't really even try for Yelich last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on December 08, 2018, 10:40:26 pm
Reading other boards and comments on ESPN and listening to ESPN radio, I think other teams value Schwarber, Russell, Happ, even Quintana, much more than this board does.  Much more.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 08, 2018, 11:45:40 pm
Agreed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2018, 12:40:15 am
Just a friendly reminder that the Cubs had the 10th best K% as a team and the 22nd worst ISO in the league.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2018, 12:47:33 am
Harper, Brantley and well back McCutchen.

I wouldn’t trade for Schwarber for Kluber. The rotation is fine as is and trading Schwarber just means you have to find another hitter to replace him.   Kluber would be an upgrade to the rotation, but the offense would be harmed more.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on December 09, 2018, 08:19:12 am
https://www.dailyherald.com/sports/20181208/rozner-if-epstein-wanted-maddon-out-hed-already-be-gone

Quote
With the winter meetings about to break out in full force, get ready for some sizzling Joe Maddon takes from Las Vegas

Most will focus around the way Theo Epstein is trying force Maddon out of a job as he enters the final year of his Cubs contract..

Barry Rozner offers a lot of speculation backed up by very few facts.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 09, 2018, 09:05:37 am
https://www.dailyherald.com/sports/20181208/rozner-if-epstein-wanted-maddon-out-hed-already-be-gone

Barry Rozner offers a lot of speculation backed up by very few facts.

Actually, the article's substance says the opposite of the intro.  I never have cared for Rozner and there is nothing new or profound in this piece, but I can't really find much with which to disagree.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on December 09, 2018, 09:53:15 am
I would hate to give Brantley 5 years.

I would hate to give McCutchen 3 years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on December 09, 2018, 10:51:21 am
better to pay Brantley more for 2 years then give him a 5 year contract. pretty sure in cleveland they now call all injuries "the brantley".
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on December 09, 2018, 10:52:22 am
What does markakis want? he might be a decent fit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2018, 11:23:57 am
Markakis is a big no for me. He’s been good enough to be an average regular just twice in the last 6 seasons.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2018, 11:34:20 am
For the back up catcher I wonder if the Dbacks would have an interest in Avila for Kintzler swap. Kintzler makes $900,000 more, but it would free up the catching position for Kelly and Ryan for them. For the Cubs it gives them a lefty backup that can throw and his framing was better last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2018, 01:06:33 pm
Bob Nightengale @BNightengale
Several teams have inquired on Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber but they’ve all gotten the same response from #Cubs. No, he’s not available


I can't imagine the front office telling other teams that Schwarber isn't available. I assume most teams are looking to buy low...but if they're not, this front office would at least discuss him with other teams.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on December 09, 2018, 01:10:32 pm
I agree.  It's rather puzzling that they would be willing to discuss Bryant but not Schwarber.  Huh?  I'm sure as br suggests that nobody is willing to give us a good player in exchange.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2018, 01:52:27 pm
Or Bryant wasn’t really available either...

I think the problem with trading Schwarber is that if you are looking to improve the offense trading him means getting two impact hitters this offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2018, 01:58:09 pm
Of course, you also have to consider the source. I've found Nightengale to be about the least reliable of any of the national writers who are worth following...he's no Rosenthal or Passan, or even Heyman. I think I read something in the last couple of years that indicated that Nightengale is mainly plugged in to old school baseball guys who may still have special assistant or scouting positions, but aren't really intimately involved with the day-to-day operations of a modern front office.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 09, 2018, 02:41:34 pm
Schwarber can still improve and Im still not sure he's not the best hitter we've got.

His stats at the start of his career are very similar to Rizzo's.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 09, 2018, 03:14:25 pm
Of course, you also have to consider the source. I've found Nightengale to be about the least reliable of any of the national writers who are worth following...he's no Rosenthal or Passan, or even Heyman. I think I read something in the last couple of years that indicated that Nightengale is mainly plugged in to old school baseball guys who may still have special assistant or scouting positions, but aren't really intimately involved with the day-to-day operations of a modern front office.

When Nightengale is on Buster’s podcast, it is pretty obvious that Buster has very high regard for Nightengale and his insights. Not just that he has Nightengale on the show periodically, but also the tone from Buster. My perspective is that Nightengale still among the best. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 09, 2018, 03:23:12 pm
For the back up catcher I wonder if the Dbacks would have an interest in Avila for Kintzler swap. Kintzler makes $900,000 more, but it would free up the catching position for Kelly and Ryan for them. For the Cubs it gives them a lefty backup that can throw and his framing was better last year.

That would make a lot of sense. Kelly and Murphy would be a logical tandem—-and Avila odd man out with a big contract. Could see Cubs reacquiring him for a contract back.

Alternatively, if Jays interested in a Chatwood-Martin swap, could see that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2018, 03:49:53 pm
Of course Schwarber isn't unavailable.  He's just not being given away.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2018, 04:09:49 pm
When Nightengale is on Buster’s podcast, it is pretty obvious that Buster has very high regard for Nightengale and his insights. Not just that he has Nightengale on the show periodically, but also the tone from Buster. My perspective is that Nightengale still among the best. 

All I know is that I've unfollowed him on Twitter several times over the years because he occasionally reports transactions as done that never happen (I ultimately re-follow him at the start of every offseason/trade deadline). He might still be one of the best--if there are 100 national reporters throwing rumors out there, he's probably top 10 or so...but there are only a handful that are really good at it (Rosenthal, Passan, Sherman, Heyman, Olney, Morosi (when he's not focused on other sports)).

For the back up catcher I wonder if the Dbacks would have an interest in Avila for Kintzler swap. Kintzler makes $900,000 more, but it would free up the catching position for Kelly and Ryan for them. For the Cubs it gives them a lefty backup that can throw and his framing was better last year.

Even if his framing numbers were better last year, hasn't he had a reputation for being a butcher in that department for a while?

I had kind of the same idea with Jason Castro a week or two ago (I think I posted it here)...Mitch Garver was strong his his 300 PA last year, and Willians Astudillo is a sensation (at least in Jeff Sullivan's mind) and needs somewhere to play. So that makes Castro an $8 million third catcher. Kintzler has a positive history in Minnesota; adding Duensing in too is basically even money. And Castro seems to have that leader/good defender reputation that the Cubs are looking for.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2018, 04:29:08 pm
Great framer no doubt but boy, he is one bad hitter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 09, 2018, 04:29:09 pm
Harper 10/350 with opt outs, Brantley 5/80 or McCutcheon 3/45?  Go.

Harper 3/135.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 09, 2018, 04:32:43 pm
I would hate to give Brantley 5 years.

I would hate to give McCutchen 3 years.

You could seriously limit the risk with McCutchen by including vesting options for the 2nd and 3rd years of 500 PA for the prior year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 09, 2018, 04:35:51 pm
How could you do that?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2018, 04:42:49 pm
How could you do that?

I’m assuming some sort of blackmail or extortion scheme.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 09, 2018, 04:43:27 pm
Precisely.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 09, 2018, 07:20:04 pm
How could you do that?

It would likely involve paying a premium for the first year, but you would do it simply by persuading the player to agree, which usually involves making an offer which is more attractive than competing offers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 09, 2018, 07:30:16 pm
If the Theocracy views the window of opportunity as NOW, and believes the window may likely contract after 2019, it makes sense to pay a premium for 2019.

It could be done... IF the Theocracy want to do it.

I would like to see such an overpay approach for three yeas of Harper.  I am indifferent on McCutcheon.  The McCutcheon of past years would have been a nice 2019 leadoff hitter.  The McCutcheon of past years, however, is not what will be on the field in 2019.

McCutcheon in 2018 at age 31 had an OPS+ 16 points below his career average, and in 2017 it was 11 points below his career average, and in 2016 it was 30 points below his career OPS+ average.  His trendline is not good, and at age 32 it is unlikely to get better.  His days of .400 OBP and 20+ steals a season are long gone.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 09, 2018, 07:45:10 pm
Regardless, I would rather have McCutcheon for 3 years at 15 per year than Harper for 10 years at 35 million or so per year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2018, 07:55:07 pm
I think I would take Harper at that price.

Basically it comes down to his age (he'd be 36 in the final year of that deal), the fact that his main skill set (plate discipline, scary power) should age well, and the fact that by 2028, a $35 million salary will likely be a 5th starter or utility infielder.  Let's face it, the Rickettses have more money than God already, and the Cubs are a mint evn before their new TV deal kicks in. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 09, 2018, 08:59:57 pm
The issue isn't the money, at least directly.  The issue is the lost IFA money and reduced draft position.  I do not wish to have to go through another 4 year total rebuild to get back to where we are now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2018, 09:23:47 pm
The 10 spots in the draft will hurt the Cubs with getting assists to trade, but baring a Mike Trout falling the Cubs aren’t getting elite talent in the draft that will prevent a rebuild.

The IFA harp cap and the ability to trade for a large percentage of the cap means the penalties won’t limit them from getting talent. The question is how much money and resources do you want to divert from the major league team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on December 09, 2018, 09:33:17 pm
.... I do not wish to have to go through another 4 year total rebuild to get back to where we are now.

I wonder if that can be avoided?  The Cubs may need to go with the guys they've got, and then return to rebuild mode. 

Not sure how long the current window is going to last. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2018, 09:49:45 pm
Plesac still peddling the Harper to the Cubs narrative, this time around a shorter deal. Though if we really are dealing with PTR as the stumbling block hard to see how that helps.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 09, 2018, 09:50:07 pm
The 10 spots in the draft will hurt the Cubs with getting assists to trade, but baring a Mike Trout falling the Cubs aren’t getting elite talent in the draft that will prevent a rebuild.

The IFA harp cap and the ability to trade for a large percentage of the cap means the penalties won’t limit them from getting talent. The question is how much money and resources do you want to divert from the major league team.

If they lose IFA money because of the salary cap, are they allowed to trade for more?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2018, 09:58:29 pm
Yes. It will be 75% of the total this year and drop to 60% in subsequent years.

To answer Craig without changes to the CBA I don’t think you can avoid a rebuild without some serious luck in the draft or getting some studs in IFA. Signing Harper and Bryant long term avoids the rebuild for a long time though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2018, 04:39:01 pm
A lot of the twitter buzz today seems to be about Zobrist being moved. On one level I guess that’s not surprising as he’s probably not someone you’d have to add talent to in order to dump the salary. But boy, sure seems like that’s a guy who’d actually help you win games in 2019. Obviously a very methodical and professional hitter and a good clubhouse guy - weren’t we looking for more of those?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 10, 2018, 04:50:36 pm
A lot of the twitter buzz today seems to be about Zobrist being moved. On one level I guess that’s not surprising as he’s probably not someone you’d have to add talent to in order to dump the salary. But boy, sure seems like that’s a guy who’d actually help you win games in 2019. Obviously a very methodical and professional hitter and a good clubhouse guy - weren’t we looking for more of those?

That's extraordinarily surprising. Sources?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2018, 04:52:20 pm
It seems that a lot of it came from a single source in Sharma's most recent article.  The Cubs trade Zobrist for prospects, saving $14 million in AAV  ($12.5 million in salary).  I'm not sure he'd bring a lot back in trade and unless you are counting on a lot of regression, I'm not sure it makes the Cubs better.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2018, 05:06:59 pm
I don’t see any way it makes the Cubs better. It would just be a straight PTR salary dump.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 10, 2018, 05:14:33 pm
If they can get rid of 14 million in salary, that might make it easier to sign another free agent without getting into luxury tax territory.  And as Branch Rickey used to say, it is much better to trade a player a year too soon than a year too late.  And they didn't even have long term contracts in those days.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 10, 2018, 05:15:44 pm
Zobrist was pretty bad in 2017, will be 38 in May, and is forced to be a part time player at this point to stay healthy. I'm not sure if it'll make them better or not...but it wouldn't be that surprising if the Cubs thought a permanent decline was right around the corner.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2018, 05:42:23 pm
Sure, it’s conceivable dumping Z would make the Cubs “better” if it allows a bigger move (that works out). But in and of itself, hard to see how the roster is better without him than with him. At his current contract level he’s a bargain, which is why he’s dumpable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: goblue007 on December 10, 2018, 09:03:26 pm
What is PTR? Is this a deeg being deeg thing?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2018, 09:12:06 pm
That’s as old as the Ricketts ownership.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2018, 09:18:08 pm
The Poor Tom Ricketts thing is stupid after 2016 and especially with the Cubs sitting above a $200 million payroll.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2018, 09:20:01 pm
GM Jed Hoyer again stresses that the Cubs are focusing more on internal improvements than external solutions: "I’ve never said this before, but I’ve never wanted a season to start quicker. I just feel like the way that the season ended, it left such a bitter taste in our mouths."
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2018, 09:20:28 pm
“Nothing is imminent” - Jed Hoyer #CubsTalk
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2018, 09:20:53 pm
Q: Was today more about free agents or trades?  “Prob 50/50” - Jed Hoyer.  #CubsTalk
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2018, 09:22:14 pm
“The biggest improvements are going to be from within.”  - Jed Hoyer right now in Vegas #CubsTalk
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2018, 09:23:36 pm
Jed Hoyer, on the need for certain leadership: "We had that in ’15, ’16, ’17. We were lacking that last year.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2018, 09:24:13 pm
“The biggest improvements are going to be from within.”  - Jed Hoyer right now in Vegas #CubsTalk

A healthy Bryant is about 5 WAR all by himself.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2018, 09:25:03 pm
“Has anything changed [with the Cubs’ financial flexibility]? It remains unclear, but on the flip side, rumblings also exist that the Ricketts family has signed off on the possibility of a big expenditure for a star like Harper.”--Levine
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2018, 09:26:43 pm
Every winter, without fail, Kyle Schwarber's name pops up in trade rumors. Yet the Cubs maintain they're *buying* Schwarber stock, not selling it.

Hoyer: "Nothing's changed. I think we really believe in him. He's an incredibly gifted hitter and we fully believe in the makeup."
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 10, 2018, 10:03:06 pm
“The biggest improvements are going to be from within.”  - Jed Hoyer right now in Vegas #CubsTalk

If this front office really believes "the biggest improvements are going to be from within" in 2019, this team will be lucky to win 85 next year. The offense is dysfunctional and less than the sum of its parts...if the biggest position player changes are a new backup catcher and Bote over La Stella, this won't be a playoff team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 11, 2018, 08:23:46 am
If Quintana, Darvish and Bryant all return to their pre-2018 performance levels, the biggest improvements may well come from within, and it would be easy to see the team not only in the playoffs, but winning the WS.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: wmljohn on December 11, 2018, 09:07:34 am
Have the Cubs signed Harper yet?  I heard he is having a big party at his place in LV and Bryant invited Tom, Theo and Jed to hang out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 11, 2018, 09:08:41 am
If Quintana, Darvish and Bryant all return to their pre-2018 performance levels, the biggest improvements may well come from within, and it would be easy to see the team not only in the playoffs, but winning the WS.

Especially if you add Contreras to that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 11, 2018, 09:16:14 am
Especially if you add Contreras to that.

Yes, but Contreras really had not been in the majors long enough before last year to establish a meaningful baseline.  If you are looking for all of the players where I would expect a significant improvement in 2019, I would also add Schwarber, Russell and Baez.  Baez took a big step forward in 2018.  I actually expect roughly comparable further improvement in 2019.

Now, all of that said, I would STILL like to see them make Harper a short term offer which was so good he simply could not pass it by.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2018, 10:55:20 am
Cubs are hiring Brad Mills for Hottovy's old position.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 11, 2018, 12:38:54 pm
"The Cubs and Cardinals are among the other teams not engaged in a pursuit of Harper," sources told @Ken_Rosenthal.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on December 11, 2018, 01:10:56 pm
right now it looks like Harper will end up in Philly, and Machado in NY.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2018, 01:45:04 pm
right now

Is the key phrase. 

If I was betting I'd take the field.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 11, 2018, 02:47:26 pm
Had not realized extent of this, but Zobrist has total of ONE homer in 256 PAs swinging from right side last two seasons combined.

Seems like his power has disappeared from the right side. So, think if he’s going to get significant starts in the OF in 2019, has to be against righties—-and that perhaps means that if Cubs bring in a OF bat, it should be a righty bat. One reason I liked McCutchen here but that’s off the table now.

For me, the guy to deal is Happ. Five years of control, so figures to be attractive to rebuilding clubs. Have followed him since Cape Cod League, but wonder how he can correct all the swings-and-misses on pitches inside the strike zone.

Probably easier to find a corner righty bat than a CF bat to replace Happ—-and perhaps that means much more of Heyward in CF.

Average OPS of CFers typically 30-35 points lower than RFers, so Heyward’s bat plays better there. Maybe just have to sacrifice some defense. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Chiman on December 11, 2018, 05:54:38 pm
Mills is a good get for the Cubs as he will be a very good pitching coach in the near future.
He was one of the best pitching coaches in the Mariners system. He is very analytical and can see tweeks/ adjustments that a pitcher needs to be successful.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 11, 2018, 07:08:15 pm
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/orioles-close-to-hiring-brandon-hyde-as-manager.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2018, 07:19:11 pm
Not sure that will ultimately be a great career move for Hyde. He had a good shot at the Cubs job next year, and he almost certainly could’ve found a better situation than Baltimore in a year. But I guess you have to take the job when offered.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2018, 07:31:04 pm
Orioles beat writer Roch Kubatko says Hyde hasn’t been hired:

Elias said no decision made on manager, no offer made and probably no hire here. Called report on Hyde, shown on TV in suite, “premature”
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 11, 2018, 07:37:00 pm
I anything ever certain with the Orioles?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2018, 07:42:54 pm
Seems like a foregone conclusion on Twitter that if Hyde leaves, David Ross will become the bench coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 11, 2018, 07:57:17 pm
Seems like a foregone conclusion on Twitter that if Hyde leaves, David Ross will become the bench coach.

Even though it has not been confirmed, everybody and their brother seems convinced that Hyde will be hired by the Orioles. As to who would succeed him as bench coach, the last I checked Twitter (and those tweeting) don't get a vote.  It does seem like a plausible theory though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 11, 2018, 08:52:13 pm
In case you missed it, this is an interesting interview with Joe Maddon.

https://www.facebook.com/NBCSChicago/videos/514757562363999?sfns=1
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2018, 10:10:30 pm
Obviously, no one outside the Harper camp and the front office really knows what’s going on. But I feel pretty confident about a few things:

1. No way in hell Harper signs for the White Sox.
2. Harper would genuinely like to play for the Cubs.
3. #2 doesn’t matter much as to where he’ll actually go if the money isn’t close to a wash.

I’d be betting on the Dodgers at this point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on December 11, 2018, 10:19:27 pm
http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25512875/joe-maddon-chicago-cubs-manager-looks-improve-entering-pivotal-season

Pajama parties aren't enough.  Who woulda thought?

I really want a transcript of exit meetings.  Who was working on that?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 12, 2018, 01:55:08 am
Lot of talk about Cubs looking for veteran clubhouse leadership.

Mentioned couple weeks ago of maybe trading for Russell Martin? Jays actually had Martin manage their final game of the season in 2018. Think Cubs pursued him last free agency a few years ago.

Of course, Martin is now a salary dump for Jays. But, here’s how Jays can trade Martin and, instead of paying down his salary, instead, they can GET MONEY BACK!

Trade him for Chatwood. Chatwood owed $25.5 (two years) and Martin owed $20 (one year). So, Cubs send Jays some money.

Cubs also get rid of Chatwood’s $12.67 luxury tax hit for 2020, while adding only an additional $3.8 AAV in 2019 (Martin 2019 AAV is $16.4 compared to Chatwood 12.67). Heck, Cubs might be close to adding that amount if sign a FA catcher instead.

Of course, this only works if Jays prefer Chatwood over just sending $16 or so cash to somebody to take back Martin and adding a Type C prospect or whatever. Maybe they wouldn’t. The 2020 luxury tax hit with Chatwood is probably irrelevant for Jays—-only the cash parity matters, I would think.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Robb on December 12, 2018, 09:09:23 am
Orioles beat writer Roch Kubatko says Hyde hasn’t been hired:

Elias said no decision made on manager, no offer made and probably no hire here. Called report on Hyde, shown on TV in suite, “premature”
Maybe Hyde failed his physical.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2018, 02:48:53 pm
Jesse Rogers

Verified account
 
@ESPNChiCubs
 14m14 minutes ago
More
Btw, Don’t know where Cubs are with a new bench coach but Raul Ibanez is one early name I’ve heard to consider. (Besides Ross of course)

0 replies 0 retweets 0 likes

Rogers said on the radio a reliever signing might happen tonight. Smaller move.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2018, 04:45:02 pm
Listening to Jesse Rogers on ESPN Chicago, he says he’s heard that the Cubs could make a move later today.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 12, 2018, 05:26:52 pm
A salary dump, or did the dig behind the couch cushions prove more lucrative than expected?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2018, 05:31:41 pm
His speculation was that they’d add a reliever.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 12, 2018, 06:28:03 pm
Maybe it’s Tulo. He fits their current budgetary demands.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 12, 2018, 06:30:06 pm
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess a trade centered around Chatwood for Kipnis.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2018, 07:26:01 pm
Mark Gonzales just tweeted that the Cubs are unlikely to make a move at the Winter Meetings according to Hoyer.

Such a boring offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on December 12, 2018, 07:34:04 pm
They could at least DFA somebody.    I'm willing to nominate a couple.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2018, 07:54:54 pm
The latest on A. Russell from agent Scott Boras: "Addison (Russell) is well into working with local groups he is well into his therapy. This process has really been educational and defining for him."
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 12, 2018, 08:00:06 pm
Well, that’s an objective and independent source.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 12, 2018, 08:01:24 pm
In a related story, Scott Boras has begun taking his **** out and showing it to young girls on local merry-go-rounds.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2018, 08:11:16 pm
Smh...

If Addison wins a gold glove and hits 20 HRs next year you'll never hear a word mentioned about his problems here again.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 12, 2018, 08:26:34 pm
Gonna have to put Joe out begging on State Street with a bigger hat next time, I guess.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2018, 08:27:18 pm
Kris Bryant, who lives in Las Vegas, visited with Cubs officials in their hotel suite this afternoon.

Did Bryant ask what's going on with Bryce Harper or vice versa?

"He's got a pretty direct source," GM Jed Hoyer said.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2018, 08:36:32 pm
Smh...

If Addison wins a gold glove and hits 20 HRs next year you'll never hear a word mentioned about his problems here again.

I'm pretty sure you're the only one here who is willing to ignore criminal behavior if a player is good at baseball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2018, 08:59:27 pm
Im not their father or their maker so no I dont care.

Just like Ive said before I didnt hear any of this when Aroldis Chapman won us a world series.

Im pretty sure Addison never got charged with anything "criminal" either.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2018, 09:15:41 am
Bruce Levine

 
@MLBBruceLevine
 33m33 minutes ago
More
According to sources the Cubs checked in with former Cub Mark DeRosa about vacant bench coach job . Does not appear David Ross who works for the team will take it. Both have nice broadcast deals .

DeRosa seemed to be a no on MLB Network last night.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on December 13, 2018, 09:29:24 am
Wasn't one of Ross' reasons for retiring to spend more home time with family?  If so, broadcast gigs cut into that far less than 50% of games away.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 13, 2018, 03:54:00 pm
Jeff Fletcher @JeffFletcherOCR
Source: the #Angels are sending LHP Conor Lilis-White to the Cubs to complete the Tommy La Stella trade.


https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=lillis000con

https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=sa876096&position=P
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on December 13, 2018, 04:01:25 pm
Move him on to the Blue Jays for Martin.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 13, 2018, 04:04:43 pm
Conor Lillis-White:  Canadian for "Zac Rosscup"
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 13, 2018, 04:08:45 pm
Which is still more than I was expecting in return for a 1 tool player.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2018, 04:31:54 pm
Tall “pitch downhill” high 80s lefty with a sweeping curve. Not a top 20 guy for them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 13, 2018, 04:44:29 pm
Conor Lillis-White:  Canadian for "Zac Rosscup" "Sean Marshall"
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 13, 2018, 04:55:54 pm
If he performs the way Sean Marshall did while a Cub, I will take that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 13, 2018, 05:02:29 pm
If nothing else, he seems to have a decent strike out record.  Too many walks to be comfortable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2018, 06:27:13 pm
Where is this fantasy that Brett Taylor and now others are pushing that Lillis-White is a “power lefty” coming from? I haven’t seen a scouting report that says he can break 90 on his best day.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 13, 2018, 06:34:19 pm
I haven't read a scouting report anywhere, but I would guess that they're probably assuming that he's a power lefty because he's wild and strikes out a lot of batters.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2018, 07:05:54 pm
I haven't read a scouting report anywhere, but I would guess that they're probably assuming that he's a power lefty because he's wild and strikes out a lot of batters.

So not doing any homework, then. That does sound about right.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2018, 07:38:00 pm
A lefty reliever with a swing and miss breaking ball can be useful, especially when he has 3 options and doesn’t need to be on the 40 man.

It is too bad you can’t combine his breaking ball and Rosario’s fastball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on December 13, 2018, 08:29:56 pm
Phil Rogers referred to him as major league ready on Twitter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2018, 08:32:56 pm
Phil Rogers referred to him as major league ready on Twitter.

That pretty much rules out his being a useful piece.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 13, 2018, 08:33:58 pm
Phil Rogers is still covering baseball? I stopped following him years ago.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JR on December 13, 2018, 10:00:42 pm
Is “major league ready” but not a genuine major leaguer like a +1/2?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2018, 10:16:28 pm
James Russell was a useful lefty reliever for a few years without a breaking ball and similar fastball.  I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss this guy.  He might never be anything, but he's interesting. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on December 13, 2018, 10:20:08 pm
Hell, he might even be as good as Chatwood.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 13, 2018, 10:29:17 pm
I'll settle for as good as Duensing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 14, 2018, 12:37:17 pm
Another report that Cubs “monitoring” Harper.

National writer Mark Feinsand’s post-winter meeting roundup:

Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, met with clubs at their suite at the Aria Resort and Casino this week, getting a feel for the superstar outfielder's market. The Phillies and White Sox appear to have serious interest, though teams including the Cubs and Dodgers are also monitoring the situation. The Yankees insist they're not in on Harper, taking a big-market club out of the Harper market.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 14, 2018, 02:05:40 pm
Cubs in strong pursuit of Daniel Descalso according to Rosenthal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on December 14, 2018, 02:10:45 pm
I imagine they are always looking for bargains, and monitor multiple dozens of guys of interest, in hopes that their price might unexpectedly fall from "that's too much" into "good value" realm.  I'm sure it rarely happens, but I think by Cubs account it has happened in a couple of significant occasions.
One was the great Heyward steal, Theo and Maddon had loved the guy, but didn't think they could afford him.  But then it turned out there was a chance, and their age-based analytics scouted his best-hitting years were coming up, that there was more power to be gained from the Cubs coaching and launch-angle analysis, and they got him for the $184, and the rest is history. 

In both the Hewyard year, and the Tanaka year, Theo has talked about having spending flexibility.  I think Hendry tended to get one-year budgets, and he normally felt it was his obligation to the fans to spend out his budget to try to assemble the most competitive team he could.  But Theo I think has more flexibility.  He talked about with the Heyward pickup, where he thought the value was too good to pass up, that he was allowed to kind of "borrow forward", and borrow money from the next year; and he got authorization from Crane Kennedy to pay beyond what the suggested budget had really authorized.  I assume some of that flexibility remains in play now, such that *IF* a really-good-value pickup became available, they could possible "borrow forward" again. 

I suspect Yu may have been another case.  The word had been that their budget was limited, and that they were kind of saving for this year that was supposed to have a bigger field.  But then I think Yu with his World Series collapse and the pitch-tipping and everything, his market wasn't as strong as deeg had expected, or maybe Theo either.  So, by Theo's account, when Yu got slightly more affordable then they expected, and given their pitching-rotation needs, they somehow got the flexibilty to take the plunge last year.  AGain, I suspect they were partly "borrowing forward", and trying to take their best shot before their window kept slimming.  Plus, I assume they are always doing some revenue-guessing; the revenue for a team that plays into the world series and has a bundle of extra home games is significantly larger than for the one-game playoffs that the Cubs hosted.  So the revenue may have been some handfuls of millions less than they had projected? 

But, I would assume that **IF** a price drops low enough, that Theo may again be able to make a case to borrow forward, and that the window is going to shrink and they should take their shots while they can? 

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 14, 2018, 02:39:04 pm
Bleacher Nation write-up on Descalso from about a week ago:

https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/12/07/you-know-what-surprising-free-agent-is-actually-worth-discussing-daniel-descalso/

Descalso is a poor man's Ben Zobrist. There has been speculation that Zobrist could be traded to free up money, and that speculation would just grow if the Cubs did end up signing Descalso.

He'd also probably fill the "veteran leadership" role the Cubs are looking for.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 14, 2018, 03:02:12 pm
Descalso is an improvement from LaStella, but he'd be a downgrade from Zobrist.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 14, 2018, 05:33:01 pm
Cubs in strong pursuit of Daniel Descalso according to Rosenthal.

Precursor to a Zobrist salary dump?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 14, 2018, 05:37:17 pm
Clearing space for Harper.

Im still not convinced we dont sign him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 14, 2018, 06:24:00 pm
Cubs in strong pursuit of Daniel Descalso according to Rosenthal.

WHY?

I genuinely would not think the Theocracy would want the guy on the 25 man roster even if the Cubs had to pay him nothing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 14, 2018, 06:27:42 pm
He is dog ****.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 14, 2018, 08:27:16 pm
Cubs are one of the teams that has at least been in contact with Tulo, and they will send a scout to a workout. There are others though, so they aren’t necessarily the favorite. His agent told @susanslusser there are 6 teams and they will narrow field soon.--Heyman
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 14, 2018, 09:14:18 pm
Descalso is an improvement from LaStella, but he'd be a downgrade from Zobrist.

I would just as soon have Descalso as Merwin Gonzalez.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 14, 2018, 09:30:26 pm
I would just as soon have Descalso as Merwin Gonzalez.

Obviously if the money were remotely close you should much rather have Gonzales - clearly a much better player.  But presumably also much more expensive.  And since the Cubs couldn't afford Jesse Chavez and there's speculation even Descalso is too rich for their blood, the odds of them going after Marwin are effectively zero.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on December 14, 2018, 09:36:24 pm
Suspect part of the Descalzo interest might be the veteran leadership stuff?  Descalzo went to college at Cal, and he's a Cardinals system product.

Also, maybe they kinda spent ahead and used this year's money to sign Yu last year; and hoped that a strong playoff run would pay for it anyway? 

 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 14, 2018, 09:54:02 pm
Descalso would be a useful addition. Last two seasons combined, his iso has averaged .180 per season. So, he now seems to have some pop. An upgrade over La Stella. Don’t think any more to it than that. Seems unlikely would impact Zobrist’s tenure here. There’s a 25-man roster spot for Descalso and when Russell comes back in May, Bote could be optioned assuming ALL of the other position players are healthy and only one spot available for Descalso/Bote.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 14, 2018, 10:52:19 pm
Cubs one of 6 teams to reach out to Tulo. On a minimum deal without any guarantees of playing time I see very little downside.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 14, 2018, 11:05:39 pm
Cubs one of 6 teams to reach out to Tulo. On a minimum deal without any guarantees of playing time I see very little downside.

I just read this article on Tulowitzki, and I think it provides a pretty clear idea of why the Cubs would be interested in him, given all the talk about needing a veteran to play the role Rossy played in 2016.

https://theathletic.com/714852/2018/12/14/lott-as-he-leaves-the-blue-jays-troy-tulowitzki-deserves-thanks-for-the-memories/

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 14, 2018, 11:41:48 pm
Tulo meets the most important criteria for the Cubs this offseason - he'd play for league minimum.

I have no problem going after this guy, since the risk is pretty minimal.  But be clear, Tulo hasn't been an elite player since 2014 and basically missed the past two years with chronic injuries.  The odds that he's an impact guy are hugely against, but if you can convince him to sign he's certainly worth a punt even at age 34.  But not if it means promising him the SS position, before Russell is due back or not.  Baez needs to be the SS and if Tulo signs, it should be with the idea of competing for the 2B job.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 14, 2018, 11:46:09 pm
Tulowitzki on playing a position other than shortstop: "I'll pack my bags and go home."

http://www.sportingnews.com/ca/mlb/news/toronto-blue-jays-tulowitzki-playing-shortstop-ill-pack-my-bags-go-home-mlb-injury-news/1hhzsyb6m16x01g9ya9kqhjhim

Obviously, if he signs with the Cubs, he will have agreed to whatever plan they have for him. But I don't think we should get our hopes up for him accepting a reduced bench role to come to the Cubs. He can probably find a job where he at least has a path to starting regularly and playing shortstop.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 15, 2018, 12:05:15 am
The Athletic article Ron posted states that he’d be ok with a utility role. 1) Cheap 2) Possibly a league average bat with ok defense 3) Grizzle. He seems to be perfect.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 15, 2018, 12:43:08 am
The idea of bumping Javy out of position for Tulo at this point in his career is so hilariously ludicrous that hopefully even Tulo can see that.  But if he can find an actual contender to promise his SS (which seems mutually exclusive to me) which is what he says he wants, more power to him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 15, 2018, 01:20:34 am
Tulo had a 3.4 bWAR season in 2016. That’s pretty good.

Kind of a shame how his career has gone. Through age 29, he was pretty much Derek Jeter. Tulo 38.8 bWAR and Jeter 40.6 bWAR through age 29 seasons. Harold Baines is 38.7 bWAR for his career.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 15, 2018, 09:18:08 am
The idea of bumping Javy out of position for Tulo at this point in his career is so hilariously ludicrous that hopefully even Tulo can see that.  But if he can find an actual contender to promise his SS (which seems mutually exclusive to me) which is what he says he wants, more power to him.

No one has suggested Tulowitski would displace Javy at SS. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 15, 2018, 09:47:24 am
The new pitching coach was on Bruce Levine’s radio show. He sounds impressive, so hopefully that translate to the field.

Via Cubs Insider from Kris Bryant’s dad he is pain free with his old swing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 15, 2018, 11:30:26 pm
Tulowitski could be a nice object lesson reminder to the Cub core just how small the window of opportunity can be and just how fleeting flame can be.

When he was the same age Baez is now, Tulo looked as if he was headed for the HOF.  Tulo had done much more by age 25 than Baez has so far, but at this point it is unlikely his name will last long at all on the HOF ballot.

His presence could cause some of the core to approach each season with just a bit more urgency, with a realization that their individual performance level, and the chance of the team winning it all again can disappear in a flash.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on December 16, 2018, 09:02:00 am
That highlights the value of building in player redundancy.  If your system is skewed (e.g., towards a few superstar types), things can go south in a hurry.  Theo seems to put a high value on redundancy and this may factor in to whether he decides to invest big in a superstar free agent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on December 16, 2018, 09:04:13 am
That highlights the value of building in player redundancy.  If your system is skewed (e.g., towards a few superstar types), things can go south in a hurry.  Theo seems to put a high value on redundancy and this may factor in to whether he decides to invest big in a superstar free agent.
You mean like Lester, Heyward, Zobrist, and Darvish?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on December 16, 2018, 11:59:40 am
Despite the addition of costly free agents, but Cubs still have considerable player redundancy.  But if they trade some of that redundancy for another costly free agent (like Harper) it could put them in a very vulnerable position.  Theo needs to navigate not only the financial limitations but also the need to maintain roster flexibility.  There's no one else I would rather have at the helm, but he has his work cut out for him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 16, 2018, 12:41:32 pm
Redundancy doesn’t mean de-emphasizing a core of star players. If you want to win something, you have to have stars—and then you fill out the remainder of the roster around those stars, hopefully, with at least an average or near-average player everywhere.

Redundancy means that you have at least adequate coverage everywhere.

Of course, payroll becomes a practical consideration with a big ticket FA. But, aside from that, redundancy cannot get in the way of a star core if you can get it.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on December 16, 2018, 12:54:35 pm
Sufficient redundancy means you have more than adequate coverage even with an injury or two.  The Cubs have had that in recent years, and IMO they need to keep it that way.  Perhaps that will be possible even with another big time acquisition.  That's where Theo's skills come to the fore. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 16, 2018, 12:56:45 pm
I admit that I do keep hoping against hope that the Cubs will somehow wind up getting Harper.  He would be an enormous addition, obviously.

I try to remind myself, though, that the existing team has three genuine offensive stars: Bryant, Baez and Rizzo, with at least one other guy who has the potential to be: Contreras. Their supportive cast (Zobrist, Heyward (overpaid though he may be), Schwarber, Almora and Happ) ain't exactly chipped beef.

No one, including, me and least of all Theo, wants to enter 2019 without at least one more proven bat.  But, if some of the youngsters were adversely affected by mixed signals (launch angle vs. putting the ball in play), it's entirely possible that we'll see an offense more like 2016 and 2017.  And while that offense had its own issues, it was damned good at producing runs.  If Darvish, Lester, Hamels, Hendricks and Quintana perform anywhere near their potential and the bullpen steps like last season, a 2016-2017 level offense should make for a team that is capable of going deep into the playoffs.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 16, 2018, 01:37:17 pm
Sufficient redundancy means you have more than adequate coverage even with an injury or two.  The Cubs have had that in recent years, and IMO they need to keep it that way.  Perhaps that will be possible even with another big time acquisition.  That's where Theo's skills come to the fore. 

What I’m saying is that you should not let depth get in the way of acquiring a star. Payroll considerations are one thing, but you can get near-average guys to protect against injuries. Those guys are all over the place.

You win with stars, so long as you are not terrible here and there. Stars are very hard to find. Average and near-average guys are not hard to find.

Payroll considerations are there for every club. What really hurts is when you are paying guys as stars, but they perform as non-stars.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 17, 2018, 10:46:26 am
I was thinking recently that Theo Epstein was hired by the Cubs in October, 2011, seven years ago.  So he is now, I believe, entering the third year of his second five year contract, meaning he presumably only has three years remaining in his own window with the Cubs (he's generally expected to move on at the end of this contract). So it's safe to say that he feels his own since of urgency to get back to the World Series.

I do not think he's the kind of guy who would sacrifice the future of the franchise for immediate success, even though he doesn't expect to be around after the 2021 season. Still, it should be clear that he's also highly focused on doing what he thinks is necessary for short-term success. 
That is probably worth remembering when trying to understand how he is approaching his job in general and this off-season in particular.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 17, 2018, 01:20:27 pm
I hadn't heard that he was expected to move on after this contract.  Who is doing the expecting, and why?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 17, 2018, 01:55:18 pm
I hadn't heard that he was expected to move on after this contract.  Who is doing the expecting, and why?

I remember reading, more than once I think, that he believes 10 years is a kind of limit to being effective. I can't cite any specific sources, but my impression is that this is widely expected to be the case. As always, I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 17, 2018, 03:15:50 pm
He's said 10 years in the limit somebody should stay in 1 place and has guessed that is as long as he'd stay, but it isn't set in stone.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 17, 2018, 05:35:46 pm
I remember reading, more than once I think, that he believes 10 years is a kind of limit to being effective. I can't cite any specific sources, but my impression is that this is widely expected to be the case. As always, I could be wrong.

That is also my memory from one of the early interviews with him after he joined the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on December 17, 2018, 07:01:10 pm
I've also heard Theo talk about "10 years" being the limit of productive time in such a role.

Bill Walsh, the Hall of Fame 49ers football coach who turned that franchise into one of the best ever, wrote about "10 years as the limit" two decades ago and a quite a few sports executives and coaches have echoed his theory. 

Over time, the 100+ hour weeks and immense pressure that comes with those roles must take a toll!

Folks, we should enjoy the next 3 years as much as we can...there is FAR less certainty Cubs will "sustain success" after that incredibly hard-working, brilliant guy leaves (with the greatest record of any MLB executive ever).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 17, 2018, 07:39:18 pm
I've also heard Theo talk about "10 years" being the limit of productive time in such a role....  Folks, we should enjoy the next 3 years as much as we can...there is FAR less certainty Cubs will "sustain success" after that incredibly hard-working, brilliant guy leaves (with the greatest record of any MLB executive ever).

George Weiss was GM of the Yankees for 13 years, during which the Yankees won 10 pennants, 7 WS and had a winning percentage of .622.

Nice to know that Theo has beaten that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 17, 2018, 09:56:32 pm
Ben, if this coming season goes south I wouldn't be shocked to see a major teardown-rebuild whether Theo sticks around or not.  Joe would be gone for sure and Theo might decide that if ownership doesn't want to stay with the big boys financially, that would be preferable to a slow decline followed by a crash when the FAs bolt.  Rizzo would probably stay with his contract, but I could see Bryant, Schwarber, Contreras, Quintana, and Hendricks all dealt after next season.  Maybe see what you can get for Lester if he has a decent season and is willing to waive his NTC. Hope Almora and Happ step up and build around Baez and prospects.

Mind you, I'm not saying that's the most likely scenario - just one that can't be ruled out.  There's a lot of potential for things to turn ugly next year based on what's gone down over the last few months.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 17, 2018, 10:40:03 pm
Yes, it can be.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on December 17, 2018, 11:19:25 pm
Deeg, I agree that next season could go south, particularly IF our pitching doesn't come through as it has in recent years.
If that happens, there will, indeed, be MANY changes!

Jes, George Weiss has quite a record; however, he wasn't the person who led the Red Sox to their 1st two World Championships in almost 100 years AND the Cubs to their 1st World Championship in 108 years!

In all due respect to Mr. Weiss, count me among those who believe Theo is THE best ever for ending the Red Sox AND Cub droughts - somehow, architecting the Cubs' to a WS might have earned that recognition by itself, but providing that for BOTH tortured franchises??
It's a no-brainer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 17, 2018, 11:53:06 pm
Only 2 teams paid the CBT last year and the Cubs are currently the only team above the threshold. They are playing with the big boys already.

The Cubs are going to have Hamels, Zobrist, Strop, Kintzler, Dunensing and maybe Morrow as free agents next year. There will be big changes next year regardless of what happens.

If Theo has 3 years left, he isn’t taking a World Series contender and tearing it down partially.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 18, 2018, 07:30:11 am
Jes, George Weiss has quite a record; however, he wasn't the person who led the Red Sox to their 1st two World Championships in almost 100 years AND the Cubs to their 1st World Championship in 108 years!

In all due respect to Mr. Weiss, count me among those who believe Theo is THE best ever for ending the Red Sox AND Cub droughts - somehow, architecting the Cubs' to a WS might have earned that recognition by itself, but providing that for BOTH tortured franchises??
It's a no-brainer.

You are now looking for reasons to consider one better than the other, and that is moving the goalposts from your original position, which was simply that Theo has the best RECORD of any MLB executive ever.

Unless Theo can top the RECORD Weiss had, he does NOT have the best RECORD.

It is about like saying some pitcher who won 60% of his games so far in his career has the best RECORD of any MLB pitcher ever... and ignoring the existence of Whitey Ford.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 18, 2018, 07:33:25 am
The Cubs are going to have Hamels, Zobrist, Strop, Kintzler, Dunensing and maybe Morrow as free agents next year. There will be big changes next year regardless of what happens. 


Those last three names could all announce their retirements this afternoon, with the Cubs getting nothing at all for any of them... and it would not come remotely close to qualifying as a "big change."
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2018, 10:19:19 am
I forgot Cishek too.

That will be $60+ million dropping off the payroll.

Here is the list of relievers who the Cubs control after this year by IP.  Edwards, Rosario, Montgomery, Norwood, Chatwood, Mills, Maples, Victor Caratini, Ian Happ, and Anthony Rizzo.  So the bullpen is going to have a big overhaul going into 2020.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2018, 10:46:55 am
Cubs finally do something:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal
#Cubs close to signing free-agent IF Daniel Descalso, source tells The Athletic.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JR on December 18, 2018, 11:13:40 am
Have the World Series tickets been printed yet?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2018, 11:26:01 am
Two years, $5 million for Descalso with a $3.5 million option for 2021.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2018, 11:30:22 am
Descalso for $1 million more than La Stella is a steal
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2018, 12:17:29 pm
Jordan Bastian
@MLBastian

Descalso's launch angle jumped to 19.1 degrees in '18 from 12.8 degrees in '17. Exit velo also went up a touch: 89 mph in '18 vs. 87 mph in '17. Barrel rate doubled: 10.2% in '18 from 5.1% in '17. Advanced approach/occasional pop added to Cubs' bench.

Jesse Rogers
@ESPNChiCubs
More Jesse Rogers Retweeted Ken Rosenthal
Team has not confirmed yet. Would take La Stella's place on roster. Similar late inning good AB makeup. Considered a leader in the clubhouse.Had a .893 OPS in situations deemed late/close. Can play every infield position but hasn't played SS in a couple years. 10 for 39 as PH
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 18, 2018, 12:24:40 pm
It seems like a pretty good start. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on December 18, 2018, 12:30:12 pm
Two years, $5 million for Descalso with a $3.5 million option for 2021.

Wonder what the option will look like?  Cubs option?  Or option that will trigger with games available, or something? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2018, 12:31:52 pm
Wonder what the option will look like?  Cubs option?  Or option that will trigger with games available, or something? 

Club option with $1 million buyout.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2018, 12:31:53 pm
Team option according to Rosenthal. There’s also a $1 million buyout, so it’s really a $2.5 million decision.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on December 18, 2018, 12:44:42 pm
Guy hasn't played much SS in a while, but used to. 

I wonder if Cubs will be OK with just Descalso/Bote as SS backups during the Russell suspension? 

I hope so.  Lots of off days and rainouts and stuff during the spring.  So don't think they need a backup SS to give Baez rest-for-rest-sake days off during the first quarter. 

Barring injury, I'd think Javy will be pretty fresh and strong enough to be pretty much every-day guy during first 40 games during which Russell is suspended.  **IF** they want to rest Baez for a game or two, hopefull Descalso or Bote could be anti-awful enough to pick up one start, or two.  **IF** Baez gets hurt (please no....) I assume you can cover with Descalzo for a few innings or a single start while you call up your defensive SS from Iowa as needed. 

Probably the bigger question will be how they cover 2B during games with Baez at SS. 

Perhaps that will be a question not only before Russell returns, but after as well?  Descalzo, Zobrist, Bote, Happ, and eventually Russell, **somebody** will need to be the middle-infield partner for Javy.  Obviously Russell is on a different planet defensively from those other guys.  But who knows whether Russell will be able to hit enough to stay in the lineup ahead of the other guys.  Hopefully Russell will emerge as a great-glove-plus-good-bat win-win.  But that may be more hope than expectation, for now.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2018, 12:45:46 pm
Descalso for $1 million more than La Stella is a steal

This is semantics, but I'd frame it more as "La Stella for $1 million less than Descalso is an overpay." $2.5 million is about right for Descalso, who was never even an average hitter before last year. But he is better than La Stella at everything a baseball player does outside of hitting singles.

There may be some upside, though...here's Jeff Sullivan on Descalso's swing change:

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/the-quietest-swing-changer/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2018, 01:02:17 pm
Probably the bigger question will be how they cover 2B during games with Baez at SS. 

Perhaps that will be a question not only before Russell returns, but after as well?  Descalzo, Zobrist, Bote, Happ, and eventually Russell, **somebody** will need to be the middle-infield partner for Javy.  Obviously Russell is on a different planet defensively from those other guys.  But who knows whether Russell will be able to hit enough to stay in the lineup ahead of the other guys.  Hopefully Russell will emerge as a great-glove-plus-good-bat win-win.  But that may be more hope than expectation, for now.   

A Bote/Zobrist platoon would work nicely at 2B. 

This is semantics, but I'd frame it more as "La Stella for $1 million less than Descalso is an overpay." $2.5 million is about right for Descalso, who was never even an average hitter before last year. But he is better than La Stella at everything a baseball player does outside of hitting singles.

There may be some upside, though...here's Jeff Sullivan on Descalso's swing change:

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/the-quietest-swing-changer/

La Stella at around $1.5 million was still able to get traded for something, so he had some value to somebody at that price point.

Descalso is just better on offense and while he isn't great on defense he still brings more versatility than La Stella.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2018, 02:12:14 pm
Sahadev Sharma

@sahadevsharma
 5m5 minutes ago
More Sahadev Sharma Retweeted (((Mike McElwee)))
$1.5M for year one, $2.5M year two, $3.5M team option for year three or $1M buyout. So, yes, $5M guaranteed


Gore signed a 1 year deal with the Royals.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2018, 03:27:52 pm
That's fine - about right for Descalso, really.  At least it's a pulse.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 18, 2018, 03:29:37 pm
Interesting article on how the new hitting analytics instructor for the White Sox helped Descalso transform his hitting approach after the 2015 season. His stats certainly began to take an upturn after that season.  His best OPS in the four seasons before 2016 was .656 (including one season with the Rockies).  His OPS in 2016-2018: .773, .727, .789.

https://theathletic.com/701875/2018/12/09/the-internets-most-followed-hitting-coach-is-now-working-for-the-white-sox-and-hes-eager-to-prove-himself/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2018, 03:46:18 pm
Full breakdown of Descalso's contract:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
Daniel Descalso: 1.5M in 2019, 2.5M in 2020, 3.5M club option in 2021 ( 1M buyout). 50K 425, 450, 475 plate appearances, 100K 500 plate appearances. #cubs
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2018, 04:21:41 pm
It seems like a pretty good start. 

As long as it’s not a really weak finish.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2018, 05:45:45 pm
SunTimes is reporting that the Cubs broadcast partner is going to be Sinclair according to Bleacher Nation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2018, 05:47:35 pm
Apparently the Cubs partner for their network is going to be Sinclair, according to the Sun-Times.  Not to turn this thread into the politics one but if true - blech.  Forget whatever your politics are - any objective look into their standards and practices is a dark ride.  And is it really smart to risk alienating a sizable chunk of your fanbase?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on December 18, 2018, 05:48:58 pm
SunTimes is reporting that the Cubs broadcast partner is going to be Sinclair according to Bleacher Nation.
Story

https://www.bleachernation.com/2018/12/18/nbc-sports-chicago-reportedly-moving-on-without-the-cubs-further-suggesting-cubs-plans/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2018, 05:54:12 pm
If indeed the Cubs partnered with Sinclair, I would endeavor to make certain that I offered no financial support to their broadcast rights in any way.  And I know I'm not alone in that by a long shot.  This would be a huge mistake in pure practical terms, never mind the ethical and moral cost of jumping in bed with Sinclair.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: method on December 18, 2018, 06:32:11 pm
Is the lack of tax payer subsidy to renovate wrigley behind the lowered payroll expectations?

https://deadspin.com/cubs-owners-discussed-moving-team-out-of-chicago-during-1831179210
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2018, 06:55:38 pm
They ended up replacing the public funding by selling a minority share in the team for $150 million, the advertising and various corporate sponsorships.

If I remember correctly the $575 price tag includes the Hotel Gregory which is owned outside of the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2018, 06:57:45 pm
If indeed the Cubs partnered with Sinclair, I would endeavor to make certain that I offered no financial support to their broadcast rights in any way.  And I know I'm not alone in that by a long shot.  This would be a huge mistake in pure practical terms, never mind the ethical and moral cost of jumping in bed with Sinclair.

Yeah, I'm definitely not looking forward to the Joe Simpson/Curt Schilling broadcast duo. Or eliminating the 7th inning stretch for the 7th inning right wing conspiracy rant.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2018, 07:07:25 pm
So, Cubs news in the last month:

More and more it really feels like 2016 was the result of a pact with the devil.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2018, 07:11:41 pm
The Cubs threatening to move was news like 5 years ago, Deadspin just realized it.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-xpm-2013-05-02-chi-wrigley-upgrades-20130501-story,amp.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2018, 07:18:22 pm
The Cubs threatening to move was news like 5 years ago, Deadspin just realized it.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-xpm-2013-05-02-chi-wrigley-upgrades-20130501-story,amp.html

Yes, but no one reported it at the time as far as I can tell.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 18, 2018, 07:23:49 pm
The Cubs threatening to leave Wrigley is the emptiest threat in the history of the world. I don’t blame them for trying to get public money sinde so many cities and states have been so willing to hand out cash they don’t have to teams.  Thankfully it worked out the way it always should with the extremely rich owners paying for it with the money they do have.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2018, 07:33:49 pm
Yes, but no one reported it at the time as far as I can tell.

Tom Ricketts pubically threatened it at one point 2013 when they were having issues with the rooftops after the public funding was off the table. Like Cletus noted it was an empty threat because what would the Ricketts die with a multimillion assets that is a historic landmark in the middle of Chicago.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 18, 2018, 08:09:17 pm
Who the hell is Sinclair, and why should the Cubs not work with them?  And why should we care which broadcasting company works with them?

I am glad that the Cubs got no tax money for the team.  I believe that NO publicly owned sports team should get tax money.  On the other hand, since almost all teams DO get tax money (I watched the Brewers get rich on my tax money), I see no reason why the Cubs would have been wrong to take the team where they WOULD get that break.  Other than the fact that they would probably make more money in Wrigley Field than in most other places in the country.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2018, 08:11:30 pm
Yeah, was waiting for that post...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 18, 2018, 08:22:29 pm
The odds that DaveP does not know who Sinclair is are approximately 0%.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2018, 08:42:17 pm
Cubs are denying any deal with Sinclair.

Are there any examples of politics creeping into The Tennis Channel?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 18, 2018, 08:46:47 pm

Bruce Levine
@MLBBruceLevine

Breaking news -The Chicago Cubs are denying they have a deal in place for a new regional network with Sinclair broadcasting . Industry sources say Sinclair is certainly a front runner to become a partner .
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2018, 08:50:40 pm
Deny, deny, deny...  The Ricketts know the playbook very well.

It's not totally impossible they floated this to see just how much outrage it would cause, of course.  In which case I hope the furor continues to be attention-grabbing for them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: vander-built on December 18, 2018, 08:55:08 pm
Board has gone to ****.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 18, 2018, 09:47:20 pm
Sinclair are Trump supporters right?

Arent the Rickett's clan democrats?

If they dont care to do business with them then why should anyone else?

BTW...

I only know who Sinclair is because they own Ring Of Honor wrestling.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 18, 2018, 09:50:56 pm
I am no fan of most of the Ricketts family, as far as their politics goes (which really should not be part of this topic). But this notion that their politics is simplistic is neither accurate nor relevant to baseball decisions.  I know a little about the Ricketts family as well as their involvement with the Cubs and the neighborhood surrounding Wrigley Field. I live 1.5 miles from the ballpark, have a long history as a Cub fan, as well as of involvement in Chicago politics and have followed all of the machinations (political and otherwise) around the family and the ballpark pretty closely.

First, the family is not a monolithic family politically. Joe (father, and least involved with the Cubs) is a funder of right wing politicians and causes (I don't expect anyone to disagree with this). Pete Ricketts, who has had no involvement with the Cubs, is a conservative/right wing Republican Governor of Nebraska. Todd is a very conservative or even right wing guy who almost went to work for the Trump administration. Todd has little (if any) direct involvement with the Cubs. Tom, who is the guy who actually operates as the active owner of the Cubs, whatever his politics, has avoided being directly involved in politics at least since his direct involvement with the Cubs. Laura, is the second most involved member of the Ricketts family with the Cubs. She is a Democrat, an Obama bundler, a lesbian and major supporter of liberal causes. The guy hired by Tom Ricketts to run the Cubs, Theo Epstein, is a liberal Democrat.

The local alderman, who resisted many of the changes at Wrigley Field, is being challenged by a liberal Democrat (who worked in the Obama administration and in Democratic Governor Patrick Quinn's administration), as well as a couple of other challengers (one a Republican). The incumbent has weirdly accused his primary challenger as being a tool of the right wing Ricketts.  It does appear that Laura Ricketts may support him, though is not contributing to his campaign. So people, for whatever purposes, have confused the Rickett's conflicting politics to support their own points of view.

Being offended by the politics of the right wing portion of the Ricketts family led one member of the board to conclude that the primary interest of the family in taking over ownership of the Cubs was a business decision, and that their greed would prevent them from investing heavily in the team. Well, that clearly turned out not to be the case. So, I'd suggest we take care about repeating this mistake.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2018, 10:33:24 pm
Add deadbeat Dad to the Addison Russell resume:

https://twitter.com/AllyPruitt1/status/1075138896562925576

Apparently when he did pay his child support, Addy was fond of doing so in rolls of quarters.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2018, 10:35:52 pm
Ron, you can believe whatever you wish about the Ricketts family (though I do ROFL at the use of one outlier as an exemplar of some kind of political balance) or their intentions.  But the Sinclair matter goes far beyond left-right politics.  The damage they've done to local journalism in America is already incalculable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 18, 2018, 10:46:44 pm
Ron, you can believe whatever you wish about the Ricketts family (though I do ROFL at the use of one outlier as an exemplar of some kind of political balance) or their intentions.  But the Sinclair matter goes far beyond left-right politics.  The damage they've done to local journalism in America is already incalculable.

I would appreciate it if you did not mis-characterize what I wrote ("exemplar of some kind of political balance"). And that one outlier (which she surely is, politically) is also easily the second most involved member of the family when it comes to the Cubs. If you have reason to believe otherwise, please feel free to make your case. I also hope that you acknowledge that you were wrong in your initial certainty that Tom Ricketts would not be willing to heavily invest in the Cubs.  As to Sinclair, I will be very disappointed if they become the Cubs' partner. Let's see if that actually happens.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2018, 10:53:26 pm
And you see nothing troubling in the way the Ricketts have seemingly hobbled the Cubs financially in the midst of what should have been an offseason of huge opportunity for them?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2018, 11:09:28 pm
Add deadbeat Dad to the Addison Russell resume:

Great job tendering him, Cubs.

The team is crying poor, but they decided to give $4-$5 million to this guy. Awful decision.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: goblue007 on December 18, 2018, 11:20:19 pm
Crying poor? How much should the payroll be?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 18, 2018, 11:28:08 pm
And you see nothing troubling in the way the Ricketts have seemingly hobbled the Cubs financially in the midst of what should have been an offseason of huge opportunity for them?

Tell you what. I'll answer this question after you answer the one I asked you.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2018, 11:49:54 pm
Crying poor? How much should the payroll be?

They're giving $4 million (or more) to a defense-only shortstop who is an admitted domestic abuser. If they can throw money at that guy when they could've just non-tendered him, I have a hard time believing they're having trouble to find money for someone like Joakim Soria.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2018, 12:20:25 am
They have a $220 million payroll for the CBT.  Some otherwise smart people have been truly stupid in this thread of late. The only thing hobbling the Cubs payroll is spending $52.5 million on Hamels/Darvish/Chatwood.

I’ll ask again is their any indication that Sinclair has injected politics into the Tennis channel? 

If the Cubs do partner with Sinclair it sounds like Sinclair would be the distrubator and the Cubs would retain majority ownership. That is a great deal for the Cubs. If they are paid money for their rights it subject to revenue sharing. Ownership profits (fees, ads, etc..) aren’t. That means more money for team to reinvest.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2018, 12:50:10 am
Even assuming that were true, that would still mean you were OK with making assloads of money for a despicable company that's actively trying to destroy American journalism in the name of their owner's political agenda.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2018, 12:51:40 am
Tell you what. I'll answer this question after you answer the one I asked you.

You mean the straw man one that was based on a false premise in the first place?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: buff on December 19, 2018, 05:59:11 am
Even assuming that were true, that would still mean you were OK with making assloads of money for a despicable company that's actively trying to destroy American journalism in the name of their owner's political agenda.
who George Soros has already done that
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Robb on December 19, 2018, 06:43:45 am
I am no fan of most of the Ricketts family, as far as their politics goes (which really should not be part of this topic). But this notion that their politics is simplistic is neither accurate nor relevant to baseball decisions.  I know a little about the Ricketts family as well as their involvement with the Cubs and the neighborhood surrounding Wrigley Field. I live 1.5 miles from the ballpark, have a long history as a Cub fan, of involvement in Chicago politics and have followed all of the machinations (political and otherwise) around the family and the ballpark pretty closely.

First, the family is not a monolithic family politically. Joe (father, and least involved with the Cubs) is a funder of right wing politicians and causes (I don't expect anyone to disagree with this). Pete Ricketts, who has had no involvement with the Cubs, is a conservative/right wing Republican Governor of Nebraska. Todd is a very conservative or even right wing guy who almost went to work for the Trump administration. Todd has little (if any) direct involvement with the Cubs. Tom, who is the guy who actually operates as the active owner of the Cubs, whatever his politics, has avoided being directly involved in politics at least since his direct involvement with the Cubs. Laura, is the second most involved member of the Ricketts family with the Cubs. She is a Democrat, an Obama bundler, a lesbian and major supporter of liberal causes. The guy hired by Tom Ricketts to run the Cubs, Theo Epstein, is a liberal Democrat.

The local alderman, who resisted many of the changes at Wrigley Field, is being challenged by a liberal Democrat (who worked in the Obama administration and in Democratic Governor Patrick Quinn's administration), as well as a couple of other challengers (one a Republican). The incumbent has weirdly accused his primary challenger as being a tool of the right wing Ricketts.  It does appear that Laura Ricketts may support him, though is not contributing to his campaign. So people, for whatever purposes, have confused the Rickett's conflicting politics to support their own points of view.

Being offended by the politics of the right wing portion of the Ricketts family led one member of the board to conclude that the primary interest of the family in taking over ownership of the Cubs was a business decision, and that their greed would prevent them from investing heavily in the team. Well, that clearly turned out not to be the case. So, I'd suggest we take care about repeating this mistake.
Well said Ron. Despite the media, cable news channels and politicians on both sides, others who do not share our views are not enemies. It is possible to have a contrary view politically and not be enemies. We used to believe that in this country. Unfortunately, that is becoming the exception to the rule. So thanks Ron, and now, back to baseball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 19, 2018, 09:44:53 am
You mean the straw man one that was based on a false premise in the first place?

Does this mean you deny that you claimed that Ricketts would not invest heavily in the Cubs after he took it over?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2018, 10:03:53 am
Even assuming that were true, that would still mean you were OK with making assloads of money for a despicable company that's actively trying to destroy American journalism in the name of their owner's political agenda.

I've lived in 3 cities that have Sinclair stations.  I don't watch them for news and whatever they are doing hasn't effected the local news station that I watch. 

I really wouldn't care if the Cubs partnered with George Soros and had Keith Olbermann and Alec Baldwin doing the games as long as it brought in a crap ton of money for the Cubs. 

In actual baseball news it sounds like Tulo looked good in his workout, but that he is looking for a starting job vs utility role.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 19, 2018, 12:32:24 pm
Article about Melisa Reidy, Addison Russell's ex-wife:

http://www.expandedroster.com/2018/12/19/melisa-reidy-is-speaking-out-its-time-for-everyone-to-listen/

I really don't see how the Cubs can bring him back. What happens if they release him now before his arbitration hearing?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 19, 2018, 12:41:38 pm
Link doesn't work.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 19, 2018, 12:51:24 pm
It was working a few minutes ago. That site is pretty small and has been overwhelmed with traffic at different times this morning, so it's probably down right now.

They also have a PDF version on a different site:

https://www.docdroid.net/b4Kkd6i/melisa-reidy-is-speaking-out-its-time-for-everyone-to-listen-kw.pdf
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2018, 12:53:26 pm
The internet traffic took down the site.  Is there any indication in the article that their is something the Cubs wouldn't have been aware of?

I think that after the Cubs agree to a contract with him they owe him 30 days termination pay if they release him before a certain point in Spring Training.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on December 19, 2018, 12:58:58 pm
Article about Melisa Reidy, Addison Russell's ex-wife:

http://www.expandedroster.com/2018/12/19/melisa-reidy-is-speaking-out-its-time-for-everyone-to-listen/

I really don't see how the Cubs can bring him back.
Just because he has now had kids with three different women and paid child support to one of them in mostly quarters and ones?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 19, 2018, 12:59:20 pm
Is there any indication in the article that their is something the Cubs wouldn't have been aware of?

No...but every bit of new information makes the PR hit they're taking that much worse. At some point, the organization would probably prefer to cut bait rather than continue dealing with the bad PR.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on December 19, 2018, 01:00:37 pm
Russell doesn't have a dollar-figure for his contract yet, right?  Arb deals aren't wrapped up yet, are they? 

Contracts for arb-guys are non-guaranteed, correct, unless there is special provision?  So the Cubs still presumably have the contractual right to cut Russell prior to mid-March, and be obligated to only 30-days-worth of his contract.  So, in a sense they kind of have an ~$0.5K opt-out available, right?   

http://m.mlb.com/glossary/transactions/non-guaranteed-contract
"Players on arbitration contracts who are cut on or before the 16th day of Spring Training are owed 30 days' termination pay (based on the prorated version of his agreed-upon arbitration salary). A player cut between the 16th day and the end of Spring Training is owed 45 days' termination pay (based on the prorated version of his agreed-upon arbitration salary). The arbitration salary becomes guaranteed if the player is on the 25-man roster when the season begins."

When Theo announced they were bringing him back, there were contingencies in his wording.  They were going to help him become a better man, counseling, personal development, etc..  It may be that paying child support is unconnected to anger-management counseling.  But I would assume that child support would be an externally measurable increment of developing responsibility. 

I'd have to think that if Russell refuses to do even so trivial and easy a thing, that it's going to be kind of tough for Theo to conclude that Russell has a heart in the right place, and that he's making appropriate progress in his personal development.   

Russell must have a terrible agent if the agent can't even get direct-deposit set up for Russell's child-support payment.  Almost too bizarre to be true. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 19, 2018, 01:24:07 pm
So if the Cubs decided to cut him this afternoon and no one else signed him before his arbitration date, would they still have to go through arbitration with him to figure out how much severance pay he gets?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2018, 01:48:35 pm
Russell must have a terrible agent if the agent can't even get direct-deposit set up for Russell's child-support payment.  Almost too bizarre to be true. 

Scott Boras is his agent.

So if the Cubs decided to cut him this afternoon and no one else signed him before his arbitration date, would they still have to go through arbitration with him to figure out how much severance pay he gets?

I'm not sure.  My initial guess is that they have to go through an arbitration hearing to make it non-guaranteed and subject to the 30 day rule.  If Boras would agree to a non-guaranteed contract dependent on him making the team they could cut him at any time.  I think if they agree to a deal outside of an arbitration hearing it is guaranteed unless specifically stated that it isn't and they'd owe him the full amount.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 19, 2018, 02:05:52 pm
Smh...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 19, 2018, 04:16:10 pm
The odds that DaveP does not know who Sinclair is are approximately 0%.

You lose that one.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 19, 2018, 04:23:29 pm
It's surprising that the Cubs haven't given a statement on Russell today. That article came out this morning (and was announced on that site's Twitter account yesterday), and the reports about his paternity payments for his other kid broke late last night. You would think Theo would've been prepared with some kind of response as soon as the article was released this morning. But it's 7 hours later now, and there has been complete silence from the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 19, 2018, 04:41:10 pm
So if the Cubs decided to cut him this afternoon and no one else signed him before his arbitration date, would they still have to go through arbitration with him to figure out how much severance pay he gets?

According to ArizonaPhil, the team does not request arbitration.  Only the player can do that.  The team tendered him a contract, and the player can accept it or request arbitration.  We do not know what contract was tendered, although there are minimum requirements in the Labor Contract.

I have not heard whether or not Russell has requested arbitration.  If he has not, he might just sign the contract tendered to him, which has different rules about what or how much is guaranteed, if he feels that those rules are in his favor.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2018, 05:01:51 pm
The really funny thing is that raging imbecile Phil Rogers came out with a piece arguing that Russell needs to be the everyday SS two hours after this latest story broke.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 19, 2018, 05:13:36 pm
Like Ive said before I enjoy messing with you all and I honestly mean no harm. Its just good natured ribbbing.

As far as Addison goes I do believe in the gold digger and jaded ex theory in this case as well but Addison definitely hasnt done himself any favors and brought the majority of this on himself.

I do wonder if the Cubs already knew about this when they decided to tender him a contract.

Surely they all sat down and had a heart to heart and aired it all out.

If they didnt know then he may have just blew his last chance.

There's a story on Twitter than Brandon Hyde and Baltimore might be interested in him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2018, 05:37:55 pm
Meanwhile, a Fangraphs piece on why the Sinclair partnership might be a debacle apart from the fact that they're a moral and ethical monstrosity (which clearly no longer factors into the Cubs' calculus), including how their partnership has royally screwed over the Tennis Channel:

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-cubs-sinclair-partnership-may-be-cause-for-concern/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on December 19, 2018, 05:58:28 pm
There's a story on Twitter than Brandon Hyde and Baltimore might be interested in him.
It would be helpful to know who made the tweet.   Was it a reputable source?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 19, 2018, 06:02:49 pm
Ill find it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 19, 2018, 06:06:07 pm
I cant find the original story that reported it. Just this...

Hearing from multiple sources that Brandon Hyde and the Orioles May have interest in Addison Russell. That move, if done soon, could open the door for a low risk, low cost but potentially high reward Tulowitzki addition. #Cubs #HotStove
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2018, 06:06:32 pm
It would be helpful to know who made the tweet.   Was it a reputable source?

Boris Epshteyn.  100% reliable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 19, 2018, 06:12:08 pm
The really funny thing is that raging imbecile Phil Rogers came out with a piece arguing that Russell needs to be the everyday SS two hours after this latest story broke.

Russell:  57 Defensive Runs Saved  3546 Innings at SS- Career

Baez:      5 Defensive Runs Saved   1,530 Innings at SS- Career

Rogers cited these stats and, in strictly baseball terms, Russell at SS and Baez at 2B is the way to go.

From 2015 (Russell’s rookie season) thru 2018, the only MLB SS with more DRS than Russell is Andrelton Simmons. That’s it. Simmons...and then Russell.

Of course, we don’t live in a baseball world of strictly baseball terms, so Russell has a penalty to serve for his outrageously uncivil and, indeed, misdemeanor criminal conduct, toward his former spouse. Cubs, so far to this point, have decided to give Russell a chance for rehabilitation. I think that’s a reasonable course to take.

The new details flesh out what we already knew: Russell is the boyfriend/spouse you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Even before all this, seem to recall we already knew about the three kids with three different women by age 24—not the roadmap for domestic tranquility for most young men.

But, for now, after he serves his penalty and his public shaming, think the young man is worth giving an opportunity to perform with the Cubs if can get his head on straight going forward. The outrageous child support payment in coins was three years ago—-childish, stupid behavior that presumably hasn’t happened again. His public shaming is deserved and maybe will have an impact on him going forward.



Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2018, 06:19:46 pm
Meanwhile, a Fangraphs piece on why the Sinclair partnership might be a debacle apart from the fact that they're a moral and ethical monstrosity (which clearly no longer factors into the Cubs' calculus), including how their partnership has royally screwed over the Tennis Channel:

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-cubs-sinclair-partnership-may-be-cause-for-concern/

I’m not sure how you took the Tennis channel was royally screwed. They went from 30 million subscribers pre-Sinclair to 55 million in an era when most cable channels are losing subscribers.

I took his argument that they would leverage assets to get higher fees or numbers of subscribers. That is what Disney, Fox, NBC, CBS, Liberty all do. It wouldn’t really work for the Cubs though, because other than the Tennis channel the only local channels are in South Bend and Iowa.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2018, 06:20:22 pm


Russell:  57 Defensive Runs Saved  3546 Innings at SS- Career


Baez:      5 Defensive Runs Saved   1,530 Innings at SS- Career


Rogers cited these stats and, in strictly baseball terms, Russell at SS and Baez at 2B is the way to go.


From 2015 (Russell’s rookie season) thru 2018, the only MLB SS with more DRS than Russell is Andrelton Simmons. That’s it. Simmons...and then Russell.


Of course, we don’t live in a baseball world of strictly baseball terms, so Russell has a penalty to serve for his outrageously uncivil and, indeed, misdemeanor criminal conduct, toward his former spouse. Cubs, so far to this point, have decided to give Russell a chance for rehabilitation. I think that’s a reasonable course to take.


The new details flesh out what we already knew: Russell is the boyfriend/spouse you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Even before all this, seem to recall we already knew about the three kids with three different women by age 24—not the roadmap for domestic tranquility for most young men.


But, for now, after he serves his penalty and his public shaming, think the young man is worth giving an opportunity to perform with the Cubs if can get his head on straight going forward. The outrageous child support payment in coins was three years ago—-childish, stupid behavior that presumably hasn’t happened again. His public shaming is deserved and maybe will have an impact on him going forward.



So your answer is quoting stats and chalking up Russell's atrocious conduct to "immaturity" and "presuming" (your word, not mine) it isn't going to happen again?  Why - because abusers and deadbeat dads have a good track record of growing out of it?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 19, 2018, 06:25:46 pm
People do tend to mature with age.

I was the definition of deadbeat pos in my 20s and with the help of a good wife I now live a very fruitful and productive life.

If anything Im the over protective father now.

I also learned the jaded ex baby momma lesson.

She loved me when I was a pos but when I got married and got my **** in order I became public enemy #1.

Oh yeah and I havent missed a child support payment since we went to court,I call my daughter every day,and she gets every dime of my income tax but Im suddenly a sorry bastard for moving on.

Im certain a few here feel my pain.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dihard on December 19, 2018, 06:29:49 pm
So, Cubs news in the last month:

  • Refused to release confessed serial abuser
  • Owner compared himself to a slave because he had to deal with unions
  • News broke that the team had threatened to leave the city over not getting enough tax breaks
  • Apparently agreed to partner with a media company which every day does its best to destroy independent local journalism in America
More and more it really feels like 2016 was the result of a pact with the devil.
At least we had that one glorious week...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 19, 2018, 06:58:15 pm

So your answer is quoting stats and chalking up Russell's atrocious conduct to "immaturity" and "presuming" (your word, not mine) it isn't going to happen again?  Why - because abusers and deadbeat dads have a good track record of growing out of it?

It’s not a matter of “immaturity” (a word I didn’t use) and “presumably” referred clearly to payment in coins from three years ago, not the spousal abuse.

Cubs, to this point, are taking a nuanced position on this: condemning the bad conduct and supporting the punishment while, at the same time, offering Russell an opportunity with conditions for Russell’s future behavior. We’ll see how long that lasts, but I think that’s an approach worth supporting for now.

That kind of nuance and ambiguity is going to be uncomfortable for some. I get that. But, folks who actually run an enterprise, a business, a sports operation, etc. deal with balances of interests all the time—at least those who run a quality operation.

Would not surprise me if Cubs cut bait at some point. That might include having a viable on-field replacement for Russell: it’s part of those balance of interests referred to above. So might be placing Russell in a better situation for him, if it comes to that. In an ideal baseball world, Russell changes his ways, off the field, in this rehabilitative process AND plays well for the Cubs. Seems reasonable to give that a go and see what happens.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 19, 2018, 07:12:02 pm
Two years, $5 million for Descalso with a $3.5 million option for 2021.

Ugh.  I wouldn't like the idea of the Cubs wasting a roster spot on this guy even if he paid league minimum to be with the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2018, 07:15:11 pm
Cubs supposedly signed Allan Webster to a minor league deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2018, 07:39:11 pm
It’s not a matter of “immaturity” (a word I didn’t use) and “presumably” referred clearly to payment in coins from three years ago, not the spousal abuse.

Cubs, to this point, are taking a nuanced position on this: condemning the bad conduct and supporting the punishment while, at the same time, offering Russell an opportunity with conditions for Russell’s future behavior. We’ll see how long that lasts, but I think that’s an approach worth supporting for now.

That kind of nuance and ambiguity is going to be uncomfortable for some. I get that. But, folks who actually run an enterprise, a business, a sports operation, etc. deal with balances of interests all the time—at least those who run a quality operation.

Would not surprise me if Cubs cut bait at some point. That might include having a viable on-field replacement for Russell: it’s part of those balance of interests referred to above. So might be placing Russell in a better situation for him, if it comes to that. In an ideal baseball world, Russell changes his ways, off the field, in this rehabilitative process AND plays well for the Cubs. Seems reasonable to give that a go and see what happens.

Seems reasonable to you, clearly.  Your condescension towards anyone feeling differently positively jumps off the page.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: goblue007 on December 19, 2018, 07:43:45 pm
It’s absolutely stunning to me that you don’t realize you’re describing yourself
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 19, 2018, 08:10:11 pm
It’s absolutely stunning to me that you don’t realize you’re describing yourself

As long as you have been around here, and that still surprises you?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 19, 2018, 08:10:43 pm
So, Cubs news in the last month:

  • Refused to release confessed serial abuser
  • Owner compared himself to a slave because he had to deal with unions
  • News broke that the team had threatened to leave the city over not getting enough tax breaks
  • Apparently agreed to partner with a media company which every day does its best to destroy independent local journalism in America

   
Wrong.  Russell did NOT confess to being a "serial abuser."

   
Wrong.  As others have pointed out, this was five years ago.

   
Wrong.  Sinclair not only does not destroy independent local journalism, it supports it.

I really have no idea what you were talking about with the second item on that list, but considering each of the others were wrong, a safe bet would be that the second item also is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 19, 2018, 08:38:22 pm
(I watched the Brewers get rich on my tax money)

I am by no means excusing taxpayer subsidies of ANY business, but I am guessing that YOUR contribution to the Brewers getting rich was not a particularly significant part.


Being offended by the politics of the right wing portion of the Ricketts family led one member of the board to conclude that the primary interest of the family in taking over ownership of the Cubs was a business decision, and that their greed would prevent them from investing heavily in the team. Well, that clearly turned out not to be the case. So, I'd suggest we take care about repeating this mistake.

Well, it never really appeared more than one member of the board was making that mistake.

They're giving $4 million (or more) to a defense-only shortstop who is an admitted domestic abuser.

Russell never made such an admission.  And in fact his wife never actually made that allegation.

Even assuming that were true, that would still mean you were OK with making assloads of money for a despicable company that's actively trying to destroy American journalism in the name of their owner's political agenda.

Sinclair has not been making any effort to destroy American journalism.

Russell has a penalty to serve for his outrageously uncivil and, indeed, misdemeanor criminal conduct, toward his former spouse.

I have not read her latest comments, but I did carefully look at all of her prior comments, as well as all of those by Russell, and concluding from that that Russell is guilty of criminal conduct is a bit of a stretch.

Assuming every word of her prior statements was true, and assuming it was introduced into evidence without ANY cross-examination to challenge her, and the Russell offered no testimony of his own, the case would never even make it to the jury.  Her allegations simply did not reach the level of claiming criminal conduct.  Again, I am not even looking at proof or evidence but strictly the allegations and taking them as 100% accurate.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 19, 2018, 08:55:02 pm
I have a question for those who would have declined to tender Russell a contract offer.

What would you have done if, instead of Russell, it had been Bryant about whom these revelations had surfaced?

Now, I have a second question that may wind up being related to the first question.

If you were able to trade Russell (or Bryant in my hypothetical) to another team for meaningful value, would you consider that morally/ethically acceptable?

I'm not trying to pick a fight.  I'm genuinely interested in your answers.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 19, 2018, 08:59:13 pm
Ive said this from day 1.

They would have been much quicker to forgive a "better" player.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: goblue007 on December 19, 2018, 09:05:31 pm
As long as you have been around here, and that still surprises you?

Touché
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 19, 2018, 09:10:08 pm
I have a question for those who would have declined to tender Russell a contract offer.

What would you have done if, instead of Russell, it had been Bryant about whom these revelations had surfaced?

Now, I have a second question that may wind up being related to the first question.

If you were able to trade Russell (or Bryant in my hypothetical) to another team for meaningful value, would you consider that morally/ethically acceptable?

I'm not trying to pick a fight.  I'm genuinely interested in your answers.  Thank you.

You want to know how they'd feel?

Go back to November of 16.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2018, 09:23:57 pm
I have a question for those who would have declined to tender Russell a contract offer.

What would you have done if, instead of Russell, it had been Bryant about whom these revelations had surfaced?

Now, I have a second question that may wind up being related to the first question.

If you were able to trade Russell (or Bryant in my hypothetical) to another team for meaningful value, would you consider that morally/ethically acceptable?

I'm not trying to pick a fight.  I'm genuinely interested in your answers.  Thank you.

I will haunt your family for eternity if this happens, but I’d want Bryant off the team.

Removing Russell from the Cubs is the goal, so if it brings back value all the better.

That said, Russell being on the team isn’t going to diminish my joy of watching the Cubs. Just like Chapman didn’t ruin 2016 for me. I am interested what Theo is talking about attempting with domestic violence and the Cubs. If Russell remains with the Cubs I think it should be the responsibility of all Cubs fans to hold the Cubs accountable for actually doing something and it not just be lip service.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 19, 2018, 09:39:23 pm
I am not at all concerned about Russell's moral character or his image or how having him in uniform might effect the Cubs' image with fans (okay, "not at all concerned" might be an overstatement... but not by much).

I am however considerably concerned about the degree to which all of this may effect Russell's performance.  He has not really come close to expectations at the plate for the last two years, and there has been some speculation that has at least in part been a result of the disarray in his personal life and his reaction to the attention focused on him over it.

If the Cubs, who know him far better than I do, believe his performance at the place have been less a result of injury or adjustment difficulties and more a result of personal distress and distraction, I have to hope they will look for the first chance to get decent value for him, not because he did anything we might consider wrong, but because he would be less likely at the plate to do what we would consider right.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 19, 2018, 09:41:37 pm
CBJ, I would not object to your position of getting the abuser off the team, but I think there's an argument to be made that turning your domestic abuser into other baseball assets is hypocritical.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2018, 09:49:26 pm
Nice thing about being a fan, you don’t have to be consistent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 19, 2018, 10:07:49 pm
That's not specific to being a fan.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2018, 11:19:01 pm
Touché

Don't be so hard on yourself. But do work on your spelling.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2018, 11:26:36 pm
CBJ, I would not object to your position of getting the abuser off the team, but I think there's an argument to be made that turning your domestic abuser into other baseball assets is hypocritical.

I agree that argument can be made, but I don't think it would be correct.

By getting rid of a player, irrespective of his theoretical trade value, you're saying "This player doesn't represent the ethical and moral standard of someone we want representing the club, and having him do so makes a statement about the club that we don't want to make".  If another franchise has a different standard and has no such qualms, that's their choice to make.  The league decides whether a player is allowed to play (and note that it deems marijuana use as a greater crime than domestic violence).  You decide if you want that player to play for your team.


Would that be a lot more painful statement to make with someone like Bryant than a mediocre player like Russell?  Sure, it's silly to pretend otherwise.  But look at what KC did with Hunt, who was performing like a superstar for them this year.  Maybe they wouldn't have done that if he hadn't been dumb enough to get caught on tape, but the fact is that they did do it, and he was a star player for them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on December 19, 2018, 11:29:56 pm
Quote
As long as you have been around here, and that still surprises you?

It's just possible that there's a lack of self-awareness and thus hope that he could become less of a prick as a poster if it was made clear that he was very much describing himself.  Like, GB beat me to the "pot, meet kettle" post.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 20, 2018, 12:11:45 am
Ah, the herd mentality - as predictable as it is, it never fails to entertain.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on December 20, 2018, 12:52:45 am
Keep up the denial, dude.  God forbid you might acknowledge or even consider there might be something off-putting about your posting style.  Wouldn't want people to start wondering whether you might not be the smartest guy in the room, right?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on December 20, 2018, 10:49:32 am
https://www.cubsinsider.com/2018/12/19/watch-yu-darvish-has-begun-to-throw-during-rehab/

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: wmljohn on December 20, 2018, 11:55:19 am
If I click on that and he is throwing towels then Ima be PIZZED!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 20, 2018, 12:12:02 pm
Baseballs on flat ground, without pain!!!!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ticohans on December 20, 2018, 12:13:57 pm
I have a question for those who would have declined to tender Russell a contract offer.

What would you have done if, instead of Russell, it had been Bryant about whom these revelations had surfaced?

Now, I have a second question that may wind up being related to the first question.

If you were able to trade Russell (or Bryant in my hypothetical) to another team for meaningful value, would you consider that morally/ethically acceptable?

I'm not trying to pick a fight.  I'm genuinely interested in your answers.  Thank you.

*ducks to avoid the food fight in this thread*

JeffH, great questions.

For starters, I should say where I stand on Russell. Caveat: I'm basically at the tippy-top of the privilege totem pole, and my general philosophy is that in situations like these the expression of my opinion should take a backseat to the expression of the marginalized point of view. That said, we're not a diverse community on this board.

As the statistics *overwhelmingly* show, we should believe victims in these scenarios. So I believe Russell's ex-wife's claims of abuse, and I believe the claims of women who tell terrible stories like child support payments in quarters and singles. My belief in these stories still admits room for Russell's innocence, but with the burden of proof being on him. That said, Russell has admitted culpability, so we don't need to wonder about guilt.

Given the truth of these stories (by his own admission), Russell's treatment of so many important women in his life has been terrible. Any organization should consider these behaviors when choosing to employ Russell, especially as any sort of public figure, as is any baseball player on any team, much moreso the starting SS for one of the most beloved franchises in sports history. I believe people *can* change, and my worldview is one that affirms the fundamental goodness at the heart of people, so I do not have a problem with the notion of second chances. Rather I celebrate it. But there is a time and a place for that second chance, and it is usually not in the spotlight as the starting SS for the Cubs. And given the additional stories coming out, it appears that this may not be a second or third chance, but one further removed.

If the Cubs tendered Russell a contract for the purposes of retaining the right to evaluate the extent of the problem and the possibility of rehabilitation, I do not have a problem with that, as long as his continued employment is not a foregone conclusion, but instead a significant privilege that will prove very difficult to win. The earning of that privilege should absolutely include significant input from the women in Russell's life that he has abused - their voice should be primary as to the extent of his rehabilitation. If those women are not involved in the process, then the process is a sham, especially given Russell's role as a public figure.

If the Cubs tendered Russell a contract with the general assumption that he will play for them barring some sort of regression or PR nightmare, I have a serious problem with that.

My evaluation of the situation would be the same whether the name were Russell or Bryant.

Your second question - is trading such a player morally/ethically responsible? - is *much* more difficult to answer. If I strip away all the passion of my fandom, I must admit that if Russell is not fit to play for the Cubs, he is not fit to play for any team. Further, that ethical conclusion supersedes any competitive concerns. Given that not all teams will behave this way, it creates a serious competitive imbalance, and as a fan I hate to think of the Cubs on the short end of that stick. Instead of relying on individual teams to make the right choice, I would prefer it if MLB's governing rules set an appropriate standard.

I think it *does* communicate something to trade away a player who is an admitted abuser as compared to simply retaining that player. And especially in the case of a superstar like Bryant, the fan in me would want to see the Cubs recover *some* kind of value in removing him from the team via trade as opposed to outright release. But I think from a purely ethical standpoint, a trade does not say *enough,* and is therefore the wrong answer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 20, 2018, 12:27:05 pm
Sahadev Sharma on Descalso:

https://theathletic.com/722730/2018/12/19/why-daniel-descalso-is-much-more-than-just-tommy-la-stellas-replacement/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 20, 2018, 01:07:46 pm
Cubs have given Pat Hughes a multi-year contract extension:

https://twitter.com/MLBastian/status/1075829564570505216
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 20, 2018, 05:44:10 pm
It's just possible that there's a lack of self-awareness and thus hope that he could become less of a prick as a poster if it was made clear that he was very much describing himself.  Like, GB beat me to the "pot, meet kettle" post.

Of course.... but that goal is not really accomplished by writing that, "It’s absolutely stunning to me that you don’t realize you’re describing yourself," as if the tone of the comment that was responding to was something new or unusual from the poster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 20, 2018, 05:54:26 pm
As the statistics *overwhelmingly* show, we should believe victims in these scenarios.

No, actually the statistics do NOT show this.  Additionally, until her most recent comments, his wife's allegations included no claim of anything which constituted actual domestic violence/abuse.


and I believe the claims of women who tell terrible stories like child support payments in quarters and singles.

Do the singles or quarters not spend?  Will banks not accept them?  It is stupid on his part, because it takes more effort on his part, but it is far from "terrible."


Given the truth of these stories (by his own admission)...  I think it *does* communicate something to trade away a player who is an admitted abuser as compared to simply retaining that player.

Exactly what is it that he has admitted to?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 20, 2018, 05:54:45 pm
https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2811656-troy-tulowitzki-can-still-make-impact-after-being-paid-38-million-not-to-play
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 20, 2018, 05:56:18 pm
The league decides whether a player is allowed to play (and note that it deems marijuana use as a greater crime than domestic violence).

I don't think pot use should result in ANY suspension, but the difference in punishment may be more a result of the certainty of the evidence than any thoughts on the severity of the offense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 20, 2018, 06:03:54 pm
The tulowitzki situation is interesting in that he is one of the very few free agents who will decide who to play for, when money has absolutely no impact on his decision.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 20, 2018, 06:07:33 pm
We could use Tulo.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on December 20, 2018, 06:09:13 pm
It kinda looks like Harper might play out the same way.

I would bet that both the Phillies and the White Sox would have been willing to beat whatever he ends up with if he signs elsewhere.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 20, 2018, 06:15:23 pm
The tulowitzki situation is interesting in that he is one of the very few free agents who will decide who to play for, when money has absolutely no impact on his decision.

When Tulo signs, will he pay taxes based on Toronto law or on the laws of his new home city?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 20, 2018, 06:16:17 pm
I can't imagine that there's enough expected playing time for Tulowitzki with the Cubs that he'd end up taking the deal. He could get a real shot at the starting shortstop job with a few teams. With the Cubs, his best case scenario is probably 400 PA playing all over the infield.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 20, 2018, 06:20:20 pm
When Tulo signs, will he pay taxes based on Toronto law or on the laws of his new home city?

Players pax taxes for whatever state/province in which they play.  So they have to file returns for every one of those states.  But how that impacts 38 million in salary not to play is an interesting question.  I suspect it would all just be counted as part of his salary, meaning he'll be paying taxes on all of it based on where he plays, just like any other player.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on December 20, 2018, 06:22:36 pm
*ducks to avoid the food fight in this thread*

JeffH, great questions.

For starters, I should say...

tico, thank you for the very thoughtful answer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 20, 2018, 06:31:33 pm
When Tulo signs, will he pay taxes based on Toronto law or on the laws of his new home city?

He may well have to pay in BOTH.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 20, 2018, 06:42:17 pm
I would think it would be based on where he plays. The Blue Jays are paying him to play somewhere else.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 20, 2018, 06:47:25 pm
I would think it would be based on where he plays. The Blue Jays are paying him to play somewhere else.

Exactly.  Whatever Toronto owes him would be added to whatever his new team pays him, and he'd pay 1/162 of that in local taxes wherever he plays a game.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 20, 2018, 07:54:18 pm
Craig Calcaterra @craigcalcaterra
It’s been like 36 hours. Have the Cubs said anything about the stuff that came out about Addison Russell? Asking for baseball fans who hate it when their teams employ shitbirds.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 20, 2018, 08:08:35 pm
Win a gold glove and hit 20 HRs and all will be forgiven Addison.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 20, 2018, 09:54:27 pm
Win a gold glove and hit 20 HRs and all will be forgiven Addison.

It won't be forgiven by the ex, who is determined to gig him to the maximum extent possible, and in the current social climate she has a lot of people who want to make her a celebrity for doing so, the truth or falsity of her claims having no relevance in the matter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 20, 2018, 10:54:33 pm
When Tulo signs, will he pay taxes based on Toronto law or on the laws of his new home city?

Years ago there was an article about the taxes that Sammy Sosa had to pay.  The upshot of it was that anyone getting paid that much money is almost certain to have to pay income tax in almost every state he plays in, based upon the number of games he plays in that state as a percentage of the number of games he plays in the entire season.  So a player on a team based in Florida would not have to pay state income tax on the games he plays in Florida (about half his income) but if he played 16 games in California, he would have to pay California state income tax (and appropriate city and local income taxes if they exist) on 16/162 of his annual income, and so on for other states he plays in during the year.  According to the article, almost every state, as well as Canada, goes after, at the very least, the higher paid sports figures.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on December 21, 2018, 09:08:40 am
On Tulo, it's been argued that he'd not have opportunity to start for the Cubs.  I don't think that's true, apart from merit.

The Cubs have only Baez as a starting middle-infielder.  If Tulo was worth starting, he could hypothetically win the other spot.  Obviously Baez and Russell are better than Tulo defensively, whether at 2B or SS.  But a Baez/Tulo combo, in either configuration, might be as good or better defensively than anything short of Baez/Russell. 

The larger question is merit.  Sure, Tulo hypothetically *could* win a starting job... *IF* he was healthy and *IF* he could hit.  But in his last four seasons at Toronto, he's been no-play in 18, and OPS/OPS+ of .678/80; .761/102; and .697/89 the previous three seasons.  So hitting-wise, he's been about as useless as Russell and Hayward.

Perhaps Tulo wouldn't want to try to compete with Bote, Descalzo, Zobrist, and Russell to win that job.   But I'd think that might be almost as accessible a starting job as their might be.   

I think that given that Russell is suspended for a chunk of the season; that he's been a bad bad hitter for several years; that he too is repeatedly injured; and that his personal-life garbage makes it unclear whether the Cubs will keep him; I think all of that makes it pretty obvious that the 2nd middle-infield starting spot is very wide-open. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 21, 2018, 11:46:23 am
1) Darvish
2) Lester
3) Hamels
4) Hendricks
5) Quintana
6) Montgomery
7) Chatwood
8) Strop
9) Cishek
10) Morrow
11) Edwards
12) Kintzler
13) Duensing
14) Contreras
15) Backup C/Caratini
16) Rizzo
17) Bryant
18) Baez
19) Descalso
20) Bolte/Russell
21) Zobrist
22) Schwarber
23) Heyward
24) Almora
25) Happ

Out of options- Mills

I wonder if the lack of activity has more to do with lack of roster space.  They really need to move Duensing and Kintzler out to make room in bullpen for upgrades.  Chatwood would be great as well, but I doubt that happens in the off season.  Maybe if he is throwing strikes in spring training, but he might be an interesting bullpen piece if that is happening.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 21, 2018, 12:01:11 pm
You skipped #20. Maybe that’s Bote or Russell?

According to AZ Phil, Mills has an option for 2019.

Not hard to see Duensing getting released if not throwing well spring training. Probably going to bend over backwards to see what Chatwood can do, but if same problems he has no role.

Will be surprised if one or two (more?) of these guys aren’t traded off-season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 21, 2018, 12:13:52 pm
Good to know about Mills.  I though I read last year was his last option year. 

#20 would be Bote/Russell. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 21, 2018, 12:30:58 pm
If the Cubs end up trading for a reliever, I wouldn’t be surprised if Duensing is thrown in. He’s cheap enough that any team could afford him if it meant getting a slightly better prospect.

And I still think it makes a lot of sense for a team like the Tigers to try to catch lightning in a bottle by taking half of Chatwood’s contract rather than signing a $5-$10 million back end free agent that they’d plan to flip at the deadline.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on December 21, 2018, 12:31:16 pm
Sports media: For Marquee to be YES, Cubs must overcome new, bigger challenges

https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/sports-media-cubs-marquee-yankees-yes-network-blackhawks-bulls-white-sox-nbc-sports-chicago-1576549/?utm_campaign=ChicagoSunTimes&utm_medium=social&utm_source=sprout&utm_content=1545341352
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on December 21, 2018, 12:32:48 pm
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Du8927HXcAALpmN.jpg:small)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dihard on December 21, 2018, 05:18:54 pm
*ducks to avoid the food fight in this thread*

JeffH, great questions.

For starters, I should say where I stand on Russell. Caveat: I'm basically at the tippy-top of the privilege totem pole, and my general philosophy is that in situations like these the expression of my opinion should take a backseat to the expression of the marginalized point of view.

Great, thoughtful post, tico. Thank you for sharing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 21, 2018, 09:08:23 pm
How do these private networks affect MLB.com.  I can get both Yankee games and Dodgers games on MLB.com.  Will I also get Cubs games there?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 22, 2018, 02:57:13 am
On Tulo, it's been argued that he'd not have opportunity to start for the Cubs.  I don't think that's true, apart from merit....   Sure, Tulo hypothetically *could* win a starting job... *IF* he was healthy and *IF* he could hit.  But in his last four seasons at Toronto, he's been no-play in 18, and OPS/OPS+ of .678/80; .761/102; and .697/89 the previous three seasons.  So hitting-wise, he's been about as useless as Russell and Hayward.


I know the time fans usually start imagining wildly rosy scenarios of an upcoming season is spring training, but this year, for me, it is right now.

Imagine a 2019 in which Darvish returns by about June and is actually healthy, Hendricks shows that his 2nd half was real, Quintana performs at his career averages, Lester performs no worse than his worst in his last five years, and Hamels performs not at the level he did after he cam to the Cubs last year, but just at his career average... and the Cubs have the best starting rotation in baseball. 

Then Bryant returns healthy and performs at his career averages, Baez continues to improve, Tulo signs for the league minimum and is healthy and performs not at his former stratospheric levels, but just at his career average, no one has any serious regression.... and Harper decides to sign a short term contract with the Cubs.  2019 could actually end up making the 2016 team relatively weak alongside it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 22, 2018, 10:27:16 am
On Bruce Levine’s radio show Matt Spiegel said a source told him that they new all about what Reidy said in the interview and that the Cubs didn’t care if it became public with regards on how the Cubs were going to handle Russell. Levine also said that at some point they believe Russell with speak with the media more in depth about what happened.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 22, 2018, 10:34:43 am
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to support the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 22, 2018, 10:57:37 am
On Bruce Levine’s radio show Matt Spiegel said a source told him that they new all about what Reidy said in the interview and that the Cubs didn’t care if it became public with regards on how the Cubs were going to handle Russell. Levine also said that at some point they believe Russell with speak with the media more in depth about what happened.

Given that Theo emphasized that the Cubs had been and would continue to be in touch with Reidy, it should be no surprise that the Cubs had this information. It would be disappointing if they did not. Presumably their decision to attempt to work with Russell to get him to understand the damage he did and to reform his behavior was with full knowledge of what he had done. If he had failed to be forthright and new information came out, that would be more damning for Russell, and (I assume) make it less likely the Cubs would continue to work with him. 

I understand if people are disinclined to take Theo at his word that he feels responsibility to try to help Russell turn around his life rather than dump Russell outright, since this all happened while he was with the Cubs. Everything I've ever read about Theo convinces me that he is a man of very high character and deep commitment to treating people honestly and fairly. I believe he meant what he said - that he feels an organizational (and perhaps personal) responsibility to try to help Russell become a better person, someone who would not do the types of things he did in the past.  Some people do change. Whether Russell will or not, who knows.  Personally, I admire Theo's intent. The easy thing would have been to dump him or trade him for whatever he could get and save the money and the controversy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on December 22, 2018, 01:30:18 pm
Great post, Ron.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 22, 2018, 02:32:23 pm
Report that Cubs signing Kendall Graveman, A’s opening day 2018 starter. TJ last summer, so likely to miss all of 2019.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 22, 2018, 03:03:35 pm
You beat me Reb.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 22, 2018, 03:20:23 pm
Graveman has been kinda league averagish in his time with the A’s, but his hast velocity has picked up. He was averaging 94 and topping out around 98 with his sinker.

He might be somebody that if you changed his pitch mix up his results might improve.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 22, 2018, 03:24:15 pm
$575,000 this year with a $3 million option in 2020.

Edit: $2 million this year if has 1 day on the active roster and he becomes a free agent if the option isn’t picked up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 22, 2018, 04:27:03 pm
Of course the Cubs could release Russell and still try and help him become a better person - that would be truly taking responsibility if they felt responsible because he'd done such terrible things on their watch.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 22, 2018, 04:51:19 pm
Im beginning to believe that a lot of these posters who I assumed were men are women.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 22, 2018, 06:17:45 pm
Given that Theo emphasized that the Cubs had been and would continue to be in touch with Reidy, it should be no surprise that the Cubs had this information. It would be disappointing if they did not. 

I am not trying to be argumentative here, but instead to try to get some of the folks who believe Russell should be dumped and is an unacceptable excuse for a human being, but WHY would it be disappointing if that had not had that information?

The "information" you are talking about.... where did it come from, and who would have provided it?  What would it mean if the Cubs had NOT had the information?

You think it would have meant the Cubs did not ask her "what happened?"


Presumably their decision to attempt to work with Russell to get him to understand the damage he did and to reform his behavior was with full knowledge of what he had done. If he had failed to be forthright and new information came out, that would be more damning for Russell, and (I assume) make it less likely the Cubs would continue to work with him. 

If HE failed to be forthright?

Most of Reidy's complaints have been that he made her feel bad, didn't really love her, and that he cheated on her with other women.  And THAT is supposed to come from Russell.

Reidy is playing Cub fans, Cub management, and likely Russell, like a Stradivarius.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 22, 2018, 06:21:47 pm
... he'd done such terrible things on their watch.

On "their watch"?

What kind of nonsense is this?

The essence of her complaint is that he cheated on her.  Teams are now supposed to make sure players don't screw around on their wives?

And if it was genuinely "their watch," shouldn't the Cubs have have veto power over the marriage itself?

This is nonsense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 22, 2018, 06:24:31 pm
Im beginning to believe that a lot of these posters who I assumed were men are women.

You realize it's normal to care about and empathize with people other than those who are just like you, right? You expressed this same sentiment when we were talking about the Daniel Murphy controversy (if you replace the words "men" and "women" with "straight" and "gay," respectively).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 22, 2018, 06:49:36 pm
Im not getting into this too deeply or Ill get called every name you all can think of but it's as simple as this.

I know Addison hasnt done himself any favors with his lifestyle and we'd go through the exact same things if we made those decisions but my gripe in all of this is this...

He hasnt been arrested for assault or failure to pay child support and its his word against jaded ex's who never even started this until he had a 3rd child by the 3rd woman.

Its his word against scorned lovers.

You believe whoever you want.

Ill believe who I want.

I've been down this road before and Im far from a rich man.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 22, 2018, 07:17:50 pm
Let's say Addison is the same POS today as he was with the first two.

She aint complaining.

Why?

Because she's still "in".

The other two didnt complain when they were "in" either.

Just when he moved on.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 22, 2018, 07:32:27 pm
Every now and then, I decide remove Dusty from "Ignore."  Then he does something like this.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ticohans on December 22, 2018, 09:34:50 pm
God, the cultural cancer that is toxic masculinity can’t die fast enough.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 22, 2018, 10:21:07 pm
Gordon Wittenmyer is the first to report that the Cubs did in fact meet with Scott Boras in Las Vegas at the Winter Meetings for three hours, and here’s the money quote: “Sources say Epstein urged them to wait before accepting an offer from another team until the Cubs had a chance to try to move some payroll off the books and check again with ownership.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 22, 2018, 10:46:30 pm
Every now and then, I decide remove Dusty from "Ignore."  Then he does something like this.

Something "like this."

In the case of the comment you are responding to, it would appear that what he has done is to make perfect sense, express himself clearly, concisely, and without anything particularly offensive.

Apparently you don't like that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 22, 2018, 10:47:47 pm
Gordon Wittenmyer is the first to report that the Cubs did in fact meet with Scott Boras in Las Vegas at the Winter Meetings for three hours, and here’s the money quote: “Sources say Epstein urged them to wait before accepting an offer from another team until the Cubs had a chance to try to move some payroll off the books and check again with ownership.”

A healthy Tulo and Harper.

2019 could be really fun.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on December 23, 2018, 08:22:23 am
Seems obvious that Theo is trying to create some financial space to allow a big move.  My guess is that a big move is planned and they are trying to minimize the total payroll hit.  I'll be shocked if something big doesn't happen to improve the offense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on December 23, 2018, 12:25:12 pm
Talk about “burying the lead.”

The whole tenor of the Wittenmyer piece is the opposite of the “money quote.”

So, either somebody better tell Wittenmyer what he said, or I wouldn’t take that quote too seriously.

Put another way, if he had some new, useful info about Harper, Wittenmyer doesn’t write the piece that way.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on December 23, 2018, 04:57:21 pm
That really was a very strange piece by Wittenmyer.  The claim that Theo (apparently recently) asked Boras to talk to the Cubs before making a deal so that he could try to free money and check back in with ownership would certainly be major news. Yet, in spite of reporting the claim, he just matter of factly goes on to write the rest of the piece as though he had not made the claim. Seems incongruous.

On the other hand, Wittenmyer has pretty consistently taken a negative tone toward the Cubs if given an opportunity to do so. Maybe he just couldn't bring himself to let that claim stand on its own without more or less undermining it?  I've never taken Wittenmyer very seriously. But in any case it's weird.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on December 24, 2018, 10:01:33 am
Good points about Wittenmyer, Ron. 

Of course, I guess it's easy to be "down" on Theo since all he's done is resuscitate a franchise going nowhere after 108 years of futility and lead the organization to a World Championship and the most wins overall in the past FOUR years (while doing so with smarts, heart, and integrity)!

Why not be the reporter taking shots at the guy who's accomplished that?   

What a pathetic schtick!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 24, 2018, 01:01:58 pm
Sounds like a couple of posters here.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on December 24, 2018, 03:50:42 pm
All thoughts and opinions are welcome on this Board, partly because we offer our ideas - and occasional frustrations - with shared good intentions for the Cubs and/or mlb in mind.

To me, it seems like Wittenmyer has a very different agenda coupled with a disinterest in information Cub fans are interested in.  He should have kept covering the Twins, so maybe he could have continued to have unlimited access to the inside information from organizational leaders he seems to crave!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: grrrrlacher on December 24, 2018, 09:15:21 pm
Any chance the Cubs could move Heyward with Happ and Bote and ???  That would clear enough space.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on December 24, 2018, 10:10:34 pm
I’ve seen rumors from less reputable sources that the Cubs have tried to attach Happ or Alzolay and Amaya to Heyward to move him. I have also seen moving Zobrist instead of him. If the Cubs only have to free up $12.5 million that doesn’t seem impossible, even with moving Heyward. If the Cubs need to free up more money it will be painful.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on December 26, 2018, 07:39:38 am
The date for pitchers and catchers to report is still listed as TBD.  It can be too far away.  The first exhibition game at Sloan Park is 59 days away.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 26, 2018, 09:11:31 am
My guess is February 13.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 26, 2018, 04:32:07 pm
Heyman said today he thinks the Cubs are the favorites for Harper.

He said to keep an eye on them moving money and he mentioned Heyward.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on December 26, 2018, 05:00:52 pm
Theo has proven to be one creative dude who seems to find ways to get the guys he wants.

However, moving enough money to do what it takes to win the Harper sweepstakes - with Boras as his agent and competing vs the likes of Dodgers - would seem like a monumental challenge for Theo based on what's known!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on December 26, 2018, 05:13:45 pm
https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/cubs-and-dodgers-shaping-favorites-land-bryce-harper?amp&__twitter_impression=true
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 26, 2018, 05:35:50 pm
Heyman said today he thinks the Cubs are the favorites for Harper.

He said to keep an eye on them moving money and he mentioned Heyward.

As has been said here before...remember that Heyman is often a mouthpiece for Boras in the media. Boras has every reason to try to convince the Dodgers (and White Sox and Phillies) that the Cubs are in the Harper market.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 26, 2018, 06:44:05 pm
Boras is definitely playing chess rather than checkers here. He wants the Sox and Phillies convinced they have enough of a chance to drive up the price, even though Harper doesn’t plan on signing in either place.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on December 26, 2018, 10:12:17 pm
He also wants the Dodgers convinced that another more desirable team than the White Sox or Phillies is an alternative.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on December 26, 2018, 10:41:31 pm
You guys should let up.  Boras is a wonderful unselfish human being who just wants his clients to be happy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 26, 2018, 10:53:00 pm
No.  They should let up because Boras is doing his job, and is very good at it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on December 26, 2018, 11:03:36 pm
That's what I said.  There's not a greedy bone in the bastard's body.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 27, 2018, 12:55:40 am
I never said anything about Boras not doing his job - any criticism was implied by you, not me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on December 27, 2018, 01:32:32 am
inferred.... implied.

Tomato.... potato.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on December 27, 2018, 08:02:55 am
Jon Heyman

Verified account
 
@JonHeyman
 12m12 minutes ago
More Jon Heyman Retweeted Bruce Levine
Just to put this into context, I was ONLY answering a question about which of THESE 2 big market teams that may be lurking — dodgers or cubs — is more likely to sign harper. I suggested maybe cubs more likely than LA mostly based on the 2 teams’ recent history w/ big free agents
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on December 27, 2018, 08:52:23 am
In other words, like just about everything "reported", it was pure speculation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on January 02, 2019, 03:42:04 pm
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dv74xkzVAAEeDid.jpg:small)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 02, 2019, 03:49:17 pm
Bob Tewskbury apparently wrote a book about mental skills in baseball. He talked about his job on this Fangraphs Effectively Wild podcast from last April (interview starts at 41:04):

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/effectively-wild-episode-1205-baseball-on-the-brain/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on January 02, 2019, 04:07:06 pm
I'm envisioning the printing of tickets.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on January 02, 2019, 04:09:46 pm
I'm envisioning the printing of tickets.
Aren't tickets all electronic now?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on January 02, 2019, 04:10:50 pm
Aren't tickets all electronic now?
I'll have to ask Tewksbury.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Dave23 on January 02, 2019, 04:57:51 pm
I would have never guessed Loretta was a career .295 hitter.

That's pretty impressive by today's standards.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JeffH on January 02, 2019, 05:05:01 pm
Career K/PA of 9.2%.  That helps.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on January 02, 2019, 06:12:55 pm
Bob Nightengale was on Dave Kaplan's show today and said the Cubs were not in on any big name free agents and were only looking at bullpen help and Kaplan said he's heard the same.

Nightengale did say that could change if they moved Heyward.

He also said if the Cubs dont win the world series that Mark DeRosa or David Ross would be the next manager.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on January 02, 2019, 06:45:39 pm
So the Cubs haven't signed Harper yet?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on January 02, 2019, 07:56:28 pm
Cubs sign catcher Francisco Arcia to a minor league deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Chris27 on January 02, 2019, 09:08:10 pm
Tewksbury would be more helpful working with pitchers at throwing strikes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on January 02, 2019, 10:19:33 pm
Quote
I would have never guessed Loretta was a career .295 hitter.

I was pretty surprised when I heard that.  Yes, batting average is overrated, but you don't average .295 over a career without knowing quite a bit about hitting.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on January 02, 2019, 10:30:39 pm
They didn't bother to shift on Loretta.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JR on January 02, 2019, 11:18:02 pm
I would have never guessed Loretta was a career .295 hitter.

That's pretty impressive by today's standards.

I don't know, I always remembered Loretta as a really solid all-around player.  Sounds like a nice hire.  He might not be a bad guy to groom for the managerial job someday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on January 02, 2019, 11:47:54 pm
I remember when we had Mark Grudzielanek that a lot of the posters here compared him to Loretta.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 03, 2019, 12:04:19 am
Fun fact...In his career, Mark Loretta performed better in MVP voting than likely future (undeserving) Hall of Famer Omar Vizquel.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: JR on January 03, 2019, 12:12:34 am
It's just a shame what a train wreck the Hall of Fame has turned into the last 10 years or so.  What used to be a great attention getting moment for baseball has just turned into a sore eye with deserving players left out and undeserving/questionable players slipping through the cracks in the veteran's committee.

Baseball really needs go Defcon 1 in getting that fixed so it's a PR positive again in the era of the NFL and NBA getting most of the sports media attention.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on January 03, 2019, 10:29:13 am
http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/25668790/do-cubs-enough-keep-baseball-toughest-division
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on January 03, 2019, 10:33:52 am
It's just a shame what a train wreck the Hall of Fame has turned into the last 10 years or so.  What used to be a great attention getting moment for baseball has just turned into a sore eye with deserving players left out and undeserving/questionable players slipping through the cracks in the veteran's committee.

Baseball really needs go Defcon 1 in getting that fixed so it's a PR positive again in the era of the NFL and NBA getting most of the sports media attention.
They'll soon announce an Elite wing and a So-So DoubleWide Trailer for the others.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 03, 2019, 03:02:19 pm
John Ourland of the Buisness Sports Journal is reporting the Cubs are shooting for $6/month carriage fee for their new network.

https://www.bleachernation.com/2019/01/03/pundit-suggests-a-6-per-month-fee-for-a-new-cubs-network-theres-actually-a-lot-to-unpack-there/

Bleacher nation breaks it down, but if the Cubs shot for $6/month it would be more expensive than what the Dodgers tried to launch their RSN at $4.5 a month and more than what YES is charging/month.  I found a Tribune article saying that CSN Chicago was $3.86/month in 2016.

He also goes into to why partnering with Sinclair could be useful to to the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on January 03, 2019, 04:51:18 pm
Cubs still haven't signed Harper?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on January 03, 2019, 05:10:55 pm
Charging more and spending less.

Smh...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on January 03, 2019, 05:11:35 pm
John Ourland of the Buisness Sports Journal is reporting the Cubs are shooting for $6/month carriage fee for their new network.

https://www.bleachernation.com/2019/01/03/pundit-suggests-a-6-per-month-fee-for-a-new-cubs-network-theres-actually-a-lot-to-unpack-there/

Bleacher nation breaks it down, but if the Cubs shot for $6/month it would be more expensive than what the Dodgers tried to launch their RSN at $4.5 a month and more than what YES is charging/month.  I found a Tribune article saying that CSN Chicago was $3.86/month in 2016.

He also goes into to why partnering with Sinclair could be useful to to the Cubs.

The solution to the problem seems to be simple.  Just move out of Illinois and subscribe to MLB.com.  An obvious win-win situation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 03, 2019, 05:57:20 pm
Charging more and spending less.

Smh...

Cubs currently have their highest payroll ever...
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 03, 2019, 05:59:27 pm
Starting to look like Strop is going to open 2019 as the closer and that Cubs are going to look for a bullpen bargain (or two) late in the off-season.

Still hoping Cubs are going to surprise us with a January signing or a trade for a reliever of stature.

I’m fine with Strop as the 2019 closer. He’s been really good with the Cubs and his newer cutter is nasty.

Lightning-In-The-Bottle wish for Maples to get a real shot for late inning work and harness his command. That could dramatically upgrade bullpen, but, Yeah, it’s a longshot
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 03, 2019, 06:05:32 pm
Cubs currently have their highest payroll ever...

Cubs (and all MLB teams) could spend a lot more than they do and still make a ton of money, though.

The owners really did a great job in the last CBA negotiations. The luxury tax basically has the same impact that collusion would, but the union agreed to it so it's not illegal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 03, 2019, 07:24:03 pm
The Cubs have plenty of money and could easily afford Harper. The rumor is that the Cubs will be getting around $200 million/year on their TV deal. Throw in National TV money and attendance and that is $400+ million/year in revenue.  Has anybody said what is going to happen to the Cubs 20% stake in CSN Chicago?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on January 04, 2019, 11:51:53 am
The Cubs reportedly tried to sign Tulowitzki to be their starting SS at least during Russell's suspension, but lost out on him to the Yankees.


https://www.sny.tv/yankees/news/this-new-info-about-troy-tulowitzki-makes-you-wonder-about-yankees-and-manny-machado/302375454
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on January 04, 2019, 12:10:07 pm
Cubs signed Harper yet?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on January 04, 2019, 12:46:42 pm
Quote
at least during Russell's suspension

That's about how long I'd bank on him staying healthy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 04, 2019, 12:58:42 pm
Weird that he'd choose a team with a multi-month hole currently at SS over the offer of a starting job for 28 games. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on January 04, 2019, 02:12:51 pm
I feel sure that most teams could afford to go over the salary cap level.  However, most teams do not want to suffer the penalties that go along with that cap level, especially the non-financial penalties.  When the next labor contract is negotiated, I would expect the cap level will be raised substantially.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on January 05, 2019, 10:36:41 am
Theo Epstein on MLB’s tax threshold: “The CBT threshold is not dictating any of our actions or inactions this winter at all. We're not governed by that."--Levine
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 05, 2019, 03:50:07 pm
Tommy Birch @TommyBirch
Free agent signing that #Cubs fans should keep an eye on: RHP Colin Rea. Source tells me the Cascade, Iowa native is on Chicago's radar.


Sounds about right for this bargain basement offseason. Might not even be shopping in the Jake Diekman/Brad Brach tier of relievers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on January 05, 2019, 04:44:05 pm
Sounds like a candidate for the Des Moines/Chicago express.  They sign a handful of them every winter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on January 05, 2019, 05:18:15 pm
https://youtu.be/_IHUMr1JS_c
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 05, 2019, 05:44:12 pm
Tommy Birch @TommyBirch
Free agent signing that #Cubs fans should keep an eye on: RHP Colin Rea. Source tells me the Cascade, Iowa native is on Chicago's radar.


Sounds about right for this bargain basement offseason. Might not even be shopping in the Jake Diekman/Brad Brach tier of relievers.

OMG the Cubs might sign a minor league free agent. Cheap bastards.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on January 05, 2019, 06:21:24 pm
Theo interview was depressing as fuc k.  Not just for this offseason but the next few.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 05, 2019, 07:51:12 pm
Yeah, Theo had the temerity to note that Cubs have averaged 97 wins over last three seasons and will be a Top Five payroll in 2019.

Didn’t mention that 2019 will be second year in a row that Cubs payroll higher than the Yankees.

The Cheapskates! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on January 05, 2019, 08:17:02 pm
Kool aid is delicious.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 05, 2019, 08:24:35 pm
Your right the Cubs suck. They should just rebuild.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 05, 2019, 08:29:54 pm
Kool aid is delicious.

Actually, Cubs 2019 payroll is more in the territory of a fine aperitiff followed by a delighful French Bordeaux with dinner. Maybe an after-dinner Port too?

Enjoy your Kool aid.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on January 05, 2019, 08:31:26 pm
Who knows about the future, but 5 years or so ago Theo was certainly being ripped hard by Wittemeyer and other media folks for not spending more etc.

Theo seems quite transparent about hi-level strategy, but he'd be a fool to reveal all of his cards...and he's certainly no fool! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on January 05, 2019, 09:05:36 pm
Here is a summary of Theo's interview.

https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/key-points-theo-epsteins-radio-interview-cubs-offseason
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 05, 2019, 10:40:46 pm
Thanks much, Ron.  Helpful to read. 

The comments on Morrow were really encouraging.  I've kind of had the sense that he was going to miss a bunch of season and not be useful.  But if he was back by May and was actually a serious contributor, that could be a huge boost. 

Theo is usually really cautious and guarded re rehabs.  So I thought his unreserved confidence about Darvish being fully ready for spring is also encouraging.  Obviously being healthy doesn't mean he won't be wild and give up lots of HR, but *IF* he's healthy he might at least have a chance to be effective. 

Not sure what to take from the lux tax stuff.  It's obvious their budget is already so massive that lux tax was never a question, for this year.  But I kinda took the comments to suggest that he does have some capacity to spend, even if he hasn't done so yet. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 05, 2019, 11:28:37 pm
Yeah, in 2018 we kind of knew Cubs wanted to stay just under the luxury tax—-and we knew what was the luxury tax threshold. So, do the math.

In 2019, that threshold is irrelevant to the Cubs, so we really have very little idea what the payroll limit will be. All we know is that Theo is operating under some, unknown number that has to stay under—at least perhaps without some kind of ownership change of mind under special circumstances, maybe.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on January 05, 2019, 11:49:12 pm
Yeah, in 2018 we kind of knew Cubs wanted to stay just under the luxury tax—-and we knew what was the luxury tax threshold. So, do the math.

In 2019, that threshold is irrelevant to the Cubs, so we really have very little idea what the payroll limit will be. All we know is that Theo is operating under some, unknown number that has to stay under—at least perhaps without some kind of ownership change of mind under special circumstances, maybe.

Actual budget limits.... the damb ba$tards!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on January 05, 2019, 11:54:09 pm
https://youtu.be/_IHUMr1JS_c

I'm not a big fan of country, don't recall having heard that one before, and it really doesn't belong on this page.... but that's a really good song.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on January 05, 2019, 11:54:52 pm
So all of this means the Cubs still haven't signed Harper?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on January 06, 2019, 12:03:42 am
Would have been nice -- https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/cubs-reportedly-wanted-add-troy-tulowitzki-starting-shortstop
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 07, 2019, 09:34:08 am
Rosenthal repeats what we've heard before--the Cubs will have to move money if they even want to sign a mid-level reliever:

https://theathletic.com/753212/2019/01/07/rosenthal-why-the-cubs-are-in-a-bind-the-meaning-behind-the-mets-moves-ex-manager-finds-interesting-new-gig/

I'm expecting a third place, non-playoff finish this year. This team had several needs in the lineup and the bullpen. Unless there is a big change in direction, they're just not going to address them. Also, each time we get a report like this, the decision to tender Russell becomes more confusing and indefensible.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on January 07, 2019, 11:10:19 am
I generally like Rosenthal, but this strikes me as a pretty typical off-season let's-figure-out-something-to-write-about-when there's-nothing-to-write-about story. It's not like Rosenthal hasn't ever done this sort of thing before.

Saying that "major league sources" claim that the Cubs would need to "to clear money to sign even a modestly priced reliever such as free-agent righty Adam Warren" seems dubious to me. 

We'll see, I guess.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 07, 2019, 11:37:04 am
I think it is also a roster crunch.  To add anybody to the bullpen they need to get rid of Kintzler, Duensing or Chatwood.  Considering that they are over the tax that will cost them a multiple of the salary.  The same goes for position players, they don't have the roster space.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 07, 2019, 11:44:09 am
From Epstein piece on Saturday that Ron linked: 

'Epstein seems confident in the Cubs' roster as it currently stands."They're a motivated and determined bunch," he said. "I wouldn't bet against us."'

This has been a consistent perspective from Theo since the season ended, that the roster is excellent and capable, and that improved heart and determination will result in more success.  (I also get ben's point, that whether they finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in 2019, we'll always have 2016, and we have no right to ask for equal or more success...) 

We'll see how the season plays out.  I admit I have some hesitation, but maybe Theo knows best that more determination will result in improved performance?  Several thoughts:
1.  Arguing that guys will be better due to physical reasons, that's a completely reasonable/plausible argument to make.  I get the view that Rizzo had health issues, Contreras was overworked, Bryant was gone, Russell missed time and played hurt, and that the late-season run exhausted them physically.  But, that isn't really Theo's "determination" argument!
2.  Russell's off-field issues make him a unique case.   
3.  But for guys like Schwarber/Happ/Heyward/Bote, I struggle with the idea that issues are about determination/will/heart rather than just simply hitting talent?  We've gotten much positive buzz on their heart and will and want-to; are their limits as hitters really about want-to and trying-harder, as opposed to physical/talent factors that will not be much improved by being more determined and wanting to get more hits this year?  I'm not sure how I see "determination" as being the solution for them? 
4.  Or, is maybe the "determination" issue from Theo less about determination during in-game 4-minute AB's, and more about wine-women-and-song?  In Theo's mind does he expect "motivated and determined" guys to cut back on booze, drugs, affairs, and nightlife, so that minds and bodies will be better prepared for games?  I wouldn't think that's what he's talking about, but who knows. 

Anyway, I think it will be an interesting story to see how Theo and the players speak of the "determination" impact this year, and to see whether there are some shifts in performance.  Obviously the cause for improvements will be hard to determine:  If a guy hits better, is it because he and new batting coach made physical adjustment?  Is it because he's more determined and wants to get hits more? Is it because he's a little healthier this year?  Too complex an interplay to ever determine cause-effect. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Playtwo on January 07, 2019, 12:04:53 pm
I feel that the Cubs need some infusion of additional offensive talent.  Not necessarily on the level of Harper or Machado, but more than just marginal improvement.  Relying on the existing players to perform better is not sufficient.  I would be surprised and disappointed if Theo doesn't feel the same way.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 07, 2019, 12:35:23 pm
I think it is also a roster crunch.  To add anybody to the bullpen they need to get rid of Kintzler, Duensing or Chatwood.  ..

Last year Maddon went with 8-man pen, and had 9 for a while.  I think you're envisioning a 7-man pen this spring?

Roster (with Russell) could look like:
Players 13:
  8 starters (including Russell)
  5 subs:  Caratini, Zobrist Descalzo, Happ, Bote
  Next man up:  Zagunis type guy?

Pitchers 12
   5 starters
   7 relievers:  Strop, Edwards, Cishek, Montomery (4 locks)  Kintzler, Duensing, Chatwood (3 bubbly guys)
   DL:  Morrow (for a while)
   Next man up:  Rosario, Maples, Norwood, Underwood, Tseng, guys released from other team's 40-man rosters

Obviously to start both Russell and Morrow will not be available.  So that would put roster at 12+12, with guys like Zagunis, Rosario, and Maples hoping to snag the last spot. 

Suppose after a month Morrow comes back, as Theo hoped on Saturday; and Russell too.  That would then put roster at 13+13, perhaps "crunched"?  At this stage, I'm not sure who would get cut.  Or, if you signed somebody, who would get cut? 

Couple thoughts:
1.  Bote has options, I'd have no problem sending him down if need be. 
2.  The odds that no pitcher or player need to go on the DL by the time MOrrow and Russell come back seem slim. 
3.  One view might be that the Morrow DL would give an extra month to sift through Kintzler/Duensing/Chatwood? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 07, 2019, 01:04:58 pm
Last year Maddon went with 8-man pen, and had 9 for a while.  I think you're envisioning a 7-man pen this spring?

Roster (with Russell) could look like:
Players 13:
8 starters (including Russell)
5 subs:  Caratini, Zobrist Descalzo, Happ, Bote

Pitchers 12

The Cubs have 13 pitchers already under contract/control

Starters
Lester ($27.5 million)
Darvisn ($20 million)
Hamels ($20 million)
Quintana ($10.5 million)
Hendricks (ARB2)
Bullpen
Marrow ($9 million)
Strop ($6.25 million)
Ciskek ($6.5 million
Edwards (ARB1)
Chatwood ($12.5 million)
Montgomery (ARB1)
Kintler ($5 million)
Duensing ($3.5 million)

That is 13 pitchers already under contract, so to bring somebody in somebody has to go. 

The Cubs are currently sitting at $228 million for the CBT, so they are in the second tier already, that is a 32% tax on any overage. 

To cut Duensing it is $4.2million.
Kintzler is $6 million.
Chatwood is $15 million for this year alone.

Then you need to get the replacement. so for Adam Warren who is expected to get between $5-6 million/year with the CBT it is $6.6-7.92 million + the person you are cutting.  So adding Warren would be $10.8 million on the low end.  Just adding Chavez would have been $9.48 million.

I might be wrong, but I think the money is there to add people, they just need to clear space on the roster first and just cutting somebody isn't a great use of money, because at some point the Cubs do have a limit to what they can spend.  So I could see a scenario where the Cubs say to a free agent pitcher we need to move somebody before we can sign you and the agents take it as the Cubs have no money and have to clear dollars to sign my guy.  Just like replacing La Stella with Descalso.  Did the Cubs have to move La Stella because of money or because they didn't have space for him?

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 07, 2019, 01:05:44 pm
Seems to me that if your pitching staff has Montgomery, Chatwood, Kintzler, and Duensing as your 9-12 guys, and Rosario and Maples as next man up the day Edwards has some shoulder stiffness or Darvish has some elbow stuff, that's a really vulnerable staff. 

Given how Maddon doesn't like to trust relievers, giving him only a 7-man pen in which Chatwood, Edwards, Kintzler, Duensing, and Montgomery make up 5/7 of the pen, I admit that's kinda scary.  Admit I'm also a little scared that after getting use so heavily last year, that Cishek might come back and look more like Kintzler than the Cishek we remember?  Could be a really vulnerable deal. 

But, I guess who knows.  Maybe Chatwood in a different role and with a clean start and a new pitching coach, maybe he'll emerge as a really good rubber-arm reliever?  Maybe by April 20th Morrow will be back and 100%, and will be doing great?  Maybe Kintzler will be back to the strike-throwing ground-ball machine he was in past, and will pitch a lot of no-nonsense quick-inning outings?  Maybe Rosario or Maples will make some step and be good?  Maybe on of the 40-man cuts will end up being the next Chavez?  And maybe by May 20 Alzolay will be up and looking like a weapon? 

Or maybe by May 20 Alzolay will be looking good enough at Iowa to trade for some big-league reliever, or something? 

So many things are unpredictable, last winter at this point I never would have guessed that Rosario would get 4 wins, or that Bote would hit a couple of 9th-inning game-winners or anything.  So maybe some dudes like Alan Mills or Rowan Wick or James Norwood will end up being critical and effective members of the pen at some point. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 07, 2019, 01:21:27 pm
I'm not saying I love the bullpen, just that they don't have an obvious path to an upgrade without trading people first.

3.  But for guys like Schwarber/Happ/Heyward/Bote, I struggle with the idea that issues are about determination/will/heart rather than just simply hitting talent?  We've gotten much positive buzz on their heart and will and want-to; are their limits as hitters really about want-to and trying-harder, as opposed to physical/talent factors that will not be much improved by being more determined and wanting to get more hits this year?  I'm not sure how I see "determination" as being the solution for them? 

Schwarber doesn't belong in this group.

In MLB he ranked
tied for 63rd by wRC+
tied for 61st in wOBA
44th in OPS
53rd in fWAR

Schwarber may not be a superstar hitter yet, but he still is a very, very good MLB hitter and he'd be difficult to upgrade on in LF.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 07, 2019, 01:37:17 pm
The Cubs have 13 pitchers already under contract/control

...Chatwood ($12.5 million)
Kintler ($5 million)
Duensing ($3.5 million)...

That is 13 pitchers already under contract, so to bring somebody in somebody has to go. 
The Cubs are currently sitting at $228 million for the CBT, so they are in the second tier already, that is a 32% tax on any overage. 

....Then you need to get the replacement. so for Adam Warren who is expected to get between $5-6 million/year with the CBT it is $6.6-7.92 million + the person you are cutting.  So adding Warren would be $10.8 million on the low end.  Just adding Chavez would have been $9.48 million.....

Yeah, having so many multi-year guaranteed contracts to cats like Kintzler and Duensing is kind of a bummer. 

But, that's water under the bridge, money already committed.  You're paying them whether you keep them or not. 

Blue, are you saying that you're paying $10.8 for the roster spot, since you pay $5 (Warren) + $3.5 (Duensing) + 32% ($1.6 on Warren + $1.1 on Duensing) = $11.2 composite for that roster spot? 

I guess I see the Chatwood, Duensing, and Kintzler contracts as sunk costs.  The cost of signing some potential upgrade is simply Salary + 32%.  No more, no less.  If they sign a $5 guy to replace Chatwood, they should view that as a $5 + 32% cost, rather than factoring in the sunk $16.5 on Chatwood.  Whether a guy is superior enough to be worth cost + 32% is the only question.

If Chatwood stinks and Rosario is more usable, the cost of cutting Chatwood ($12.5 + 32% = $16.5), you're paying that anyway, and Rosario is simply $0.7 ($.545 + 32%).  If the performance upgrade isn't worth $0.7, don't make the move; if it is, don't let the sunk Chatwood contract stop you.  If that makes sense?   

But yeah, I can totally see where they'd like to see how these guys are looking and feeling in camp, and maybe improvise later.  Maybe all three will be reasonable average.  And maybe once Morrow is back, you'll need to cut somebody and that's when you drop the worst of the three? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 07, 2019, 01:54:49 pm

Schwarber doesn't belong in this group.

....Schwarber may not be a superstar hitter yet, but he still is a very, very good MLB hitter and he'd be difficult to upgrade on in LF.

You're talking a different concept from Theo.  Theo plans to bring the same starting lineup back, with the expectation that starters other than Bryant will upgrade upon themselves by being motivated and determined. 

I'm questioning whether more ***determination*** can make Schwarber a better hitter? 

My feeling is that he *can* reproduce the production that you like, and that he *might* get better and improve.  (I hope he does.) 

But I *don't* think being more determined, on it's own, is likely to cause improvement for him?  I suspect he's been plenty determined for each of the last two seasons, and certainly motivated for this last one?  *IF* he does improve, I think it will probably involve some kind of *physical* adjustments, to create a healthier back or cover his holes better, or to use the opposite field better, or to add more launch angle, or something *physical* like that. 

Not just a motivational bump?   I think if he's just more motivated and determined than ever, but has the same stance and stroke and approach as the last two years, he'll probably have comparable outcome?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 07, 2019, 01:58:58 pm
I do imagine that Schwarber's rate numbers might improve even if he changes nothing, **if** Maddon further reduces his exposure to LHP? 
*He slugged .303 versus LHP last year, in 76 AB.
*Obviously you can't take away all of his LHP AB, and opposing managers are going to bring in LHP to face him, particular in significant situations. 
*But **IF** Maddon could somehow reduce his AB vs LHP, (~18% last year), maybe his OPS would look better? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 07, 2019, 02:42:32 pm
Schwarber had a bad back for 2 months and had a wRC+ of 95 and 84 during those months.  His lowest wRC+ outside of that was 113, so I think he can improve with just health.  I guess I'm pushing back on the though that Schwarber *needs* to improve.

The Cubs have a budget of $X.  They need to improve the roster and still leave a cushion for trades at the deadline.  By cutting Duensing it is $X- (his salary + replacement).  If you trade him it is just $X- replacement.  Maybe X is $228, $230, $250.  I have no clue.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 07, 2019, 03:16:35 pm
The idea that Schwarber might improve on basis of improved health is a reasonable physical argument.  No argument from me against that possibility.  It's not Theo's stated motivation+dedication reason; but it's certainly a plausible explanation for how he might improve his performance. 

As for the desire to dump our bad salaries, I think we all like that!  :):) If somebody wants to trade for Duensing's salary, maybe somebody will want Kintzler, Chatwood, and Heyward too! 

I think part of the challenge for trading bad contracts is deciding what assets you're willing to give away to induce somebody to absorb them.  I wouldn't trade Hoerner to induce somebody to take Duensing.  Part of Hoyer's problem, I think, is that the farm system is so poor that they don't have stock, much less surplus stock, of minor league assets that they can attach.  If you had a dozen guys ≥ HOerner and Amaya, maybe you'd be fine to attach them to Duensing and Kintzler to get teams to take your bad contracts.  But the Cubs just don't have the farm system at present to move bad contracts. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on January 07, 2019, 03:26:56 pm
craig - I think you are possibly overthinking or over-emphasizing the "determination" thing. I don't think Theo is even capable of being that simplistic in his thinking. Seems to me that he's made clear there were a number of problems with the offense last year. The so called "determination" or urgency or whatever related to the sense that "we're the Cubs, everything will work out in the end" during periods of under-performance.  He's said that repeatedly.

Another reported issue last season was the mixed messages in approach at the plate: such as "launch angle" and hitting the ball hard vs. the Chili Davis approach. I believe it has been suggested this was particularly problematic for some of the younger players (not Bryant or Rizzo for example).  Maybe Contreras, Almora, Happ? Don't know whether Schwarber might have been in that group or not.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 07, 2019, 03:34:29 pm
I don’t care if you had 10 Hoerner and Amaya’s you wouldn’t trade them for Duensing or Kintzler contracts.

Duensing and Kintzler would be more Alex Lange or Zach Short ish level of prospects or you trade 1 for a backup catcher bad contract.

Amaya and Hoerner would only be available for Heyward dump or 1 of them Chatwood with no bad money coming back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on January 07, 2019, 04:49:53 pm
I agree with Ron.  I don't think that Epstein believes, or meant to say, that determination alone will cause these players to improve.  I think it is more likely that he believes they are playing below their talent level, and that this can be corrected more easily by a determined player than a complacent one.  Right from the beginning, Epstein the others have stressed in draft choices, free agents and trades that character is an important consideration in evaluating a player.  In the interview, I took it to mean that he was merely reiterating that concept.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 07, 2019, 08:40:32 pm
Cubs Prospects
@cubprospects
 
The Cubs signed Colin Rea to a minor league contract. I saw @TommyBirch report the Cubs interest. Rea struggled in a return from injury in 2018 between AA and AAA in the Padres system.

Rea’s overall numbers from last year were not good, but here’s to guessing the Cubs saw something in late season scouting that piqued their interest. Because Rea’s last 5 appearances, all in AAA, were very good: 20 IP, 13 H, 1.80 ERA, 10 BB, 23 K.

The above Twitter account is worth a follow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on January 07, 2019, 10:09:49 pm
Craig, let me state my position re Theo:

1. it would be unwise for him to share every bit of his 2019 plan with the public;

2. there is likely A LOT we don't know (and may never know) about what his 2019 plan really is;

3. over the past FOUR years, he's led the Cubs to the best record in baseball (AND a World Championship) - coupled with his record before he took over the Cubs, he's earned the benefit of the doubt as to whether he has a good plan for 2019; and,

4. I disagree with the idea that the essence of his plan is to exhort his players to have more "determination," particularly given how strategic Theo has proven to be over his years leading consistently successful Boston and Chicago franchises (that, previously, couldn't sniff top-level success).

This isn't prior Cub front offices, when we had good reason to worry whether our leaders had ANY strategic plan, let alone a good one.  We're still being led by the best in the business (as his Cub record and MLB body of work proves).  And that does give me hope for 2019, even though we haven't heard a lot from Theo about what the plan actually is.

And, since it's MLB (and we're in a VERY tough division), who the hell knows how things will turn out for us in 2019?
 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on January 07, 2019, 10:58:42 pm
We sucked for years in order to get this young core and now its time to **** or get off the pot for some of them.

I get that.

Even as currently constructed we're still one of the top 5 teams in the NL.

I get that.

What concerns me is the reluctance to even try to add what few pieces we need.

Bryce Harper isn't necessary but a couple relievers and a leadoff man are and Ive seen no effort to even try to get that done.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 08, 2019, 08:49:56 am
 It would be nice if Theo would give daily or weekly updates on how he is trying to improve the team, but that isn’t going to happen and unless you have hacked Theo’s phone there isn’t going to be any evidence of how the Cubs are trying to improve the team.

The Cubs need for a leadoff hitter is a need created on this board. The bullpen needs some work, but the high leverage guys are already on the team.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 08, 2019, 09:53:58 am
The Cubs need another hitter or two, period. And a leadoff guy makes a lot of sense because it means guys like Rizzo and Daniel Murphy aren't forced to hit there for significant portions of the season instead of down in the lineup where they can do more damage. I also think baseball analysts have been too quick to conclude that lineup construction doesn't really matter just because there's no real impact on total runs scored.

Who are the high leverage guys who are already on the team? Strop and Cishek, sure...but you need more than two high leverage guys. Morrow has been hurt in almost every year of his career, Edwards has repeatedly collapsed in high leverage situations, Montgomery doesn't miss bats the way you'd like from a high leverage guy, and Kintzler and Duensing just aren't very good.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 08, 2019, 11:40:48 am
craig - I think you are possibly overthinking or over-emphasizing the "determination" thing. I don't think Theo is even capable of being that simplistic in his thinking. Seems to me that he's made clear there were a number of problems with the offense last year...

You may be right.  But he does repeat the determination/urgency thing in every interview or conversation that I've heard or seen reported.  (It's well possible that I've missed many, though; so my perception may be way off!  :))  And he does so with a persuasive sincerity; maybe Occam's Razor applies and he means it, and sees that as a non-exclusive but really important avenue for improvement? 

To some degree, he may have little option?  What are the fundamental ways that a team improves itself?
1.  By adding new personnel,  or 2.  By improvement of existing personnel. 

Improvement of Personnel:  How do you add new personnel? 
1.  Free Agency  2.  Bringing up minor league talent.  3.  Trades

1.  FA:  He's added Descalzo, the one roster addition.  But costs for young building blocks are rapidly exploding as they transition from pre-arb through the arb years, and will continue to do so in future years.  So to some degree he's already done his free agency spending during the years the kids were still cheap.  He's already made the primary investments in Lester, Zobrist, Hayward, and Darvish.  And lesser ones in Chatwood, Morrow, Cishek, Duensing, and now Descalzo.  For a while, maybe he's just got to ride the investments that he's made?
 
2.  Farm, minor league talent:  Theo doesn't have any lineup/hitting improvements available from the minors, this spring or for a while.  It's been ≥5 years since the farm glory years (Cease was 2014 draft), and those guys are up or traded (Eloy, Cease, Torres.)  Who knows, the pitching might get some help at some point this season?  (Maybe Alzolay or Rosario, or perhaps some support work from Norwood or Mekkes or Underwood or somebody like that?)  But if something was "broken" with the offense, call-ups from Iowa and Tennessee aren't fixing it this year. 
 
3.  Trades:  They've talked.  But without surplus of talent that other teams want a lot, and without minor-league talent, they understandably haven't found deals that they thought would improve the roster, or the offense. 

So, if there was something "broken" with the offense, what is Theo supposed to do in terms of strategy?  He can tinker at the edges (Descalzo), or maybe with a small trade, but he doesn't have much to work with.  Without discretionary cash, minor league talent, or talent-surplus at any big-league spot, he lacks assets for doing big strategic things to add significantly helpful major personnel from outside.  It's just the way it is. 

Any improvement needs to come from Descalzo like fringes, or from guys coming back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 08, 2019, 11:47:45 am
The Cubs need another hitter or two, period. And a leadoff guy makes a lot of sense because it means guys like Rizzo and Daniel Murphy aren't forced to hit there for significant portions of the season instead of down in the lineup where they can do more damage. I also think baseball analysts have been too quick to conclude that lineup construction doesn't really matter just because there's no real impact on total runs scored.

Who are the high leverage guys who are already on the team? Strop and Cishek, sure...but you need more than two high leverage guys. Morrow has been hurt in almost every year of his career, Edwards has repeatedly collapsed in high leverage situations, Montgomery doesn't miss bats the way you'd like from a high leverage guy, and Kintzler and Duensing just aren't very good.

The Cubs have 6 returning starters with a wRC+ of 100 or better.  Happ was 109, Heyward was a 99, Bote 95 and Almora 89.  The Cubs have plenty of good hitters, if you want to improve the offense you need to add a Machado or Harper or go with what you have. 

They top 4 high leverage guys are Marrow, Strop, Ciskek and Edwards.  They have Maples, Norwood, Mekkes, Alzolay at AAA with nasty stuff. 

The Brewers have Hader and then Jeffress and Knebel that struggled at various points.
The Cardinals have Miller?, Hicks?
The Yankees have Chapman, Betances and Chad Green?.  Bentances looked an awful lot like Edwards going into this year.
The Astros have Osuna?, Wil Harris?
The Red Sox have Matt Barnes
The Nationals have Doolittle
The Braves have ????

Where all the bullpens that go 4 deep in high leverage guys that don't have questions.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 08, 2019, 12:03:52 pm
So, if they can't add talent from outside (FA), and can't add talent from the farm, that basically necessitates that improvement, if it is to happen, needs to necessarily come from the inside.  As an administrator, I'm not sure how much Theo can strategically do there.  Or how much he can tell fans in press conferences. 

But basically, I think internal improvement can hypothetically come from 3 sources:
1.  Improved Health   
2.  Coaching and physical/mechanical improvements   
3.  Improved mental stuff, Theo's urgency/motivation/determination. 

As Ron notes, Theo talks much about the 3rd, but they can very realistically hope for significant improvement in terms of health (#1), and they will certainly be looking for not only improvements in determination (#3) but also in physical/mechanical adjustments, with the coaching changes and stuff.   

**Health** seems a huge opportunity.  Bryant, Darvish, and Morrow, *if* you get them back at 100% health *AND* playing at their peaks (being back doesn't guarantee that they'll play great, of course), that would be huge. 

But I also expect when camp opens, we'll get multiple stories about guys who report having played through varying injuries at reduced capacity.  CubBlueJay would suggest Schwarber and Russell for sure; Rizzo early on; I suspect we might well find out that was true for many others as well (Heyward, Zobrist, Almora, Willson....)  A bunch of these guys may end up healthier in 2019, and be much more productive as a result. 

**Mechanical**.  Guys are always trying to tinker and adjust.  A pitcher's stride, grip, arm slot, pitch distribution.  Small corrections can cause significant improvement; which can also build confidence and a healthy spiral of improvement. 

For the "broken" offense, obviously there is all the launch-angle and new hitting-coach stuff and opposite field.  Based on the exit interviews some of the hitters didn't think they got the best help.  Hopefully some new adjustments will help.   

It's not easy, of course, and perhaps even as a hitter is adapting/improving to some degree, opposing pitchers may take increasing advantage of known vulnerabilities?  After 35.4% (per AB) whiff rate as rookie, Happ and coaches did a LOT of analysis and had some really thoughtful adjustments for 2019.  Yes the whiff-rate climbed to 43.2%.  The league has a pretty obvious book on how to attack him.  Is there any question but that he and team analysts have been hunting and looking for months for some adjustments in his stance, stride, load, swing-path that can help him?  If he finds no solution, it certainly won't be for lack of desire/determination/motivation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 08, 2019, 12:51:34 pm
The Cubs have 6 returning starters with a wRC+ of 100 or better.  Happ was 109, Heyward was a 99, Bote 95 and Almora 89.  The Cubs have plenty of good hitters, if you want to improve the offense you need to add a Machado or Harper or go with what you have. 

Those six hitters include:

Rizzo (125), who is remarkably consistent and a very good hitter.
Baez (131), who broke out last year, but had a previous high wRC+ of 98--it's probably more likely than not that he regresses some next year.
Bryant (125), who was much worse from mid-May on and had a shoulder injury that two month-long DL stints didn't help. There's no guarantee he'll be that hitter again.
Zobrist (123), who is 38, was a part time player last year, and will likely be more of a part time player this year.
Schwarber (115), who can't hit lefties.
Happ (109), who is a part time player.

My argument all along has been that the offense is dysfunctional and much less than the sum of their parts. They don't fit together as a unit. I think they can improve significantly by adding a hitter or two who consistently grinds out ABs and gets on base like Fowler and Zobrist did in 2016 even if it doesn't significantly improve their wRC+.

They top 4 high leverage guys are Marrow, Strop, Ciskek and Edwards.  They have Maples, Norwood, Mekkes, Alzolay at AAA with nasty stuff. 


Morrow is a good high leverage pitcher when healthy. But what is the over/under on innings pitched? 25? 30? And while Joe tries to use Edwards as a high leverage pitcher, that doesn't mean that he is one. He has been significantly worse in high leverage situations in his career:

Low leverage: 34.9% K%, 10.7 BB%; 2.67/2.97 FIP/xFIP.
Medium leverage: 35.9% K%, 14.8% BB%; 2.97/3.38 FIP/xFIP.
High leverage: 27.3% K%; 17.4 BB%; 4.53/4.65 FIP/xFIP.

The Brewers have Hader and then Jeffress and Knebel that struggled at various points.
The Cardinals have Miller?, Hicks?
The Yankees have Chapman, Betances and Chad Green?.  Bentances looked an awful lot like Edwards going into this year.
The Astros have Osuna?, Wil Harris?
The Red Sox have Matt Barnes
The Nationals have Doolittle
The Braves have ??? ?

And how many of those teams are still looking to add high leverage relievers? All of them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 08, 2019, 01:09:40 pm

...But basically, I think internal improvement can hypothetically come from 3 sources:
1.  Improved Health   
2.  Coaching and physical/mechanical improvements   
3.  Improved mental stuff, Theo's urgency/motivation/determination. 

As Ron notes, Theo talks much about the 3rd, but they can very realistically hope for significant improvement in terms of health (#1), and they will certainly be looking for not only improvements in determination (#3) but also in physical/mechanical adjustments, with the coaching changes and stuff.....

Maybe Theo doesn’t talk about it as much, but I think the biggest factor for offensive improvement compared to post-Break 2018 is AGE. 

Almost the entire starting lineup will be playing at an age when guys tend to hit their prime. Everybody is under 30, except Zobrist. Schwarber 26, Contreras 27, Almora 25, Bryant 27, Russell 25, Happ 24, Baez 26. Rizzo and Heyward 29.

You would expect a group like this to be in gear for upcoming season—as they were pre-Break 2018, which we tend to forget mostly because of recency bias and post-season.

Theo addressed—early in off-season—complacency as a post-Break culprit (among other things). Think that’s a bit more subtle a concept than just Gritting Your Teeth and Doing Better for 2019. Think more of a reminder that these guys are in prime years by historical baseball standards and let’s act like it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 08, 2019, 01:18:25 pm
Those six hitters include:

Rizzo (125), who is remarkably consistent and a very good hitter.
Baez (131), who broke out last year, but had a previous high wRC+ of 98--it's probably more likely than not that he regresses some next year.
Bryant (125), who was much worse from mid-May on and had a shoulder injury that two month-long DL stints didn't help. There's no guarantee he'll be that hitter again.
Zobrist (123), who is 38, was a part time player last year, and will likely be more of a part time player this year.
Schwarber (115), who can't hit lefties.
Happ (109), who is a part time player.


My argument all along has been that the offense is dysfunctional and much less than the sum of their parts. They don't fit together as a unit. I think they can improve significantly by adding a hitter or two who consistently grinds out ABs and gets on base like Fowler and Zobrist did in 2016 even if it doesn't significantly improve their wRC+.

They top 4 high leverage guys are Marrow, Strop, Ciskek and Edwards.  They have Maples, Norwood, Mekkes, Alzolay at AAA with nasty stuff. 

Morrow is a good high leverage pitcher when healthy. But what is the over/under on innings pitched? 25? 30? And while Joe tries to use Edwards as a high leverage pitcher, that doesn't mean that he is one. He has been significantly worse in high leverage situations in his career:

Low leverage: 34.9% K%, 10.7 BB%; 2.67/2.97 FIP/xFIP.
Medium leverage: 35.9% K%, 14.8% BB%; 2.97/3.38 FIP/xFIP.
High leverage: 27.3% K%; 17.4 BB%; 4.53/4.65 FIP/xFIP.

The Brewers have Hader and then Jeffress and Knebel that struggled at various points.
The Cardinals have Miller?, Hicks?
The Yankees have Chapman, Betances and Chad Green?.  Bentances looked an awful lot like Edwards going into this year.
The Astros have Osuna?, Wil Harris?
The Red Sox have Matt Barnes
The Nationals have Doolittle
The Braves have ??? ?


And how many of those teams are still looking to add high leverage relievers? All of them.

Happ was included, it was Contreras with a 100 as the sixth.

IF Bryant isn't MVP Bryant then adding 2 hitters doesn't matter.  If Bryant is a league average hitter literally the only way to fix the offense is Harper/Machado.
Baez might regress, but that doesn't mean he'll drop to a 98 either.  He could still be a 115-120 and he'd be 4 WAR player.
Zobrist was 4th on the Cubs in PA with 520. 
Schwarber can't hit lefties and Baez couldn't hit righties until last year.  Sometimes guys improve.

The Cubs didn't suffer from strike outs or low OBP last year.  The slugging disappeared in the 2nd half.  That was the Cubs achilles heal. The Cubs still scored the 9th most runs in baseball last year, despite a horrible last 2 months.



Edwards has a grand total of 28 IP in high leverage situations in his career.  1-2 bad outings will through off those numbers.  Edwards has elite stuff and he needs to take a jump, but he isn't a bad 4th option for high leverage situations.

I will take the over on Marrow throwing 30 IP, unless you think he is going to miss even more time this year.

And who are those high leverage relievers that each team is going to add? 

You have become irrationally negative on the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 08, 2019, 01:31:39 pm

...My argument all along has been that the offense is dysfunctional and much less than the sum of their parts. They don't fit together as a unit. I think they can improve significantly by adding a hitter or two who consistently grinds out ABs and gets on base like Fowler and Zobrist did in 2016 even if it doesn't significantly improve their wRC+.....

Dysfunctional and don’t fit together as a unit??

This unit led the NL in runs scored pre-Break 2018 (outscoring Brewers by 50 runs).

Led NL in runs scored in 2017 (except Rockies/Coors).

Led NL in runs scored in 2016 (except Rockies/Coors).

The only significant missing piece for 2019 is the 2016 version of Fowler, but that ought to be (in a normal baseball world) met or outweighed by the age/prime considerations discussed in previous post.

Yes, it would be nice if Cubs could bring in a quality leadoff guy and bump down a spot the “big bats”....but that is a long way from “dysfunctional and don’t fit together as a unit.”

Post-Break 2018 is not irrelevant. Will grant you that. But, there is a bigger track record here and coupled with Age/Prime considerations, this SHOULD be a terrific offense in 2019. Whether it WILL be remains to be seen because, well, It’s Baseball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 08, 2019, 01:59:51 pm
Dysfunctional and don’t fit together as a unit??

Yes, dysfunctional and not fitting together as a unit. There is more to run scoring than just total runs scored.  Consistency matters too.

The 2016 team was legitimately a great hitting team. They scored a lot of runs and did it consistently.

The 2017 team was much more of an all-or-nothing team. They still scored a lot of runs, but they also got shut down much more often. (They also scored in double digits a lot more often.)

The 2018 team was MUCH more of an all-or-nothing team than in 2017. They scored less than 3 runs in 55 games--in one third of the schedule, the pitching had to be almost perfect to stay in the game. In fact, they scored 0 or 1 runs 39 times--that's more than they scored 0, 1, or 2 runs in 2016 (36 times). This wasn't just a second half problem either--they scored 0-2 runs in 27 of their first 81 games. They were way too vulnerable to getting completely shut down.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 08, 2019, 02:42:42 pm
You note that the Cubs scored less than 3 runs in 55 games last season. Dysfunction, you say.

Do you know how many games the Brewers scored less than 3 runs last season?

49.

At what point between 49 and 55 does a club fall into the pit of dysfunction?

To say that 2019 Cubs are a dysfunctional-looking offense is WAY, WAY over the top. Yes, there needs to be fewer very low scoring games in 2019 but high/low is all around baseball today because of all the hard throwing bullpen guys, constant match-ups pitching changes, and managers getting starters out when the metrics say effectiveness tends to wane—-among other factors.

I’ve been the guy here who long ago argued that hitter strikeouts were not just another benign form of making an out no different than putting the ball in play for an out. Had tons of discussion about that here, arguing for the value of putting the ball in play. And, Cubs now no longer dominating the league in high Ks....but Theo and Maddon always talking about improving the balance between power strokes and situational putting ball in play—-better 2-strike approaches and the like. That would help adding a run or two to the occasionally dismal low-run production.

True for vast majority of clubs—-not just Cubs. Don’t get carried away with the Cubs “dysfunction” stuff.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: DelMarFan on January 08, 2019, 03:20:11 pm
Quote
Don’t get carried away with the Cubs “dysfunction” stuff.

Too late.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on January 08, 2019, 03:49:48 pm
If you want to blame anybody for the dysfunction narrative, blame Theo.  He set the tone in his first couple of pressers after the season, presumably before he know where he stood financially.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on January 08, 2019, 04:15:52 pm
My memory is imperfect, but I do not recall Theo ever referring to the team as dysfunctional.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on January 08, 2019, 04:16:32 pm
He said our offense was.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 08, 2019, 04:39:54 pm
Cubs Non-pitchers
2018 Cubs 20.7% K%, 8th best in baseball
2017 Cubs 21.1% K%, 14th best in baseball
2016 Cubs 20% K%, 10th best in baseball

2018 Cubs ISO .159, 20th in baseball,  wRC+ 107 (7th best in baseball)
2017 Cubs ISO  .190, tied for 7th best in baseball, wRC+ 108 (4th best in baseball)
2016 Cubs ISO .181, OBP tied for 5th best in baseball, wRC+ 112 (2nd in baseball)

2018 OBP .344 (1st in baseball)
2017 OBP .348 (1st in baseball)
2016 OBP .352 (1st in baseball)

2018 BB% 9.4% (6th in baseball)
2017 BB% 10.3 (2nd in baseball)
2016 BB% 10.8 (1st in baseball)

The only thing that changed is the Cubs went from an elite slugging team to a crappy slugging team in 2018. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 08, 2019, 04:40:51 pm
...The slugging disappeared in the 2nd half.  That was the Cubs achilles heal. ....

The HR hitting disappeared before the season ever started, though.  They were consistently very low in HR's from beginning to end. 

reb, you were gone during that time, but there were a lot of numbers and stuff put up analyzing the Cubs distribution.  Graphs, tables, discussion.  (The graphical date was not decisive or persuasive to create consensus or change every minds; some saw a general shape with a low frequency of 0-1 and 10+-run games which fit all teams Cubs included; others saw the Cubs profile somewhat flattened, lower in 3-6 run games but higher-than-average in both 0-1-2 and ≥10-run games.) 

As you note, Theo and Maddon both wanted the Cubs to adapt and be better at situational hitting.  That was part of the Chili thing.  In the post-season press conference Theo was really proud of the increase in opposite field contact. 

Theo also emphasized the 1st/2nd-half dichotomy.  There is considerable merit in the narrative where 1st-half is viewed as terrific and predictive, and the 2nd as flukey and non-predictive. 

But I've some hesitations with that:
1.  The HR shortfall was evident all season.
2.  The frequency of 0-1-2-run games was evident first half as well as 2nd.
3.  Situational hitting consistent issue.
4.  First half had Almora leading the league in hitting, and Hayward up near .300.  I'm concerned that isn't representative and predictive; that it might that be flukey and non-sustainable; and that without those guys being bizarrely hot, that the low-HR offense may struggle? 

First half collected runs in bunches, with a 39-run weekend+Tuesday (Colorado) and a 46-run Thursday+weekend (Twins).  Had 14 ≥10-run games, 2nd half had only 3. (The 3rd one being on the memorable last win of the season against St. Louis to clinch a share of first place with Milwaukee!)     

I guess I'm just a little nervous that *IF* we assume the 2nd half was fluke, and the 1st-half normal and predictable for future, that we're expecting too much?  Maybe the composite isn't that misrepresentative?  (5th OPS, 6th in slugging, 11th HR, 2-runs ahead of 6th in runs. [The 10-run win versus Cardinals moved us past both the Braves and Cardinals to move up from 6th to 4th in runs.])
Title: Re: Cubs in '1
Post by: Reb on January 08, 2019, 04:41:55 pm
If you want to blame anybody for the dysfunction narrative, blame Theo.  He set the tone in his first couple of pressers after the season, presumably before he know where he stood financially.

If that’s the case, then some folks misunderstood what Theo was saying about the club going forward.

If Theo thought 2019 offense looked dysfunctional going forward, he would have broke it up. He hasn’t done that, obviously. Complaints now are that he is maintaining status quo.

What Theo said at outset of off-season was that, after the Break, Cubs hit too many grounders and not enough liners, homers, and walks. Said that kind of production from this group was unacceptable.

Nobody is going to argue with that.

Now, the argument being made is that Cubs offense—going into 2019–is a unit that is intrinsically, structurally flawed and dysfunctional.

Theo never said or implied that.

As noted, if he thought that, he would not be doing what he’s doing. Clearly, he thinks the lineup is structurally sound—-but just has to play better and can do that with the players who are here.

Of course, Harper would be an offensive upgrade for every single team in baseball. Cubs too. Get in line.

Like some others, I would have liked to see a really good leadoff guy brought in. But, Theo said early in off-season that doing that was not a high priority. So, not seeing any evidence there, as to leadoff, that Theo thought 2019 unit looked dysfunctional—-or encouraged anybody to think that.

It would be madness to break up or discount a unit loaded with guys in prime age, as are Cubs 2019 lineup. This being Baseball, nobody can know the outcomes but let’s not exaggerate the woes.

Would love to get Harper but let’s get real as to what’s here now even without him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on January 08, 2019, 04:56:58 pm
Or he thinks it, and can’t change anything because he doesn’t have the money. That’s what his dramatic change in public posturing would suggest.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 08, 2019, 05:04:45 pm
There was no bigger message to take away than “the Cubs are going to make significant changes to the offense” at the end of the end-of-season press conference.

Theo may not have specifically used the word “dysfunctional,” but he did say “broken.” Google “dysfunctional synonym” and the second suggestion is broken.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 08, 2019, 05:17:39 pm
Or he thinks it, and can’t change anything because he doesn’t have the money. That’s what his dramatic change in public posturing would suggest.

Think that if Theo wanted to make substantial change for the offense, he would not have made a $20 comittment to Hamels. Even with the Smyly salary deletion, exercising that option was telling about what Theo thought about the 2019 offense capability as is.

Result of that is that hardly anybody talks about or worries much about the rotation.

Let’s also keep in mind that off-season not over by a longshot. I’m a little surprised that Happ is still here since he ought to have considerable trade value and maybe ill-suited to be a primary CFer. Maybe something happens there, I don’t know.

Theo still will be doing stuff with bullpen. Won’t be the guys we wanted at the outset, but with relievers often the guys you wanted don’t turn out so hot. Be careful what you wish for.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 08, 2019, 05:33:36 pm
There was no bigger message to take away than “the Cubs are going to make significant changes to the offense” at the end of the end-of-season press conference.

Theo may not have specifically used the word “dysfunctional,” but he did say “broken.” Google “dysfunctional synonym” and the second suggestion is broken.

What I recall is that Theo said “significant change” AFTER 2019 if the core guys don’t produce in 2019—-not about significant change in personnel this offseason.

Theo talked about the Existing Group doing better for 2019.

The key part of that presser in my estimation:

It has to be more about production than talent going forward,” Epstein admitted. “And beyond that, it’s also trying to understand why we’re not where we should be with some individual players.

“It’s our job not just to assemble a talented group, but to unearth that talent and have it manifest on the field. Are we doing everything we can in creating the right situation to get the most out of these guys?”

These Guys. He really likes this group and wants to figure out how to make them better. If you expected wholesale changes this offseason, maybe you misinterpreted his remarks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 08, 2019, 05:38:15 pm
...If Theo thought 2019 offense looked dysfunctional going forward, he would have broke it up. He hasn’t done that, obviously. Complaints now are that he is maintaining status quo.....

Yeah, he doesn't think it was too dysfunctional to try again with the same guys.  We got two extra post-season games last season and 95 wins with the existing personnel, despite some significant injuries.  Would be kind of ridiculous to give up on that group. 

But I also think it's evident that Theo had no resources for improving it personnel-wise, beyond Descalzo-level.  Theo spent his money on FA past; he spent his farm on Chapman and Quintana.  He has no resources left to add talent, so we'll go with the guys we've got. 

The option to trying again with what he's got, was to either make trades that will make things worse; or to break it up and rebuild. 

No brainer.  Try it again: hope health is better; hope some sub-30-age guys figure some things out and play better; hope some new coaches help; and hope being more motivated and determined helps. 

Not adding much doesn't prove he has no concerns.  But if you have a concern that you can't do anything about anyway, why worry about what you can't change? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on January 08, 2019, 05:45:40 pm
As regards Happ, if he's got an inkling he's going anywhere he's a better actor than Theo - he just teased some kind of "big news" at the Cubs convention a couple days ago.

That gathering is going to be very interesting.  Won't be the lovefest it's been the past few years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 08, 2019, 05:56:19 pm
Even with a lot more money to work with, there is no reason for Theo to want to disrupt the position player lineup as “dysfunctional.”

Even if you had the top offense in MLB, you’d be interested in Harper. Who wouldn’t want him?

Where else?

Russell is not really a baseball issue. It’s something else. Absent that problem, would there be any urgency to change anything up with the infield?

Ditto Contreras at catcher. Just hit better. Get a backup—-perhaps will still do that.

Schwarber in LF they still seem to like a lot for 2019. Never any desire to upgrade. Heyward in RF is not a salary any club can just dump. Sure, if you sign Harper, move Heyward to CF but.....

CF is really only position I see that, on the merits, you would want to make a big move. Maybe a leadoff guy like Fowler-in-2016. As noted, Heyward there if had money for Harper in RF.

It’s a one-position upgrade, plus the non-baseball issue with Russell. And, not really a lock Harper signs here even if Cubs could afford him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 08, 2019, 05:58:26 pm
Rizzo Hirt his back at the start of the year and was horrible. Bryant was hurt shortly after Rizzo got healthy. Despite that in the first half the Cubs were still elite on offense. Then in the second half the offense broke and Theo’s quote was ALWAYS about the second half offense.


Cubs 1st Half
.276/.357/.444 ISO .161 (11th), wRC+ 116 (1st)

Cubs 2nd Half
.256/.324/.402 ISO .146 (27th), wRC+ 95 (23rd)

The Cubs OBP was still 14th in the second half and the walks dropped some. Things where fine in July, turned bad in August and went to crap in Sept/Oct.


Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 08, 2019, 07:54:31 pm
Even with a lot more money to work with, there is no reason for Theo to want to disrupt the position player lineup ...

Russell is not really a baseball issue. It’s something else. Absent that problem, would there be any urgency to change anything up with the infield?...

Russell's .340 slugging, with only a .317 OBP, and a 74 OPS+, was a baseball problem.  He was a huge liability offensively.   

As a former top prospect, there's lots of ways to be optimistic. 
1.  It was an anti-career year.  He should naturally return nearer to his median (87 OPS+)
2.  He's young, and young guys normally improve.
3.  He was playing hurt, so he should naturally improve.
4.  He was Chili'd, and it seemed counterproductive in his case.  With a new coach, he might naturally improve.
5.  He was distracted by his abuse.  Now that he's getting help, he should naturally be better able to focus on baseball and naturally improve. 

So, lots of scenarios in which he is less of a liability on offense, and perhaps might blossom into an average hitter, perhaps even someday into a somewhat good one!   

There's a chance it won't get better, or not much.
1.  The abuse stuff may remain a distraction. 
2.  If a guy can't figure things out in four years, maybe he's not going to?
3.  After years of failure, confidence can deteriorate?
4.  With the Cubs constantly changing coaching input, might his head get too confused with different ideas to ever get simple and instinctive again? 
5.   Pitchers have a common knowledge on how to beat him now.  He hasn't found a workaround; maybe he never will? 
6.  Sometimes adjustments attempted to provide a workaround for one problem (unsuccessfully thus far) will introduce new vulnerabilities, and just make things worse? 

If you put his off-field issues aside, I think there's a really interesting and unpredictable baseball question, where he's going to go as a hitter!  I have no idea how that's going to go.       
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 08, 2019, 08:06:59 pm
7.) Shoulder and Hand injuries have tanked his offensive value two years in a row.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on January 08, 2019, 08:14:26 pm
Who knows how Russell will hit in 2019 and thereafter?   He's a major wild card, if for no reason other than whether or not he can overcome the sad personal issues he brought upon himself and his family. 

Those are MAJOR issues that he will have to deal with EVERY day, including in front of thousands of people at each away game (and maybe home games) who will vocally wish him nothing but the worst!

Russell proved he CAN hit with power (20+ HR, 90+ RBI) at an age (22) suggesting there's quite possibly more!

Of course, that was before his personal problems (and, maybe, the league) caught up with him!  He may continue his downward spiral OR start digging himself out and up. 

Who knows what will happen with him?  MLB and human behavior are both extremely hard to predict!

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on January 08, 2019, 08:17:03 pm
Russell should have to deal with those issues.  He brought them on himself with his despicable behavior.


Setting aside the larger question of whether the Cubs should have released him under the circumstances, if indeed the financial constraints are as draconian as is now almost universally being reported guaranteeing Russell's contract makes even less sense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on January 08, 2019, 08:22:32 pm
Lol

After all these years I never knew we had a predominantly female group here.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 08, 2019, 09:48:43 pm
I’m talking baseball here for the moment, not Russell’s personal problems.

Russell has 12 career bWAR in four seasons, three of which were shortened because of injuries and a late call-up.

He’s still 24 for a couple more weeks.

Absent the personal issues, don’t think much chance Cubs would be contemplating replacing him for baseball reasons.

Russell might still hit, as we’ve seen him hit at times. At 24, as a baseball matter and aside from his personal issues, think would be exciting to see what he can do for Cubs in 2019.

Baseball is not just baseball for his kind of personal issues. Get that. But, my point in earlier post is that not much to break apart in this group of position players for 2019. Not a matter of disfunction but rather players who are capable of being a lot better than post-Break 2018 performance.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on January 10, 2019, 12:28:06 pm
In December it was announced that SafeCo Park in Seattle will now be known as T-Mobile Park.

Now we learn that AT&T Park in San Francisco is becoming Oracle Park.

How huge a fee could the Cubs get by selling the naming rights to Wrigley Field?  I want to say they'll never even consider it but I can't.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: wmljohn on January 10, 2019, 02:17:57 pm
Change it from Wrigley?  Would that be one of the original corporate names attached to a park/field?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 10, 2019, 02:43:20 pm
They got >$7.5 million to put Toyota on the bottom of the marquee.

A local hospital is paying $1 million a year to name the arena in Omaha.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on January 10, 2019, 04:01:21 pm
The Cubs would love a shot at Harper, though ownership approval continues to appear unlikely, sources say. --Rosenthal
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on January 10, 2019, 04:47:40 pm
As regards Happ, if he's got an inkling he's going anywhere he's a better actor than Theo - he just teased some kind of "big news" at the Cubs convention a couple days ago.

That gathering is going to be very interesting.  Won't be the lovefest it's been the past few years.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1083476160145690629
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on January 10, 2019, 05:29:33 pm
Have the Cubs signed Harper yet?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on January 10, 2019, 06:18:00 pm
https://twitter.com/i/status/1083476160145690629

That's actually pretty cool.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on January 10, 2019, 09:42:26 pm
In December it was announced that SafeCo Park in Seattle will now be known as T-Mobile Park.

Now we learn that AT&T Park in San Francisco is becoming Oracle Park.

How huge a fee could the Cubs get by selling the naming rights to Wrigley Field?  I want to say they'll never even consider it but I can't.

A few years ago there was a discussion on this board about whether or not they should sell the naming right to Wrigley Field.  The general discussion was that they could get about 10 to 15 million per year.  I have no idea, and probably no one in the discussion had any real idea what it could bring.  But my personal opinion was and is that if they can get anywhere NEAR that amount, they would be crazy not to do it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on January 10, 2019, 10:17:04 pm
Sign Harper for 30, have him give back 15 for it to be called Harper Field!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on January 10, 2019, 11:48:18 pm
Quote from: Bruce Miles

Fans of the Chicago Cubs heard the words all baseball fans yearn to hear this time of year: Pitchers and catchers report.

There is also some serious business in the immediate future, too.

Cubs pitches and catchers will report to the Sloan Park complex in Mesa, Arizona, on Feb. 12 with their first formal workout the next day. Position players will hold their first formal workout Feb. 18. Cactus League play opens for the Cubs Feb. 23 when they host the Milwaukee Brewers.

Now for the serious business.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, citing "sources," reported Thursday that "the Cubs would love a shot" at free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper but that "ownership approval continues to appear unlikely."

On Friday, the Cubs will exchange salary figures with seven of their players who are eligible for salary arbitration: Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Carl Edwards Jr., Kyle Hendricks, Mike Montgomery, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber.

If the two sides cannot agree on a deal and a player's case goes to arbitration, the arbitrator must decide on either the club's offer or the player's offer, with no in-between.

The one to watch will be Baez, runner-up to Milwaukee's Christian Yelich for the National League Most Valuable Player award last year. Baez made $657,000 last season, and MLB Trade Rumors (mlbtradrumors.com) estimates he could get $7.1 million this year.

Bryant received $10.85 million last year, a record for a first-year arbitration-eligible player. The MLB Trade Rumors estimate for this year is $12.4 million.

The other estimates are $7.6 million for Hendricks, $3 million for Montgomery, $4.3 million for Russell, $1.4 million for Edwards and $3.1 million for Schwarber.

The official run-up to spring training begins next Friday, Jan. 18, for the Cubs, who host their annual fan convention at the downtown Sheraton Grand through Sunday, Jan. 20.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 11, 2019, 06:37:11 am
Hendricks settles at $7.405.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on January 11, 2019, 07:36:28 am
They got >$7.5 million to put Toyota on the bottom of the marquee.

A local hospital is paying $1 million a year to name the arena in Omaha.

Quote
AT&T Park will be renamed Oracle Park, the San Francisco Chronicle first reported Wednesday night. The team formally announced a 20-year naming-rights deal with the software company Thursday.

Contract terms were not disclosed, but the Chronicle estimated the deal to be worth between $300 million and $350 million, a huge leap from the $100 million naming-rights deal that was in place. Bloomberg News reported the deal to be worth “more than $200 million.”

Quote from: Illinois senator Everett Dirksen often misquoted as saying
"A million here, a million there, pretty soon, you're talking real money." 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on January 11, 2019, 11:12:53 am
Michael Ernst of Cubs Den on Justin Grimm losing his arbitration case in 2018

Quote
This was a rare instance, but it is actually one that is likely to apply once again this season, but for different reasons. I refer, of course, to Addison Russell. I find it highly unlikely the Cubs will agree to any terms with Russell prior to a hearing because they will want the flexibility to release Russell during Spring Training without his full salary guaranteed for the 2019 season. If they end up keeping him (please, no), Russell's salary will not be paid while he finishing serving his domestic violence suspension throughout April.


http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2019/01/update-on-salary-arbitration-process/ (http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2019/01/update-on-salary-arbitration-process/)
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 11, 2019, 11:33:47 am
Schwarber gets $3.39 million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 11, 2019, 11:56:01 am
Montgomery gets $2.44 million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on January 11, 2019, 12:08:41 pm
If there is no change from 2018, the deadline is 1:00 P.M. Eastern time.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Bennett on January 11, 2019, 12:43:17 pm
On Friday, the Cubs will exchange salary figures with seven of their players who are eligible for salary arbitration: Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Carl Edwards Jr., Kyle Hendricks, Mike Montgomery, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 11, 2019, 12:55:01 pm
Edwards gets $1.5 million according to Mooney.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 11, 2019, 01:05:50 pm
Bob Nightengale @BNightengale
Addison Russell signs for $3.4 million with #Cubs and $600k with of bonuses if he’s on roster 150 days
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 11, 2019, 01:25:59 pm
With the suspension he will make $3.4 million max.  I believe this guarantees his contract as well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: davep on January 11, 2019, 01:31:57 pm
I think all of the signings seem to be reasonable for both sides.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 11, 2019, 01:34:41 pm
The breakdown of the bonus is $100K at 30, 60, 90, and 120 days and $200K if he's on the roster for 150 days.

Assuming the information I just Googled is right, Russell will be eligible to play on May 3, which is the 37th day of the season once you factor in off days. After adding four more off days last year, there are 187 days in a baseball season. So if my math is right, he has to be on the roster for the entire season he is eligible to play to get that last $200K.

If there is one rainout in March/April that is rescheduled for after May 3, that will push his return back another day and he won't be able to get the last $200K.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 11, 2019, 03:17:02 pm
With the suspension he will make $3.4 million max.  I believe this guarantees his contract as well.

Arb contracts are not guaranteed. Doesn’t matter if settled before a hearing or set by arb panel after a hearing. Same thing—-they are still arbitration contracts. Implication to the contrary in that Cubs Den piece is incorrect.

Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 11, 2019, 03:18:55 pm
...Assuming the information I just Googled is right, ..... if my math is right, he has to be on the roster for the entire season he is eligible to play to get that last $200K.   If there is one rainout in March/April that is rescheduled for after May 3, that will push his return back another day and he won't be able to get the last $200K.

That seems like an odd structure, to have $200K depend on an April rainout.  Why do that? 

Q:  I assume post-season roster days don't count?  Like, maybe 80% expectation for an April rainout?  Maybe basically it's not intended to pay the extra $200K unless they both reach the playoffs and he's included on the playoff roster? 

Does days on roster preclude days on disabled list?  Or do 10 days on the DL still qualify as roster days for salary purpose? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 11, 2019, 03:25:36 pm
Baez settles at $5.2, Bryant $12.9.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 11, 2019, 03:25:37 pm
Arb contracts are not guaranteed. Doesn’t matter if settled before a hearing or set by arb panel after a hearing. Same thing—-they are still arbitration contracts. Implication to the contrary in that Cubs Den piece is incorrect.

Thanks, reb.  That's a significant clarification, I'd wondered about that.  The different between Russell being guaranteed or not is kinda significant.  Perhaps as pertains to potential FA activity, too.  *IF* they want to add somebody but are money-tight, releasing $3.4-4 might make it a little easier.  Not at all thinking it's likely, think Theo is pretty much set on his 2015 talent core.  But in the remote scenario that they did decide to boost the lineup by signing Machado, the need for Russell in middle infield would decrease, and cutting $3.4 would make the added cost a little bit less exaggerated.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 11, 2019, 03:26:46 pm
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
Javier Baez settles at 5.2M #cubs


That's almost $2 million lower than MLBTradeRumors' estimate. Montgomery was also about a half million low, while everyone else was within about $200K (with Bryant still pending).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 11, 2019, 03:36:47 pm
Bryant was $12.9.

After more reading on the MLB website it could be either on Russell’s contract. The team/player can remove the no guarantee language in the contract. I wonder if that typically happens as a way to get guys to make a deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 11, 2019, 03:39:36 pm
I would assume that there was no way the Cubs were going to guarantee Russell's contract, though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 11, 2019, 03:46:35 pm
SignBryceHarperCountTommy

 
In case you were wondering, the Cubs are now looking at roughly $204.5 million in payroll and $222.5 million in luxury tax payroll for 2019

Jordan Bastian
@MLBastian
Looking at MLBTR's arb projections, the Cubs came $2.665M under with a total of $36.235M base for their 7 players (though it's about $570,000 or so under that due to Russell not receiving pay for first month).
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on January 11, 2019, 05:28:43 pm
Have the Cubs signed Harper yet?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 11, 2019, 06:51:15 pm
Bryant was $12.9.

After more reading on the MLB website it could be either on Russell’s contract. The team/player can remove the no guarantee language in the contract. I wonder if that typically happens as a way to get guys to make a deal.

Yes, the general rule is arb contract is not guaranteed, but if all parties (including MLB approval) agree to make the contract guaranteed, they can mutually agree to do that. Happens occasionally, but not often. When it does, usually a fringy, bench guy making not a whole lot more than the minimum.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on January 11, 2019, 07:12:23 pm
Bob Nightengale @BNightengale
Addison Russell signs for $3.4 million with #Cubs and $600k with of bonuses if he’s on roster 150 days


Are the $600K in bonuses payable in quarters?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Deeg on January 12, 2019, 11:33:01 am
Forbes on the Cubs and spending:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryandavis/2019/01/11/cubs-ownership-needs-to-answer-for-sudden-financial-restrictions/
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Ron on January 12, 2019, 11:46:34 am
Forbes on the Cubs and spending:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryandavis/2019/01/11/cubs-ownership-needs-to-answer-for-sudden-financial-restrictions/

The article is a tad simplistic, seems to me, in that it somehow manages to omit the millions upon millions of dollars the Ricketts/Cubs have spent on fundamentally rehabbing and making other improvements to Wrigley Field (and to a lesser extent the money spent on building up the front office, scouting, minor league etc personnel and data systems).  Don't get me wrong, I wish the Cubs would commit the money necessary to get Harper, but I also figure that I know a lot less about the factors playing into this situation than those making the decisions.  I'd be more concerned if I had any inkling that Theo is unhappy with the financial support he's receiving, but I see no indication of that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 12, 2019, 12:13:25 pm
According to Sharma/Mooney/Rogers, Addison Russell’s contract is the typical non-guaranteed arbitration contract.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on January 12, 2019, 12:21:13 pm
It also is termed "below market value" which makes it very trade attractive.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 12, 2019, 01:34:13 pm
That article didn't seem to provide any real Forbes-esque financial detail.  I have no idea how much the Cubs have spent on renovating Wrigley Field and the neighborhood.  Those numbers are too big for my mental conception, I assume.  But I assume must be in the hundreds of millions plural, no? 

The argument about how many salaries will come off the books and how small the guaranteed-salaries commitment is beyond the year seems non-helpful and too overly simplistic to be persuasive.  Yes, certainly Bryant, Baez, Contreras, Schwarber, Almora, and Hendricks are non-guaranteed for 2020 and could be taken off the books next winter; but how is presenting roster commitments without those guys helpful in understanding actual budget planning?  Presenting such a simplistic, un-nuanced, perhaps intentionally misleading argument doesn't give me confidence that the rest of the analysis is nuanced; or is actually trying to understand the Cubs finances as opposed to confirm a point of view. 

Kind of frustrating, I saw "Forbes" in the link and assumed this was going to be a little more informative and helpful! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 12, 2019, 01:39:25 pm
It also is termed "below market value" which makes it very trade attractive.

The future "market value" will depend a lot on what happens with his bat.  If he was a 100+ OPS+ hitter, his "market value" would be significantly higher, baseball level, compared to the 74 and 84 he's been the last couple of years.  Who knows?  I think the actual "market value" has to consider his off-field issues; the real market would. 

As a fan, I'm certainly hoping that he hits well enough to make that contract a baseball-level bargain.  And likewise I hope that his off-field behavior and persona improve dramatically, as a result of sincere and lasting improvements. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 12, 2019, 01:52:51 pm
The Cubs are paying Russell for 0.425 WAR, even with horrific offense and time missed he’s been worth 1.5, 1.4 WAR the last 2 years.

The amount of money the Ricketts have spent around Wrigley is tough to calculate. If you include the Rooftops, new hotel and Wrigley improvements it is over $500 million. The Cubs balance sheet only includes the Wrigley renovations and I believe that was covered with the sponsorships, signage and minority stake sale.

The Cubs also get $50 million for the sale of MLBAM to Disney for a few years. I don’t know how that is accounted for.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Reb on January 12, 2019, 02:01:42 pm
The Cubs are paying Russell for 0.425 WAR, even with horrific offense and time missed he’s been worth 1.5, 1.4 WAR the last 2 years.


That’s fWAR.

bWAR has him at 2.0, 2.4—giving him more defensive value credit, which in his case I think probably is more accurate of his overall value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: Jes Beard on January 12, 2019, 03:29:51 pm
Have the Cubs signed Harper yet?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: craig on January 12, 2019, 04:23:27 pm
Russell may be a 2WAR guy even if he hits like Frank Castillo, I get that.  I'm just saying that if he could hit a little bit, or even get up to or close to or even a shade above average, he'd have a LOT more market value than as a strictly defense-only guy.  You can calculate value based on present market-value and past-performance.  But his future performance, who can guess?  Maybe he'll be in the 74-84 range again of last two years; maybe he'll rebound and get back into the 91-94 range of his first two years; maybe with some age and maturity and good health and good coaching he'll show the age-based improvement that many people anticipate back when he was 21 and he'll blossom into a 100-105 guys. 

The defense is pretty predictable; it's going to be elite.  >90th percentile in the whole game in terms of defensive value. 

But the offense is very unpredictable.  Might be <10th percentile; might improve into the 20th-40th percentile which would be a huge step up for any offense playing him every day; or might improve up into the 40th-70th percentile and be no liability whatsoever in the lineup.  If you didn't have to sacrifice scoring to play him, his value will go way up, whichever WAR calculation you use. 

I think there's something of a composite team factor for offense.  Red Sox catchers as a group were even worse offensively than Russell last year, and their offense rocked nonetheless.  So as Blue has often noted, *IF* the other guys rock, Russell can be an auto-out and we can still have an elite offense.  But Red Sox had two >1K guys, and of course no pitcher batting.  So an opposing pitcher still had to respect 8 guys, and it was only 1/9th of lineup that was an auto-out rally-killer. 

I think it's harder to sustain a non-HR-based scoring inning when the number of auto-outs increases.  Sure, if Schwarber and Bryant are posting 1.030 OPS seasons, everything's going to be fine, whether Russell is a 5th-percentile or 45th-percentile hitter.  HR's are huge, of course; if the Cubs could be one of the stronger HR-hitting teams, you can score anytime.  But if you're trying to score by bunching ≥2 hits in a given inning, that's hard enough when you've got three outs; it gets harder when you're giving away auto-outs.  Hopefully Russell will be considerably upfield on the anti-awful spectrum when he's in the lineup this year. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: guest61 on January 12, 2019, 05:11:41 pm
Im still not convinced we dont sign Harper but if we dont want to go there I wonder if Theo's just playing the market and may be active late looking for unexpected deals.

I mean we do still believe that he does have a plan right?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CurtOne on January 12, 2019, 06:05:51 pm
Maybe his plan is to resign in June and take a job with Detroit!
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: ben on January 12, 2019, 07:18:47 pm
Craig, there's also the possibility that Russell (who remains VERY young) gets his life together and figures things out at the plate in his mid (or late) 20s...and fulfills the promise MOST experts had for him a couple years ago - a guy who puts up well over 800 OPS, hits about 25 bombs and is also an offensive force at SS.

Perhaps it's unlikely that will ever happen given what we've seen from Russell the past couple of years; however, it's always important to remember that LOTS, if not most, MLB hitters don't hit their stride until their late 20s.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 12, 2019, 07:48:01 pm
One of the Padres writers stated the Cubs and Padres have talked about Bote in a trade and that the Padres are looking to dump Wil Myers who is owed $74 million through 2022 if his option isn’t picked up. Heyward is owed $32 million more through 2023, so I can’t imagine that the Padres would take him back.

The interesting part about Myers contract is he is owed $5.5 million this year and has an AAV $13.833. Maybe the Cubs could dump Chatwood, Kintzler and Duensing lowering their money this year and either take pitching prospects back or get some cash back to lower the salary and still get something less interesting back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: chgojhawk on January 13, 2019, 08:38:44 am
The Cubs are paying Russell for 0.425 WAR, even with horrific offense and time missed he’s been worth 1.5, 1.4 WAR the last 2 years.

The amount of money the Ricketts have spent around Wrigley is tough to calculate. If you include the Rooftops, new hotel and Wrigley improvements it is over $500 million. The Cubs balance sheet only includes the Wrigley renovations and I believe that was covered with the sponsorships, signage and minority stake sale.

The Cubs also get $50 million for the sale of MLBAM to Disney for a few years. I don’t know how that is accounted for.

The creation of Hickory Street Capital covered a lot of the expenses for the items you have listed. Basically there are more people, than simply the Ricketts family, covering expenses.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 13, 2019, 04:11:24 pm
One of the Padres writers stated the Cubs and Padres have talked about Bote in a trade and that the Padres are looking to dump Wil Myers who is owed $74 million through 2022 if his option isn’t picked up. Heyward is owed $32 million more through 2023, so I can’t imagine that the Padres would take him back.

The interesting part about Myers contract is he is owed $5.5 million this year and has an AAV $13.833. Maybe the Cubs could dump Chatwood, Kintzler and Duensing lowering their money this year and either take pitching prospects back or get some cash back to lower the salary and still get something less interesting back.

I don't really think Myers frees up enough money to do anything else if it's Chatwood going the other way, especially after 2019. If they've soured on Myers enough to trade him for Heyward straight up, then maybe there's something there...but that really just frees up luxury tax money rather than real money past 2019.

How much would the Cubs have to add to Bote to get Kirby Yates? He only has one elite year and is only two years from free agency, so would a similar package to what they gave up for Wilson and Avila (Bote plus a decent prospect with some upsidein the low minors) do the trick? Maybe add a little better second prospect and send Duensing (or Kintzler and half his salary) to even out the money?
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: CUBluejays on January 13, 2019, 04:50:07 pm
If you are going for relievers I’d rather go after one of their lefties out of pen.

2019 the Cubs have $60 million coming off the payroll and after 2020 another huge chunk.
Title: Re: Cubs in '19
Post by: brjones on January 13, 2019, 07:18:27 pm
2019 the Cubs have $60 million coming off the payroll and after 2020 another huge chunk.

Yeah, but you don't want to be spending $22.5 million/year of those savings on Wil Myers in 2021-22 when you could just be done with Chatwood.

I keep reading that all these savings are going to free up future payroll and the Cubs will be able to spend in free agency again...which is true to an extent. But a lot of that will be going to raises for Bryant, Baez, Contreras, Schwarber, Hendricks (for 2020 at least), and others.

Another big chunk will go to rebuilding the pitching staff--Lester, Hendricks, Quintana, Ha