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General Category => Bleacher Bums Forum => Topic started by: Dave23 on September 30, 2019, 02:29:21 pm


Title: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on September 30, 2019, 02:29:21 pm
So that we can put the smell of '19 behind us...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on September 30, 2019, 03:01:45 pm
Theo's press conference should be starting up any minute. The Cubs are showing it on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRIxIOvBKn0
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on September 30, 2019, 04:44:53 pm
Jesse Rogers has an interesting piece on Maddon's departure, the issues the team has had and what they need in a new manager.  It includes the following:

"The Cubs might already have their next manager in mind, but at the very least they should know the qualities they need. Maddon worked hard to connect with a younger generation of players, but a younger manager and former major leaguer will inherently speak the millennial language. Whether the next manager has experience or not, he had better understand the ever-changing dynamics within a pitching staff, especially as it relates to the National League. If people wondered about Maddon's bullpen maneuvers, what will they say of a rookie manager's?

"Just as important as any in-game decision, the new manager must work with a firmer hand. By their own admission, Cubs players have been pampered by owner Tom Ricketts and team brass. It's first class all the way, but the players haven't always reciprocated. In a sense, it feels as if they've taken advantage of their parents and now need a little more discipline in their lives."



If those are legitimately the concerns, is it really a good idea to hire the guy those players are publicly asking you to hire?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on September 30, 2019, 04:47:34 pm
The players were apparently asking for more scheduled team batting and fielding practices.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on September 30, 2019, 04:48:12 pm
Maybe Rogers read my post!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 04:58:35 pm
Theo's press conference should be starting up any minute. The Cubs are showing it on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRIxIOvBKn0

A very long press conference. I listened to most of it. Would like to have been able to take notes. Seemed pretty clear there .will be substantial changes. At one point, discussing players nearing end of control, said if longer deal cannot be reached that would be a factor in openess to trades. Said he cared more about what they would receive in trade than what they would give up. Emphasized the need for players adept at contact, also the importance of how they would benefit the team long term, not just short term.





Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 05:26:22 pm
Other stuff as I think of things. One is that Theo had high praise for Contreras and Castellanos. He also mentioned again that some players had made adjustments they were asked to at the plate (though he did not give names, he presumably was referring to Happ and Schwarber).

He specifically acknowledged leadoff and CF as areas in special need of improvement, aling with 2B. Said he would love to have a prototypical leadoff guy, but said the options there are very limited. He stressed his philosophy of  trying to fill up the lineup with high on base hitters

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 05:32:22 pm
I believe Theo said one member the coaching staff eould be considered for manager, and also that one person on their list is with a plaoff team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on September 30, 2019, 05:42:49 pm
I believe Theo said one member the coaching staff eould be considered for manager, and also that one person on their list is with a plaoff team.
Hank White is currently with the Nationals.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on September 30, 2019, 05:50:21 pm
That was a really good interview.  Theo is really good with those, and that one may be his best I've ever heard. 

After that, I'm more confident than before that Russell is gone.  Theo made a couple of references to "consequences" being "evident" for not being prepared.  I may not remember it correctly.  But I kinda think the only guys who I recall experiencing evident "consequences" were Russell and Almora, the two guys who got sent down.  Almora was consequences for being completely unable to hit, but I'm not sure effort or preparation were at issue.  I'm guessing not being prepared and consequences would seem to have Russell's name on it? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 05:51:15 pm
Speaking about Ross, Theo said his connection to playwrs, particularly 2016 team would not be a particular asset (though not a deyriment). Throughout Theo stressed the need to look forward, not back, to seek change that will build a new culture. He als said he places a high value on experience
 It did not sound like Ross is anywhere near a favored candidate.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on September 30, 2019, 05:51:35 pm
Ron, I noted with interest how enthusiastic and positive he was when discussing Castellanos, too.  Found it interesting. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on September 30, 2019, 05:53:47 pm
Send almora to the wsox, I like him! I don't think he recovered from the ball hitting the little kid.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on September 30, 2019, 05:54:37 pm
Atleast Theo seems to know Casty is worth keeping... He's exactly the type of player they need hitting wise.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on September 30, 2019, 05:59:56 pm
I believe Theo said one member the coaching staff eould be considered for manager, and also that one person on their list is with a plaoff team.

The latter will be Acosta, the former Loretta. Presumably.

As for Castellanos there’s a lot there to like.  But I just don’t see how he and Schwarber fit together long term.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on September 30, 2019, 06:12:32 pm
That was a really good interview.  Theo is really good with those, and that one may be his best I've ever heard. 

After that, I'm more confident than before that Russell is gone.  Theo made a couple of references to "consequences" being "evident" for not being prepared.  I may not remember it correctly.  But I kinda think the only guys who I recall experiencing evident "consequences" were Russell and Almora, the two guys who got sent down.  Almora was consequences for being completely unable to hit, but I'm not sure effort or preparation were at issue.  I'm guessing not being prepared and consequences would seem to have Russell's name on it? 
One of Addison Russell's most egregious offenses was missing signs. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on September 30, 2019, 06:12:46 pm
Hank White is currently with the Nationals.
so is Dave Martinez.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on September 30, 2019, 06:25:17 pm
Had an interesting comment about supplementing starting rotation—-getting younger and a different look (along with the usual comment about depth). Guessing that might mean Theo looking for a youngish power pitcher for 2020.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on September 30, 2019, 06:35:00 pm
I wonder if Dylan Cease is available.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on September 30, 2019, 06:51:22 pm
Theo is a master at those news conferences.  He made it clear that significant changes are needed, but the proof will be in the pudding.  I inferred two things from what I heard.  Like Ron, my sense is that Rossy is far from the preferred candidate.  Secondly, I was struck with Theo praising Contreras and then immediately talking up the season that Caratini had.  I might be reading too much into it, but I'm sensing that they will be ready to move Contreras for the right return.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on September 30, 2019, 06:54:12 pm
Theo is a master at those news conferences.  He made it clear that significant changes are needed, but the proof will be in the pudding.  I inferred two things from what I heard.  Like Ron, my sense is that Rossy is far from the preferred candidate.  Secondly, I was struck with Theo praising Contreras and then immediately talking up the season that Caratini had.  I might be reading too much into it, but I'm sensing that they will be ready to move Contreras for the right return.

Indeed - Theo sounded many of the same notes after last season and then stood pat.  The question is whether he was blowing smoke, or genuinely thought he had license to do what he needed and had the rug pulled out from under him by ownership.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on September 30, 2019, 06:54:29 pm
I wish someone would have asked Theo about the failure of the 2018 and 2019 Cubs to "rise to the occasion".  How does a team like Milwaukee lose their star player and yet play so well down the stretch whereas the Cubs just seem to shrink from the spotlight.  How do you change that "culture"?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on September 30, 2019, 07:01:49 pm
A factor that nobody has brought up so far is that once you win, you have a target on your back.  You get everyone’s best shot.   That will be gone in 2020.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 07:09:03 pm
As for Castellanos there’s a lot there to like.  But I just don’t see how he and Schwarber fit together long term.

I agree, unless they are platooned, which seems highly unlikely.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 07:10:32 pm
so is Dave Martinez.

Yeah, but more than any other theme Theo stressed was not looking back, but looking forward. Dave Martinez would represent looking back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on September 30, 2019, 07:17:41 pm
Bryant has pretty well let it be known that he intends to test the free agent market.  I think he will be the first of the "top line" Cubs to be traded, most likely this winter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 07:26:20 pm
I had several overall impressions from Theo's  press conference.  The first thing is how consistently he stressed the need to focus on the future, not 2016 and the past. He took responsibility for relying on the talent of the young players from 2016 and his belief in those players' abilities to continue to grow.  But over and over he kept saying the Cubs need to look forward and not backward to prior successes.  He talked about building something new. 

The second thing was his focus on hitters making contact, as opposed to relying on power, given the current MLB environment.  Somewhat related was his clear preference for players with high on base percentage.

The third was his firm commitment to not simply focusing on the current "window" but rather building toward the future, while still being committed to the goal of winning the World Series in 2020. He was clear in not being willing to sacrifice the future for the short term (even though his own contract runs only through 2021).  He implied regretting some deals he'd made in the past in that regard, I thought.

The fourth was his emphasis on embracing change, at all levels of the organization.  I would be very surprised if there is not at least one player who at least some of us have considered to be core players.  My own expectation is that Kris Bryant, after being unwilling to sign a long term contract, will be very aggressively shopped.  I think it's very likely that some team will be willing to make a sufficiently attractive offer for the Cubs to trade Bryant over the winter. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bluebufoon on September 30, 2019, 07:47:10 pm
Do the Mets have enough top young prospects to interest us in a trade for Bryant ? Noah Syndaguard and prospects ?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on September 30, 2019, 07:54:02 pm
I agree, unless they are platooned, which seems highly unlikely.

I wonder.  He talked about the difficulty of finding a CF, and suggested other workarounds as opposed to just finding an every-day CF. 

CF:  "have in house options but...."  "prototypical"  "not a position with great surplus"  "have to be realistic"  "maybe platoon, or complement with a more attainable player from outside the organization". 

In that context, I wonder if a "more attainable" "complementary" players might be the workaround.

I don't necessarily think Castellanos would necessarily be prohibitively redundant.  1.  Guys get injured or need some rest.  2.  Schwarber-Heyward-Castellanos isn't a great defensive outfield, but it might be a very good offensive OF.  3.  "More attainable" "Complementary" guy could pick a bunch of starts (depending on if he's any good); Heyward's bat could take some rest; Schwarber has plenty of lefties that he doesn't match up well; guys get hurt, etc.. 

If you added a "more attainable" "complementary" RH guy who picked up 50-100 starts, I'd consider that as an interesting workaround.  Typically ~45 starts are LHP.  So if for those starts you rested either Heyward or Schwarber, that seems perfectly reasonable to me.  Maybe Heyward would play 50 starts in center, maybe 100.  But there wouldn't be a shortage of starts for either of them, or Castellanos....  as long as you're willing to play Schwarber-Heyward-Castellanos together for 50-100 starts. 

He talked up Schwarber, "breakthrough season", etc.; maybe that's pure trade salesmanship, maybe he's sincere. 

Also with Castellanos, "we'd love to have him back" but he knows that "it's not as simple as that".  Maybe it's "not as simple" because it's all about the money.  Or maybe it's "not as simple" because they'd need to find a worthwhile deal for either Schwarber or Heyward to make it work, beats me.  Or maybe it's "not as simple" because Cast and Schwarber are just too similiar as bad-fielding outfielders. 

But he also a couple of times referred to "parts of the strike zone we're otherwise vulnerable too", "harder to game-plan for", and "team that can be game-planned-for", and that Castellanos is NOT vulnerable to those same part of the strike zone. So if he's trying to improve contact and not be so "game-plan" vulnerable to anybody who can work the upper half, Castellanos still seems to be a good fit lineup-wise. 

Obviously the "game plan" is the upper half.  Bryant, Schwarber, Baez, Happ, Bote, none of those launch-angle guys thrive up there.  Not sure with Willson.  Almora was supposed to do well there, but not this year. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on September 30, 2019, 08:02:08 pm
 "least contact"  "fewest fastballs" "parts of the strike zone we're otherwise vulnerable too" "harder to game-plan for".    "Schwarber, breakthrough season.."  "team that can be game-planned-for"

"environment for development at major-league level"   "young players don't fully develop in the minor leagues"

Some interesting quotes, I thought. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on September 30, 2019, 08:03:24 pm
Theo is the ultimate salesman.  Beware.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 08:08:12 pm
Theo is the ultimate salesman.  Beware.

Jeff is the ultimate turncoat. Beware.  ;)
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on September 30, 2019, 08:34:20 pm
Theo is a master at those news conferences.  He made it clear that significant changes are needed, but the proof will be in the pudding. 

Yeah, we'll see.  It's one thing to "need" change, it's another for it to be "attainable".  Every-day CF types are few and will be VERY expensive.  It's one thing to want personnel changes; but if the only way is to make bad trades, unfavorable trades, is that the thing to do? 

He still thinks his guys are really good, had a lot of good years, and seemed to think he had a lot of trade fodder.  In particular, he used the word "studs".  I thought that was interesting.  I don't think you talk about "studs" when alluding to Almora, or Ademan, or Abbott or Happ.  Who would qualify as "studs" on this team?  Baez, Bryant, Contreras, Rizzo.  Maybe in Theo's world, Schwarber's hot stretch makes him a stud?  Certainly not Heyward.  I don't think Happ's good week qualifies, either.....   

I inferred two things from what I heard.  Like Ron, my sense is that Rossy is far from the preferred candidate.  Secondly, I was struck with Theo praising Contreras and then immediately talking up the season that Caratini had.  I might be reading too much into it, but I'm sensing that they will be ready to move Contreras for the right return

Maybe he's just trying to sell Contreras and Schwarber.  Who knows.  I thought it was fun that he was selling the idea that Contreras has fixed pitch-framing, and late in year he figured out what's going to work for him, that he's going to work at it this winter, and that he's going to be a MUCH improved framer next season.  I'm an optimist so love those spring camp hope-springs-eternal stories, so I'll be happy to believe it might be true.  :) But I admit I don't really see how you "work on" framing big-league velocity and movement during a winter hanging out at home? 


Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on September 30, 2019, 08:44:50 pm
"least contact"  "fewest fastballs" "parts of the strike zone we're otherwise vulnerable too" "harder to game-plan for".    "Schwarber, breakthrough season.."  "team that can be game-planned-for"

Since I've been saying "dysfunctional offense" for three years, this kind of talk really resonated with me. Hope they finally address it this offseason.

Secondly, I was struck with Theo praising Contreras and then immediately talking up the season that Caratini had.  I might be reading too much into it, but I'm sensing that they will be ready to move Contreras for the right return.

I didn't really read it the same way because (unless I'm forgetting a Caratini reference) it was a part of the news conference where he was just listing off players who were good this year. It made sense that he'd mention the backup catcher who performed immediately after the starting catcher who performed. He also talked later about how Contreras had made a framing adjustment late in the season that was working for him, so it sounded like he thought there had been some positive development in his only weakness.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Contreras traded, but I didn't think anything Theo said today really changed my expectations from yesterday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on September 30, 2019, 08:45:36 pm
Other thought is he can talk "change, change, change", and I think "different players".  But Theo is exec of a big organization and a believer in organizational impact.  So he might view changes in manager; in interface between analytics and scouting; in minor-league minor-league coaching structure; in introducing team practices; in adding a coach; in getting McLeod out of scouting and development; in improving implementation of pitch lab; and in changing how much time the manager spends in the clubhouse as "big changes".  Even if the core personnel on the roster change not so much.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on September 30, 2019, 08:50:00 pm
Theo’s press conference is really a rorscharch test of your Cubs fandom.

Cubs non-pitchers had a 74.2% contact percentage. The 15 team was 76.5%. The number 5 team was 77.7%. The Astros were top at team at 80.8%.

Bryant (74.1%) Schwarber (73.9%) and Happ (71.7)ranked 9, 10, 13 on the Cubs this year. Castellanos was 16 at 70.4%. Contreras 18th at 69.7%  Baez ranked 20th at 66.7%.   I set it to a minimum of 50 PA.

My gut is that the Cubs will look into trading some of the position players, but the returns won’t be worth enough and you’ll see them supplement. So you stick Happ in CF and bring in somebody like Jarred Dyson to platoon with him. Hoerner and his contact percentage gets 2B and you protect him some with Kemp and Bolte.

The Dodgers had a run differential of +273, the Cubs +97.  The Dodgers starting rotation pitched 893 IP and gave up 344 runs. The Cubs starting rotation pitched 888 IP and gave up 455 runs. The Cubs were -111 runs to the Dodgers because of their rotation. That needs to be fixed or the Cubs offense is going to have to score 1000+ runs to win the World Series.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 08:53:26 pm



Maybe in Theo's world, Schwarber's hot stretch makes him a stud?  Certainly not Heyward.  I don't think Happ's good week qualifies, either.....   

Maybe he's just trying to sell Contreras and Schwarber.  Who knows.  I thought it was fun that he was selling the idea that Contreras has fixed pitch-framing, and late in year he figured out what's going to work for him, that he's going to work at it this winter, and that he's going to be a MUCH improved framer next season.  I'm an optimist so love those spring camp hope-springs-eternal stories, so I'll be happy to believe it might be true.  :) But I admit I don't really see how you "work on" framing big-league velocity and movement during a winter hanging out at home? 

Schwarber's "hot stretch" lasted either a full half season (.996 OPS) or full season (.871 OPS).  Come on, craig. I've never been a particular Schwarber fan, but reality requires he be given credit for a terrific second half season (not just a hot stretch) and an overall very solid season at the plate.

He did not claim that Contreras had "fixed" his pitch framing issues.  He said that Contreras tried different approaches to improving pitch framing and found one approach toward the end of the season that he was comfortable with, and that he would work on that over the winter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 08:56:49 pm
Other thought is he can talk "change, change, change", and I think "different players".  But Theo is exec of a big organization and a believer in organizational impact.  So he might view changes in manager; in interface between analytics and scouting; in minor-league minor-league coaching structure; in introducing team practices; in adding a coach; in getting McLeod out of scouting and development; in improving implementation of pitch lab; and in changing how much time the manager spends in the clubhouse as "big changes".  Even if the core personnel on the roster change not so much.

It's hard to believe that you reached that conclusion after listening to the press conference.  Seems to me that flies in the face of everything he said about the players. Depending, I suppose, on what you mean by "core personnel." 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on September 30, 2019, 09:06:01 pm
Raul Ibañez is getting some mention as well for the manager job. He has been a special assistant to Friedman with the Dodgers since 2016 and the Cubs has interest in him as a bench coach last year.  If the Cubs could tap into the Dodgers work with hitters that would be nice too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 09:06:25 pm
Theo also addressed the Cubs' pitching issues, something that has been a subject of some debate here. He said the expectations were that the starting pitching would be a major strength, a strength that would "separate" the Cubs from other teams, but that this did not prove to be the case. And he noted that the Cubs were particularly poor in high leverage situations, saying that having an overall very good ERA did not matter that much if there was a weakness in high leverage situations.  He did praise some the relief pitchers who utilized the research and development resources to become more effective.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on September 30, 2019, 09:09:24 pm
I've seen these BetOnline.ag manager odds on a few different Twitter accounts today. Espada is the Astros bench coach, is he the playoff coach candidate Theo referred to today?

David Ross +200
Joe Espada +300
Mark DeRosa +400
Mark Loretta +600
Hensley Meulens +600
Joe Girardi +750
Carlos Beltran +750
Kevin Youkilis +1000
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 09:10:54 pm
Theo’s press conference is really a rorscharch test of your Cubs fandom.

Cubs non-pitchers had a 74.2% contact percentage. The 15 team was 76.5%. The number 5 team was 77.7%. The Astros were top at team at 80.8%.

Bryant (74.1%) Schwarber (73.9%) and Happ (71.7)ranked 9, 10, 13 on the Cubs this year. Castellanos was 16 at 70.4%. Contreras 18th at 69.7%  Baez ranked 20th at 66.7%.   I set it to a minimum of 50 PA.

I'm confused. You seem to be saying that there were 8 Cubs who had better contact rates than Bryant, that 15 had better rate than Castellanos, 17 had higher rate than Contreras and 19 higher than Baez. Who were they?  Of course, 50 PA is very low standard for comparison.



Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on September 30, 2019, 09:17:26 pm
Zobrist, Rizzo, Hoerner, Kemp, Lucroy, Heyward, Caratini, Almora, Bryant, Schwarber, Descalso, Happ, Russell, LESTER, Castellanos, Bote, Contreras, DARVISH, Baez, HENDRICKS.

This is the Cubs top 20 hitters by contact rate. My phone didn’t reset it to 50 PA my first post and guys like Zagunis and Taylor Davis where in there. 

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


Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on September 30, 2019, 09:23:59 pm
Ron, basically it's Schwarber, Bryant, Baez, or Contreras as the four core guys who might be hypothetically considered for trade in order to bring back impact talent. 

I'd consider the "core personnel" to be the following guys:
1.  "studs", which would be Baez, Bryant, Contreras, and Rizzo. 
2.  Add Schwarber as you suggest, now with his great second-half and breakout season. 
3.  Darvish and Hendricks would also be core. That's 7. 
4.  Heyward and Lester are 2016-2020 starters; not "core" in being long-term future assets.  But kinda "core" in that they've been around for all 4 or 5 years; will surely be around next year; and are "core" from a budget-perspective. 

So, that's 9 core-guys. 

I think Theo is looking to consider moving one of those 9 guys. 

But he's not able to move Lester or Heyward; he won't want to move Hendricks or Darvish; and he won't want to move Rizzo. 

So basically that leaves Schwarber, Bryant, Baez, or Contreras as the four core guys who might be hypothetically considered for trade in order to bring back impact talent.  Baez seems awfully unlikely, too.

It might happen, and it will be exciting and scary and a big deal and kind of disappointing if he does move any one of those guys. But I think there's a very real possibility that Theo won't get fair value for any of those four, and that the "changes" will occur with the other supporting personnel. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on September 30, 2019, 09:33:54 pm
Craig say the Cubs replace Hamels and Quintana in the rotation and Strop, Cishek, Kintzler, Phelps, Brach, Morrow, Duensing in the bullpen. Would that be a big change?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on September 30, 2019, 09:50:17 pm
Theo said—maybe even emphasized- that Cubs don’t know what will be available to them in trade market. So, would not be so sure about big moves with position players. Depends.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on September 30, 2019, 10:01:24 pm
Did Dylan Cease learn how to throw strikes?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 10:12:02 pm
craig - Thanks for the clarification and specificity. I do not consider Schwarber a "core" player, but I do consider him to be a valuable part of the team, and someone who could bring a substantial return were he to be traded (particularly to an AL team).

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

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

I fully expect him to try to force the issue of a trade or trades to make a fairly basic change in the makeup of the team on the field. Granted, he'll need to find a favorable deal, but I expect there will be some very aggressive offers for Bryant, if not for others.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on September 30, 2019, 10:16:08 pm
Im betting Schwarber and/or Bryant go [possibly Happ,Almora,and Russell too],we resign Castellanos,bring in a leadoff man in CF,leave Hoerner at 2nd,and go after a #1 starter.

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

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

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

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

I'm not complaining (as what Theo et al have accomplished for Cub fans over the past 5 years has been unprecedented in our lifetimes), but improving Cub pitching in 2020 seems to me the #1 priority.   I'll always believe what Joe Torre said as Yankee manager, "I used to think pitching was 70% of the game.  Then, I became a manager and realized it's a whole helluva lot more important than that!"
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on September 30, 2019, 10:26:05 pm
Craig say the Cubs replace Hamels and Quintana in the rotation and Strop, Cishek, Kintzler, Phelps, Brach, Morrow, Duensing in the bullpen. Would that be a big change?

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

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

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

I have no idea. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 10:55:09 pm
I re-listened to parts of the press conference and wanted to add some observations.

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

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

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

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


Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 11:12:38 pm
Zobrist, Rizzo, Hoerner, Kemp, Lucroy, Heyward, Caratini, Almora, Bryant, Schwarber, Descalso, Happ, Russell, LESTER, Castellanos, Bote, Contreras, DARVISH, Baez, HENDRICKS.
This is the Cubs top 20 hitters by contact rate. My phone didn’t reset it to 50 PA my first post and guys like Zagunis and Taylor Davis where in there. 

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

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

I don't think Baez gets a pass on contact rates, but there are so many other aspects to his game that his contact rate is something you can live with - if your lineup has enough contact guys.  And the reason I think that Bryant is more likely to be traded is not only because he's less likely to sign a long term contract, but also because replacing Baez at SS would be way more difficult than replacing Bryant at 3B.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 11:23:23 pm
I think the Cubs would be fine with living with low contact rates of Baez and Contreras if they had six other regulars with good (reasonably hard) contact rates in the lineup. Rizzo and (hopefully) Hoerner are a start. Maybe Heyward and Schwarber would count?  I look for the Cubs to try hard to get a CF (and if they trade Bryant a 3B), and maybe a transitional 2B who fits that bill.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 11:33:04 pm
Theo said—maybe even emphasized- that Cubs don’t know what will be available to them in trade market. So, would not be so sure about big moves with position players. Depends.

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

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


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

To me that implied that he was willing to give up a lot (Bryant, Contreras, Schwarber?) so long as he received the quality and types of players he seeks in return. The anticipated loss of Bryant after 2021 sounded to me like a very significant factor in Theo's thinking, and his emphasis on preparing for a "new window" after 2021 reinforced that for me.  He is still thinking long term, whether or not he's going to be around after 2021.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on September 30, 2019, 11:57:14 pm
Sahadev Sharma has chimed in on Theo's press conference.

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

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

So, is the reckoning finally here?


https://theathletic.com/1256530/2019/09/30/whenever-you-dont-make-it-its-horrible-around-here-a-winter-of-change-awaits-the-cubs/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: wmljohn on October 01, 2019, 07:00:09 am
Quote
discussing players nearing end of control, said if longer deal cannot be reached that would be a factor in openness to trades. Said he cared more about what they would receive in trade than what they would give up.

KB.  KB.  KB...

Trade his ass to a shitty team for some young talented players and then see how bad he wants to return to Chicago in two years.  Don't do what Washington did with Harper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Robb on October 01, 2019, 08:05:08 am
I will consider this offseason a success if they can sign Cole or possibly Strasburg if he opts out, trade either Contrerras or Bryant for impact talent and remove Russell, Almora, Happ and finally, eat whatever they have to of Heyward's contract to trade him.  As a bonus signing Castellanos and bringing in a healthy high k/low walk guy or two for the bullpen wouldn't hurt either.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Robb on October 01, 2019, 08:09:34 am
Wick, Wieck and Ryan are a nice start to next year's bullpen. Short an injury Kimbrel will be there. Is there anyone else you want back from this year's crew? I've seen enough of Cishek and Kintzler. Maybe Strop based on his final, presumably healthy weeks? Chatwood is back but could be given a sniff at the rotation. Maybe pick up Q's option, trade him and then plug in Chatwood/Mills as 5th starter?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: dev on October 01, 2019, 08:32:51 am
Brandon Morrow is a free agent now....<ducks>
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 01, 2019, 08:50:40 am
After his season, I bet Strop has trouble finding a job in this market. I wouldn't be surprised to see him coming back for something like Brach's contract late in the offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 01, 2019, 09:24:41 am
I think the Cubs would be fine with living with low contact rates of Baez and Contreras if they had six other regulars with good (reasonably hard) contact rates in the lineup. Rizzo and (hopefully) Hoerner are a start. Maybe Heyward and Schwarber would count?  I look for the Cubs to try hard to get a CF (and if they trade Bryant a 3B), and maybe a transitional 2B who fits that bill.

If you look at MLB players with 400 PA, Baez was the 6th worst contact percentage and Contreras was 21.  Eloy is 17 and Soler is 23 incase you where wondering. 
The Astros only had 1 player sub 70% in Chirinos.  The Dodgers are closer to what the Cubs can be.  The only sub 70% guys where Negron, Garlick and Buehler.  It is going to be hard to be a better contact team with both Baez and Contreras getting that much playing time, unless you are going to start fielding a team of Rizzos. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 01, 2019, 09:31:30 am
Theo was very positive about Kimbrel going forward.  Basically hoped that with full off-season to get right physically, combined with a normal spring training, Theo is ready to count on him for next season.  I can totally see how a proud competitor would be really ashamed of how awful he was, and be ultra motivated to try to be good again.  Whether the "best version of himself" at this point can actually be any good, time will tell; hopefully he can be variably useful.   

Re Kimbrel, and with Baez and Bryant, Theo said that none of them need surgery, and that actually there isn't anybody on the roster who will need surgery, to his knowledge. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 01, 2019, 09:37:55 am
I wonder with new manager and with those contact issues, whether that won't mean the annual change in batting coach. 

Last year, Chili was supposed to be better for situational and opposite-field and not so all-or-nothing.  Were the contact rates equally bad last year as this? 

I recall being surprised when Iapoce came over, that his comments didn't talk a lot about mechanical stuff.  He seemed more of a cheer up, don't think too much, swing free;  you were a first round pick and a top prospect for a reason, just relax and let your talent play out.  That was in his comments in the one or two interviews that I read. To some degree seemed pretty consistent with Maddon's relax, don't practice too much, don't stress too much, have fun psychology.  Which obviously has a ton of merit. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 01, 2019, 09:44:46 am
Brandon Morrow is a free agent now....<strains elbow>

Fixed that for ya, dev.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 01, 2019, 09:50:23 am
I'm an eternal optimist, but I'm hopeful that Schwarber's 2nd half and season overall will not be too much fluke.  I've always thought he'd have a chance to put together a .250 season, and if he ever did that HR's and numbers would follow.  I think it's possible that he might hit .250 again before his control finishes, and with it the kind of slugging that accompanies it for him. 

I think over his career, he's been making a variety of adjustments.  How much to crouch or not; I think he made some adjustment to stand a little straighter.  Obviously going opposite has been an emphasis; I think for a hunk of this year that was to the extreme.  Seemed like he was very committed to popping to left; some of that got enough lift to carry out, lots were easy flyouts.  But my perception was that he was so left-field oriented that he was NOT using the whole field and was so weight-shift committed to aiming for left field that then pitchers would work inside, or hang breaking balls that he should drive to right, that he wasn't using the pull side or taking advantage very consistently. 

Seems to me that during the strong finish, his balance and weight-shift was better, so that he was effectively pulling the ball in addition to going opposite.  So I'm hopeful that he's kind of settled into a stance and a weight transfer balance that is better for him, and that he'll be able to stick with.  Obviously he's going to be a hot-and-cold guy, good pitchers are going to blitz him, lefties locating their stuff are going to blitz him, and fastballs above the belt are going to blow through his swing.  So I'm not anticipating some .275-average guy with a .950-OPS or anything to be sustainable.  But his composite .250-average .871OPS from this year, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't repeat that again, during a year in which he stays healthy. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 01, 2019, 09:58:32 am
One of the "contact" questions is what the ball will be like.  This year, the ball was so juiced that anybody who could make contact could hit HR's.  (Tommy LaStella, etc..) 

But I wonder if that won't immediately be corrected?  Such that what you want in the offense might shift somewhat?  And perhaps what works for a hitter might also shift some?  Castellanos hit 27 HRs; will de-juiced ball make that 15, and a lot of his HR's will be deep flyouts, and a lot of his doubles won't get over or through the OF?  Schwarber hit lots of high launch-angle flies to left that just carried out?  Will a bunch of those be routine outs next year? 

Hard to guess what the game will be once they make their annual correction on the ball.... 

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 01, 2019, 10:16:19 am
Are you sure the powers that be will want to change the ball?  Owners connect offense to attendance.  Chicks love the long ball.  Even the change in pitching rules (a reliever must face 3 hitters) is a double intentioned rule...shortens game time and may result in more offense.  They're toying with moving the rubber back...why?  To improve the pitching advantage?  (Which they may be doing unintentionally since pitches that break nastiest are in the last 3 feet.)
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 01, 2019, 11:47:58 am
"What Theo Epstein is searching for in the next Cubs manager (Hint: It’s David Ross)"

I'm hoping that Patrick Mooney did not come up with that headline for his article on Theo's comments on the managerial search during his press conference.  While the article spends a lot of time discussing Ross, it does not support the headline.

https://theathletic.com/1256607/2019/10/01/what-theo-epstein-is-searching-for-in-the-next-cubs-manager-hint-its-david-ross/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on October 01, 2019, 12:55:13 pm
Are you sure the powers that be will want to change the ball?  Owners connect offense to attendance.  Chicks love the long ball.  Even the change in pitching rules (a reliever must face 3 hitters) is a double intentioned rule...shortens game time and may result in more offense.  They're toying with moving the rubber back...why?  To improve the pitching advantage?  (Which they may be doing unintentionally since pitches that break nastiest are in the last 3 feet.)
Why not have three designated hitters instead of one?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 01, 2019, 01:01:20 pm
Or 9?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 01, 2019, 01:19:08 pm
I had forgotten that Schwarber becomes a free agent after the 2021 season also. I suppose the lack of an extension with Schwarber would make him more likely to be actively shopped as well. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 01, 2019, 01:24:29 pm
"What Theo Epstein is searching for in the next Cubs manager (Hint: It’s David Ross)"

I'm hoping that Patrick Mooney did not come up with that headline for his article on Theo's comments on the managerial search during his press conference.  While the article spends a lot of time discussing Ross, it does not support the headline.

https://theathletic.com/1256607/2019/10/01/what-theo-epstein-is-searching-for-in-the-next-cubs-manager-hint-its-david-ross/

On their podcast with Brett Taylor on the Athletic both Sharma and Mooney are convinced that Ross is the choice.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 01, 2019, 02:03:00 pm
Would that to placate the players who loved Maddon?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 01, 2019, 02:35:17 pm
They think following Maddon is going to be exceptionally difficult and it will take a big personality.  They also think the relationships will help, but he was also the guy to go after people when they made a mistake in 2015/16.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 01, 2019, 02:43:12 pm
That's a tough one.  To a degree it's like a teacher trying to achieve discipline in a classroom allowed to get out of control.  Easier to get a different teacher.  Advancing a former student, even if he was a class leader, is not a real answer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 01, 2019, 03:01:42 pm
Managing isn't just dealing with the clubhouse though.  The media has to managed as well.  Maddon was amazing at this and that's why they think somebody like Ross is needed. 

Maybe Ross was the teacher that kept the kids in line during 2015/16 and without him the classroom was lost.  I really have no idea what is needed as the next manager, Theo seems to have a decent track record at picking guys and picking guys to interview so I'm just gonna go with the flow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on October 01, 2019, 03:14:01 pm
Someone mentioned the trade of LaStella above.

Is the lack of contact something that Epstein just noticed this year?  It certainly wasn't new to most on this board.  If contact was such a glaring flaw in the team, why trade one of the only guys that actually made consistent contact.  Certainly, no one expected LaStella to turn into a power hitter, but they must have known that trading him would reduce the overall contact level of the team, not increase it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 01, 2019, 03:17:42 pm
I think Ross will be an excellent manager...in 2025.

Theo has NOT always been right.  Remember the dick he hired first?  In the interview he claimed he was into sabermetrics and joked about it later?  Maddon was his third pick.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 01, 2019, 03:28:22 pm
"What Theo Epstein is searching for in the next Cubs manager (Hint: It’s David Ross)"

I'm hoping that Patrick Mooney did not come up with that headline for his article on Theo's comments on the managerial search during his press conference.  While the article spends a lot of time discussing Ross, it does not support the headline.

https://theathletic.com/1256607/2019/10/01/what-theo-epstein-is-searching-for-in-the-next-cubs-manager-hint-its-david-ross/

Heh heh.  My brother used to write for the Milwaukee Journal, and their Washington correspondent.  A routine frustration was bad headlines assigned to good articles.  For paper stuff, the layout people decide how many columns wide an article is, and thus how much headline fits. 

So pretty sure that Mooney has NOTHING to do with that. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: DelMarFan on October 01, 2019, 03:57:17 pm
I'm not so sure.  On the podcast, Mooney seemed pretty convinced it's going to be Ross.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dihard on October 01, 2019, 04:00:08 pm
I think Ross will be an excellent manager...in 2025.

Maybe I’m going too much on his tv persona, but I haven’t been very impressed with Rossy during his time on ESPN. It’s clear how buddy-buddy he is with the Cubs players still, and I feel like it was pretty rare he provided much real insight or signs of thoughtfulness or strategy.  Maybe down the road, but I don’t feel like he’s the best choice for 2020.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 01, 2019, 04:31:09 pm
One of the managerial candidates reported to be of interest to Cubs is Raul Ibanez.

Ironically, Ibanez was one of the three finalists to replace Maddon with the Rays after 2014 but he took his name out of consideration during the process and the job went to Kevin Cash.

Below is a broadcast booth interview with Ibanez from 2015 talking about that and other things. Seems like an impressive guy.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P3IeIXSs7PY
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 01, 2019, 04:53:29 pm
I'm told the Chicago Cubs offered a position to
@DrivelineBB
's Kyle Boddy but he'll be heading to the Reds per
@JeffPassan

From Travis Sawchek.  Balls.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 01, 2019, 04:55:18 pm
Patrick Mooney
@PJ_Mooney
The Cubs confirm Mark Loretta and Will Venable will join David Ross as internal candidates to replace Joe Maddon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 01, 2019, 05:03:17 pm
I'm told the Chicago Cubs offered a position to
@DrivelineBB
's Kyle Boddy but he'll be heading to the Reds per
@JeffPassan

From Travis Sawchek.  Balls.

Very interesting that Theo couldn't outsell the Cubs versus the Reds.  Given the lack of young arms in the Cubs system, and the big volume of great ones with the Reds, it certainly makes sense from Boddy's perspective.  Discouraging, though. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 01, 2019, 05:46:04 pm
Ron, I heard Theo's comments re Ross more favorably.  Referenced Ross's "worldview"; said his past connection would not be a detriment; and said he'd be evaluated on his merits. 

Theo could have easily iced Ross speculation, by emphasizing need for outside voice, or more strongly talking up value of experience.  (Seemed token valuation to me.)  He didn't. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 01, 2019, 05:48:27 pm
Boddy wants to remain at Driveline. That might have been a sticking point for the Cubs. So say Boddy helps develop a new technique of training or a new use of tech or new tech. You have to keep him from using it at Driveline, which might be a friction point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 01, 2019, 06:07:26 pm
I'd be pretty surprised if Rossy is the choice. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 01, 2019, 06:26:51 pm
If he was loose, I'd bet on Terry Francona
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 01, 2019, 06:28:55 pm
Maybe Zobrist will retire, be named manager, leave the team in June, come back in September and let the guys rule themselves all summer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 01, 2019, 08:11:48 pm
Ron, I heard Theo's comments re Ross more favorably.  Referenced Ross's "worldview"; said his past connection would not be a detriment; and said he'd be evaluated on his merits. 

Theo could have easily iced Ross speculation, by emphasizing need for outside voice, or more strongly talking up value of experience.  (Seemed token valuation to me.)  He didn't. 

It could be that Theo wanted to simply shoot down any notion that, should he decide to choose Ross, that the decision would be based on his relationship with the players and his identity being tied to the 2016 team. 

I seriously doubt that Theo knows who is going to be the next manager, and that he's open to a variety of options at this point.  This is not a 2015 Joe Maddon situation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 01, 2019, 10:19:07 pm
I think Ross will be an excellent manager...in 2025.

Theo has NOT always been right.  Remember the dick he hired first?  In the interview he claimed he was into sabermetrics and joked about it later?  Maddon was his third pick.
  I was angry that I couldn't remember the dick's name.  Dale Sveum.  Did anyone else know that the Cubs gave him a World Series ring?  I wonder if they gave Renteria one too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 01, 2019, 10:22:00 pm
  I was angry that I couldn't remember the dick's name.  Dale Sveum.  Did anyone else know that the Cubs gave him a World Series ring?  I wonder if they gave Renteria one too.

Yep. 
https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/cubs/2017/08/17/no-hard-feelings-cubs-give-ex-manager-rick-renteria-world-series-ring/576104001/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 01, 2019, 10:25:17 pm
I’d imagine they’d have a pretty good idea if Ross has the qualities that they are looking for in a manager.  That doesn’t mean that somebody from outside they org couldn’t come in and blow them away.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 01, 2019, 10:35:02 pm
Exactly.  He's going to go through due process for sure. 

I guess I had assumed Ross was just a media name, and that the Cubs wouldn't actually take him seriously.  So after Theo's comments, I felt surprised that he brought up Ross like three different times, and that none of his comments to me seemed to downplay Ross's chances to be taken seriously, or perhaps to even end up getting hired.  Certainly it's nothing like Maddon's targeted hiring.  And certainly none of the comments suggested that Ross was pretty much pre-determined. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 01, 2019, 10:41:42 pm
Ross would make a terrific bench coach, smoothing things between a new manager and the players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 01, 2019, 11:10:04 pm
Ross would make a terrific bench coach, smoothing things between a new manager and the players.

He'd never take that job.  If he doesn't get the manager gig he'll keep working part-time and hang out with his kids.

Craig, for my part I never doubted the Cubs would take Ross seriously as a potential manager.  They've always seemed enamored with him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 01, 2019, 11:49:44 pm
Yep. 
https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/cubs/2017/08/17/no-hard-feelings-cubs-give-ex-manager-rick-renteria-world-series-ring/576104001/

I didn't know Renteria got one.  Good for the Cubs on that.  Hiring Maddon to replace him was obviously the right move, but he still got hosed in that deal. 

Sveum...well might have been a little too generous!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 02, 2019, 08:21:23 am
Whether the Cubs are interested in him is another matter, but Girardi just basically said on the radio he wants the job.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: wmljohn on October 02, 2019, 08:39:23 am
I want the job too.  Don't know if I will land it but I sent an email.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 02, 2019, 08:44:05 am
I don’t think Girardi sits out 2019 waiting on the Cubs job unless his back-channel communications were that he had a shot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 02, 2019, 08:47:52 am
Maybe I’m going too much on his tv persona, but I haven’t been very impressed with Rossy during his time on ESPN. It’s clear how buddy-buddy he is with the Cubs players still, and I feel like it was pretty rare he provided much real insight or signs of thoughtfulness or strategy.  Maybe down the road, but I don’t feel like he’s the best choice for 2020. .


Thanks, dihard.  That's helpful to hear. 

Cubs admin have a reputation for being really smart/intellectual.  I'd like to get somebody who's really intelligent and smart.  Maddon is, no question there.  But I'm not sure all of their managerial hires, or batting-coach hires, have necessarily mirrored that.  Think they have maybe tended to go more for style.  Elan, the word Theo used several times.  Soft skills. 

I hope they get somebody who's got good soft skills, but who's also an intelligent and thoughtful guy too. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 02, 2019, 08:50:16 am


Thanks, dihard.  That's helpful to hear. 

Cubs admin have a reputation for being really smart/intellectual.  I'd like to get somebody who's really intelligent and smart.  Maddon is, no question there.  But I'm not sure all of their managerial hires, or batting-coach hires, have necessarily mirrored that.  Think they have maybe tended to go more for style.  Elan, the word Theo used several times.  Soft skills. 

I hope they get somebody who's got good soft skills, but who's also an intelligent and thoughtful guy too. 
That rules out WJ
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on October 02, 2019, 08:52:37 am
Does MLB still require that at least one minority candidate be interviewed?  There was talk a few years ago about that rule not being effective.  Teams were accused of only making "token" interviews.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 02, 2019, 08:55:08 am
I thought that was just an NFL rule.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on October 02, 2019, 08:58:08 am
I thought that was just an NFL rule.
No.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 02, 2019, 09:08:33 am
Pretty sure the rule is still in play. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on October 02, 2019, 09:25:48 am
Any team signing Joe Maddon will claim to have given serious consideration to a minority.  Who was that guy when Maddon came to the Cubs?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 02, 2019, 09:33:09 am
Well, at the time, Renteria was our manager.  Would Dave Martinez count? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 02, 2019, 09:42:34 am
I don’t think Girardi sits out 2019 waiting on the Cubs job unless his back-channel communications were that he had a shot.

Is there some reason to believe Girardi sat out the 2019 season waiting on the Cubs job?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 02, 2019, 12:49:23 pm
Is there some reason to believe Girardi sat out the 2019 season waiting on the Cubs job?

It was “industry speculation”—another way of saying pure speculation.

https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2018/10/22/industry-speculation-joe-girardi-is-waiting-for-a-job-with-the-cubs/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 02, 2019, 02:39:03 pm
I think we should get Paul Heyman as manager.  As a manager, his guys always do well.  Before the Star Spangled Banner, he could take the mike ans day, "Ladies and Gentleman, my name is Paul Heyman, and I am the manager of the once and future champions of the World, the Chicago Cubs, and this other team, so totally unworthy of being on the field with us, will suffer at our hands shortly."

It would be great!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 02, 2019, 02:42:17 pm
Jim Cornette might work too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on October 02, 2019, 02:53:04 pm
I think we should get Paul Heyman as manager.  As a manager, his guys always do well.  Before the Star Spangled Banner, he could take the mike ans day, "Ladies and Gentleman, my name is Paul Heyman, and I am the manager of the once and future champions of the World, the Chicago Cubs, and this other team, so totally unworthy of being on the field with us, will suffer at our hands shortly."

It would be great!
The WWE would probably want compensation for Heyman.  Angel Hernandez and CB Bucknor are qualified to be WWE referees.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 02, 2019, 03:16:29 pm
Josh Bard was another name mentioned by Sharma. 

He was a backup catcher for the Red Sox in 2006, among various stops.  He's been a special assistant and bullpen coach for the Dodgers and is currently the Yanks bench coach.  Estrada (Astros), Ibanez (Dodgers), Venable, Lorretta and Ross where the other guys mentioned.

*Hottovy and Iapoce are expected to be back.  Hottovy is almost a given.

Too bad Bobby "The Brain" Heenan isn't around he would have been perfect, motivation and analytics all in one.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 02, 2019, 04:15:22 pm


Thanks, dihard.  That's helpful to hear. 

Cubs admin have a reputation for being really smart/intellectual.  I'd like to get somebody who's really intelligent and smart.  Maddon is, no question there.  But I'm not sure all of their managerial hires, or batting-coach hires, have necessarily mirrored that.  Think they have maybe tended to go more for style.  Elan, the word Theo used several times.  Soft skills. 

I hope they get somebody who's got good soft skills, but who's also an intelligent and thoughtful guy too. 

If they go the intellectual route, Ibanez is the guy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 02, 2019, 05:25:31 pm
As to Girardi, there were six openings last year and one team (Cincinnati) all but made him an offer, and he pulled out of consideration because he “wanted to see what openings there are next winter”.  I suppose if you’re determined to be obtuse you could call all the reporting on his interest in the Cubs unfounded speculation l but it seems pretty founded to me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 02, 2019, 06:34:26 pm
Heyman tweeted that the industry thinks it is Ross’s job if he wants it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 02, 2019, 06:38:31 pm
Heyman tweeted that the industry thinks it is Ross’s job if he wants it.

He's not the least connected beat guy out there but that isn't the sense I'm getting.  He'd know more than most, but Theo doesn't sound to me like he's sold on Ross yet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on October 02, 2019, 06:40:54 pm
If fan favorite Ryne Sandberg was told to get some minor league managerial experience, why wouldn't that apply to David Ross as well?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 02, 2019, 06:42:48 pm
If fan favorite Ryne Sandberg was told to get some minor league managerial experience, why wouldn't that apply to David Ross as well?

Because the Cubs never wanted Sandberg as their manager but wanted to find a way not to have to say that outright?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 02, 2019, 07:16:02 pm
Because the Cubs never wanted Sandberg as their manager but wanted to find a way not to have to say that outright?

There was also a different GM then (Jim Hendry).
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 02, 2019, 07:48:20 pm
There was also a different GM then (Jim Hendry).

I don't think so.  Theo was already in place.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 02, 2019, 07:54:49 pm
Sandberg’s last year managing in the Cubs system was 2010. Hendry gave Quade the full time job over Sandberg.

Theo probably wouldn’t have even gone through the motions of letting him manage in the minors.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 02, 2019, 11:17:29 pm
I’ve always been kind of fond of Joe Girardi. He always seemed like a smart guy and there was something about him that made me fond of him. There was a time, under Hendry, that I would have loved to have had Girardi manage the Cubs.  However, since Theo took over the Cubs’ and brought a very different approach to the organization and the team, I’ve believed that Girardi is not a good match for the team. My general impression has been that he's too old school for this organization. But I want to be open minded, and I listened to today’s Dave Kaplan interview with Girardi.

https://art19.com/shows/cubs-talk-podcast/episodes/1ceb1f2d-03ed-4b38-85b3-933520351461

Among Girardi’s comments were that he’s always been a “big believer that numbers tell a story over time,” as someone trained to be an engineer, he’s always used numbers a lot. He said as a manager, he did everything analytically, using instinct sometimes, but numbers don’t lie over time. He said that now you have a lot of people looking more deeply into stuff, and that you want that information in front of you to help you prepare and make decisions.
I think that’s all pretty believable and a good point in his favor. The fact that he was reputed to have problems communicating with younger players on the Yankees (if true, but who knows?) certainly is not in his favor.

He also talked about the importance of having a culture of accountability in the clubhouse – I think he emphasized the players role in that.

I’m still skeptical that he’s the guy Theo will want, but I recognize that my perspective is very, very limited on Girardi’s managerial approach and on how Theo views, or will view him if he is a candidate.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 02, 2019, 11:28:25 pm
I'm rooting for Girardi myself.  He's a smart guy, been part of a winning culture and a winning organization for a long time, averaged 91 wins a year and won a World Series as a manager, etc.  I think a change in the relatively laid back Maddon culture would be a good thing, and I think Girardi could bring it. 

Honestly I'm fine that he's not a walking version of Fangraphs or Baseball Prospectus.  I think teams or managers can be too over analytical with that. 

He's pretty much already what you hope David Ross turns into if Ross begins a managerial career.  Ross would be fine by me, by the way, but Girardi's proven, already been well tested and wouldn't need any on the job training.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on October 02, 2019, 11:35:13 pm
The job has been Girardi’s destiny since the day Darryl Kile died.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 02, 2019, 11:53:40 pm
If they hire Girardi hopefully they kept a copy of Millennials for Dummies.

If you want to catch the Dodgers or Astros you need to pretty much have somebody that can take the analytics digest it and spit it out to their players in terms that they can use and be on the same wave length as the front office. That isn’t Girardi.

Cashmen when he fired him said he couldn’t connect to the players. He was rumored to ignore the stuff that the front office was giving him analytics wise. The Cubs just walked away from a guy who mixed old school with analytics and had trouble connecting with younger players. You guys really want to do that again?

My favorite millennial philosopher, “Let the past die, kill it.”

That is a recipe for more third place finishes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 02, 2019, 11:55:27 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRIxIOvBKn0

Going back to Theo's press conference, at ~19:00.  I was really interested and somewhat clueless about what Theo is talking about.

"There were real efforts made last offseason, real um unconventional methods, methods that never want to have to do again to be honest with you to try to reach guys, and they were coming from the players, as well, players identified areas of concern, areas where we needed to try to do things differently.  And there was good healthy conversation about that.  The vast majority of it remained confidential, behind the scenes, I think there was good intentions and good effort, but in in the end that kind of change is really difficult especially with tremendous continuity, and I think that's one of the reason were really embracing a lot of change now."

Any ideas what he's talking about and what any of this means? 
1. He refers to "guys", plural.  So, apparently not just Addison's deal. 
2.  "To try to reach guys" is pejorative.  Is he thinking baseball skills, here?  (Edwards' weird pitch delivery?  Happ to the minors?)  Mechanical baseball things?  Or off-field behaviors (wine women and song)?  Non-game skills-improvement commitments?  Things related to "dominating the strike zone" or lack thereof?  Interpersonal conflicts within the team?  Team stuff, wanting more scheduled practices together or team building together activities?  Is he "trying to reach" players, or coaches? 
3.  "there was good intentions, but that kind of change is really difficult".  Again, hard to know whether that's practice habits, problems with alcohol consumption, situational swing adjustment, whether it's about holding more team practices, or whether it's mechanical adjustments needed for the Edwards and Happs of the team?   
4.  "Unconventional methods... that never want to have to do again to be honest with you". 

Just curious if you guys had thoughts on that bit?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 03, 2019, 12:13:49 am
craig - That part of the press conference got my attention as well. Seemed very cryptic. No idea what he was talking about though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 03, 2019, 12:56:24 am
I'm rooting for Girardi myself.  He's a smart guy, been part of a winning culture and a winning organization for a long time, averaged 91 wins a year and won a World Series as a manager, etc.  I think a change in the relatively laid back Maddon culture would be a good thing, and I think Girardi could bring it. 

Honestly I'm fine that he's not a walking version of Fangraphs or Baseball Prospectus.  I think teams or managers can be too over analytical with that. 

He's pretty much already what you hope David Ross turns into if Ross begins a managerial career.  Ross would be fine by me, by the way, but Girardi's proven, already been well tested and wouldn't need any on the job training.

I don't know if I'm ready to say Girardi is my #1 choice, but the overwhelming negativity towards him baffles me.  He's not anti-advanced stats, he's got a hell of a track record as a manager (as measured both by wins/losses and managerial "advanced stats") and he has a history with the organization.  If you want to change the culture in the clubhouse and maximize chances of getting back to the WS in this window, you could make a damn good case Girardi gives you a better shot than any of the rookies for whom the training would be on-the-job.

My gut still tells me that Ibanez is the guy to watch, and there are other names who haven't been discussed much (like Farrell) who have a shot.  But I think Girardi is very much in the mix for Theo, and if he had reason to think otherwise he'd already be managing somewhere else.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 03, 2019, 01:35:55 am
craig - That part of the press conference got my attention as well. Seemed very cryptic. No idea what he was talking about though.

My guess is that there was some kind of club effort last off-season to get some players to step up and take more of a clubhouse leadership role for 2019—that didn’t really happen. Context of Theo’s remarks are about leadership. Must include dealing with Russell’s issues, among other things. Maybe teammates got involved. Theo says confidential, behind the scenes, so by definition we’re not supposed to know. But Theo could not be more clear regarding greater accountability for mistakes in 2020 and that probably includes players of course and ways to get them more involved in fixing things internally, I would think.

Regarding the manager, If Girardi wants the job he ought to stop lobbying for the position with Chicago media, which won’t impress Theo. Suggests to me that Girardi probably isn’t getting any feedback from within the Cubs and wants to keep his name alive from the outside. Good luck with that. Doubt that he’ll be a serious candidate, but who knows.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 03, 2019, 02:32:00 am
Yeah, he should do like Ross and lobby through the national media.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: chgojhawk on October 03, 2019, 06:23:52 am
Girardi has teenagers. His oldest may even be in his early 20s now. I’m sure he is familiar with millennials.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on October 03, 2019, 07:33:08 am
Girardi has teenagers. His oldest may even be in his early 20s now. I’m sure he is familiar with millennials.

That would make his kids post millennials... Believe it or not the entire generation of millennials can now drink legally.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 03, 2019, 07:37:20 am
I thought those born in the 90's were considered to be millennials.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 03, 2019, 08:00:32 am
1995/mid-90's is the typical definition.  Cubs don't have any young talent and obviously have an older team, so Hoerner is the only "Gen Z" on this roster.  But yeah, baseball-wise guys who are old fossils who are retiring are formally millenials. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 03, 2019, 10:02:45 am
A lot of people are jumping to the conclusion that when Theo is talking about accountability and stuff that he's referring to Russell.  He might be, but I doubt it.  Everything I've read is that Russell has done almost everything the FO asked him to do.   I think there's something else going on.  Backstabbing, missing signals, swinging for the fences with winning run at third and one out, being clueless about game situations in one's hitting approach, nursing injuries...there's more to it.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2019, 10:06:57 am
Girardi has teenagers. His oldest may even be in his early 20s now. I’m sure he is familiar with millennials.

Cashmen disagrees.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/06/sports/baseball/yankees-manager-search.html

"Girardi’s inability to communicate well with an increasingly young clubhouse was the primary factor that led to his dismissal, General Manager Brian Cashman said Monday."

"Cashman, who dismissed reports that hinted at increasing friction between him and Girardi this season or that Girardi did not work well with the analytics staff, also said that Girardi’s managerial gaffe in the postseason — neglecting to call for a replay challenge that may have prevented a loss to the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 of an American League division series — had nothing to do with his ouster."

Corey Freedman
@CFCubsRelated
The issue isn’t not using metrics. The binder thing was real.

The issue was him not listening to the front office whenever he felt like it.

The two entities have to be in sync with one another. Having a manager who disregards your R/D department on a whim is a NO from me, dog

The above guy does the Cubs related podcast and was an intern with the Yankees FO when Girardi was there.  Girardi is just a rehash of Madden with a different approach.  That isn't the way that the game is going.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2019, 10:09:36 am
1995/mid-90's is the typical definition.  Cubs don't have any young talent and obviously have an older team, so Hoerner is the only "Gen Z" on this roster.  But yeah, baseball-wise guys who are old fossils who are retiring are formally millenials. 

Millenials are 1981 to 1996. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on October 03, 2019, 10:13:30 am
I'm rooting for Girardi myself.  He's a smart guy, been part of a winning culture and a winning organization for a long time, averaged 91 wins a year and won a World Series as a manager, etc.  I think a change in the relatively laid back Maddon culture would be a good thing, and I think Girardi could bring it. 

Isn't Maddon a smart guy, and hasn't he been part of a winning culture and a winning organization for a long time?  I don't know if he has averaged 91 wins over the course of his career, but he certainly has bettered that number during the 5 years with the Cubs.  I haven't officially verified it, but I believe that Maddon has won a World Series as a manager.

Whoever we bring in, we will either win immediately with him, and ultimately the new manager will be fired, or we will immediately lose with him, and ultimately the new manager will be fired.  And I personally do not believe that which manager is chosen will have much effect on which of the two alternatives result.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 03, 2019, 10:31:06 am
I think Curt has identified a number of issues with the Cubs over the past couple of years, and the right manager is one who is well equipped to help correct these problems while also being a strong motivator.  If Girardi is such a guy, I would hire him without much concern about possible friction with the front office.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: BearHit on October 03, 2019, 10:35:50 am
That manager may not exist - players can collectively decide how things will go
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2019, 10:58:12 am
If Girardi is such a guy, I would hire him without much concern about possible friction with the front office.

What if the biggest issue was because Maddon was ignoring important data from the FO?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 03, 2019, 11:01:49 am
I think it may have been more that Maddon was inconsistent on his own rules, depending on the player.  I don't know.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: BearHit on October 03, 2019, 11:10:04 am
Maybe Maddon knew that the pitching staff was not going to dominate - and the offense cannot score 8 runs every game
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 03, 2019, 11:10:07 am
I was unaware Maddon had rules.....

If you read what is coming out from Sharma the Cubs realllly value coaches that work closely with the FO and they want to integrate that up from the minors to major league teams.  It is what the Astros, Yankees, Dodgers, Twins, etc... are doing. 

Refocusing the players is going to be part of the managers responsibility, but integrating the data for the players is a much bigger piece of the puzzle.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: BearHit on October 03, 2019, 11:11:54 am
How awesome is Davey Martinez that he resurrected the Nats bullpen form losers to winners
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 03, 2019, 11:18:07 am
I'm not necessarily advocating for Girardi.  But I wouldn't assume that he couldn't work well with a Theo-led front office just because he didn't get along well with Cashman.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: dev on October 03, 2019, 11:25:08 am
callaway gone
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 03, 2019, 12:49:49 pm
.. when Theo is talking about accountability and stuff that he's referring to Russell.  He might be, but I doubt it.  Everything I've read is that Russell has done almost everything the FO asked him to do.   I think there's something else going on.  Backstabbing, missing signals, swinging for the fences with winning run at third and one out, being clueless about game situations in one's hitting approach, nursing injuries...there's more to it.   

Yes, I assume Russell did as asked for counseling, and yes to your main point that there's more to it.  If it's just Russell, they could let him go and and problem is solved. 

Russell is the face of the franchise for accountability issues, both on-field and off.  On field, there was the stuff about not being focused defensively, having mental errors, AND not even having complete command of the signs.  That's a professionalism/preparation issue.  And down to Iowa he went. 

Theo made a reference to "consequences", and used wording as if he thought everybody could see that somebody had been held accountable for something. What "consequences" was Theo alluding to in his head there?  Russell getting sent to the minors, but what else?  And if players experienced consequences, were they for performance, or for behavior issues of some other kind? Edwards, Almora, and Montgomery were bad players sent away; are those performance consequences that Theo was alluding to? 

I kinda don't think so, because great club leadership doesn't make bad players good.  What leadership is supposed to improve are issues of behavior, attitude, professionalism, preparation, practice habits, focus, etc..   

So agree with Curt, there's more to it than Russell, and you mention some possibilities. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 03, 2019, 01:37:56 pm
Yeah, he should do like Ross and lobby through the national media.

Theo has said Ross is a candidate. Has Theo said Girardi is a candidate?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: wmljohn on October 03, 2019, 02:00:30 pm
Quote
Quote from: craig on October 02, 2019, 09:47:52 am


Thanks, dihard.  That's helpful to hear.

Cubs admin have a reputation for being really smart/intellectual.  I'd like to get somebody who's really intelligent and smart.  Maddon is, no question there.  But I'm not sure all of their managerial hires, or batting-coach hires, have necessarily mirrored that.  Think they have maybe tended to go more for style.  Elan, the word Theo used several times.  Soft skills.

I hope they get somebody who's got good soft skills, but who's also an intelligent and thoughtful guy too.
Quote
That rules out WJ

Ouch.  That hurt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 03, 2019, 03:17:15 pm
One thing I'd like to see the new manager do differently from Joe is to establish more of a set everyday lineup.  Not so much a set batting order as much as a set 8 who - outside of a straight platoon - are your "everyday" guys.

I think the superflexibility of the roster sometimes was overused and acted as a detriment to player development.

If you believe in a guy, you have to give him an extended opportunity at some point to prove whether he can or can't do it.  This playing once every 3-4 days is tough on anyone but much more so a young player.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on October 03, 2019, 05:15:27 pm
I couldn't agree more.

I hated the scheduled off days...and the idea of giving a player a day off after having a big game the day before just because "it was scheduled"...that's crap...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 03, 2019, 05:19:13 pm
In Maddon’s defense, it would have been easier to stick with a consistent lineup if he had more guys who were performing on a consistent basis.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 03, 2019, 05:54:29 pm
Deeg, there's truth in that, for sure.  On the other hand, he might have had more guys perform consistently if he had let them get into some kind of rhythm.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 03, 2019, 06:37:38 pm
Deeg, there's truth in that, for sure.  On the other hand, he might have had more guys perform consistently if he had let them get into some kind of rhythm.

Yeah, maybe it's a chicken and egg scenario to an extent but I think there's truth in both - they're not mutually exclusive.  It also seems like the Cubs built a roster that was more than usually matchup-dependent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 03, 2019, 09:12:02 pm
One thing I'd like to see the new manager do differently from Joe is to establish more of a set everyday lineup.  Not so much a set batting order as much as a set 8 who - outside of a straight platoon - are your "everyday" guys.

I think the superflexibility of the roster sometimes was overused and acted as a detriment to player development.

If you believe in a guy, you have to give him an extended opportunity at some point to prove whether he can or can't do it.  This playing once every 3-4 days is tough on anyone but much more so a young player.

Who would you have played more as an “everyday” guy? 

Only guy I can think of is Bote but seemed to me his usage was fine.

We had five everyday guys: Rizzo, Bryant, Baez, Heyward, Schwarber (137 GS). Nobody would start Schwarber against certain lefties(at least until Aug/Sept). Then, there’s Contreras/Caratini, which is six.

When Castellanos arrived, he played everyday.

Seems to me that nobody Cubs had could be an “everyday” guy at the other two positions.

At 2B, Russell started season suspended,  Descalso didn't hit, and Zobrist went home. Happ was in minors and Russell too for a stretch after the suspension. Bote—see above.

In CF, Almora didn’t hit. Ideally, he would have been an everyday guy but don’t think anybody would argue Almora deserved to play more. So, Heyward had to play half-time in CF and almost all the time when Castellanos arrived.

What am I missing?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 03, 2019, 10:01:46 pm
Harpef
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 04, 2019, 08:20:06 am
I think I've probably been one of the more skeptical here with regard to Kyle Schwarber.  But the second half of this season has turned me around on him.  This is an interesting piece on Schwarber from cubsinsider.com that makes the case that he should be a core piece in 2020 and going forward.

https://www.cubsinsider.com/2019/10/03/kyle-schwarbers-second-half-turnaround-makes-him-lock-to-remain-with-cubs/

That piece references an earlier one that goes into more detail about his performance since the All Star Break.

https://www.cubsinsider.com/2019/09/18/kyle-schwarber-raking-entire-yard-with-balanced-batting-approach/

If the second half Schwarber is the "real" Schwarber, it seems like he should be the default LF going forward. His defensive lapses can be tolerated if the other two OF positions are filled with good defenders.  Heyward in RF would be one. This is all the more reason for the Cubs to focus on finding a good defensive CF who gets on base and is a contact guy this winter.

It will be interesting to see if the Cubs and Schwarber agree on an extension over the winter. If they do, I expect Schwarber to be penciled in as the regular LF, and I would not expect them to sign Castellanos.  If no deal is reached, then maybe Schwarber gets traded.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: jacey1 on October 04, 2019, 12:08:43 pm
Now is the time to move Schwarber, if you're going to do so. He's re-established some of his value and is one of those pieces you hate to trade, but if you want something of value....
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 04, 2019, 12:16:49 pm
So looking at 2016 Cubs
Heyward RF, 14 DRS, UZR/150 17.5
Fowler CF, 1 DRS, UZR/150 0
Cubs LF Combined 5 DRS, 12.9 UZR/150

Schawarber -1 DRS, UZR/150 -0.9 in 2019

Cubs 2019 45.6 GB%
Cubs 2016 46.9 GB%

Despite the fly ball revolution maybe OF Defense is overrated
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 04, 2019, 02:31:26 pm
Brendan Miller
@CubsRelated
Theo Epstein said that Willson Contreras' framing improved in the 2nd half.

It did in a BIG WAY.

Pitches at top border strike probability
First half = ~30%
Second half = ~70%

This improvement was/still is VITAL for Hottovy's game plan with Hendricks and Quintana (sinkers up).
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 04, 2019, 02:50:40 pm
...Despite the fly ball revolution maybe OF Defense is overrated

Thanks blueJay, interesting data and interesting, significant point. 

I think Schwarber may play slightly better defense in future.  For example, I thought his throwing wasn't nearly as good or as accurate this year, and that his setups weren't nearly as intentional, in terms of setting up to catch the ball coming in and with weight prepared for a quick and strong throw.  He's obviously never going to have range; but if he could at least execute with skill what his speed allows, I think his numbers might improve a little bit. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on October 04, 2019, 02:52:43 pm
Cubs Insider with what seems like an off-the-wall possibility until you read the article

https://www.cubsinsider.com/2019/10/04/since-were-talking-former-cubs-for-manager-how-about-sam-fuld/

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 04, 2019, 03:09:13 pm
Not sure how to think about Schwarber.  Had a really good 2nd half.  If he could hit like that for the next 5 years, you've got a really valuable run producer, defense regardless.

I assume Theo/Hoyer and other potential trade partners have the same question:  will Schwarber future be the 2nd half .997-OPS 2nd half guy who batted .280?  Or the .777 first half guy with the .227 batting average? Or the .871 composite guy with the .250 batting average? Or last year's .235-.832  guy? 

If Theo anticipates 2nd-half but nobody else does, he won't get offers that he perceived as fair value in trade, and Kyle is back for sure.  If other teams project 2nd-half masher, but Theo doesn't, then somebody should make an offer that Theo views as good value.  If other teams and Theo have matching valuation, then a fair-value offer might be possible, and a trade might be made, since Schwarber seems to have the game-plannable vulnerabilities that typify the lineup.  Obviously that is too simplistic; nobody is going to be super confident that 2nd-half Kyle will project future, but there is calculated hope/risk that he might. 

My feeling is to keep him, and hope that 2nd-half Kyle wasn't all fluke.  Obviously nobody's going to anticipate that he's ever going to BABIP at .320 again, like Ron's article said he did late in the season.  Or hit .280, as he did over the last 70 games.  Making a conservative projection on Schwarber, and trading him for conservatively-fair-value return, is not going to help us catch up to the top teams. 

So I'd favor taking a shot that Schwarber will be able to hit ≥.250 into the future, and might be a >.870-OPS guy going forward.  Maybe even a >.900 OPS guy. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 04, 2019, 05:03:11 pm
I like Schwarber but if you do intend to move him now's the time to do it while his value's high.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 04, 2019, 05:29:20 pm
Dusty, that's where I'm not sure?  Is his value high, based on 70 games or whatever?  Or will offers be pretty modest, and not nearly what he might be worth *if* he can be anything like this going forward?  I just don't imagine anybody else is going to be more super-convinced yet than any of us are, so that he's not really going to bring back all that much.  Especially with only two years of club control. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on October 04, 2019, 05:30:18 pm
Real issue is the 2 years control left... his profile has value if he you have 5 years of control left, but when you are in the last 2 years of arb already its rough.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 04, 2019, 06:05:41 pm
Several tweets say Loretta was the first manager interview this week. Ross, Venabke, and Girardi will be interviewed next week.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 04, 2019, 06:49:00 pm
Several tweets say Loretta was the first manager interview this week. Ross, Venabke, and Girardi will be interviewed next week.

Can you share who the tweets were from?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on October 04, 2019, 06:51:22 pm
Can you share who the tweets were from?
Too many media members to count.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 04, 2019, 06:53:12 pm
All the standard beat writers (Sharma, Rogers, Levine, etc.)
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 04, 2019, 06:54:57 pm
Yes.

Several of them tweeted it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 04, 2019, 07:05:09 pm
All the standard beat writers (Sharma, Rogers, Levine, etc.)

Thanks. I've been away from the internet all day.  Just saw Sharma's.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 04, 2019, 07:07:42 pm
Quote
Patrick Mooney

Verified account
 
@PJ_Mooney
Following Following @PJ_Mooney
More
The Cubs are scheduled to interview Joe Girardi, David Ross and Will Venable next week for their manager opening. Mark Loretta completed his interview yesterday.


I'm still on the fence about Girardi, but part of me wants to see him hired just to see how the never-wrong posters who claimed he never had a chance try to rationalize his hiring.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 04, 2019, 07:41:47 pm

I'm still on the fence about Girardi, but part of me wants to see him hired just to see how the never-wrong posters who claimed he never had a chance try to rationalize his hiring.

What poster said Girardi never had a chance?

Haven’t read that here but I’m sure Deeg will pinpoint those posts.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 04, 2019, 07:45:36 pm
Let the dance begin.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 04, 2019, 07:52:33 pm
How do we rate the Cubs manager job for desirability?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 04, 2019, 07:54:01 pm
10.

Big market that spends money with a strong core.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 04, 2019, 07:59:05 pm
Let the dance begin.

Is that an answer?

Seriously, who said Girardi never had a chance?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 04, 2019, 07:59:52 pm
How do we rate the Cubs manager job for desirability?

Not at the very top, but maybe at the top of what's available.  It's a franchise with a big payroll which limits flexibility, and where the performance has clearly not matched the dollars.  Lots of guys going to be FAs at the same time, so there's the potential for things to go off a cliff.  It's still a big-time gig, but you're placing a lot of faith in a front office that hasn't done much in the last three years to justify it.

That said, what's better?  Mets' ownership is a dumpster fire.  The Padres are a small market team, Manny or no.  The Giants are attractive based on location - gorgeous ballpark, great city - and a pretty generous ownership, but not exactly on the cusp of contending seriously.  Maybe the Angels, given that their core is basically the two most exciting players in the AL.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 04, 2019, 08:04:12 pm
San Francisco is a great city?

Definitely not to people where Im from.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 04, 2019, 08:05:33 pm
I think the Padres job is probably the most desirable this offseason. They have a bunch of young talent coming up, so they should be a winning team over the next few years. They've never won the World Series, so their next manager could be the first to do it. The weather is great, and the media/fan pressure won't be nearly as rough as some of the other more desirable jobs this offseason.

But the Cubs are probably still the second most desirable opening. Maybe the Phillies would be close if they fire Kapler.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 04, 2019, 08:13:15 pm
Here is my Cubs thought for the day: Not sure why this WOULD NOT be David Ross' job to lose. At last year's winter meetings, the Cubs front office said they were missing a 'David Ross' type in there. Well, now they can just hire him. Totally just my opinion, nothing more.--Rogers
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 04, 2019, 08:16:00 pm
Is that Fuckstick Phil or Dopey Jesse?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 04, 2019, 08:19:41 pm
Is that Fuckstick Phil or Dopey Jesse?

Does it really matter?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 04, 2019, 08:20:29 pm
No.  Just curious.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 04, 2019, 08:21:19 pm
I think the Padres job is probably the most desirable this offseason. They have a bunch of young talent coming up, so they should be a winning team over the next few years. They've never won the World Series, so their next manager could be the first to do it. The weather is great, and the media/fan pressure won't be nearly as rough as some of the other more desirable jobs this offseason.

But the Cubs are probably still the second most desirable opening. Maybe the Phillies would be close if they fire Kapler.

I'm not convinced.  In the end, you're committing yourself to manage in a small market (mid at best) where they've never won anything, and the fans just don't care that much either way.  For some serious baseball guys those are big drawbacks.  It's an attractive job but I think the Cubs job is still more attractive, warts and all.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 04, 2019, 08:36:16 pm
Jesse.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 04, 2019, 11:01:30 pm
Girardi is the only guy I don’t want to hire. I’m happy to be wrong if he wins a World Series.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 04, 2019, 11:12:57 pm
Girardi or Ross are the only ones Im interested in.

Girardi strikes me as the old school type who will demand accountability.

A man wont give his best until its forced out of him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Jack Birdbath on October 05, 2019, 08:41:20 am
San Francisco is a great city?

Definitely not to people where Im from.

Have you ever been to SF?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 05, 2019, 09:41:54 am
Have you ever been to SF?

We don't make a party out of lovin'
We like holdin' hands and pitchin' woo
We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy
Like the hippies out in San Francisco do
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on October 05, 2019, 09:47:52 am
I vi$ited $an Franci$co years ago.  Alcatraz wa$ very intere$ting and the cable car$ were fun to ride up and down the hill$.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 05, 2019, 10:15:47 am
We don't make a party out of lovin'
We like holdin' hands and pitchin' woo
We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy
Like the hippies out in San Francisco do

Merle Haggard, from his song "Okie from Muskogee," who ended up letting his hair grow long and shaggy and smoking pot.  As an aside the only person I knew in college who had used LSD was from ... Muskogee.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 05, 2019, 10:34:56 am
Fun book about our fair city:  https://www.amazon.com/Cool-Gray-City-Love-Francisco-ebook/dp/B00D78R550
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 05, 2019, 10:38:15 am
I am as interested as anyone in the managerial search. And I may have ideas about the qualities of the person who should manage the Cubs, but they are based on very little direct knowledge about the candidates (or exactly what Theo is looking for beyond the generalities he's given).

I will continue to read articles and posts out of curiosity, and a certain amount of baseball boredom. I may even end up having a real favorite based on what I read.

But my bottom line is that Theo will be in the best position to choose between the candidates.  So whether it's Girardi, Ross or anyone else, I'm going to be cool with it and hope it works out for the best.  Maybe it will or maybe it won't, but I am confident Theo and the gang are in a far better position to judge among the candidates than I am. So I will follow the search with deep interest and bated breath, but without any particular emotional investment in any of the candidates.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 05, 2019, 10:45:47 am
Downside of SF?  Just had an earthquake.  No idea how severe.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 05, 2019, 10:46:11 am
I vi$ited $an Franci$co years ago.  Alcatraz wa$ very intere$ting and the cable car$ were fun to ride up and down the hill$.

Yes, San Francisco is super expensive. Think maybe only those hippies who have become investment bankers can now afford.

Saw Cubs at Oracle Park in July (Sandoval walkoff homer game). Wonderful ballpark and city.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 05, 2019, 10:48:25 am
Magnitude 3.9 earthquake centered a few miles from my house.  One sharp shake and then calm.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on October 05, 2019, 12:54:14 pm
When I worked at Griffith years ago, there was a woman who worked in product development (her claim to fame was that she developed the Red Lobster cheese biscuits.  Anyone who has been to Red Lobster will remember them.)  She went to two out of town seminars while she worked at Griffith.  I forget which came first, but she went for a week to Mexico City, and was there when they had their mammoth earthquake, and she went to San Francisco just in time to be in the earthquake that interfered with the World Series one year.  Griffith never sent her to another seminar, perhaps saving another major city from disaster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 05, 2019, 01:12:04 pm
Agree, Ron. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 05, 2019, 01:53:42 pm
Interesting first-four listing.  Wonder how many others they'll interview?  Three of those four are basically internal guys.  (Ross has external job, but feels "insider".)  Two of them were part of existing team that, using Theo's words, lacked "energy", was unsuccessful in "reaching" players, and was unsuccessful in getting guys to be the "best players they could be". 

Obviously none of Ross, Venable, or Loretta have managed before, I don't believe at any level?  Actually, Loretta has, Team Israel for World Baseball in 2012.  Otherwise, he was an admin guy for Padres since 2009, I think this was maybe his first year "coaching"?  Venable's had the 2 years coaching 1B, no managing?  Ross zero coaching, no managing? 

Ross is 42; Venable is only 36.

I wonder what kind of a cat Loretta is.  The recent story of stealing the umpire head phones and talking to the replay officials in New York was kind of both funny and kinda weird.  Maybe he'd be funny, impulsive, and high-energy?  Beats me. 

Venable as 1B coach seems relatively quiet and businesslike.  From TV shots he doesn't seem like a super non-stop talker or super rah-rah.  Princeton doesn't mean you're brilliant, but maybe he is?  Being the youngest at 36, that may have some advantages. 

Girardi is an outstanding individual with a ton of good qualities.  I wonder how hard it might be to establish rapport with Cub players who maybe don't have hard-work and max-preparation coded into their DNA? 
 
By reputation Ross is strong in terms of "reach" and "accountability" personality.  He seems to be one guy in recent Cubs history that expected things to be done right, and would call it out when it wasn't.  People skills guy who could connect.  Might be good from discipline, motivation, rapport, and work-hard standpoint.  I wonder if he's smart enough, or might struggle with issues of strategy and analysis and stuff? 

Anyway, seems like a nice group of candidates already.  And those are just the first four with ties to the club or the city. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 05, 2019, 02:26:28 pm
Joe Espada will be 44 next season. Speculation that he’s the guy Epstein may have meant when referenced a candidate with a playoff club.

Think that clubs are supposed to wait until end of WS to name a manager, right? So, could wait awhile to interview Espada. Seems like an impressive guy. Has had all kind of jobs in baseball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: dogstoothe on October 05, 2019, 03:58:14 pm
It's always so cold in San Francisco, like a bone.  Maybe Mike Maddux has a bone up his sleeve, like his brother as pitching coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 05, 2019, 05:40:45 pm
I'm betting on Pete Rose.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: dogstoothe on October 05, 2019, 06:16:25 pm
I bet we steal some bases, try some hit and runs with Rose, I guess he's still on the blacklist, but at least he isn't too much on TV.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 05, 2019, 08:05:55 pm
Interesting first-four listing.  Wonder how many others they'll interview?  Three of those four are basically internal guys.  (Ross has external job, but feels "insider".)  Two of them were part of existing team that, using Theo's words, lacked "energy", was unsuccessful in "reaching" players, and was unsuccessful in getting guys to be the "best players they could be". 

Obviously none of Ross, Venable, or Loretta have managed before, I don't believe at any level?  Actually, Loretta has, Team Israel for World Baseball in 2012.  Otherwise, he was an admin guy for Padres since 2009, I think this was maybe his first year "coaching"?  Venable's had the 2 years coaching 1B, no managing?  Ross zero coaching, no managing? 

Ross is 42; Venable is only 36.

I wonder what kind of a cat Loretta is.  The recent story of stealing the umpire head phones and talking to the replay officials in New York was kind of both funny and kinda weird.  Maybe he'd be funny, impulsive, and high-energy?  Beats me. 

Venable as 1B coach seems relatively quiet and businesslike.  From TV shots he doesn't seem like a super non-stop talker or super rah-rah.  Princeton doesn't mean you're brilliant, but maybe he is?  Being the youngest at 36, that may have some advantages. 

Girardi is an outstanding individual with a ton of good qualities.  I wonder how hard it might be to establish rapport with Cub players who maybe don't have hard-work and max-preparation coded into their DNA? 
 
By reputation Ross is strong in terms of "reach" and "accountability" personality.  He seems to be one guy in recent Cubs history that expected things to be done right, and would call it out when it wasn't.  People skills guy who could connect.  Might be good from discipline, motivation, rapport, and work-hard standpoint.  I wonder if he's smart enough, or might struggle with issues of strategy and analysis and stuff? 

Anyway, seems like a nice group of candidates already.  And those are just the first four with ties to the club or the city. 

No rule against conducting interviews with guys on playoff teams on their days off - happens all the time.  If Theo wants to interview Espada he could do it between the ALDS and ALCS.

I don't think Venable is much more than a courtesy interview TBH, and if the aim is to change the culture promoting Maddon's bench coach hardly seems like the logical next step.  Of the names we're heard for official interviews Ross and Girardi clearly stand out, but Ibanez could certainly factor in at some point.  Maybe DeRosa too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Chris27 on October 05, 2019, 08:31:38 pm
Mookie Betts apparently will be on the trade block. If Epstein wants to make a big move, one is out there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 05, 2019, 08:57:43 pm
Also Jackie Bradley may be non-tendered, but I'm not sure I see a great fit there.  Ks a ton and his defense isn't what it was a few years ago.  If Boston is having a fire sale I'd certainly be shopping, but the fit has to be right.

If he seems remotely healthy I'd be very tempted to see whether you could get Ender Inciarte cheap and take a flyer on him.  Potential a very solid CF platoon guy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 05, 2019, 08:58:19 pm
Craig, Ross is a special assistant to Theo so he’d be an internal guy as well.

I think the break between LCS and WS is ok to announce stuff.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on October 05, 2019, 09:05:00 pm
No rule against conducting interviews with guys on playoff teams on their days off - happens all the time.  If Theo wants to interview Espada he could do it between the ALDS and ALCS.

But there is a rule that if someone is under contract, you can't contact him without the permission of his team.  Of course, they don't have to make the permission or the interview public, so it may have happened.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: ben on October 05, 2019, 09:42:40 pm
My nephew was on the same Little League team with Will Venable one year (age 12) and they played on All-Star teams together.  We used to tell the other manager before the game to make sure his 1B played DEEP because Venable (then about 80 pounds) could just rip the ball down the RF line (LH hitter) before the infielders moved a muscle.  Saw him hit a ball in All-Stars at least 50' over the RF fence!

His Dad, Max, was a MLB player for many years and a really good guy.  You would never have known he was a MLB player.  He would ask if he could help when he was able to attend practice, but never acted as though he knew any more than any other guy.

Just a GREAT family and Will was articulate, rather quiet, always smiling, as a youngster.  Not a surprise when he went to Princeton and played basketball (fabulous athlete), not a surprise when he started playing baseball again as a junior there and not a surprise when Sandy Alderson (who lived nearby and knew Max) drafted Will in the 7th round.  Also not a surprise when Theo picked him up for the coaching staff.  Will is a class act!

Will almost certainly lacks the experience to get selected as manager by Theo and he seems more like a front-office type to me; however, I'm sure he has everyone's respect in the Cub org and I'll bet he communicates very well with players...maybe down the road.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 05, 2019, 10:13:51 pm
But there is a rule that if someone is under contract, you can't contact him without the permission of his team.  Of course, they don't have to make the permission or the interview public, so it may have happened.

Why would Houston deny permission?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on October 06, 2019, 06:09:15 pm
Normally they wouldn't, after the season, but they may well ask that they wait until it i
s over.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 06, 2019, 07:33:53 pm
Normally they wouldn't, after the season, but they may well ask that they wait until it i
s over.

That would be unusual to the point of being almost unheard of.  Playoff teams routinely give staff clearance to interview when a promotion is involved - they know other clubs aren't going to wait around.  To deny permission until after the WS is effectively to deny your employee a chance to advance his career.  Extremely poor for morale.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on October 06, 2019, 08:31:43 pm
I had no idea that playoff teams routinely gave permission to contact their staff while the playoffs were still going on.  Do you know of any that have done this?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 06, 2019, 09:09:29 pm
Well, off the top of my head Alex Cora (also the Astros bench coach) interviewed with Boston while the Astros were in the playoffs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: DelMarFan on October 08, 2019, 03:00:03 pm
Quote
“Our inability to pitch in high-leverage situations was a clear problem,” Epstein said. “I think we had the third-worst record in baseball behind just the Tigers and Orioles in combined one- and two-run games. Our inability to pitch in high-leverage moments kind of haunted us throughout the year. That’s something I have to do a better job of finding options for.”

Wasn't there a question about the "clutch-ness" of the pitching staff, and whether that was really a thing?  Seems like the Cubs thought it was a real thing.

Athletic.  https://theathletic.com/1269907/2019/10/08/craig-kimbrel-couldnt-save-the-cubs-bullpen-and-they-cant-expect-him-to-in-2020-either/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 08, 2019, 07:09:55 pm
It's been speculated a few times here that Jose Espada might be the playoff team coach the Cubs are interested in interviewing, and Mooney seems to confirm that here:

https://theathletic.com/1278622/2019/10/08/as-cubs-go-full-speed-ahead-in-search-to-replace-joe-maddon-joe-espada-is-another-name-on-the-list/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 08, 2019, 08:20:26 pm
Espada being Brandon Hyde’s brother-in-law is kinda interesting piece of info. It gives the Cubs an extra source of info and gives Espada inside info on the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 08, 2019, 08:29:00 pm
Speaking of inside info, given that Theo and Cashman are quite friendly, I think one can safely assume they've discussed Girardi over the past few weeks.  If Cashman had given a sort of "steer clear at all costs!" message, we probably wouldn't even be seeing an interview.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 09, 2019, 09:43:33 am
Sharma has a new piece on the Cubs' bullpen issues and needs. 

https://theathletic.com/1269907/2019/10/08/craig-kimbrel-couldnt-save-the-cubs-bullpen-and-they-cant-expect-him-to-in-2020-either/

Within the article he addresses a question I had here on how Strope looked during the last few weeks of the season, given that his pitching line looked quite good.  Here is what Sharma said.  I wonder whether the Cubs might offer a team friendly deal with incentives  - based on comments he's made, it seems like he might open to that.

Strop, a free agent but leader and rock in the bullpen, battled injuries and command all year long. But his velocity started to tick up in September — his 38.9 percent strikeout rate was his best mark of the year, his nine innings pitched gave him his second-most productive month, and one scout commented that during a mid-September appearance, his sinker seemed to be moving like it was at its best.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 09, 2019, 09:55:25 am
Sharma with an informative article on Willson Contreras' work on improving his framing.

https://theathletic.com/1278623/2019/10/09/willson-contreras-did-a-better-job-framing-pitches-in-september-but-can-that-carry-over-to-2020/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 09, 2019, 09:55:48 am
Sharma had a deep dive on Contreras's framing as well today.

Strop on a team friendly deal would be something to really consider.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 09, 2019, 01:04:47 pm
Bleacher Nation looks at NPB free agent CF Shogo Akiyama's fit with the Cubs:

https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2019/10/09/so-free-agent-center-fielder-shogo-akiyama-might-be-a-perfect-fit-for-the-cubs/

MLB Trade Rumors speculates the Cubs on one of seven possible destinations for Starling Marte:

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/10/finding-a-match-in-a-starling-marte-trade.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 09, 2019, 02:01:07 pm
Akiyama sounds really interesting.

I'm not sure I'd buy Marte getting traded to the Cubs, but he'd probably be more expensive than what I'd want to pay. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 09, 2019, 02:11:27 pm
MLBTR has their 2020 arb estimates out.

Kris Bryant – $18.5MM

Addison Russell – $5.1MM

Javier Baez – $9.3MM

Kyle Schwarber – $8.0MM

Willson Contreras – $4.5MM

Albert Almora – $1.8MM

Kyle Ryan – $1.1MM
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 09, 2019, 02:48:41 pm
MLBTR has their 2020 arb estimates out.

Kris Bryant – $18.5MM

Addison Russell – $5.1MM

Javier Baez – $9.3MM

Kyle Schwarber – $8.0MM

Willson Contreras – $4.5MM

Albert Almora – $1.8MM

Kyle Ryan – $1.1MM

Salary estimates Jeff JeffH Craig
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 09, 2019, 02:52:30 pm
An early look at the 2020 Chicago Cubs.

LF - Kyle Schwarber (eligible for arbitration) -  $7,500,000/$7,500,000
CF - Ian Happ (auto renewal) - $675,000/$675,000
RF - Jason Heyward (under contract) - $21,000,000/$23,000,000
3B - Kris Bryant (eligible for arbitration) - $20,000,000/$20,000,000
SS - Javier Baez (eligible for arbitration) - $14,000,000/$14,000,000
2B - Nico Hoerner (auto renewal) - $675,000/$675,000
1B - Anthony Rizzo (club option) - $16,500,000/$16,500,000
C - Willson Contreras (eligible for arbitration) - $4,000,000/$4,000,000
OF - Albert Almora (eligible for arbitration) - $1,000,000/$1,000,000
IF - David Bote (under contract) - $950,000/$3,000,000
UT - Tony Kemp (auto renewal) - $675,000/$675,000
C - Victor Caratini (auto renewal) - $675,000/$675,000
SP - Jon Lester (under contract) - $15,000,000/$25,833,333
SP - Yu Darvish (under contract) - $22,000,000/$21,000,000
SP - Kyle Hendricks (under contract) - $12,000,000/$13,875,000
SP - Jose Quintana (club option) - $10,500,000/$10,500,000
SP - Kendall Graveman (club option) - $3,000,000/$3,000,000
RP - Brad Wieck or Danny Hultzen (auto renewal) - $675,000/$675,000
RP - Kyle Ryan (eligible for arbitration) - $1,400,000/$1,400,000
RP - Tyler Chatwood (under contract) - $13,000,000/$12,666,667
RP - Alec Mills (auto renewal) - $675,000/$675,000
RP - Duane Underwood (auto renewal) - $675,000/$675,000
RP - Rowan Wick (auto renewal) - $675,000/$675,000
RP - David Phelps (club option) - $5,000,000/$5,000,000
RP - Craig Kimbrel (under contract) - $16,000,000/$14,333,333
Players on optional assignment (15 @ $150,000 each) - $2,250,000/$2,250,000
B&B - $15,000,000/$15,000,000

Total - $205,500,000/$219,258,333

The first salary number listed is the 2020 outlay.  The second salary number is the 2020 luxury tax figure.  The latter is key.

It seems as though the Cubs have set their limit at not exceeding the luxury tax limit by more than $40 million.  That would set their theoretical limit for 2020 at $248.

Obviously some of the names listed above will be replaced by salaried veterans.

Enjoy.

Contract Budget Payroll Luxury Tax Projected Salaries estimate by JeffH Jeff H Craig.

(I'm copying this and trying to put some keywords into it so I, and perhaps others, can find it more easily future!  :) :) :)

Thanks much, Jeff.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 09, 2019, 03:00:14 pm
MLBTR has their 2020 arb estimates out.
Kris Bryant – $18.5MM
Addison Russell – $5.1MM
Javier Baez – $9.3MM
Kyle Schwarber – $8.0MM
Willson Contreras – $4.5MM
Albert Almora – $1.8MM
Kyle Ryan – $1.1MM


They've got Baez lower than Jeff.  Their numbers would free up a few extra millions. 


Russell at $5, I just don't see how the budget-busting Cubs are going to want to commit $5 to Russell.  Maybe as Ben's guy he's finally due to break out and hit pretty decently for a plus-defense middle infielder.  So maybe he's going to end up being a much better all-around glove-bat defensive 2B than who we end up using there.  But I just can't imagine they'll want to retain him with arb leverage is they share this projection for an arb contract.....  To non-tender and offer him a non-roster split contract with a chance to win the job and incentives, I wouldn't doubt Theo being interested.  But to take on a $5M contract, even if you can release him in March and reduce that to $1M, I'm not thinking it's likely. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 09, 2019, 03:40:29 pm
I doubt Phelps gets brought back a $5 million so that could free up $9.7 million with the lower arb numbers from Jeff's.  That would 195.8/209.558.

If I'm reading Sportstrax right the Cubs luxury tax number $234 million with salary being $218 million.  CBT starts at $208 million with draft pick penalties at $248 million.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 09, 2019, 04:35:35 pm
Akiyama is a good fit for us and a pretty complete ballplayer.  Plus, Jiggy's dismay if we sign him has to be worth at least 2-3M.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 09, 2019, 04:44:47 pm
Bleacher Nation looks at NPB free agent CF Shogo Akiyama's fit with the Cubs:
https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2019/10/09/so-free-agent-center-fielder-shogo-akiyama-might-be-a-perfect-fit-for-the-cubs/

Akiyama sounds really interesting.
I'm not sure I'd buy Marte getting traded to the Cubs, but he'd probably be more expensive than what I'd want to pay. 

Shogo sounds really significant.  As the article suggests, possibly perfect fit.  I'd wondered whether with our specific needs at CF and 2B, and with the reports that there really don't seem to be big-league CF's available in FA, whether there might perhaps be a Japanese option for CF or 2B. 

Even had there been a CF stud in FA, budget doesn't have space for that. 

Shogo doesn't sound like he'd be a huge star-power guy who'd command an overwhelming contract.  So seems like he could well fit within our budget landscape. 

And with Heyward, I'm not sure we need a 160-game starter for CF, either.  So if you sign him but he doesn't hit much, it's not like you'd have to see him Almora for 160 starts. 

So seems like he'd fit the budget; provide the needed defense; provide contact hitting that Theo wants; and maybe the Japanese guys are better situational guys than Americans and might help in that way?  Whether his Japanese leadoff profile would translate well here I don't know, but given the lack of options, perhaps he'd have a better chance to be good there than anybody else we can get from outside, or than anybody internal (other than Rizzo!)

I love the idea. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 09, 2019, 04:45:34 pm
The Japanese pitchers are the problem not the position players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 09, 2019, 05:00:18 pm
One of the things I was wondering about is what Hoyer will want in terms of lefty-righty. 
For starters,
*LH:  Rizzo, Schwarber, and Heyward 
*RH:  Baez, Bryant, Contreras RH. 

Bench:
*LH:  Descalso,
*RH:  Hoerner, Bote, Almora, Russell
*Switch:  Caratini, Happ,

Gone is switch Zobrist, and long gone is lefty slugger LaStella. 

*IF* they were to trade Schwarber and keep Castellanos, as was considered at one point but has perhaps lost some consideration after Schwarber's strong finish, that would make them kinda thin on the lefty side for starters.  I think that might be yet another reason to NOT shop Schwarber too hard. 

Happ is another trade guy, and if reb was right that he'd be a value piece, that would really leave the bench RH-oriented. 

Shogo is lefty.  I wonder if that would be something they'd like, to keep the overall roster a little more lefty?  Or not really, since if Heyward and Schwarber are already lefty, plus Happ is better lefty than righty, if adding Shogo as a 4th outfield lefty would not really be an ideal platoon landscape?  So maybe they'd prefer a RH defensive CF?   
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 09, 2019, 05:07:06 pm
If Theo really does want to get away from the HR-game and become more of a contact team, addressing 2B/CF with Hoerner and Shogo would really be two guys well shifted in that direction.  Shifted, at least; whether either guy would produce offensively I don't know.  Hoerner might hit .250 with no power and a million DP-groundouts, and Shogo might end up being a no-power mediocre-average loser too, who knows. 

But yeah, *IF* you kept most of the core in place, but replaced two spots with contact-oriented starters, 2/8 of the lineup could be a pretty significant change in flavor.  Even if Bryant, Baez, Contreras, and Schwarber didn't change their stripes very much.  And perhaps after a no-playoff season and two years without winning a playoff game, and with a new manager and new emphasis, possibly some of those core guys will shift a little bit towards more contact? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 09, 2019, 05:42:34 pm
Shogo being lefty certainly doesn’t hurt his appeal for us.  I would actually argue Schwarber’s strong finish makes it more likely he’ll be moved, but the idea of Happ as a big-time trade chip remains a fantasy.

If Theo wants a team more focused on smart, hard-nosed baseball, situational hitting and defense, signing Japanese ballplayers is a good way to go.  It’s the way the game is played here from little league on up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 09, 2019, 07:13:11 pm
Let's define "core" position players as:

Bryant
Baez
Rizzo
Contreras

If I set the over/under on "core" players traded this winter at 0.5, do you take the over or the under?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 09, 2019, 07:23:02 pm
Over
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 09, 2019, 07:25:45 pm
.....but the idea of Happ as a big-time trade chip remains a fantasy.


Maybe I missed it but did anybody here, or anywhere else, say that Happ is a “big-time” trade chip? 

I said there would be interest in Happ and that he has real trade value. But, BIG-TIME??

Just curious where that’s from, Deeg?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 09, 2019, 07:27:30 pm
Jesus Suffering Holy **** Christ, STOP!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 09, 2019, 07:30:17 pm
Jesus Suffering Holy **** Christ, STOP!

Good luck with that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 09, 2019, 07:41:13 pm
If they're not going to get rid of Theo, there at least has to be a complete revamping of MLB's worst player procurement and development organization.


Jesus Suffering Holy **** Christ, STOP!

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: DelMarFan on October 09, 2019, 07:56:49 pm
exasperated hyperbole is much easier to swallow than multi-post nitpicking over semantics.  YMMV
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 09, 2019, 08:13:15 pm
I like that:  “exasperated hyperbole.” Been trying to figure out Jeff's rants for years and now I get it.

So, Thanks.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES:

Theo interview at The Athletic today:

“As to Happ, we believe he has huge value. Big-Time value. Not only that, but BIG-TIME VALUE.”

There you go. Ask and you shall receive.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 09, 2019, 08:20:28 pm
Getting more Trump-like every day...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 09, 2019, 08:40:29 pm
Yeah, annoying when Theo talks like that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 09, 2019, 10:11:53 pm
Let's define "core" position players as:

Bryant
Baez
Rizzo
Contreras

If I set the over/under on "core" players traded this winter at 0.5, do you take the over or the under?
Under.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 09, 2019, 11:19:14 pm
Over.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: chgojhawk on October 10, 2019, 01:46:45 pm
I will say “Well Over”. I will say a MINIMUM of 2 will be gone.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 10, 2019, 02:19:52 pm
Let's define "core" position players as:

Bryant
Baez
Rizzo
Contreras

If I set the over/under on "core" players traded this winter at 0.5, do you take the over or the under?
  I don't agree with the core.   I think the core is Baez, Rizzo, Hendricks, Darvish  (and I know he could opt out). 

I think a catcher of Contreras' caliber can bring a lot back in trade.  Cubs have an adequate replacement in Caratini: switch hitter, better framer, not as strong an arm)
Bryant is going to leave.  Trade him as much as you can get and go all in on Rendon.

 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 10, 2019, 03:23:02 pm
I expect Theo to be very aggressive in pursuing trades and my guess is that Bryant will be at the center of his discussions. I would also expect there to be plenty of strong interest in Bryant, enough that there will be a sufficiently attractive offer for a deal to be made.

But my guess is that Contreras is not likely to be traded, unless the Cubs do not find a sufficiently attractive deal for Bryant. In that event, I could see the Cubs trading Contreras in order to bring in enough to remake the lineup to something closer to the profile the Cubs seek.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 10, 2019, 03:30:48 pm
Under

Only 1 that has a chance of getting traded is Contreras.  Happ/Almora/Russell are the 3 guys most likely not to be with the team next year (Trade/Iowa/Just be gone).
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 10, 2019, 03:32:39 pm
I will say “Well Over”. I will say a MINIMUM of 2 will be gone.

Really?  Can we agree that Rizzo will not be traded? If so, then you are suggesting that among Bryant, Baez and Contreras, only one (and maybe none) will remain a Cub? I do not expect both Bryant and Contreras to be traded, though I suppose it's not inconceivable. But in any event I would be shocked if the Cubs trade Baez.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 10, 2019, 04:08:59 pm
Going to be surprised if any of the "core" guys are traded for purposes of a reset.

Bryant is a bit different in the sense that he is a guy that the brass probably expects to lose in free agency.  Therefore, Theo may want to get a return for him as a "due diligence" type of move.  Otherwise, don't think they would move anybody other than the guys CBJ mentioned above.

AZ Phil has an interesting theory at Cub Reporter.  He speculates that Bryant gets traded in a deal that includes a young rotation pitcher coming back (speculates Padres' Lamet) and Cubs also don't exercise the Quintana club option (with that pitcher replacing Quintana) and the Bryant/Quintana payroll savings used to bring in another big bat (maybe Castellanos).
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 10, 2019, 04:49:24 pm
Agree with Ron that Rizzo is going nowhere.  Situational hitting, adaptation, leadership, heart, Rizzo's the face of everything Theo wants. 

Theo talked a lot about "energy"; Baez and Contreras would seem the most high-energy guys on the team. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 10, 2019, 04:50:47 pm
It would be nice to clarify the Japanese cf situation asap.   I would target Kiermeier and Yarborogh from the Ray's. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 10, 2019, 04:57:17 pm
Ive said it before but Bryant and Schwarber are who I'd expect to be moved and maybe Contreras if someone wants to pay a kings ransom.

No way on Javy and Rizzo.

It also wouldnt be awful if Darvish opts out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 10, 2019, 05:03:17 pm
Bryant is a bit different in the sense that he is a guy that the brass probably expects to lose in free agency.  .....
AZ Phil has an interesting theory at Cub Reporter.  He speculates that Bryant gets traded in a deal that includes a young rotation pitcher coming back (speculates Padres' Lamet) and Cubs also don't exercise the Quintana club option (with that pitcher replacing Quintana) and the Bryant/Quintana payroll savings used to bring in another big bat (maybe Castellanos).

The concept of declining Q and using his money for other purpose has been made before!  :)  The idea of trading Bryant for younger club-control talent, while re-allocating his budget slot, makes lots of sense.  Particularly if you got back a talented controlled pitcher in exchange.  A challenge, of course, is creating a 3B-hole on offense.  That's where the idea of trading Bryant but pursuing Rendon make conceptual sense. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 10, 2019, 05:04:57 pm
I agree with CBJ.  Possibly Contreras, but not the others (including Bryant).
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 10, 2019, 05:09:34 pm
It would be nice to clarify the Japanese cf situation asap.   I would target Kiermeier and Yarborogh from the Ray's. 

What needs to be clarified?  He's a FA and can sign where he wants and when he wants.

I agree that of the "core" as defined in the hypothetical, Contreras is the most logical (and likely) guy to be moved, with Bryant a longshot and the other two "no way in Hell".
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 10, 2019, 05:12:15 pm
Devil's advocate question: If Ross is such hot shlt, why are there 8 vacancies and no one else seems interested in even interviewing him?  Do they simply recognize that the Cubs are the only job he wants, or do they not think he's worth their time?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 10, 2019, 05:32:25 pm
Clarified?  Simple.  Get him signed or as soon as he signs elsewhere  determines if Kermeier has any interest for us.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 10, 2019, 05:35:46 pm
If Msddon is such hot sht  why didn't we keep him?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 10, 2019, 06:04:10 pm
Stupidity.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: chgojhawk on October 10, 2019, 09:02:53 pm
Bryant is the most likely to be gone. While he may not be moved, you folks are wrong about Rizzo. He very well may be moved.

The lack of leadership on the team is a big issue. While the public perception of Rizzo is that of a leader, the truth of the matter is that there is no leader on the team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 10, 2019, 09:36:48 pm
If what you say is true, simply moving non-leaders out the door doesn’t exactly fix the problem.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: chgojhawk on October 11, 2019, 07:08:35 am
Unless they are bringing leaders back with the returns on the trades.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 11, 2019, 08:37:44 am
Bryant is the most likely to be gone. While he may not be moved, you folks are wrong about Rizzo. He very well may be moved.

The lack of leadership on the team is a big issue. While the public perception of Rizzo is that of a leader, the truth of the matter is that there is no leader on the team.


Interesting.

Maybe it is my lack of imagination, I just don’t see a trade of Bryant where the Cubs come out as a better team.

The Cubs seem to have guys that could be leaders in the clubhouse like Schwarber, Contreras, Heyward or Javy. I wonder how much of Madison’s hands off approach led to this. Maybe just more team activities on the field and team building stuff is the answer. Otherwise it seems like a big reset is in order.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 11, 2019, 09:31:04 am
This is probably a dumb question, but I'm uncertain what "leadership" is supposed to impact or resolve on the team.  A hitter is supposed to hit the ball; a fielder is supposed to concentrate and field the ball; a pitcher is supposed to pitch.  What are we wanting leadership to improve in those areas, and how does that play between player versus manager/coaches? 

Is player-leadership going to add velocity and life to Lester's, Q's, Hendricks's, Hamels', Strop's, and Kimbrel's fastballs?  Would better leadership have given Edwards command and composure?  Would leadership have given Mike Montgomery's stuff more spin, and reduced his HR's-allowed?  Theo has prioritized assembling a really old, worn pitching staff with guys on the variably-steep decline-side of their careers.  Would better player-leadership have any impact there?  And the Professor, super tough and over-achiever Lester, and crafty veteran Hamels, their leadership is lacking? 

Would better player-leadership have helped Bote to make fewer errors, and have prevented his upper-body buildup from having cost a little bit of defensive flexibility?  If we had not only Heyward and Descalso but also had a Ross and Fowler providing better leadership, would that cause Almora to hit better, Baez to improve his plate discipline, Contreras to pitch-frame better, and Happ and Schwarber to have better command of the upper half of the strike zone?  Would better leadership make our assembly of baserunners not quite so pokey?   

I guess I'm kinda puzzled as to how much leadership is capable of impacting performance.  I get that there can be some indirects.  Maybe a better culture has guys more attentive and focused defensively, so that a Rizzo never forgets how many outs there are.  Maybe a better culture has guys talking and thinking baseball more, watching more film, getting to bed sooner, and reducing affairs and alcoholism, and somehow they play better as a result?

I guess I just don't really understand how much direct or indirect impact player leadership will have on baseball performance, in a game where each pitch is made by an individual pitcher; each at-bat is individual; and each defensive play is individually executed. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 11, 2019, 09:42:31 am
I do wonder whether Theo's emphasis on leadership isn't a talent-evaluation mistake?  Maybe the team just isn't that talented, and is overly dependent on guys overachieving their talent?  But Theo keeps thinking that the talent he believed in should be championship talent; so that when they aren't, he attributes that to lack of effort or energy or focus or leadership or something, rather than to just not being talented enough?  Maybe it has little to do with lack of heart or focus or leadership or energy, and it's just a case of having an 8th-place team because you've assembled 8th-place talent?   And it's not trending favorably because naturally your well-worn veteran pitchers are just naturally getting progressively older and naturally more worn by the year?

I guess I'm just wondering whether by Theo focusing on leadership/focus/energy/heart as the issue and the solution, whether he isn't somewhat misdiagnosing the primary disease?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 11, 2019, 10:35:22 am
In my personal experience, there are usually a few guys on every team that the others look up to because of their personalities and/or talent.  It creates a de facto pecking order that I believe makes everyone more comfortable.  It helps each player better understand their role and place on the team.

Of course, my personal experience is limited to teams of teenagers, and I don't know if this applies to adults in professional sports.  My guess is that it does.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: DelMarFan on October 11, 2019, 02:03:54 pm
I think there's something to the leadership argument.  Since 2016, the team has seemed to slip deeper and deeper into complacency.  Sloppy defense, poor baserunning, unsound fundamentals--the kind of stuff Ross was there to yell at players about.  How many times have we heard the "we knew after making a mistake on the field that Ross would be waiting for us in the dugout" kind of story.  The guys viewed as leaders (Rizzo) aren't doing that sort of leadership.

Part of Maddon's thing was that he wasn't going to be that guy.  He said pretty clearly that he wanted that stuff addressed by the players, and so Ross and Maddon worked together well in 2016.  Then Ross left and no one filled the void.  My sense is that the team has been looking for that kind of player-accountability-manager since Ross left. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: chgojhawk on October 11, 2019, 02:12:46 pm
This is probably a dumb question, but I'm uncertain what "leadership" is supposed to impact or resolve on the team.  A hitter is supposed to hit the ball; a fielder is supposed to concentrate and field the ball; a pitcher is supposed to pitch.  What are we wanting leadership to improve in those areas, and how does that play between player versus manager/coaches? 

Is player-leadership going to add velocity and life to Lester's, Q's, Hendricks's, Hamels', Strop's, and Kimbrel's fastballs?  Would better leadership have given Edwards command and composure?  Would leadership have given Mike Montgomery's stuff more spin, and reduced his HR's-allowed?  Theo has prioritized assembling a really old, worn pitching staff with guys on the variably-steep decline-side of their careers.  Would better player-leadership have any impact there?  And the Professor, super tough and over-achiever Lester, and crafty veteran Hamels, their leadership is lacking? 

Would better player-leadership have helped Bote to make fewer errors, and have prevented his upper-body buildup from having cost a little bit of defensive flexibility?  If we had not only Heyward and Descalso but also had a Ross and Fowler providing better leadership, would that cause Almora to hit better, Baez to improve his plate discipline, Contreras to pitch-frame better, and Happ and Schwarber to have better command of the upper half of the strike zone?  Would better leadership make our assembly of baserunners not quite so pokey?   

I guess I'm kinda puzzled as to how much leadership is capable of impacting performance.  I get that there can be some indirects.  Maybe a better culture has guys more attentive and focused defensively, so that a Rizzo never forgets how many outs there are.  Maybe a better culture has guys talking and thinking baseball more, watching more film, getting to bed sooner, and reducing affairs and alcoholism, and somehow they play better as a result?

I guess I just don't really understand how much direct or indirect impact player leadership will have on baseball performance, in a game where each pitch is made by an individual pitcher; each at-bat is individual; and each defensive play is individually executed.

I don't necessarily disagree.  To me baseball is an individual game within a team concept.  I'm merely passing along what I have heard.  Then again many have given credit to Heyward's rain delay speech as the driving force behind our win (I'm not one of those people).
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 11, 2019, 02:22:18 pm
Thanks, delmar, that makes sense.  P2 mentioned "de facto pecking order that ... makes everyone more comfortable."  But in a sense you're talking about making people **less** comfortable, about making mistakes.  That makes sense to me. 

Maybe more "comfortable" in a different way, too?  Somebody is doing something dumb or thoughtless, and I know it... but I'm uncomfortable about whether I should say something about it, who am I to say anything, or how to say it, or when to say it, or how to put it into words...  Perhaps when Ross was there, everybody else could just relax and sit back because they knew Ross would say what needed to be said, and would always somehow would know how to say it right? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: DelMarFan on October 11, 2019, 02:37:45 pm
Ross apparently wasn't afraid to get in guys' faces when they needed/deserved it without being an **** about it.  It's not an easy skill, and I don't think guys like Rizzo, Bryant, and Heyward have the inclination *or* the skill.

And it's been lacking.  The overall sloppiness has gotten worse, while Joe continued to try to keep the guys loose.  Maybe if they'd been able to replace Ross in the clubhouse, Joe would still be there.

I'm not sure I buy into it, but it's an argument.  And it wouldn't surprise me if it's the one driving Ross's candidacy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on October 11, 2019, 04:56:32 pm
I think there's something to the leadership argument.  Since 2016, the team has seemed to slip deeper and deeper into complacency.  Sloppy defense, poor baserunning, unsound fundamentals--the kind of stuff Ross was there to yell at players about.  How many times have we heard the "we knew after making a mistake on the field that Ross would be waiting for us in the dugout" kind of story.  The guys viewed as leaders (Rizzo) aren't doing that sort of leadership.

Part of Maddon's thing was that he wasn't going to be that guy.  He said pretty clearly that he wanted that stuff addressed by the players, and so Ross and Maddon worked together well in 2016.  Then Ross left and no one filled the void.  My sense is that the team has been looking for that kind of player-accountability-manager since Ross left.

Its the manager's job to lead the team... he's the manager. The manager has to set the tone. Maddon is great at dealing with kids that just got to the majors, and keeping them loose and playing to their talents. Distracting them from the grind and making things fun for them.

He did this with the Rays and the Cubs, and took both teams to the WS. His crappy BP management definitely cost him the WS win with they rays. Francona's idiotic move of sending the same RP back out after a 40 minute rain delay, bailed him out of another WS loss where he managed the BP terribly.

Maddon lost the job in Tampa, because even though he had an absolute crapload of talent after his WS appearance, he couldn't get back there with the same core. Rays won the 08 pennant, in 09 he had a roster that included Longo, Zobrist, Crawford, carlos pena (893 OPS version) Price, Shields, Garza, Wade Davis. The offense featured 4 players that posted a OPS over 130. 

There should be leadership from the players, but to say that Lester/Hamels are lacking in leadership would be contrary to their past reputations. At some point Maddon loses his players with his antics. IMO no amount of player leadership short of Brady/Jordan is going to overcome his passive style.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Jack Birdbath on October 11, 2019, 05:13:46 pm
He didn’t lose the job in Tampa. He had an out and he took it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on October 11, 2019, 06:10:35 pm
He didn’t lose the job in Tampa. He had an out and he took it.

Not entirely true, he was not going to be kept around... he took the out much like he didn't get fired from Chicago, his contract was over.

The Rays were going in a different direction, and he was not going to be kept if he didn't opt out. it was a convenient way to end the relationship. If Maddon had signed a 6 year deal with the cubs, do you think he would have been fired this year? or would the cubs have kept him for another year?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 11, 2019, 06:35:57 pm
The Rays owners reportedly wouldn’t trade with Cubs over Maddon using his opt out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 11, 2019, 08:29:23 pm
Not entirely true, he was not going to be kept around... he took the out much like he didn't get fired from Chicago, his contract was over.

The Rays were going in a different direction, and he was not going to be kept if he didn't opt out. it was a convenient way to end the relationship. If Maddon had signed a 6 year deal with the cubs, do you think he would have been fired this year? or would the cubs have kept him for another year?

Just not true.

Rays offered Maddon an extension and Rays team president tried to retain him.

“I’m surprised by it and disappointed,” Silverman said, adding later, “I can only tell you what I know and what Joe and I spoke about, which was his desire to be a long-term Ray. I shared that desire and worked hard to make it a reality, and it didn’t happen.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on October 11, 2019, 09:53:46 pm
Just not true.

Rays offered Maddon an extension and Rays team president tried to retain him.

“I’m surprised by it and disappointed,” Silverman said, adding later, “I can only tell you what I know and what Joe and I spoke about, which was his desire to be a long-term Ray. I shared that desire and worked hard to make it a reality, and it didn’t happen.”

Y'all live in some sort of fantasy world where stu's fake public relation's are deemed as being genuine...

Stu has been doing his best to leave this community for the last 12 years.  These comments are literally fake news. Silverman works under a oppressive fiscal mandate. He's **** amazing at it. If you think he's willing to pay a mediocre manager 5 million a year... you are insane. Writing was on the wall for maddon, so he opted out. Much like the writing was on the wall for a 6th season for him to be the cubs manager.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on October 11, 2019, 09:59:11 pm
At the end of the day, the Rays are literally the most frugal and best run Franchise... and they did NOT retain Maddon. They "tried".... that is all. If you do not understand the dynamics of the Rays losing Price/Crawford et al.... And them not making a public relations effort at keeping him... i dont know what to say to you...

They are masters at it making their decisions seem like someone else's fault.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on October 11, 2019, 10:01:58 pm
Ron you should not have delete that comment.

"Just Wow". Indeed Just WOW.

The Rays are the best run franchise in baseball, and they go out of their way to cut costs and make fake public relations offers to players and others... if you think otherwise.. Stu wants you to help approve 900 Million in taxes for a new stadium in Tampa... That has been his goal for a solid 15 years.

Ron, bet you a cold beer, he will make it seem like Tampa failed him, much like he made it seem like he did his best to keep Maddon. The narrative will be that Tampa did not approve of paying for a stadium... when he is asking for Hillsborough county to pay for 900M of a 1.1B stadium. When the BOCC and the Mayor offered to pay 50% with a back stop.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 11, 2019, 10:03:14 pm
Y'all live in some sort of fantasy world where stu's fake public relation's are deemed as being genuine...

Stu has been doing his best to leave this community for the last 12 years.  These comments are literally fake news. Silverman works under a oppressive fiscal mandate. He's **** amazing at it. If you think he's willing to pay a mediocre manager 5 million a year... you are insane. Writing was on the wall for maddon, so he opted out. Much like the writing was on the wall for a 6th season for him to be the cubs manager.


Just wow. "Mediocre." 

That certainly enhances the credibility of your claim.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on October 11, 2019, 10:08:47 pm
Just wow. "Mediocre." 

That certainly enhances the credibility of your claim.

He is a mediocre tactician, he is a mediocre bullpen manager, HE IS AN AMAZING manager of young players. Read my posts again. He is on point with keeping youth unwound. He has NEVER shown an ability to take a veteran team to any heights. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 11, 2019, 10:57:27 pm
Y'all live in some sort of fantasy world where stu's fake public relation's are deemed as being genuine...

Stu has been doing his best to leave this community for the last 12 years.  These comments are literally fake news. Silverman works under a oppressive fiscal mandate. He's **** amazing at it. If you think he's willing to pay a mediocre manager 5 million a year... you are insane. Writing was on the wall for maddon, so he opted out. Much like the writing was on the wall for a 6th season for him to be the cubs manager.


First, Maddon was not seeking $5 from the Rays.

Second, Rays filed tampering charges upon Maddon’s departure. Obviously, that’s inconsistent with notion happy to see him leave.

Three, there are always unsubstantiated rumors/claims from some fandom elements about dire management intentions that circulate with just about every sports franchise. You are doing just that—and five years retroactively

Four, Maddon is not mediocre. He is a future Hall of Famer.

Five, when you claim “fake news” about well respected sourced reports, your credibility is diminished.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 11, 2019, 11:17:31 pm
The Rays have a .473 winning percentage. Back out Maddon’s record and they have .443 winning percentage and 2 winning records.

Maddon is literally the best manager for two teams in the modern era.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 12, 2019, 01:42:51 pm
I think all this about Maddon being mediocre and a future Hall of Famer are both over the top.  The Expos-Nationals have never been World Champion, so if the Nationals do it this year, is Dave Martinez going to the HOF too?  Maddon is a fine manager in the modern era, but not being able to succeed with a veteran lineup has some validity.  Be interesting if he gets the Angel job.  I think he would win another WS if he got the Padres job.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 12, 2019, 02:18:35 pm
Maddon's resume is getting kind of close to HOF worthy if he's not there yet.  40th all-time in wins, and only 17 managers in the Top 40 aren't in the Hall, including guys like Bochy, Leyland, and Francona who will likely get there.  Piniella could get in too.

A World Series title with Mike Trout probably would clinch it for Maddon. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 12, 2019, 02:36:31 pm
If Maddon manages another 3-5 years, he’s going to be in the 1500-1650 wins range. Just about essential to win a WS—which he has. Plus, a WS appearance with the Rays is remarkable. Has a pretty high probability for HOF, I think.

Piniella is expected to get in next year. Showalter has a ton of wins but no WS appearance. Dusty has not won a WS. Scioscia has ton of wins and won a WS but, for whatever reason, not widely considered outstanding. Maybe he gets in eventually too.

Maddon likely will have the wins, a WS, and has a sterling reputation around baseball. So, think chances are good.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 12, 2019, 02:50:05 pm
Cubs are naming Justin Stone director of hitting. He was a bio kinetic hitting consultant for the Cubs last year. This is according to Jessie Rogers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 13, 2019, 06:35:55 pm
Marly Rivera
ESPN Writer

Carlos Beltrán said he was approached by the Padres and Cubs to interview for their managerial vacancies, but that he declined because he's  focused on his job with the Yankees as special advisor to GM Brian Cashman.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 13, 2019, 06:52:59 pm
...Carlos Beltrán said he was approached by the Padres and Cubs to interview for their managerial vacancies, but that he declined because he's  focused on his job with the Yankees as special advisor to GM Brian Cashman.

rumors like this, in addition to interviewees like Ross and Venable, suggest that managerial experience may not be a high priority.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 13, 2019, 07:37:25 pm
rumors like this, in addition to interviewees like Ross and Venable, suggest that managerial experience may not be a high priority.

Phillies seem to be the only team prioritizing managerial experience with Dusty, Girardi and Showalter on the interview docket.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 13, 2019, 08:23:59 pm
I'm OK with that. 
1.  Don't think experience with organizational/administrative aspects is crucial.  Journeyman like Ross have seen bunches of different spring trainings; you can get notes on spring-training scheduling; and you can hire a veteran bench coach who's gone through a lot of the administrative stuff. 

2. I'm guessing front office is fine providing the analytics, sending them down, and let the manager apply and implement. 

3.  I suspect players are more likely to believe a younger manager can relate and is approachable, even if a more experienced guy might actually be just as good and open of a communicator.  But perception is a thing. 

4.  I expect a young, unproven, first-time manager is hugely energized and self-motivated to succeed, to win, and to prove himself. 

5.  Communication, people, and relational skills won't improve much with experience, and may be possessed by a rookie manager.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 13, 2019, 08:36:32 pm
The Cubs will choose the wrong manager.  Making bad decisions is what they do.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 13, 2019, 10:45:08 pm
2. I'm guessing front office is fine providing the analytics, sending them down, and let the manager apply and implement.

I think this is going to play a huge part of it. The manager has to understand it and then he and the coaching staff have to be able to take it and present it to the players in a way that it will be useful to them. The approach to Hendricks and Lester are likely to be vastly different. Hottvoy is supposed to be really amazing at this. I almost think having some front office experience is more important than the actual coaching experience. I also think it is hard to interview for because the coaches going in are going to know this is important.

Game decisions, setting up spring training, those can all be helped with having some veteran coaches. The team culture is also going to tricky. I think it exists and is important, but it is also hard to define. Some times it really seems that the team is doing well the culture is great. When the team isn’t going well the culture is bad. I think the coaching staff can help some here, but a lot of it is going to come from the players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 13, 2019, 11:13:17 pm
The Cubs will choose the wrong manager.  Making bad decisions is what they do.

Falls short of exasperated hyperbole.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 13, 2019, 11:49:47 pm
I am afraid that they'll hire Ross just because he's loved by Cub fans for some reason.

In that respect they'd just as well hire Sandberg.

My preference would be Girardi.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 14, 2019, 10:40:43 am
The Cubs are interviewing Joe Espada today according to Mark Feinsand.

To me, he’s the most interesting name on the Cubs list. He seems to be a good balance between a no experience guy like Ross and a very established guy like Girardi.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 14, 2019, 10:41:53 am
And now all the beat writers are tweeting that Gabe Kapler will get an interview this week too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 14, 2019, 10:44:21 am
When did he leave Welcome Back Kotter?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 14, 2019, 11:13:03 am
Espada on paper sounds really interesting.  Kapler is supposed to be a really bright guy as well.  The Phillies sure sound like a cluster from the front office on down so that might have been an issue is his failure their as well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 14, 2019, 12:04:58 pm
These all seem like quality people, but I'm not sure I see the right fit yet. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 14, 2019, 12:56:57 pm
Gabe Kapler?  Holy crap, that’d easily be the worst decision we could make.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 14, 2019, 01:18:09 pm
These all seem like quality people, but I'm not sure I see the right fit yet. 

Curious what you are looking for.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 14, 2019, 01:19:49 pm
Someone more like me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 14, 2019, 01:49:40 pm
Someone more like me.

Morris Buttermaker?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 14, 2019, 02:48:43 pm
Someone more like me.

https://imgflip.com/i/2qbu5a

How I imagine Curt and DaveP.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 14, 2019, 03:16:20 pm
Gabe Kapler?  Holy crap, that’d easily be the worst decision we could make.

What was wrong with Kapler, actually?  Other than that he didn't have enough excellent players? 

I have no idea.  Bad with people?  Bad strategist?  Bad with bullpen?  vets only, no kids?  I have no idea....  I admit I wouldn't mind having somebody who was really smart.  (I don't know if he is, but just hypothetically.)  To some degree, Maddon has been; but I'm not sure either of Sveum or Renteria was particularly intellectual.  Ross might be smart in a practical way, but he's not exactly unusually smart either, I don't think.  (Base on his book, at least.) 

Whatever, glad it's not my hire! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 14, 2019, 03:19:32 pm
https://theathletic.com/1289918/2019/10/14/winners-trap-how-did-a-cubs-dynasty-start-to-fall-apart-before-it-truly-began/?source=dailyemail

Lengthy article, both Mooney and Sharma
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 14, 2019, 03:42:42 pm
What was wrong with Kapler, actually?  Other than that he didn't have enough excellent players? 

I have no idea.  Bad with people?  Bad strategist?  Bad with bullpen?  vets only, no kids?  I have no idea....  I admit I wouldn't mind having somebody who was really smart.  (I don't know if he is, but just hypothetically.)  To some degree, Maddon has been; but I'm not sure either of Sveum or Renteria was particularly intellectual.  Ross might be smart in a practical way, but he's not exactly unusually smart either, I don't think.  (Base on his book, at least.) 

Whatever, glad it's not my hire! 

He's pretty well known for some of his strategic blunders, and he's apparently not that great in the clubhouse either.  He just seems like he'd be an all-around bad choice.

Put it this way, the Phillies think Dusty Baker may be an upgrade on him. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 14, 2019, 04:14:29 pm
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/10/sam-fuld-manager-rumors-cubs-mets-pirates.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 14, 2019, 05:12:08 pm
The Phillies F.O. was desperate to keep Kapler and the owner fired him over their objections.  He's not my first choice but I think he's a pretty good manager on the whole.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 14, 2019, 05:13:35 pm
Isn't one of their FO guys McPhail?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 14, 2019, 05:19:04 pm
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/10/sam-fuld-manager-rumors-cubs-mets-pirates.html

Fuld is yet another guy the Cubs were interested in, with ZERO managerial experience, and ZERO coaching experience.  Continues to reinforce the idea that whatever value the Cubs may place on managerial or coaching experience, it is not on the "required" versus "preferred" list of qualities. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 14, 2019, 05:22:57 pm
Isn't one of their FO guys McPhail?

Yep in Theo’s role.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: DelMarFan on October 14, 2019, 05:24:16 pm
I wonder why Fuld declined.  I think it makes me more interested in him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 14, 2019, 05:37:34 pm
Fuld is yet another guy the Cubs were interested in, with ZERO managerial experience, and ZERO coaching experience.  Continues to reinforce the idea that whatever value the Cubs may place on managerial or coaching experience, it is not on the "required" versus "preferred" list of qualities. 
  Theo's just trying to drive us nuts.  He knows who we're going to get.   Soon they'll ask to interview Dusty, Schild, and Casey Stengel just to keep us guessing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 14, 2019, 05:39:43 pm
I saw Sam Fuld play quite a bit for the Smokies.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Eastcoastfan on October 14, 2019, 07:40:19 pm
Sam Fuld's dad was dean of the college of liberal arts at UNH.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 14, 2019, 10:27:44 pm
Gabe Kapler?  Holy crap, that’d easily be the worst decision we could make.

They are also the interviews to glean info on how other teams operate and Kepler was in charge of player development for the Dodgers. It isn’t a coincidence that the Cubs are interviewing outside guys with connections to the Yanks, Astros and Dodgers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 14, 2019, 11:29:48 pm
They are also the interviews to glean info on how other teams operate and Kepler was in charge of player development for the Dodgers. It isn’t a coincidence that the Cubs are interviewing outside guys with connections to the Yanks, Astros and Dodgers.

Pretty good point there.  And it doesn't hurt to cast a wide net.

Still, he's definitely the least appealing of all the names that have been out there so far.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on October 15, 2019, 04:09:06 pm
Someone more like me.

Don't be silly.  Both Laurel and Hardy are dead.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 15, 2019, 05:51:24 pm
So are Larry, Curley, and Moe, but they continue to post here under new usernames.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 15, 2019, 10:08:32 pm
Offseason predictions...

David Kaplan
1. Cubs are going to take a page out of the Yankees' book and retool on the fly rather than go all-in to contend in 2020.
2. Jose Quintana has thrown his last pitch as a Cub.
3. This will be the second-to-last offseason for Theo Epstein as the Cubs president of baseball operations.

Kelly Crull
1. Cubs re-sign Nick Castellanos and trade away Kyle Schwarber.
2. Tyler Chatwood will be in the 2020 rotation.
3. John Lackey will be named quality assurance coach on David Ross's coaching staff. (Kidding, but only kind of...)

Tony Andracki
1. Before the Cubs play a Spring Training game, Javy Baez will sign an extension that will keep him in Chicago through at least 2023.
2. Willson Contreras will be traded this winter and the Cubs will get some much-needed pitching help in return.
3. Cubs sign Howie Kendrick this winter as the professional bat and lefty-masher they craved in 2019.
4. Ben Zobrist will return on a one-year deal and finish his playing career in a Cubs uniform.
5. David Bote, Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell will all be traded or non-tendered this winter as the Cubs remake their bench/depth.

Jeff Nelson
1. Willson Contreras will sign a contract extension.
2. Ben Zobrist will return as a player/coach.
3. Jose Quintana will be traded for minor league depth.
4. Terrance Gore will be signed to be the 26th man on the roster under the new rules.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 15, 2019, 11:16:33 pm
Setting aside contract considerations, purely as a player who would you rather have - Bryant or Rendon?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 15, 2019, 11:17:28 pm
Bryant.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Chris27 on October 16, 2019, 02:47:54 am
Rendon's the better hitter and defender. If his 34 homers this year is part of a trajectory then he projects as the more powerful hitter too taking doubles into consideration. He's also hit nearly 100 points higher w/ RISP the last three seasons (I know, random outcomes, yada, yada).

Think the question is what teams would be in on Bryant and what would they be willing to give up. Small market teams would only have him two seasons so not sure they'd be in play. Would a big-market contender give up a lot for him not knowing if they could re-sign him? Just not sure of his trade market value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 16, 2019, 01:17:57 pm
....Think the question is what teams would be in on Bryant and what would they be willing to give up. Small market teams would only have him two seasons so not sure they'd be in play. Would a big-market contender give up a lot for him not knowing if they could re-sign him? Just not sure of his trade market value.

Yeah, I wonder the same thing and feel the same uncertainty.  Just not sure how much talent teams are going to push for a 2-year rental.  Don't think you're going to get close to equal talent value, unless you're basically trading him for other comparable guy, as in short-control and non-trivial contract. 


This is why I so strongly suspect that once Nowacrat Theo actually sees what the offers are, he'll elect to stick with Nowacrat Bryant over some not-nearly-as-good-for-2020 and not-really-that-great long-term-Buildican either.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on October 16, 2019, 01:31:25 pm
Setting aside contract considerations, purely as a player who would you rather have - Bryant or Rendon?

Rendon, he's the better hitter and they both now have had significant injury issues.

Padres' might have interest in him, their Farm is also stocked with high ceiling players. He would slot into their OF and likely be a + LF. 
Padres' showed last year they are going all in, they pushed tatis/paddack and signed Manny. Getting a semi cost controlled star like Bryant, who has significant play-off experience, would be an excellent short term move to take the next step.  ? is would the cubs be willing to accept a package of guys that are a bit further away.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: dev on October 16, 2019, 01:57:34 pm
Zobrist will sign with the Angels.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 16, 2019, 02:17:46 pm
? is would the cubs be willing to accept a package of guys that are a bit further away.

Arizona Phil's trade of Bryant for Lamet, Urias and Patino doesn't do it for me.  Even if you bring in Rendon to replace Bryant the pitching staff is good enough and you won't have the money to fix it.  Would anybody really feel confident in Darvish, Hendricks, Lamet, Lester, Quintana?  Urias seems like a lesser version of Hoerner and Patino, while he has a great raw stuff, has a bit of Dylan Cease walk problem.  Even if you replaced Gore with Patino I'm not sure it is worth it for the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 16, 2019, 03:14:06 pm
Lamet is good.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 16, 2019, 03:34:38 pm
One of the telling comments that Theo made was how he would focus more in trade discussions on what was coming back than on what was being given up.

I can't find the quote right now.

I think we may see some deals which are, on paper, overpays, but get one or more targeted players in return.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on October 16, 2019, 05:11:09 pm
Arizona Phil's trade of Bryant for Lamet, Urias and Patino doesn't do it for me.  Even if you bring in Rendon to replace Bryant the pitching staff is good enough and you won't have the money to fix it.  Would anybody really feel confident in Darvish, Hendricks, Lamet, Lester, Quintana?  Urias seems like a lesser version of Hoerner and Patino, while he has a great raw stuff, has a bit of Dylan Cease walk problem.  Even if you replaced Gore with Patino I'm not sure it is worth it for the Cubs.

I think it would take a 3rd team. Prospects to KC for Merrifield, Bryant to padres, Merrifield and some combo of  Lament or Munoz to the cubs.

Would likely also cost the Cubs a Marquez or Amaya.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 16, 2019, 05:30:14 pm
Gordo says it’s down to Ross and Espada for the Cubs FWIW, with Ross as the favorite. Sign me up for Espada if thats the case.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 16, 2019, 07:17:45 pm
Gordo says it’s down to Ross and Espada for the Cubs FWIW, with Ross as the favorite. Sign me up for Espada if thats the case.

Wittenmyer may have the least access to the front office of any of the local guys, so it would be surprising if had more knowledge of the status of the search than anybody else.

But who knows?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 16, 2019, 08:37:28 pm
Mooney kinda implied those 2 guys were in the lead as well.  Espada is really interesting, but the FO will now exactly what they are getting in Ross. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 16, 2019, 09:22:00 pm
Mooney kinda implied those 2 guys were in the lead as well.  Espada is really interesting, but the FO will now exactly what they are getting in Ross. 

Interesting. I did not read it that way. They were the first two players discussed, but other than that, how did you conclude that Mooney implied they were "in the lead?"
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 16, 2019, 10:47:43 pm
They had the longest and most positive write ups.
Lorretta and Venable were briefly mentioned.
Kapler has more written about digging for info on the Dodgers and a job besides manager if he isn’t hired by another team.
What seemed remotely positive about Girardi’s chances in that piece?  He basically said he’s old and won’t mesh with Theo or the team.
Ross was mentioned as being groomed for for the job and Espada was called as a rising star and his negative was spun as a positive.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 16, 2019, 11:20:07 pm
Girardi has resigned his position with MLB-tv and expects a managing job somewhere.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 17, 2019, 12:24:57 am
I'd bet on the Mets but I wouldn't totally write us off there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 17, 2019, 08:29:56 am
Mets or Phillies for Girardi.

Girardi just doesn’t fit with the other candidates that the Cubs are interviewing or wanted too. It is like in football recruiting, if a kid lists SEC schools and Notre Dame he isn’t going to Notre Dame. My hunch is that Girardi was interviewed  to dig for info on how the Yankees do things and to keep Kaplan from blasting the Cubs for not interviewing him.

My opinion is that it will be Ross, unless Espada knocked their socks off in the interview.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 17, 2019, 10:53:29 am
Cubs reorganized player development


Craig Breslow was named Director of Pitching from Director of Strategic Initiatives.

Justin Stone was named Director of Hitting

Jaron Madison was moved from Director of Player Development to a Special Assistant role and that will be more of a scouting role.

Jeremy Farrell was moved from minor league coordinator to Assistant Director of Player Development

Matt Dorey moves from Director of Amateur scouting to Senior Director of Player Development

Bobby Basham was name Director of Player Development.  He was Director of Special Projects/Assistant Director of Player Development

Cubs are looking for a Biomechanics analyst as well to loop into the Hitting/Pitching development and they still need somebody for Director of Amateur Scouting to run the draft/IFA.

Eno Sarris
@enosarris
Justin Stone has worked with Mike Tauchman among others, Craig Breslow is a great director of pitching imo. Here’s the news.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 17, 2019, 10:57:44 am
Peter Principle
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 17, 2019, 11:26:02 am
Peter Principle

People are calling it just a reshuffling of deck chairs, but I'm not so sure.

Stone/Breslow/Basham seem to me more analytic/tech orientated with Dorey filling the more traditional scouting perspective in PD.  To me it seems that the Cubs are moving out guys that may not have embraced all the tech advances, but that they still value their scouting ability in McLoud and Madison.  It seems like the Cubs made huge strides in their pitching development and hopefully Stone can spur the same in hitting.  The ASD hire is likely coming from outside and I think that will be even more telling.  Is it going to be a scout or somebody that blends everything.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 17, 2019, 12:16:25 pm
Reading tea leaves is an interesting and challenging process.  I admit that I am no good at it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 17, 2019, 12:56:21 pm
Thanks for info on organizational changes, Blue.  That's a lot of repositioning; seems like they've been repositioning a lot of guys almost every year.  Not sure what to make of that.  I can't remember, but it seems like they've got a new scouting director almost every year.  One year McLeod, one year Dorey, one year Madison.  Very little continuity, it seems.  No idea why.  Guys excelling and getting promoted?  Guys failing and getting replaced?  Who knows.  Also unclear how many of the shuffles are meant for the welfare of the Cubs, versus personnel development in the front office?  A guy aspiring to become a GM may want to experience all kinds of different front-office roles, so maybe you bop guys around to diversify their experience? 

Blue, I'd like to think that smart guys ought to be able to learn new things.  *IF* Theo and Hoyer are hypothetically smart, and have hypothetically been able to attract smart guys, shouldn't those  smart guys be able to appreciate the value of tech advances, and train themselves up to optimally utilize every tool available?  If they aren't smart enough to do that, maybe Theo and his people just aren't smart enough to keep up? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 17, 2019, 01:13:23 pm
Another "not keeping up?" question....  The Cubs and Cubs-reporters seem really fired up about their pitch lab and it's value.  So, "if" the pitch lab is so valuable, why do they only have that in Arizona, where a limited fraction of pitchers have access?  Might it not be appropriate to have one in Chicago, where big-league Cubs could more easily visit it, and Hottovy?  Where Midwest-League Cub pitchers could more easily visit?  Maybe Southern-League and Midwest-League guys, too? 

I don't know how it works.  But it seems like for all the benefits they talk about, those have tended to apply to offseason stuff; to new pickups (Wieck comes over, spends a week in the pitch lab, and then starts to apply); to D-caliber prospects (Effross, etc..), etc..  Might it not be helpful to have one in Chicago?  If Edwards is in a slump, give him a one-week break to fool around in the pitch lab?  If Q's curve isn't working, what if you sent him over to pitch lab to try to figure out why?  Might The Professor like to do a between-starts throwing session in there, to do some experimenting? 

I guess I'm just thinking that having an on-site pitch lab where big-league players could do some maintenance checkups, or could get some quantification on some things they're playing with or wondering about, might that not be helpful?  I'm just thinking that whatever value it has, being able to visit a couple of times in February is one thing; but I assume finesse mechanical factors probably tend to drift over the ensuing 7 months.  So being able to pop in more conveniently to a Chicago-based lab and do some maintenance measurements might be helpful? 

Not sure how hard and competitively you need to throw for it to be useful?  Maybe Hendricks doing a between-starts throwing session doesn't help, because he's not throwing as seriously as in a real game?  And Lester can pump it up to 89-91 with game-day adrenaline; but the data in a pitch lab when he's at 83-84 might not be that valuable?  Beats me. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 17, 2019, 01:19:50 pm
Dorey was been the director of Amateur Scouting since 2014 and Madison has been the Director of Player Development since 2014.  The amount of freedom Dorey had under McLeod is an open question.

The player development heads have always seemed to have scouting background and that seems to be changing with this reshuffling and it isn't clear how the Director of Player Development is going to interact with Stone and Breslow. 

Appreciating and understanding and implementing are two different things.  I can still kick some butt in a general and organic chemistry class, but if you through me into a physical chemistry class it would be a struggle bus.  2 years ago this stuff was like general chemistry and now it is physical chemistry and moving fast into advanced physics.  It just requires a different skill set than what it used too.  I think the Cubs have made a huge gain in the pitching area and are just starting in the hitting arena, but they are playing catch up.  They have to catch and surpass the Astros, Yankees and Dodgers. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 17, 2019, 01:46:38 pm
Blue, I'd like to think that smart guys ought to be able to learn new things.  *IF* Theo and Hoyer are hypothetically smart, and have hypothetically been able to attract smart guys, shouldn't those  smart guys be able to appreciate the value of tech advances, and train themselves up to optimally utilize every tool available?  If they aren't smart enough to do that, maybe Theo and his people just aren't smart enough to keep up? 

This is certainly a new perspective. I don't recall anyone previously suggesting that Theo and those he has brought into the organization are not "smart enough."   As an aside, I just saw a tweet about one of these guys.

Paul Sullivan
@PWSullivan
Cubs' Director of Pitching, former pitcher Craig Breslow, has a 2000 degree from Yale in molecular biophysics and biochemistry.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 17, 2019, 02:41:59 pm
David Kaplan
@thekapman
Houston source tells me Astros coach Joe Espada had a sensational interview w/Cubs front office. “He gave Theo + Jed a lot to think about. They really liked him + came away exceptionally impressed. Was it enough to overcome David Ross’s relationship w/Theo and Jed? We’ll see.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 17, 2019, 02:46:17 pm
Another "not keeping up?" question....  The Cubs and Cubs-reporters seem really fired up about their pitch lab and it's value.  So, "if" the pitch lab is so valuable, why do they only have that in Arizona, where a limited fraction of pitchers have access?  Might it not be appropriate to have one in Chicago, where big-league Cubs could more easily visit it, and Hottovy?  Where Midwest-League Cub pitchers could more easily visit?  Maybe Southern-League and Midwest-League guys, too? 

I'm not 100% certain what is in the pitch lab, but the equipment is likely to be at the major league level.  I think the value of having it in Arizona having a place where guys can go and apply in low leverage situations.  I bet the slom-mo camera's, trackman etc are all available at each minor league team and traveling with the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 17, 2019, 03:29:24 pm
I'm not 100% certain what is in the pitch lab, but the equipment is likely to be at the major league level.  I think the value of having it in Arizona having a place where guys can go and apply in low leverage situations.  I bet the slom-mo camera's, trackman etc are all available at each minor league team and traveling with the Cubs.

Assuming the pitch lab integrates actual pitching, which I believe it does, being able to pitch outside year round is presumably an advantage. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 17, 2019, 05:27:06 pm
I'm not 100% certain what is in the pitch lab, but the equipment is likely to be at the major league level.  I think the value of having it in Arizona having a place where guys can go and apply in low leverage situations.  I bet the slom-mo camera's, trackman etc are all available at each minor league team and traveling with the Cubs.

Thanks, yeah, maybe that's all there is to it.  You're probably right.  I wonder, though?  It seems like the Athletic has included several articles within the last 10 months talking up pitch lab; the spin was that it was something "state of the art" and perhaps something whose insights guys like Wick and Wieck didn't have access to previously.  Maybe it's "state of the art" is no more cutting-edge than what's at every other minor-league stadium.  But I admit I kind of secretly hope that it offers some info that perhaps isn't already being used or being available to 25 other teams in the majors?  If that makes sense? 

Perhaps it's just the immediacy of feedback.  If I'm tinkering with grip in Eugene, and I don't get to see the data until a half hour later when I can look at my laptop, maybe that's not quite as responsive as throwing in pitch lab, and immediately seeing spin rate and movement data instantly?  Beats me. 

 if the pitch lab doesn't actually have anything more than what's available at every park in the system, and has been for years, why do the Athletic reporters have so many articles kind of
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 17, 2019, 05:53:07 pm
craig - I believe The Athletic has had some pretty detailed articles on the pitch lab, and while the Cubs are not about to reveal any proprietary information, those articles seemed to me to show that the lab is highly advanced technically. Here is the link to one article by Sharma:
https://theathletic.com/1220440/2019/09/18/weird-science-the-cubs-pitch-lab-is-turning-fringe-relievers-into-high-leverage-spin-rate-monsters/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 17, 2019, 07:08:58 pm
Thanks, Ron.  Yeah, there was that one, and at least one or two in spring training, suggesting it being highly advanced technically.  That implied the authors at least thought there was advancements perhaps beyond what's in every minor league stadium?  I guess I'm hoping it's got special stuff that is helpful and is beyond what's widely accessible!  (Which is why I think *if* it's got helpful, hard-to-access advantageous stuff, then it might be nice to enable our big-leaguers to access it and perhaps get advantaged....)
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on October 17, 2019, 07:35:05 pm
I don't subscribe to the Athletic, so I have not read the articles, but I have seen rather general references by Kaplan and a couple of others.  I was under the impression that a pitcher had to be on premises in Arizona to benefit from the pitching lab.  Is this not accurate?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 17, 2019, 08:44:36 pm
Thanks, Ron.  Yeah, there was that one, and at least one or two in spring training, suggesting it being highly advanced technically.  That implied the authors at least thought there was advancements perhaps beyond what's in every minor league stadium?  I guess I'm hoping it's got special stuff that is helpful and is beyond what's widely accessible!  (Which is why I think *if* it's got helpful, hard-to-access advantageous stuff, then it might be nice to enable our big-leaguers to access it and perhaps get advantaged....)

Edgetronic camera’s and Raspedo’s can be moved pretty much anywhere. The Cubs had them out in spring training with pitchers throwing. KinaTrax seems a little more complicated of a setup, but it wouldn’t shock me if teams are setting it up in minor league stadiums. Pro clubs were paying to put Trackman systems in JUCO colleges just so they could get the scouting data and not share it with other teams.

The Pitching Lab is the instructors taking the data and working with the pitchers to implement it. Guys like Wick you could tinker with his curve grip in Arizona or Chicago. Lowering an arm slot or making somebody a side arm pitcher is going to a bigger project.  I sure hope that the Cubs have all these toys in their minor league stadiums.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 17, 2019, 09:34:47 pm
Most likely, the "pitching lab" is a scam perpetrated by Epstein and his cronies.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 17, 2019, 10:02:41 pm
Most likely, the "pitching lab" is a scam perpetrated by Epstein and his cronies.

Jeff Exasperated Hyperbole Meter Rating:

7.5
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 17, 2019, 11:32:06 pm
David Kaplan
@thekapman
Houston source tells me Astros coach Joe Espada had a sensational interview w/Cubs front office. “He gave Theo + Jed a lot to think about. They really liked him + came away exceptionally impressed. Was it enough to overcome David Ross’s relationship w/Theo and Jed? We’ll see.”

Yeah if he came across great, I think he's my choice over Ross.  Better experience, and there's part of me that's worried about the "buddy" factor with Ross.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 18, 2019, 10:12:30 am
From Sharma and Mooney on the status of the selection process for manager:

"David Ross and Joe Espada are highly thought of candidates, but it hasn’t yet reached a level where they’re the two finalists. Other names remain in play, and there’s a possibility one more candidate is interviewed."

https://theathletic.com/1303687/2019/10/18/in-the-next-phase-of-reckoning-theo-epstein-makes-big-changes-to-the-cubs-front-office/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 18, 2019, 10:26:35 am
The Sharma/Mooney article cite above provides an analysis of the staff changes the Cubs just announced, with particular emphasis on Justin Stone and Craig Breslow, the new directors of hitting and pitching, respectively. 


https://theathletic.com/1303687/2019/10/18/in-the-next-phase-of-reckoning-theo-epstein-makes-big-changes-to-the-cubs-front-office/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 18, 2019, 10:35:03 am
They also mentioned they could name a manager before the World Series. 

That piece was really interesting, especially for the player development stuff.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 18, 2019, 12:40:55 pm
https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2019/10/18/lets-be-very-clear-the-cubs-have-completely-overhauled-their-player-development-system/

Here's a summary piece for those of you that don't have access.  The Mooney/Sharma article made it sound like like the guys in charge of player development are the one that were more open to the new technology and ways of doing things and the guys moved out were an impediment to getting something like the pitching lab more integrated.  The more I hear about the hitting coordinator the more impressed I am.


Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 18, 2019, 03:27:12 pm
A consideration I haven't noted so far.  To attract quality free agents, you need a manager players want to play for.  Would one of those guys appeal to Cole?  Other FAs?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 18, 2019, 06:31:09 pm
A consideration I haven't noted so far.  To attract quality free agents, you need a manager players want to play for.  Would one of those guys appeal to Cole?  Other FAs?

I would imagine Espada has more appeal to guys outside the organization than Ross.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dihard on October 19, 2019, 01:41:31 am
Yeah if he came across great, I think he's my choice over Ross.  Better experience, and there's part of me that's worried about the "buddy" factor with Ross.
I’m absolutely with you on this. I loved David Ross the Cubs catcher and team leader. And found/find him to be a great, humble, fun guy based on his interviews and broadcasting work since he retired. I worry (from his commentary) about how strategic and astute he is (though admittedly that’s not all that much to go on) and about the “buddy factor” w Rizzo, KB, Lester, and others.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 19, 2019, 06:17:19 am
It strikes me that hiring Ross would be a sort of last attempt to grasp onto the glory of 2016, whereas hiring Espada would be more of a forward thinking move.  2016 is something none of us will ever forget, but you can't go home again.  Given all the things that Theo publicly admits are broken about this team, hiring Ross seems in many ways like an illogical and unwise decision.

And I love the guy...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 19, 2019, 09:34:46 am
Not to be a contrarian, but I don't have the same concerns with Ross and anti-Ross-as-manager feelings that most of you posters seem to have. 

I don't care and am not concerned with his 2015-16 history.  I don't think that's relevant, for or against him.  I think he should be evaluated strictly on his projected managerial qualities. 
*I think some of those project very, very favorably; so I think he's got a chance to be possibly be a terrific manager. 
*There are other managerial aspects about Ross that I question, and may hypothetically prevent him from being a terrific guy. 
*But basically I think the Cubs should be evaluating him based on managerial aptitudes; WS history should not color the evaluation/projection.

2016 will be 4 years in the mirror when the next manager starts.  That's a long time in baseball,  and 2016 stuff will becomes increasingly distant in years 2 and 3.  There are only a handful of guys from 2016, and some suggest the Cubs will be further thinning that group.  So I'm not that concerned with buddy-buddy stuff, myself.  And for old guys like Lester and Heyward, will any manager impact who they are at this point? 

My questions/uncertainties with Ross: 
1.  Is he actually smart enough, and would he be a good decision-maker?  He's got a lot of other qualities, but I wonder if he's as smart as the smartest managers? 
2.  Will his people-skills be outstanding across the board?  Occasionally comfortable-confident extroverts don't appropriately understand or appreciate guys with different personas?
3.  Will he be a good evaluator? 
4.  Will he manager the bullpen well? 
5.  How will he balance veteran savvy/professionalism versus younger guys who may be more talented but may also perhaps be more mistake-prone? 
6.  How patient might he be with guys who don't necessarily come across as having great game-face?  (Maddon seemed to underutilize Chatwood this year, for example.) 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 19, 2019, 09:42:01 am
I pretty much agree with craig on this.  And I am confident that this is essentially the approach that Theo et al will use in evaluating Ross. Seems to me that Theo was pretty clear in his first discussion of Ross as a candidate that he considers the connection to 2016 and his friendship with some of the Cubs, in and of themselves, to be more negative than positive considerations.  He then went on to say that independent of those, Ross has impressive qualities and that would be the focus of evaluating him.

Espada certainly has a more impressive resume, but the hiring won't be based on a resume, it will be based on the front office's evaluation of which person is the best match for this team at this time.  Let's hope they get it right, whatever choice they make.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 19, 2019, 10:01:11 am
I think if the FO felt Ross wasn’t smart enough he wouldn’t be working in the FO or a candidate to be the manager. I have less concerns about that.

It does seem from articles that Ross and Espada kinda cover the concerns about the other one. To me it would be kinda an ideal world where Espada becomes the manager, Ross the bench coach and swap out Butterfield for Loretta.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Chris27 on October 19, 2019, 10:14:21 am
To me it would be kinda an ideal world where Espada becomes the manager, Ross the bench coach and swap out Butterfield for Loretta.

Not sure I'd want Espada looking over his shoulder with fan and front office favorite Ross there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 19, 2019, 11:23:57 am
Solid point and Ross has shown no interest in being a bench coach either.

Mooney just posted a piece on Ross, Epstein’s interest in Ross as a coach goes back to 2008.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 19, 2019, 12:06:02 pm
The Mooney article on Ross provides some nice perspective on him as a managerial candidate, including the references to his peers and their trajectories.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 19, 2019, 09:25:22 pm
Over/under on 2020 Cubs victories:  77
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 19, 2019, 09:45:56 pm
How would you know without knowing the roster?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 19, 2019, 09:48:10 pm
You can tell by the leadership.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 19, 2019, 10:14:24 pm
The same leadership that broke a 108 year curse?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 20, 2019, 10:45:09 am
Espada is heading back to Chicago for a second interview. I don’t know if he has interviewed with any of the other teams that wanted to talk to him yet, but the managerial search should be done soon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 20, 2019, 12:42:28 pm
Have we done any second interviews with anyone else yet?  Then again, we probably need to get Espada’s done right away with the World Seroes coming up, so that’s probably not the greatest sign that he’s the favorite.  Certainly a favorite so far though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 20, 2019, 01:04:08 pm
Of the guys they interviewed would anyone outside of Girardi need a second interview? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 20, 2019, 04:47:03 pm
Quote
George Ofman

Verified account
 
@georgeofman
 5h5 hours ago
More
If the cubs decide to go with Espada,look for Ross to possibly join Maddon with the Angels.

That does seem likely.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 20, 2019, 07:48:59 pm
It may be an oversimplification, but to an extent this seems like a classic heart vs. head situation.  If you say no to Ross not only are you saying no, you're likely burning all bridges with a beloved organizational figure.  By hiring Espada you lose Ross from the organization, and I can certainly understand that emotion comes into play there.

That said, the truth is that if Ross had taken the bench coach job when Theo offered it, he'd probably already have been hired as the manager.  He made a choice - a perfectly legitimate one, but he needs to live with the consequences of that choice.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 20, 2019, 07:51:46 pm
Girardi is getting a second interview with the Mets and Phillies. No mention of the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on October 21, 2019, 11:36:47 am
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EHaeowXW4AAhFm7.jpg:small)
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 21, 2019, 11:48:37 am
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EHaeowXW4AAhFm7.jpg:small)

Can you provide a link for this article?  Thanks
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: BearHit on October 21, 2019, 12:23:32 pm
Similar to where I work - working with idiots is also mind-blowing
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on October 21, 2019, 12:34:43 pm
Can you provide a link for this article?  Thanks

Tweeted by Bleacher Nation
https://www.mlb.com/news/joe-espada-preparing-to-be-manager
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 21, 2019, 01:47:06 pm
Tweeted by Bleacher Nation
https://www.mlb.com/news/joe-espada-preparing-to-be-manager


It is easy to understand why the Cubs are so interested in Espada.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 21, 2019, 02:08:38 pm
Yeah, those were good answers.  The Cubs have been pretty serious about not going overboard with stats, and including the human side.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 21, 2019, 05:33:27 pm
The more I hear from - and about - Espada, the more I want the Cubs to hire him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 21, 2019, 06:17:30 pm
I would lean toward Espada as well.  Ross would probably be fine, but I really like what I have read about Espada.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 21, 2019, 06:23:25 pm
According to at least one report, Espada actually had his second interview on Sunday (I'm not sure if that's accurate though).  He apparently is scheduled to interview with at least two other teams (Detroit and San Francisco?). I would think that if they prefer Espada that they will make the offer before he interviews elsewhere (presumably before the World Series is over). It will be interesting to see if he actually has those other interviews.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 21, 2019, 10:48:44 pm
The Giants and Pirates have expressed interest in Espada, but from what I can google search he hasn’t interviewed at either place yet and won’t be able to until after the World Series now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 22, 2019, 09:59:53 am
Playing around with a google spreadsheet and dreams.

Rotation- Cole, Darvish, Hendricks, Lester, Graveman
Bullpen- Kimbrel, Leclerc, Strop, Ryan, Wick, Wieck/Hulzten, Mills/Alzolay, Maples/Norwood/Mekkes/etc..
C- Contreras, Caratini
INF- Rizzo, Hoerner, Baez, Bryant, Bote, Kemp
OF- Schwarber, Happ, Heyward, Chisenhall, Hamilton/Gore

FA
Cole- $32 million AAV, if he isn't interested you pivot hard to Wheeler.
Chisenhall- $4 million
Strop- $4 million
Hamilton- $1 million

Trades
Quintana for Leclerc.  It would be ideal if you add Chatwood and clear as much of his money as possible, if not he goes in a seperate trade.

Salary- $199,410,000
CBT- $209,609,196

I'm not sure which year option getting declined goes to, but I think the Cubs are only on the hook for $4 million.  I'd keep Almora in AAA so add another $1 million.  That and the $15 million in player benefits would put the Cubs at $229 million + whatever they retained on Chatwood, so there is still money for the trade deadline.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 22, 2019, 10:49:54 am
Bruce Levine
@MLBBruceLevine

Source confirms MLB will allow announcements like new manager hirings on off/ workout days during WS .Thursday or potentially next Monday are open dates.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 22, 2019, 11:02:43 am
We mentioned Shogo Akiyama as a potential Cubs acquisition here before. Bleacher Nation has another article on him today that says the Cubs were one of four teams to scout him this season (Mariners, Padres, and Diamondbacks were the others).

It has been reported that he has a 5 year, $23 million offer to stay in NPB.  Bleacher Nation concludes that giving him similar money over 4 years could potentially get him to come to MLB. That seems like a reasonable take (assuming he really is interested in MLB and isn't just dipping his toe in the water to gain leverage or to see if someone will blow him away).

https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2019/10/22/cubs-were-reportedly-already-scouting-japanese-center-fielder-shogo-akiyama-this-season/

I've also seen it speculated that the Cubs could be one of the teams in on Jackie Bradley Jr. if the Red Sox decide to trade him. I have mixed feelings...he's a great defensive CF, which is something the Cubs could use. But I think his flaws as a hitter are basically the same as the flaws the Cubs already have up and down the lineup.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: dev on October 22, 2019, 11:59:05 am
JBJr = Heyward
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 22, 2019, 03:55:29 pm
Yeah, not very interested in Bradley.  A guy who lives off HR to barely clear .700 OPS, while K-ing over 30% of his AB, and with a declining bad batting average (.245, .234, and .225 last three), that's not what I want. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 22, 2019, 04:10:19 pm
With all of the emphasis of the Cubs needing more contact guys, it would be pretty weird for the Cubs to bring in anyone significant who does not fit that profile.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 22, 2019, 04:32:15 pm
Yes on Akiyama, no on Bradley.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 22, 2019, 04:40:36 pm
SkullCountTommy💀🎃
@FullCountTommy
Jesse Rogers on the radio just now, “Do not be surprised if David Ross is announced as early as Thursday”
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 22, 2019, 05:19:31 pm
Well that's what we all expected anyway.

I guess I prefer him over Espada.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 22, 2019, 05:30:27 pm
SkullCountTommy💀🎃
@FullCountTommy
Jesse Rogers on the radio just now, “Do not be surprised if David Ross is announced as early as Thursday”

On the other hand, don't be surprised if he is not.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 22, 2019, 05:57:48 pm
Having had most of a month to do due diligence, and to do 2nd or 3rd interviews with their best candidates, it wouldn't shock me if they weren't about ready to decide.  **IF** that decision is Ross, I'm not sure what they'd need to keep waiting to for.  **IF** it's Espada or some other outside guy, they'd more likely have reason to wait.   

But if Ross is NOT announced on Thursday, I wonder if that might not suggest they're looking elsewhere? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 22, 2019, 06:03:59 pm
Espada and Ross were the only two guys who had a second interview. Ross’s interview was more informal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 22, 2019, 06:04:35 pm
I would not be at all surprised if the Cubs make their announcement on Thursday. It seems likely that they will choose either Ross or Espada, and in either event there is ample reason to make the choice as soon as they are comfortable doing so.  In the case of Espada, I would think they would not want to wait until other teams have a chance to interview him.  But who knows what the internal deliberations are like?

Perhaps Reb can provide a verbatim scenario of that discussion?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 22, 2019, 07:34:49 pm
Not as formally announced as Espada, but David Ross is said to have also had a second interview with the #Cubs. Given his position with the team, I'm told they expanded conversations earlier this week. #MLB--Crull
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 22, 2019, 07:43:03 pm
Would the Cubs be allowed to officially announce Espada before the World Series ends? Since he’s participating, I wonder if it would be off limits.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 22, 2019, 07:56:13 pm
I think it's an off day.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 22, 2019, 08:07:47 pm
Yeah, I would assume Espada should not be on Thursday.  Doing that in the middle of his World Series doesn't seem appropriate.  Plus in Espada's second interview this weekend, personally I'd sure hope it was all about managing and baseball, rather than Human Resources stuff and contractual discussion. 

Of course, not announcing, or not having detailed contractual stuff would not preclude having already reached a mutual agreement that Cubs want to hire him and he wants to take it. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 22, 2019, 08:13:30 pm
Didn’t the Red Sox announce Cora while the Astros were still playing?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 23, 2019, 08:43:48 am
David Kaplan @thekapman
Highly placed source has confirmed to me David Ross is expected to be named Cubs manager this week. His agent has been discussing contractual terms with Theo Epstein. Deal is almost done. More on @ESPN1000 at 9 am. On @NBCSChicago + http://NBCsportschicago.com throughout the day.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 23, 2019, 08:45:41 am
I hope this isn't a terrible mistake.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 23, 2019, 08:46:17 am
Ross is so underrated on this board. He isn’t the character Grampa Rossy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 23, 2019, 08:53:13 am
Agree, Blue, he's got a lot of qualities that might make him an outstanding manager.  I think he's an excellent candidate and I look forward to seeing how it goes. 

But not sure that's going to help Heyward or Almora to hit well, or Lester or Kimbrel to pitch well, or Bote and Scharber and Happ to field well, or any of that stuff. 

And who knows how any new guy will handle the bullpen! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 23, 2019, 08:55:23 am
I imagine Ross will be as good as a lot of these recent former players who became managers quickly after retiring.  Can't possibly see how he'd be a worse guy than Matheny, who had success pretty quickly, for example.

Hope he turns out to be the right call!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 23, 2019, 08:55:46 am
Didn't they tell us that it was Ross who was a key player in the Kimbrel pickup?  That Ross scouted him and said he looked in great shape, as good as ever, ready to rock and roll?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 23, 2019, 09:26:29 am
My worry with Ross (above and beyond his ability to be a manager to his pals and the fact that this seems like a desperation ploy to recapture a lost moment in time) is whether he’s actually all that knowledgeable a baseball guy.  One doesn’t get much of a sense that he is from his TV work (not that it would be a definitive indication).  The hipster view is to disparage the actual game management part of being a manager, but it still matters a whole lot.

Ross seems to have the soft skills part, but what about the analytical and strategic part?  Is he all intuitive/feel or is he hiding that side of himself so far?  Obviously the guy was a catcher for over a decade and he knows baseball in the broad sense, but it would be nice to have a manager who really understands the strategic side of the game and has an appreciation for advanced statistics (without a slavish dependence on them).  Maybe Ross does - I hope so.  I just don’t see much indication of it so far.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 23, 2019, 09:29:57 am
David Kaplan @thekapman
Here's another Cubs scoop. Cubs/MLB will be dealing with Kris Bryant's grievance this week from 2015 over service time + Cubs decision to delay his MLB debut until he fell 1 day short of being a free agent after the 2020 season. Could have MLB altering implications if he wins.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 23, 2019, 09:52:07 am
I admit that I have found myself hoping for Joe Espada to get the job. He seems to have been a really impressive candidate. I am actually a little surprised that he did not get the job.

I seem to trust Theo more than some others here, both in general and specifically in terms of his statements that Ross' role in 2016 and his relationship with players would, if anything, be a negative consideration because of the need to move on from the past.  I have to believe that Ross was convincing enough in his interviews (and his work with the Cubs over the last few years) that Theo became convinced that he was an even better match for this group than Espada.

None of us know whether or how much interaction Ross may have had over the last couple of years with the analytics guys, including the pitch lab.  It assume that Theo has reason to believe that he will work well with those guys and in implementing their work. I don't believe Ross would have gotten the job if Theo had not been convinced of his ability to merge the R&D and analytics work into the game planning and implementation.

In terms of his game management and specifically use of the bullpen, I recall that he expressed surprise at Joe's decisions during game 7 in 2016, but brushed off his disagreement by saying that the end result was what mattered. I remember finding that interesting at the time. Anybody else remember this?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 23, 2019, 10:10:28 am
But not sure that's going to help Heyward or Almora to hit well, or Lester or Kimbrel to pitch well, or Bote and Scharber and Happ to field well, or any of that stuff. 

And who knows how any new guy will handle the bullpen! 

The first sentence isn't the managers job.  That will be the revamped hitching and pitching as well as Butterfield's replacement.

He'll have an iPad full of data on who to pitch against which hitter.  Hopefully he'll use it and the bullpen guy won't hang a slider like Ottovino.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 23, 2019, 10:16:41 am
I admit that I have found myself hoping for Joe Espada to get the job. He seems to have been a really impressive candidate. I am actually a little surprised that he did not get the job.

I seem to trust Theo more than some others here, both in general and specifically in terms of his statements that Ross' role in 2016 and his relationship with players would, if anything, be a negative consideration because of the need to move on from the past.  I have to believe that Ross was convincing enough in his interviews (and his work with the Cubs over the last few years) that Theo became convinced that he was an even better match for this group than Espada.

None of us know whether or how much interaction Ross may have had over the last couple of years with the analytics guys, including the pitch lab.  It assume that Theo has reason to believe that he will work well with those guys and in implementing their work. I don't believe Ross would have gotten the job if Theo had not been convinced of his ability to merge the R&D and analytics work into the game planning and implementation.

In terms of his game management and specifically use of the bullpen, I recall that he expressed surprise at Joe's decisions during game 7 in 2016, but brushed off his disagreement by saying that the end result was what mattered. I remember finding that interesting at the time. Anybody else remember this?

I like both Espada and Ross and think they'll both would have been fine.

While as fans we don't know how Ross interacts with the analytics guys and stats, Theo and Jed do.  Since this off season focus is getting the Cubs caught up, I really doubt Theo is going to hire somebody that can't handle that part of the job.  Are we really at the point where we think Theo is dumb?

There are only 10 guys left on the Cubs from 2016 and that number could be smaller with trades.  This isn't the same team that Ross retired from.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 23, 2019, 10:45:32 am
David Kaplan @thekapman
Here's another Cubs scoop. Cubs/MLB will be dealing with Kris Bryant's grievance this week from 2015 over service time + Cubs decision to delay his MLB debut until he fell 1 day short of being a free agent after the 2020 season. Could have MLB altering implications if he wins.


He still needed to work on his base running, gosh darn it!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 23, 2019, 11:07:00 am
Sources confirm: David Ross is new #Cubs manager. First reported: @thekapman and @ESPNChiCubs.--Rosenthal
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 23, 2019, 12:35:55 pm
I already feel bad about firing him.  Tough to do to a hero.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 23, 2019, 12:44:54 pm
He wasnt much of a hero really.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 23, 2019, 12:45:02 pm
I already feel bad about firing him.  Tough to do to a hero.

Yeah but we'll get over it.  I mean Maddon was relatively easy for Theo to kick to the curb after this past season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 23, 2019, 12:54:05 pm
Yeah but we'll get over it.  I mean Maddon was relatively easy for Theo to kick to the curb after this past season.

Even easier for some of the folks here.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 23, 2019, 01:04:06 pm
HAS ROSS BEEN FIRED YET?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 23, 2019, 01:46:45 pm
David Kaplan @thekapman
Here's another Cubs scoop. Cubs/MLB will be dealing with Kris Bryant's grievance this week from 2015 over service time + Cubs decision to delay his MLB debut until he fell 1 day short of being a free agent after the 2020 season. Could have MLB altering implications if he wins.

Lots of big time Cub offseason implications too if Bryant wins.  He'll be a free agent after 2020, so we may be taking an even longer look at dealing him this offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 23, 2019, 01:54:54 pm
Sometimes you over think things and some times the answer is obvious.

The choice for manager was obvious this time.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 23, 2019, 02:39:18 pm
Now that Ross is going to be the manager, one of the more interesting things to watch this offseason will be what they decide to do with Contreras.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 23, 2019, 02:42:06 pm
I agree,  too bad they didn't interview him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 23, 2019, 04:35:02 pm
Would love to see Farrell for bench coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 23, 2019, 05:32:31 pm
I’d like to find the next Espada.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on October 23, 2019, 05:32:38 pm
But not sure that's going to help Heyward or Almora to hit well, or Lester or Kimbrel to pitch well, or Bote and Scharber and Happ to field well, or any of that stuff. 

And who knows how any new guy will handle the bullpen! 

Wouldn't you be able to say this about anyone that became manager?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 23, 2019, 07:11:18 pm
Wouldn't you be able to say this about anyone that became manager?
Yup, for sure.  Neither Maddon, Ross, nor Espada or whomever, can create good players. Theo and his guys need to procure some better players, that's the big need. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 23, 2019, 07:26:38 pm
I am a little concerned that there's a slight resemblance between David Ross and the historically awful Matt Nagy.  I really hope that the Cubs have not hired the worst manager in franchise history.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 23, 2019, 07:51:44 pm
I am a little concerned that there's a slight resemblance between David Ross and the historically awful Matt Nagy.  I really hope that the Cubs have not hired the worst manager in franchise history.

Jim Essian, Mike Quade, Bruce Kim, the College of Coaches and many 1950's to 1970's era Cubs managers might take issue with the exasperated hyperbole expressed here.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 23, 2019, 07:59:53 pm
As long as he's not the Cubs equivalent of Nagy, we've passed the first hurdle.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 23, 2019, 08:12:13 pm
I am a little concerned that there's a slight resemblance between David Ross and the historically awful Matt Nagy.  I really hope that the Cubs have not hired the worst manager in franchise history.

Jeff Exasperated Hyperbole Meter Rating:

2.5
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 24, 2019, 10:14:06 am
Ross is now official.

https://www.mlb.com/cubs/news/david-ross-next-cubs-manager?partnerId=sf111165412&sf111165412=1&fbclid=IwAR1MjlbSWGbHk6C0LNj_oqZU6DxYWVLtVjqkZlZD-0YLP5GxyTKuOLNL61s
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 24, 2019, 12:29:33 pm
So we can rag on him now?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 24, 2019, 01:11:57 pm
Sharma:

“They [Cubs] won’t be in the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes”
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dihard on October 24, 2019, 01:54:16 pm
My worry with Ross (above and beyond his ability to be a manager to his pals and the fact that this seems like a desperation ploy to recapture a lost moment in time) is whether he’s actually all that knowledgeable a baseball guy.  One doesn’t get much of a sense that he is from his TV work (not that it would be a definitive indication).  The hipster view is to disparage the actual game management part of being a manager, but it still matters a whole lot.

Ross seems to have the soft skills part, but what about the analytical and strategic part?  Is he all intuitive/feel or is he hiding that side of himself so far?  Obviously the guy was a catcher for over a decade and he knows baseball in the broad sense, but it would be nice to have a manager who really understands the strategic side of the game and has an appreciation for advanced statistics (without a slavish dependence on them).  Maybe Ross does - I hope so.  I just don’t see much indication of it so far.
This is exactly how I feel. Hope we’re wrong!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 24, 2019, 02:03:50 pm
I'm reasonably confident the Ross has the necessary strategic and analytic skills for the job.  I just hope that his established friendships with the core players don't get in the way.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 24, 2019, 04:25:23 pm
I'm reasonably confident the Ross has the necessary strategic and analytic skills for the job.  I just hope that his established friendships with the core players don't get in the way.

Why? Where does this confidence come from? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 24, 2019, 04:29:17 pm
....it would be nice to have a manager who really understands the strategic side of the game and has an appreciation for advanced statistics (without a slavish dependence on them).  Maybe Ross does - I hope so.  I just don’t see much indication of it so far.

Where does the skepticism about Ross come from?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 24, 2019, 04:43:17 pm
Where does the skepticism about Ross come from?
He was chosen by the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 24, 2019, 05:22:33 pm
From the little I have read about things he has said in the past, Ross seems to have a decent grasp of the nuts and bolts of in-game managing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 24, 2019, 05:51:28 pm
Oh good, cuz he's gonna have plenty of nuts and dolts.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 24, 2019, 05:58:45 pm
Sharma:

“They [Cubs] won’t be in the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes”

If the Cubs roll out a top four of Darvish, Hendricks, Quintana and Lester they might as well just tear it down.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 24, 2019, 06:10:45 pm
I'm thinking that there are probably other ways to improve the starting four than besides signing Cole.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 24, 2019, 06:16:12 pm
Like trading for Jason Vargas?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 24, 2019, 07:36:53 pm
From the little I have read about things he has said in the past, Ross seems to have a decent grasp of the nuts and bolts of in-game managing.

I hope so - I just don’t really see any evidence either way.  Absence of evidence is not proof of absence of course, but I think the jury is still very much out.

But hey - we know he can do the speech to the team, no problem.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 24, 2019, 07:38:57 pm
I'm thinking that there are probably other ways to improve the starting four than besides signing Cole.

Certainly possible  I don’t think the Cubs are going to be able to trade for an ace though. If Cole is out, Stausberg is likely out of the Cubs price range. Then you dealing with free agents like Zach Wheeler or trade possibilities. I really don’t want to trade any of the Cubs top minor leaguers for a non-ace. Trading from the core offense is just going to open up holes that will be filled with lesser players at a higher price.   So Cole is the easiest and best upgrade. Trading Happ for a pitcher is just rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.  Maybe there best hope is to get Lester and Quintana on a weighted ball program to get their fastballs back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 24, 2019, 07:43:01 pm
How high a ceiling he has is debatable, but they need to work Alzolay into the major league picture next season.  He's going to turn 25 before the season starts.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 24, 2019, 08:41:01 pm
With all of his injuries he’s probably best served as a multi-inning reliever next year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on October 24, 2019, 09:15:54 pm
That would be fine.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 24, 2019, 11:46:07 pm
If the Cubs roll out a top four of Darvish, Hendricks, Quintana and Lester they might as well just tear it down.

Chatwood will be the #1.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 25, 2019, 09:17:23 am
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
MLB arbitrator Mark Irvings heard the Kris Bryant grievance over last few days in NY; he’s expected to take months to rule. The union claim is the Cubs unfairly manipulated Bryant’s service time when they called him up after 12 days in minors in 2015. Boras, Theo both testified.


How could it possibly take months to rule on this grievance? This really makes it harder for the Cubs this offseason. If they were thinking of trading him, it's going to be difficult to get full value back if the other team knows they could lose half his service time.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 25, 2019, 09:36:28 am
It hard for me to see how the decision goes against the Cubs.  What they did was within the letter of the rules, and the injury to Olt gives them cover.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 25, 2019, 09:38:31 am
P2, a true Cub fan, actually remembers Olt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 25, 2019, 10:17:38 am
https://theathletic.com/1321397/2019/10/25/will-david-ross-manage-by-his-book-reading-the-tea-leaves-in-teammate/?source=dailyemail

Interesting article zipping back through Ross's book for insights. 

A couple that I found interesting: 
"“Joe doesn’t have a whole lot of rules,” Ross wrote. “I think that’s the one thing Joe has nailed and I think you will see other teams following suit. … He didn’t believe we needed to take batting practice every day. I believe batting practice is one of the most overrated things in baseball.”

"Ross has played for a handful of successful managers and he writes in the book that Atlanta manager Bobby Cox had similar philosophies as Maddon. Cox didn’t even have a set time for players to stretch. He expected his players knew how to take care of their bodies.  “Atlanta was the first team I played for where the front office didn’t tell its players how to act,” he wrote."

"Ross writes approvingly of Maddon’s veteran-focused philosophy, which left the clubhouse to the players and allowed them to “enjoy their jobs and strive for success.”

“Joe often used the word authentic when he described me and the 2016 Cubs,” Ross wrote. “He also knew that I didn’t bullshit people. I was straight up with everyone. I was blunt, and at times, a sledgehammer. Joe told me that quality would benefit me if I were to become a manager. But he also always tried to impart on me that ‘honesty without compassion can equal cruelty at times.’ He believed that if I became a manager I would need to lighten the message a bit on occasion.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 25, 2019, 10:32:31 am
Interesting that Ross seems very supportive of relaxed, no set times, practice-is-overrated perspective.  Yet in post-season interview, Theo seemed pretty unhappy with all the relaxed, everybody-come-at-your-own-time landscape, AND seemed concerned with guys not having improved.  Not sure I see a superficially obvious sync there.  I imagine the need to strike a good balance probably applies for every manager, though.  Probably the same for striking a balance between being too blunt and critical, and saying too much so that guys tend to tune you out, versus perhaps providing too little input and saying too little. 

Hopefully Ross will strike those balances really well. 

Winning sure helps on all of that stuff, though.  All kinds of things are fine when you're winning, that don't look so OK when you're losing.   

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 25, 2019, 10:45:35 am
Baseball is different from football and basketball, because baseball is such an individual sport.  The pitcher pitches alone; the hitter is all by himself at bat; pretty much the individual fielder catches or misses the ball, and throws straight or throws wild.  Very little of the scheming that O or D-coordinators can do in football, or the team-work involved in basketball both O and D. 

But, based on my recent fandoms, I'm optimistic that Ross will make a real difference!  I'm a Wisconsin boy originally, so NFL and NBA Packers and Bucks fan. 
*Last year, Bucks replaced the horrific Jason Kidd with the smart Mike Budenholzer, and EVERYTHING changed and got dramatically night-and-day better, without changing the core players.  (Lots of the support guys changed...)  Totally different vibe/energy, and total change in W-L.   
*This year, Packers replaced Mike McCarthy with young Matt LaFleur, and things have gotten dramatically night-and-day better, completely different vibe and energy around the team. 
*So I'm hoping I'm in a coaching-change groove, so that Ross will pick up the pattern and the Cubs will have a much better vibe and energy, and a much better W-L too!  :)

With the Bucks and Packers changes, change in coach was also accompanied by some changes in personnel.  Not necessarily of the biggest core names, though (Giannis, Middleton, Bledsoe didn't change for Bucks; Rodgers and Adams for Packers, although Matthews finally gone.....).  Hopefully HOyer and Theo will likewise make some effective changes in personnel that will pay off for the Cubs? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Chris27 on October 25, 2019, 11:05:06 am
Ross kinda sounds like Maddon 2.0 which isn't necessarily a bad thing but you'd figure the front office was looking for change.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 25, 2019, 11:51:58 am
https://theathletic.com/1321397/2019/10/25/will-david-ross-manage-by-his-book-reading-the-tea-leaves-in-teammate/?source=dailyemail

Interesting article zipping back through Ross's book for insights. 

A couple that I found interesting: 
"“Joe doesn’t have a whole lot of rules,” Ross wrote. “I think that’s the one thing Joe has nailed and I think you will see other teams following suit. … He didn’t believe we needed to take batting practice every day. I believe batting practice is one of the most overrated things in baseball.”

"Ross has played for a handful of successful managers and he writes in the book that Atlanta manager Bobby Cox had similar philosophies as Maddon. Cox didn’t even have a set time for players to stretch. He expected his players knew how to take care of their bodies.  “Atlanta was the first team I played for where the front office didn’t tell its players how to act,” he wrote."

"Ross writes approvingly of Maddon’s veteran-focused philosophy, which left the clubhouse to the players and allowed them to “enjoy their jobs and strive for success.”

“Joe often used the word authentic when he described me and the 2016 Cubs,” Ross wrote. “He also knew that I didn’t bullshit people. I was straight up with everyone. I was blunt, and at times, a sledgehammer. Joe told me that quality would benefit me if I were to become a manager. But he also always tried to impart on me that ‘honesty without compassion can equal cruelty at times.’ He believed that if I became a manager I would need to lighten the message a bit on occasion.”

Maybe there is a middle ground between no rules and BP and fielding practice every single day.  The Cubs just need to improve on what Joe, not reverse everything.  Maybe Ross just brings Joe with some tough love and a little more team activities.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 25, 2019, 12:19:33 pm
Maybe there is a middle ground ....  The Cubs just need to improve on what Joe, not reverse everything.  Maybe Ross just brings Joe with some tough love and a little more team activities.

Yup.  Of course I'm not Theo, who always seems to think his talent is great and it's about leadership untapping it.....  I suspect Joe-with a little more tough love and extra team-building activities, could do just fine...  Particularly with a more talented rotation, a more talented bullpen, and more talented hitters! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 25, 2019, 12:48:02 pm
Yup.  Of course I'm not Theo, who always seems to think his talent is great and it's about leadership untapping it.....  I suspect Joe-with a little more tough love and extra team-building activities, could do just fine...  Particularly with a more talented rotation, a more talented bullpen, and more talented hitters! 

Perhaps you missed the times Theo has owned up to believing too much in some of the young guys who were part of the 2016 championship?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 25, 2019, 12:49:10 pm
Clear evidence of real change for the Cubs.  Fire Maddon and hire his clone.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 25, 2019, 12:57:55 pm
Clear evidence of real change for the Cubs.  Fire Maddon and hire his clone.

So now you are channeling Jeff?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: ticohans on October 25, 2019, 01:19:56 pm
From a very distanced perspective, it seems to me that Ross is much more no-bullshit than Joe. "Sledgehammer" is probably never a word that would be used to describe Maddon, and the fault in Joe's temperament is likely being too nice.

From public comments (both from Ross and his contemporaries), it seems like that's not a problem for Ross, and that, for however much he buys into the idea that players are adults and don't need to be micro-managed, he was also very much an enforcer in the 2016 clubhouse.

That sounds pretty spot on for the kind of cultural change we need. In fact, trying to force wholesale cultural change through an organization can be *very* destructive. Upholding the low-pressure, respect-oriented culture while installing a leader whose natural instinct is to nip (sometimes forcefully) at the heels of guys who aren't keeping up their end of that arrangement sounds great to me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 25, 2019, 09:15:39 pm
Interesting.

Jordan Bastian
@MLBastian
After season, Theo cited individualized work/routines as an area that can be improved. Said it will be important to find time to work and assemble as a team.

Going through quotes from last game, Javy Baez had a similar sentiment when asked to compare ‘19 Cubs to past teams...

"We were still a unit as a team, but it was like everybody was respecting everybody's space more than just keeping getting better as a team and learning from each other. But it's something that we've got to make an adjustment."
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 28, 2019, 11:57:21 am
The Cubs just posted the David Ross press conference on Facebook.  Just listening to some bits and pieces of it, he seems to appreciate a lot of the criticism that his hiring his brought on.  When asked about his relationships with former teammates and the "Grandpa Rossy" nickname, he talked about how that was a little bit of a misnomer at times, like a lot of the conversations he'd have on the mound with Lester.  He pretty much said if he'd gotten mic'ed up for a lot of those conversations, they were pretty far from friendly a lot of the time. 


On being a puppet for the front office, Theo recalled an anecdote where he wasn't happy about how Ross was calling pitches for a rookie pitcher that had been called up and set up a time to talk to him about it.  He came in with his data and minor league reports about what worked for that pitcher in the minors and he was expecting Ross to just go along with it.  Instead Ross pushed back on him pretty hard about why he was calling things the way for that pitcher.

Have to admit, I think Ross sounded like a guy who's ready to be a manager.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 28, 2019, 02:53:57 pm
I think another telling part was when Theo was talking about Spring Training and the analytic guys came down with a bunch of numbers and they had trouble integrating it into something useful for the players and they thought Ross would be better at making it into useful stuff for the players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: DelMarFan on October 29, 2019, 10:04:00 am
I think it's a mistake to view the Ross hiring as simply because he was a guy they liked from the 2016 team.

He was on the 2016 team because they liked him as a future manager.  This has been in the works for a long time.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 29, 2019, 11:38:05 am
DMF, are the fires any danger to you and yours?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 29, 2019, 01:47:42 pm
We heard over and over again that Ross will hold Cub players "accountable".  What does that mean in practice?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on October 29, 2019, 01:50:31 pm
We heard over and over again that Ross will hold Cub players "accountable".  What does that mean in practice?
Or in games.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 29, 2019, 01:56:03 pm
It means he is a registered gun owner and knows how to use it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 29, 2019, 01:59:36 pm
"I know it's my turn to buy the beer, but you didn't run out that fly ball, so no stein for you!"
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 29, 2019, 05:26:19 pm
We heard over and over again that Ross will hold Cub players "accountable".  What does that mean in practice?

It means Ross is dutifully spouting the company line.  Right now it doesn't mean much else - we'll see in time if that remains the case.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 29, 2019, 05:47:11 pm
Ross already is in Deeg Non-Fave purgatory.

Unfortunately for Ross, it's a Life Sentence.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 29, 2019, 05:55:03 pm
Fox News weighing in quickly, as always.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on October 29, 2019, 05:58:08 pm
Fox News weighing in quickly, as always.

That belongs in the Politics, Religion thread.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: DelMarFan on October 29, 2019, 06:09:22 pm
Quote
DMF, are the fires any danger to you and yours?

Not that I know of, thanks.  I think the bad ones aren't in San Diego county, but I've been pretty busy lately, so I could be wrong.  I haven't seen or smelled smoke, though, and the Santa Ana conditions have definitely backed off.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 29, 2019, 06:52:00 pm
That belongs in the Politics, Religion thread.

Actually it belongs in the bizarro thread (if there were one), since I know you.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 29, 2019, 09:10:17 pm
We heard over and over again that Ross will hold Cub players "accountable".  What does that mean in practice?

I wonder the same thing.  What do you think, P2? 

I think it's probably lazy to just dismiss it as a meaningless leadership buzzword that Ross knows Theo wanted to hear, and that by saying it over and over and over again that it was going to help win himself the job. 

But what will that actually mean?  What difference will it make if any?   If it does make any difference, will it do more good than harm?  Beats me. 

Hard to know what kind of "accountability" players can be held to.  Like, are you going to bench Baez and Bryant and replace them with Bote and Hoerner?  If Rizzo does something lazy, are you going to bench him and go with Descalzo?  If Theo decides he's committed to Quintana and pays the $10 to bring him back, are you going to send him to the bullpen if he shakes off the catcher too often?   Just not sure what kind of professional consequences Ross can really apply. 

If it's going to make a positive impact, and I'm optimistic that it will, I'd assume it's more about professional respect?  I get the impression that Ross has been pretty OK with yelling at guys, sometimes in public, in a pretty straightforward way; or in speaking to them pretty directly.  "Accountability" might be mostly "calling to account".  Why did you do that?  What were you thinking?  You looked unprepared; why?  We've talked all spring about X, Y, and Z, and you did that?  Get your head in the game....  That's not the way we do things; get with the program....  I'm guess I'm just kind of imagining a lot more verbal accountability. Calling guys to account when they do things the wrong way or contrary to what they've been taught or coached. 

Guys tend to be pretty prideful and competitive, and internal respect and approval by the team could seem to be a pretty driving motivator, regardless of how many $$$ millions you've already made.  I'd guess that if a guy feels like a hard-driving manager is calling him to account unfairly, that can lead to a an angry clubhouse.  But if guys trust and know that what a hard-driving manager is saying is true, and is for the good of the player and the good of the team, I'd guess that wanting to please the manager and to earn the manager's trust and respect could be a great driving motivator. 

Even so, hard to guess how much impact that stuff would have on wins and losses.  Regardless of how hard-driving the manager might be, would that have improved Russell's ability to hit at all?  Will accountability do anything for  Happ, Almora, and Descalzo as hitters, or Bote as a fielder?  Can accountability in any way make Lester's stuff any better, or Quintana's fastball any faster, or Kimbrel's breaking ball any more likely to get near the strikezone?  Will accountability make our baserunners any less slow?  I'm just not sure what impact lots of accountability and leadership input will have on pitching good pitches, hitting good pitches, or playing good defense?

Will be fun to see.  I'm hopeful that it makes a lot of favorable difference.  Combined with adding some effective players; and having some existing players be much more effective. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 30, 2019, 05:32:47 am
I've been preaching it and preaching it, but I wish the Cubs would make a play for John Farrell.  He would have been a good manager candidate, but he'd be great as Ross' bench coach.  Managerial experience with success at the highest level, knows Ross, ties to the organization already.  Make it happen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 30, 2019, 07:42:53 am
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-managers-perspective-fredi-gonzalez-on-embracing-change/

Freddie Gonzalez is somebody to consider too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 30, 2019, 10:46:06 am
In this article, Dempster provides his description of accountibility:

"Ross and Dempster were part of a group of free agents that former Boston general manager Ben Cherington targeted after the failed Bobby Valentine experiment in 2012. The Red Sox signed those veteran players for their on-field skills as well as their intangibles, hoping they would create a better work environment at Fenway Park and complement stars like David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Jon Lester. Within one year, the Red Sox completed a worst-to-first turnaround, going from 93 losses to 97 wins.

“We had an understanding of the responsibilities,” Dempster said. “We made a conscious effort to really pull together and make sure that we were holding each other accountable. Everybody talks about that. What does that mean? ‘Hold each other accountable. Accountability.’ It’s things like running the ball out. It’s things like being on time. It’s things like paying attention to what’s given to you and then applying that. Instead of somebody gives you information: ‘This is what we’re doing.’ And then you just jump ship.

“There’s a standard that you’re held to, in bad times, but also in good times. When you’re going well, it can’t just be like, ‘Well, I’m not going to stretch today, I’m going good.’ Cool. And then eventually you’re not and you’re playing catch-up and having those moments. (David) was always really, really good about that, melding with players on an individual basis and connecting with them, but also collectively as a group. That’s hard to find.”"

https://theathletic.com/1334852/2019/10/30/ryan-dempster-knows-cubs-players-shouldnt-mistake-david-ross-kindness-for-weakness/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 30, 2019, 04:24:42 pm
Dempster's comments are helpful.  Interesting to see some specifics:
1.  Stretching
2.  Running the ball out
3.  Being on time
4.  "paying attention to what’s given to you and then applying that. Instead of somebody gives you information: ‘This is what we’re doing.’ And then you just jump ship."

Of those, I'd guess that running the ball out is the easiest to notice and police..., and the least W-L impactful.  I don't imagine we lost any games due to guys being late.  Stretching, maybe there were guys whose performance suffered for injury-reasons, and perhaps some of those might have been avoided with better stretching?  Maybe Kimbrel and Strop would be healthier and better with diligent stretching? 

I'm guessing #4 might be more of a thing, though?  The analytics and stuff have ideas about how Montgomery and Edwards could elevate their stuff, but they didn't implement?  Maybe ideas for Almora and Russell to implement, but they didn't stick with them long enough to actually have helpful adjustments click?  Beats me. 

I'm just not sure whether accountability has about as much impact as the 1st base coach or your #2 lefty reliever...  Or whether it might indirectly have a hugely favorable impact.  Beats me. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 30, 2019, 05:15:44 pm
Craig, things like being on time and stretching may not win games, but they may win divisions because it's a measure of the players' commitment and resolve to be the best.  It's what makes the difference in being in being a professional.

JMO
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on October 30, 2019, 06:24:23 pm
Do professional athletes need to be told they need to stretch and be on time? what kinda clubhouse was HOFer Maddon running?

If i dared to show up late to work, i wouldnt hear the end of it, how do players that won the WS need to be told that?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 30, 2019, 06:27:14 pm
The baseball season is an unbelievable grind.  What's needed is an atmosphere that keeps things fresh and maintains player enthusiasm even during the dog days.  The fun derives from positive relationships in the clubhouse and team success. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on October 30, 2019, 06:49:31 pm
We heard over and over again that Ross will hold Cub players "accountable".  What does that mean in practice?

Very little.  However, the same applies to every manager in baseball.  How do you hold someone guaranteed to make 20 million per year for the next 5 years (or anything similar) accountable?  With the exception of a few fringe players, a manager has little to no ability to hold anyone "accountable".
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on October 30, 2019, 06:53:34 pm
The baseball season is an unbelievable grind.  What's needed is an atmosphere that keeps things fresh and maintains player enthusiasm even during the dog days.  The fun derives from positive relationships in the clubhouse and team success. 

That sounds like a description of the guy that the Cubs just decided not to rehire.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on October 30, 2019, 06:57:43 pm
Perhaps what's needed are fresh approaches to accomplish the same thing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 31, 2019, 01:05:27 pm
Sharma on what the Cubs expect from Ross that they believed could not be provided by Maddon.  With some new comments from Ross.


https://theathletic.com/1337190/2019/10/31/new-cubs-manager-david-ross-was-brought-in-to-bring-the-clubhouse-together-will-it-work/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on October 31, 2019, 01:31:49 pm
Jon Heyman  @JonHeyman  2h2 hours ago
Yu Darvish had a big 2nd half (0.81 WHIP, 2.76 ERA, .199 BAA) and 229 Ks fir year, but he will not opt out of his deal. Has $81M, 4 years to go. He likes Chicago and had previously suggested his plans to stay.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 31, 2019, 01:58:58 pm
Ben Zobrist, the 2 time World Series champion who missed most of 2019 while going through divorce, is talking about playing again in 2020, though it’s not definitive. Versatile player is a Maddon favorite.--Heyman

Seeing that he's going through a divorce I would strongly suggest he keep making money.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 31, 2019, 02:15:24 pm
I don't think they are getting divorced unless it just changed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on October 31, 2019, 02:18:18 pm
Levine says Riggleman,Farrell,and Fredi Gonzalez are candidates to be Ross's bench coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 31, 2019, 03:05:55 pm
That’d be quite the homecoming for Riggleman to come back.

Has Riggleman been fired yet by the way?!?!?!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: DelMarFan on October 31, 2019, 03:17:29 pm
I don't think it was SailorGirl who liked Riggleman from behind.  That was Karen, maybe?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 31, 2019, 04:23:31 pm
Most people liked seeing Riggleman from behind when he left.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on October 31, 2019, 04:34:22 pm
I don't think it was SailorGirl who liked Riggleman from behind.  That was Karen, maybe?

Yes, Karen!  :)  Wow, that's a lifetime ago, huh? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on October 31, 2019, 05:13:15 pm
Karen and her husband, Fergie...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 31, 2019, 05:58:04 pm
Farrell, Farrell, Farrell.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 31, 2019, 06:04:28 pm
Farrell, Farrell, Farrell.

Why are you so excited by Farrell?  I ask because I'm just not that familiar with him.  He does have a connection with the Cubs, through his son of course. I do know that he is an alumnus and former coach for Oklahoma State, my alma mater. But I assume your enthusiasm is based on how he performed as a manager for the Blue Jays and Red Sox.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on October 31, 2019, 06:09:24 pm
He would be a good manager when we fire Ross at the end of the season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on October 31, 2019, 07:21:00 pm
Why are you so excited by Farrell?  I ask because I'm just not that familiar with him.  He does have a connection with the Cubs, through his son of course. I do know that he is an alumnus and former coach for Oklahoma State, my alma mater. But I assume your enthusiasm is based on how he performed as a manager for the Blue Jays and Red Sox.

I believe he’s strong in the areas where Ross most needs help. Very good game manager and tough when he needs to be.  Good with the bullpen.  And knows Ross well enough to be totally comfortable disagreeing with him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on October 31, 2019, 07:42:09 pm
Also, the two other options are pretty terrible.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on October 31, 2019, 08:35:53 pm
I believe he’s strong in the areas where Ross most needs help. Very good game manager and tough when he needs to be.  Good with the bullpen.  And knows Ross well enough to be totally comfortable disagreeing with him.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on October 31, 2019, 11:32:56 pm
Buss and Butterfield are going to the Angels.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 31, 2019, 11:54:33 pm
Riggleman, Riggleman, Riggleman
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on October 31, 2019, 11:55:28 pm
I'm all in on Riggleman.   This board has been missing "Has Rigglemortis been fired yet?" posts for way too long, and we need to get back to that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 01, 2019, 12:17:51 am
Giving up on the season already, huh?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: dev on November 01, 2019, 10:49:23 am
I'm all in on Riggleman.   This board has been missing "Has Rigglemortis been fired yet?" posts for way too long, and we need to get back to that.
He should be a bench coach in Seattle.  Free car washes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 01, 2019, 11:30:03 am
Bruce Levine
@MLBBruceLevine
Sources indicate two members of Joe Maddon’s  Cub staff will follow him to the Angels . Brian Butterfield will coach  third base . Cubs Strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss will be in the Quality assurance role for Anaheim.The popular  Buss was with Cubs since 2001.

Cubs Prospects - Bryan Smith
I have heard the Cubs intend to modernize and become more data driven in their strength and conditioning programs, as beloved Tim Buss heads to follow Joe Maddon to Los Angeles (as
@MLBBruceLevine
 reported).

Cubs Prospects - Bryan Smith
@cubprospects
This modernization will occur system wide, as I expect the Cubs to change their processes in strength development on the minor league side, too. Think of this like what they’re doing with pitching and hitting infrastructures.


Mark Gonzales
Venerable strength/conditioning coach Tim Buss leaves Cubs for Angels, about 4 months after Mark O’Neal, Director of Medical Services, departs for U of Arkansas men’s hoops. More changes in Cubs medical/training staff, along with 3B coach Brian Butterfield to Angels.


I think the changes inside that we aren't going to get to see are going to be huge.  I was reading about Farrell when he got fired by the Red Sox.  Butterfield was involved with making the defensive shifts and Butterfield did it all with video work.  When Cora came he he turned it over to the analytics department and they game players wristbands and cards for their shifting. 

The whole wrist band thing had me thinking as well about when Ross caught he wore one.  Was Contreras wearing one this year?  I honestly don't remember.  I assume Butterfield was doing the defensive shift work with the Cubs and still using video.  That might explain the Cubs lack of shifting.  I really think that if you aren't into advanced stats and being able to get them into a useful presentation for the players the Cubs won't have any use for you.

Follow Justin Stone on Twitter if you are interested in what the Cubs are going to be doing with S&C.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: DelMarFan on November 01, 2019, 02:31:47 pm
Quote
This board has been missing "Has Rigglemortis been fired yet?"

Curt's version is tongue-in-cheek.  We need the return of BEERFAN for the real deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on November 01, 2019, 04:14:38 pm
Giving up on the season already, huh?

Nah, I'm just on a Rigglemoron nostalgia trip with this.  I think the nostalgia/entertainment value of having Riggleman back with the inevitable "Has Riggleman been fired yet?" posts trumps everything else. 

By the way, does a bench coach really make that much of a difference, even for an inexperienced guy like Ross?  I know bench coaches have been in vogue since the Don Zimmer days with the Yankees, but in the grand scheme of things, is the difference between a former mediocre/bad manager like Riggleman vs. a fairly better former manager in Farrell really that big of a deal? 

I'd also add that it doesn't seem like anyone's been running all over themselves trying to hire Farrell as a manager ever since he left Boston, so even if he is the best candidate for the job, is having someone as bench coach that nobody seems particularly interested in hiring as a manager really that important?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 01, 2019, 04:35:31 pm
By the way, does a bench coach really make that much of a difference, even for an inexperienced guy like Ross?  I know bench coaches have been in vogue since the Don Zimmer days with the Yankees, but in the grand scheme of things, is the difference between a former mediocre/bad manager like Riggleman vs. a fairly better former manager in Farrell really that big of a deal? 

https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2019/3/31/18285562/mlb-life-cleveland-indians-bench-coach

It is important, but it is more important to get the right guy.  Josh Bard was named Aaron Boone's bench coach and he had only been the Dodgers bullpen coach.  Alex Cora went with Ron Roenicke.  It isn't that you have to go with an experienced manager for a rookie coach.  Maybe the Cubs should be going after Hank White.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 01, 2019, 05:18:25 pm
That probably wouldnt be a bad idea.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 01, 2019, 05:36:35 pm
Whoever Cubs pick as bench coach, it’s important that they pick a guy who can do a better job of restraining David Ross when he goes berserk

Chip Hale, Nats bench coach, did a terrible job trying to restrain Davey Martinez in World Series Game 6—outmuscled badly by Martinez.

My bench coach pick is Trent Williams, All-Pro left tackle, currently in a bitter dispute with the Washington NFL team, who recently failed his physical because his helmet would not fit without pain due to recent surgery. Williams should be okay with a baseball cap and will likely have Ross on the ground within seconds.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 01, 2019, 05:58:48 pm
I'd go find Farnsworth.  Excellent form tackler.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Chris27 on November 01, 2019, 06:30:04 pm
Quote
The move didn't blindside Maddon, however. In a recent interview, he noted that it was obvious he wouldn't be retained, but also that he didn't want to return, anyhow.

"When it got down to the last couple days it was really obvious to both sides," Maddon said to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. "I didn't want to be back either. It was more of a bilateral than a unilateral decision.''

...


"I do want to play them in a World Series, because it would mean both sides are successful," Maddon said to Topkin. "And I want us to win the last game, which I think is only appropriate. … I love David, I think he's going to do a great job actually, and I love a lot of the players there. I've got more thought- provoking, tear-provoking outreach from some (Cubs players) at the end of this season than I've ever gotten before.''


https://sports.yahoo.com/joe-maddon-end-cubs-tenure-202027175.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 01, 2019, 06:36:41 pm
Bastian predicts Castellanos could come back to the Cubs.  He's a tough guy to figure out - a productive hitter to be sure, but I still say there's no fit unless Schwarber is traded (which isn't sounding that likely at the moment).  Castellanos and Schwarber on the same roster just makes no sense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 01, 2019, 06:38:44 pm
Nobody—outside the organization— has much of a clue how well the bench coach is performing.

If someone asked your opinion late in the 2019 season about Mark Loretta’s performance as bench coach, on what would you base an opinion?

So, seems like a pointless exercise now to advocate for one guy over another. Cubs will pick someone who’s a fit with Ross and we’ll all have probably no idea how it’s working out until the guy is extended or fired or the like.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: DelMarFan on November 01, 2019, 06:43:27 pm
A lively discussion over the importance of the new bench coach.  Must be the beginning of the off-season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 01, 2019, 07:10:24 pm
A lively discussion over the importance of the new bench coach.  Must be the beginning of the off-season.

Things will pick up on Monday

Quote
The first big clock strike comes on Monday, November 4, which now yields a trio of deadlines: options/opt-out decisions are due, qualifying offer decisions are due, and free agents can sign with new teams.

https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2019/10/31/monday-november-4-is-now-set-as-the-first-big-day-of-the-offseason/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 01, 2019, 07:56:04 pm
Ross should name himself bench coach,  so after a  couple years of listening to himself he could be a better manager.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 01, 2019, 09:55:30 pm
Karen and her husband, Fergie...

Karen and Fergie have been adequately replaced by Otto.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Chris27 on November 01, 2019, 11:09:52 pm
Karen and Fergie have been adequately replaced by Otto.

Were Karen and Fergie nuttier than trail mix too?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 01, 2019, 11:19:21 pm
Hmmm.  What about this guy for 2B?  Can you believe he's only 29?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 02, 2019, 08:02:14 am
Hmmm.  What about this guy for 2B?  Can you believe he's only 29?

????
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on November 02, 2019, 08:03:07 am
Starlin Castro, I presume.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 02, 2019, 06:24:16 pm
Quintana option picked up, Holland declined. No surprises there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 02, 2019, 06:45:52 pm
Quintana option picked up, Holland declined. No surprises there.

Quintana's team option was $10.5MM.  Holland had a 500K buyout.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 02, 2019, 07:48:25 pm
I hope I'm terribly wrong, and that Cubs' decision-makers know best.

But just to put it on record, I'm going to say I'm disappointed by that decision, and think it was unwise. (If during the season I regret committing $10 to Q, while leaving other aspects of the team un-addressed for $$$ reasons, it won't just be recentism then.)  The Cubs have a limited supply of discretionary budget to invest; burning the first $10 on 4.68-ERA Q, with his >10-hits-per-9IP stuff isn't the best investment.  That $10M would be better reallocated in other directions, such as perhaps:
1.  Good relief pitchers
2.  One good rotation pitcher
3.  Lineup help.  (Perhaps Rendon; perhaps Castellanos, Schwarber notwithstanding; or something/somebody else.) 

Q will be "only" 31, but he's pitched 1785 innings, and I think well-worn arm is in the decline-phase.  I don't expect his fastball/curveball stuff or velocity will get back to his White Sox prime. *If* the Cubs analytics/coaching/pitch-lab had a solution, I think they'd not have waited until year 4 to discover or implement it. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 02, 2019, 08:23:26 pm
Craig, I took it another way.  Now that his salary is set, he is more tradeable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 02, 2019, 08:58:03 pm
Quintana was better than his ERA showed this year. He's still an average-ish starter who can pitch 170+ innings. In the current environment, 1 year, $10 million is still a bargain. Cubs will have no problem trading him and getting something decent in return if they want to move on.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 02, 2019, 09:10:40 pm
OK, put me on the pro-trade-Q wagon!  :):) 

br, I agree he still has upside to be an average-ish guy.  But the Cubs were already a nice average-ish 8th-place team.  The budget probably had a handful of ten-millions to spend.  If we burn those signing average-ish guys, how does the team elevate above average-ish? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 02, 2019, 09:34:06 pm
I think it's probably more likely than not that Quintana is traded. So I think they'll probably get that $10 million back.

I'm not sure they're going to find a better way to spend that money, though. They're not going to be in the Cole, Rendon, or Strasburg markets. I guess their best bet is to go try to hit on a buy low guy...maybe Michael Pineda coming off the PED suspension?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 02, 2019, 11:02:48 pm
Quintana was better than his ERA showed this year. He's still an average-ish starter who can pitch 170+ innings. In the current environment, 1 year, $10 million is still a bargain. Cubs will have no problem trading him and getting something decent in return if they want to move on.

I agree.  The Cubs are not going to get a better pitcher than Quintana for 10 million dollars.  Like many others on the board, I hope that they trade him, and fill his position with someone else.  But in my opinion, it would have been foolish refuse to exercise his option.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 02, 2019, 11:48:55 pm
I think you guys overrate the trade value of a $10.5-million, might-hopefully-be-average guy, with below-average stuff who is already overachieving and getting by primarily on grit and veteran savvy. 

*Maybe* somebody will take that off our hands and we'll still unload that salary burden; but I don't think that's going to be perceived as such a valuable contract that teams are going to be offering meaningful talent value in order to take on that salary. 

Dave, there is no rule that says they have to buy their rotation starter for $10.  They could sign a cheaper guy with more upside; or they could buy a guy with similarly limited upside but pay less for it.  Or, they could have combined that $10 and added other discretionary dollars and gone after somebody more expensive than $10 because the guy is talented enough to be worth >$10.   

It's not like $10.5 is the going rate for every might-be-average-if-things-work-out-well #5/#4 starter; plenty are cheaper. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 03, 2019, 12:16:30 am
It's not like $10.5 is the going rate for every might-be-average-if-things-work-out-well #5/#4 starter; plenty are cheaper. 

Quintana is a likely-average-maybe-better-than-that #4/#3 starter who eats a lot of innings. He's better than you're giving him credit for.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on November 03, 2019, 12:19:58 am
Quintana is worth $10.5 million.  He may not be worth Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, but he's worth $10.5 million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 03, 2019, 04:04:50 am
Quintana is worth $10.5 million.  He may not be worth Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, but he's worth $10.5 million.
I think we're beyond the "may" and are in the "is was" territory.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 03, 2019, 04:05:06 am
I’m with Craig here. Q is tradeable, but you’re not going to get anything decent back.  10.5 million is right at the level where he’s not a straight salary dump but there’s no meaningful surplus value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 03, 2019, 06:10:30 am
Just for reference Matt Harvey signed a 1/$11 million contract last year. Quintana has some surplus value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 03, 2019, 07:35:21 am
And remember what Chatwood cost, and the results he brought.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 03, 2019, 08:21:05 am
Just out of curiosity, is it possible to find out the record of the team when a particular pitcher starts?  It would be helpful to know the team's record for the various starting pitchers, such as Quintana.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on November 03, 2019, 08:29:45 am
Yes, it's possible.

Alzolay 0-2
Chatwood 4-1
Darvish 13-18
Hamels 16-11
Hendricks 15-15
Holland 0-1
Lester 17-14
Mills 2-2
Quintana 17-14
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 03, 2019, 11:55:37 am
Thanks, Jeff.  Can you tell me where and how you found it?

But it does look as if Quintana's record could be considered to be anti-awful, especially for a fifth starter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on November 03, 2019, 12:07:59 pm
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHC/2019-pitching.shtml

Scroll down to the section entitled "Team Starting Pitching".  Then look at the columns entitled "Wtm" and "Ltm".
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 03, 2019, 12:20:07 pm
Yes, it's possible.

Alzolay 0-2
Chatwood 4-1
Darvish 13-18
Hamels 16-11
Hendricks 15-15
Holland 0-1
Lester 17-14
Mills 2-2
Quintana 17-14
Thanks, Jeff.  Can you tell me where and how you found it?

But it does look as if Quintana's record could be considered to be anti-awful, especially for a fifth starter.
Statistics like this are only partially helpful.  How often did Hendricks pitch against the other team's #1?  If often, his 18 wins is impressive, if hardly ever, not so much.  If X pitches 10X against Cole, Verlander, and Strasberg is 2 and 7 that bad?  You get the idea.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 03, 2019, 12:32:45 pm
Statistics like this are only partially helpful.  How often did Hendricks pitch against the other team's #1?  If often, his 18 wins is impressive, if hardly ever, not so much.  If X pitches 10X against Cole, Verlander, and Strasberg is 2 and 7 that bad?  You get the idea.

I certainly get the idea.

However, I am not aware of any single stat that is more than partially helpful. 

And as a practical matter, after the first week of the season, and certainly after the first rain out, it is very difficult for any manager to match his best pitcher against other teams best pitcher.  Rotations seldom match up that perfectly, and very few managers would move back his ace more than perhaps a single game, and certainly would not move him up to three days rest to achieve such a match.

But even if teams were to achieve a perfect match, it still seems helpful to know if your # 5 starter is performing better or worse than the rest of the league's # 5 starter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 03, 2019, 01:32:16 pm
Yes, we've discussed that before.  I was thinking of the poor schmuck who was unlucky enough to get matched up with every HOF-destined pitcher in the league.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 03, 2019, 03:18:27 pm
Jesse Rogers  @ESPNChiCubs  33m33 minutes ago
Cubs news: In the least surprising move of the off-season, a league source indicates the Cubs have picked up Anthony Rizzo's option for 2020 at $16.5 million. Team should announce it later today.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 03, 2019, 03:20:16 pm
Shocker
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: dev on November 03, 2019, 07:29:53 pm
Too bd teh Cubs couldn't drop Q and Hamels and pay Strasburg that money.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 03, 2019, 07:53:01 pm
Rizzo won the gold glove.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 03, 2019, 09:54:42 pm
I appreciate the level of loyalty and faith the board has in Quintana.  I don't know that much and only watched a fraction of the games.  So I'm glad to defer to the greater wisdom of you smarter and better informed scouts and analysts. 

I'm sure I'm victim of the games I watched.  1.  I tended to see a lot of the games where Q pitched badly.  2.  And I'm totally not a scout; it often seemed to me that his stuff looked very pedestrian.  It often seemed that he got by on a lot of veteran savvy not by excellent stuff, and by depending on hitters chasing bad curveballs.  3.  I'm also sure that I'm just a dumb fan, and it qualitatively seemed like guys were whacking hard contact all the time; fangraphs or whomever probably have a much better quantification of how much hard contact he allowed, and recorded all the games.  4.  Plus I'm certainly impacted by recentism.  He was 11+ ERA in his last 5 games down the stretch, which sticks in my brain.  He was 5.25 ERA over the last four months.  Of the last 4 months, only one had a monthly ERA <5 (August; June, July, and September were all 5+).  So I'm a little nervous that his last four months are more representative of the recent and future Q than the first two months, or than his White Sox glory years. 

Fangraphs and some of the FIPs, which should be more predictive than ERA, don't show his season to have been as bad as his ERA reflects.  So I get the concept that he was kind of a victim of four months of bad luck, and could return toward his mean. 

I also get that I'm just a dumb fan, and haven't done the analytical or scouting eval on Q that many of you probably have, and are better qualified to do; and that I certainly haven't put in the time or analysis that the Cubs have. 

Maybe they know he ended the season pitching heroically hurt?  He posted a 2.3 WHIP, giving up 37 hits and 27 runs in 18 innings while average 3 innings per five September stretch-run starts.  Maybe they know there was a reason, and they love the heroic, gritty willingness to pitch hurt, even if doing so caused him to get shelled; but they figure Q will come back healthy, with all the grit and heroic veteran accountability but without the performance-compromising injury? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 03, 2019, 10:05:35 pm
Yes, we've discussed that before.  I was thinking of the poor schmuck who was unlucky enough to get matched up with every HOF-destined pitcher in the league.

The odds against that are astronomical.  But even if it should happen, no decision maker should rely on ANY stat without investigation of it's background circumstances.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 03, 2019, 10:18:23 pm
Quintana had a really good stretch of nine consecutive starts beginning in late June... that ended when the Nats came to Chicago in late August and knocked around the Cubs in a  3-games series. Quintana had 7 BB and 57 Ks in that stretch with a 25.9 K-rate and went 7-0 and 2.96 ERA. My recollection is that he was pitching effectively up in the zone at times (kind of like what Hendricks has learned to do) and using his change-up very effectively.

Also had a good start against the Brewers after Nats game——but then crashed and burned in September.

A good off-season homework assignment for Cubs analytical staff (and Quintana) is to figure out what the heck he was doing in that  strong stretch and what the heck happened thereafter. Two different guys.

Think his contract is still a good deal and Cubs need him to be more like that good Quintana we saw in that stretch—-and for more than a portion of the season. Think he has a chance to do that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 03, 2019, 10:47:56 pm
The "7 BB and 57 Ks in that stretch" included a 5.56 July with 6 walks in 4 July starts. 

Every pitcher has his ups and downs.  Obviously the hope is that he can better lock into the ups and minimize the downs.  Certainly health can be a factor there.  And hopefully pitch lab and analytics and stuff will figure something out better.  They've had three years of analytics to work on it; hopefully the next solution will work. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 03, 2019, 11:26:07 pm
Don’t second-guess yourself, Craig, the picture you saw is the accurate one.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 04, 2019, 07:50:32 am
First surprise of the cycle: Cubs decline Graveman’s option.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 04, 2019, 08:38:21 am
I think that makes it less likely that Quintana gets moved and it means the Cubs will remain a majority finesse/pitch to contact rotation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 04, 2019, 09:00:37 am
Yes.  I wonder if that doesn't also hint that they'll use another chunk of their limited discretionary budget to sign another veteran rotation guy?  (Maybe Hamels!) 

I'd envisioned committing little or no new discretionary budget on 5th starter, and letting Chatwood, Graveman, Alzolay, Abbott, Mills, Rae etc. compete for that.  While combining Q + Hamels $10 + $20 onto a single more-expensive-but-better-than-Q starter.  Basically focus the $30 budget on a single guy. 

But having re-committed to Q, and now clearing out Graveman from the "competition" group, that probably reflects a plan to again split the discretionary rotation dollars. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 04, 2019, 09:03:34 am
I think that makes it less likely that Quintana gets moved and it means the Cubs will remain a majority finesse/pitch to contact rotation.
  And the Cubs will remain a third or fourth place team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 04, 2019, 09:06:36 am
Quintana had a really good stretch of nine consecutive starts beginning in late June... that ended when the Nats came to Chicago in late August and knocked around the Cubs in a  3-games series. Quintana had 7 BB and 57 Ks in that stretch with a 25.9 K-rate and went 7-0 and 2.96 ERA. My recollection is that he was pitching effectively up in the zone at times (kind of like what Hendricks has learned to do) and using his change-up very effectively.

Also had a good start against the Brewers after Nats game——but then crashed and burned in September.

A good off-season homework assignment for Cubs analytical staff (and Quintana) is to figure out what the heck he was doing in that  strong stretch and what the heck happened thereafter. Two different guys.

Think his contract is still a good deal and Cubs need him to be more like that good Quintana we saw in that stretch—-and for more than a portion of the season. Think he has a chance to do that.

During that strong stretch Sharma had an article in TheAthletic that discussed what had made a difference in his performance.  The explanation involved specific mechanical adjustments, suggested by Hottovy, with an emphasis on executing his changeup more effectively.  Here is an excerpt.

On May 21, Quintana threw six shutout frames against the Philadelphia Phillies and lowered his ERA to 3.30. But he struggled mightily over his next seven starts, posting a 5.56 ERA while failing to complete five frames three times. It culminated in 4 1/3 dreadful innings against the New York Mets in which he gave up nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits, including three home runs. It was then that he and pitching coach Tommy Hottovy started working on some changes.

“We’re always looking at checkpoints with him mechanically,” Hottovy said. “Things we’ve talked about in the past. Like keeping his toe pointed down, staying over the rubber, all those things. Part of that is, too, there are times in the year where you feel like you’re a little fatigued. You get a lot of innings and your extension starts to get down. So we really focused on him getting back into a good long-toss routine where he’s getting his extension right on time. We’re also doing drills where you’re really focused on getting extension off the mound and seeing that release point where you want it.”

When pitchers are fatigued, they get out of their mechanics. They can also try to manufacture the natural action of a pitcher getting proper extension by putting more emphasis in their arm action when it’s behind their head, which leads to them shortening up. That leads to pitches that don’t move like they’re supposed to, and for Quintana, it means his fastball and changeup don’t have the proper velocity gap.

https://theathletic.com/1076460/?source=player


Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 04, 2019, 10:24:40 am
Jesse Rogers  @ESPNChiCubs  36s36 seconds ago
Cubs news. Source indicates the team has declined the option they held on reliever David Phelps. It would have paid him $5 million next season. He's a free agent
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 04, 2019, 10:36:30 am
Cubs exercise Rizzo's $16.5M option, decline Morrow, Barnett

http://www.espn.com/espn/wire?section=mlb&id=28003085
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 04, 2019, 10:42:13 am
Ron, what do you take from that?  Or maybe, what's wrong with the following take?
1.  Q, as with most pitchers, needs to have mechanics relatively optimized.  If his mechanics are off, things go wrong.  Location, deception, spin, movement, velocity, velocity-gap, all of those things deteriorate when mechanics aren't optimal.
2.  Hottovy and Q are well aware, and know the checkpoints.  Have for some time.
3.  Knowing and implementing aren't the same.
4.  Implementing is more difficult when fatigued.
5.  The mechanical understanding remained in H and Q's knowledge bank entering September, and were already there in April.  He just wasn't able to implement during his first half slump or his September disaster.

Sounds like H and Q have a good understanding.  When Q's locked into optimal, he's solid.  But no pitcher stays locked, and he's drifted into and out of optimal, perhaps particularly when fatigued.  His stuff doesn't allow him great margin for sub-optimal.  Hottovy knew the check points during the first half slump, during the strong August run, and during the disastrous September.  A dramatic new breakthrough insight is unlikely in year 4 with Cubs and 1700 pro innings in. So probably his upcoming season will hinge less on dramatic new analytics insights, and more on the ability to more consistently implement checkpoints he's been aware of for years.  Most likely he'll be a kind of similar guy, drifting in and out of optimal. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 04, 2019, 10:52:31 am
Ron, what do you take from that?  Or maybe, what's wrong with the following take?
1.  Q, as with most pitchers, needs to have mechanics relatively optimized.  If his mechanics are off, things go wrong.  Location, deception, spin, movement, velocity, velocity-gap, all of those things deteriorate when mechanics aren't optimal.
2.  Hottovy and Q are well aware, and know the checkpoints.  Have for some time.
3.  Knowing and implementing aren't the same.
4.  Implementing is more difficult when fatigued.
5.  The mechanical understanding remained in H and Q's knowledge bank entering September, and were already there in April.  He just wasn't able to implement during his first half slump or his September disaster.

Sounds like H and Q have a good understanding.  When Q's locked into optimal, he's solid.  But no pitcher stays locked, and he's drifted into and out of optimal, perhaps particularly when fatigued.  His stuff doesn't allow him great margin for sub-optimal.  Hottovy knew the check points during the first half slump, during the strong August run, and during the disastrous September.  A dramatic new breakthrough insight is unlikely in year 4 with Cubs and 1700 pro innings in. So probably his upcoming season will hinge less on dramatic new analytics insights, and more on the ability to more consistently implement checkpoints he's been aware of for years.  Most likely he'll be a kind of similar guy, drifting in and out of optimal. 


Seems about right to me. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 04, 2019, 11:03:23 am

Jesse Rogers
@ESPNChiCubs

So Cubs are done with their decisions on players with options for 2020. Rizzo and Quintana get picked up. Holland, Phelps, Graveman, Barnette and Morrow were declined.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 04, 2019, 11:44:14 am

...But having re-committed to Q, and now clearing out Graveman from the "competition" group, that probably reflects a plan to again split the discretionary rotation dollars.

Cubs have not “cleared out” Graveman—-at least not yet. He’s now arb eligible.

Maybe they already have an agreement in place for less than the $3 option, or maybe Cubs are willing to take their chances in the arb process, or maybe Cubs will non-tender Graveman. Remains to be seen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on November 04, 2019, 12:12:57 pm
I guess the Cubs didn't totally like what they saw during Graveman's rehab? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 04, 2019, 12:15:01 pm
Cubs have not “cleared out” Graveman—-at least not yet. He’s now arb eligible.

Maybe they already have an agreement in place for less than the $3 option, or maybe Cubs are willing to take their chances in the arb process, or maybe Cubs will non-tender Graveman. Remains to be seen.

Part of his contract was that if the Cubs declined his option he becomes a free agent. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 04, 2019, 12:33:52 pm
Okay, thanks. Agreed to non-tender him if declined option.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 04, 2019, 12:38:12 pm
For Athletic subscribers, Jon Greenberg has a really good piece up there about David Ross—-mostly former teammates around baseball talking about him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on November 04, 2019, 02:04:26 pm
MLB Now just did a roundtable discussion on FA players who could end up re-signing with their '19 clubs...

When Castellanos was brought up, Rosenthal made it a point to mention that the Cubs were looking to get edgier, and that Castellanos was a player who certainly had some edge to him.

I was not aware of this. I can understand him not wanting to take that role on the '19 club, being the new guy and all...but a multi year deal might give him the "right" to be a voice in the clubhouse.

If he is indeed known as a fiery player, I want him re-signed even more than before...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 04, 2019, 03:14:01 pm
Jordan Bastian
@MLBastian
Per a source, the Cubs will add RHP Colin Rea to the 40-man roster today.

Rea went 14-4, 3.95 ERA in 148 IP for Triple-A Iowa last season. Was surprised he wasn't added at some point as a callup last year. Missed 2017 after TJ surgery.

Fangraphs has Rea with 2 minor league options left.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 04, 2019, 03:37:53 pm
RHP Allen Webster has been assigned outright to the Triple-A Iowa roster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 04, 2019, 04:24:30 pm
We do need to try to keep Castellanos if at all possible and you couldnt get rid of Heyward if Lily Thai came with him so that's why I think we trade Schwarber especially since his value should be at an all time high.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 04, 2019, 04:39:28 pm
Jordan Bastian  @MLBastian  14m14 minutes ago
Source: Cubs did not make a qualifying offer (one year, $17.8M) to Cole Hamels. There will be no compensatory Draft pick linked to his signing elsewhere.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 04, 2019, 05:31:46 pm
Jordan Bastian  @MLBastian  14m14 minutes ago
Source: Cubs did not make a qualifying offer (one year, $17.8M) to Cole Hamels. There will be no compensatory Draft pick linked to his signing elsewhere.

Compensation pick for Hamels would have been at end of the 4th round, so not a premium pick in any case.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 04, 2019, 05:52:49 pm
Let Hamels go.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 04, 2019, 05:59:11 pm
More shocking news: Heyward opts in.

Get him a platoon partner, get a CF and leave him in RF full-time, and keep him out of the leadoff spot and he's really fine.  Not $21.5 fine, but fine (and that's a sunk cost so no point worrying about it now).
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 04, 2019, 06:18:41 pm
The 40-man roster has been updated and now stands at 32

http://m.cubs.mlb.com/roster/40-man
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 04, 2019, 10:30:41 pm
I think they will try to sign Hamels to a Quintana-level contract.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 05, 2019, 12:07:25 am
Sharma/Mooney breaking Deeg’s heart, John Farrell isn’t a candidate for the bench coach.

Andy Green is getting an interview for the bench coach. The mental skills program is getting revamped along with strength and conditioning.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 05, 2019, 12:39:27 am
More deckchair shuffling so far.

Sharma's tagline pretty much says it all: "Change can be good sometimes but let's be honest: What the Cubs really need is more good players".
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 05, 2019, 05:59:34 am
Of all the major SP free agents out there, Wheeler may be the most intriguing as a value proposition.  Fangraphs predicts 4/$68 and that seems very reasonable to me.  Still probably too rich for Ricketts' blood with the re-election campaign to finance, but maybe at the very top end of what we could conceivably be willing to consider being involved in.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on November 05, 2019, 07:41:23 am
I don't see the Cubs going after Hamels.  They need to add a reliable #2/3.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 05, 2019, 12:48:45 pm
This seems like mostly speculation by Rosenthal, but maybe he's not usually the type to throw something out there if there's zero possibility of it happening. He discusses how the Red Sox might be able to get back under the luxury tax now that JD Martinez has opted in to the next three years.

A better path might be to move left-hander David Price, who is owed $96 million over the next three years, or righty Nathan Eovaldi, who is owed $51 million over the next three. Impossible, you say? Well, what if the Red Sox included cash in a trade and also attached left fielder Andrew Benintendi, who remains cost-effective as he enters his first year of arbitration?

If the Red Sox are willing to pay down Eovaldi's contract and throw in Benintendi, I'd like the Cubs to show some interest. Early Steamer projections show Eovaldi and Quintana having very similar value next year, so the Cubs could then move Quintana to get most of the money back for 2020.

https://theathletic.com/1350649/2019/11/05/rosenthal-storylines-to-watch-this-offseason-from-the-boras-brigade-to-the-red-soxs-decision-on-mookie-betts/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on November 05, 2019, 12:51:22 pm
JD has another opt out after next year. His salary also drops from 23M to 19M after 2020, so he will likely opt out after this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 05, 2019, 03:55:21 pm
Somebody's wrong about this.

Quote
Bruce Levine

 
@MLBBruceLevine
 26m26 minutes ago
More
Told former managers are a high priority for David Ross and the Cubs choosing the next bench coach . Good names  to consider are John Farrell - Andy Green and Fredi  Gonzalez .
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 05, 2019, 04:15:39 pm
I don’t read the Levine blurb as saying Cubs are considering Farrell. Reads as Levine’s own thoughts as to who fits.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 05, 2019, 04:37:03 pm
If it comes down to a he said/he said, I'd take Mooney/Sharma over Levine.  I'd go with Reb's interpretation though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 06, 2019, 10:14:58 am
This is kind of a surprise change to the coaching staff.  From Jesse Rogers:

The Cubs continue to make changes to their coaching staff as longtime bullpen coach, Lester Strode, won't be returning. Strode was the longest tenured in-uniform coach, having worked under 5 different Cubs managers since 2007. Among potential replacements is former Phillies pitching coach, Chris Young, who interviewed for the job recently.

After surviving five managers, I had assumed Strode had that role locked up until he was ready to retire. Also thought that the Cubs might be interested in grooming Strop for that job when his playing career ends.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on November 06, 2019, 10:19:13 am
It kind of seems like bullpen coach has been a pitching coach understudy role for more teams now, so if you're not on that career trajectory, it's time to make a change.  It always used to seem to me that bullpen coach up until a few years ago was more about keeping the bullpen guys company and keeping the sunflower seed and Gatorade buckets in the bullpen full.  That doesn't seem to be the case now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on November 06, 2019, 10:21:56 am
Strode has been an employee of the Cubs in some sort of capacity since 1989.  That's pretty amazing anyone in a coaching role in baseball could be in an organization for that long.  Hopefully he at least got a 30 year gold watch on the way out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 06, 2019, 10:30:06 am
I recall the father of a Cubs minor-league prospect was very uncomplimentary of Strode back in his Midwest League coaching days.  Suggested back in those days that Strode didn't provide any strategic or mechanical instruction.  That his level of "coaching" was "throw it harder!!" 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 06, 2019, 10:47:13 am
Strode bio makes it sound like he knew something about teaching pitching

http://m.cubs.mlb.com/chc/roster/coach/506427/lester-strode
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 06, 2019, 11:20:42 am
Strode seemed like somebody the Cubs valued, but he's been around such a long time sometimes change is good.  I'd be more worried about Borzello.

Young is much more in the Tommy Hottovoy mold. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 06, 2019, 12:08:51 pm
Sharma has a new piece on what to expect from the Cubs over the winter.  Not really that much to it, but he does emphasize comments by both Theo and Ricketts to the effect that the focus over the winter will not simply be on the window that closes after 2021, but will very much be focused on the period beyond 2021.


https://theathletic.com/1353819/2019/11/06/sharma-cubs-seem-ready-to-make-big-moves-but-dont-count-on-them-spending-big-money/?source=twittered

The most obvious move that would contribute to a long term strategy would be trading Kris Bryant (assuming the right deal).  He almost certainly will not be a Cub after 2021 (2020, if his grievance against the Cubs is successful).  And presumably he would also bring the most back to the Cubs. I know this would pi ss off a lot of fans, but I would think there is a pretty good chance of that happening (again, assuming the right deal).
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 06, 2019, 12:57:09 pm
Jon Heyman  @JonHeyman  47m47 minutes ago
Veteran Cubs bullpen coach Lester Strode won’t be back in that spot but has been offered another prominent position with the team. New manager David Ross is said to have someone else in mind for pen coach.


Prominent position?  The 3B coaching job is open
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on November 06, 2019, 01:45:56 pm
They might kick him upstairs to some special assistant to the GM type role. 

It'd be nice if they found a good role for him to stay in the organization.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 06, 2019, 02:07:01 pm
Sharma has a new piece on what to expect from the Cubs over the winter.  Not really that much to it, but he does emphasize comments by both Theo and Ricketts to the effect that the focus over the winter will not simply be on the window that closes after 2021, but will very much be focused on the period beyond 2021.


https://theathletic.com/1353819/2019/11/06/sharma-cubs-seem-ready-to-make-big-moves-but-dont-count-on-them-spending-big-money/?source=twittered

The most obvious move that would contribute to a long term strategy would be trading Kris Bryant (assuming the right deal).  He almost certainly will not be a Cub after 2021 (2020, if his grievance against the Cubs is successful).  And presumably he would also bring the most back to the Cubs. I know this would pi ss off a lot of fans, but I would think there is a pretty good chance of that happening (again, assuming the right deal).

If the Cubs trade Bryant people are going to be shocked on how little they get for him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 06, 2019, 02:56:41 pm
They'll **** regardless but I bet it won't be a bad haul.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 06, 2019, 03:10:35 pm
If the Cubs trade Bryant people are going to be shocked on how little they get for him.

Kiley McDaniel said today in his chat that the likely return for Bryant would be two back-end top 100 prospect guys. That would be the equivalent of somebody else's Miguel Amaya and Bralyn Marquez---except we might not know much of anything about those two guys in a different organization and probably would be equivalent guys closer to the majors.

Think that would qualify as a big disappointment/shock for Cubs fans as a return for Bryant.

Don't see Theo going that route if that's the return.  Cubs want to win the World Series in 2020 and hard to see how trading Bryant for that kind of return is helpful. To replace him at 3B with David Bote?  No.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 06, 2019, 03:26:06 pm
Sharma ....emphasize comments by both Theo and Ricketts to the effect that the focus over the winter will not simply be on the window that closes after 2021, but will very much be focused on the period beyond 2021....

The most obvious move that would contribute to a long term strategy would be trading Kris Bryant (assuming the right deal).  He almost certainly will not be a Cub after 2021 ... And presumably he would also bring the most back to the Cubs. ....I would think there is a pretty good chance of that happening (again, assuming the right deal

If the Cubs trade Bryant people are going to be shocked on how little they get for him.

*If* Bryant isn't interested in extending, Ron's idea of trading him for value that will endure beyond two years is logical.  (As Ron notes, "assuming the right deal".)  But Blue is right, "assuming the right deal" is the challenge.  We might be shocked at how little they get for him.  If you can't get that strong of an offer, does it still make sense to deal? 

As a 2-year rental with salary, I'm not sure how strong the trade value is.  *IF* the grievance thing has a real chance and he might actually be only a one-year rental, the value is less.  As a Boras baby, acquire-and-extend-at-hometown-discount doesn't apply.  He was 24th in offensive WAR last year, really good; but it's been three years since he was a top-10-offensive-WAR guy. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 06, 2019, 03:32:42 pm
Trading Bryant is effectively impossible as long as the grievance is unresolved, so for the moment at least this discussion is probably moot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 06, 2019, 03:48:41 pm
It may be moot until several 3B FA's are determined.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 06, 2019, 03:55:37 pm
Don't see Theo going that route if that's the return.  Cubs want to win the World Series in 2020 and hard to see how trading Bryant for that kind of return is helpful. To replace him at 3B with David Bote?  No.

I certainly agree with that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 06, 2019, 04:20:32 pm
On a Bryant trade, say for instance you want Jo Adell from the Angels.  Bryant is owed say $43 million for his 2 years of control.  If 1 WAR =$9 million, the Angels would have to value Bryant as a 6 WAR player.  If they do then the value of a 1:1 trade could line up.  The more likely scenario is Bryant is valued at 4-5 WAR player and his surplus value is $29-47 million.  So you could get a back-end top 100 guy and a 2-3 WAR player with control.  The Red Sox are going to be in the same bind trying to unload Betts. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 06, 2019, 05:20:06 pm
Bryant is likely going to have two years of control because don't see him winning the grievance absent some evidence we don't know about.  Cubs figure to be a legit contender for both those seasons.

With two years, makes no sense to me to trade him for an average regular and a back-end top 100 prospect.  If one year of control (like Betts), that would be different, maybe.

It's not like Indians and Lindor.  Indians have basically zero chance to re-sign him when he hits free agency in two years.  Cubs can make a competitive offer to keep Bryant in two years.  In the meantime, hard to see merits of weakening club in short-run for those two seasons when you're trying to win the WS. 

Would also be different if you could get a return of a plus major league ready guy(s) now for Bryant and fill 3B with another good player, either by trade or free agency, and gain some years of control in the Bryant package.  In the end, hard to evaluate without seeing who the actual players may be.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Chris27 on November 06, 2019, 05:47:26 pm
On a Bryant trade, say for instance you want Jo Adell from the Angels.  Bryant is owed say $43 million for his 2 years of control.  If 1 WAR =$9 million, the Angels would have to value Bryant as a 6 WAR player.  If they do then the value of a 1:1 trade could line up.  The more likely scenario is Bryant is valued at 4-5 WAR player and his surplus value is $29-47 million.  So you could get a back-end top 100 guy and a 2-3 WAR player with control.  The Red Sox are going to be in the same bind trying to unload Betts.

Bryant hasn't accumulated 6 WAR the last two seasons combined.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 06, 2019, 07:05:58 pm
Bryant hasn't accumulated 6 WAR the last two seasons combined.

There isn’t 1 WAR stat and they are all calculated differently. Baseball reference uses a larger defensive weight than Fangraphs.

By Fangraphs Bryant has been worth 2.3 and 4.8 fWAR the last 2 years.

Which is why I also said he would likely be valued at 4-5 WAR year and going back into Kiley’s chat he had Bryant at $45 million in surplus value or about a 5 WAR player.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 06, 2019, 07:24:43 pm
So, teams now make trades based on WAR? I did not realize that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on November 06, 2019, 08:15:19 pm
To paraphrase Star Trek II, the Cubs need to create value from valuelessness.

The best way to do that is with a productive amateur player procurement and minor league development system.

Unfortunately, in both of those areas, the Cubs are among MLB's worst.

I 'm sure he knows this more than most, but Theo is ****.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 06, 2019, 08:40:40 pm
So, teams now make trades based on WAR? I did not realize that.

I could make a smart ass reply, but I’m turning over a new leaf. Do teams make trades off of public WAR values no. They make trades off of their own version of WAR and their own projection systems. They assign a dollar value and come up with a surplus value. Prospects get put through a similar projections and they get assigned a value. If the values are close to matching then a trade gets made. At the deadline a premium might/might not get paid.

The public WAR and prospect values will get you in a roughly the right area.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 06, 2019, 10:26:13 pm
I’m sure that a club’s analytics department presents numerical values to the top brass regarding trades and FA signings. That stuff is a tool, among many other things.

But, to say that when the numerical values are close to matching then a trade gets made——based on those numbers—well, I think way more goes into assessing whether to make a  transaction.

I doubt that Theo would embrace the notion that transactions are made based on matching numbers in that fashion, if it was put to him that way.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 06, 2019, 10:44:40 pm
I think GM's say to another GM, I need a centerfielder and a good pitcher, I can give you a good hitting catcher and a good bat at third.   What can we do?  Then after they cough up some names, they run the contracts, the WAR's, the intangibles and agree to a deal or pass on the deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 07, 2019, 12:07:02 am
I agree Curt.

I dont think this game is anywhere near as complicated as some here would have you believe and I dont think this team is in anywhere near as bad of shape as those same folks would like for you to believe.

Do they need help?

Of course but it's nothing a good offseason wouldnt fix.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 07, 2019, 08:21:32 am
Sharma:

“Former Phillies pitching coach Chris Young will be the Cubs next bullpen coach. Before getting an in-uniform job with Philly, Young was a pro scout with the Astros and Padres.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 07, 2019, 08:21:39 am
I guess it is just a coincidence that most trades are falling close to surplus value and free agent contracts fall nicely into the $/WAR.  These GM L’s aren’t building analytic departments to just go ahh screw it.

Chris Young is going to be the bullpen coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on November 07, 2019, 08:59:17 am
How do we know that the Cubs development system is horrible?  Are there many examples where players that the Cubs failed to develop were subsequently developed successfully in other organizations  If so, how does that compare with similar examples in other organizations?  Could the big problem be in identification of future high quality ML players (pitchers in particular)?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 07, 2019, 09:21:18 am
How do we know that the Cubs development system is horrible?  Are there many examples where players that the Cubs failed to develop were subsequently developed successfully in other organizations  If so, how does that compare with similar examples in other organizations?  Could the big problem be in identification of future high quality ML players (pitchers in particular)?

Other teams have been able to add velocity to pitchers like the Yankees.  The Cubs haven't been able to (although that might be changing) so it could be the development or targeting or a combo of the too.  Another piece from the McDaniel chat yesterday is that there is speculation that the Cubs won't hire a scouting director and that higher ups will be more involved in drafting.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 07, 2019, 10:30:11 am
How do we know that the Cubs development system is horrible?  Are there many examples where players that the Cubs failed to develop were subsequently developed successfully in other organizations  If so, how does that compare with similar examples in other organizations?  Could the big problem be in identification of future high quality ML players (pitchers in particular)?

I think this is where D+D is better evaluated as a combination.  Otherwise, we don't know where failure lies.  Did the draft/IFA deliver zero talent, so that the development guys have no chance no matter how good they are?  Or is draft/IFA identifying and delivering reasonable talent, but development is wasting it?  Or both? 

Your question suggests perhaps the problem has been on the draft/IFA side, because there aren't many examples of guys who developed once they left the system?  Some of the left-the-system guys would be Soler, Gleyber, Eloy, Godfrey, Cease, Paredes, Candelario, Vizcaino.  Obviously several of them have developed greatly since leaving the Cubs, but don't see that reflecting on Cubs development system.  Theo really coveted Steve Wilson and Quintana and Davis, so he traded whatever minor-league talent he had to get them. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 07, 2019, 01:10:10 pm
Jon Heyman
@JonHeyman
Chris Denorfia won’t be back as quality assurance coach with the Cubs. With a new regime there are obviously changes. Denorfia, the former outfielder, is extremely well-respected throughout the game.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on November 07, 2019, 02:22:30 pm
Maybe they're bringing in Creed Bratton?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 07, 2019, 04:01:14 pm
I think they'd be more interested in Gilfoyle.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 07, 2019, 04:56:28 pm
Somehow all these changes so far is like dumping out the diaper and putting it back on the baby.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 07, 2019, 05:08:19 pm
Somehow all these changes so far is like dumping out the diaper and putting it back on the baby.

Exactly. They should have signed one or two free agents and made at least a couple of major trades by now!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 07, 2019, 05:24:18 pm
Exactly. They should have signed one or two free agents and made at least a couple of major trades by now!
  LOL, no.  But I catch the sarcasm.   I was only saying that none of them has exactly got me excited yet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 07, 2019, 06:47:32 pm
  LOL, no.  But I catch the sarcasm.   I was only saying that none of them has exactly got me excited yet.

The memory of last offseason is a legitimate reason for skepticism.  It just seems in general that the last couple of years have been more about scapegoating than actually committing resources to fix problems.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: wmljohn on November 08, 2019, 07:57:24 am
Quote
They might kick him upstairs to some special assistant to the GM type role.

Isn't that position vacant?  Wasn't that Ross' old title?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2019, 08:35:13 am
Yu is without question the funniest man in baseball.

https://twitter.com/faridyu/status/1192494861225775105?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1192494861225775105&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bleachernation.com%2Fcubs%2F2019%2F11%2F08%2Frookies-of-the-year-cubs-second-base-weirdness-yankees-stretch-and-other-cubs-bullets%2F
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 08, 2019, 02:03:38 pm
From a Mark Gonzales Q&A:

Merrifield will be a priority this winter, and there’s a match with the Royals involving a combination of an outfielder and infielder.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/cubs/ct-chicago-cubs-kris-bryant-david-ross-20191030-zhhmkeqeqzffre4qvxpr7txvj4-story.html

If the outfielder/infielder combination is something like Almora and Bote, then sure, do it. But I hope they're not thinking of trading Hoerner for Merrifield at this point. That would be an all-in move for 2020--Merrifield improves the team in 2020, but is already 31...it's probably more likely than not that Hoerner is the better player by 2021 or 2022. With the team constructed as it is now and the limited money they have to spend, this offseason just isn't the time to go all in on next year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 08, 2019, 02:05:52 pm
Go for it.

Each year is another opportunity.

If you aint trying to win every year you're doing a disservice to your fans.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2019, 03:42:28 pm
If the outfielder/infielder combination is something like Almora and Bote,

I mean if they are going to give him away sure.  The cost is probably more Happ and Hoerner though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 08, 2019, 04:09:56 pm
I mean if they are going to give him away sure.  The cost is probably more Happ and Hoerner though.

Not interested. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 08, 2019, 04:10:59 pm
...The cost is probably more Happ and Hoerner though.

That would be the ask.

But, don’t see Cubs doing that.

Happ yes, but doesn’t make sense to include Hoerner with all those years of control and some SS ability.

Could see Happ and Amaya, OR Happ, Bote, and one from Alzolay, Ademan, or Roederer. Don’t think Almora gets you very far but maybe throw him in to one of the above packages.

There is a risk with Merrifield because such a late bloomer but maybe similar to Zobrist career or at least more similar than anybody else around. We know what Zobrist meant to Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2019, 04:16:05 pm
Jeff Passan
@JeffPassan
Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter. The Cubs will get creative this winter, and with a deep catching free agent market, they could trade Contreras and begin retooling under new manager David Ross.

That would be the ask.

But, don’t see Cubs doing that.

Happ yes, but doesn’t make sense to include Hoerner with all those years of control and some SS ability.

Could see Happ and Amaya, OR Happ, Bote, and one from Alzolay, Ademan, or Roederer. Don’t think Almora gets you very far but maybe throw him in to one of the above packages.

There is a risk with Merrifield because such a late bloomer but maybe similar to Zobrist career or at least more similar than anybody else around. We know what Zobrist meant to Cubs.

Zobrist was a significantly better player than Merrifield on offense and defense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 08, 2019, 04:37:29 pm

Zobrist was a significantly better player than Merrifield on offense and defense.

Yes, at Zobrist’s peak seasons with Rays. With Cubs in 2006 and 2098, Zobrist was a 4 WAR guy and Merrifield has been a 4 WAR player averaging over last 3 seasons.

Bill James latest career rankings has Zobrist as #36 2B of all-time.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2019, 04:53:53 pm
Using fWAR Merrifield has been worth 2.8, 5.2, 2.9.  His wRC+ is 105, 119, 110 in those seasons.  At the same age Zobrist 8.7, 3.8, 6.4 with wRC+ 152, 100, 130.  2016 Zobrist in 4.0 with wRC+ 124.  Zobrist was just better. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 08, 2019, 04:54:43 pm
If you want Contreras Im gonna need an arm and 2 legs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 08, 2019, 05:29:06 pm
Using fWAR Merrifield has been worth 2.8, 5.2, 2.9.  His wRC+ is 105, 119, 110 in those seasons.  At the same age Zobrist 8.7, 3.8, 6.4 with wRC+ 152, 100, 130.  2016 Zobrist in 4.0 with wRC+ 124.  Zobrist was just better. 


Instead of cherry-picking the WAR method that better supports a conclusion, let’s both just average bWAR and fWAR.

If we do that, Merrifield has 12.15 WAR (13.4 and 10.9, respectively) over past 3 seasons. So, basically a 4 WAR per season player (as I noted in previous post).

Zobrist in Cubs 2016 and 2018 has 7.3 WAR (7.0 and 7.6, respectively) over those two seasons. So, basically 3.65 WAR per season. Let’s just bump him to 4 WAR (as I did in previous post).

So, if you liked Zobrist at his Cubs best, that’s Merrifield.

That’s the point.

Already agreed that Zobrist in his peak Rays seasons was better. That’s a non-issue and why I pointed out how highly Bill James ranks Zobrist career.

So, hop aboard.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2019, 05:39:33 pm
From a Mark Gonzales Q&A:

Merrifield will be a priority this winter, and there’s a match with the Royals involving a combination of an outfielder and infielder.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/cubs/ct-chicago-cubs-kris-bryant-david-ross-20191030-zhhmkeqeqzffre4qvxpr7txvj4-story.html

If the outfielder/infielder combination is something like Almora and Bote, then sure, do it. But I hope they're not thinking of trading Hoerner for Merrifield at this point. That would be an all-in move for 2020--Merrifield improves the team in 2020, but is already 31...it's probably more likely than not that Hoerner is the better player by 2021 or 2022. With the team constructed as it is now and the limited money they have to spend, this offseason just isn't the time to go all in on next year.

I think there's a lot of assumption in there.  I'm not convinced Hoerner will ever be a better player than Merrifield, certainly not a better player than he is now.  There's enough Almora in Hoerner's offensive approach to give anyone pause, and his minor league numbers don't suggest stardom is in his future.  And Merrifield got a late start, and has a lot of Zobrist in him both mentally and on the field - I could see him being very good well into his mid-30's.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2019, 05:45:20 pm
Javy 2nd in baseball in DRS at SS:

https://twitter.com/SportsInfo_SIS/status/1192552362885419008
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2019, 06:20:37 pm
Instead of cherry-picking the WAR method that better supports a conclusion, let’s both just average bWAR

I’ve always used fWAR so it isn’t cherry picking. The big difference is Merrifield is going to cost a significant trade cost, where Zobrist only cost money.

Merrifield and Zobrist aren’t similar players and the shouldn’t be expected to have the same aging curves.

Hoerner is Almora if he struck out less, hit for more power and walked and was way above league average in offense. Other than that the are totally similar if they make contact I guess. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on November 08, 2019, 07:27:38 pm
Yeah, I see very little similarities between Hoerner and Almora...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 08, 2019, 07:31:53 pm
Former Padres manager Andy Green is the new Cubs bench coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 08, 2019, 07:43:57 pm
Go for it.

Each year is another opportunity.

If you aint trying to win every year you're doing a disservice to your fans.

If the Front Office followed that advice when they took over, we would still be waiting for our first World Series.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2019, 08:11:22 pm
If you don't see the similarities between Hoerner and Almora you're kidding yourself.  Lots of weak contact, not many walks, occasional power.  Hoerner has a .792 career OPS in the minors - it's not as if he can't be a good player, but this is not a Bryant or Schwarber or even Happ track record.  I think Nico can and probably will be a better hitter than Almora, but depending on him to be a starting-caliber hitter is a huge gambIe.  Of course Merrifield had a career .736 OPS in the minors so those numbers don't tell everything.  Not saying I'd necessarily give up Hoerner for him, but given how cheap Merrifield is and what he's already accomplished as a major league player, you would be nuts to dismiss it out of hand.

As for Andy Green, he'd probably have been my top choice if Farrell was (for some reason) not being considered, especially if the alternatives were Gonzalez and for fuch's sake Jim Riggleman.  I lived in SD part of the time he managed there and saw a lot of him, and he did OK considering the team was pretty much in full tank mode for most of his tenure.  Of course he failed dismally this past season when the Pads were actually trying to win, and there were reportedly communication issues between he and the players.  He is very pro-analytics at least, and a big believer in defensive shifting.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2019, 08:50:47 pm
Am I in some alternate reality where .792 is closer to Almora’s .734 OPS than Happ’s .823 in the minors? 

If you league adjust Hoerner was better in the minors than Happ.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2019, 08:56:20 pm
If you league adjust Hoerner was better in the minors than Happ.

If that makes you feel better.

You're conveniently omitting the fact that better than a third of Happ's minor league ABs were last year, when he was trying to implement a radical swing change, and those numbers drag his overall OPS down.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2019, 09:06:51 pm
If that makes you feel better.

You're conveniently omitting the fact that better than a third of Happ's minor league ABs were last year, when he was trying to implement a radical swing change, and those numbers drag his overall OPS down.

What if Hoerner had a higher wRC+ and wOBA than Happ at AA?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2019, 09:07:27 pm
Comedy gold.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2019, 09:14:09 pm
Hoerner .344/.399. .743 OPS wRC+ 117, wOBA .342
Happ     .318/.415. .733 OPS  .wRC+ 111, wOBA .337

Hoerner other league are all super small sample size and it wouldn’t be fair to Happ.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2019, 09:16:09 pm
It's hard to imagine anyone contorting to cherry pick stats more often and energetically than you do.  It doesn't make your arguments any less unpersuasive, but the effort is certainly notable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 08, 2019, 09:55:25 pm
Just curious whether it matters that Hoerner has a total of 375 PA in the minors, part of them recovering from an injury), whereas Happ had 1407 PA in the minors?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2019, 10:20:44 pm
Aww that cute coming from you. Maybe next time look at the stats next time.

You're conveniently omitting the fact that better than a third of Happ's minor league ABs were last year, when he was trying to implement a radical swing change, and those numbers drag his overall OPS down.

Through a similar point in their careers (Draft +1) Happ had a .815 OPS. Excluding last year Happ’s minor league OPS was .835.  It’s cute when facts stare you straight in the face and you still go nope I’m right.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on November 08, 2019, 10:27:19 pm
I guess I’m kidding myself, then...I don’t find them similar at all.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 08, 2019, 10:31:10 pm
Almora is a light hitting centerfielder with no infield skills.  Hoerner is projected to be an average hitter with multiple position skills, particularly shortstop.  I don't care what stats say, you trade Almora.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 08, 2019, 10:53:12 pm
I had hopes for Almora but watching him he seems to have little intuitive sense of how pitchers are working him. Before you can adjust, think you have to think along with pitchers better than he does. Not sure how you get better at that. Almora’s offense has declined significantly two seasons in a row, as pitchers work him without much of an Almora adjustment. In 2019, he was basically a replacement level player.

Hoerner strikes me as a very different player at this point. If Dixon Machado doesn’t get hurt at Iowa, Hoerner isn’t even in majors in 2019. So, thought his performance in majors 2019 was admirable considering that wasn’t the plan and he has so little seasoning.

Not going to trade Hoerner this off-season. Don’t think Theo will.

Almora will be entering his age 26 season, so who knows. Maybe he’ll figure things out but that’s not my expectation and would be willing to trade him to close a good trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 08, 2019, 11:09:31 pm
I had hopes for Almora but watching him he seems to have little intuitive sense of how pitchers are working him. Before you can adjust, think you have to think along with pitchers better than he does. Not sure how you get better at that. Almora’s offense has declined significantly two seasons in a row, as pitchers work him without much of an Almora adjustment. In 2019, he was basically a replacement level player.

Hoerner strikes me as a very different player at this point. If Dixon Machado doesn’t get hurt at Iowa, Hoerner isn’t even in majors in 2019. So, thought his performance in majors 2019 was admirable considering that wasn’t the plan and he has so little seasoning.

Not going to trade Hoerner this off-season. Don’t think Theo will.

Almora will be entering his age 26 season, so who knows. Maybe he’ll figure things out but that’s not my expectation and would be willing to trade him to close a good trade.

I would like to see the Cubs try Hoerner in Center field.  I don't think he will be able to play shortstop on a full time basis, but center field may well be his ultimate destination.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 08, 2019, 11:15:36 pm
I’ve always used fWAR so it isn’t cherry picking. The big difference is Merrifield is going to cost a significant trade cost, where Zobrist only cost money.

Merrifield and Zobrist aren’t similar players and the shouldn’t be expected to have the same aging curves.


Yeah, would be better if Merrifield was a free agent, as Zobrist was, but once the guy is on the field, that becomes besides the point.

Suggest that you argue with Theo and Cubs brass about Merrifield because sure seems like Cubs decision-makers covet him, no?

For the third time noting that Zobrist was better than Merrifield when the former was with Rays but both are 4 WAR players (Zobrist with Cubs and Merrifield last 3 seasons). Very similar players in those periods. Just an irrefutable fact whether you acknowledge or not.

Also, Merrifield at end of his current control in three years could end up anywhere. So, if Cubs acquire him, irrelevant whether his career path turns out like Zobrist. In any case, in three years, Merrifield will be two years younger than when Zobrist signed with Cubs, but beside the point if he’s elsewhere by then.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2019, 11:34:28 pm
Zobrist was much better on offense in 2016 and 2018 than Merrifield has ever been.

Steamer is projecting .282/.337/.426 for wRC+ 99 for Merrifield and 1.8 WAR. His statcast expected numbers from last year are in line with that. He’s a high BABIP guy that doesn’t walk and doesn’t have much power. They don’t age well. Wake me up when he there are serious rumors about him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 09, 2019, 01:53:20 am
Zobrist was much better on offense in 2016 and 2018 than Merrifield has ever been.

Steamer is projecting .282/.337/.426 for wRC+ 99 for Merrifield and 1.8 WAR. His statcast expected numbers from last year are in line with that. He’s a high BABIP guy that doesn’t walk and doesn’t have much power. They don’t age well. Wake me up when he there are serious rumors about him.

Steamer has been miserable projecting Merrifield.

2019:  Steamer  .738 OPS    Actual OPS  .811

2018:  Steamer  .725 OPS    Actual OPS .805

You should be hesitant to rely on Steamer when it comes to Merrifield.  Pretty sure that Theo is a bit more sophisticated about that.

As to Merrifield and Zobrist, the average of fWAR and bWAR tell you that both were 4 WAR players in the relevant seasons.  You can parse, cherry-pick, whatever, but those are the facts.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 09, 2019, 02:29:57 am
Why are you comparing Zobrist to Merrifield when Zobrist is damn near ready to retire and Merrifield is only 31?

Merrifield can also play CF which is a position of need and Zobrist cant.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on November 09, 2019, 07:42:32 am
That's a good point about CF, DUSTY.  Acquisition of Merrifield would help solve 3 problems- 2B, CF, and leadoff.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2019, 08:11:30 am
He isn’t a good OF. He’s much better at 2B and the cost is going to be large in a trade.

Steamer shows what happens when his BAPIP goes down.

Speaking of somebody that might actually be available I wonder what Jon Grey would cost in a trade. If you could get him and replace Quintana with Wheeler the cost of the rotation would be just a little more expensive, but you would add a lot of velocity and strike outs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 09, 2019, 12:24:23 pm
He isn’t a good OF. He’s much better at 2B and the cost is going to be large in a trade.


Merrifield is +3 Defensive Runs Saved in 1200 career outfield innings. He’s an average OFer.

He’s a better 2B, yes, but can play several positions on a solid basis, including up-the-middle CF and 2B.

Theo also seems to like him because he’s a club leader-type that Cubs are coveting.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 09, 2019, 03:14:39 pm
Theo is a great statesman, so he's said stuff that appeal to everybody.  In his presser, he talked proudly of his willingness to trade and not overvalue prospects.  He's talked about contending every year.  So pretty strong appeal to Nowacrats.  But he's also made some Buildican comments, about looking beyond the next two years.  Of course he's also made comments that appeal to "shake it up, make major trade" listeners.  So pretty hard to guess what he may actually be willing to do, and how to balance Nowacrat and Buildican values.
 I imagine those pull at cross purposes for him, just like they do for some of us, myself included. 

Personally, I'm inclined to go relatively buildican.  If a guy like Merrifield is available for Happ, fine.  Or for Bote + Almora + some not-that-favorite minor leaguer, OK. 

But if Merrifield costs Hoerner + Brailyn, or something on that order, I'd pull out.  We've got so very little young, cost-controlled futures talent that I really don't want to sell much of any of it. 

I'd kinda rather just roll the dice, stick with Hoerner for 2b and hope he works, and just spend the money for maybe Shogo.  Take a shot that way, without sacrificing any futures for your shot.  If Hoerner and Shogo aren't good enough to support a contending team this year, bummer.  But as Jeff notes, we've got to create some talent, and there isn't safety/surety there.  Maybe Shogo and Hoerner will be quite capable, immediately; and combined with existing guys, the offense which scored a decent number of runs as is, will actually improve score more and score more situationally, and end up being good enough to get into the playoffs? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 09, 2019, 03:20:35 pm
I think one of the problems, of course, is that Theo is so prioritized on clubhouse leadership.  If you bring in Shogo, he might be the perfect player and a terrific value for price...  but probably as a new guy with English as 2nd language, I'd not imagine he's going to immediately take over as a a self-confident accountability guy.  Same from the pitching side; maybe Ryu is a good guy to pursue without being prohibitively expensive.  But is a craft Japanese guy going to take over the clubhouse leadership and accountability patrol?

I'm kinda guessing that if "edgy" leaderhip and accountability-patrol is what he's looking for, maybe the Japanese options might be really good baseball-player fits, but that's 2nd to clubhouse chemistry issues for Theo? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 09, 2019, 03:35:33 pm
There has been talk about Castellanos, because he can hit, make contact, and is less vulnerable to the upper-half pitches than the other Cubs.

I wonder whether signing BOTH Shogo AND Castellanos, AND keeping Schwarber too, would actually make sense?  Probably not monetarily.  But while that might seem like overkill (Shogo plus 3 corner outfielders....),having some surplus has a certain appeal to me.  Guys get hurt.  If Shogo isn't that good, Hayward could fill some center.   Castellanos could sit against some RHP.  Schwarber could sit against some tough LHP.  Heyward could sit some during his slumps and be late-inning defensive replacement.  Perhaps with the four of them, you'd actually end up with quite a very good offensive outfield, overall?  And on games or innings when both Shoto and Hayward played, perhaps the defense would be pretty decent, too? 

The other advantage of spending on OF and going surplus there, is that you'd not need to be sending infielders out there.  How many games this year (and prior) have we had Bryant playing OF, with Bote at 3rd?  Or Zobrist in OF?  Or Contreras in OF? 

Ron has expressed some concern with Bryant's 3B defense:  what if he just played 3B all the time, and practiced 3B, and focused on 3B?  He's been great in that he could go to left, center, right, or 1B, and play any of them reasonably well.  But might it not be best for both him and the team to just stay put at 3B?

Not sure if you want to ever see Happ play another inning at 2B, or Bote either.  But perhaps if you do keep one of those two guys, and 2B is the position with some available starts in combo with Hoerner, maybe doing less multi-position stuff and more practice and focus on a primary position might help those guys, too? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 09, 2019, 07:03:38 pm
I think one of the problems, of course, is that Theo is so prioritized on clubhouse leadership.  If you bring in Shogo, he might be the perfect player and a terrific value for price...  but probably as a new guy with English as 2nd language, I'd not imagine he's going to immediately take over as a a self-confident accountability guy.  Same from the pitching side; maybe Ryu is a good guy to pursue without being prohibitively expensive.  But is a craft Japanese guy going to take over the clubhouse leadership and accountability patrol?

I'm kinda guessing that if "edgy" leaderhip and accountability-patrol is what he's looking for, maybe the Japanese options might be really good baseball-player fits, but that's 2nd to clubhouse chemistry issues for Theo? 

Actually Akiyama is known as a great clubhouse guy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 09, 2019, 11:03:27 pm
I wouldn't count on Hoerner playing much for the Cubs.  He was rushed up this year, and I suspect he will start the season down in Iowa, where he can actually perfect his skills without hurting the MLB team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 10, 2019, 07:09:13 am
SABR 2019 defensive rankings for CF, NL:


Player   Team   SDI
Victor Robles   WSN   11.1
Lorenzo Cain   MIL   10.2
Harrison Bader   STL   9.3
Manuel Margot   SDP   4.1
Ronald Acuna Jr.   ATL   3.4
Alex Verdugo   LAD   2.3
Jarrod Dyson   ARI   1.6
Scott Kingery   PHI   0.0
Ketel Marte   ARI   -1.1
Nick Senzel   CIN   -2.6
Starling Marte   PIT   -3.4
Kevin Pillar   SFG   -4.9
Albert Almora   CHC   -5.8
Ian Desmond   COL   -14.7
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on November 10, 2019, 08:32:22 am
Schwarber and Hoerner for Merrifield?  Just say no.

https://www.cubsinsider.com/2019/11/09/cubs-trade-rumors-whit-merrifield-will-be-priority-match-exists-involving-infielder-and-outfielder/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 10, 2019, 08:42:42 am
Sharma has a piece up that pegs Willson as the guy the Cubs are most likely to trade.

Topkin has a piece that the Rays are looking for more offense and mentions catcher as an area of upgrade. They’d seem to match up well with the Cubs of you day pitching.

https://www.tampabay.com/sports/rays/2019/11/09/rays-head-to-gm-meetings-seeking-offense/?outputType=amp&__twitter_impression=true
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 10, 2019, 08:44:41 am
Schwarber and Hoerner for Merrifield?  Just say no.

https://www.cubsinsider.com/2019/11/09/cubs-trade-rumors-whit-merrifield-will-be-priority-match-exists-involving-infielder-and-outfielder/

Quote
Or maybe the Royals have had their eye on Daniel Descalso since hiring Mike Matheny as manager, thereby making ol’ Danny D the big trade chip. Or not.


If Matheny is interested in Descalso or not, accept whatever the Royals are offering.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 10, 2019, 10:56:18 am
Sharma makes a strong case for Contreras being the most likely core player to be traded.

https://theathletic.com/1363480/2019/11/10/why-trading-willson-contreras-could-help-the-cubs-extend-their-contention-window/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on November 10, 2019, 11:05:56 am
Schwarber and Hoerner for Merrifield?  Just say no.

https://www.cubsinsider.com/2019/11/09/cubs-trade-rumors-whit-merrifield-will-be-priority-match-exists-involving-infielder-and-outfielder/
If this happened, I would be on the “Fire Hoystein” bandwagon, effective immediately.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 10, 2019, 11:58:58 am
Sharma makes a strong case for Contreras being the most likely core player to be traded.


If Caratini is not a dramatic dropoff from Contreras, just trade Caratini instead. Perhaps other clubs have a similar opinion as Sharma about Caratini.

For a big chunk of 2019, Contreras and Baez were the Cubs players putting up dramatically better numbers than the NL average at his position. So, don’t see benefit of removing one of these guys.

Caratini would be a nice trade piece. Do that instead.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 10, 2019, 12:09:18 pm
I can't imagine that the Royals would have any interest in getting Schwarber in a Merrifield trade. He's only two years from free agency, and they're definitely not contending in that window. Schwarber only fits with a team that is trying to win now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brs2 on November 10, 2019, 12:22:56 pm
I can't imagine that the Royals would have any interest in getting Schwarber in a Merrifield trade. He's only two years from free agency, and they're definitely not contending in that window. Schwarber only fits with a team that is trying to win now.

Yeah, I thought Happ / Bote or Hoerner better fit their profile.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 10, 2019, 02:41:10 pm
Scott Harris was named the Giants GM.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 10, 2019, 05:45:33 pm
Sharma makes a strong case for Contreras being the most likely core player to be traded.

https://theathletic.com/1363480/2019/11/10/why-trading-willson-contreras-could-help-the-cubs-extend-their-contention-window/

He's right.  If the Cubs are going to trade from the core, Bryant, Contreras and Schwarber (if you consider him part of it) are the only real possibilities.  Schwarber won't bring much back, and Bryant is simply harder to match up in a trade.  By default Contreras is really the spotlight guy.  Plus the fact that you have what looks like a pretty solid alternative in Caratini, a loaded catcher FA market and your best position player in the minors at the position, and the math adds up.  Will anyone offer enough to make it worthwhile?  That's the key question.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 10, 2019, 09:37:59 pm
If the catcher free market is loaded, why would a team trade to get Contreras instead of signing a free agent?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 10, 2019, 09:42:44 pm
The free agent catcher market looks pretty terrible to me. Grandal is very good. But the next best catcher on the market is...d'Arnaud? Castro? Chirinos? It's Grandal as the only starter and a lot of pretty good back-ups.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/08/2019-20-mlb-free-agents.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 10, 2019, 09:50:48 pm
Damn I wouldnt trade Contreras.

He should be our Yadier Molina.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 10, 2019, 09:51:02 pm
On the other hand, catching is pretty bad around MLB right now. Maybe a free agent market with a top five catcher and several guys you don't mind starting in 80 games is a strong market.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 10, 2019, 10:25:22 pm
I think it is a strong market to get a back up. Getting Willson for $4.5 would be a steal vs what Grandal will get. Through in that Amaya could be ready in a year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 10, 2019, 11:48:29 pm
If the catcher free market is loaded, why would a team trade to get Contreras instead of signing a free agent?

$$$$$

Plus, most of those options are more relevant to us as complements to Caratini rather than premium frontline catchers.  The only one who probably fits that description is Grandal, and Contreras will be a lot cheaper (and younger) over the next three years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: DelMarFan on November 11, 2019, 10:51:25 am
Quote
Schwarber and Hoerner for Merrifield?  Just say no.

https://www.cubsinsider.com/2019/11/09/cubs-trade-rumors-whit-merrifield-will-be-priority-match-exists-involving-infielder-and-outfielder/

Does that guy actually know more than any of us?  Since it's the offseason, I'll ask:  where does he stand in terms of being a "real journalist?"
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on November 11, 2019, 11:01:30 am
His journalistic credentials are probably similar to mine.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 11, 2019, 11:12:46 am
Altman runs the blog and has done some work with the Pelicans, but that was clearly speculation riffing off of Gonzales. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 11, 2019, 11:25:28 am
From Around Baseball on Friday

Quote from: Bennett
The above betting lines were copied from a CubsInsider tweet.  If you go to the link that follows, what you see is quite a bit different. I'm about ready to stop looking at what CubsInsider has to say about anything.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 11, 2019, 04:20:10 pm
I kinda get it why somebody would speculate about Hoerner as trade bait but, in the real world, don’t expect Theo to do that—-even in a Merrifield deal, a guy that Cubs seem to covet.

With the core getting near free agency, makes little sense to deal a near-ready guy who projects as a solid regular. It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul. I don’t see it happening.

Also not keen about trading Contreras UNLESS Theo doesn’t really believe his recent Contreras comments. Suppose it’s possible that Cubs don’t really rate him that highly and figure good time to move him now. But, Theo said Contreras is a potential MVP caliber guy. Considering how few catchers have actually won a MVP, beats me why Cubs would trade a guy like that with three years of control and who seems to love playing for Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 11, 2019, 04:37:54 pm
1.) You are going to have to give up something to get something.  Willson could likely bring back an amount similar to what Bryant will.
2.) He's easier to replace than Bryant.  Caratini offense is legit and he's a better framer than Willson.  Sign a defensive catcher to be the back up and the Cubs will free up some money this year.  Amaya has Willson's offensive potential and is supposed be an excellent defensive catcher as well.  He'll be at AA this year and could be ready for next year.
3.) Caratini makes a ton more contact than Willson.  He was at 78.8% and doesn't have weakness with high fastball or breaking balls.  He diversifies the offense.
4.) The Rays need a catcher and right handed power and have a ton of major league ready arms that the Cubs need. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 11, 2019, 04:49:41 pm
...Also not keen about trading Contreras UNLESS Theo doesn’t really believe his recent Contreras comments. ... beats me why Cubs would trade a guy like that with three years of control and who seems to love playing for Cubs.

https://theathletic.com/1363480/2019/11/10/why-trading-willson-contreras-could-help-the-cubs-extend-their-contention-window/

The Athletic article which suggests Contreras trade might make sense. 

I'm not sure the article gives a super compelling reason to trade Contreras.  Basically the logic builds on several things:
1.  Process of elimination.  Theo said he wants to trade somebody and shake things up.  But Schwarber and Bryant won't bring much, and you don't want to trade Rizzo or Baez.  So, that leaves Contreras. 
2.  Contreras has much more trade value than the other four.  Because he's got 3 years of control instead of only two, and because of supply and demand for catchers. 
3.  Sharma likes Caratini, and thinks that offensively he'd not be that large a dropoff from Contreras.  Plus he's a different batting profile from Contreras and the other three non-Rizzos.   

I think your scouting question cuts to the heart of the issue, though.  Contreras has been a chronically awful framer; do Theo and Ross think he's really improved, and that he'll be only modestly bad in that his worst aspect?  Or is all the MVP-candidate, improved-framer stuff just salesmanship?  Who knows? 

I think Ross has to be a factor here.  He's a huge believer in the little things of catching, and is very detailed and stuff.  So perhaps he's not a fan of the Contreras profile?  If Ross is daily frustrated with Contreras, maybe they figure now is the time while he's still got 3 years. 

But yeah, the whole question just kind of puzzles me.  Theo talks up what he's going to do to improve the team, shake things up, etc..  But you've only got 5 guys, and I'm not sure it actually makes sense to trade ANY of them. 

I think it's entirely possible that once we get to spring training, the changes are on the margins, not at the core.  No major FA signings; no major trades of any of our five guys; just some changes on the edge.  Which, personally, I think might be the wisest and OK.  (Other than the keep-Q decision, which of course I don't like and think is a waste of discretionary budget.)
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 11, 2019, 05:09:53 pm
1.) You are going to have to give up something to get something.  Willson could likely bring back an amount similar to what Bryant will.
2.) He's easier to replace than Bryant.  Caratini offense is legit and he's a better framer than Willson.  Sign a defensive catcher to be the back up and the Cubs will free up some money this year.  Amaya has Willson's offensive potential and is supposed be an excellent defensive catcher as well.  He'll be at AA this year and could be ready for next year.
3.) Caratini makes a ton more contact than Willson.  He was at 78.8% and doesn't have weakness with high fastball or breaking balls.  He diversifies the offense.
4.) The Rays need a catcher and right handed power and have a ton of major league ready arms that the Cubs need.

Yeah, I know that Bleacher Nation just ran a piece headlining Contreras and the Rays.

This is what Theo said about Contreras after this season:

“Shame on us if we can't continue his development at the big league level, because this is like the most tooled-out, athletic catcher who has a huge heart and cares and wants his pitcher to succeed as well...the best version of Willson Contreras is an MVP candidate, a difference making catcher.”

If Rays want a catcher, trade them Victor Caratini. Baseball Trade Values site rates Caratini as having almost as much trade value as Contreras—seems that you agree as you point out above all the Caratini pluses. I don’t buy that but perhaps Rays agree with you and Baseball Trade Values.

I’m more in the Contreras corner as in Theo’s comments above, assuming he means what he said.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 11, 2019, 05:27:52 pm

..I think Ross has to be a factor here.  He's a huge believer in the little things of catching, and is very detailed and stuff.  So perhaps he's not a fan of the Contreras profile?  If Ross is daily frustrated with Contreras, maybe they figure now is the time while he's still got 3 years.  But yeah, the whole question just kind of puzzles me.  Theo talks up what he's going to do to improve the team, shake things up, etc..  But you've only got 5 guys, and I'm not sure it actually makes sense to trade ANY of them...


Think that's a very good point. Ross obviously knows catching and he figures to have a lot to say about a catcher trade.

Cubs have Contreras and Caratini and perhaps that’s a luxury—given other club needs—and one has to go. Would be interesting to know how Ross rates these guys and what his recommendation to the brass will be.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 11, 2019, 06:01:46 pm
Caratini doesn’t really fit the Rays need for right handed power. Keeping both Contreras and Baez makes it much harder to improve the contact on the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on November 11, 2019, 06:40:02 pm
What is Contreras' value vis-a-vis acquiring controllable starting pitching?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 11, 2019, 07:29:05 pm
His surplus value is probably somewhere around $40 million or pretty close to what Realmuto brought back in trade.  You’d be looking a cost controlled MLB player and top pitching prospect.

So the Rays it would be like McKay/Honeywell and Baz/McClellan. The Padres it would be like Lamet and Patino. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 11, 2019, 07:41:49 pm
With McCann retiring, I’ve wondered if the Braves could be an option too. Max Fried seems like the most likely fit there, at least from the Cubs perspective. The Braves might disagree.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on November 11, 2019, 07:48:13 pm
With McCann retiring, I’ve wondered if the Braves could be an option too. Max Fried seems like the most likely fit there, at least from the Cubs perspective. The Braves might disagree.

Contreras's brother is there too, FWIW.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 11, 2019, 07:52:12 pm
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/willson-contreras-trade-rumors-ranking-all-30-mlb-teams-as-a-possible-landing-spot-for-the-cubs-catcher/amp/

You can make a strong argument for a lot of teams.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 11, 2019, 09:37:29 pm
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/willson-contreras-trade-rumors-ranking-all-30-mlb-teams-as-a-possible-landing-spot-for-the-cubs-catcher/amp/

You can make a strong argument for a lot of teams.


Interesting piece. Thanks for posting.

At top of the piece, it lists top catchers in bWAR over past three seasons.

Among others, article notes that Contreras had 9.8 WAR and Grandal had 8.0 WAR.

Here is the difference in the way Fangraphs now incorporates framing in catcher WAR:

Contreras 5.8 fWAR and Grandal 14.0 fWAR.

!!!!!!!

I know that Grandal  is a superb framer but, good grief, Contreras goes from slightly better than Grandal to Grandal having almost 2 1/2 times the value? I know that Grandal played more but still...just think that benefits of framing still in early stages of valuation.

One more thing. Steamer 2020 projections: Contreras 1.3 WAR (406 PAs) and Caratini 1.0 WAR (250 PAs). Basically identical adjusted, with Caratini slightly better. Are you buying?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on November 11, 2019, 09:42:58 pm
If we're trading Contreras, we need to get a #2/3 starter.  Is that not realistic?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 11, 2019, 09:50:40 pm
More thoughts on Fangraphs framing.

Available data only goes back so far, so historical catchers don’t get the adjusted benefit (or downgrade).

Russell Martin now has 54.0 fWAR. That puts Martin fWAR ahead of Gabby Hartnett fWAR and Mickey Cochrane fWAR.

Don’t think so.

Average HOF catcher has 54.3 WAR. That makes Martin a typical HOF catcher. Brian McGann too (53.4 fWAR).

Don’t think so.

Jonathan Lucroy has 18.0 bWAR and 37.6 fWAR. Wholly different career valuation.

Baseball historians go crazy about Rick Ferrell being in the HOF. But, Ferrell had 33.7 bWAR and everybody in his day thought he was a superb defensive catcher. Give him another 20 WAR for framing and Ferrell is an average HOF catcher!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 11, 2019, 10:03:03 pm
Steamer seems light on his power and BA.

If we're trading Contreras, we need to get a #2/3 starter.  Is that not realistic?

What is your definition of a #2/3 starter?  Are you talking current, potential?  I think it is certainly possible to get a guy with #2 upside if you are willing to take less control (Jon Grey) or a prospect. I don’t think you could get a guy that slots in ahead Darvish/Hendricks immediately.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 11, 2019, 10:19:35 pm
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/willson-contreras-trade-rumors-ranking-all-30-mlb-teams-as-a-possible-landing-spot-for-the-cubs-catcher/amp/
You can make a strong argument for a lot of teams.

This clip and paste from the above article pretty much gives my point of view.

"The Cubs don't have to trade Contreras. Victor Caratini is a nice enough player, but he's not Contreras, and the Cubbies are trying to win next season. Yeah, Chicago could benefit from the multiple young players they'd acquire in a Contreras trade, but they'd also be weaker behind the plate. I say keep him unless you're blown away with an offer."
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 11, 2019, 11:55:04 pm
Gray is exactly the sort of pitcher I'd be looking for in a Contreras deal, but I'm skeptical that the Rockies would be a fit.  I don't think they'd see the logic in a Contreras deal from their perspective.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 12, 2019, 01:20:43 am
Gray would be a good pickup but will be less costly in terms of giving up value to sign a veteran free agent SP than trading away players/prospects.

An interesting guy is Kyle Gibson. Did not get a QO and has averaged 30 starts per season over last three years. Age 32 but actually ticked up in velocity in 2019, with good K rate and lots of grounders. A bit homer prone but, if no TORP addition as seems the case, could be a good pickup to replace Hamels or if Q is trade bait. Jon Heyman says 10 teams are interested in him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 12, 2019, 09:28:14 am
Gibson is an intersection guy for the reasons that mentioned. He’s also scary because he was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. How extensive is his, how will his meds effect him, what are the chances he relapses?  Those are all questions the medical team is going o have to answer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 12, 2019, 03:26:42 pm
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Maybe the Brandon Morrow Era with the Cubs isn’t over, after all.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/cubs/2019/11/12/20961822/chicago-cubs-bullpen-brandon-morrow
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 12, 2019, 03:55:29 pm
Well, I suggested that possibility during the season.  If Morrow has any sense of loyalty at all he'd certainly give the Cubs first crack at an incentive-laden minor league deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 12, 2019, 04:21:08 pm
I was thinking a few days ago that I'd be down to bring him back for cheap and I mean real cheap.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 12, 2019, 05:34:42 pm
I'd rather just move on. He's probably going to get hurt again, so he's at least as big a crapshoot as anyone else you can bring in on an incentive-laden minor league contract. It's not like he has a long track record of being especially good when healthy anyway.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 12, 2019, 05:40:24 pm
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
Cubs are clear that they will consider trading from their excellent core — Bryant, Contreras, Baez, Schwarber, etc. “We’ve had a stable core for 5 years ... We’re going to have change.” — Cubs GM Jed Hoyer
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 12, 2019, 08:22:44 pm
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Maybe the Brandon Morrow Era with the Cubs isn’t over, after all.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/cubs/2019/11/12/20961822/chicago-cubs-bullpen-brandon-morrow

Very cool.  I'd love to have him on a minor-league contract and give him a chance.  What's the harm?  I think those are some of the things that end up working out for teams that have unexpected success.  We need some things to break right; and I think unexpectedly having a really deep and effective bullpen would be front and foremost.  What if Kimbrel showed up and somehow magically was actually pretty good?  And if Morrow showed up and was quite good?  And why not Wick?  And Wieck?  And Alzolay? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 12, 2019, 08:30:05 pm
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman  Cubs are clear that they will consider trading from their excellent core — Bryant, Contreras, Baez, Schwarber, etc. “We’ve had a stable core for 5 years ... We’re going to have change.” — Cubs GM Jed Hoyer

Heyman's phrase is "will consider trading"....  Hoyer's is "We're going to have change."  The latter sounds more committed, beyond simply "considering". 

At the same time, whether Hoyer's reference to "core" assumes the same definition as Heyman's 5, who knows.  And whether Hoyer's "will have change" actually will involve the big 5, who knows.  Maybe his "change" is Almora, Russell, and Strop, beats me.

But I think there's a chance that they're going to make some change-for-change-sake, perhaps even if that means they'll make talent-negative move?   
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 12, 2019, 08:45:46 pm
....“We’ve had a stable core for 5 years ... We’re going to have change.” — Cubs GM Jed Hoyer[/i]

Hayward hasn't been in the "5-year" core, he's only been for four.  Obviously he's never considered in the "change" group, because he's not good enough to be movable.  But one "core change" might be re-utilizing him as a "mix" guy rather than an every-day-starter commitment. What if they did sign Castellanos and Shogo, for example.... and Hayward was used as a 4th outfielder?  Might that be a "change"?   

I've probably written this before, but there is **always** change.  Suppose you went into the season with Shogo in center, Castellanos in the OF mix, 2B shared among Hoerner-Bote-Happ-Descalzo... would that not be quite a bit of change?  Changing >2/8 of the lineup, both 2B and CF, that seems like considerable change to me, no?  If Hayward was also re-appropriated, might not changing three starting positions be lots and lots and lots of change.... even if you did bring the other big 5 back?  Not likely, I realize. 

Hopefully if make some "change" deal involving one of the core 5, it ends up being very talent-fair and talent-advantageous for us. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 12, 2019, 10:16:25 pm
I'd rather just move on. He's probably going to get hurt again, so he's at least as big a crapshoot as anyone else you can bring in on an incentive-laden minor league contract. It's not like he has a long track record of being especially good when healthy anyway.

Disagree.  If it's a minor-league deal, what's the risk?  And at the end of his tenure in LA and his brief period of being healthy enough to pitch for us, he was dominant.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on November 12, 2019, 10:56:07 pm
Yeah I'd bring him back on a minor league or close to league minimum deal.  Besides he owes us for all the money he ran off with the last two years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 12, 2019, 11:08:25 pm
If he makes the team, how likely is it that he breaks down again when the Cubs need him? Probably somewhere around 75%.

As thin as the Cubs payroll flexibility is, I'd rather see them spend their limited money on a lottery ticket who might stay healthy, not a 35 year old lottery ticket who has had one (mostly) healthy season since 2012.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 12, 2019, 11:29:58 pm
Morrow has thrown about 210 innings over the last 7 seasons...averaging 30 innings a year. And he spent the first three seasons as a starting pitcher. He's almost definitely going to break down again.

He'll sign a split contract and make something like $4 million if he makes the major league team (and he'll make the team if he can stay healthy in Spring Training). The Cubs aren't spending much this offseason. I don't really see the benefit in using a significant part of their limited payroll to bring back a guy who probably won't pitch after mid-June.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 13, 2019, 09:32:34 am
If he makes the team, how likely is it that he breaks down again when the Cubs need him? Probably somewhere around 75%.

As thin as the Cubs payroll flexibility is, I'd rather see them spend their limited money on a lottery ticket who might stay healthy, not a 35 year old lottery ticket who has had one (mostly) healthy season since 2012.

When he was healthy, he was one of the best relievers in baseball.  I would be happy to have a player on a minor league contract with a 25% chance to be outstanding.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 13, 2019, 10:08:53 am
I've been reading a lot of comments about major trades that confuse me a bit.  Trading for young pitchers and prospects doesn't seem to jibe with some of Theo and Hoyer's comments.  They want impact players who can help win before the window closes.  They need a 2B, a CF, pitching help.   So I envisioned something more along the lines of George Springer and Peacock for Contreras and Quintana.  (Yes, I know Springer is about to go FA)  Or Bryant and Quintana to Tampa for Kiermeier and Yarborough.   Now, somebody will start trying to be the smartest guy in the room pointing out why this doesn't work or that doesn't work and miss the point of finding a trading partner who has a need at catcher or 3B and has a good bat or arm to spare.  I don't think we trade from the core for pieces.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2019, 10:37:43 am
The Cubs are theoretically trying to extend the window beyond 2021 without a rebuild with a trade.  It isn't just about remaking the 2020 Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 13, 2019, 10:42:13 am
When he was healthy, he was one of the best relievers in baseball.  I would be happy to have a player on a minor league contract with a 25% chance to be outstanding.

Yeah, for a year and a half...followed immediately by a year and a half of injuries. It's not like he has a decade long track record of being great. Most of his career WAR came from a 3 year stretch from 2010-2012 when he was a semi-healthy starting pitcher. Then he contributed next to nothing until 2017 with the Dodgers.

Morrow will make the team if he's brought in on a minor league contract and makes it through Spring Training. He'll presumably make somewhere in the $3-$5 million range when he makes the team. Since they aren't going to spend much this offseason, I'd much rather see them save that money for a player who is younger than 35 and hasn't been injured in every season over the last 7 years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2019, 10:52:29 am
The Cubs have $30-40 million to spend, possibly more depending on trades.

You can also structure the contract like Phelps. He gets the minimum if he makes the team and increase the salary depending on games plaid in multiple tiers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2019, 11:00:33 am
Cubs are naming Dan Kantrovitz VP of scouting from Bruce Levine.

Former Cardinals draft pick from Brown university in 2001.

2004-08 he worked for the Cardinals in the FO
2009-11 he was the A's directer of IFA
2012-15 Cardinals amateur scouting director
2016-current Assistant GM A's- primary focus on overseeing statistical analysis for evaluating and targeting players in the amateur draft, free agent and trade markets.

Brown University undergrad
Harvard masters in statistics.

2012 Draft- Wacha, Piscotty, Carson Kelly, Tim Cooney, Rowan Wick, Kyle Barraclough
2013- Marco Gonzales, Oscar Mercado, Mike Mayers, Luke Voight
2014- Luke Weaver, Jack Flaherty, Austin Gomber, Daniel Ponce De Leon,
2015- Bader, Hicks, DeJong
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 13, 2019, 11:20:04 am
Your conceptual point makes a lot of sense, Blue, thanks. 

I like the conceptual framework in both of your trades:  pitcher + player for pitcher + player.  Including Q as a potential rotation-filler allows the other team to replace the pitcher they are including.  Your concept also allows for variation in talent balance. 

The variant I'd prefer was if we got a lesser or negligible position player, but replaced Q with a better pitcher? 
For example, if we we sent out Q + Schwarber and improved on Q; maybe you'd sign Castellanos to replace Schwarber.  The 2nd-guy in trade could be either a prospect, or perhaps a roster-fill share-time 2B or something? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2019, 01:59:51 pm
Bob: BREAKING: Cubs will name Dan Kantrovitz VP of scouting. Thoughts?
12:58   
Kiley McDaniel: Sounded like CHC was looking for a new scouting czar more than a scouting director necessarily and that makes some sense. I would guess CHC generally pays better as well. Kantro had a pretty good track record running the draft with STL, has analytics and scouting background.

Kyle Boddy
@drivelinebases
·
1h
Kantrovitz is awesome with great vision. Happy for him. Has helped me quite in bit in the short period of time I've gotten to know him!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 13, 2019, 02:41:50 pm
Your conceptual point makes a lot of sense, Blue, thanks. 

I like the conceptual framework in both of your trades:  pitcher + player for pitcher + player.  Including Q as a potential rotation-filler allows the other team to replace the pitcher they are including.  Your concept also allows for variation in talent balance. 

The variant I'd prefer was if we got a lesser or negligible position player, but replaced Q with a better pitcher? 
For example, if we we sent out Q + Schwarber and improved on Q; maybe you'd sign Castellanos to replace Schwarber.  The 2nd-guy in trade could be either a prospect, or perhaps a roster-fill share-time 2B or something? 
Was that at Blue or me?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 13, 2019, 03:29:40 pm
I've been reading a lot of comments about major trades that confuse me a bit.  Trading for young pitchers and prospects doesn't seem to jibe with some of Theo and Hoyer's comments.  They want impact players who can help win before the window closes.  They need a 2B, a CF, pitching help.   So I envisioned something more along the lines of George Springer and Peacock for Contreras and Quintana.  (Yes, I know Springer is about to go FA)  Or Bryant and Quintana to Tampa for Kiermeier and Yarborough.   Now, somebody will start trying to be the smartest guy in the room pointing out why this doesn't work or that doesn't work and miss the point of finding a trading partner who has a need at catcher or 3B and has a good bat or arm to spare.  I don't think we trade from the core for pieces.

The Mantra is the 16-17 Yankees - "retool, not rebuild".  Easier said than done, but I don't expect the Cubs to deal talent controllable beyond '21 for talent not controllable beyond '21.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 13, 2019, 03:47:39 pm
Looks like Morrow's coming back...

Brandon Morrow is interested in re-signing with the Cubs, even if it's on a Minor League deal, per @GDubCub.

At GM Meetings, Theo told reporters, including @SteveGilbertMLB, "that certainly seems like the type of thing that should make sense for both sides down the road."
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 13, 2019, 04:01:00 pm
Not re-signing Morrow to a minor league deal makes no sense.  Don't let misplaced anger over his injuries keep you from making a no-risk deal.  They're just waiting till after the Rule V draft to announce it, probably.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 13, 2019, 04:01:29 pm
Scott Boras on Nicholas Castellanos: “Ol’ St. Nick delivers once a year. Young St. Nick delivers all season.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 13, 2019, 04:07:33 pm
There’s a reason Theo says “down the road” here.

Players signed to minor lg contracts before the Rule 5 Draft are eligible for that draft.

There’s a good chance, based on the quotes, the Cubs and Morrow’s camp have agreement already and plan on waiting to sign until December.--Bleacher Nation
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on November 13, 2019, 04:11:05 pm
Yeah, for a year and a half...followed immediately by a year and a half of injuries. It's not like he has a decade long track record of being great. Most of his career WAR came from a 3 year stretch from 2010-2012 when he was a semi-healthy starting pitcher. Then he contributed next to nothing until 2017 with the Dodgers.

Morrow will make the team if he's brought in on a minor league contract and makes it through Spring Training. He'll presumably make somewhere in the $3-$5 million range when he makes the team. Since they aren't going to spend much this offseason, I'd much rather see them save that money for a player who is younger than 35 and hasn't been injured in every season over the last 7 years.

br, you're pointing out all of the (valid) reasons for why Morrow shouldn't get a contract like you describe.

I'll be shocked if Morrow gets a contract that guarantees him a full year's worth of pay just for making the Opening Day roster.

If that's what he insists on, so be it - just move on.  He'll be sitting out the 2020 season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 13, 2019, 05:23:49 pm
Agree, Jeff.  To some degree, I wonder if minor-league contracts aren't almost more complex than major-league ones?   The "split" between minor vs major league time?  Whether or not the player can opt out and take free agency if he doesn't make the April roster?  How long he might get before such a free-agency option kicks in, if he's not called up?  Appearance-based salary triggers. 

I'd like a deal where Morrow does not need to make the opening roster in order for the Cubs to control him.  Six exhibition-season innings against mostly minor-league hitters, how sure can you be?  Maybe he's throwing 98 and feeling great and he's an obvious "keep until injured".  But I'd not mind having him pitch another month in Tennessee and see how he's feeling and throwing, and bring him up if his health, velocity, and control seem to be healthy?  And then obviously have his contract depend on how many appearances he makes. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 13, 2019, 05:52:19 pm
Morrow, to his credit, seems to be trying to do the right thing here.  Acknowledging that he got a lot of money for almost no performance from the Cubs, and offering them basically a freebie this season.  No way he gets any kind of contract that guarantees him significant money just for making the opening day roster either way.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 13, 2019, 06:40:19 pm
Theo said today "it's certainly a possibility" the Cubs move Tyler Chatwood back into the starting rotation in 2020.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 13, 2019, 06:40:43 pm
Scott Boras said he is open to discussions on an extension for Kris Bryant . “ We have always said to them that has always been Kris’s philosophy with the team.” Boras said Bryant would expect fair market value in any deal agreed to.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 13, 2019, 07:07:02 pm
Theo said today "it's certainly a possibility" the Cubs move Tyler Chatwood back into the starting rotation in 2020.

I think they need to either commit to him in the rotation or trade him to free up maybe half of his contract. Not too interested in seeing another year as a swingman/low leverage reliever when the money saved could probably get a Cishek-level reliever in this market.

If they commit to him in the rotation, they should look to upgrade Quintana’s spot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 13, 2019, 07:29:39 pm
From the GM meeting:

Epstein said there could be an opportunity to add to the rotation via the next tier of the free-agent pitching class. "The depth and volume of qualified Major League starters is normally a scarcity," Epstein said. "This year, there's quite a few."

• When asked if the Cubs might explore the international market in order to address any of the team's Major League needs, Epstein limited his response to saying, "We'll look and see if there's a fit on that front as well."
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2019, 07:35:21 pm
Chatwood should be traded for as much salary relief as you can get.  If you can’t trade him without giving up a prospect leave him in the pen. He still walks too many people to be counted on in the rotation.  Having him and Lester back to back could really stress the Cubs bullpen with short outings.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 13, 2019, 08:02:21 pm
Are there any Cubs starters who are unlikely to stress the bullpen regularly? Maybe Hendricks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 13, 2019, 09:18:12 pm
I actually don't think that good-version Chatwood is necessarily that stressful?  Because he's got a fastball and isn't too complicated, and gets groundballs, he can challenge guys unlike Q-Lester-Hendricks. 

So a lot of games he gets through 5-6 innings on less pitches than Lester or Q ever need. 

Obviously if he declines into bad-version Chatwood, that's a different story. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2019, 10:04:23 pm
Chatwood has gone 6+ innings with the Cubs 4 times in 2 years. Darvish and Hendricks seem to be solid. The Cubs could use 2 more starters or a mechanically stable Quintana + 1 more.  The rotation is holding this team back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 13, 2019, 10:18:19 pm
I think they need to either commit to him in the rotation or trade him to free up maybe half of his contract. Not too interested in seeing another year as a swingman/low leverage reliever when the money saved could probably get a Cishek-level reliever in this market.

If they commit to him in the rotation, they should look to upgrade Quintana’s spot.

I agree.  Either seriously commit Chatwood to a starter's spot, or move him to another team.  There has never been a lot of question about his stuff.  Time to s**t or get off the pot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 13, 2019, 11:11:41 pm
Chatwood has gone 6+ innings with the Cubs 4 times in 2 years. Darvish and Hendricks seem to be solid. The Cubs could use 2 more starters or a mechanically stable Quintana + 1 more.  The rotation is holding this team back.

Chatwood was really bad two years ago, get that.  He was pretty decent, relatively consistently so, this season, above average relative to the staff and certainly lots better than Q or Lester.  But, he wasn't in the rotation, so of course he wasn't going to be giving 7-inning games as a reliever and spot starter.  But when he did start this year, I think he was pretty consistently the guy who took the fewest pitches to get through 4-5 innings. 

I'm not saying he'll be a good bet.  But yeah, he might be the Cubs #3 starter, ahead of the finesse lefties.  Which probably speaks to your concern that the rotation is holding the club back. 

But still, what are you going to do?  We want 1-2 new good starters; we want 2B; we want CF; we want relief help.  We want to add all that without trading away Hoerner, Davis, Amaya, or Marquez.  With Q in the fold, we don't have all that much in FA budget to buy a bunch of such guys with $$$. 

So to me, it seems like the Cubs just need to take some risks.  They just don't have the resources to build a safely great team.  To end up being really good, they need some things to break their way, to get lucky on some iffy guys.  Maybe Kimbrel; maybe Q; maybe Morrow; maybe Hoerner; maybe Chatwood; maybe Alzolay; maybe Happ; maybe Schwarber.  I just don't think we've got the resources to add safe asset guys for all three of 2B, CF, 5th starter. 

So I kinda feel like it's a given that they need to take some risks.  I kind of like Chatwood as a take-a-risk guy.  And I won't be surprised if 2B is an assembly of take-a-risk guys. 

I also don't feel obligated to "commit" to Chatwood.  I think that spot should be a competition spot.  If he wins it and earns it, great.  If he's OK but somebody else emerges as better, great.  If he ends up getting used heavily in relief, that's OK too.  Getting a new guy other than Maddon might give him some fresh opportunities in relief, and you've already committed the money.  If you'd only get $4-5 in salary relief to move him, and not really any good talent back, I think you're better off just keeping him and seeing whether he might be pretty good this year. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 13, 2019, 11:23:22 pm
I kind of agree you need to either plan for Chatwood to start or shift him.  But the problem, of course, is you have to have a backup plan because he could show up in Arizona and not be able to throw a strike.  He's a tough one to work around at this point, but given how good his stuff is he does offer more upside than anyone currently in the rotation besides Yu.

Wheeler is the guy that makes so much sense to me but I haven't heard anything connecting us with him.  He's already good and to me, is one of the MORP most likely to make the jump to #1 or 2 starter.  The numbers being tossed around for him seem like an absolute bargain to me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 14, 2019, 08:14:19 am
Craig I don’t see it at all with Chatwood. His BB/9 was a full 1 higher than Hamels who was the worst Cubs starter. In 22 innings as a starter he had 21 K and 12 BB. He’s thrown 150 innings once in his career.  His walk rate wasn’t historically bad like in 2018, but it is still horrible for a starter.

The Cubs made a mistake thinking the spin rates would overcome his walk problems or thinking they could correct it. Chatwood is better of in short bursts where his walk rate is less of a problem.

I agree with Deeg, Wheeler is the bargain on the market. He has injury risk, but he still has upside.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 14, 2019, 08:45:06 am
I think Cole and Strasburg are risky.  Some of the lower tier guys offer better risk/reward payoffs.  I like Bumgarner but isn't he a bit of an asshat?  Ryu, Wheeler, and Wacha.  What's with Wacha's inconsistency? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on November 14, 2019, 09:12:25 am
Wacha is always hurt. Wheeler likely offers the best balance of cost vs upside. Ryu is a great gamble as well due to his age should b able to get him on a 2 year deal.

Personally I think Cole isn't much of a risk. He's elevated his game to a new level. He's max scherzer from 5 years ago.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 14, 2019, 09:24:56 am
Sharma has an informative piece on the new VP of Scouting, Dan Kantrovitz. Seems like an excellent acquisition.


https://theathletic.com/1376637/2019/11/13/what-new-vp-of-scouting-dan-kantrovitz-brings-to-the-cubs/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: ticohans on November 14, 2019, 10:48:19 am
Yeah, I’m pumped about this guy. Really great draft record with StL.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 14, 2019, 10:48:35 am
Even the Cardinals beat writer likes the hire. The Cardinals where trying to bring him back to their front office as well.

https://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/former-cardinals-exec-who-oversaw-their-pitching-rich-drafts-is/article_c46d1892-84d4-51d2-ac54-4f20eaaad67e.amp.html?__twitter_impression=true
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: ticohans on November 14, 2019, 10:49:54 am
Count me in with the Wheeler fans, and if Contreras could bring back anything like the packages suggested by CBJ, we need to trade him, IMO. Drop off to Caratini won’t be enormous, and as others have said he diversifies the offense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 14, 2019, 10:57:39 am
Kiley McDaniel thinks his trade value is less and would be more like a 2 WAR player than a 3.  I think Willson's improved framing might not have worked it way through the baseball grapevine yet and that was more pre-trade deadline vs now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: ticohans on November 14, 2019, 11:00:41 am
One thing referenced in that Athletic article is that it’s something of a steal to get this guy as VP of Scouting, and that he could have been considered for a GM role in other places.

Theo has talked before about the shelf-life of leadership. Have to imagine that with a hire like this, there is some thought to succession planning, too...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 14, 2019, 11:01:19 am
Fangraphs predicts that Wheeler will get a contract somewhere in the 4 years, $70 million range. MLB Trade Rumors is predicting 5 years, $100 million. If either of those are close to what he gets, I don't see the Cubs spending that kind of money on one player this offseason.

If the Cubs sign a free agent starter this offseason, I bet it will be someone in the Tanner Roark or Wade Miley class. Or maybe Michael Pineda's PED suspension will drop his price into the Cubs range. But I'd be surprised to see the Cubs involved in the top of the free agent market.

If the Cubs get a difference making pitcher this offseason, he'll come in a Contreras or Bryant trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 14, 2019, 11:52:34 am
It’s not just the payroll hit with Wheeler but Cubs also would forfeit both their 2nd round and 5th round draft picks by signing a guy who turned down a QO.

Don’t see Cubs doing that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 14, 2019, 12:53:09 pm
Sharma on why Castellanos (almost certainly) will not be back with the Cubs and why fans should expect Schwarber will be occupying LF, with Heyward in RF, in 2020.


https://theathletic.com/1375584/2019/11/14/young-st-nick-castellanos-wont-be-stopping-on-the-north-side-but-keeping-kyle-schwarber-could-be-a-gift/?source=shared-article




Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 14, 2019, 12:55:59 pm
The Cubs pursued Mike Napoli last winter but he wanted to take a short break. He will be quality assurance coach for Cubs.--Heyman
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 14, 2019, 07:49:47 pm
Sharma has an informative piece on the new VP of Scouting, Dan Kantrovitz. Seems like an excellent acquisition.
https://theathletic.com/1376637/2019/11/13/what-new-vp-of-scouting-dan-kantrovitz-brings-to-the-cubs/

yeah, he sounds good.  Hope he's really effective!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 14, 2019, 09:33:33 pm
Jordan Bastian
@MLBastian

Terrmel Sledge will also be back as the assistant hitting coach for the Cubs. So, lone spot left on Ross' staff is a base coach -- a role the Cubs will be "patient" with finding the right hire, per a source
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 14, 2019, 11:20:00 pm
Jordan Bastian
@MLBastian

Terrmel Sledge will also be back as the assistant hitting coach for the Cubs. So, lone spot left on Ross' staff is a base coach -- a role the Cubs will be "patient" with finding the right hire, per a source
So where doe that leave Lester Strode?  Are the Cubs going to make up some new "assistant to" title?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2019, 08:42:47 am
All kinds of reports the Cubs are in on Akiyama, which only makes sense.  He checks a lot of boxes and most importantly given where the organization seems to be at the moment, he'll be pretty cheap.  There's risk there, but the cost should be reasonable enough to make it tolerable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 15, 2019, 09:32:34 am
Deeg, thanks for that note.  That's encouraging.  It all depends on the scouting, of course; how good is he actually as a defensive CF?  And how good will he be hitting big-league pitching?  If you stick him at leadoff, will he be an asset, a liability, or another JAG guy who fits an 8th place team?  Beats me.  But yeah, the hypothetical concept of a good defensive CFer, a good leadoff guy, and a different style of hitter seems to line up A-B-C with what the Cubs want.  And doing so without costing present or future talent likes it up A-B-C-D.  I'm not sure on cost, but *IF* you wer right and the cost is reasonable rather than problematic, that would seem to be an A-B-C-D-E checklist all looking good.  I'm optimistic. 

• When asked if the Cubs might explore the international market in order to address any of the team's Major League needs, Epstein limited his response to saying, "We'll look and see if there's a fit on that front as well."

Theo is usually very glib and helpfully expansive with his answers.  I thought it interesting that the author used the phrase "limited his response".  Theo's answer is characteristically vague, nothing to suggest more than token due diligence.  Or perhaps the "limited response" was less expansive than usual specifically because Akiyama is a non-trivial possibility? 

https://theathletic.com/1375584/2019/11/14/young-st-nick-castellanos-wont-be-stopping-on-the-north-side-but-keeping-kyle-schwarber-could-be-a-gift/?redirected=1

Outfield article.  "their focus right now when it comes to the outfield is attempting to upgrade center field."
 
“That’s certainly an area where we’re looking to improve our performance,” Epstein said. “Whether it’s through players existing on the roster or from outside. There is a corresponding impact, especially defensively. Who you have playing center affects the other two outfielders a little bit and it affects your pitching staff. We’re also looking to reshape our offense a little bit, so center field will have an impact on that. Certainly it’s an area of need and we’re aware of it. There’s some players on the roster as it stands, who, with some adjustments, can perform better and help be part of the solution.”


Characteristically vague.  But I think the emphasis on the defense is perhaps not so vague?  That wouldn't seem to support Happ as a really significant option, or Heyward.  Yet at the same time he mentions "adjustments" converting internal guys into "part of the solution". 


Four guys on the existing roster, who might be "part" of the CF solution.  Heyward won't be a primary part, and not in mind with the "adjustment" comment.  Hoerner might be a part, and has lots of adjustments ahead, perhaps playing a little CF included.  But Sharma naturally went to Happ and Almora as the internal "adjustments" candidates.  Almora has always been a huge Theo favorite; and in past he was promising at least as a platoon guy.  Shogo is lefty; I wonder if Theo has hopes that Almora might adjust his way back towards being somewhat platoon-servicable?  The spin on Happ has been that he's already made adjustments and may have already turned a corner.  His defense doesn't seem to make him very likely to be much of the CF solution, but perhaps *if* he's hitting effectively RH, perhaps he might be part of the outfield solution. 


Schwarber, Shogo, and Heyward would be an all-lefty outfield.  Heyward is a career .648-OPS versus LHP, he's terrible; and it's gotten worse, he was .553 this past year.  Schwarber's career .658, and has >.200 split, although he wasn't as bad versus lefties this past year (.756).  No idea with Shogo, I'd guess a more skillful contact guy would be less vulnerable? 


But *IF* you're going to go with three lefties as starting outfielders, then *if* Shogo's your guy you better hope he's not awful versus lefties.  And you're going to want some platoon contingencies in case not just Heyward but also either Shogo or Schwarber, or both, stink versus lefties. 


Personally I'd just as soon not need to commit to Bote being a platoon starting 3B, and needing to have Bryant play outfield every time we face a lefty and need to bench our corner outfielders.  So having Schwarber somewhat playable versus lefties seems pretty desirable to me....
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 15, 2019, 09:35:04 am
All kinds of reports the Cubs are in on Akiyama, which only makes sense.  He checks a lot of boxes and most importantly given where the organization seems to be at the moment, he'll be pretty cheap.  There's risk there, but the cost should be reasonable enough to make it tolerable.

What are the reports on his defense?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 15, 2019, 09:58:45 am
Akiyama reports have been kinda all over the place.  I've seen a good defensive CF to adequate to corner OF.  I've seen he'd be an OK starter to more of 4th OF.  If he could be Fukudome with the ability to play CF I'd be happy.

 
Characteristically vague.  But I think the emphasis on the defense is perhaps not so vague?  That wouldn't seem to support Happ as a really significant option, or Heyward.  Yet at the same time he mentions "adjustments" converting internal guys into "part of the solution".   

Happ in addition to working on his contact at Iowa improved his defense in CF as well. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 15, 2019, 10:14:16 am
https://theathletic.com/1375584/2019/11/14/young-st-nick-castellanos-wont-be-stopping-on-the-north-side-but-keeping-kyle-schwarber-could-be-a-gift/?redirected=1

Quote
The Cubs are buying that version of Schwarber is here to stay. And even if they weren’t convinced, they don’t expect that any other organization would value Schwarber like they do. Other teams don’t have the same information the Cubs do on Schwarber, so they might just see a two-month hot streak. Even if the Cubs were to share what they know in trade negotiations, it could sound like nothing more than a sales job.

The message that the cubs are buying late-season Schwarber as sustainable is interesting.  As is the implication that they've got secret reaffirming "information".  I'd love to believe it's both true, that they have informed info projecting good-Schwarber for future, and that the late season "good" version of Schwarber better represents the future guy than the earlier ups-and-downs guy. 


I get the skeptical views:  That Sharma is being fed upbeat input by his "sources" to write gushy stuff and build up trade value.  That everybody has hots, but that whatever groove Schwarber had last September will be undone by cold wind-in week in Wrigley April.  And that even if the Cubs do sincerely believe their analytics confirms and projects good-Schwarber, that they'll be just as wrong as when their analytics believed Descalzo had adjusted himself into a good hitter, and that Almora's adjustments had him poised for a breakout 2019 season. 


But man, wouldn't it be cool if it was actually true that Schwarber has found something and has made some career and franchise-uplifting adjustments?  And that he's going to be a high-impact asset bat for the next couple of seasons?  that would be so great.  We know other teams have hit-labs and quants and stuff that result in significant player development; why couldn't it be true that it might happen for a Cub? 


Perhaps an irony is the following: 


Quote
To start the season, Schwarber decided to go back to what worked for him in college and the minors, when he was at his most comfortable and successful. That meant Schwarber was no longer overthinking things in the box. Instead of worrying about mechanical changes that hadn’t worked, he was more present in the box. By July, he started to turn a corner. And as success came, his confidence grew.


The irony is that other teams have coaching and quants and use practice to develop and improve players.  But for Schwarber, to read Sharma's account, the "solution" was to ditch and ignore the coaching and analytics and science that the Cubs had given him, and to return to his unscientific college swing. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on November 15, 2019, 10:38:23 am
Quote
The irony is that other teams have coaching and quants and use practice to develop and improve players.  But for Schwarber, to read Sharma's account, the "solution" was to ditch and ignore the coaching and analytics and science that the Cubs had given him, and to return to his unscientific college swing.

Isn't this the second time he's supposedly gone back to his old college approach?  I thought I read that about another time he was on a hot streak after a long slump.

I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time I've read that about someone on the Cubs in recent years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 15, 2019, 10:39:52 am
Isn't this the second time he's supposedly gone back to his old college approach?  I thought I read that about another time he was on a hot streak after a long slump.

I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time I've read that about someone on the Cubs in recent years.

I believe Almora may have said something like that. Didn't turn out quite as well for him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 15, 2019, 10:53:56 am
Almora was doing well until he hit the kid with a line drive.  Then his offense/defense seemed to nose dive.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on November 15, 2019, 10:57:29 am
I believe Almora may have said something like that. Didn't turn out quite as well for him.

Yeah Ron, I think that's who I was trying to think of!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 15, 2019, 11:14:25 am
Almora was doing well until he hit the kid with a line drive.  Then his offense/defense seemed to nose dive.

Almora had a two week hot streak before the foul ball. He was bad for the first month and a half of the season, good for two weeks, then bad for 4 months.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on November 15, 2019, 11:17:54 am
I'm not sure that it's always possible to pinpoint why a young hitter takes a step forward in his development.  I frankly don't care why Schwarber was so successful in August and September.  Just keep on doing what you were doing, kid.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 15, 2019, 11:36:17 am
Almora had a two week hot streak before the foul ball. He was bad for the first month and a half of the season, good for two weeks, then bad for 4 months.
Almora through 5/30 had a wRC+ of 88 and was at 101 in the month of May in 100 PA.  lose to his career average, after the line drive he was wRC+ of 41 and his defense declined as well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 15, 2019, 11:46:51 am
Through May 12, Almora had a wRC+ of 61. In 15 games between May 14 and and May 28 (the day before the foul ball), he had a wRC+ of 146. Then he was bad for the rest of the season (as you pointed out).

Almora had two good weeks that briefly inflated his small sample season stats in the second half of May. Even at that high point, his offense had been 12% worse than league average. The rest of his season was consistent with (well, slightly worse than) his awful first month and a half. His decent stats at the end of May look far more like a temporary blip than any kind of sustainable development, IMO.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 15, 2019, 12:38:38 pm
Thank you, guys, for those stats.  I often wondered what the splits were before and after that Houston incident.

So Almora's decline may have occurred because those cheap ass Astros didn't have an extended screen.  Damb bastards are at the root of all evel.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 15, 2019, 12:48:16 pm
Wittenmyer wrote that extension talks have started with Baez:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/cubs/2019/11/15/20966769/chicago-cubs-javy-baez-extension-talks-japanese-cf-shogo-akiyama-2020-insight

What kind of extension is he likely to get? Bogaerts seems like a pretty fair comp. He agreed to $12 million for his last year before free agency last offseason, then signed a 6 year, $120 million extension that starts in 2020 (so basically, the Red Sox had him under contract for 7/$132 million). Would something like 8/$140 million be fair for Baez? A total of $20 million in his last two years of arbitration, then the same 6/$120 extension on top of that? Bogaerts had slightly more leverage at the time (a year younger, a year closer to free agency, longer track record of being an All Star level player), so would it be too much to match that contract?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 15, 2019, 12:52:20 pm
Players will be hot and cold, but a CF with a wRC+ 88 would have ranked 13 in offense in that majors with enough AB to qualify.  If you take out guys you spent time more time on corner OF spots it would have been 9th.  Only 4 primary CF had a positive Fangraphs defensive value and a wRC+ above 100.

So Almora will his usual defense and below average offense would have been one of the better CF's last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 15, 2019, 01:42:18 pm
Players will be hot and cold, but a CF with a wRC+ 88 would have ranked 13 in offense in that majors with enough AB to qualify.  If you take out guys you spent time more time on corner OF spots it would have been 9th.  Only 4 primary CF had a positive Fangraphs defensive value and a wRC+ above 100. So Almora will his usual defense and below average offense would have been one of the better CF's last year.


Yeah, Almora at 88 wRC+ would have ranked #13....but there were were only 16 qualifiers in CF.

So, #13 put of 17 (if we add Almora) is poor, any way we look at it. Of course, he was actually 64 wRC+ for the season. And the metrics say his defense declined too.

Almora has 2.1 career fWAR in 1282 career PAs. Very poor.

So, even with “his usual defense” it requires a big shot of Pure Faith to go into 2020 with any reasonable hope that Almora could be “one of the better CFs.”

We can move the numbers around any way we want but Almora has been a big disappointment. Still young enough to change things around but, for now, projects as a 4th OFer based on his “usual defense.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 15, 2019, 02:39:34 pm
Akiyama reports have been kinda all over the place.  I've seen a good defensive CF to adequate to corner OF.  I've seen he'd be an OK starter to more of 4th OF.  If he could be Fukudome with the ability to play CF I'd be happy.

Happ in addition to working on his contact at Iowa improved his defense in CF as well. 

Thanks, helpful.  *IF* the Cubs don't like Shogo's CF defense, then he doesn't seem like a good fit.  Or *IF* they do, and sign him, but he actually doesn't play it very well, that could be bad too. 

*IF* Happ has improved his CF defense so massively that he's now OK out there, or even fairly good, that could be helpful.  *IF* both his defense and his hitting have adjusted and improved, he might be a useful flex piece.  Even if the Cubs want to believe both are true, I can't imagine they'd be willing to move ahead with him as the primary intended CF, though.  I want to, but I'm hesitant to believe his Cub hitting was more than a short hot-stretch fluke.  But *IF* I'm wrong and he proves to have adjusted/improved himself enough to be a good hitter, he could be a very useful flex guy.

I'm still uncertain whether his trade value will be substantial to justify a trade in Theo's eyes.  Same as for what Sharma said about Schwarber.  Suppose the Cubs believe the adjustments are real and will result in sustained success for both Happ and Schwarber. If so, will other teams value Schwarber or Happ as much as Theo does, in order to offer what's perceived as fair value? 

Or maybe I'm totally wrong on that?  Maybe teams self-confident in analytics and hit-lab analyses are big believers that practice and adjustments can improve a guy...  Maybe they figure the Cubs obsolete development practices, or lack thereof, have left Happ with all kinds of untapped potential?  And that once they get him into their program, that they'll be able to tap into potential that Maddon and McLeod couldn't access?   
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 15, 2019, 02:47:36 pm
It wouldn't shock me if the Cubs didn't go with CF as a competition position, rather than committing the resources to get a guy who they'll automatically commit 150+ starts to. 

Maybe they like Shogo's defense, but aren't 100% certain of his offense, or his capacity versus lefties?  They think he can be a main guy, but aren't 100% sure?  Maybe they're pretty confident that Happ is going to be more consistent and that he can be a .250 hitter or better; without being totally sure?  Maybe they think Almora will be able to get back to his 2017/18 profile versus LHP, but are not totally sure?  . 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 15, 2019, 02:52:34 pm
On Almora, I'm really doubtful that the foul ball in Houston would have really had a causal effect.  I think more coincidence.  I think most athletes are pretty well able to compartmentalize.  It's not his fault, he's got his own job to do. 

I don't imagine that was on his mind or distracting him very often during batting practice, or film study, much less during actual game AB.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 15, 2019, 03:09:43 pm
Almora was among the best the league leaders in outs above average prior to Houston.  He finished the year with a lower number.  In 2018 he had an expected of 89 and he caught 93.  In 2019 it was 85% and 86%.  His speed is 82nd percentile for MLB players and his outfield jump in 88th percentile (it was 92nd percentile earlier).  He still has speed and greats great jumps.  His career wRC+ is 87.  Everything tanked for him after Houston.  They guy isn't a star but he can be Jackie Bradley Jr, who is a valuable enough to play CF.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 15, 2019, 03:47:30 pm
...They guy isn't a star but he can be Jackie Bradley Jr, who is a valuable enough to play CF.


I agree that Almora has a chance to be Jackie Bradley. But, Bradley started to show some pop after about 500 PAs in the majors and Almora has almost 1,300 PAs without such evidence. So, still think it takes a lot of faith to hope for that. There is nothing going on statistically to support that. We’ve seen little blips of hope and then he falls back. Matter of faith.

Think that Almora has the residual power to hit like Bradley. That is also true for an awful lot of guys who never end up showing it. But, Almora will play 2020 at age 26 and hope springs eternal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 15, 2019, 04:35:48 pm
Christian Yelich just humbled Yu Darvish on Twitter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on November 15, 2019, 04:57:54 pm
Yelich acting like a baby.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 15, 2019, 05:12:31 pm
Christian Yelich just humbled Yu Darvish on Twitter.

I guess you could call it that. I'd call it being overly defensive about an innocuous comment where Darvish specifically said he wasn't accusing Yelich of stealing signs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 15, 2019, 05:16:35 pm
Almora was among the best the league leaders in outs above average prior to Houston.  He finished the year with a lower number.  In 2018 he had an expected of 89 and he caught 93.  In 2019 it was 85% and 86%.  His speed is 82nd percentile for MLB players and his outfield jump in 88th percentile (it was 92nd percentile earlier).  He still has speed and greats great jumps.  His career wRC+ is 87.  Everything tanked for him after Houston.  They guy isn't a star but he can be Jackie Bradley Jr, who is a valuable enough to play CF.

Blue, how do the speed and jump numbers compute/compare, to other CFers?  I'm not trying to be negative here, just sincerely curious.  CF is the most speed-oriented position in baseball, so we expect it to self-select for >90th percentile speedsters.  Is median for a CF around 82nd percentile, or 90th percentile, or 94th percentile, or 74th percentile?  I have no idea.  I'm guessing 82nd percentile is a little below average for a CF, but not grossly so? 
*Also, you mention 82nd percentile for MLB players.  Are pitchers MLB players, I assume not?  Or do MLB players include pitchers?  If the latter, then presumably ≤50th percentile is populated by pitchers. 
*Even with position players only, that's still including the Rizzos and Caratinis and Botes and Zobrists and Eloy and Soler guys, many of whom are not very fast. 
*So I'm curious where 82nd percentile would fall, relative to center fielders. 

Outfield jump is obviously relative to outfielders.  So that's a clear frame of reference.  Again, I assume CF selects for the better ones, so probably ≥60th-percentile jump guys are predominantly CFers.  But 88th percentile overall must certainly be in the upper half, perhaps even among the upper quartile, even amongst CFers. 

I guess it just seems unlikely to me that a foul ball incident would have a cause-and-effect impact on performance.  If so, do you think he'll still be compromised by that for the duration of his career?  Or for the upcoming season?  Or might that have a 5-month impact, but not endure beyond the winter? 

I'm not doubting the numbers you included.  And I'm not a psychiatrist.  It just seems unusual that a pro athlete, who is so used to focusing on things he can control, would have a season-long collapse over an incident for which he has no fault, and for whose followup he has no opportunity or responsibility.  To have that on your mind during batting practice, or during your AB, or when playing the field, or when chasing a fly ball, that just seems very unusual.  It may be that the timing was coincidence, that his decline is unrelated to the incident, and that his decline will not be remediated by an extra offseason of separation from the incident.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2019, 05:35:24 pm
What are the reports on his defense?

As noted kind of a jumble, but in general he's been regarded as plus-plus defensively in CF.  This issue is he's 32, but I think the consensus is he'd still be at least average for the next couple of seasons.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 15, 2019, 05:54:05 pm
Christian Yelich just humbled Yu Darvish on Twitter.
share please
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on November 15, 2019, 06:16:52 pm
share please

https://mobile.twitter.com/ChristianYelich/status/1195462269594812417
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 15, 2019, 06:29:13 pm
Thanks
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 15, 2019, 06:29:47 pm
Here's more context...Bleacher Nation tells most of the lead up to Yelich's tweet:

https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2019/11/15/must-read-of-the-day-yu-darvish-on-sign-stealing-the-world-series-and-a-prevalent-problem/

Quick summary: There was an article today about Darvish's bad start in the 2017 World Series and how it looks in hindsight with the Astros stealing signs controversy. Later in the article, he says he thinks sign stealing is widespread in baseball and shares a story where he noticed batters of an unnamed team glancing out to left center field when he was getting ready to throw a pitch, and so he stepped off the mound. Bleacher Nation did some detective work and tweeted out a video that appears to show Yelich glancing out to LCF, and then Darvish steps off. The video is at the end of the Bleacher Nation article.

Darvish saw this and seemed to confirm this was what he was talking about:

ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) @faridyu
I'm not sure what is he trying to do. But to be clear his eyes move first. That's why I step off.


Then three minutes later, he tweeted this:
ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) @faridyu
But that's not mean Brewers stealing signs.


Later in the afternoon, Yelich got defensive.

Christian Yelich @ChristianYelich
Be better than this. Nobody needs help facing you


Josh Donaldson and Darvish then had an entertaining back and forth:

Josh Donaldson @BringerOfRain20
Replying to @ChristianYelich and @Jared_Carrabis
💀 I could use some help off him whatcha got?

ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) @faridyu
I don't think you need help either.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2019, 06:45:18 pm
ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish)

Verified account
 
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If there’s a person with an ear piece in the center field stands, it’ll be easy to do on the road too. Just saying...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on November 15, 2019, 06:52:08 pm
There has been a lot of chatter that the rangers and Brewers are also stealing signs.. that's kinda where this started for bleacher nation
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on November 15, 2019, 07:07:14 pm
Manfred needs to completely wipe this out.  The nuclear option should be on the table.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2019, 07:42:39 pm
Yelich certainly comes off as suspiciously defensive there.  A very Trumpian response.

Yu is a tremendous follow on twitter.  Guy always says what he thinks and doesn't give a ****.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on November 15, 2019, 07:51:11 pm
I have had a lot of respect for how the Brewers have been able to succeed with lesser players and limited resources.  Now there is doubt about the legitimacy of their accomplishments.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2019, 07:54:39 pm
Manfred needs to completely wipe this out.  The nuclear option should be on the table.

ROFL.  Manfred?  Dream on.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on November 15, 2019, 09:08:25 pm
What would Landis do?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 15, 2019, 09:32:43 pm
Blue, how do the speed and jump numbers compute/compare, to other CFers?  I'm not trying to be negative here, just sincerely curious.  CF is the most speed-oriented position in baseball, so we expect it to self-select for >90th percentile speedsters.  Is median for a CF around 82nd percentile, or 90th percentile, or 94th percentile, or 74th percentile?  I have no idea.  I'm guessing 82nd percentile is a little below average for a CF, but not grossly so? 
*Also, you mention 82nd percentile for MLB players.  Are pitchers MLB players, I assume not?  Or do MLB players include pitchers?  If the latter, then presumably ≤50th percentile is populated by pitchers. 
*Even with position players only, that's still including the Rizzos and Caratinis and Botes and Zobrists and Eloy and Soler guys, many of whom are not very fast. 
*So I'm curious where 82nd percentile would fall, relative to center fielders. 

Outfield jump is obviously relative to outfielders.  So that's a clear frame of reference.  Again, I assume CF selects for the better ones, so probably ≥60th-percentile jump guys are predominantly CFers.  But 88th percentile overall must certainly be in the upper half, perhaps even among the upper quartile, even amongst CFers. 

I guess it just seems unlikely to me that a foul ball incident would have a cause-and-effect impact on performance.  If so, do you think he'll still be compromised by that for the duration of his career?  Or for the upcoming season?  Or might that have a 5-month impact, but not endure beyond the winter? 

I'm not doubting the numbers you included.  And I'm not a psychiatrist.  It just seems unusual that a pro athlete, who is so used to focusing on things he can control, would have a season-long collapse over an incident for which he has no fault, and for whose followup he has no opportunity or responsibility.  To have that on your mind during batting practice, or during your AB, or when playing the field, or when chasing a fly ball, that just seems very unusual.  It may be that the timing was coincidence, that his decline is unrelated to the incident, and that his decline will not be remediated by an extra offseason of separation from the incident.   

For OF jump I couldn’t sort just CF, but Almora is 12th in baseball.

For sprint speed if you set it to 150 attempts to get rid of some of the scrubs he is 16/24 in CF, faster than Bradley and Inciarte.

In a 90 foot race around the bases he is 0.23 slower than Buxton and that translates into about 6 feet behind Buxton using their race function.

Almora has something go really wrong after he hit the kid, but he also needs to make adjustments. I prefer he start in Iowa and work on a swing adjustment to add loft and quit swinging at bad pitches that promote more of the weak contact. He can be useful just as a defensive replacement, but if they can figure out how to get his offense to league average at least he would be a good starter in CF. Especially with suckage that is currently playing there in all of baseball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 15, 2019, 10:41:15 pm
I dont really even know the Japanese CFers name yet but Ive felt like we sorely needed a leadoff man since Fowler left and the dude seems like an ideal fit at a cheap price.

Im all for it.

My problem is with Japanese pitchers not position players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 15, 2019, 11:00:28 pm

..Almora has something go really wrong after he hit the kid, but he also needs to make adjustments. I prefer he start in Iowa and work on a swing adjustment to add loft and quit swinging at bad pitches that promote more of the weak contact. He can be useful just as a defensive replacement, but if they can figure out how to get his offense to league average at least he would be a good starter in CF. Especially with suckage that is currently playing there in all of baseball.

Keep in mind that Almora has regressed badly for two seasons.  In his first two partial seasons (440 PAs), his OPS was about .770. Since then, he’s at about .680 OPS. I doubt that it's mostly about the Houston incident, if at all.

Offensively, 2019 was a typical year for major league CFers:  .745 OPS.

Starting in 2018 and going backwards, CF OPS has been 725-762-745-738-718-729-748-734-731.

2019 fits right in at CF.

If Almora could OPS at .750, he would be okay. But, think Cubs would be foolish to plan on that for 2020.



Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 15, 2019, 11:41:20 pm
The Cubs are reportedly in discussions for an extension with Javier Baez. Here is a compilation of his extraordinary tags.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2334909530152813


Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 16, 2019, 02:00:46 am
The Cubs are reportedly in discussions for an extension with Javier Baez. Here is a compilation of his extraordinary tags.

Forgive me but going to toot my horn for a second on Baez tags. I was struck by this back in 2014 when Baez first came up.


Reb
Guest

Re: 2014 Today's Game (2/26/14 - 9/28/14)
« Reply #3931 on: September 16, 2014, 08:05:45 pm »
Would Castro have made the tag on Hamilton SB attempt in 4th inning that Baez just made? Uh, no.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 16, 2019, 08:28:32 am
ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish)

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Yesterday, the Japanese media accidentally used my picture in a news report about a hit and run incident where I was apparently the victim of the hit and run.
Ah..now that I think about it, I certainly was a victim of a hit and run yesterday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 16, 2019, 08:31:59 am
Offensively, 2019 was a typical year for major league CFers:  .745 OPS.

If Almora could OPS at .750, he would be okay. But, think Cubs would be foolish to plan on that for 2020.


1) Did you miss where I said he should start in AAA?
2) There are literally 6 full time CF that met your criteria for .750 OPS. Kepler, Heyward and Fowler are part time guys at best. So if you criteria for a CF being OK is being top 6 at their position you might want to reevaluate your idea of ok.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 16, 2019, 09:14:55 am
(https://media.giphy.com/media/2UvAUplPi4ESnKa3W0/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 16, 2019, 10:25:09 am
1) Did you miss where I said he should start in AAA?
2) There are literally 6 full time CF that met your criteria for .750 OPS. Kepler, Heyward and Fowler are part time guys at best. So if you criteria for a CF being OK is being top 6 at their position you might want to reevaluate your idea of ok.

Evidently you missed the part about .745 being the average OPS in CF throughout the majors last season. Not surprised you missed that because you described that as “suckage” when, in fact, it’s typical for at least the last 10 years.

There were 18 CFers in MLB with .745 OPS or better, with 400 PAs or more. It’s not important if Almora qualifies for the Batting Title or not. The Batting Title is not the benchmark here. It’s can Almora hit in the majors like an average CFer so he’s worthy of getting a substantial # of PAs.

You’re arguing that CF MLB AVERAGE is a high bar? Really?


Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 16, 2019, 12:18:53 pm
18 people that played some time in CF.  The people who played there for a majority of their time is less. 

15 guys had 400 PA and a wRC+ of 100.  Only 7 had a wRC+ and a postive defensive value playing at least some time in CF.

9 teams had a wRC+ of 100 in CF.  On 5 paired that with positive defensive value.

11 teams had a OPS >.745 from CF.  6 teams paired that with positive defensive value.

So yes league average offense with even some defensive value is hard to do.  Only 16 teams where able to get >2 WAR from CF. 

If league average offense and bad defense is acceptable than Heyward should be the CF.  The Nationals won the WS with a wRC+ 89 and plus defensive value in CF this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 16, 2019, 02:37:33 pm
Every single player who played CF in the majors—in the aggregate—averaged .745 OPS in 2019.

You can parse, cherry-pick, cut, paste, twist, and contort any which way...but it does not change what is MLB average in CF.

.745.

So, that is what seems a reasonable hope for Almora: give us average offense for his position in a significant #of PAs and play at least average or better CF defense.

MLB average for your position is not too high a pedestal. Year in and year out, MLB average in CF is near that number. 2019 was not an outlier in the majors but a typical season for CF. Once you are aware of that, you should be able to see that Almora has quite a ways to go to reach average for his position.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 16, 2019, 07:46:26 pm
If you set it to 0 PA a grand total of 38 players had CF innings and an OPS above .745.  The mean OPS for CF is much, much less. So league average offense or even league average CF offense is rare. Adding average or better defense makes it even rarer. Mean is probably a better stat for the argument you are trying to make.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 16, 2019, 07:49:37 pm
Let's not forget that Almora was just as bad in the second half of 2018 as he was after the foul ball in 2019. He's been a 58 wRC+ hitter since the All Star Break in 2018. He's got a long way to go to get to being a .745 OPS hitter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 16, 2019, 09:30:00 pm
My whole point is that CF that hit that well and play defense are rare. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 16, 2019, 10:20:53 pm
If you set it to 0 PA a grand total of 38 players had CF innings and an OPS above .745.  The mean OPS for CF is much, much less. So league average offense or even league average CF offense is rare. Adding average or better defense makes it even rarer. Mean is probably a better stat for the argument you are trying to make.

Using mean gives us the same thing.

At 400 PAs minimum, 18 of 31 CFers were at .745 OPS or better.

At 300 PAs, 20 of 40 CFers were at .745 or better.

0 PAs and up is the entire universe of CFers of course and that’s .745 OPS. It’s not rare, it’s average and at the mean.

As I noted first time around, this has been the general average for CFers for at least 10 seasons. The exact year-by-year from 2010 forward, I posted earlier.

So, when you say:

My whole point is that CF that hit that well and play defense are rare. 

....the data just does not support that. OPSing at .745 for CF is average/median for players with substantial PAs. It’s just a fact.

It’s not a high bar. It’s average for the position. Of course, performing at average is importantly anti-awful. Not easy but should be doable for Cubs. Would be nice if Almora is the guy who helps get us there.

I’m not really knocking Almora—-just pointing out that he’s been a disappointment and is regressing. Let’s agree that he still has upside and has a chance to be better than has been lately.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 16, 2019, 10:59:47 pm
....It’s not a high bar. It’s average for the position. Of course, performing at average is importantly anti-awful. Not easy ...

Key point on the anti-awful.  **IF** even our worst spot in the lineup was average, while our better ones were variably north of average, we'd have a really above-average offense.  Making progress on two of our three bad spots, CF and 2B, would help a lot.  Don't need to trade any of Rizzo-Contreras-Bryant-Baez-Schwarber to address those two black holes.  The ability to upgrade at those two spots is really central to 2020 hopes. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 17, 2019, 06:43:34 am
Evidently you missed the part about .745 being the average OPS in CF throughout the majors last season. Not surprised you missed that because you described that as “suckage” when, in fact, it’s typical for at least the last 10 years.

There were 18 CFers in MLB with .745 OPS or better, with 400 PAs or more. It’s not important if Almora qualifies for the Batting Title or not. The Batting Title is not the benchmark here. It’s can Almora hit in the majors like an average CFer so he’s worthy of getting a substantial # of PAs.

You’re arguing that CF MLB AVERAGE is a high bar? Really?




What would the average OPS for CF be if you removed Trout’s 1.083 and the lowest OPS of whatever cutoff you want to use?

The mean no longer holds at even 200 PA and you were the said it is the average OPS for EVERYONE that played CF.  Even at 300 PA there is enough PA for every team to have 1. 

Using 300 PA, and that includes Heyward, Folwer, Kepler, Canha, Verdurgo, Kingery, Dahl, Desmond and Goodwin that are more utlility guys or corner OF.

And if we are going to ignore defense like you have been.  We already have a CF with above average offense that in Heyward. If you want above average defense and above average offense that is a small pool of players. It is so small that very few teams are able to accomplish this.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 17, 2019, 12:39:22 pm
Your problem here is that, in your original post, you did not know that average CF OPS was .745. You thought the bar was much lower.

That explains the current detour to the mean, where 300, 400, 500, 600 PAs are inadequate to you and now you insist that 200 PAs is the way to go and you want to start eliminating players.

NL average is .739, without Trout. The difference is negligible. If you go back to the immediate seasons before Trout’s career, you will find similar range.

As to defense, it’s a non-issue. We’re on the same page. Almora’s latest defensive metrics probably don’t reflect his above average defense.

Let’s not obfuscate the point. Almora, in most recent two seasons, is nowhere near average offensively, has a significant way to go to get there, and the Cubs need to solve the CF problem and remains to be seen whether Almora is part of the solution.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 17, 2019, 04:31:34 pm
The suckage didn’t refer to OPS, which is still below league average. The suckage referred to the quality that teams are putting out. Only 16 where able to get to 2 WAR and 5 did it with above average offense and defense. Compare that to say RF, SS, 3B where it was 20+.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 17, 2019, 05:12:37 pm
Apparently Happ’s swing-and-miss issues are limited to baseball:

https://twitter.com/straightdown/status/1195855671981293568?s=21
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 17, 2019, 08:42:54 pm
The suckage didn’t refer to OPS, which is still below league average. The suckage referred to the quality that teams are putting out. Only 16 where able to get to 2 WAR and 5 did it with above average offense and defense. Compare that to say RF, SS, 3B where it was 20+.

Again, nothing new about up-the-middle position talent being harder to find than corner positions. This has been true since the modern era began in baseball, not just 2019. (SS has of course had a renaissance in recent years mostly because of the great SS Latino talents). It’s just that Almora recent performance farther away than you think, statistically, from what is average for the position.

Think we’re really mostly on the same page as to Almora. Not penciling him in to be the starter from the get-go in 2019 and at least some hope he can reach the potential we saw a bit of earlier in his career.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 18, 2019, 03:53:17 pm
Clay Davenport--who was one of the founders of Baseball Prospectus--still has his own website where he maintains projections and translations that produce major league equivalents for foreign and minor leagues. He posted 2019 translations from Japan today. Since there has been a lot of talk about Shogo Akiyama here, I think it's relevant that his translated slash line was .298/.368/.411 with a strikeout rate around 12.5%. So if that's the expectation of what he'd do the next couple of years, I'd take it.

http://claydavenport.com/stats/webpages/2019/2019pageJPLyearALL.shtml
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 18, 2019, 04:21:12 pm
Shogo Akiyama is asking for 3 years, $15 million:

https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2019/11/18/shogo-akiyamas-reported-asking-price-three-years-and-15-million/

If the Cubs can't figure out how to fit that in, they should just tear down again and rebuild. They'll save most (all?) of that money in 2020 by just non-tendering Russell.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 18, 2019, 04:23:48 pm
Since there has been a lot of talk about Shogo Akiyama here, I think it's relevant that his translated slash line was .298/.368/.411 with a strikeout rate around 12.5%. So if that's the expectation of what he'd do the next couple of years, I'd take it.


Yeah, that would work.

Could see, maybe, an argument for giving a chance to an Akiyama/Almora platoon in CF.

Almora OPSed .532 against lefties in 2019 but, of course, was good against lefties before 2019 and maybe last season was fluky in that respect.

Shogo Akiyama is asking for 3 years, $15 million:..If the Cubs can't figure out how to fit that in, they should just tear down again and rebuild. They'll save most (all?) of that money in 2020 by just non-tendering Russell.

Don't think the $5 per would be a problem but 3 years seems too long.

 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 18, 2019, 04:41:17 pm
If the Cubs are willing to go 2/$10 million, they should be willing to go for the third year. By 2022, the only high salary players who are under contract/control are Darvish, Hendricks, and Contreras. The Cubs should be willing to absorb that hit in 2022 to buy in on his upside/fit with the team in 2020-21.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Jack Birdbath on November 18, 2019, 05:12:41 pm
If $5M three years from now is a big enough concern not to sign a guy who could be a very good fit, then the Ricketts should sell right now.  In the baseball economy, $5M is basically zero.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 18, 2019, 05:37:23 pm
Shogo Akiyama is asking for 3 years, $15 million:....

Clay Davenport--.... posted 2019 translations from Japan today. Since there has been a lot of talk about Shogo Akiyama here, I think it's relevant that his translated slash line was .298/.368/.411 with a strikeout rate around 12.5%. So if that's the expectation of what he'd do the next couple of years, I'd take it.

If Shogo is asking for $15/3, and hasn't gotten it yet, that would suggest that neither Shogo's agent nor Theo nor any baseball GM's believe Davenport's .298/.368/.411 translation. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 18, 2019, 05:59:52 pm
I think it's way too early in the offseason to make that conclusion. The free agent market moves very, very slowly now. Only one major free agent has signed, and he used his qualifying offer as leverage to set a deadline for 29 teams.

No team is just going to immediately say yes to his agent's first offer even if they're ultimately willing to pay that price.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 18, 2019, 06:25:42 pm
I like Shogo, but it would give us a lefthand hitting outfield.  I think that Theocracy will try to do some trading before filling slots with FA's.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 18, 2019, 07:20:56 pm
I like Shogo, but it would give us a lefthand hitting outfield.  I think that Theocracy will try to do some trading before filling slots with FA's.

They better not wait too long, because someone will sign Akiyama if that's the cost.

Obviously you need at least one RH platoon OF (not Almora - one who's decent) whether you sign Shogo for CF or not.  I don't have a problem with a lefty OF because our IF figures to be all righties except for Rizzo, as long as we have at least one and preferably two RH platoon options.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 18, 2019, 07:32:08 pm
I wonder what Cameron Maybin will cost. I’d feel pretty good about the OF if they could add Shogo and Maybin.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 18, 2019, 08:38:52 pm
I wonder what Cameron Maybin will cost. I’d feel pretty good about the OF if they could add Shogo and Maybin.

Maybin is a reverse splits hitter—-much better against righties, so not really a platoon guy with Akiyama.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 18, 2019, 08:57:23 pm
I wonder what Cameron Maybin will cost. I’d feel pretty good about the OF if they could add Shogo and Maybin.

Why is Maybin reassuring?

Shogo for 3/$15 seems like something the Cubs should do even if he is a 4th OF.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 18, 2019, 11:27:37 pm
Brock Holt would be an interesting bench addition, especially if you are going with Hoerner at second. He’s another lefty bat so he doesn’t really help in the OF.



Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 19, 2019, 09:41:16 am
I think it's way too early in the offseason to make that conclusion. The free agent market moves very, very slowly now. Only one major free agent has signed, and he used his qualifying offer as leverage to set a deadline for 29 teams. ...  No team is just going to immediately say yes to his agent's first offer even if they're ultimately willing to pay that price.

"No team is just going to immediately say yes to his agent's first offer even if they're ultimately willing to pay that price."  Things drag, because agents ask high.  Harper wanted half-billion, Kimbrel $100M, Arrieta $200M, etc. 

If Shogo's first-ask is $15/3 and *if* he's hypothetically willing to sign now, and *IF* the Cubs actually trusted that he's a .298/.368/.411 as Davenport translates, then there would be no logic for dragging it out.  Under that hypothetical, you'd want to grab him ASAP, before somebody else grabs that steal. 

That it isn't happening proves that one of the hypotheticals is false, probably two or more of them. 
*The Cubs don't really trust that he's Davenport's .298/.368/.411. 
*His agent doesn't really trust that he's Davenport's .298/.368/.411.  If he did, he'd be looking for more than $15/3. 
*Whether the agent is Japanese or American, just like any other American agent if you offer $15/3 today he still won't take the deal, and will just take that elsewhere to try to leverage for a higher deal. 

My basic point, though, was that Davenport's .298/.368/.411 is probably believed by nobody, gm's or agents.  *IF* it was, the agent would know he could get >$15/3, and teams would try to snap up a $15/3 bargain.  The .298/.368/.411 is not a safe translation or projection. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 19, 2019, 10:43:15 am
I like Shogo, but it would give us a lefthand hitting outfield.  I think that Theocracy will try to do some trading before filling slots with FA's.

Curt, not sure how to process the lefty factor.  But I'm not sure a lefty in center would be problematic; perhaps it would actually be preferred?  (Obviously that might be impacted by what they do at 2B, and by whether they replace Big-5 righties with lefties (Baez, Bryant, and Contreras). 

As it stands for the six current starters, it's 3 righties (Bryant, Baez, Contreras) and three lefties (Rizzo, Schwarber, Heyward.) 

Of the existing internal 2B candidates, Hoerner and Bote are both RH.  (I'm not really considering Russell or Descalzo).  So if we're 4/3 RH/LH, I don't think it's essential that the CF starter be RH and make it 5/3 RH/LH.  I'd be totally fine with getting a 4th lefty and being 4/4; in fact I might almost prefer it. 

Obviously that might change if they trade Baez and Bryant, or trade Hoerner/Bote for a lefty 2B, or whatever. But otherwise, I think a lefty CF will be OK. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on November 19, 2019, 10:54:21 am
I find Curt's attitude about lefties to be sinister.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 19, 2019, 11:03:50 am
Much too deep and obtuse for retired school teachers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: dev on November 19, 2019, 11:17:31 am
https://mobile.twitter.com/ChristianYelich/status/1195462269594812417
wow...that universe exists?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 19, 2019, 11:30:54 am
Shogo I think does have an offer from a Japanese team, but I don't think it will be quick.  The opinions I've seen on him have been varied.

Edit: He also has a foot fracture so teams may want to make sure it is healing properly. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 19, 2019, 01:39:59 pm
Curt, not sure how to process the lefty factor.  But I'm not sure a lefty in center would be problematic; perhaps it would actually be preferred?  (Obviously that might be impacted by what they do at 2B, and by whether they replace Big-5 righties with lefties (Baez, Bryant, and Contreras). 

As it stands for the six current starters, it's 3 righties (Bryant, Baez, Contreras) and three lefties (Rizzo, Schwarber, Heyward.) 

Of the existing internal 2B candidates, Hoerner and Bote are both RH.  (I'm not really considering Russell or Descalzo).  So if we're 4/3 RH/LH, I don't think it's essential that the CF starter be RH and make it 5/3 RH/LH.  I'd be totally fine with getting a 4th lefty and being 4/4; in fact I might almost prefer it. 

Obviously that might change if they trade Baez and Bryant, or trade Hoerner/Bote for a lefty 2B, or whatever. But otherwise, I think a lefty CF will be OK. 

Simple.  I was just suggesting that the Cubs might wish to deal first before signing a FA who happens to be another LH hitting OF.  Not a big deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 19, 2019, 09:41:32 pm
"I think what we're going to see is probably a significant trade. Possibly two."--Jeff Passan on Cubs offseason
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 19, 2019, 09:47:26 pm
I’ll be out of pocket for much of tomorrow, but don’t be surprised if Cubs swing a trade. Rule 5 Protection day is how the Cubs landed Rowan Wick, and the Cubs 40-man flexibility should allow them to acquire assets that are in a roster crunch in a different organization.--Bryan Smith Bleacher Nation
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 20, 2019, 09:03:52 am
https://theathletic.com/1386105/2019/11/20/sharma-why-did-the-cubs-hire-chris-young-and-what-did-he-learn-from-his-phillies-failure/?source=dailyemail

I found this interesting.   bit of a glimpse into both pitching coach and bullpen coach roles, and I enjoy reading comments from Hottovy.  He seems both smart and like a good guy.  I respect and appreciate him.

It's interesting that most of the talk is about game-planning.  Not making your stuff better (pitch development), but how to use your existing stuff.     

Sharma is a huge Cubs-admin fan.  Interesting in the article how he seemed to view the Cubs as having a much bigger pool of pitching analysts collaborating, whereas he portrayed the Phillies as basically having Chris Young doing all of that on his own.  I'm guessing he may have underestimated the resources the Phillies may have had in that regard? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 20, 2019, 01:57:05 pm
I'm sure he got the info about the Phillies pitching structure from Yound and maybe confirmed it with the Athletics Phillies reporter.  I believe she used to live in Chicago and do some coverage of the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 20, 2019, 05:55:57 pm
The deadline to add players to the 40-man is about an hour away and the Cubs haven't announced anything yet. Are they working up to the deadline to try to make a move or two?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 20, 2019, 07:20:52 pm
Still waiting for the Cubs to announce their final 40 man roster 20 minutes after the deadline. Yankees and Giants also have not announced.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 20, 2019, 07:31:46 pm
According to source, Class-A Myrtle Beach pitcher Manuel Rodriguez added to Cubs' 40-man roster. 65 K's in 47 innings last season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 20, 2019, 07:32:36 pm
Short, Miller, Amaya and Rodriguez. No trades. Hopefully Minch, Rucker and Mekkes make it through.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on November 20, 2019, 07:45:02 pm
Arizona Phil was sure that Higgins would be added, so that's a bit of a surprise.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on November 20, 2019, 07:46:30 pm
I'm actually a little surprised that Miller, a guy with minus-minus stuff, was rostered.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 20, 2019, 08:01:41 pm
According to source, Class-A Myrtle Beach pitcher Manuel Rodriguez added to Cubs' 40-man roster. 65 K's in 47 innings last season.

Always interesting that, periodically, there’s a significant surprise who gets rostered.

Manuel Rodriguez had a 7.59 ERA in 2018, still a Class A reliever, and AzPhil most recently rated him as the #36 most likely eligible player to be rostered.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on November 20, 2019, 08:07:40 pm
Reb, we have to factor in Cubs scouting and evaluation, known to be among MLB's worst.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 20, 2019, 08:14:40 pm
Rodriguez, 23 year old righty out of Mexico.

5-11 so he is short, but the Cubs prospects guy saw him I. Spring training sitting 95 with a plus curve.

12.45 K/9, 3.26 BB/9. 3.45 ER, 2.04 FIP/2.39 xFIP. 3% HR/FB.

Just guessing he is a high spin guy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 20, 2019, 08:21:22 pm
Honestly, with a system as shallow as ours this isn't exactly likely to be a string of momentous decisions.  None of the guys we exposed are good bets to be taken, and the last couple of guys to make the cut are unlikely to ever reach the majors.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: dallen7908 on November 20, 2019, 08:26:37 pm
Always interesting that, periodically, there’s a significant surprise who gets rostered.

Manuel Rodriguez had a 7.59 ERA in 2018, still a Class A reliever, and AzPhil most recently rated him as the #36 most likely eligible player to be rostered.
[/quoteRHP

From Baseball America's Rule 5 preview:
Manuel Rodriguez can run his four-seamer and sinker into the upper 90s and counterbalances his fastballs with a power curveball. He struck out 65 in 47 innings this year with high Class A Myrtle Beach ... and you know better than to make a point with ERA (to tease a bit).  He struggled a bit early this year with control but was locked in from mid-season on. ... But his rostering was a surprise to me ... but not to BA.

With respect to Miller, I was hoping they'd roster him.  I have him #15.  Minus-minus FB would be a 40.  I've seen his FB rated as high as a 50 (Fangraphs) but 90-92 is in several of his scouting reports which is probably a minus-FB for a RHP although maybe that is Minus-minus these days.

AZPhil was high on Higgins but I believe Cubs Den pointed out that he began the year as a 3B/1B type in AA having lost out to Pereda for the starting job.  He worked his way into the catching rotation and really took off after promotion to Iowa.  I would have protected him ... but I have a blind spot for grinders.

With 26 man rosters next year, I suspect the Rule 5 draft will be more active than normal.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on November 20, 2019, 08:57:36 pm
Do the Cubs have the least talented roster in MLB?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 20, 2019, 09:04:45 pm
Jeff Exasperated Hyperbole Meter Rating:

Reb, we have to factor in Cubs scouting and evaluation, known to be among MLB's worst.

4.5

Do the Cubs have the least talented roster in MLB?

7.5
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 20, 2019, 09:44:31 pm
Short, Miller, Amaya and Rodriguez. No trades. Hopefully Minch, Rucker and Mekkes make it through.

Jeff probably wouldn't be hyperbolizing to consider that probably the Cubs worst group of new 40-man additions since the creation of the internet. 

I know, who can know now?  Maybe they'll all work out.  Maybe Miller is ready to blossom into a RH Quintana, and Short will have no downturn in the majors, and will be able to sustain his .211 Iowa batting average in the NL, too!  But man, I can't remember ever having such a low-ceiling group. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 20, 2019, 09:53:04 pm
Rodriguez is a curious case.  His stuff is good enough for >12 K/IP.  But when he's not K'ing, they BABIP'd .372.  That's this year.  Probably fluky? 

Last year, when he had the >14 K/IP, he had a .481 BABIP, with no individual month <.423 BABIP. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 20, 2019, 10:03:24 pm
Amaya is a really good prospect so I think it would be some Jeff worthy hyperbole to compare this group to anything the Cubs put out in the 90’s or 00’s.

Rodriguez must have some really interesting stuff to get added coming off of high A as a reliever.


Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 20, 2019, 10:23:31 pm
Not sure in the early 90's, but by the mid-late 90's, the Cubs had lots of prospects.  I'm not sure you'd find another year this weak.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 20, 2019, 11:09:35 pm
For better or worse, I still have scouting manuals going back to the early 80s, most of which I don't know where I have them.  But, found the 1993 Stats, Inc. Scouting Report.  This is part of what it says about Cubs prospects.  If Jeff had written this, I would would give this a "9" on the Jeff meter.

I'm not making this up. The report:

"It probably isn't fair to evaluate the current state of the Cubs farm system, built as it was by Bozo the Clown, Barney Fife, and other mainstays of the Tribune television network.....Who knows?  One of these years, Luis Salazar might find himself out of a job."

As to top prospect Lance Dickson, it says that "Dickson has been a 'top Cubs pitching prospect' so long that he may have learned his curveball from Three Finger Brown. His left arm ought to be pretty well rested given that he worked only 2.1 innings at Iowa in 1992....lot of questions about his ability to stay healthy, arm problems, leg problems, foot problems, shoulder problems. He's had about everything go wrong.

Aside from Dickson, Cubs top prospect was AA reliever Jessie Hollins, a 40th round draft pick who was at AA most of 1992 and was converted to relief in 1992 after poor performances as a starter earlier.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 20, 2019, 11:15:20 pm
Heh heh, yeah, that was really a bad time.  I think kind of by the time the internet came along, they were beyond that, though....??  Once Hendry came on as draft director, they had a lot of good prospects, and never were as bad as that anymore.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 20, 2019, 11:22:24 pm
Draft started in 1965.

Cubs first round picks for first 12 years of the draft (and Cubs were typically picking very high most years): 

Rick James, Dean Burk, Terry Hughes, Ralph Rickey, Roger Metzger, Gene Hiser, Jeff Wehmeier, Brian Vernoy, Jerry Tabb, Scott Thompson (yea!), Brian Rosinski, Herman Segelke.

This is what we were dealing with back then. 

    

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 20, 2019, 11:33:19 pm
Several HOFers in there!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Robb on November 21, 2019, 12:26:08 am
That list is super freaky.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on November 21, 2019, 06:58:53 am
MLB.com throws a wild hypothetical out there:

Quote
Cubs trade Kris Bryant to Braves for Max Fried, Drew Waters, Bryse Wilson and William Contreras

The second franchise player on our list, Bryant -- like Betts -- will continue to be the subject of trade talks throughout the offseason. The Braves are said to be interested in bringing back Josh Donaldson, but if he signs elsewhere, Atlanta could move Austin Riley (who has yet to prove himself as a reliable big leaguer) back to third base from left field -- or they could deal for a player like Bryant, who can play either left or third.

Bryant isn’t slated to become a free agent for two more years, so while he should earn more than $40 million in his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility, the 2016 National League MVP Award winner would help the Braves in their quest to advance deep into October. Fried, who won 17 games at age 25, would give the Cubs a young cost-controlled starter to add to a veteran rotation led by Jon Lester, Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana and Kyle Hendricks.

The switch-hitting Waters (Atlanta’s No. 2 prospect, per MLB Pipeline) would give the Cubs a budding star in the outfield, while Wilson (their No. 6 prospect) profiles as a future mid-rotation starter or possibly a late-inning reliever. Contreras -- the younger brother of Chicago catcher Willson and Atlanta’s No. 8 prospect -- could give the Cubs a succession plan behind the plate if the elder Contreras is traded or leaves after the 2021 season as a free agent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 21, 2019, 07:15:20 am
Not sure in the early 90's, but by the mid-late 90's, the Cubs had lots of prospects.  I'm not sure you'd find another year this weak.

Just go look at the first round picks from 1990-2008. The Cubs had 4 first round picks with greater than 5 rWAR in their career.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 21, 2019, 07:23:03 am
Cubs prospects posted a video of Rodriguez. His fastball has a ton of movement, almost to the point of I think it would be hard to throw as a strike. His curve has a really sharp break as well. The guy looks interesting.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 21, 2019, 09:11:07 am
Honestly, with a system as shallow as ours this isn't exactly likely to be a string of momentous decisions.  None of the guys we exposed are good bets to be taken, and the last couple of guys to make the cut are unlikely to ever reach the majors.

Not so very long ago, Contreras fell into the above classification.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 22, 2019, 01:08:50 pm
MLB.com throws a wild hypothetical out there:

Cubs trade Kris Bryant to Braves for Max Fried, Drew Waters, Bryse Wilson and William Contreras...

I dismissed this yesterday because I thought it was wildly unrealistic in favor of the Cubs. But I was just reading Bleacher Nation and they seem to think it's somewhat reasonable. I've seen that take on other boards too. Am I wrong?

It's five years of a mid-rotation starter who might have more upside left, a top 25 prospect (according to MLB.com's current rankings), and two more guys who could be towards the back end of top 100 lists this offseason for two years of Bryant. It just seems like such a no-brainer for the Cubs if their goal is to extend their window past next year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 22, 2019, 01:19:51 pm
I found this fascinating.  As much as we're Cub fans and know we have good players, we didn't place anyone in the top 3 at any position.  Are you kidding me?

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28114533/espn-2019-all-mlb-team#C
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 22, 2019, 01:22:00 pm
I like the last three in the deal, but just looking at minor and major league stats, Fried looks to me like Quintana with one good year.  Does anyone have a scouting report on him?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 22, 2019, 01:43:49 pm
I dismissed this yesterday because I thought it was wildly unrealistic in favor of the Cubs. But I was just reading Bleacher Nation and they seem to think it's somewhat reasonable. I've seen that take on other boards too. Am I wrong?

It's five years of a mid-rotation starter who might have more upside left, a top 25 prospect (according to MLB.com's current rankings), and two more guys who could be towards the back end of top 100 lists this offseason for two years of Bryant. It just seems like such a no-brainer for the Cubs if their goal is to extend their window past next year.

Agree.  To get a decent cheap starter, a really good prospect and two other significant prospects, plus free up $20M per year to spend on free agent talents, I think that would very Cubs-favorable. 

But a common perspective on trades is that the team that gets the best individual player often wins that trade.  I'm not sure that might not actually be good for the Braves?  Adding one more really-really good regular player to their lineup right now, while their window-of-opportunity is open, might pay off.  Fried had a good year, but they may see his stuff as limited and that they can replace him, perhaps with a more-stuff-more-upside guy? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 22, 2019, 01:49:00 pm
I found this fascinating.  As much as we're Cub fans and know we have good players, we didn't place anyone in the top 3 at any position.  Are you kidding me?

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28114533/espn-2019-all-mlb-team#C
Also, not a single Cubs received even a 10th place MVP vote.  Javy's end of the year injury probably prevented their only chance.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 22, 2019, 02:09:17 pm
I dismissed this yesterday because I thought it was wildly unrealistic in favor of the Cubs. But I was just reading Bleacher Nation and they seem to think it's somewhat reasonable. I've seen that take on other boards too. Am I wrong?

It's five years of a mid-rotation starter who might have more upside left, a top 25 prospect (according to MLB.com's current rankings), and two more guys who could be towards the back end of top 100 lists this offseason for two years of Bryant. It just seems like such a no-brainer for the Cubs if their goal is to extend their window past next year.

I don't think they'd get that much, but is seems more realistic than Joel Sherman's Bryant and Heyward for Segura and Jay Bruce + 3 unnamed ML.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 22, 2019, 02:26:50 pm
Yeah...the Bryant trade seems like someone was valuing Bryant as if he had 4-5 years of control instead of 2 years of control. Sherman's trade seems like a Phillies fan's pipe dream.

If they want to discuss some kind of trade that only involves Heyward and Segura (and maybe some money), though, that could have some legs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 22, 2019, 02:50:48 pm
Could see Fried as centerpiece of a Bryant trade—-but not combined with the quality of prospects in that proposal.

When Cubs drafted Almora, reports were that Fried was the other guy Cubs were considering—went right after Almora in draft. Fried has dominated Cubs in his 3 starts against them. Has really excellent curve, 4-seamer at 94, cutter at 93, and pretty good cutter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 22, 2019, 03:39:09 pm
I don't think Fried or Waters would be available to the in a trade for Bryant. 

The trade proposal is what the Cubs should want to trade Bryant, I just don't think they can come anywhere close to that.  That's why I think it is a strong possibility that Bryant, Betts and Lindor don't get traded.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 22, 2019, 05:33:36 pm
Fried now has five years of club control. But, MLBPA is going to seek lowering the years of control in next cba and maybe they will be able to achieve something like that. That probably is at least a background factor in any trade talks involving a guy like Fried, who already is a significant big league pitcher.

I would agree that Braves not keen to move him but if Braves feel internally that Riley not a 3B (maybe, who knows) and can’t resign/sign Donaldson or Moustakis and with all the young pitching they still have, think conceivable would move Fried to get Bryant, depending on other parts of a deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 22, 2019, 05:37:54 pm
Is that pronounced Fryed or Freed?  If he's already fryed...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 22, 2019, 05:43:45 pm
Is that pronounced Fryed or Freed?  If he's already fryed...
Baseball Reference

Pronunciation: \FREED\
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 22, 2019, 06:10:01 pm
Fried now has five years of club control. But, MLBPA is going to seek lowering the years of control in next cba and maybe they will be able to achieve something like that. That probably is at least a background factor in any trade talks involving a guy like Fried, who already is a significant big league pitcher.

That would affect the value on any player/prospect not just Fried. This is purely hypothetical unless Bryant or Fried gets traded. If Fried projects at 15 WAR over 5 years his cost in real dollars is going to be less than what you pay Bryant over 2 for 10-12 WAR.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 22, 2019, 06:23:28 pm
That would affect the value on any player/prospect not just Fried. This is purely hypothetical unless Bryant or Fried gets traded. If Fried projects at 15 WAR over 5 years his cost in real dollars is going to be less than what you pay Bryant over 2 for 10-12 WAR.

It affects every player but it has more significance with a player with many years of control (5) who is the centerpiece of a trade for Kris Bryant.

On other hand, MLB and MLBPA can negotiate around this by phasing in any new rules in a successor cba. But, even with that, it could bring Fried a year earlier to free agency, which is a big deal if traded this off-season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on November 22, 2019, 07:38:51 pm
Are we at a point where Theo is so far behind other MLB executives that he'll never catch up?  Has he become irrelevant within modern baseball?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 22, 2019, 08:20:10 pm
It affects every player but it has more significance with a player with many years of control (5) who is the centerpiece of a trade for Kris Bryant.

On other hand, MLB and MLBPA can negotiate around this by phasing in any new rules in a successor cba. But, even with that, it could bring Fried a year earlier to free agency, which is a big deal if traded this off-season.

So since a prospect has 6-7 years of control it would effect their value too.  Prospects haven’t lost value in trades so the theoretical doesn’t really apply.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 22, 2019, 09:09:08 pm
So since a prospect has 6-7 years of control it would effect their value too.  Prospects haven’t lost value in trades so the theoretical doesn’t really apply.

What the heck are you arguing about? As I said, going to impact every player but quite obviously if trading a young, established major leaguer as the dominant piece for KRIS BRYANT, an extra year (or two) of control is a background factor, compared to moving a bunch of prospects.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 22, 2019, 10:44:47 pm
Are we at a point where Theo is so far behind other MLB executives that he'll never catch up?  Has he become irrelevant within modern baseball?

Jeff Exasperated Hyperbole Meter Rating:

8.5

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 23, 2019, 02:55:31 am
https://www.cubsinsider.com/2019/11/22/cubs-reportedly-showing-interest-in-korean-lhp-kwang-hyun-kim/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 23, 2019, 05:38:53 am
What the heck are you arguing about? As I said, going to impact every player but quite obviously if trading a young, established major leaguer as the dominant piece for KRIS BRYANT, an extra year (or two) of control is a background factor, compared to moving a bunch of prospects.

If what you are saying had any basis in reality it would cost more prospects to acquire players. Since this isn’t happening your made up scenario doesn’t exist.  Guys like Rosenthal, Passan would be talking about this if it was even a possibility outside of ai need this to happen for my ideal trade proposal to be a possibility.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 23, 2019, 12:30:24 pm
Cubs squires Cotton for cash.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 23, 2019, 12:35:11 pm
Morosi says the Cubs are still trying to trade for Whit Merrifield:

Cubs checking in on Merrifield

Nov. 22: Second baseman Whit Merrifield has been an under-the-radar star with the Royals for several years, but the Cubs might try to bring him into the spotlight.

MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports that Chicago is showing “continued interest” in trading for Merrifield, who just completed the first season of the four-year, $16.25 million extension he signed with Kansas City at the beginning of 2019. Merrifield remains cheap even after signing that extension (he’ll make $5 million in ’20), and the Cubs could be in the market for a middle infielder to slot next to Javier Báez.

Merrifield, 30, continued to be an accomplished hitter at the plate (Major League-most 206 hits and 10 triples) and versatile in the field this year, logging 77 games in the outfield along with 82 at second base. He’s also a consistent contact hitter, which is a skill the Cubs generally lacked during their 2019 offensive struggles.


https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-rumors-trades-and-signings
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 23, 2019, 12:38:30 pm
What is the price of cotton per bale?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 23, 2019, 12:48:57 pm
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EKE9qt1WkAADYQU.jpg:small)
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 23, 2019, 01:31:44 pm
This year's Graveman.  Sooner or later, we will hit on one of them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 23, 2019, 01:34:28 pm
KC: not trading Whit
Reporters: Cubs interested in trading for Whit
KC: still not trading him
Reporters: Cubs interested in trading for Whit
Cubs: Is Brian Roberts retired?

Next thing we know Whit is going to be singing “Go Cubs Go” in a bar with Bryant.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 23, 2019, 01:56:32 pm
https://www.cubsinsider.com/2019/11/22/cubs-reportedly-showing-interest-in-korean-lhp-kwang-hyun-kim/

Kim sounds interesting.  Would love to see the Cubs create some new talent, getting some good value for modest price.

Seems like it's been a while:
1.  5 winters ago that traded for Fowler. 
2.  6.5 years since the Strop/Arrieta steal. 
3.  7 winters since the Rondon draft, which worked out really well. 
4.  5 winters ago they signed Chris Coghlan. 
5.  5 winters ago they signed Jason Hammel. 

Those were a bunch of low-cost moves that added a good closer (for a while), and added a bunch of guys who started a lot at a variably solid level.  All good-value-relative-to-cost pickups.

Think the Cubs somehow need to come through on some bargain-value pickups, somehow. 

Last year Rosario was probably their best low-cost pickup, and this year there was Wick, Wieck, Hultzen, and Ryan.  Hopefully those guys will carry over better in 2nd year than proved true with poor Rosario. 

But management just hasn't really had much success with talent creation over the past five years. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 23, 2019, 02:02:09 pm
Cotton looks like a scrub to me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 23, 2019, 02:02:36 pm
If what you are saying had any basis in reality it would cost more prospects to acquire players. Since this isn’t happening your made up scenario doesn’t exist.  Guys like Rosenthal, Passan would be talking about this if it was even a possibility outside of ai need this to happen for my ideal trade proposal to be a possibility.

Appreciate that you find this so interesting but it’s a narrow “background” point (noted for the third time) and not the kind of thing national baseball writers tend to write about. Really would only apply as a narrow, background matter (meaning not a huge factor, but some linited factor) in a Bryant-type deal where one player is the dominant return piece with 3-5 years service time. Otherwise, in other kind of deals (the vast majority), everyone is in the same boat. This is such a narrow point but fascinating to you I guess, which I appreciate.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 23, 2019, 02:04:26 pm
An option like Kim is another example where I regret the Quintana investment.  Wish we'd have saved Q's money, went after Wheeler, and then improvized for 5th starter with a guy like Kim competing with guys like Chatwood and maybe Alzolay. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 23, 2019, 02:15:30 pm
Morosi says the Cubs are still trying to trade for Whit Merrifield:

Cubs checking in on Merrifield...


Brett Taylor at Bleacher Report makes an interesting point on this. Notes that the continuing Merrifield/Cubs reports from credible media probably means that Royals actually are willing to trade Merrifield for a reasonable offer to their liking (for a lot). Otherwise, Cubs would be just wasting their time. Don’t think that Theo is going to waste his time. So, likely that there is an opening here for ongoing talks that both clubs believe is worth talking about.

In any case, pretty clear that Cubs very interested in Merrifield.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 23, 2019, 03:48:56 pm
Appreciate that you find this so interesting but it’s a narrow “background” point (noted for the third time) and not the kind of thing national baseball writers tend to write about. Really would only apply as a narrow, background matter (meaning not a huge factor, but some linited factor) in a Bryant-type deal where one player is the dominant return piece with 3-5 years service time.

Is this the new Jes Math, can I call it Reb Reality where Fried has variable service time. So if the Cubs are trading for Merrifield who has a guaranteed x number of years the Cubs prospects should be valued lower because the only have 4-7 years of service time?  I mean I think that would be a story that would get out at multiple outlets.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 23, 2019, 04:20:23 pm
Is this the new Jes Math, can I call it Reb Reality where Fried has variable service time. So if the Cubs are trading for Merrifield who has a guaranteed x number of years the Cubs prospects should be valued lower because the only have 4-7 years of service time?  I mean I think that would be a story that would get out at multiple outlets.

If we need a name for this, we should call all of this CUBluejays Obsession--kind of like those off-brand overpriced fragrances that are disappointing to the smell.

I'll say this one last time to address your "enthusiasm" for the point: from the hypothetical trade that somebody else posted and led to other variations of a trade, Max Fried would be the dominant player in a Bryant swap.  75% of Bryant value?  85%? 95%? 110%?  Whatever it might be, it's dominant, and, therefore, one less year of control lurks in the background.  That is a more significant background factor than a trade for a bunch of prospects, any one or more of which is less crucial to a trade.

It's a narrow point. It's background to a deal because nobody knows what a future cba will look like and is two years away anyway.  It would be a very small part of any trade discussion:  that's why "narrow" and "background" apply--which I've pointed out five times already.

It's a big deal to you, I get it.  Just splash on some of that off-brand fragrance and get over this.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 23, 2019, 04:31:12 pm
The next big deadline the Cubs have to make some big decisions is the non-tender deadline in 2 weeks.

I see the decisions the Cubs need to make centering around 5 players: Addison Russell, Albert Almora, Danny Hultzen, Tony Kemp and Duane Underwood.

How I expect this will play out:

Russell: non-tendered
Almora: kept, perhaps traded
Hultzen: non-tendered, re-signed to minor lg deal
Underwood: kept, perhaps traded
Kemp: kept--Bleacher Nation
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on November 23, 2019, 04:41:05 pm
Is this the new Jes Math, can I call it Reb Reality where Fried has variable service time. So if the Cubs are trading for Merrifield who has a guaranteed x number of years the Cubs prospects should be valued lower because the only have 4-7 years of service time?  I mean I think that would be a story that would get out at multiple outlets.
Yes.  **IF** in a future labor agreement the union wins earlier FA, absolutely every prospect in every trade has appropriately diminished value.  No question that would impact the value of a prospect.  Losing one year of the club-controlled service would make a prospect variably less valuable.  Certainly five cost-controlled years is still highly valuable, but less so than 6. 

Not sure how much value would be lost.  From one view, it might be the least valuable of the cost-controlled years, in that the player is already well paid.  Bryant's year 6 will cost >$15M, years 1-3 cost almost nothing.  So in a sense losing that year isn't quite as hurtful.  On the other hand, for many clubs their players develop while in the majors; so they may be much better player in year 6, with a much more valuable and significant role on the team in year 6, that was true in years 1 and 2.  Often year 6 might be around the apex of a player's career, so losing one of his career-peak seasons might be pretty hurtful after all, even if he's getting paid. 

A common and obviously logical team-building perspective is value-per-dollar.  But still it's baseball-essential to just have lots of really good players, even if they are paid well.  I assume Oakland and Tampa had better value-per-dollar than Yankees or Astros, but without actually having better players, and thus they lost. 

Bryant may be beyond his best value-per-dollar years, but there should still be teams who want him just because he's really good. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on November 23, 2019, 04:45:36 pm
AZ Phil on the Cotton acquisition:

Back when he was healthy, Cotton featured a swing & miss plus-screwball, a CT FB that sat 92-94 T 95-96, a SL, and a CV, so he has the full array of pitches needed to be a starting pitcher (again... - IF - healthy).

Cotton does have two minor league options left so the Cubs can stash him at AAA Iowa and (if healthy) he could ride the Iowa - Chicago shuttle in 2020, but because he has accrued more than three seasons of MLB Service Time, he has Article XX-D rights, which means he can elect free-agency if he were to be outrighted to the minors.

And because he has spent so much time on the A's MLB DL/IL over the past couple of seasons (two full seasons worth of MLB DL/IL time) Cotton is eligible for salary arbitration (which is probably why he got DFA'd by the A's), so he is a possible non-tender candidate on 12/2, especially if the Cubs don't want to risk going to arbitration with him if he and the club can't agree on a 2020 contract.

Keep in mind that a contract awarded via arbitration (by rule) could not include a minor league split salary or performance bonuses, both of which may be a deal-breaker for the Cubs if they suspect Cotton will likely spend at least part of the 2020 season at AAA. It's very possible that given Cotton's recent injury history, the Cubs would prefer to pay him a low MLB base salary (like the MLB minimum) but with easily-achievable performance bonuses if Cotton proves to be healthy and able to pitch in MLB in 2020, together with a minor league split salary (probably somewhere around $250K) if he is optioned to AAA and spends at least part of the 2020 season at Iowa. 

So the Cubs have about a week to work out something with Cotton if they are averse to possibly going to arbitration with him and potentially getting stuck with a contract they don't like.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 23, 2019, 07:01:18 pm
Another result of lowering protected years from 6 to 5 could be that teams keep players, especially high school-drafted players, in the minors longer.  Even when a 20 or 21 year old player does well when brought up to the majors, he usually doesn't do as well in his first year as he does in subsequent years, since the less time spent in the minors, the more OJT necessary in the majors, even when they are "almost" ready.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 23, 2019, 08:44:02 pm
Bryant may be beyond his best value-per-dollar years, but there should still be teams who want him just because he's really good. 

Teams will want Bryant. Teams won’t want to give up top prospects or controlled major leaguers and pay Bryant’s arbitration years.

Losing 1 year of Control will still affect a players value, especially if they aren’t a super two. If Fried isn’t a super 2 his last year of control as a 3 WAR player is worth around $27. In arbitration he’d be about $12 million in salary so that would be about $15 million in surplus value or a fringe top 100 player.  That $15 million is almost half of the value that Bryant has in a trade. People may not like surplus value, but that is how teams value players.

This is why players like Bryant are hard to trade. They are really good and they help their teams win. They also make a lot of money.  Teams would be better off signing Rendon/Donaldson vs trading for Bryant and paying just slightly less in AAV + giving up controllable players and or prospects.  I’ll be more shocked if Bryant/Lindor or Betts get traded in the off season than if the Royals trade Merrifield.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: dallen7908 on November 23, 2019, 09:26:54 pm
Another result of lowering protected years from 6 to 5 could be that teams keep players, especially high school-drafted players, in the minors longer.  Even when a 20 or 21 year old player does well when brought up to the majors, he usually doesn't do as well in his first year as he does in subsequent years, since the less time spent in the minors, the more OJT necessary in the majors, even when they are "almost" ready.

Yes that makes sense although you have to believe the Union will want the start of the clock to be changed from the date a player hits the 40 man roster to x, y, and z seasons after a 16-yr old, HS, or college player signs. 9, 8, and 6 years?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on November 26, 2019, 09:04:47 am
Sharma has an article on Justin Stone, the Cubs' new Director of Hitting.

https://theathletic.com/1410157/2019/11/26/as-the-cubs-enhance-their-player-development-program-justin-stone-is-no-longer-the-man-behind-the-curtain/?source=dailyemail
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 26, 2019, 09:26:26 am
Cubs are going to discuss an extension with Baez over the Winter Meetings according to Heyman.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 27, 2019, 01:33:42 pm
Cubs claimed CD Pelham off of waivers from the Rangers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 27, 2019, 01:45:56 pm
The 40 man roster is now at 38 with the addition of Cotton and Pelham.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on November 27, 2019, 01:46:31 pm
Pelham had 11.97 ERA in 42 games between Double-A and Triple-A last year.  Surely there's room for some improvement there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on November 27, 2019, 05:16:19 pm
He’s a lefty that averages 96 with a ton of movement. His control is problematic, but he’s likely somebody that they try and sneak through waivers at some point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on November 30, 2019, 07:31:18 am
https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2019/11/29/non-tender-deadline-is-monday-cubs-have-decisions-on-eight-players-though-only-three-are-actual-decisions/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on November 30, 2019, 06:40:00 pm
I don't think I agree with Bleacher Nation that there is a real decision to be made with Almora and Cotton. If the Cubs non-tender anyone but Russell, that's a bad sign for spending this offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 30, 2019, 06:46:59 pm
I know he's not up for arbitration, but one guy I could see them cut loose via DFA is Descalso.  Total zero last year.  Waste of space.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 30, 2019, 06:50:27 pm
Agree Curt.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on November 30, 2019, 07:53:59 pm
He is signed for next year.  How would cutting him loose save any money?

I still hope they cut him, but they will have to pay him unless someone is foolish enough to trade for him.  They might just wait to see if all of his problems last year were due to injury that gets healed over the winter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on November 30, 2019, 08:05:08 pm
He has always sucked.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on November 30, 2019, 11:57:07 pm
He is signed for next year.  How would cutting him loose save any money?

I still hope they cut him, but they will have to pay him unless someone is foolish enough to trade for him.  They might just wait to see if all of his problems last year were due to injury that gets healed over the winter.
  Never said it would save money.  Read again.  All it will save is valuable air in the dugout.  It will provide an empty locker in the dressing room.  They could add another ballboy or bullpen catcher or guy who watches the camera and bangs on the garbage can and it would bring more value to the team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 01, 2019, 02:06:06 am
Conceivable that Cubs eventually could end up eating Descalso’s contract ($3.5 including 2021 buyout), but seems unlikely during offseason.

Sure, the off-season roster spot has some value, but probably makes more sense to see how he looks in the spring and if there’s a spot for him after whatever off-season Cubs moves. If not a spot then, that’s the time to make a move. But, keep in mind that rosters expand to 26 in 2020, so will have an extra bench guy.

Also possible he could be included in a trade to offset some other payroll guy coming back in a multi-player deal. He had an uncharacteristically good season in 2018—not that long ago. So, somebody might like him in that kind of deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 01, 2019, 07:24:21 am
That's logical, I suppose, but I think that extra spot on the bench could be better served by an additional Gatorade cooler.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2019, 09:13:28 am
Cubs hired Craig Driver from the Phillies as a catching/1B coach. Borzello will be game planning and losing his catching duties.  Coaching staff is complete and much more tech forward.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 01, 2019, 04:13:20 pm
Is tomorrow the end of the Addison Russell era?

Im honestly not so sure but Im guessing probably.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 01, 2019, 04:13:29 pm
https://www.cubsinsider.com/2019/11/27/the-rundown-merrifield-could-cost-less-than-you-think-nl-execs-believe-bryant-will-be-traded-brennen-davis-stock-rising/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 01, 2019, 04:16:29 pm
MLBTR predicts the Cubs sign Will Harris and Kyle Gibson.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 01, 2019, 04:20:19 pm
Wouldn't that be tampering?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 01, 2019, 04:24:05 pm
I see now that Gibson signed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2019, 05:46:19 pm
The Athletic has the Cubs targeting Alex Wood, McHough, and Tehran for the rotation.

Wood would be a risky gamble, but at least he has some upside.

McHough can strike people out, so that is better than Tehran.  Tehran would give the Cubs a rotation of 4 contact managers which would suck.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 01, 2019, 06:01:55 pm
I've always had a soft spot for McHugh since he's the only major leaguer ever to graduate from my college. He'd be my preference of those three--Wood is just injured so often (though to be fair, McHugh has had his share of injuries in the last couple of years too).

Teheran isn't even that good of a contact manager at this point, is he? I think he's far more of a Lester/Quintana-type question mark than a Hendricks. In fact, I think he had basically the same option that Quintana had and the Braves didn't pick it up. No interest in him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 01, 2019, 06:09:30 pm
Yes, McHugh would be the choice there for sure.  He's also proven that he can pitch pretty effectively out of the bullpen in the unlikely event that Alzolay, Abbott, or Pitcher X shows as a viable rotation option.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 01, 2019, 06:31:56 pm
I think Alzolay could be a very good reliever.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2019, 06:42:07 pm
McHugh lost his spot in the Astros rotation at the start of the year, because he was getting rocked. Despite needing a 4th and 5th starter the Astros never went back to him.

For me it would be Wood>>>>McHough>>>>Steve Trachsel>>>Tehran.  Tehran really doesn’t do anything well. He doesn’t strike people out, he walks people and relies on weak fly balls to get outs. The weak fly balls disappeared last year. I have a hard time thinking Cotton isn’t a better option than those 3. McHough I guess might be an upgrade over Chatwood and Mills, but with the mess the Cubs rotation is that is kinda a rough sell to me as being a competitive team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on December 01, 2019, 07:14:31 pm
The Athletic has the Cubs targeting Alex Wood, McHough, and Tehran for the rotation.

Wood would be a risky ****, but at least he has some upside.

McHough can strike people out, so that is better than Tehran.  Tehran would give the Cubs a rotation of 4 contact managers which would suck.

I do not read The Athletic article as saying the Cubs are targeting those guys. Mooney simply identifies these guys as being available and that the Cubs have had an interest in at least a couple of them in the past. Here is what it says:

"Julio Teheran (77-73, 3.67 ERA) was once a young Braves pitcher the Cubs evaluated as a trade target while trying to sort through their inventory of young hitters, and he still won’t turn 30 until 2021. Another ex-Brave — Alex Wood (53-43, 3.40 ERA) — is coming off an injury-plagued season with the Cincinnati Reds and will be only 29 next year.

The Cubs previously tried to trade for Collin McHugh, who also had a rough season heading into free agency. With the Houston Astros, McHugh won 19 games as a starter in 2015, earned a World Series ring in 2017 and posted a 1.99 ERA — with 94 strikeouts in 72.1 innings — across 58 appearances as a reliever in 2018."
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2019, 07:42:01 pm
More often than not when the are specifically mentioning guys it is names they have heard. Even if they are examples they are coming from the bargain bin. The Cubs apparently aren’t shopping in the Cole, Strausburg, Wheeler, Kecheuel, Bumgarner, Ryu class of FA. I’ve heard that Hamels will likely be too pricey.  If they Cubs can’t trade for a pitcher it appears that a trade is the only chance at improving the rotation.

It doesn’t make sense though, because know there are rumblings that Russell is likely to get tenderer a contract. If money is so tight, can the Cubs really afford $5 million for a SS/2B that can’t hit or remember signs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 01, 2019, 07:56:11 pm
Regardless of what you may think of Russell as a person I dont think he's as much of a lost cause as some of you may think.

There's no way any of us have any clue what Theo and Jed have planned but if we can get a leadoff man out of CF I'd have no issue letting Russell,Bote,and Hoerner compete for the 2nd base job.

I just dont think the numbers match up and expect there to be a trade or two.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2019, 08:31:07 pm
If money is tight why would you pay him $5 million to find out if he can bounce back?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 01, 2019, 08:49:35 pm
CUBluejays...

Who's rumbling that Russell may get tendered?

I havent seen it anywhere.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 01, 2019, 08:59:37 pm
Russell would be a possible (probable?) non-tender without all the off the field problems. It would be a really bad decision to bring him back.

If they do tender him, that's a really bad sign for this offseason. If they can't bring themselves to move on from Russell at this point, can we really expect them to make the hard decision to improve the team by trading a player like Bryant or Contreras, or even Happ or Hoerner?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 01, 2019, 09:12:20 pm
I wonder the same thing, Blue.  The Athletic keeps suggesting that the Cubs are too cash-strapped to sign anybody good, and are instead shopping garage sales.  Limited-stuff low-ceiling back-end guys, or else very high-risk guys. 

So, *IF* they are so cash-strapped, why would you drop $10M on Quintana and $5 on Russell? 

Perhaps one possible factor is that Q and Russell would both be 1-year commitments?  Whereas even an wannabe-average starter might be able to command a multi-year commitment? 

Obviously also possible that Russell is NOT going to be retained, or at least not at $5M?  They could have some other lower-priced deal under discussion.  Perhaps another is that your new hitting-analytics guys think they know why Russell can't hit, and think they've got some mechanical tweak that might possibly make him salvageable and be able to help improve him and possibly make him relatively average?  If so, AND if he agrees to some $2.3 contract or something, they might have some logic in considering retaining him? 

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 01, 2019, 09:19:05 pm
IF IF Russell is tendered, my take would be that brass has concluded that there are buyers for Russell in the trade market at a $5 arb salary.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 01, 2019, 09:22:47 pm
If there was a trade market for Russell, he would've been traded by now.

If Russell is tendered, he opens next season with the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 01, 2019, 09:28:35 pm
Occam's Razor.

Theo Epstein, et al are incompetent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 01, 2019, 09:39:43 pm
If there was a trade market for Russell, he would've been traded by now. If Russell is tendered, he opens next season with the Cubs.

Why do you say that? Very few trades around baseball so far. Why would the timing as to Russell be any different than what’s (not) happening elsewhere? Not arguing to the contrary, just curious as to your reasoning.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 01, 2019, 10:14:56 pm
The Cubs would've traded Russell to anyone who was interested for the last year and a half, and they still have him. He had his worst MLB season this year. It was reported that one of the (many) reasons he was sent back to AAA was because he never learned their signs. His value is at an all time low--if no one wanted to give up anything for him a year ago or on July 31, why would they want him now?

If the Cubs tender him, he makes $5 million. If they non-tender him, I'd bet a lot that he'll go to Spring Training without a major league guarantee.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 01, 2019, 10:19:38 pm
Wood is alluring in the same way all never-healthy guys who put up a great season are.  But what strikes me is that his velocity spiked way up in 2017, and that was his one really good season.  Why who knows, but there's no reason to believe he'll ever throw that hard again, and thus no reason to believe he'll ever approach his 2017 numbers even if he was otherwise healthy.


Still, if the Cubs are destined for another winter of dumpster diving as most of the press reports suggests, those are the sorts of guys you end up looking at.  Vs. McHugh or Teheran, I'd take a flyer on Wood.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 01, 2019, 10:43:11 pm
IF IF Russell is tendered, my take would be that brass has concluded that there are buyers for Russell in the trade market at a $5 arb salary.

Your premise is that the Cubs don't want him themselves, at least at $5M.  I think that assumption is probably correct. 

If so, then your logic is correct.  **IF** they don't want him themselves at $5M, but they still tender him and obligate themselves to a $5M commitment, that would only be logical **IF** they think teams want him enough to trade value for his $5M contract. 

I think that hypothetical is unlikely.  I'm not saying trading him with $5M contract is impossible; after all, liability contracts are routinely involved in bad-contract-for-bad-contract liability exchanges.  But I just don't think Russell at $5M with his bat and his baggage would be valued enough to be worth any significant trade value.  **IF** you don't want him yourself, why would you want to obligate yourself to $5M contract when you might NOT be able to trade him; and even if you can, the talent return will be very minimal at best? 

So seems to me that *IF* the Cubs don't want him at $5M themselves, they'd be unwise to tender him. 

I see three options:
1.  Tender him tomorrow
2.  Non-tender him tomorrow.
3.  Come to a contract agreement at a less-than-tender price.  $2?  $3? 

2B is one of the Cubs three most pressing starter needs (CF and rotation starter being the others).  Theo loves Hoerner.  **IF** they were to bring Russell back, at a reduced salary, that might provide more coverage.  Maybe Hoerner has a good spring, and they just decide to commit to him.  Or maybe not, and they'd like him to spend some time in the minors; while still hoping that he's going to be the long-term answer, and might be so by June or July.  *IF* they hope he's the guy, but want to buy some stop-gap 2B roster-fill until he's ready, the existing alternatives are Descalzo, Bote, and Happ.  **IF** they were to bring Russell back, even if he wasn't good, he might still be well ahead of Descalzo on the anti-awful continuum.  And perhaps defense-considered (which of course it must be), he might be viewed as an overall decent competitor for Bote and Happ, both of which are variably below-average defensively.  So *IF* Russell agreed to a $2.5 contract, for example, on the pure baseball level that might make sense for the Cubs to sign him ?? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 01, 2019, 10:54:41 pm
The Cubs would've traded Russell to anyone who was interested for the last year and a half, and they still have him. He had his worst MLB season this year. It was reported that one of the (many) reasons he was sent back to AAA was because he never learned their signs. His value is at an all time low--if no one wanted to give up anything for him a year ago or on July 31, why would they want him now?

If the Cubs tender him, he makes $5 million. If they non-tender him, I'd bet a lot that he'll go to Spring Training without a major league guarantee.

Well, my expectation is that Russell will be non-tendered. If there are reports to the contrary (??) and turns out he IS tendered, that will be interesting.

Hypothetically, assuming a tender, don’t think it necessarily means he stays with Cubs. Would expect a trade, instead.

A year ago last off-season, Russell was toxic as a trade chip because of the off-field situation and impending suspension. Then, as season started, couldn’t play, suspended. Then in minors and, thereafter, back to minors just before July 31 trade deadline. Those were the lows for any trade value.

Now, he’s met the rehabilitation requirements, suspension served, and some clubs need a SS as we’re early in the off-season. So, could see the possibility that Theo has discovered that some clubs might have an interest in Russell at SS. For me, that would be most likely explanation IF IF IF Russell is tendered tomorrow. Not expecting that, but if happens, this would be my guess why.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 01, 2019, 11:11:01 pm
As to Craig’s post, think there could be more interest in Russell as a SS to other clubs than to Cubs at lower-than-$5 salary 2B utility type guy.

Years ago, I expected and posted several times that eventually either Baez or Russell would be traded because it’s exceedingly rare that a club plays a Plus defensive SS at another position for all that long. SS is of course a premier position on the field and only very unusual circumstances would you see a gold glove type guy there play at a lesser position for very long.

Of course, now Russell’s offensive stock is way down but he’s still a terrific defensive SS and clubs are always looking for that. So, could see possibility that Theo is hearing interest.

Or, Russell is non-tendered, as expected.

If Russell is non-tendered, I expect him to get a major league deal elsewhere. One-year major league deals are not guaranteed, in any case. But, guessing that there will be several openings and opportunities for him
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2019, 11:58:59 pm
There is nothing solid that Russell is getting tendered. Just some rumors and then Bleacher Nation tweeting about it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron Green on December 02, 2019, 04:22:34 pm
Cubs hired Craig Driver from the Phillies as a catching/1B coach. Borzello will be game planning and losing his catching duties.  Coaching staff is complete and much more tech forward.


This seems like the kind of relatively minor move which could be much more significant than is now apparent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 02, 2019, 04:58:20 pm
Rosenthal says the Cubs have agreed to a $640K deal with Cotton.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 02, 2019, 05:01:13 pm
MLB minimum is $563,500.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 02, 2019, 05:49:32 pm
Russell non-tendered.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on December 02, 2019, 05:50:56 pm
Also Danny Hultzen
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 02, 2019, 06:04:14 pm
Also Danny Hultzen

Why?  Offloading a bad contract in Russell, I get that.  But why Hultzen, I wonder? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 02, 2019, 06:12:01 pm
Hultzen was a lost cause.

Best of luck to Addison.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 02, 2019, 06:20:48 pm
Why?  Offloading a bad contract in Russell, I get that.  But why Hultzen, I wonder? 

Craig, regarding Hultzen (courtesy of Arizona Phil):

2. There are presently four unsigned pre-arbitration (auto-renewal) players on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster who are out of minor league options:

DANNY HULTZEN
TONY KEMP
ALEC MILLS
DUANE UNDERWOOD JR
 
Any one of them could get non-tendered.

The way it's done is the club non-tenders the player on 12/2 (so that he can't be claimed off waivers), and then they wait until after the Rule 5 Draft (which will be on December 12th) to re-sign the player to a minor league contract (so that the player can't be selected in the Rule 5 Draft).

The reason why a club would non-tender a player who is out of minor league options is if the club values the player enough such that if there is a question about whether the player will be able to make the club's Opening Day MLB roster out of Spring Training, the player can be sent to AAA without the club taking the risk that the player could be claimed off waivers. The Cubs did this last year with Allen Webster (he was out of minor league options, he was non-tendered, signed a minor league contract with the Cubs after the Rule 5 Draft, came to Spring Training as an NRI and was very impressive but failed to make the Opening Day bullpen because the Cubs had too many veteran arms with guaranteed contracts in the pen at the start of the season, and then he was called-up in April once there was room for him in the pen).   

However, in the case of Hultzen and Mills (but maybe not so much with Kemp and Underwood), if they are non-tendered and agree (in advance) to sign a minor league contract after the Rule 5 Draft if they don't receive an MLB contract offer from another club in the interim, I suspect both will get a 2020 MLB contract offer from another club if non-tendered, and I don't think the Cubs want to risk losing either Hultzen or Mills that way.

Two other factors that pertain just to Danny Hultzen and could influence the Cubs in deciding to non-tender him is that he has both Draft-Excluded status (he was added to an MLB 40-man roster after August 15th) and Article XX-D rights (he has been outrighted previously in his career), so he can't be outrighted any earlier than 20 days prior to Opening Day and he has the right to elect free-agency even if waivers can be secured prior to OPening Day.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 02, 2019, 06:29:00 pm
It is quite possible that the Cubs will try to resign both of them after the draft is completed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: chgojhawk on December 02, 2019, 07:29:55 pm
Why do you say that? Very few trades around baseball so far. Why would the timing as to Russell be any different than what’s (not) happening elsewhere? Not arguing to the contrary, just curious as to your reasoning.

The Cubs had been trying to move Russell before the issue with his wife became public. He was considered a bad locker room guy among other things.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 03, 2019, 03:19:08 pm
We must not be broke...

https://www.mlb.com/news/nicholas-castellanos-rumors
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 03, 2019, 03:57:01 pm
Now I just got one of those Bleacher Report alerts about us wanting to keep Castellanos.

If we resign Castellanos then IMO Schwarber is gone.

What's it gonna cost to keep him?

100 million?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 03, 2019, 04:16:35 pm
Castellanos and Schwarber is certainly an either/or proposition for me. But if it costs a hundred million Castellanos won’t be back whether we trade Schwarber or not.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on December 03, 2019, 04:26:42 pm
Bleacher Nation is passing on speculation that the National League might adopt the designated hitter in the next collective bargaining agreement and the Cubs might be interested in keeping Castellanos around in case that happens in 2022.

It's not unusual for garbage like this to show up when there is no other offseason news to report about.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 03, 2019, 04:28:21 pm
Jon Morosi reported this.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 03, 2019, 04:33:07 pm
I'm still convinced that Cubs fans are really overestimating the size of Castellanos' contract. Players have been getting paid more than expected so far, so I wouldn't be surprised at this point if he got something like 4 years, $56 million. But he's not getting close to $100 million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 03, 2019, 04:36:43 pm
Bleacher Nation is passing on speculation that the National League might adopt the designated hitter in the next collective bargaining agreement and the Cubs might be interested in keeping Castellanos around in case that happens in 2022.

It's not unusual for garbage like this to show up when there is no other offseason news to report about.

So we’d be taking the 20 and 21 seasons off?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: mO on December 03, 2019, 04:58:50 pm
So we’d be taking the 19, 20 and 21 seasons off?

Fixed that for you.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on December 03, 2019, 05:48:26 pm
Jon Morosi reported this.

Correct

There is also this from Bleacher Nation
Quote
BUT, if you’re still among the hopeful, Ken Rosenthal throws you a bone this morning in the form of a Designated Hitter conversation: “A long-term deal [for Castellanos] from a National League team might even make sense, if a club is willing to bank on the possibility that the NL will adopt the DH in the next collective-bargaining agreement. The current CBA expires on Dec. 1, 2021, meaning that Castellanos might only need to play the outfield for two seasons.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 03, 2019, 06:26:27 pm
DH in the NL definitely will be a goal for the Union in the next CBA talks. Indeed, union and MLB already have had preliminary discussions about it last off-season (see link below) but all the big negotiating stuff has been put off to later.

So, stands to reason could be a factor in NL clubs interest in Castellanos beyond 2021.

I really don’t see Cubs shelling out significant money for Castellanos but notable that Cubs still interested in bringing him back.

I thought we had “inside info” from a regular poster here that Cubs would not be pursuing Castellanos. Perhaps that was wrong?

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-rule-changes-the-universal-dh-makes-sense-and-its-time-for-the-national-league-to-make-the-switch/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 03, 2019, 07:03:19 pm
Anyone with "inside info" on a message board is usually an attention seeking liar.

They can throw anything against the wall and if it sticks they look like Ken Rosenthal and if it doesnt they can always say "things change".

The inside info I gave was pecker sizes and who was a SOB and who wasnt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 03, 2019, 07:04:37 pm
I thought we had “inside info” from a regular poster here that Cubs would not be pursuing Castellanos. Perhaps that was wrong?

I’m pretty sure the poster later clarified that the Cubs weren’t pursuing at the price he initially asked for (I think it was 4 years, $80 million at the time).
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 03, 2019, 07:05:50 pm
Jeff Passan says the Cubs are "aggressive" and "manic" to make trades.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 03, 2019, 08:35:55 pm
I’m pretty sure the poster later clarified that the Cubs weren’t pursuing at the price he initially asked for (I think it was 4 years, $80 million at the time).

That’s called:  negotiating.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on December 03, 2019, 08:43:27 pm
Situations are almost always fluid...that should go without saying...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 03, 2019, 10:03:12 pm
I’m pretty sure the poster later clarified that the Cubs weren’t pursuing at the price he initially asked for (I think it was 4 years, $80 million at the time).

As I said back then, it’s a non-story if Cubs weren’t interested in Castellanos’ initial September asking price. But, the initial post started at—“I have been told that keeping Castellanos isn’t going to happen”—-which is way too broad a brush. It’s a negotiation.

I still don’t think Castellanos comes back, but doubt it was ever accurate to claim “isn’t going to happen” based on anything told in September. Yeah, “it’s just a message board” so doesn’t matter what anybody says. I get it——that’s the general feeling here. End of story.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 03, 2019, 10:49:08 pm
If the Cubs are indeed "manic" to make a trade, Schwarber is surely not untouchable.  They're probably keeping contact with Castellanos just in case that happens, as he'd then be one of their logical options for LF.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 03, 2019, 11:06:49 pm
He clarified that it was the asking price and the Cubs didn’t think his price would come down to a level that they would pay him. He said if the Castellanos price dropped they would be interested.

Why you have a bug rumors on a message board is beyond me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 03, 2019, 11:48:46 pm
Jeff Passan says the Cubs are "aggressive" and "manic" to make trades.

I hope they don't trade any minor-league guys.  I'm kinda leaning Buildican right now. 

When's the last time they traded a major leaguer with an actual big-league role, as opposed to a prospect or a salary dump? 
*Obviously Soler (2016) had already played in the majors before they traded him, but he was really a prospect, not a guy who had a real role on the team.
*Castro (2015), but that was really a salary dump to make room for Zobrist.
*Otherwise, would it be back to the Samardz-for-Russell trade in 2014? 

It's been a long time.  Have they ever done a major-league talent exchange?  As opposed to prospect-for-veteran trades, or salary dump?   


Were either Strop or Arrieta major leaguers when we traded Feldman?  Or was Strop in the minors too, at that time? 

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 04, 2019, 12:23:14 am
He was in the majors pitching like he should be in the minors.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 04, 2019, 12:55:33 pm
He clarified that it was the asking price and the Cubs didn’t think his price would come down to a level that they would pay him. He said if the Castellanos price dropped they would be interested.

Why you have a bug rumors on a message board is beyond me.

Bad or misleading ”inside” rumors with a faulty premise are not useful. I get it that you and many others have a very low bar and don’t care.  Fine for you, not fine for me.

The initial inside dope was that ”told” by an insider that keeping Castellanos not going to happen. As I’ve now said for the third time, the subsequent “clarification” became a total non-story that the club might be interested if the price comes down—-that happens in most situations for a good player.

And, you only got the “clarification” because the initial post was questioned. That was the only useful thing in the whole matter.

Not questioning that there is a source of some sort. But, non-journalists tend often to garble or overstate when relaying info or do a poor job evaluating the source. Get it that you don’t care about that. Should not be “beyond you” that somebody else does care.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 04, 2019, 01:28:06 pm
Dear Reb,

You don't run the board and can't control what other people post.  I suggest if the rumors bother you that much you just block the poster or ignore it.  I have no clue what his source is, but it can provide interesting discussion points even if it is bad info.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on December 04, 2019, 01:58:03 pm
Man, do I hesitate to jump into this. But Reb has repeatedly said he is not expecting others to share his view on "inside" sources/rumors. He isn't trying to control anybody else, not objecting to others expressing their views.

On the other hand, you seem to be objecting to him expressing his view. If not, please clarify
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: DelMarFan on December 04, 2019, 02:15:27 pm
Once upon a time there was a young Dodgers fan whom we’ll call Rab.  One morning, Rab read in the newspaper that Don Drysdale would be signing autographs at a nearby car dealership for an hour that morning.  Rab was very excited, and he took his baseball glove and left the house to head for the car dealership.  He was partway there when he was approached by a mysterious stranger on a street corner.

“Hey, kid,” the man said.  “You a Dodgers fan?”

“Yes, sir, Mr. Mysterious Stranger,” Rab replied.

“That’s good,” the stranger said.  “You know, Sandy Koufax is over at Oceanside High School signing autographs.”

“Really?” Rab gushed, but then he grew skeptical.  “Wait, are you a credentialed member of the press?  From what institution of higher learning did you get your degree in journalism?”

“No, kid,” the stranger said.  “I have inside information.  I have it from a guy who knows a guy who works for the Dodgers.”

Rab wasn’t sure.  “I don’t know. . . .” he said.

“Plus ol’ Sandy is giving pitching lessons,” the nefarious stranger said.

“Wow,” said Rab, now convinced.  He took off for Oceanside High, only to find a local famers’ market set up offering organic fruits and vegetables as well as artisanal craft goods.
 
Rab hurried to the car dealership, but the signing event had already closed.  Rab had missed his chance.

Poor Rab was heartbroken.  He stood in the middle of the street with tears streaming down his face and shouted at the sky “Never!  Never again will I trust unsubstantiated rumors in lieu of the honest reporting of a journalist!”

He paused.

“A Real journalist!” Rab amended.  “Not just someone posting garbage as click-bait!  Never!”
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 04, 2019, 02:37:11 pm
Lol

The rumors do give us something to discuss besides someone's friggin WAR and pecker sizes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 04, 2019, 03:55:05 pm
Once upon a time there was a young Dodgers fan whom we’ll call Rab.  One morning, Rab read in the newspaper that Don Drysdale would be signing autographs at a nearby car dealership for an hour that morning....

Actually, in case you might be interested, I got Don Drysdale’s autograph many years ago (and Sandy Koufax and lots of other guys). It was not because of following a rumor. I asked around where the players parked at Dodger Stadium (and the visiting team’s bus) and waited for them to arrive. That is, it took a bit of effort and and time to get accurate information....and then there’s a reward for doing that.

Obviously, not interested in trying to “control what other people post”—-an astonishingly bad interpretation by CBJ of my comments. Obviously, the internet is full of unsourced baloney...and far worse.  There is a high tolerance level for that..I get that.

But, it’s fair game to point that out and to follow up later when it becomes clear that the inside report was faulty. Says something (not sure what) that some folks find it objectionable to do that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 04, 2019, 09:28:56 pm
Did I miss where Nick signed with the Cubs for $80 million?  If he didn’t how is it faulty?  Did he say the Cubs wouldn’t be in contact with Nick throughout the season?

Everyone on this board knows you don’t like rumors that aren’t from your approved journalist list. Instead of calling people out maybe just don’t hit the post key.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 05, 2019, 12:23:08 am
Did I miss where Nick signed with the Cubs for $80 million?  If he didn’t how is it faulty?  Did he say the Cubs wouldn’t be in contact with Nick throughout the season?

Everyone on this board knows you don’t like rumors that aren’t from your approved journalist list. Instead of calling people out maybe just don’t hit the post key.

Sounds like you’re telling me what I ought not to post—-after just saying a few posts ago that I’M the one trying to control what others post. LOL.

An “approved journalist list” ? Good grief. Calm down.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 05, 2019, 12:24:35 am
You guys don't need any of the rest of us, do you?  Hit the lights when you're done.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 05, 2019, 09:01:23 am
It has a long way to go to equal the Scotti-Reb debates of 01.

Of course, it isn't over yet, so there is still hope.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 05, 2019, 11:46:40 am
CBJ is way, way smarter and more astute about baseball than Scotti.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 05, 2019, 12:10:41 pm
Nice olive branch.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 05, 2019, 12:58:48 pm
According to Mooney and Sharma the Astros want Willson Contreras.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on December 05, 2019, 01:53:13 pm
According to Mooney and Sharma the Astros want Willson Contreras.

That might be good reason to hang on to him then.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on December 05, 2019, 01:53:39 pm
Unless we get something very good in return of course.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 05, 2019, 01:57:56 pm
I find the fit with the Astros difficult from the Cubs point of view.  If they aren't going to trade Whitley or Tucker then Uriquidy seems to be the only young pitcher left.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 05, 2019, 01:58:59 pm
I wouldn't trade Contreras unless an offer literally knocked our socks off, or unless the front office was almost certain that they could not resign him before free agency.

Baez and Contreras should be the core of the team.  They are both unique players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 05, 2019, 02:27:00 pm
I looked at Houston early on.  They need a catcher.  They have guys capable of playing center coming out their ears.   Peacock would be good, plus a solid CF.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on December 05, 2019, 02:58:09 pm
Contreras and Schwarber for Tucker.  #fantasyGM
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 05, 2019, 03:01:06 pm
That's too much.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 05, 2019, 03:11:37 pm
I agree with DaveP.

Contreras and Baez should retire Cubs.

If Houston wants Willson tell them Tucker and Whitley.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: ticohans on December 05, 2019, 03:28:16 pm
It's one thing for the Cubs to unload Contreras just to reshuffle the deck chairs, but if a team out there really *wants* him and we can extract appropriate value, I'd definitely listen. So hard to move any other meaningful asset and get real value back: given limited control trading KB will likely make the Cubs worse, Cubs value Schwarber more than other teams, and Baez isn't going anywhere.

That said, as I've continued to think about the roster, I have wondered more and more about a Rizzo trade... he's probably good for 8 WAR the next two years, and will cost $32M, giving surplus value of basically $32M. If you trade Rizzo, you can move Schwarber to 1B, and then bring back Castellanos for LF. That "diversifies" the Cubs offense in some of the ways Theo would like to, Cubs get a little younger, add additional years of control to the roster, reshuffle the "leadership" voices, add some "intensity", and the salary difference between Rizzo and Castellanos shouldn't be so large so as to impact other moves.

So what does $32M surplus value get you? Well, Merrifield is under contract for 3 years at about $16M (after considering likely incentives). He's probably worth about 7.5 WAR over those 3 years, which comes out to $44M surplus value. $44M - $32M leaves $12M in surplus value to make up, which is basically a prospect in the top 100-150 range. Royals have a black hole at 1B, and if Rizzo plus a marginal prospect brings back Merrifield, that's worth considering, IMO. Especially if it triggers a Castellanos signing. Further, the Royals' farm system is even worse than the Cubs', meaning the prospect we send back would instantly qualify as one of their "top prospects."

Cubs then go:

C - Contreras/Caratini
1B - Schwarber
2B - Hoerner/Bote/Happ
SS - Baez
3B - Bryant
LF - Castellanos
CF - Merrifield
RF - Heyward

Cubs don't really lose financial flexibility in 2020 and likely gain some long-term, get younger, and address CF/leadoff in a market that otherwise has no good options. Contreras is still available to acquire pitching, if the right deal comes along.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: ticohans on December 05, 2019, 03:53:05 pm
Then go sign Michael Pineda and someone from the McHugh/Betances/Harris/Treinen group, and I think you begin to see meaningful changes to the roster within the budgetary restrictions the Cubs appear to be operating under.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 05, 2019, 03:53:54 pm
I'd think Kyle Tucker of Forest Whitley would be a must for the Cubs in a Contreras trade.  But the way the last couple of offseasons have gone for Theo, you worry he'll accidentally trade for Forest Tucker.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on December 05, 2019, 03:55:37 pm
I'd think Kyle Tucker of Forest Whitley would be a must for the Cubs in a Contreras trade.  But the way the last couple of offseasons have gone for Theo, you worry he'll accidentally trade for Forest Tucker.
Worse than that would be Tucker Carlson.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: ticohans on December 05, 2019, 04:02:05 pm
The final thing I wonder about is if Theo can persuade Ricketts to free up some cash and/or get creative with contracts for one of Cole or Strasburg. The Cubs have ~$45M in SP payroll coming off the books after 2020, and that year's SP FA crop doesn't look nearly as strong at the top (Bauer, Paxton). Would be great to pull some of that 2021 cash into 2020, if possible. Something we've done in the past.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: ticohans on December 05, 2019, 04:06:39 pm
I'd think Kyle Tucker of Forest Whitley would be a must for the Cubs in a Contreras trade.  But the way the last couple of offseasons have gone for Theo, you worry he'll accidentally trade for Forest Tucker.

I don't think there's any way that Houston trades Tucker or Whitley to the Cubs for Contreras, unless they're convinced the framing stuff is a nothingburger.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 05, 2019, 04:07:37 pm
It is a nothingburger though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 05, 2019, 04:08:07 pm
https://670thescore.radio.com/key-storylines-cubs-winter-meetings-free-agency-leadoff-man-trade-options
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on December 05, 2019, 04:09:14 pm
I can't see the Cubs trading Rizzo. Of the core players he embodies the plate approach the Cubs want from the lineup.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: ticohans on December 05, 2019, 04:12:25 pm
I can't see the Cubs trading Rizzo. Of the core players he embodies the plate approach the Cubs want from the lineup.   

Agreed. Flip side, for all of the vague criticisms of "team leadership" from Theo, have to wonder if Rizzo is someone they've been expecting to fill a bigger void.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 05, 2019, 04:26:39 pm
I'm not sure the Royals would really want Rizzo though, but I guess they could sell their fans that they aren't rebuilding.

For the Cubs I'm not sure it solves problems.  The Cubs would be essentially the same with contact with the swap and lose a sigificant source of left handed power.  The other kicker is Merrifield is actually older than Rizzo.  Rizzo even with his back issues seems like the type of guy that will age better as well.  Castellanos has usually been below league average in contact.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 05, 2019, 04:27:33 pm
I'd think Kyle Tucker of Forest Whitley would be a must for the Cubs in a Contreras trade.  But the way the last couple of offseasons have gone for Theo, you worry he'll accidentally trade for Forest Tucker.

Spectacular post, Deeg!  Simply brilliant!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 05, 2019, 04:30:01 pm
I'd think Kyle Tucker of Forest Whitley would be a must for the Cubs in a Contreras trade.  But the way the last couple of offseasons have gone for Theo, you worry he'll accidentally trade for Forest Tucker.

Larry Storch as a PTBNL?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 05, 2019, 04:50:25 pm
Larry Storch as a PTBNL?

Mr. Whoopee is still around, you know. But word is he’s lost a step at 96 and would need to play a corner OF spot now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 05, 2019, 06:03:16 pm
I don't think there's any way that Houston trades Tucker or Whitley to the Cubs for Contreras, unless they're convinced the framing stuff is a nothingburger.

I wonder if Houston might think that they'd be able to develop Contreras as a framer in a way that the Cubs just didn't have the teaching/diagnostics/development resources to make happen? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on December 05, 2019, 06:49:22 pm
He would also hit better knowing what pitch was coming.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron Green on December 05, 2019, 07:01:04 pm
Unless we get something very good in return of course.

Any chance we could get their sign stealing equipment and those operating it?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on December 05, 2019, 08:32:09 pm
That's too much.

I don't know.  We always talk about these moves we want to make in the outfield, and it usually ends with "We can't have _______ and Schwarber in the outfield together."  A guy like Tucker would end a lot of those roadblocks.  It'd also help make a Castellanos re-signing make much more sense.

Not that we're going to trade for Tucker anyway, but if the Astros are interested in Contreras but wouldn't part with Tucker for him, maybe adding Schwarber sweetens the pot enough to do it and helps end a lot of our outfield logjam issues.


Also if it seems to much for us to pay for Tucker, it might mean that could be an appropriate enough trade after all for us.  To get something, you have to give something.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on December 05, 2019, 08:33:09 pm
Any chance we could get their sign stealing equipment and those operating it?

Ha!  Yeah that'd probably make it a fair up swap!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on December 05, 2019, 08:36:36 pm
By the way just an observation, but the Astros went much of the season with Robinson Chirinos as catcher, who finished near the bottom in pitch framing stats this year.  Perhaps the Astros don't care as much about pitch framing as a lot of stat-forward teams if they settled for that in '19 and are interested in a guy in Contreras who hasn't fared well in that for most of his career.  Having mediocre pitching framing last year didn't seem to hurt their stud pitchers last season either.


Again if the Astros want him, maybe we shouldn't be so quick to unload him ourselves unless we get something very good back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on December 05, 2019, 08:44:43 pm
That’s because framing is bullshit.

Get pitchers who can throw strikes and hit their target.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 05, 2019, 10:52:24 pm
I don't know.  We always talk about these moves we want to make in the outfield, and it usually ends with "We can't have _______ and Schwarber in the outfield together."  A guy like Tucker would end a lot of those roadblocks.  It'd also help make a Castellanos re-signing make much more sense.

Not that we're going to trade for Tucker anyway, but if the Astros are interested in Contreras but wouldn't part with Tucker for him, maybe adding Schwarber sweetens the pot enough to do it and helps end a lot of our outfield logjam issues.


Also if it seems to much for us to pay for Tucker, it might mean that could be an appropriate enough trade after all for us.  To get something, you have to give something.
  What I meant was that giving up BOTH Contreras and Schwarber for what you proposed was too little a return.  I see us trading both, but we need a pile back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2019, 08:10:29 am
Robert Murray @ByRobertMurray
Sources: #Cubs in agreement with free-agent reliever Daniel Winkler on one-year deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 06, 2019, 08:41:26 am
Still in dumpster diving mode I see.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 06, 2019, 08:43:29 am
Cubs drafted him in 2010, 43rd round. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2019, 10:08:54 am
$750K guarantee on a major league deal for Winkler according to Heyman. Also has $750K in incentives.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2019, 10:15:17 am
Heyman revises his last tweet and says Winkler is on a split contract where he'll get paid $200K if he's in the minors and $750K plus incentives in MLB.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 06, 2019, 11:10:13 am
The Chicago Cubs working with relief specialist  Brandon Morrow on coming back. It would be a minor league deal . Most likely end of December conclusion.--Levine
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2019, 11:28:16 am
Winker isn't a bad option for the Iowa shuttle.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 06, 2019, 12:19:27 pm
Winker isn't a bad option for the Iowa shuttle.

What is his options status, I assume he's got at least a year, based on your comment?  And where is the best website for finding stuff like that?  True Iowa-shuttle requires not only that you can start him there and call him up as need arises, but also that you can send him back and call him back again later. 

He was pretty good two seasons ago.  Basically lost three to injury, 14-15 to 2014 TJ, and then broke his elbow and lost 16.  So who knows, maybe he's at a stage where he's ready to stay healthy and be pretty useful.  And hopefully the Cubs pitch-lab resources can help to facilitate that.  Or maybe not; I think the Braves are well ahead of the Cubs in those areas, so if they couldn't probably we can't either?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 06, 2019, 12:22:22 pm
The Chicago Cubs working with relief specialist  Brandon Morrow on coming back. It would be a minor league deal . Most likely end of December conclusion.--Levine

I like the idea.  Not sure I really get why a minor-league deal would take weeks and weeks to work out?  Unless there are comeback/health-considerations, and they want to have him keep throwing for a few more weeks to see if his arm holds up before signing the deal? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2019, 12:28:21 pm
Are players who sign a minor league contract before the Rule 5 draft are eligible to be drafted? I think I remember that happening once or twice.

If that can happen, then it makes sense to hold off on officially signing a guy who is basically a lock to make the team (if healthy) until after the Rule 5 draft.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2019, 12:31:16 pm
What is his options status, I assume he's got at least a year, based on your comment?  And where is the best website for finding stuff like that?  True Iowa-shuttle requires not only that you can start him there and call him up as need arises, but also that you can send him back and call him back again later. 

He was pretty good two seasons ago.  Basically lost three to injury, 14-15 to 2014 TJ, and then broke his elbow and lost 16.  So who knows, maybe he's at a stage where he's ready to stay healthy and be pretty useful.  And hopefully the Cubs pitch-lab resources can help to facilitate that.  Or maybe not; I think the Braves are well ahead of the Cubs in those areas, so if they couldn't probably we can't either?

Fangraphs lists him as having 3 options left and the fact that somebody mentioned he had a split deal as well would confirm an option.

I like the idea.  Not sure I really get why a minor-league deal would take weeks and weeks to work out?  Unless there are comeback/health-considerations, and they want to have him keep throwing for a few more weeks to see if his arm holds up before signing the deal? 

They likely wouldn't want to announce it until after the Rule 5 draft.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 06, 2019, 12:34:23 pm
Double thanks, for fangraphs as go-to for options, and for the Rule 5 factor.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 06, 2019, 12:59:20 pm
Winkler doesnt strike me as total dog ****.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2019, 01:12:11 pm
Apparently the Cubs are still paying Brad Brach next year.

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal
Free-agent RHP Brad Brach signs with #Mets, one year, $850K with a player option for $1.25M in 2021, sources tell The Athletic. Brach still owed $500K by #Cubs for 2020, so actually will earn total of $1.35M next season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2019, 01:18:26 pm
Why didn't the Mets just sign Brach for the minimum? It appears they saved the Cubs about $300K by paying him $850K instead.

Bleacher Nation @BleacherNation
For interested Cubs fans - they were already on the hook for $1.35M to Brach in 2020, so this deal actually winds up *saving* the Cubs $850K. Thanks, Mets!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2019, 01:19:48 pm
He has incentives for games pitched so I wonder if that could shrink it another $400,000.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2019, 01:38:00 pm
Maybe that's the reason--if they only paid him the minimum, he'd have to earn another $800K in incentives for them to matter. By paying the extra $300K, the incentives start to increase his actual take home pay sooner.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 06, 2019, 05:21:27 pm
What is his options status, I assume he's got at least a year, based on your comment?  And where is the best website for finding stuff like that?  True Iowa-shuttle requires not only that you can start him there and call him up as need arises, but also that you can send him back and call him back again later. 

He was pretty good two seasons ago.  Basically lost three to injury, 14-15 to 2014 TJ, and then broke his elbow and lost 16.  So who knows, maybe he's at a stage where he's ready to stay healthy and be pretty useful.  And hopefully the Cubs pitch-lab resources can help to facilitate that.  Or maybe not; I think the Braves are well ahead of the Cubs in those areas, so if they couldn't probably we can't either?

Craig, Arizona Phil is your man for all such matters.  Here's a link to his 40-man roster which he keeps updated in a pretty timely fashion.  And here's a link about Winkler specifically.

https://www.thecubreporter.com/cubs-40-man-roster

https://www.thecubreporter.com/12062019/cubs-give-wink-and-nod-righty-reliever

An important excerpt:

Winkler has two minor league options left, but because he spent so much time on the Braves MLB DL 2015-17 he has already accrued more than four years of MLB Service Time, and so once he acrues another 109 days he will hit five years of MLB ST and his remaining options will be effectively not usable since he would have to give his permission before he can be optioned once he reaches 5+000 MLB Service Time.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 06, 2019, 05:31:26 pm
once he acrues another 109 days he will hit five years of MLB ST and his remaining options will be effectively not usable since he would have to give his permission before he can be optioned once he reaches 5+000 MLB Service Time.

Thanks, Jeff.  Really helpful.  So 109 days of yo-yo control...  Not quite as nice as three option-years of yo-yo! 

Still, that's most of this year.  109 days in, it's July, and of course by september nobody gets yo-yo'd.  HOpefully by July he'll be good enough that they aren't wanting to send him down.  I suppose if he's kinda interchangeable with some other yo-yos, they could potentially send him down on day 108, then he can hang out at Iowa in case they do need him back after day 109.

 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 06, 2019, 07:19:15 pm
Is Theo too gutless and cowardly to make a major trade?  Discuss.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 06, 2019, 07:29:44 pm
I know you're just being inflammatory for its own sake, but the truth is Theo is fuched.  Every team knows his ownership won't let him spend any money and he's under tremendous pressure to shake things up via trade.  He looks desperate, because he is.  That means any potential trade partner is going to be shaking him down big-time.  And that could very well mean no major trades.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 06, 2019, 07:31:59 pm
I agree, but he's not ignorant - then don't say that you want to make trades.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 06, 2019, 07:34:29 pm
I find it funny that everyone is so certain they know exactly what's going to and not going to happen right up until they dont.

Im gonna let things play out before I judge the offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2019, 10:17:20 pm
https://www.cubsinsider.com/2019/12/06/changing-dan-winklers-mechanics-could-unlock-potential-of-elite-spin-rate/amp/?p=76492&__twitter_impression=true

So it’s kinda of a fun article that goes into spin rates and effective spin rates. Basically Winkler’s arm slot makes his effective spin rate stink. If the Cubs can move his release point up and he retains his spin then he could really interesting.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on December 07, 2019, 04:34:49 pm
Jeff Lawson
@pastorjl
@ESPNChiCubs
Give us a prediction as to what you think the Cubs might do this week

Jesse Rogers
ESPNChiCubs
Big trade by end of the week. Bryant ? I think we’re getting closer to that reality. (Could be someone else)


Seems like a pretty bold prediction.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 07, 2019, 04:43:47 pm
If the Cubs are going to trade Bryant, they need to do it soon while Rendon and Donaldson are still out there. If they free up Bryant's money, surely they'd at least talk to those guys.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 07, 2019, 09:51:15 pm
They will probably talk to them regardless of any trades.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2019, 02:20:39 am
If the Cubs are going to trade Bryant, they need to do it soon while Rendon and Donaldson are still out there. If they free up Bryant's money, surely they'd at least talk to those guys.

The issue with doing it soon is the grievance.  No team is going to give up two years value until they're sure they're getting two years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2019, 07:14:53 am
MLB.com's "11 bold predictions" for the winter meetings:

Quote
5) The Padres will trade for Willson Contreras

All the motivation lines up. The Cubs are motivated to improve their long-term outlook with a trade that brings in cost-controlled talent. The Padres are motivated to contend in 2020, because the front office has been put on notice.

General manager A.J. Preller has already done a lot of heavy lifting this winter with trades for outfielders Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham and infielder Jurickson Profar, and the bold free-agent signing of reliever Drew Pomeranz. But Contreras, who has three seasons of arbitration control remaining, would take the lineup to another level and erase the defensive catching concerns the Padres are carrying with Francisco Mejía behind the plate.

The Cubs don’t necessarily have to get a catcher in a Contreras trade, because they like Victor Caratini. But the switch-hitting Mejía would be an attractive piece and worthwhile risk here. If he doesn’t stick behind the plate, he could be a corner-outfield option. He’s under control for five more seasons and not eligible for arbitration for two more years.

History tells us the Padres have to do something at a Winter Meetings in their home city. In 2014, they traded for Matt Kemp. In 1985, they took Bip Roberts in the Rule 5 Draft. In 1963 ... they didn’t have a team yet.

OK, so that’s only two instances, but that’s good enough to guide us.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 08, 2019, 08:16:35 am
From Rosenthal:

A reunion with free-agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos? Not a chance, at least for the moment. Club officials are telling representatives of even low-budget free agents that they need to clear money before engaging in serious negotiations.

https://theathletic.com/1441618/2019/12/08/rosenthal-signings-and-stories-that-could-make-for-decadent-drama-at-the-winter-meetings/

They're right around the lowest luxury tax threshold right now. I bet if they trade Bryant, we start hearing about how they're going to stay under the luxury tax this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on December 08, 2019, 08:34:01 am
Bleacher Nation expands on Rosenthal's comment

https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2019/12/08/cubs-reportedly-telling-agents-they-cant-negotiate-on-even-low-cost-free-agents-until-they-clear-salary/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2019, 09:53:44 am
If the Cubs trade Bryant I’m going to be cranky. If the Cubs trade Bryant and stay under the luxury tax I’m going to be picketing the governor’s mansion in Lincoln.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 08, 2019, 10:18:43 am
Pete Ricketts is the real power behind the Cubs?  Who knew?

From that article a couple years ago, the whole clan seems self-absorbed with getting credit for stuff that I'm not sure anybody is in control.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 08, 2019, 10:32:32 am
If the Cubs trade Bryant I’m going to be cranky. If the Cubs trade Bryant and stay under the luxury tax I’m going to be picketing the governor’s mansion in Lincoln.

Yeah, that’s pretty close to a worst case offseason. They make themselves worse next year, and they haven’t done enough to really change their post-2021 trajectory where they fall off a cliff.

If they trade Bryant, they need to follow that up by going all in on Rendon (or maybe Donaldson), or they need to trade other guys who won’t be around after 2021. Either replace him or do a mini-rebuild.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2019, 10:43:21 am
Pete Ricketts is the real power behind the Cubs?  Who knew?

From that article a couple years ago, the whole clan seems self-absorbed with getting credit for stuff that I'm not sure anybody is in control.

Pete gets the luck of me being 1/2 hour from my house.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2019, 11:12:57 am
Yeah, that’s pretty close to a worst case offseason. They make themselves worse next year, and they haven’t done enough to really change their post-2021 trajectory where they fall off a cliff.

If they trade Bryant, they need to follow that up by going all in on Rendon (or maybe Donaldson), or they need to trade other guys who won’t be around after 2021. Either replace him or do a mini-rebuild.

Sharma heavily implies that Bryant would be traded after Rendon and Donaldson are off the board. If they trade Bryant to the Dodgers just burn it all down.

Thanks to Tom’s interview if they stay under the luxury tax it will be because he doesn’t want to pay other owners money.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 08, 2019, 11:57:07 am
This whole mess appears to be tied to incompetence on the business side - massively over budget on the Wrigley renovation and not getting the kind of TV deal they were anticipating.  Hopefully Crane pays the price. That guy is an **** and apparently not good at his job.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 08, 2019, 12:31:19 pm
But, this does not let the front office and their horrible player development process off the hook. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 08, 2019, 03:59:43 pm
Early in the rebuild, Theo referred to spending being related to revenue.  Post-season was supposed to generate a lot of millions, which could cover season expenses and subsequent-year payroll. 

Early in rebuild, they tended to save up, for later.  (Tanaka story...) 

More recently, Theo has tended to use future-year money for Nowacrat signings.  (Heyward and Darvish signings both borrowed from the ensuing-year's discretionary spending.)  I wonder if perhaps he did that again this past summer, with both the Kimbrel and Castellanos pickups?  He hoped Kimbrel would get them into the playoffs and playoff-success would self-fund the contract? 

Second, popular team superstars were supposed to generate lots of jersey revenue.  When they were rising young stars, and we won the world series, I assume they made lots of sales.  But now that they've got an 8th place team, I'm not sure that there have been lots of Russell/Rizzo/Bryant/Schwarber/Lester/Quintana jersey sales outside of the Chicago area? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 08, 2019, 04:47:08 pm
This whole mess appears to be tied to incompetence on the business side - massively over budget on the Wrigley renovation and not getting the kind of TV deal they were anticipating.  Hopefully Crane pays the price. That guy is an **** and apparently not good at his job.

I haven't seen any reporting on that subject.  Do you have a link for it?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 08, 2019, 05:03:05 pm
I haven't seen any reporting on that subject.  Do you have a link for it?

https://theathletic.com/1441815/2019/12/08/remember-when-the-cubs-snagged-jon-lester-at-the-winter-meetings-dont-expect-anything-close-this-week?source=shared-article
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 08, 2019, 06:16:27 pm
Thanks, Jeff.  I am not a subscriber.  Does it give specific information about going over budget on the Wrigley renovation?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 08, 2019, 06:22:46 pm
During a recent panel discussion with Sports Business Journal, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts acknowledged that the team missed its budget for the Wrigley Field renovations by “around 100 percent.” That aligns with what the Cubs had already confirmed publicly, from an initial projection of $545 million to an estimated $1 billion cost for the entire development.

Those construction costs — combined with the uncertainty of when Marquee Sports Network will realize its full economic impact with widespread distribution on the region’s cable systems — are factors in setting the baseball operations budget, which will ultimately benefit from those long-term investments.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 08, 2019, 10:39:28 pm
Thanks, Jeff.  I appreciate the information.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 09, 2019, 02:48:22 am
Source: #Cubs, free agent Josh Lindblom have had discussions this offseason, but it appears other clubs are more heavily involved now. Lindblom, the 2019 KBO MVP, grew up in West Lafayette, Ind., fewer than 150 miles from Wrigley Field. @MLB @MLBNetwork-@MLBNetwork--Morosi
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2019, 03:50:01 am
Too rich for our blood.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 09, 2019, 07:38:34 am
Besides, we all KNOW those Asian pitchers come here with worn out arms.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on December 09, 2019, 09:20:38 am
I'm worried some folks will use up their supply of angst and anger over the Cubs' winter before the time comes when there is any actual activity or lack of activity about which to be upset.  ;)
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 09, 2019, 09:46:30 am
I'm worried some folks will use up their supply of angst and anger over the Cubs' winter before the time comes when there is any actual activity or lack of activity about which to be upset.  ;)

Don't be ridiculous.  We've got plenty.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on December 09, 2019, 09:47:46 am
Don't be ridiculous.  We've got plenty.

True, that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 09, 2019, 10:44:27 am
ANGST?  STRESS?  NOT ME!  GO TO HELL!
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2019, 10:52:41 am
Jesse Rogers predicts a Bryant to Braves trade in the ESPN Winter Meetings predictions column:

Here's a prediction: The Cubs will trade Bryant to the Braves for Max Fried and top prospects.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28237547/2019-mlb-winter-meetings-rumors-dates-free-agent-updates-predictions

Fried + prospects should be a pretty good trade for the Cubs. And if they did that, I think they should probably turn around and trade Quintana to free up more money. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2019, 11:20:05 am
I think they should probably turn around and trade Quintana to free up more money. 

That would be about as good of a deal as the Cubs could hope for.  I'm just not sure the Cubs would be in on Rendon/Straus/Cole and that their would be anybody worth spending the money on.

Levine is speculating that Ricketts wants the Cubs below the Luxury tax.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 09, 2019, 12:07:09 pm
...if they did that, I think they should probably turn around and trade Quintana to free up more money. 

One story is that they need to "clear payroll" before they can even talk to mid/low-end FA's. 

If it's so tight and they're looking to offload salary, then why did they just commit $9.5 to Quintana?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2019, 12:10:27 pm
Because Quintana at $9.5 million is still a pretty big bargain. They’ll have no problem trading his entire salary if that’s what they want to do.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on December 09, 2019, 12:18:20 pm
Then trade him already, if you lose out on the players you wanted trying to clear salary, how does that help?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 09, 2019, 12:23:53 pm
Because Quintana at $9.5 million is still a pretty big bargain. They’ll have no problem trading his entire salary if that’s what they want to do.

Disagree.  But if so, then they should hurry up and trade his entire salary, **if** pursuing other FA's is being stalled until his salary that they just unnecessarily committed themselves to gets offloaded. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on December 09, 2019, 12:24:39 pm
I would have given Q's starts to Colin Rea and saved 9M, personally...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on December 09, 2019, 12:26:18 pm
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ELXV-FGX0AEMjQu.jpg:small)
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on December 09, 2019, 12:27:35 pm
I think the narrative of Q's option was picked up to trade him is incorrect. If they are this salary constrained, they likely need him to plug into the rotation for that $ amount. Not going to find much on the FA market cheaper then him.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on December 09, 2019, 12:27:50 pm
Mark Gonzales  @MDGonzales  5m5 minutes ago
White not on 40-man roster

Mark Gonzales  @MDGonzales  5m5 minutes ago
Cubs also acquire LHP Conor Lillis-White from Angels as player to be named later in Tommy La Stella deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on December 09, 2019, 12:28:28 pm
26 years in the organization for Franklin Font?  Boy where does time go?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 09, 2019, 12:38:42 pm
I think the narrative of Q's option was picked up to trade him is incorrect.

Agree.  They picked up his option not to trade him, but because they still believe he's really good, and that a Q-Lester rotation is a good Nowacrat way to contend. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2019, 12:42:27 pm
Disagree.  But if so, then they should hurry up and trade his entire salary, **if** pursuing other FA's is being stalled until his salary that they just unnecessarily committed themselves to gets offloaded. 

I think the narrative of Q's option was picked up to trade him is incorrect. If they are this salary constrained, they likely need him to plug into the rotation for that $ amount. Not going to find much on the FA market cheaper then him.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying his option was picked up just so they could trade him...I'm just saying they could easily trade him if they wanted to. But I don't think they want to. I think they plan to move enough money so they can make some moves around the edges, and then try to compete next year. They still see Quintana the cheapest option for filling out their rotation adequately. Just look at Hamels--he got $18 million from the Braves. Quintana is five years younger and has been at least as good as (and probably better than) Hamels over the last three years. It's going to cost a lot more than $9.5 million to replace Quintana.

But if the Cubs did end up getting Fried (or someone like him) who they can reasonably count on to be at least a #3 starter for them next year, then Quintana's value to them changes. At that point, I think it's pretty likely that they'd rather have the $9.5 million to spend somewhere else.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on December 09, 2019, 01:00:11 pm
Q will be more valuable to the Cubs if they add a solid #3 or better starter to the rotation, allowing Q to effectively be the 4th starter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 09, 2019, 01:23:59 pm
Q will be more valuable to the Cubs if they add a solid #3 or better starter to the rotation, allowing Q to effectively be the 4th starter.
So, adding a starter with a pulse moves Q to #4?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2019, 01:30:48 pm
If you had Darvish, Hendricks, Fried, #4,#5. 

I think you could make a decent argument that putting Lester at #4.  Signing Walker and letting him and Cotton battle it out at #5 and moving Quintana's money to the bullpen and CF would improve the team more.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on December 09, 2019, 01:31:46 pm
does that make up for losing bryant?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2019, 02:19:24 pm
No, trading Bryant is still stupid.  Trading Bryant to stay under the luxury tax is 10x worse.  If the Cubs got a really great return it would keep from stalking the Governor of Nebraska, but I'd still be ticked about it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 09, 2019, 02:57:16 pm
...Just look at Hamels--he got $18 million from the Braves. Quintana is five years younger and has been at least as good as (and probably better than) Hamels over the last three years. It's going to cost a lot more than $9.5 million to replace Quintana.....

Q hasn't been nearly as good as Hamels for either of the last two years.  Who cares about 3 years ago? 

"He's not that old" and "over X years" is part of the Q fallacy, I think.  We're not getting 2016 vintage Q; we're getting 2020 Q.  With almost 2000 pro innings, I think his arm is effectively "older" and more worn than is typical for his age.  Pitcher history is not the best predictor of future for a guy in physical decline; he's not the same guy anymore.  He's trying to get by with below-average, liability stuff, needing to survive on guts and veteran savvy .  He's been trending worse, and I'm hesitant to assume that's going to reverse. 

Going with a guts-and-savvy overachiever as an anti-awful back-end guy makes more sense if your defense, offense, and pen rock.  Settle for 4-5 anti-awful innings, and let the offense and pen win some of those mediocre starts for you.  But I'm kinda worried that a hypothetical post-Bryant offense with Bote starting at 3rd, Hoerner at 2nd, and some jag in center isn't going to consistently score a lot and win a ton of Q/Lester starts. 

O well, Theo is a big Q-fan, so I guess we'll just enjoy whatever he gives us, for better or for worse. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2019, 03:35:57 pm
O well, Theo is a big Q-fan, so I guess we'll just enjoy whatever he gives us, for better or for worse. 


I know which one of those I'd bet on.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 09, 2019, 03:44:25 pm
Agree.  They picked up his option not to trade him, but because they still believe he's really good, and that a Q-Lester rotation is a good Nowacrat way to contend. 

I'm not sure I understand the controversy here.  It seems to me that they picked up Quintana's option because they need someone in the rotation, and are not likely to get someone any near as good as Quintana for 9.5 million.  Craig - since you have often espoused the value of having an anti-awful player instead of an awful one, I assume you rate Quintana as awful.  If so, I don't agree.  He seems to me to be the very definition of an anti-awful fifth starter.

Nor do I see the logic in trading Quintana just to free up money for free agent players.  There isn't a chance in the world that the Cubs are going to be in on Rondon/Cole level players, and replacing him with another 9.5 million dollar pitcher probably wouldn't accomplish much.  And it is very likely that the Cubs are going to want to have about 15 - 15 million in reserve, just on the off chance that they need to bolster some area, as they did last season with Kimbrel.

The Cubs have made it clear that they are not going to go over the salary cap this year, and given the penalties involved, I think this is a reasonable decision.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2019, 04:06:43 pm
Jesse Rogers tweeted he was going to be on the radio, so I turned it on. He says the Cubs are going to get under the luxury tax. Also says they have been transparent about that, which is just a flat out lie.

Mentions that he thinks they could be a .500 team this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 09, 2019, 04:12:25 pm
"Mentions that he thinks they could be a .500 team this year. "  They will probably be battling the Cards for 3rd place.  Reds and Brewers at the top.  But things can change dramatically.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2019, 04:22:36 pm
The Cardinals are the best team in the division, IMO. Reds are probably pretty close behind, and look like they're going to continue to be aggressive this offseason--I wouldn't be surprised if they were the clear favorite going into Spring Training.

The Brewers and Cubs are a distant 3rd/4th right now. The Brewers have already lost Grandal, Moustakas, and Pomeranz, and they don't seem to have a ton of money to add. And given that they will be monitored closely next year since they're one of the primary non-Astros teams who are suspected of stealing signs, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some "unexplained" team-wide regression from them next year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2019, 04:31:51 pm
The Cardinals, Reds, and Cubs as currently constructed are at the top of the division.  Any of those three with a few tweaks would be the clear favorite. 

The Cubs if they trade Bryant are with the Brewers in the also rans battling to become a .500 team unless they catch lighting in the bottle.  If the Cubs trade Willson too and then I think they struggle hard to become a .500 level team and I'd wonder why you don't just blow the whole thing up.  Getting below the luxury tax is just stupid.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2019, 04:33:52 pm
I'm not sure I understand the controversy here.  It seems to me that they picked up Quintana's option because they need someone in the rotation, and are not likely to get someone any near as good as Quintana for 9.5 million.  Craig - since you have often espoused the value of having an anti-awful player instead of an awful one, I assume you rate Quintana as awful.  If so, I don't agree.  He seems to me to be the very definition of an anti-awful fifth starter.

Nor do I see the logic in trading Quintana just to free up money for free agent players.  There isn't a chance in the world that the Cubs are going to be in on Rondon/Cole level players, and replacing him with another 9.5 million dollar pitcher probably wouldn't accomplish much.  And it is very likely that the Cubs are going to want to have about 15 - 15 million in reserve, just on the off chance that they need to bolster some area, as they did last season with Kimbrel.

The Cubs have made it clear that they are not going to go over the salary cap this year, and given the penalties involved, I think this is a reasonable decision.

Interesting Freudian slip there...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on December 09, 2019, 04:37:46 pm
Mentions that he thinks they could be a .500 team this year.

If that's the case, can we just go ahead and try to get as much of Heyward's and Darvish's contracts off the books as we can?  Those are the big contracts that are hindering us right now.  No sense fooling around trying to free up a spare $8-10 million here or there if that's the season we're looking at.  Just go ahead and start tearing it down and get rid of the albatross contracts while they're coming off reasonably productive seasons.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2019, 04:41:58 pm
If that's the case, can we just go ahead and try to get as much of Heyward's and Darvish's contracts off the books as we can?  Those are the big contracts that are hindering us right now.  No sense fooling around trying to free up a spare $8-10 million here or there if that's the season we're looking at.  Just go ahead and start tearing it down and get rid of the albatross contracts while they're coming off reasonably productive seasons.

Yes, if we’re trading Bryant and Contreras not to extend the competitive window but to get under the luxury tax, then blow it up and trade everything that’s not nailed down.  Who cares about winning 80 games as opposed to 70?  That approach is the Bulls of the mid 2010s.  Basically everybody with surplus value should go and let Theo start over at 2012, which he seems to be better at than trying to be a buyer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2019, 04:44:25 pm
As much as pitchers are making this offseason, I think the Cubs could probably trade all of Darvish's contract if they wanted to.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2019, 04:57:29 pm
If the Cubs if the exceed the luxury tax threshold by $30,000,000 and think I might be overestimating the tax a bit by adding the 12% surcharge to the whole 30%.

Year 1- $9,600,000
Year 2- $12,600,000 (+$3,000,000)
Year 3- $18,600,000 (+9,000,000 over year 1)

The Cubs need to get rid of their best player to reset the luxury tax over a freaking $9,000,000 or less money than they paid Morrow to be on the IR..................
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2019, 05:06:47 pm
The Cubs aren't a World Series contender without Bryant.  Trade freaking everybody and let Ricketts hoard up enough money to properly fund the next contending team.  Darvish has value and I think you could get rid of everyone not named Heyward without including assets.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 09, 2019, 05:09:31 pm
If the Cubs if the exceed the luxury tax threshold by $30,000,000 and think I might be overestimating the tax a bit by adding the 12% surcharge to the whole 30%.

Year 1- $9,600,000
Year 2- $12,600,000 (+$3,000,000)
Year 3- $18,600,000 (+9,000,000 over year 1)

The Cubs need to get rid of their best player to reset the luxury tax over a freaking $9,000,000 or less money than they paid Morrow to be on the IR..................

Dumb Q's by me. But clarify for me:
1.  we were under tax in 18, right?  So, *IF* over this year, it would be year 2, the $3M tax?  Not $9M?
2.  You mention exceeding the tax by $30M.  Where is that tax level? 
3.  There are a couple of tax levels, no? 
4.  If there are lux-tax levels/thresholds, is Rogers taking about being under even the lowest of them all, and being totally tax free?  Or is he perhaps referring to a higher-penalty lux level? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on December 09, 2019, 05:28:18 pm
I had no idea that Jesse Rogers had the ability to determine the Cubs' off-season.  But apparently he does.  Yeah, let's just blow it all up based on what he's reporting (or speculating).
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2019, 06:42:25 pm
Craig

The Cubs would be in year 2 so a $30,000,000 overage would cost $12.6 million or $3 million more than a first time payer. Going over for 3 years in a row would be $18.6 million.

There are 3 tax tiers.
0-$20 million 20% then 30% then 50% tax
$20-$40 million over has an additional 12% surcharge.
$40+ million  42.5% surcharge the first time and 45% in subsequent years + a loss of 10 picks on your first pick.

The third tier could get expensive and I could see teams making a case to avoid it. The first 2 tiers nope it doesn’t make sense.


Rogers has been one of the most accurate reporters the past we years. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 09, 2019, 07:02:42 pm
Deeg, what's Freudian in davep's post.  I'm missing it.  Not doubting you, just want to nail the Dutch dummy myself.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 09, 2019, 07:18:53 pm
Idiot.  You can't use the words Dutch and the word dummy in the same sentence.  Just ask Craig.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2019, 07:47:19 pm
Deeg, what's Freudian in davep's post.  I'm missing it.  Not doubting you, just want to nail the Dutch dummy myself.

He said “salary cap”.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 09, 2019, 07:56:39 pm
The idea that the Cubs have to trade Bryant to get under the luxury tax threshold is really not supported by the data.

Right now, the Cubs are at around $210 (lux tax basis), around $2 over the threshold.  And my calc is usually a little conservative.  And they can put together a legitimate, full 26 man roster with the players already here.  It may not be an "optimized" roster, but it would be a legitimate MLB roster.

I find it hard to believe that the Cubs would have done stuff like exercise the Quintana option and tender Almora if it meant that they had to trade Bryant.

If they trade Bryant (or Contreras or whoever), it will be a baseball decision.  It may not be with 2020 only in mind, but it will be a baseball decision.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: chgojhawk on December 09, 2019, 08:08:01 pm
I would suggest the media is pretty accurate this year as it relates to the team. They are going all out to trade Bryant. They won’t give him away obviously but they do want to move him badly.

The original plan was to then go after Rendon but the World Series ended any chance of getting Rendon at a reasonable price.

Castellanos was never likely to be re-signed. He was deemed a one dimensional player who caught fire at the right time. The feeling is/was that while he is a good hitter, he isn’t the hitter that wore a Cubs uniform for a couple months.

Someone posed the over/under at 1 of the core players being moved. I took the over back then and will stick with that prediction. If it doesn’t happen it won’t be for lack of desire.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2019, 08:20:20 pm
This is going to turn out as well as Mike Morgan, Jose Guzman and Greg Hubbard.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 09, 2019, 08:29:23 pm
The idea that the Cubs have to trade Bryant to get under the luxury tax threshold is really not supported by the data.

Right now, the Cubs are at around $210 (lux tax basis), around $2 over the threshold.  And my calc is usually a little conservative.  And they can put together a legitimate, full 26 man roster with the players already here.  It may not be an "optimized" roster, but it would be a legitimate MLB roster.

I find it hard to believe that the Cubs would have done stuff like exercise the Quintana option and tender Almora if it meant that they had to trade Bryant.

If they trade Bryant (or Contreras or whoever), it will be a baseball decision.  It may not be with 2020 only in mind, but it will be a baseball decision.

I agree.  I suspect that if there were no luxury tax, they would still be trying to trade Bryant for many reasons. 

He is a free agent in, at most, two years, and he seems the least likely to be willing to sign at a number that is acceptable to the Cubs.  Allowing him to walk away with nothing but a draft choice would set the program back substantially.  And he can bring back a return that can still contribute to to team next year, and bring in a meaningful prospect or two that can help further down the line.  And the money they save from his salary next year can be used to bring in a useful free agent this season or next.

I doubt that the Cubs will trade him for less than what they feel is his fair value, but if they are going to trade someone, he seems to be the most logical.  But biggest question is whether or not they can get decent value for him until his free agency question is resolved.  One year of Bryant will bring back substantially less than two, and may make him more valuable in trade at trade deadline if there is someone that is in desperate need at that time.

By the way, DEEG is right.  I used the term salary cap rather than luxury tax.  I am not sure that there is a practical difference this winter, but it was not accurate.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2019, 08:38:50 pm
The original plan was to then go after Rendon but the World Series ended any chance of getting Rendon at a reasonable price.

Too bad...because trading Bryant for young players and then signing the one player better than him on the market would've been the perfect strategy for this team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2019, 08:56:08 pm
I agree.  I suspect that if there were no luxury tax, they would still be trying to trade Bryant for many reasons. 

He is a free agent in, at most, two years, and he seems the least likely to be willing to sign at a number that is acceptable to the Cubs.  Allowing him to walk away with nothing but a draft choice would set the program back substantially.  And he can bring back a return that can still contribute to to team next year, and bring in a meaningful prospect or two that can help further down the line.  And the money they save from his salary next year can be used to bring in a useful free agent this season or next.

I doubt that the Cubs will trade him for less than what they feel is his fair value, but if they are going to trade someone, he seems to be the most logical.  But biggest question is whether or not they can get decent value for him until his free agency question is resolved.  One year of Bryant will bring back substantially less than two, and may make him more valuable in trade at trade deadline if there is someone that is in desperate need at that time.

By the way, DEEG is right.  I used the term salary cap rather than luxury tax.  I am not sure that there is a practical difference this winter, but it was not accurate.



This is the replace Greg Maddux strategy all over again. You don’t replace your best player and hope to compete anytime soon. The 2020 Cubs are unlikely to make the playoffs without Bryant if they don’t sign Rendon or Cole, which isn’t happening.

2021 the Cubs rotation is Darvish and Hendricks and then nobody. You have to rebuild the rotation and unless you sign Betts they offense is still crap. Trading Bryant closes the window.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2019, 09:04:48 pm
I'm not convinced trading Bryant cancels 2020 until I see the return.  But if (and that's obviously a big if) Jesse Rogers' description is correct, I really do think it makes more sense to go whole hog with a rebuild.  If you're going to make payroll-driven trades for Bryant and Contreras which clearly won't feature any players as good right now coming back, and you aren't going to go out and spend in FA, the upcoming season is pretty much toast.  Truthfully it would be better to lose as many games as possible but they aren't going to go that far.  Trading Q and Darvish probably makes little sense as their salaries are pretty neutral at this point - the only way they'll get talent back is by eating a ton of salary and that's obviously not going to happen.  But Rizzo, Schwatber, Baez?  You can make the argument for keeping Javy and building around him but only if he signs an extension - and if the Cubs are blowing it up he's not going to do that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 09, 2019, 09:15:07 pm
I read early today that we were in on Keuchel.

Ive been busy so Im not sure who said it but it was one of the big name reporters.

That dont sound like we're poor.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 09, 2019, 09:15:35 pm
I'm not convinced trading Bryant cancels 2020 until I see the return.

Agree 100%.  The problem is that we have MLB's worst front office making the decisions.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2019, 09:27:42 pm
The Cubs aren’t going to get a player as talented as Bryant back in return. Whatever they get the Cubs are going to be subtracting wins, even if the return is all MLB talent. It didn’t work in 1994 and won’t work in 2020.

The Cubs to get better in 2020 or 21 just have to rebuild a pitching rotation and then find another star player. Seems simple enough.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 09, 2019, 09:29:15 pm
Maybe trading off some of our assets puts us under the luxury tax but doesnt it also rebuild our system?

It might suck but doesnt it also fix a problem?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 09, 2019, 09:34:28 pm
I just spoke to a well known agent in the Hyatt lobby and here is what he said to me: "Man, the Cubs are trying to move money and the White Sox are all in to try and compete. Talk about role reversal in the Windy City!"--Kaplan
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2019, 09:39:39 pm
“Fixing” the Cubs system would be finding another Bryant or Baez. They aren’t getting that for 2 years of Bryant. The Cubs either need to be extremely lucky/good picking later in the draft or they need to get a top pick. Trading Bryant increases you stock of Ian Happ type guys who might be useful 2-3 WAR guys.

If you trade a 5 WAR player you need to replace him with a 5 WAR player or better. Bringing in 3 3 WAR players doesn’t make your team better. The only way to salivate 2021 would be to sign Betts and hope you can piece together a rotation, bullpen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 09, 2019, 09:48:56 pm
Jordan Bastian
@MLBastian
Theo said the Cubs are not close to any deals right now. Said patience could be beneficial while FA market moves. That could set stage for trade market.--Bastian
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 09, 2019, 09:49:17 pm
Levine posted the Keuchel rumor.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 09, 2019, 09:59:02 pm
Cubs trade Bryant and sign Keuchel. The Darkest Timeline.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2019, 10:08:31 pm
It's to imagine a worse Cubs target than Keuchel. A guy going into his mid-30s who pitches to contact and will be expensive....everything the Cubs don't need.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2019, 12:14:39 am
On MLB Network right now, @Ken_Rosenthal mentioned that he would be "shocked" if a Kris Bryant trade were to happen this week at the Winter Meetings but noted that it's still in play and the Cubs are in a unique situation.

Theo also said it was an offseason where they had to be patient.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2019, 12:21:52 am
Theo Epstein said he was preceding ahead and “fairly confident “that the grievance presented by the union on Kris Bryant’s service time will not be ground breaking result of free agent status being granted one year early.--Levine
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on December 10, 2019, 12:28:20 am
There is going to be a lot of speculation in the coming weeks, whether about Bryant, Contreras or others. Jesse Rogers predicted that there would be a major trade by the Cubs at the Winter Meetings, and specifically suggested that it might be Bryant.  Maybe the Cubs will make a major trade at the Winter Meetings, but Rogers was simply speculating. I don't plan on taking any of the speculation very seriously, even from legitimate reporters, because I'm pretty sure that not even Theo Epstein knows how any of this is going to turn out, and I seriously doubt that he's sharing much in the way of specifics regarding plans and expectations with anyone outside his inner circle. 

That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with speculation, whether by reporters or by internet fans - indeed, I will certainly check here and elsewhere to try to keep up with rumors. But I remember taking some of these things too seriously in past seasons, only to learn there was often nothing whatsoever to many of them. It should be an interesting winter - how interesting remains to be seen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2019, 02:55:05 am
Joe Maddon surprised by the Kris Bryant trade speculation, calling it "weird."

Of Bryant and Willson Contreras, Maddon adds, "They are not done improving. They are all going to get better."

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2019, 07:12:43 am
Sharma had a piece talking about trades for Bryant. He discussed the Phillies saying that Bohm might be a trade target, but he isn’t sure the Phillies would trade him or that the Cubs would want him. He went heavily into the Dodgers as a target saying that Lux and May would be preferred trade targets but they are likely unobtainable. Instead he thinks a trade built around Alex Verdurgo as being the Cubs best option. Verdurgo has a lower wRC+ than Ian Happ, but he doesn’t strike out I guess.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2019, 07:31:43 am
Verdugo had an .817 OPS as a 22 year-old playing half his games at Dodger Stadium.  Doesn’t struggle against lefties and seems pretty decent everywhere in the outfield.  For one or two years of a Bryant with injury flags, he’s not a bad first piece.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2019, 08:24:05 am
Verdurgo is a solid player. Look at the Dodgers with Bryant.  Bellinger, Bryant, Seager, Muncy, Turner, Smith, Lux as positional talent. Buhler, Kershaw, May, Urias in the rotation. No shot the Cubs compete against that team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 10, 2019, 09:10:15 am
MLB Morning Lineup has a headline that the Nationals have asked about Bryant, but the link to the story doesn't work at the moment.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on December 10, 2019, 09:37:45 am
MLB Morning Lineup has a headline that the Nationals have asked about Bryant, but the link to the story doesn't work at the moment.

He'd certainly fit the bill as a replacement for Rendon for them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 10, 2019, 09:39:24 am
I think that Soto kid would be a fair exchange.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2019, 11:10:11 am
Paraphrasing Jeff Passan on ESPN: Everyone in the lobby believes Kris Bryant is the guy who is gonna move. But the Cubs aren't going to trade him unless it's a huge offer.

More @JeffPassan on ESPN1000, he's heard the Padres connected to the Cubs on Willson Contreras, but the ask is absurd.

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on December 10, 2019, 11:19:55 am
As it should be...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 10, 2019, 12:24:50 pm
I've seen suggestions on other boards that the Cubs should try to get Trea Turner for Bryant if they deal with the Nationals. They have Kieboom ready to take over at shortstop, and Robles or Eaton could hit leadoff for them. So if the Nationals are concerned about their payroll, I could see that working for them.

If the Cubs are going to try to trade Bryant and get under the luxury tax but still compete in 2020, a deal like that might be their best option.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 10, 2019, 12:42:39 pm
Paraphrasing Jeff Passan on ESPN: Everyone in the lobby believes Kris Bryant is the guy who is gonna move. But the Cubs aren't going to trade him unless it's a huge offer.....

Logical inconsistency. 

If the premise is that the Cubs require a "huge" offer for Bryant and an "absurd" offer for Willson, the conclusion that there will be a trade is not logical.

Of course it's possible that somebody will make a "huge" offer; or that the Cubs will settle for a less-than-huge, less-than-absurd offer. 

But I still think that it's more likely than not that we'll be back with all four of Bryant, Willson, Baez, and Schwarber.

 


Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2019, 12:49:15 pm
I've seen suggestions on other boards that the Cubs should try to get Trea Turner for Bryant if they deal with the Nationals. They have Kieboom ready to take over at shortstop, and Robles or Eaton could hit leadoff for them. So if the Nationals are concerned about their payroll, I could see that working for them.

If the Cubs are going to try to trade Bryant and get under the luxury tax but still compete in 2020, a deal like that might be their best option.

Is that a Cubs board or a Nationals board.  I can see the Cubs wanting Turner, I can't see the Nationals trading him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 10, 2019, 01:00:47 pm
I'm not convinced trading Bryant cancels 2020 until I see the return.  But if (and that's obviously a big if) Jesse Rogers' description is correct, I really do think it makes more sense to go whole hog with a rebuild.  If you're going to make payroll-driven trades for Bryant and Contreras which clearly won't feature any players as good right now coming back, and you aren't going to go out and spend in FA, the upcoming season is pretty much toast. 

You have to make a choice.  If you trade Bryant for someone exactly as good right now, you do not improve the team right now.  But to take the suggested trade to Atlanta for instance, getting back Max Fried would help the pitching staff, which is by far the weakest link of the team, as well as bringing back a couple of good prospects that can help the team after the upcoming free agent cliff after 2001. 

I don't subscribe that we must either win the World Series, or we are total failures.  There are times that it is appropriate to dismantle the team and start over on a new 5 year plan, but I don't see that as necessary at this time.  With minor adjustments in the free agent market, In my opinion the Cubs will have a high probability to make the playoffs.  That, to me, is a successful team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2019, 03:24:38 pm
Asked several times if the Cubs and Bryant have had serious talks about an extension, Scott Boras sidestepped the question: “We communicate with the Cubs constantly. Our doors are open…and more than willing to discuss anything like that on a long term basis.”

Boras on the idea of a player like Kris Bryant getting moved: “It’s hard to think how you ever replace them, and so when you get into those (elite) levels, historically, it’s normally not something that’s done.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 10, 2019, 03:31:58 pm

A lot of angst over Bryant who has dropped in the pecking order of 3B's.

Top 20 third basemen for 2020
1   
Nolan Arenado Colorado Rockies 3B
If we're talking more of a points-league context or any format that rewards walks or on-base percentage, it might be time to drop Nolan Arenado behind Alex Bregman and Anthony Rendon, who both have him beat in that regard. But in traditional 5x5 categories scoring, he can do no wrong playing half his games at Coors Field, remaining a perennial triple crown threat and four-category stud.
2   
Alex Bregman Houston Astros 3B
Now proven as a power hitter twice over, Bregman only lags behind Arenado in batting average, but given that he actually strikes out less, it won't take much for him to catch up there either. Hitters who walk more than they strike out are rare in today's game, and the gap between the two numbers seems to widen every year for Bregman, which makes him a no-doubt first-rounder in points leagues.
3   
Anthony Rendon Washington Nationals 3B
For a second straight year, Anthony Rendon was the top third baseman in terms of Head-to-Head points per game, but the reason it may come as a surprise to you is because he always seems to miss a chunk of games. Of course, the gap was so wide this year that those health concerns alone aren't reason enough to downgrade him, but the power increase at age 29 isn't something you can just assume he'll repeat.
4   
Rafael Devers Boston Red Sox 3B
Though 2019 was obviously a massive breakout for the 22-year-old, who could continue to get better from here, Rafael Devers' elite standing is in question after a bumpy finish. If the composition of the Red Sox roster changes a great deal this offseason, which is certainly possible with a regime change, it could chip away at his massive RBI and run totals, and I wouldn't say he's a surefire .300 hitter yet. But overall, you have to like the direction he's headed.
5   
Jose Ramirez Cleveland Indians 3B
Those who worship at the altar of the stolen base will most likely draft Jose Ramirez ahead of Devers, and there's a case to be made for going that route in a points league as well. Ramirez has incredible contact skills and was the consensus third overall pick heading into this year. But even though he appeared to return to that form in July, I can't help but downgrade him for the near year-long stretch in which he hit about .200, especially since it ended just as unpredictably as it began.
6   
Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs 3B
Kris Bryant has built up enough legacy points to retain this high ranking, but he's on thin ice at a position where about a dozen bats are angling to overtake him. It's not that he's bad now, but he's been playing banged up the past couple years and has struggled to regain the power production that seemed so natural at the start of his career, propelling him to NL MVP in Year 2. Particularly in formats that don't reward his on-base skills, he may not be anything special in this environment.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2019, 03:32:27 pm
Verdurgo is a solid player. Look at the Dodgers with Bryant.  Bellinger, Bryant, Seager, Muncy, Turner, Smith, Lux as positional talent. Buhler, Kershaw, May, Urias in the rotation. No shot the Cubs compete against that team.

We're not competing against the Dodgers whether we trade them Bryant or not - let's be honest.  This club can't be a real threat without some major spending which we pretty much know isn't coming.  So you can sit on all your guys and lose them for nothing after 2021, or get the best young talent you can for them now.  Considering his age, to conclude Verdugo will never be more than a solid player seems rash to me. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 10, 2019, 04:04:23 pm
I've seen suggestions on other boards that the Cubs should try to get Trea Turner for Bryant if they deal with the Nationals. They have Kieboom ready to take over at shortstop, and Robles or Eaton could hit leadoff for them. So if the Nationals are concerned about their payroll, I could see that working for them.

If the Cubs are going to try to trade Bryant and get under the luxury tax but still compete in 2020, a deal like that might be their best option.

Kieboom is not a major league SS--saw him play there early in the season and that's not where his future will be.  It's at 2B or maybe 3B.

So, highly unlikely that Nats would trade Trea Turner. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2019, 04:10:53 pm
We're not competing against the Dodgerd whether we trade them Bryant or not - let's be honest.  This club can't be a real threat without some major spending which we pretty much know isn't coming.  So you can sit on all your guys and lose them for nothing after 2021, or get the best young talent you can for them now.  Considering his age, to conclude Verdugo will never be more than a solid player seems rash to me. 

Cubs with Bryant, Baez, Rizzo, Schwarber et al. can keep you competition with most teams especially if you can improve the pitching.  If you can't compete with the Dodgers then just burn it to the ground.  I'd rather suck and hope for the future than bee stuck in .500 limbo.

Verdurgo in the minors expect for rookie ball and 96 PA in A+ ball has been 108 to 128 wRC+ guy.  His highest ISO above rookie ball .143, which is similar to Almora.  He started to walk a little more in 2017/18, but he had a 6.9% BB% last year.  He's a guy that doesn't strike out, hasn't hit for power other than last year with a juiced ball, and doesn't walk a ton.  His defense was ok in CF last year and he doesn't steal a ton.  He would have to hit a ton more power to become something more. 

On the Cubs talk podcast Tony Andracki thinks the Cubs need to cut $6-8 million before signing people plus additional money to sign people.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2019, 04:48:53 pm
Cubs with Bryant, Baez, Rizzo, Schwarber et al. can keep you competition with most teams especially if you can improve the pitching.  If you can't compete with the Dodgers then just burn it to the ground.  I'd rather suck and hope for the future than bee stuck in .500 limbo.

Verdurgo in the minors expect for rookie ball and 96 PA in A+ ball has been 108 to 128 wRC+ guy.  His highest ISO above rookie ball .143, which is similar to Almora.  He started to walk a little more in 2017/18, but he had a 6.9% BB% last year.  He's a guy that doesn't strike out, hasn't hit for power other than last year with a juiced ball, and doesn't walk a ton.  His defense was ok in CF last year and he doesn't steal a ton.  He would have to hit a ton more power to become something more. 

On the Cubs talk podcast Tony Andracki thinks the Cubs need to cut $6-8 million before signing people plus additional money to sign people.

Without dramatically improving the pitching you’re not going to compete for the WS with this everyday lineup as constructed.  And how are you going to dramatically improve the pitching without trading anybody or spending any money?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2019, 04:52:30 pm
Trade Contreras and spending money would be my plan.

Appearantly the Cubs aren't allowed to spend, so I'd just burn it down and restart from scratch.  Let Ricketts save up some money for the the next time the Cubs get good.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2019, 04:54:37 pm
Assuming Ricketts ever plans to spend big again is a big leap to me. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2019, 05:33:11 pm
God this place is depressing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2019, 05:55:30 pm
https://670thescore.radio.com/assessing-possible-kris-bryant-cubs-trade-partners
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 10, 2019, 06:04:24 pm
God this place is depressing.
Dusty, here on the board, it's okay just to call me Curt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 10, 2019, 06:15:02 pm
https://670thescore.radio.com/assessing-possible-kris-bryant-cubs-trade-partners

Does Levine actually know anything in that article, or is he just throwing things against the wall? With the Nationals, he mentions Robles, who was a top 5 prospect a year ago, plus more. Seems unlikely the Nationals would trade him.

But then for the Phillies, he says their best prospects would probably be off limits. And for the Braves, he mentions Ender Inciarte (whose contract might be underwater at this point) and Austin Riley (who has all the flaws the Cubs are trying to move away from) as top targets--I can't imagine the Cubs would have much interest in either of them as anything more than a throw-in. He also has Max Fried off limits.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2019, 06:35:12 pm
If Ricketts doesn’t want to spend ever again than the $1.2 billion renovation is going to be a waste and the TV network which could print them money is going to flop.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on December 10, 2019, 06:57:25 pm
If Ricketts doesn’t want to spend ever again than the $1.2 billion renovation is going to be a waste and the TV network which could print them money is going to flop.

Lol. No it's not. They are still selling out every game. Will sell way more luxury and premium seats. Lots of **** bags willing to spend $$ to be seen at wrigley.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron Green on December 10, 2019, 07:10:59 pm
The Cardinals, Reds, and Cubs as currently constructed are at the top of the division.  Any of those three with a few tweaks would be the clear favorite. 

The Cubs if they trade Bryant are with the Brewers in the also rans battling to become a .500 team unless they catch lighting in the bottle.  If the Cubs trade Willson too and then I think they struggle hard to become a .500 level team and I'd wonder why you don't just blow the whole thing up.  Getting below the luxury tax is just stupid.

Might not the team's prospects after any such trade depend at least a bit on what the Cubs would get in return?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron Green on December 10, 2019, 07:21:42 pm
Asked several times if the Cubs and Bryant have had serious talks about an extension, Scott Boras sidestepped the question: “We communicate with the Cubs constantly. Our doors are open…and more than willing to discuss anything like that on a long term basis.”

Boras on the idea of a player like Kris Bryant getting moved: “It’s hard to think how you ever replace them, and so when you get into those (elite) levels, historically, it’s normally not something that’s done.”

Those comments from Boras to me sound as if Bryant wants to return to the Cubs, or at least that Boras believes he does.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on December 10, 2019, 07:30:34 pm
You guys at this point can basically expect to wait till the ricketts make back their 540 million overage on renovations before they spend. Just fire Theo and pay preller to rebuild it. Theo expects ownership go buy out his mistakes... And that's not happening.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2019, 07:39:51 pm
Might not the team's prospects after any such trade depend at least a bit on what the Cubs would get in return?

The players they get back won’t be as good as Bryant so the Cubs are going to be worse.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 10, 2019, 07:43:37 pm
You guys at this point can basically expect to wait till the ricketts make back their 540 million overage on renovations before they spend. Just fire Theo and pay preller to rebuild it. Theo expects ownership go buy out his mistakes... And that's not happening.

I am not sure what you mean by "before they spend".  How many teams are going to have a total salary larger then the Cubs next year?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2019, 07:47:08 pm
If Ricketts doesn’t want to spend ever again than the $1.2 billion renovation is going to be a waste and the TV network which could print them money is going to flop.

The Bulls were in the top 3 in attendance for years and years after becoming an embarrassment. I see no reason it would be different with the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on December 10, 2019, 07:48:51 pm
The fun in owning a team is winning championships.  Particularly for a fan like Ricketts.  I expect him to do everything he can to accomplish that again as soon as is possible.  I would be surprised if the game plan includes trading Bryant.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 10, 2019, 07:56:08 pm
I think they will trade Bryant if they can get a decent return.  Not because they don't want to try to win this year, but because they don't want the entire organization to fall off the cliff when Bryant, Baez, Schwarber, Rizzo and Contreras all enter free agency within a couple of years of each other.  A responsible owner and front office have to look beyond the immediate season if they are going to be successful over the long term.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2019, 08:25:10 pm
Or they could sign some of those guys to prevent them from falling off of a cliff.

The Bulls are having attendance problems. I think if the perception is that the a Ricketts are being cheap the declines will be noticeable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2019, 08:56:32 pm
The Bulls may be having "attendance problems" right now (they're still 10th out of 30 teams).  Last year they were 2nd - and that was the first year in the 2010s that they weren't first.  And I don't know how any NBA owner could possibly act in way more conducive to being called cheap than Reinsdorf.

Blind faith in the Ricketts seems misplaced to me - the proof is in the pudding.  Having won the WS already they may well consider the franchise an ATM and nothing more. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 10, 2019, 09:08:48 pm
Or, being Cubs fans themselves, they may continue to be among the top 95 percent in salary expenditures.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 10, 2019, 09:10:44 pm
Or they could sign some of those guys to prevent them from falling off of a cliff.

I expect that they will sign some of them.  But that will merely leave them at the top end of the luxury tax and half a team to sign.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 10, 2019, 09:11:42 pm
The counter argument to that is that they've spent quite a bit of money post-WS.  Of course, with the woeful Theo in charge, it's been spent poorly.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron Green on December 10, 2019, 09:28:26 pm
The players they get back won’t be as good as Bryant so the Cubs are going to be worse.

Why assume they will not be as good?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 10, 2019, 09:33:27 pm
**IF** they need to clear $6M, it seems ironic that they want to trade Bryant to enable that.  I think I'd rather meet payroll by moving Q than by moving Bryant!  :):)  If they're in some crisis over-budget mode, seems pretty weird to have voluntarily put themselves there for the sake of Q. 

Or how about this:  how about conning somebody into taking Kimbrell, who Theo thought was worth $45?  He's going to cost about what Bryant costs, payroll-wise!  :):) 

The Cubs top 8 salaries:  Darvish ($22), Heyward ($21), Lester ($20), Bryant (~$19?), Rizzo ($16.5), Kimbrel ($16), Chatwood ($13), Hendricks ($12), Quintana ($10.5).  Five of those 8 salaries are pitchers, almost $100M on those 5 pitchers. 

I think it's hard to fault ownership when they entrusted Theo with so much money and so much authority.  If their guy spends a ton on busts, and spends a ton on front-office and scouting and development people who are ineffective at scouting, drafting, and developing. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2019, 09:36:34 pm
**IF** they need to clear $6M, it seems ironic that they want to trade Bryant to enable that.  I think I'd rather meet payroll by moving Q than by moving Bryant!  :):)  If they're in some crisis over-budget mode, seems pretty weird to have voluntarily put themselves there for the sake of Q. 

Or how about this:  how about conning somebody into taking Kimbrell, who Theo thought was worth $45?  He's going to cost about what Bryant costs, payroll-wise!  :):) 

The Cubs top 8 salaries:  Darvish ($22), Heyward ($21), Lester ($20), Bryant (~$19?), Rizzo ($16.5), Kimbrel ($16), Chatwood ($13), Hendricks ($12), Quintana ($10.5).  Five of those 8 salaries are pitchers, almost $100M on those 5 pitchers. 

I think it's hard to fault ownership when they entrusted Theo with so much money and so much authority.  If their guy spends a ton on busts, and spends a ton on front-office and scouting and development people who are ineffective at scouting, drafting, and developing. 



Theo has made plenty of mistakes. But the main reason he had to overpay for Kimbrel is that Ricketts wouldn’t let him spend any money to fix the bullpen in the winter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2019, 09:40:19 pm
David Ross said trade rumors about Bryant and others "makes the job real." Knows front office has a responsibility to explore everything. At same time...

"The rumors aren't always as true as they may seem and I see that even more now that I'm behind the curtain, so to speak."
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2019, 09:43:22 pm
Because the Rays aren’t trading Wander Franco?

Getting 2-3 players that total up to Bryant’s WAR isn’t as good as having Bryant on the team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2019, 09:45:44 pm
https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/cubs-still-trying-break-through-extension-talks-current-players-baez-bryant-rizzo-trade?amp&__twitter_impression=true
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2019, 09:46:42 pm
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer indicated the team isn't likely to complete a significant deal before the end of the meetings on Thursday: "I'd lean no but that can change quickly. It's still early in the week. We're not at halftime yet, so to speak." Hoyer confirmed... https://t.co/YflN0oYC5M
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 10, 2019, 09:55:44 pm
**IF** they need to clear $6M, it seems ironic that they want to trade Bryant to enable that.  I think I'd rather meet payroll by moving Q than by moving Bryant!  :):)  If they're in some crisis over-budget mode, seems pretty weird to have voluntarily put themselves there for the sake of Q. 

Or how about this:  how about conning somebody into taking Kimbrell, who Theo thought was worth $45?  He's going to cost about what Bryant costs, payroll-wise!  :):) 

Is the 6 million they have to clear 6 million in salary, or 6 million in luxury tax money.  There can be quite a difference between them.

By the way, have we decided that Kimbrell will not be worth his salary next year?  That may be taking recentism a bit too far a bit too soon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2019, 09:55:45 pm
https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/cubs-still-waiting-their-number-be-called-mlb-offseason-equation-trade-rumors-market?amp&__twitter_impression=true
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 10, 2019, 09:55:54 pm
It's really remarkable how quickly a "top" MLB front office can "jump the shark" and become one of the worst.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2019, 09:58:33 pm
https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/two-mlb-moves-changed-landscape-of-kris-bryant-trade-market?amp&__twitter_impression=true
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 10, 2019, 09:59:20 pm
Theo has made plenty of mistakes. But the main reason he had to overpay for Kimbrel is that Ricketts wouldn’t let him spend any money to fix the bullpen in the winter.

The reason it needed to be fixed in the first place was Theo's horrible signing of Morrow.  I'll always be grateful for 2016, but, let's be honest, Theo has become one of the worst executives in MLB.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2019, 09:59:51 pm
LMFAO
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 10, 2019, 10:19:36 pm
The Cubs leaving San Diego without a big trade or adding impact players to the 2020 roster is certainly frustrating for fans who are still trying to wrap their heads around how this team has gone from a potential dynasty to one that is now likely breaking up the core of players.--quote from above article posted by Dusty.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 10, 2019, 10:20:43 pm
What's the big surprise?  Bad leadership leads to bad results.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2019, 10:35:01 pm
Is the 6 million they have to clear 6 million in salary, or 6 million in luxury tax money.  There can be quite a difference between them.

By the way, have we decided that Kimbrell will not be worth his salary next year?  That may be taking recentism a bit too far a bit too soon.

The $6 million is to get below the luxury tax and then every dollar the Cubs spend needs to be matched by and additional amount of money cleared. So if Quintana and Conteras where traded that would leave the Cubs with around $8 million to spend to finish out the roster and account for additional spending during the year.

Rogers is saying the  ubs have to clear Bryant’s $18 million to be able to afford a second baseman that will cost around $2-4 million a year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on December 10, 2019, 10:38:08 pm
The $6 million is to get below the luxury tax and then every dollar the Cubs spend needs to be matched by and additional amount of money cleared. So if Quintana and Conteras where traded that would leave the Cubs with around $8 million to spend to finish out the roster and account for additional spending during the year.

Rogers is saying the  ubs have to clear Bryant’s $18 million to be able to afford a second baseman that will cost around $2-4 million a year.

I'm not sure Rogers actually said that, but he did predict that the Cubs would make a major trade this week. I recommend a high sodium diet for all of us during this period.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2019, 10:56:26 pm
He said it in ESPN radio and Kaplan’s NBC Show. His explanation for no Bryant trade this week is the Cubs waiting for Donaldson and Rendon to sign being something that he didn’t understand. I didn’t think the Bryant stuff last year had any merit. This year is different and pretty much every reporter is saying the Cubs are staying under the luxury because Ricketts wants them too.

I’ve been happy with Ricketts and Theo. This off-season is closing the window on the Cubs competing for a World Series, until they get another superstar to replace Bryant. Since the Cubs have no money and no farm system that should be pretty simple.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 11, 2019, 08:05:38 am
Just a reminder that the Cubs could afford Cole, Stras, and Rendon if they wanted those guys.  Do not confuse ability to pay with desire to pay.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2019, 09:50:57 am
Not sure this is actually news...Cubs are not talking to Rizzo about an extension this offseason:

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28274116/agent-cubs-working-anthony-rizzo-extension

It's probably a good idea to wait on an extension--he'll be 32 when his contract runs out, and he has chronic back problems. He's not the best candidate to extend early.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on December 11, 2019, 10:43:57 am
The Jesse Rogers story cited by brjones seems to suggest that the decision not to extend Rizzo with two years left on his contract is some sort of big deal, and the headline even suggests Rizzo might walk after those two years.

Rizzo, as his agent points out, has made it clear that he wants to be a Cub for life, and there is no other player who is more likely to make a team friendly deal when the time comes.  With the Cubs focused on the future of Baez, Bryant, Contreras, and even Schwarber, there is no reason to spend the time and effort on working out an extension for Rizzo at this time.

Some fans on twitter are already freaking out over this, along with other non-events.  It's just that time of year. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 11, 2019, 10:47:06 am
Just a reminder that the Cubs could afford Cole, Stras, and Rendon if they wanted those guys.  Do not confuse ability to pay with desire to pay.

And do not confuse the ability to pay with a rational decision of whether or not to pay.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2019, 10:49:11 am
Steve Phillips tweeted this in response to an MLB Network video saying that the Mets are willing to trade Nimmo:

Steve Phillips @StevePhillipsGM
The Cubs are desperate for an affordable center fielder who can be a leadoff hitter.  Nimmo would be a good fit.


Aren't the Mets willing to trade Nimmo specifically because he can't really play CF?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2019, 11:25:29 am
Steve Phillips tweeted this in response to an MLB Network video saying that the Mets are willing to trade Nimmo:

Steve Phillips @StevePhillipsGM
The Cubs are desperate for an affordable center fielder who can be a leadoff hitter.  Nimmo would be a good fit.


Aren't the Mets willing to trade Nimmo specifically because he can't really play CF?

Small details.........
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2019, 12:03:08 pm
If the Cubs locked up Rizzo for even 2-3 more years they might be able to get a lower AAV, helping free up even a tiny bit of money.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2019, 12:08:41 pm
I don't think we'd get a lower AAV for Rizzo than the $16.5 million he's making next year.  Paul Goldschmidt got $26 million a year in his extension last year...he's had a better career than Rizzo, but not by $10 million a year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2019, 02:29:51 pm
David O'Brien @DOBrienATL
Talking with someone close to #Cubs, sounds like 2 pitching prospects and a bat would get it done for Bryant. They're assuming he loses grievance & has 2 yrs left before free agency). #Braves match up better than other potential suitors if they're willing to part with prospects.


I like the Braves as a partner a lot better when Fried is in the mix and the Cubs would be getting someone who could provide immediate impact. But I guess maybe the Braves would be very reluctant to do that.

If Levine's article from yesterday was right and Victor Robles plus a prospect could be in play with the Nationals, I think I'd prefer that to any all-prospects package. But I'm pretty skeptical that he'd actually be available.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on December 11, 2019, 02:41:23 pm
Quote
They're assuming he loses grievance & has 2 yrs left before free agency

That's pretty surprising they expect to lose the grievance if this rumor is accurate.  That'll have some major ramifications around baseball if they lose it. 

Quite frankly if I was looking at this as a non-Cubs fan, I'd probably even say we'd deserve to lose the grievance, but I would have thought we'd be likely to win it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 11, 2019, 02:43:43 pm
That's pretty surprising they expect to lose the grievance if this rumor is accurate.  That'll have some major ramifications around baseball if they lose it. 

Quite frankly if I was looking at this as a non-Cubs fan, I'd probably even say we'd deserve to lose the grievance, but I would have thought we'd be likely to win it.

They expect Bryant to lose.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JR on December 11, 2019, 02:45:51 pm
They expect Bryant to lose.

Totally read that wrong.  Cue up CurtOne to make fun of my reading comprehension skills.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2019, 02:46:57 pm
David O'Brien
@DOBrienATL
You can't hang onto all your prospects. You got more than you can play just for this purpose -- to use some as trade capital and fill in gaps rather than have to rely on free agency. And we're not talking about trading Ian Anderson or Pache.

**** ***** **** **** **** ******* **** ***** ***** **** ***** ******* *******
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 11, 2019, 02:54:37 pm
Fried,Riley,and Inciarte would be fine by me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 11, 2019, 02:55:35 pm
JR, the three years spent in 4th grade didn't help your reading skills.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2019, 02:57:07 pm
Zero chance the Cubs have any interest in Inciarte and his contract.

I'm also pretty doubtful they'd want Riley unless he's the third player in the deal. Too much of the same swing-and-miss flaws the Cubs already have.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 11, 2019, 02:57:32 pm
I enjoy the buzz of the offseason damn near as much as I enjoy the season and I read these rumors on Twitter all day and Ive heard Theo say more than once that he expected to win the case against Bryant.

I wonder if that and his reluctance to sign an extension has caused any ill will with the Cubs.

Ive always expected that we would trade Bryant and Im not sure that's a bad move.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2019, 03:11:50 pm
I mean the Nationals must be real idiots letting Rendon walk for just draft picks.

Zero chance the Cubs have any interest in Inciarte and his contract.

I'm also pretty doubtful they'd want Riley unless he's the third player in the deal. Too much of the same swing-and-miss flaws the Cubs already have.

We are in the darkest timeline.  It is going to be Wright, Mueller and Inciarte for Bryant.  Willson gets traded for peanuts and the Cubs sign Brock Holt and Dallas Keuchel. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 11, 2019, 03:34:44 pm
Part of the schtick was that the Cubs were going to have such a great winning environment, and that Theo and management were going to treat players so well, and that there was going to be such a great culture, that players were going to WANT to stay, and that other teams would need to super-outbid to get guys to want to leave.  The Cardinals would acquire players, and have it be such a great place that guys would routinely sign extensions.  Doesn't appear that the Cubs have actually ended up creating that. 

Perhaps that will improve?  Back in 15 and 16, the Cubs felt like they were on the rise, the young happening thing with the great future, kind of unexpected, everything clicking.  Theo and Hoyer seemed to have a magic touch, clicking on deals like Arrieta and Fowler and Rondon, Schwarber being a quick hit, etc..
Since then, it seems like the burden of expectation has been heavy, and that nothing Theo/HOyer have done since has clicked, and that despite the many wins, 17 and 18 felt kinda disappointing. 

But now there will be zero burden-of-expectation.  Maybe this will be a year which is unexpectedly and refreshingly fun and exciting?  Unexpected cats like Wick and Wieck and Hultzen and Wickler emerging; Bryant getting back into MVP discussion; Schwarber and Happ emerging as good hitters; Hoerner not only sustaining but improving and looking like the real thing; some unexpected rotation pitchers emerging as really useful (Chatwood, Alzolay, Abbott....)  Being the thrilling underdog overachiever will be super fun, and with Lester and Q coming off payroll perhaps the payroll won't look nearly so burdensome next winter?  Plus Davis and Marquez will have super years, and suddenly the farm will look like we've got some winners on the way...  David Ross will have the team working hard and camaraderie being terrific.  All of the new analytics guys will be improving players and having players feel like this is the place to optimize their game. 

So perhaps next winter this will very much feel like a place where a Bryant very much does NOT want to leave, where it's NOT a collapsing sunset team but has a bright future, and where a fair-market extension will be both very appealing to him, and very accessible to the Cubs?  Why not? 

In terms of contracts, Bryant has two more years.  Lester, Q, Chatwood, Morrow, Kimbrel, all of those contracts will be gone.  Even the Heyward obligation will have only two more years left, the end in sight.  It's not like we've got so many stars that we won't be able to afford to pay market-price for the couple of them worth keeping.  Not sure why you couldn't fit all four of Bryant, Baez, Schwarber, and Contreras under the lux level, if you had some effective thrift-priced pitchers.  So the premise that the big-market Cubs can't possibly compete on the market if they let Bryant reach the market seems unnecessary. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2019, 03:36:10 pm
If the Braves agree to trade Fried+ but need to get Quintana back to fill out their rotation, then I could see the Cubs taking on Inciarte if the Braves need them to offset the money. Even then, though, they might be better off just paying Quintana's contract down--so they're not stuck with Inciarte's contract in 2021.

Other than that situation, though, I can't see the Cubs talking Inciarte as an important part of the trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on December 11, 2019, 03:40:24 pm
craig, I not sure what the evidence is that the Cubs environment is not one that players enjoy and want to stay with.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Dave23 on December 11, 2019, 04:29:21 pm
One of Pache/Waters would be a must in the trade...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on December 11, 2019, 05:14:22 pm
I keep seeing comments, particularly on Twitter, that the Cubs should just extend Bryant instead of trading him.  That seems a little simplistic. I believe Bryant has made clear that he won't give the Cubs any hometown discount.  Not sure exactly what that means in terms of total dollars or length of contract, but based on other super stars, I'm not sure the Cubs should go there. He will be "only" 30 when he begins whatever contract he makes as a free agent, but that contract is going to probably take him at least into his mid-thirties, and could well include far less productive years than those the Cubs have had with him.

Personally, I would prefer Bryant remain a Cub for life. But unlike Rizzo (and maybe Baez), that does not seem to be his preference. His preference, apparently, is to make the most money he can (and presumably be on successful teams as well).  I don't blame him for that, but I do not believe his long term interests and the Cubs' long term interests align. So be it. If, and only if, the Cubs can get really good value for him before he leaves, I think that will make the most sense for the team. That will make me a little sad, but I've survived being a little sad before.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 11, 2019, 05:24:05 pm
Why should he be expected to give the Cubs any sort of discount?  How about they pay him what he's worth now and have fewer of the expensive less productive years at the end of the contract?  Pay him today what he's actually worth and you get his years 28-35 seasons where he'll probably give you production commensurate with his play.  They can afford it and he's better than anyone else they can get now so why **** around and lose him?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 11, 2019, 05:24:26 pm
Cubs and two other clubs have met with Japanese center fielder Shogo Akiyama according to industry source . He has attributes that have been missing on offense and defense . Career .376 OBP.--Levine

And yes Im horribly racist apparently because I dont like injured pitchers but Im all for this.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2019, 06:49:33 pm

Perhaps that will improve?  Back in 15 and 16, the Cubs felt like they were on the rise, the young happening thing with the great future, kind of unexpected, everything clicking.  Theo and Hoyer seemed to have a magic touch, clicking on deals like Arrieta and Fowler and Rondon, Schwarber being a quick hit, etc..
Since then, it seems like the burden of expectation has been heavy, and that nothing Theo/HOyer have done since has clicked, and that despite the many wins, 17 and 18 felt kinda disappointing. 

But now there will be zero burden-of-expectation.  Maybe this will be a year which is unexpectedly and refreshingly fun and exciting?  Unexpected cats like Wick and Wieck and Hultzen and Wickler emerging; Bryant getting back into MVP discussion; Schwarber and Happ emerging as good hitters; Hoerner not only sustaining but improving and looking like the real thing; some unexpected rotation pitchers emerging as really useful (Chatwood, Alzolay, Abbott....)  Being the thrilling underdog overachiever will be super fun, and with Lester and Q coming off payroll perhaps the payroll won't look nearly so burdensome next winter?  Plus Davis and Marquez will have super years, and suddenly the farm will look like we've got some winners on the way...  David Ross will have the team working hard and camaraderie being terrific.  All of the new analytics guys will be improving players and having players feel like this is the place to optimize their game. 

So perhaps next winter this will very much feel like a place where a Bryant very much does NOT want to leave, where it's NOT a collapsing sunset team but has a bright future, and where a fair-market extension will be both very appealing to him, and very accessible to the Cubs?  Why not? 


Uh-huh.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2019, 07:06:15 pm
Cubs and two other clubs have met with Japanese center fielder Shogo Akiyama according to industry source . He has attributes that have been missing on offense and defense . Career .376 OBP.--Levine

Levine’s article about Akiyama says he’ll probably get about 2 years, $10 million. If the Ricketts decide they can’t pay for that, they should sell the team.

https://670thescore.radio.com/cubs-meet-shogo-akiyama-winter-meetings-free-agency-pursuit
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2019, 07:35:16 pm
I'm envisioning our offer along the one of one being delivered by Wimpy from Popeye.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 11, 2019, 07:44:33 pm
Levine's article says that Akiyama "fits within the Cubs payroll constraints".

Looks like we might get him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 11, 2019, 07:57:27 pm
Theo said probably not much happening for the Cubs before the end of the meetings except perhaps being active in the Rule 5 draft tomorrow. However, some execs, including Theo, say next week will/could be busy.--Rogers
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2019, 08:35:57 pm
Would be nice to have our last Rule 5 pick in system. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2019, 08:44:09 pm
Lower your expectations even more.

Jordan Bastian @MLBastian
There have been reports that the Cubs have met with reps for OF Shogo Akiyama. He's limited right now by fracture in R foot. Even so, asking price might be north of Chicago's comfort zone. Per multiple MLB evaluators, Akiyama is more of a complementary OFer. But, fits Cubs needs.


And the backtracking begins. "For the second year in a row, we didn't really need to make the changes I said we really needed at the end-of-season press conference."

Tony Andracki @TonyAndracki23
How would Theo Epstein feel if the Cubs did very little this winter and showed up to spring training with essentially the same roster?

"Status quo is not a bad option, but we're obviously out there looking to make changes and change the dynamic and improve and grow."
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2019, 08:59:47 pm
Yup, the pre-emptive excuse machine is already cranking up to high gear.

Status quo is indeed a very bad option.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2019, 09:02:29 pm
Status-quo>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Trading Bryant.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2019, 09:08:54 pm
Depends on what you get back.  It's the devil you know vs. the devil you don't.  This core clearly doesn't have enough as structured, so status quo is inherently a dumb idea.  Dumb moves are a dumb idea too, but smart ones might help.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 11, 2019, 09:18:23 pm
The worst news that came out this offseason is that Jason McLeod was going to have more input on the major league roster.

Of the Cubs' "top level" leadership, McLeod is clearly the dumbest and least effective (it's a low bar).
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2019, 09:44:55 pm
Depends on what you get back. 

What return would be worth it to you?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2019, 09:56:40 pm
What return would be worth it to you?

Obviously an almost impossible question to answer, since we're dealing purely with the theoretical.  Fried, Waters and Anderson for example?  Sure.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2019, 10:48:42 pm
I think you are overestimating the return by a lot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2019, 11:09:41 pm
I think you are overestimating the return by a lot.

That's not entirely impossible.  But we won't know until we hear some semi-reliable reports of what the market looks like.  So far we don't even have that, thus it seems silly and premature to dismiss the possibility that a Bryant trade could benefit the club.

Also - if that's overestimating the return, maybe it's because you're overestimating the value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2019, 02:52:46 am
Four teams have met with Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama . Cubs - Dbacks-Rays -Reds . Price range 2 years $8 mil to $10 mil total . Recovering from broken ankle . .376 OBP  for career .9 years with Seibu Lions . No posting fee.--Levine
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 12, 2019, 06:53:59 am
Jesse Rogers continues to think a Bryant deal is in the offing, most likely to Atlanta:

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28280497/why-cubs-braves-kris-bryant-trade-makes-sense-now-anthony-rendon-signed
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 07:04:04 am
Rogers mentions Fried/Folty, Anderson/Wright, Riley/Carmango.

Those player combos aren’t the same in value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 07:30:00 am
I’m coming to peace that I will hate this trade and what it means for the Cubs. My only bright spot will be Chris posting Bryant’s stats and finally realizing how good of a player he is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 12, 2019, 08:44:39 am
Four teams have met with Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama . Cubs - Dbacks-Rays -Reds . Price range 2 years $8 mil to $10 mil total . Recovering from broken ankle . .376 OBP  for career .9 years with Seibu Lions . No posting fee.--Levine--Dusty

The only team in that list that really needs a CF is the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on December 12, 2019, 08:50:41 am
Four teams have met with Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama . Cubs - Dbacks-Rays -Reds . Price range 2 years $8 mil to $10 mil total . Recovering from broken ankle . .376 OBP  for career .9 years with Seibu Lions . No posting fee.--Levine--Dusty

The only team in that list that really needs a CF is the Cubs.

Maybe not one with a broken ankle though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2019, 08:59:06 am
Wasn't it reported as a broken toe originally? Or broken foot? I think Levine might be wrong about the actual injury.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 10:22:15 am
If really wouldn't matter with healing time as long as he doesn't knee a surgery.  The foot or ankle would be healed by the start of season is plenty of time to spare.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on December 12, 2019, 10:43:15 am
Daryl Van Schouwen  @CST_soxvan  8m8 minutes ago
Bob Rosenberg, the long-time official scorer for White Sox and Cubs home games, will not return next season. An MLB decision. Rosey is an institution.


?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: BearHit on December 12, 2019, 10:59:21 am
Was he bangin on the trash can?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 11:13:24 am
Cubs select Trevor Megill from the Padres.  Michael Rucker went to the Orioles and Vimael Machin to the Phillies.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 12, 2019, 11:48:51 am
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/padres/story/2019-06-13/padres-minor-league-report-trevor-megill-ty-france

26-year-old Megill was a 3rd round draft pick by St. Louis years back after an injury, went back for senior year, and went 7th round to Padres.  Has had 3 surgeries.  6'8" righty with relatively good control when he's on, although he had some yips in college, and control has come and gone at times.  Minor-league stats look fine; 12.4/2.8/0.9 K/BB/HR-per-9.  4.5/1 K/BB ratio is healthy.  Obviously he's always been old-for-his-leagues. 

Has a curveball and last year did some grip adjustments to add a slider.  Average/OK-velocity; above link said his 4-seamer tops at only 96.  I'm sure that average top-touch velocity for a RH-reliever is at least that much, but it's not like he needs to be Hendricks or Lester in craftiness; not going to overpower with average velocity, but average isn't bad.  No idea with spin-raters and stuff like that; I assume the Cubs know, and saw something to like.  I also assume the Padres have all his velocity and spin-rate data too, and didn't see enough to like to put him on their 40-man roster. 

We'll see if the Cubs pitch-lab stuff can help him a bit.  Having three surgeries and pitching relief, he's only pitched 157 pro innings, and barely 200 in college.  So despite being 26 already, he may still have some improvement to go. 

I imagine after some of the grip/pitch-lab tweaks they made with Wieck, perhaps   
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 11:54:21 am
Padres have more interesting players than 40 man spots.

Megill is 6-8 so the fastball velocity can play up because of extension.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 12, 2019, 12:12:56 pm
Padres have more interesting players than 40 man spots.

Megill is 6-8 so the fastball velocity can play up because of extension.

Yup, the extension aspect can make a real difference.  And yeah, Padres have too many prospects to protect them all.  I think the Cubs experience with Wick and Wieck may also be that the Padres didn't do everything possible to optimize their guys?  They perhaps they left some development opportunities underutilized? 

Heh heh, Cubs could potentially stock almost half of the bullpen with Padres castoffs who couldn't make their 40-man:  Wick, Wieck, and Megill
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 12:34:51 pm
Padres seem to be behind the Cubs as well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 02:27:56 pm
ZIPS projections and blurb

Trevor Megill   CHN   ERA   4.09   IP 55.0   H 50   9   BB 21   SO 67   ERA+ 106 WAR   0.3

Trevor Megill also strikes me as a pitcher with a chance to stick with his new team. The Cubs are going full-on thrift this offseason and Megill, a big righty who throws a fastball, curve, and slider, survived the Pacific Coast League relatively intact in 2019. A pitcher who can strike out 13 batters a game in Triple-A, even an older one believed to be past his prospect years, is going to get a chance unless their control is absolutely atrocious (it’s not).
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 03:10:38 pm
https://www.mlb.com/breaking-news/trevor-megill-cubs-rule-5-draft

Cubs tried to trade for him before the draft.

Tony Andracki
@TonyAndracki23
Hoyer on free agent OF Shogo Akiyama:

"Yeah, we met with him. Listen, a lot of teams were involved. Obviously he's a very good player and he's gonna have a good role on a major-league team this year, but I can't comment beyond that."

The way Hoyer talks about him makes me think they view him as more of a 4th OF instead of just being unable to afford $5 million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2019, 03:18:24 pm
If we are full on thrift mode as some say then I could understand giving Chatwood the #5 spot since you've already got a lot invested in him and seeing that we need to develop young pitching Alzolay should be fine as your #6/long man.

We already have a closer in Kimbrel who I still believe with a true Spring Training will be elite.

With that said with Strop,Cishek,and Kintzler leaving our setup men are non existent.

We have to sign a couple better than average relievers.

Position player wise one could see a situation where Contreras,Rizzo,Bote,Baez,Bryant,Schwarber,Happ,and Heyward could be your everyday 8 with Caratini,Hoerner,and Almora on the bench but IMO a leadoff man is a must.

Now none of us know if we do trade anyone and what we'd get in return and what holes that would cause or fill but if we are going to stand pat we AT LEAST have to sign a couple better than average relievers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2019, 03:32:48 pm
I dont believe we're in anywhere near as bad of shape as some here would love to believe and I dont think much money has to be spent to contend in the NL Central.

I also believe trading anyone that you dont expect to be able to keep is a smart baseball decision.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 03:37:01 pm
If they have to get under the CBT threshold this year, there isn't any money for the bullpen.  To add to the bullpen or position players you are going to have to trade players.  Bryant + Contreras would give you about $16 million to spend.  If the Cubs could spend to just close last years they would have close to the same amount.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2019, 03:37:02 pm
If you're already bogged down with a few bad contracts and your cornerstone players are about to need big time raises then how is spending another 100 million or so on one player smart?

I get it.

Im just surprised some here dont.

I dont believe we'll stand pat and go into next season not trying to compete.

We'll spend money just not crazy money.

How has that worked out with Jason Heyward?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2019, 03:41:48 pm
And I didnt leave out Darvish's contract on accident.

That contract now looks OK.

He's our ace.

We just need him to pitch like one.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2019, 03:50:57 pm
We have a Hall of Famer running our baseball operations.

We have an owner who has been willing to spend and has one of the highest payrolls in baseball.

We hired the obvious choice for manager.

We released the player everyone but me hated and wanted to see gone.

What decision has been made that has turned everyone so doom and gloom?

I didnt want to spend 350 million dollars on Gerrit Cole,oft injured Stephen Strasburg, or Anthony Rendon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 03:55:31 pm
The Cubs had $400+ million in local revenues last year and that doesn't count the money coming in from Rickettsville.  They could easily afford many, many, many more bad contracts.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2019, 04:05:58 pm
The Yankees were not gonna be outbid for Cole so he wasnt an option,I wouldn't have paid what it took to get Strasburg,and why give Rendon that contract when you could probably keep Bryant for that money?

We havent lost out on anyone useful but maybe Treinan.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 04:19:19 pm
The Yankees were not gonna be outbid for Cole so he wasnt an option,I wouldn't have paid what it took to get Strasburg,and why give Rendon that contract when you could probably keep Bryant for that money?

We havent lost out on anyone useful but maybe Treinan.

Signing Bryant to an extension for similar money to Rendon would make me very, very happy.  Just keeping Bryant on the team will be a win for me.  I don't think either of these are a likely outcome.  I think more than likely you are subtracting Bryant and Willson and with their money bringing in Brock Holt and a CF/4th OF, Strop and a 5th starter.  This will allow Ricketts to avoid paying a few million to the other owners, because we have to reset the luxury tax for 2122.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 12, 2019, 04:41:03 pm
The status quo is a very, very bad option.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 12, 2019, 05:33:57 pm
**IF** the "must-get-under-any-lux-tax-threshold" premise is true, then I think the status quo is the best option.  Keep Bryant and Contreras and Baez and Schwarber.  Keep Chatwood. 

The Cubs have won a bunch of games with the existing cast, and almost got in last year too.  If some guys play better and improve, and they get some luck, and some guys develop somehow, they might get into the playoffs with the status-quo roster. 

I think it's much less likely that they compete for the 2020 playoffs if selling Bryant or Contreras for money-relief and futures prospects. 


Plus "status-quo" isn't really a thing.  Even if they don't trade any of the big 4, the roster will still be significantly adjusted from what they opened with last year. 


Plus even if guys are the same, that doesn't mean they'll play the same.  Maybe Schwarber will be better.  Maybe Hoerner will be a whole lot different than Russell.  Maybe Happ will be different and better.  Maybe Q won't be 4.68-ERA bad again?  Maybe the bullpen won't lose so many saves?  Maybe Kimbrel won't be the worst pitcher in the league? 


You can bring the same core personnel back, "status quo", but the season won't play out the same. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 12, 2019, 05:50:46 pm
The status quo is a very, very bad option.
unless you're okay with not winning in 2020.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2019, 05:51:40 pm
The market place for the Cubs and Kris Bryant can become robust after Josh Donaldson gets paid soon . Numerous teams love Bryant at 3B or the outfield . Don t forget his versatility and love for playing multiple positions.--Levine
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 06:00:15 pm
unless you're okay with not winning in 2020.

What happens to the Cubs without Bryant?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2019, 06:07:12 pm
Depends on what they get back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Ron on December 12, 2019, 06:20:07 pm
**IF** the "must-get-under-any-lux-tax-threshold" premise is true, then I think the status quo is the best option.  Keep Bryant and Contreras and Baez and Schwarber.  Keep Chatwood. 

The Cubs have won a bunch of games with the existing cast, and almost got in last year too.  If some guys play better and improve, and they get some luck, and some guys develop somehow, they might get into the playoffs with the status-quo roster. 

I think it's much less likely that they compete for the 2020 playoffs if selling Bryant or Contreras for money-relief and futures prospects. 


Plus "status-quo" isn't really a thing.  Even if they don't trade any of the big 4, the roster will still be significantly adjusted from what they opened with last year. 

Plus even if guys are the same, that doesn't mean they'll play the same.  Maybe Schwarber will be better.  Maybe Hoerner will be a whole lot different than Russell.  Maybe Happ will be different and better.  Maybe Q won't be 4.68-ERA bad again?  Maybe the bullpen won't lose so many saves?  Maybe Kimbrel won't be the worst pitcher in the league? 


You can bring the same core personnel back, "status quo", but the season won't play out the same. 

I don't accept any of the supposed givens (such as staying under the luxury tax threshold). They may be true, or they may not.  Who knows? Only Theo and his closest associates, I'm guessing. I'm inclined to think that others are speculating, even if it's somewhat informed speculation.

I do not expect the Cubs to stand pat over the winter. They won't trade Bryant (or Contreras) just to trade him. If they do not get a sufficiently attractive offer (whatever they believe that to be), he'll be back.  But it will be a different team, to some extent.

And if Darvish can be the pitcher for the full season he was for the second half (or something close), that would be a huge upgrade, even though Lester is likely to continue to decline. I think it's credible that Schwarber really did turn a corner and that he could repeat his second half, and that 2B and CF are reasonably likely to be better than last year (a relatively low bar). 

Big questions to me are whether the Cubs can strengthen their rotation after Darvish and Hendricks, how much of an improvement they can get at CF and 2B, how much they can improve their bullpen around the edges, and IF they trade Bryant, who will play 3B.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 12, 2019, 06:49:16 pm
The Cubs had $400+ million in local revenues last year and that doesn't count the money coming in from Rickettsville.  They could easily afford many, many, many more bad contracts.

You need to define your definition of "afford".  If you are talking about the owners personal money, they certainly could afford it.  But if you are talking about room under the luxury tax, you are just kidding yourself.

They purpose of the luxury tax is to make it prohibitive for a handful of teams with unlimited resources, such as those in Los Angeles, New York, Boston and Chicago to spend there way into dominance.  There are substantial penalties for exceeding the limits for more than a couple of years that essentially eliminate that teams ability to compete over the long run.  And since most humongous contracts are for humongous years, teams have to consider that limit not only for this and next year, but for several years beyond.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 12, 2019, 06:57:39 pm
What happens to the Cubs without Bryant?

Depends on what they get back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 12, 2019, 07:01:23 pm
You need to define your definition of "afford".  If you are talking about the owners personal money, they certainly could afford it.  But if you are talking about room under the luxury tax, you are just kidding yourself.

They purpose of the luxury tax is to make it prohibitive for a handful of teams with unlimited resources, such as those in Los Angeles, New York, Boston and Chicago to spend there way into dominance.  There are substantial penalties for exceeding the limits for more than a couple of years that essentially eliminate that teams ability to compete over the long run.  And since most humongous contracts are for humongous years, teams have to consider that limit not only for this and next year, but for several years beyond.

The "substantial penalties" are so transparently a drop in the ocean that even an unrepentant shill like Bleacher Nation won't defend them as a reason not to spend.  The luxury tax is an artificial construct initiated by the owners to give themselves a pretext not to spend.  Between the antitrust exemption (which should have been removed decades ago) and the beaten dog players union, baseball owners got an incredibly sweetheart deal - an effective salary cap without even the salary floor the NBA and NFL have.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2019, 07:31:05 pm
Even if the penalties weren't so weak, the current luxury tax threshold is laughably low.

The Yankees had a $206 million payroll in 2005; the current luxury tax threshold is $208 million. League-wide revenues have increased from $4.7 billion in 2005 to $10.3 billion in 2018. Why is the luxury tax still set at a level that would've been appropriate 15 years ago when there was less than half as much money coming in to MLB every year?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2019, 08:17:10 pm
The Cubs also received inquiries on Yu Darvish, who has four years at $81 million remaining. Perhaps when the best of the remaining free-agent starters vanish, Chicago will hear steadier requests for the righty.

https://nypost.com/2019/12/12/cubs-set-up-to-be-darlings-of-january-after-winter-meetings/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2019, 08:20:09 pm
Hmmmmmmm...
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on December 12, 2019, 08:24:38 pm
It makes no sense to trade Yu unless they're going to tear the whole thing down.  Which ain't happening (nor should it).
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2019, 08:31:29 pm
Am I wrong in assuming you'd be lucky to get a pack of stale Reese Cups for Darvish since he's owed so much money?

Ill have to admit though that getting out from under some of our big contracts would be appealing.

If only someone wanted Heyward.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: JeffH on December 12, 2019, 08:37:17 pm
Ill have to admit though that getting out from under some of our big contracts would be appealing.

It really wouldn't.  One of the best things about the supposed payroll "crunch" is that it keeps Theo from spending money.

Theo's pretty bad at most things, but the thing he's worst at is navigating the free agent market.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 12, 2019, 08:46:07 pm
Am I wrong in assuming you'd be lucky to get a pack of stale Reese Cups for Darvish since he's owed so much money?

Yes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 09:49:06 pm
Depends on what they get back.

Go with your preferred trade.  Fried, Anderson and Waters.  Are they better in 2020?  2021?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 12, 2019, 10:02:44 pm
Are we better in 2020 because we traded Gleyber Torres for two months of Chapman?  Sometimes there's multiple levels to why you make or don't make a trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 10:41:28 pm
Trading a prospect to win a World Series is slightly different then trading your best player While your team is still competitive and not rebuilding.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 12, 2019, 11:18:02 pm
Go with your preferred trade.  Fried, Anderson and Waters.  Are they better in 2020?  2021?

I HATE the notion of trading Bryant this off- season. 

For me, I’d like to keep Bryant the next two seasons and try really hard to re-sign him when he hits free agency.

But, Cubs seem to be in a different place. It’s a unique situation they are facing with basically the virtual core of the club hits free agency around the same time. Don’t think that has ever happened, anywhere.

So, highly unusual circumstances make for difficult decisions.

Theo now talks about balancing near-term with long-term interests—not exactly a startling idea— but actually kind of  startling when we ponder what it could mean, as in trading Bryant and more.

If Theo could get all of Fried, Waters, Anderson—he’s going to do that. He won’t get that but he would take that in two seconds if he could, given the apparent current strategy above.

Would that make Cubs better in 2020?  Unlikely——maybe in 2021 when Waters and Anderson more ready.

In any case, will be interesting how this plays out. Naturally, full of gloom and doom here—-the most predictable thing about the whole situation.

Looks like Jesse Rogers prediction about Bryant getting traded at Winter meetings turned out wrong. Beats me how anybody actually expects Bryant to be traded before the grievance is resolved.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: craig on December 12, 2019, 11:35:26 pm
Legal stuff like grievances usually take a long, long time?  Is there any reason to expect Bryant's to be resolved in time to clarify his status?  I have no idea, but don't thinks like that often take 6 months or more to get processed? 

I'm just wondering, because *IF* a trading team really thinks the grievance might have a chance, and is going to wait until that's resolved, might that not perhaps erase the whole discussion and preclude any Bryant trade from this offseason? 

Or is there already some scheduled date for that to be considered and judged? 
 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2019, 11:37:44 pm
Best guess is 2-3 weeks, but why it took this long to even get heard is beyond me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 13, 2019, 12:01:14 am
The Bryant grievance was timely filed in 2015.

Thereafter, the parties evidently felt it was in their mutual interest to just hold it in abeyance.

We can speculate why: maybe the grievance could have become moot by a contract extension; maybe neither side wanted to risk bad feelings by having a winner/loser earlier in the relationship; maybe the union wanted to see if other cases emerged. Take your guess.

Because arbitration is a private, non-judicial process, the parties can do whatever they want by mutual agreement. A court would be unlikely to allow this, for the above reasons, as a judge generally wants to move stuff off his/her docket. Delays happen for other reasons.

I guess the parties finally reached the point that a resolution became necessary. Seems like it will come before there’s any practical problems with the delay. Expectation is before end of the year, so no big deal waiting this long.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on December 13, 2019, 07:35:02 am
When will the Kris Bryant grievance be resolved?

When will there be a replacement for the current collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the MLBPA that expires on December 21, 2021?

Same answer to both questions.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 13, 2019, 09:00:36 am
In the Kris Bryant saga, I consider several things.  1. Theo's remarks about leadership and accountability.  Of all the positives about Bryant, I've never heard him described as a leader.  He seems to be very quiet and in Rizzo and Baez' shadows.  2. There have been numerous accounts that the Cubs lineup is flawed; too many of the same kind of hitters.  You need to break that up by shifting some people to other teams.  Bryant is one that makes sense.

What to do?  The Cubs need to get aggressive.  Go out and sign Donaldson.  3B would be double-covered.  If the move makes Bryant harder to move, he goes to the outfield.  It opens up trading a whole host of people from Schwarber to Bode to Happ to Contreras to Bryant without weakening the team.  Of course the Cubs won't do that because no one in the front office knows how to play chess.  Cashman knows how to play chess.  The dummy in St. Louis knows how to play.  The Reds GM is proving to be proficient.  But in Chicago, we cry about salary limitations instead of looking at all the puzzle pieces.  JMO

Sign the Japanese outfielder and another pitcher: Ryu, preferably over Bumgartner (not a quality, quality guy) or Kuechel, but someone who can eat innings.

Get into a position to trade from power instead of weakness.  We have a great nucleus, stop acting so damn helpless.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Playtwo on December 13, 2019, 10:28:12 am
I agree that Bryant hasn't shown obvious leadership qualities.  But I don't agree that he is the kind of hitter that is emblematic of the Cubs' hitting woes.  In particular, he's not a big K guy, has a career OBP of .385, and is a fine baserunner.  Unless you're blowing the team up, you have to keep him unless you get a massive return.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on December 13, 2019, 10:28:46 am
Bidding for Donaldson is getting hotter. Rangers tapped out as its past their budget constraints. So i doubt cash strapped Cubs are in the hunt for him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 13, 2019, 10:53:23 am
I have not heard what Donaldson is likely to go for, but unless the Front Office has been just blowing smoke, they aren't likely to go after a big cost, long contract player, and are twice as unlikely without the trade of Bryant's salary.  Schwarber, Bote, Happ or even Contreras will not give them the salary relief they would need.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on December 13, 2019, 11:03:49 am
Michael Ernst's depth chart

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ELnlSzvW4AA71Dh.jpg:small)
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2019, 11:39:10 am
The salary relief that the Ricketts want, not need. The Cubs revenue is up a ton since they bought the team. They could support a higher payroll than last year and still make money.

The Cubs hitters are prone to outside sliders and high fastballs. Bryant never had a problem with breaking balls and he has worked and improved against the high fastball. Bryant was one of the few Cubs that had an above average or near league average contact rate. Trading him and replacing him with Bote will make the problem worse not better.

If this is a baseball move about the offense and contact Contreras and Baez are the guys you replace. This is simply that the Ricketts family doesn’t want to pay Bryant/Rizzo/Baez so one has to go and they don’t want to give the other owners a few extra million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 13, 2019, 12:13:50 pm
P2 and CBJ, nobody saying that Bryant's bag is theissue.  The issue is the lineup.  To change the lineup, some heart wrenching and tough choices need to be made.

Taking another big contract or two is not that challenging if you focus on making trades before March.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 13, 2019, 12:25:54 pm
The salary relief that the Ricketts want, not need. The Cubs revenue is up a ton since they bought the team. They could support a higher payroll than last year and still make money.

The Cubs hitters are prone to outside sliders and high fastballs. Bryant never had a problem with breaking balls and he has worked and improved against the high fastball. Bryant was one of the few Cubs that had an above average or near league average contact rate. Trading him and replacing him with Bote will make the problem worse not better.

If this is a baseball move about the offense and contact Contreras and Baez are the guys you replace. This is simply that the Ricketts family doesn’t want to pay Bryant/Rizzo/Baez so one has to go and they don’t want to give the other owners a few extra million.

I am not familiar with their income or expenses to make that judgement.  If you are, perhaps you can fill in the necessary details.

How much has their total income increased since the purchase?
How much has their total player salaries increased since the purchase?
How much has their total Front Office costs increased since the purchase?
How much has their Scouting department costs increased since the purchase?
How much has their total minor league salary and administrative costs increased, taking into account the two extra minor league teams?
How much have interest and depreciation costs increased due to the one billion dollar renovation of Wrigley Field.

If you clear up these details, we can easily make an informed judgement on whether or not they can "afford" to pay more.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2019, 12:33:24 pm
Cubs Revenue Via Forbes
2002 $131 
2007 $197
2008 $239
2009 $246
2010 $258
2011 $266
2012 $274
2013 $266
2014 $302
2015 $340
2016 $434
2017 $457
2018 $452

Cubs Player Expenses via Forbes
2002 $81
2007 $115
2008 $140
2009 $151
2010 $157
2011 $162
2012 $137
2013 $129
2014 $111
2015 $154
2016 $189
2017 $186
2018 $195

So pre-Ricketts the Cubs were spending 58-62% of revenue on the Cubs (WGN was hiding money so it was likely a lower percentage for the Tribune).
2008-2013 it was 58%, 61%, 61%, 50%, 48.4%
2014- 36%
2015- 45.2%
2016- 43.5%
2017- 40.7%
2018- 43.1%

So Revenues have jumped jumped $213 million since the Rickett's bought the team and salary has increased $50 million*.  The FO, Scouting department, and especially minor league pay (Most minor leaguers make $8-10,000/year) are rounding errors.

*Revenue doesn't include RSN profits, BAMTech money, rooftops, Rickettsville etc so the percentages are lower.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 13, 2019, 12:41:58 pm
They have increased administrative expenses drastically, as well as interest and depreciation expense due to renovation.  And in spite of that, they had the third highest player payroll last year.  Much as we would like it, no team functions without a reasonable budget that allows them to balance current needs with future needs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2019, 12:48:47 pm
They have increased administrative expenses drastically, as well as interest and depreciation expense due to renovation.  And in spite of that, they had the third highest player payroll last year.  Much as we would like it, no team functions without a reasonable budget that allows them to balance current needs with future needs.

They have at least *DOUBLED* revenue since buying the team.  The Cubs have plenty of money. The franchise has gone up $2,500,000,000 in value since they bought the team.  They sold like 10% of the team for $150,000,000.  They are doing ok.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 13, 2019, 12:57:27 pm
Have they more than doubled other costs?  They have already spent more in renovations of Wrigley than they paid for the entire team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: goblue007 on December 13, 2019, 02:04:14 pm
You guys are seriously shocked that DaveP is carrying the water for them?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 13, 2019, 02:48:11 pm
Im carrying it too then.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2019, 03:00:30 pm
Have they more than doubled other costs?  They have already spent more in renovations of Wrigley than they paid for the entire team.

They $1.2 billion includes Wrigley, offices, Hotel Zachery, rooftops, Gallager Way.  Alot of those projects the Ricketts have partners in and the revenues are outside of what Forbes is reporting.  Forbes includes local TV and radio, ballpark, concerts, etc...  It doesn't include the $50 million in national TV deals, BAM Techs $50 million.  Each baseball team has about $400+ million in value just from Baseball Advanced Media, MLB Network and investment an investment portfolio from the sale of the Expos.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2019, 04:18:48 pm
Bob Nightengale

The #Cubs are bringing back reliever Brandon Morrow, agreeing to a minor league contract that will pay him $1 million in #MLB with $1.25 million in incentives
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: davep on December 13, 2019, 04:32:44 pm
Good decision for both sides.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2019, 05:41:12 pm
It never fails to amaze me how willing people are to shill for greedy billionaires trying to screw them over.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on December 13, 2019, 05:47:35 pm
It never fails to amaze me how willing people are to shill for greedy billionaires trying to screw them over.
Like the guy who walked out on a $400.00+ restaurant tab saying "don't worry about it, they'll more than make it up by saying I was there".
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2019, 06:24:55 pm
Bob Nightengale

The #Cubs are bringing back reliever Brandon Morrow, agreeing to a minor league contract that will pay him $1 million in #MLB with $1.25 million in incentives

WAR 2018-19:
Morrow: 1.4
Almora: 0.7
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 13, 2019, 07:41:00 pm
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
Nats seem focused on Josh Donaldson right now. They love Kris Bryant but the belief is the Cubs want Victor Robles, likely a no go. Could go to 4th year. Also interested in JD: Braves, dodgers, twins, rangers


I like that Robles is the focus if the Cubs are going to trade with the Nationals, and I hope they don't back off that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2019, 08:33:01 pm
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
Nats seem focused on Josh Donaldson right now. They love Kris Bryant but the belief is the Cubs want Victor Robles, likely a no go. Could go to 4th year. Also interested in JD: Braves, dodgers, twins, rangers


I like that Robles is the focus if the Cubs are going to trade with the Nationals, and I hope they don't back off that.

I could see something built around Carter Kieboom, though you'd obviously need more add-ons than with Robles.  Kieboom has a chance to be a stud offensively, and since he's a natural SS he has a chance to be plus defensively at 3B or 2B. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 13, 2019, 09:17:07 pm
Guessing that you’ve never seen Kieboom play SS.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2019, 09:33:32 pm
He improved substantially after he got sent down last year. Not saying he’s displacing Baez, but he can play the position.  No reason to think he wouldn’t be above average at 3B or 2B.

The callup was obviously a debacle.  The Nats did it knowing he wasn’t ready feeling that injuries were forcing their hand.  How did Baez’ first stint in the bigs go, I wonder?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 13, 2019, 09:55:02 pm
Baez was always solid defensively anywhere in the infield.

Kieboom is not a “natural” at SS.

Far from it. When we saw him here in DC, it was obvious he’s not a SS. When he went back to AAA, Nats started him almost as many games off of SS (50) than at SS (57). Not talking about his bat but his defense.

He will be fine at 2B. That’s his future. Doubt that Nats have any interest in trading him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2019, 10:35:54 pm
Gee, what possible reasons could the Nats have to push him off SS?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Reb on December 13, 2019, 11:33:35 pm
In AAA?

None.

Guessing that you have never seen Kieboom play even one inning at SS. Yet, you say he’s a “natural” SS.

He’s going to hit but is not a SS.

Turner is better but is average defensively at best and, ideally, would be the 2B, not SS either.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 14, 2019, 01:00:32 am
Keep guessing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 14, 2019, 07:55:12 am
Shogo is apparently going to decide before Christmas between 4 teams.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 14, 2019, 09:20:04 am
Bruce Levine thinks the Bryant/Braves trade would be Riley, Inciarte, and a pitching prospect.

Dan Szymborski thinks Kyle Wright, Bryce Wilson, Alex Jackson/William Contreras, Greyson Jenista would get it done.

Would those hypothetical returns be enough for people here to trade him?
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: brjones on December 14, 2019, 10:10:04 am
The Levine trade is laughable. Ended Inciarte has no surplus value at this point, and Austin Riley is a wild card who has a 36% strikeout rate in the majors. Luckily, Levine hasn’t seemed to be very tuned in to what the front office is doing at least since Hendry left.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 14, 2019, 10:16:32 am
I think the second trade is closer to what the Cubs would get with maybe another pitcher instead of the catchers and it just doesn’t move the needle for me.

I think the Levine trade is closer to what the Cubs are getting in offers now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CurtOne on December 14, 2019, 11:24:39 am
The Levine trade is laughable. Ended Inciarte has no surplus value at this point, and Austin Riley is a wild card who has a 36% strikeout rate in the majors. Luckily, Levine hasn’t seemed to be very tuned in to what the front office is doing at least since Hendry left.
I would see Incarte as a throw-in right now.  Solves CF and they can check that box off.  I think Fried and 1 or 2 of the young pitchers would do it for me, Incarte a nothing burger added.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 14, 2019, 11:39:10 am
Bruce Levine thinks the Bryant/Braves trade would be Riley, Inciarte, and a pitching prospect.

Dan Szymborski thinks Kyle Wright, Bryce Wilson, Alex Jackson/William Contreras, Greyson Jenista would get it done.

Would those hypothetical returns be enough for people here to trade him?

No, but the second one is closer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 14, 2019, 12:01:42 pm
Levine thinks the same way I do.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 14, 2019, 12:02:44 pm
Levine thinks the same way I do.

Terrible news for both parties.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: goblue007 on December 15, 2019, 06:12:17 am
Bruce Levine thinks the Bryant/Braves trade would be Riley, Inciarte, and a pitching prospect.

Dan Szymborski thinks Kyle Wright, Bryce Wilson, Alex Jackson/William Contreras, Greyson Jenista would get it done.

Would those hypothetical returns be enough for people here to trade him?

Hell no. Pache/Anderson, Wright and Langeliers. Or...just keep our best player.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Deeg on December 15, 2019, 07:06:53 am
Much rather have Waters than Pache.  Anderson is pretty much a must for me, though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 15, 2019, 07:15:20 am
Any clue if Mike Murphy is a reliable source?  He said that the Cubs have agreed in principal with Castellanos, but the Cubs have asked him to wait?  It was on the ESPN 1000 Murphy and Fred show. I saw the rumor on twitter from a unreliable source. NSBB has a clip of it posted. The unreliable guy on Twitter said it had legs and that the hold up wasn’t a Bryant trade. He is less than 50% in stuff though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: goblue007 on December 15, 2019, 07:32:02 am
No. He’s an oddball boomer who somehow is still on air.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: CUBluejays on December 15, 2019, 08:13:54 am
Didn’t make much sense as I think other people would be reporting it if it had any truth to it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: Bennett on December 15, 2019, 08:40:10 am
https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2019/12/15/yes-i-heard-that-cubs-castellanos-report-and-im-sorry-for-the-cold-water/
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 15, 2019, 02:09:31 pm
If we have resigned Castellanos you have to assume Schwarber's gone because nobody's gonna want Heyward.

I guess we could keep all 3 but I wouldnt think that's likely.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: guest61 on December 16, 2019, 11:02:46 am
And just like that...

Yankees want Schwarber per the Athletic.
Title: Re: Cubs in '20
Post by: method on December 16, 2019, 11:18:19 am
Luis Medina and Jorda