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General Category => Archives => Topic started by: mO on October 23, 2017, 03:29:59 pm


Title: Cubs in '18
Post by: mO on October 23, 2017, 03:29:59 pm
America's favorite team is back!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 23, 2017, 03:33:30 pm
Eric Hinskie named Angels hitting coach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on October 23, 2017, 03:36:27 pm
First look at the 2018 payroll.  Opening day 25-man payroll each of the past two seasons was right around $172 million.

Under contract:
OF Jason Heyward - $21,500,000
1B Anthony Rizzo - $7,000,000
OF/2B Ben Zobrist - $16,000,000
SP Jon Lester - $22,500,000
SP Jose Quintana - $8,350,000
RP Pedro Strop - $5,850,000

Eligible for salary arbitration (estimates from mlbtraderumors.com):
3B Kris Bryant - $8,900,000
SS Addison Russell - $2,300,000
OF Leonys Martin - $4,900,000 (a certain non-tender; this estimated salary omitted from the total)
IF Tommy La Stella - $1,000,000
SP Kyle Hendricks - $4,900,000
RP Justin Wilson - $4,300,000
RP Justin Grimm - $2,400,000 (a possible non-tender; this estimated salary included in the total)
RP Hector Rondon - $6,200,000 (a possible non-tender; this estimated salary included in the total)

Auto-renewal players:
OF Kyle Schwarber - $850,000
OF Albert Almora - $850,000
OF/2B Ian Happ - $850,000
2B Javier Baez - $850,000
C Willson Contreras - $850,000
RP Mike Montgomery - $850,000
RP Carl Edwards Jr. - $850,000

Subtotal - $117,150,000

Likely additions:
OF Replacement for Jon Jay
C Replacement for Alex Avila/Rene Rivera
SP Replacement for Jake Arrieta
SP Replacement for John Lackey
RP Replacement for Brian Duensing
RP Replacement for Wade Davis
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on October 23, 2017, 07:52:19 pm
Patrick Mooney on why the Cubs should hire Jim Hickey.

http://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/why-cubs-should-make-jim-hickey-offer-he-cant-refuse
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 23, 2017, 09:33:13 pm
By all means, hire him.  But the real problems will still need to be addressed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 23, 2017, 10:46:09 pm
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2740111-cy-young-winner-jake-arrieta-could-bolt-cubs-for-massive-100m-payday?utm_source=cnn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=editorial
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 24, 2017, 12:28:44 am
I might be willing to go 4/$100 with Arrieta - and that would be with serious misgivings (and I very much doubt he'd take it).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on October 24, 2017, 09:05:15 am
David Ross as the new Bench coach?  Just heard a discussion on the radio pondering it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on October 24, 2017, 09:46:29 am
I think Joe could benefit from a new bench coach.  He and Davey have been together a long time.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 24, 2017, 10:02:20 am
There are rumblings Mallee may be fired, too. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 24, 2017, 10:06:12 am
Brandon Hyde would be another option for bench coach.

Where are the rumors on Mallee coming from?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 24, 2017, 10:16:55 am
Twitter
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 24, 2017, 10:36:27 am
David Ross as the new Bench coach?  Just heard a discussion on the radio pondering it.
That would be great, but weren't there two reasons to retire?  Concussions and wanted to spend more time with family.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on October 24, 2017, 10:43:33 am
There are rumblings Mallee may be fired, too. 

That's interesting.  Thanks for passing that rumor along. 
Heh heh, I understand that it's a rumor and may not be true or become true!  :)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jack Birdbath on October 24, 2017, 10:50:32 am
That would be great, but weren't there two reasons to retire?  Concussions and wanted to spend more time with family.

Nobody has ever wanted to spend more time with family.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on October 24, 2017, 10:54:52 am
I was thinking the same Cletus.

He just spent a whole year with them.

Thats plenty of bonding time.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on October 24, 2017, 11:04:25 am
Twitter

Anyone in particular? I have the distinct impression that some people may tweet false information via twitter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 24, 2017, 11:05:08 am
Anyone in particular? I have the distinct impression that some people may tweet false information via twitter.
Reb
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 24, 2017, 12:26:50 pm
Bruce Levine‏ @MLBBruceLevine  3h3 hours ago
More
 Chicago Cubs hitting coach John Mallee has his end of the season exit meeting with the front office today .

I guess we'll hear something soon if it is going to happen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on October 24, 2017, 12:49:07 pm
Bruce Levine‏ @MLBBruceLevine  3h3 hours ago
More
 Chicago Cubs hitting coach John Mallee has his end of the season exit meeting with the front office today .

I guess we'll hear something soon if it is going to happen.

From a Bruce Miles column on Chris Bosio

Quote
There was no formal news release, as the Cubs say they are trying to respect Major League Baseball's edict against making big announcements during the World Series, which begins Tuesday night.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on October 24, 2017, 12:50:05 pm
If anyone should be shaking in their boots it should be Mallee. Nearly every Cub hitter took a step back this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 24, 2017, 12:51:17 pm
If he is let go, my guess is that it will leak Bosio.  Same thing goes for Hickey getting hired.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 24, 2017, 01:25:55 pm
I hope we're not descending into a culture of scapegoating the coaches.  They were good enough for us to win the WS last year and get to the LCS this year.  Obviously you can't fire the players, and at this point Joe seems to be pretty much untouchable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on October 24, 2017, 01:47:21 pm
On the other hand, let's not be afraid to make a change if there is some "process-level" reason that warrants it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on October 24, 2017, 01:54:02 pm
That's a good point, deeg.  I suspect Mallee is just fine and is perfectly safe.  But I'll be fine with whichever direction management chooses to go, keep (expected) or change (shocker).

But hey, have I ever mentioned that there can be value in change-for-change sake?  The core have all heard Mallee's input.  Maybe a new voice would perk up some listening ears; or maybe a new voice might have a fresh insight or two to add; or maybe a new personality might persuade a core hitter or two to make a beneficial adjustment of some kind? 

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on October 24, 2017, 02:24:50 pm
We've certainly come a long way from, "Hey we lost the NLCS, but it was a heck of a season!" to "Hey we lost the NLCS, it's time for some heads to roll!"
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on October 24, 2017, 02:25:46 pm
Change for change's sake can also remind the players (especially young players) that this is a production based business. Perhaps one can blame it on the short offseason, world series hangover, WBC, Joe's approach to spring training or a belated sophmore slump, but nearly every hitter not named Javy Baez reverted this year. Certainly no other hitter came back having added some new component to their games. That isn't the fault of the hitting instructor. That is all on the hitters. Jayson Heyward attempted it in a very high profile way, then turned right back into his non-productive self. Schwarber didn't improve until his Iowa trip and still was a shell of his pre-injury self. I can't name anyone who improve year over year other than Javy and for a stretch, Contreras.  I don't know that that is all on Mallee, but if you don't judge hitting coaches on such things what do you judge them on?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 24, 2017, 02:48:34 pm
That's a good point, deeg.  I suspect Mallee is just fine and is perfectly safe.  But I'll be fine with whichever direction management chooses to go, keep (expected) or change (shocker).

But hey, have I ever mentioned that there can be value in change-for-change sake?  The core have all heard Mallee's input.  Maybe a new voice would perk up some listening ears; or maybe a new voice might have a fresh insight or two to add; or maybe a new personality might persuade a core hitter or two to make a beneficial adjustment of some kind? 


Yes, sometimes change for its own sake can be helpful and even necessary, even when it's grossly unfair.  There may have been a physical hangover from last season but I think there's circumstantial evidence of a complacency/press clippings factor too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on October 24, 2017, 02:53:50 pm
I don't think we can overlook that the motivation to end the 108 year drought is gone.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on October 24, 2017, 03:09:09 pm
We've certainly come a long way from, "Hey we lost the NLCS, but it was a heck of a season!" to "Hey we lost the NLCS, it's time for some heads to roll!"

Well, so far only one head has rolled. We'll see if there are other changes (besides coaches being recruited for promotions with other clubs).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on October 24, 2017, 05:10:21 pm
I don't think we can overlook that the motivation to end the 108 year drought is gone.

Amen.

I told my wife the same thing.

That fire is gone.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 24, 2017, 05:35:41 pm
Are you talking about the Cubs or your marriage?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on October 24, 2017, 05:37:51 pm
My wife is my biggest fan Curt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 24, 2017, 05:41:26 pm
Well, at least you got ONE.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on October 24, 2017, 06:06:18 pm
My son and my momma like me too.

My daughter not so much. Lol
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on October 24, 2017, 06:31:46 pm
Nobody has ever wanted to spend more time with family.


Ah, projection.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on October 24, 2017, 06:32:32 pm
Anyone in particular? I have the distinct impression that some people may tweet false information via twitter.

What an utter absurdity.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on October 24, 2017, 06:33:13 pm
Well, so far only one head has rolled. We'll see if there are other changes (besides coaches being recruited for promotions with other clubs).

I don't think deeg's twitter rumor on Mallee is likely to be a thing. 
*If the end-of-year interview hadn't even occurred till today, I doubt any twitter sources would have any info. 
*With Bosio, if they'd already had the exit interview, and told him, he might be then telling people. 
*But don't think Theo and Hoyer and Maddon would be leaking it to Twitter-world even before they'd sat down with the man himself. 
*And the man getting let go wouldn't be leaking it to twitter before even knowing about it himself! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on October 24, 2017, 11:13:31 pm
http://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/cubs-need-get-their-pitching-order-or-else-entire-foundation-could-crumble-epstein-maddon-bosio

Some more interesting Theo comments, and some interesting Mooney comments/thoughts. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on October 25, 2017, 12:23:31 am
We're gonna be badasses again next year.

I have no doubt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on October 25, 2017, 07:52:31 am
If, as seems likely, we go into next season with a slightly above average rotation and below average bullpen, we will probably be competing with the Brewers for the NL Central.  Perhaps high 80s, low 90s win total.  To separate ourselves, we would need to acquire a #1/2 starter and/or completely revamp the bullpen to improve it dramatically. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 25, 2017, 10:07:39 am
I'll buy that.  I wouldn't count the Cardinals out of that mix, too - they're going to spend a lot of money this winter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 25, 2017, 01:10:37 pm
If, as seems likely, we go into next season with a slightly above average rotation and below average bullpen, we will probably be competing with the Brewers for the NL Central.  Perhaps high 80s, low 90s win total.  To separate ourselves, we would need to acquire a #1/2 starter and/or completely revamp the bullpen to improve it dramatically. 

The Cubs are still one of the better teams in MLB. 

Getting a great 1/2 would be nice, but it isn't a need.  Quintana, Hendricks, Lester is going to be in the upper echelon of production for a teams top 3 starters and is just fine.  A #4 starter worthy of the playoff rotation should be the goal and an #5 that is better than Anderson improves the rotation over last year. 

The bullpen was 14th in fWAR last year.  Losing Davis will be difficult to replace, but the Cubs also have some impact arms that could make this pen really special if their control improves just a little bit.  The pen needs work, but I have a lot of confidence that Theo is up to the task.  There was a freak on on this board when Duensing was signed, but he was one of the Cubs better relievers.   I mean the Dodgers second best reliever this year was a 33 year old minor league free agent.  Bullpens are hard to predict.

The Brewers had a lot go right for them this year.  Maybe Chase Anderson becomes a 3 WAR pitcher at 29.  Maybe Nelson comes back from his torn labrum, but he is going to miss a large amount of 2018 and that is a huge loss.  Maybe Hader can step in or some of their you guys will.  Travis Shaw is in Chris Taylor territory for me, he needs to prove that his improvement is permanent.  Add Thames and Pina to that mix too.  The Brewers have a lot of questions.

The Cardinals could be good again, but they are getting old.  Are Pham and DeJong just this years version of Gricheck, Piscotty and Diaz or are the real.  Their rotations is Martinez, Wacha, Wainwright and Weaver.  Maybe Reyes comes back, maybe it takes him 18 months to recover.  He had control/command issues before TJS and that is the last thing to return.  Maybe they are great or maybe they are just kinda average.  The Cardinals bullpen makes the Cubs situation look amazing.  Rosenthal is going to miss all of 18 or at least a large chunk of it.  They have Brett Cecil, Tyler Lyons and Matt Bowman returning.  The Cardinals can spend a ton of money to try and paper over these issues.  It might work or the might end up 4 games over .500 again after the spent $113 like last off season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on October 25, 2017, 04:15:34 pm
Four days old but a pretty good piece on the Cubs' future from Joel Sherman:

http://nypost.com/2017/10/21/diagnosing-the-next-steps-for-cubs-to-remain-a-title-contender/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 25, 2017, 04:52:59 pm
Thanks Chris.  That was was a good read.

"But the issue goes beyond just the ninth inning. Chicago might have to find a couple of relievers it has faith in. This is the right market place for that. There are a lot of free agent relievers coming off of strong years such as Jake McGee, Mike Minor, Brandon Morrow, Pat Neshek, Addison Reed, Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith and Anthony Swarzak."

I wonder if you could get say McGee to close, Shaw and Swarzak for the cost of Davis.  That could give you McGee, Shaw, Strop, Swarzak, Edwards, Wilson, Montgomery for the pen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on October 25, 2017, 07:12:28 pm
Patrick Mooney article on Albert Almora with some interesting quotes from Epstein and Scott Borus.

First Epstein:

“The real key for Albert,” Epstein said, “and his future development and what will dictate whether he reaches his very high ceiling or not is his ability to have really good, consistent at-bats against right-handed pitching (.711 OPS this year).

“He’s proven that he destroys left-handed pitching (.898 OPS) and is a real weapon that way – and any team would love to have him certainly against left-handed pitching. He made really nice strides against right-handed pitching as the year went on. This kid worked so hard using the slider machine, just seeing slider after slider after slider in the cage.

“Training his eyes to recognize – not so much to hit it, although it helps hitting mistake breaking balls – but just really training his eyes on what lanes to expect the slider to come out of, say, with runners in scoring position or two-strike counts and really learning which one to lay off, to put himself in position to get favorable counts to get fastballs or get mistake pitches that he can drive.”


Then Boras:

“The Cubs are such a good team is the (only) reason he’s not playing every day,” Boras said. “I remember we had the conversation when he came to the big leagues. He wasn’t playing, and I said: ‘Albert, the goal here is not learning how to play every day in the big leagues. The goal is learning how to win in the big leagues. You get to learn that at a young age. Take advantage of it, because it’s going to be so valuable. You’re going to be able to share this when you are an everyday player.’”

http://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/albert-almora-jr-ready-show-cubs-he-can-do-bigger-and-better-things-epstein-boras (http://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/albert-almora-jr-ready-show-cubs-he-can-do-bigger-and-better-things-epstein-boras)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on October 25, 2017, 07:24:49 pm
....."There are a lot of free agent relievers coming off of strong years such as Jake McGee, Mike Minor, Brandon Morrow, Pat Neshek, Addison Reed, Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith and Anthony Swarzak."

That could give you McGee, Shaw, Strop, Swarzak, Edwards, Wilson, Montgomery for the pen.

I like your line of thinking, blue.  Brett Cecil was $30.5/4 for Cardinals, Cubs have plenty of discretionary money for a couple of guys like that.  Koji was $6.  So you'd think if they figured to commit $25-30/year on FA relievers over the next 3 years, that would chew up a chunk of their cash, but they could reshape the bullpen pretty significantly.   

Not sure the pen will become a strength, money doesn't buy success, and it may be a problem again.  And there is something to having a known, trusted, confident, shut-down guy for the 9th inning, so that not every 9th inning is an ordeal. 

But, despite the late-season failures, Edwards and Strop and pre-Cub-Wilson gave a lot of good innings during the season.  Montgomery too.  I think Theo's comments about trying to throw more strikes and being less afraid of hard contact might be good for each of those guys. 

With the weirdness of relievers, it's not inconceivable that Wilson will come back and be quite effective.  Or that Rondon might show up healthy, get locked in, and give a very good season.

Obviously very different to give enough competent innings in the regular season to get into the playoffs; without actually being a knockout shut-down guy in the playoffs.  Should be interesting to see how they spend their money relief-wise. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 25, 2017, 09:11:20 pm
I guess part of the reason is I have a tough time seeing who the knock out reliever is that the Cubs can trade for.  The only guy that has been rumored to be on the market is Britton, but he has a lot of questions and I have doubts that the Orioles will actually trade him.

One guy who I sold short on is Mike Minor.  He was fantastic last year, but the 2 TJS scare me a lot.

I think you can add a lot of depth to the Cubs bullpen in this free agent class in the $30 million and under reliever range without affecting the Cubs ability to lock up the young guys or go after 2018 free agents.  I would be quite happy with 2-3 free agent relievers, Cobb and inning eating 5th starter.

Anibal Sanchez and Drew Hutchinson would be some interesting starter to reliever guys if you could get them on a minor league deal for me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on October 25, 2017, 09:22:24 pm
....I think you can add a lot of depth to the Cubs bullpen in this free agent class in the $30 million and under reliever range without affecting the Cubs ability to lock up the young guys or go after 2018 free agents.  I would be quite happy with 2-3 free agent relievers, Cobb and inning eating 5th starter....

Not sure about the innings-eating 5th starter.  Not that interested in wasting money on a bad starter. 

But yeah, I think if they were to pay the price for a Cobb-level guy, and take a shot at it with four starters and wing it for #5, that would make sense, and seems pretty sensible. 

5th starter could be whatever.  Some take-a-shot guy, like Anderson was this year.  Or Montgomery.  Or Tseng.  Or some old junker scouting guy.  Cubs won a whole lot of games two years ago with Wada and Richard and Haren and Cahill and Dallas Beeler. 

But it's the #4 guy who needs to be competent.

And if the bullpen is deep and good, you can better cover for a wing-it #5.     
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 25, 2017, 09:37:14 pm
Not sure about the innings-eating 5th starter.  Not that interested in wasting money on a bad starter.   

You'd basically be looking for a Lackey (2017) level starter on a 1 year deal, maybe a little better.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 25, 2017, 11:42:05 pm
Looking at guys who could fill those 4 and 5 spots in the FA class: Alex Cobb, Jeremy Hellickson, Francisco Liriano.  I still think you go after Yu Darvish and Lance Lynn not only to better yourself but to make your closest competitors have to find replacements.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 25, 2017, 11:42:43 pm
Also surprised to see that Jaime Garcia is only 31.  Too bad his middle initials are DL.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on October 26, 2017, 12:19:01 pm
More coaching changes for the Cubs:

Patrick Mooney‏Verified account @MooneyNBCS  1m1 minute ago
#Cubs hire Chili Davis as hitting coach and add Brian Butterfield as new third base coach. Andy Haines promoted to assistant hitting coach.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on October 26, 2017, 12:19:25 pm
Cobb would make a great addition as a 4th starter.

I'd be surprised if they go after Darvish - our core is going to get really expensive sooner rather than later, and I'd be surprised if Theo wants to commit +$50M/yr to 2 starters (Lester + Darvish), unless the purse strings are much looser than it seems. I think it's much more likely they try to acquire a guy like Archer, etc.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on October 26, 2017, 12:19:47 pm
More coaching changes for the Cubs:

Patrick Mooney‏Verified account @MooneyNBCS  1m1 minute ago
#Cubs hire Chili Davis as hitting coach and add Brian Butterfield as new third base coach. Andy Haines promoted to assistant hitting coach.



So is Mallee out? Did I miss something?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on October 26, 2017, 12:25:21 pm
So it appears that there will be many changes among the coaches.

Bosio out, with no replacement yet.
Mallee replaced by Davis.
Hinske left to become hitting coach with the Angels, replaced by Haines.
And apparently Gary Jones must be out as 3rd Base Coach, since Butterfield has been named to that position.

So much for Joe's statement about how much he wanted all his coaches back.

(And Dave Martinez could be gone as well)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on October 26, 2017, 12:29:37 pm
Wow wow wow wow. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on October 26, 2017, 12:34:18 pm
From what I have heard, Chili Davis will be a great addition.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on October 26, 2017, 12:40:05 pm
You have to wonder how much the player exit interviews play into these coaching changes.  If there's frequent anti-"Coach X" sentiment, that could at least partially drive decision making.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 26, 2017, 12:47:46 pm
Twitter doesn't lie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Story on Butterfield

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/69713750/attention-to-detail-red-sox-third-base-coach-brian-butterfields-calling-card/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 26, 2017, 12:53:04 pm
"So much for Joe's statement about how much he wanted all his coaches back." Ron

Amen.  Credibility is taking a hit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 26, 2017, 12:53:52 pm
Oops.  I guess that means I'm questioning if the World Series Championship happened.  I apologize.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 26, 2017, 12:57:29 pm
Interesting that Hickey wasn't announced....
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on October 26, 2017, 01:09:32 pm
You have to wonder how much the player exit interviews play into these coaching changes.  If there's frequent anti-"Coach X" sentiment, that could at least partially drive decision making.

Good point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 26, 2017, 01:14:55 pm
Maybe they just view Davis and Butterfield as upgrades and weren't expecting them to be on the market.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on October 26, 2017, 01:22:53 pm
Quote
Maybe they just view Davis and Butterfield as upgrades and weren't expecting them to be on the market.

Renteria Syndrome.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on October 26, 2017, 01:28:57 pm
From a Sun-Times piece:

Quote
Maddon said that the coaching staff shakeup was all about “availability” and who is on the market.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 26, 2017, 02:26:46 pm
Cubs claimed Jacob Hanneman back from the Mariners and DFA'd Freeman.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 26, 2017, 02:42:43 pm
Gotta scapegoat somebody, and the coaches are the most expendable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 26, 2017, 02:47:46 pm
 John Mallee‏ @JohnMallee 2h2 hours ago

I would like to thank the Chicago Cubs for the amazing opportunity to be part of a great tradition and organization for the last 3 years.  I left a great Houston Astros organization to be closer to home with my family and to help my hometown team win a World Series.  We did that.
49 replies 242 retweets 1,501 likes
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on October 26, 2017, 04:34:55 pm
You have to wonder how much the player exit interviews play into these coaching changes.  If there's frequent anti-"Coach X" sentiment, that could at least partially drive decision making.

I was wondering about that myself. Maybe even not so much player dissatisfaction as revealing information about the game planning, etc coaches provided to players?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on October 26, 2017, 04:39:00 pm
"Quote.   Maddon said that the coaching staff shakeup was all about “availability” and who is on the market."

Like Delmar said, the Renteria Syndrome.  Makes good sense to me. 

That would also suggest that Hickey's coming to the Cubs, even if that hasn't been announced yet. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on October 26, 2017, 05:29:21 pm
Gotta scapegoat somebody, and the coaches are the most expendable.

Certainly the most expendable.  But don't think they needed to scapegoat anybody if they didn't want to.  They've seemed OK with saying how amazing it is to reach LCS back-to-back-to-back, with a world championship in the middle, and how punishing the World series hangover is, etc.. 

If they wanted, could easily have said they liked the cast and were more than willing to take another shot with the same good people. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on October 26, 2017, 05:47:39 pm
https://mobile.twitter.com/MooneyNBCS/status/923677427959812096
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 26, 2017, 06:17:02 pm
Certainly the most expendable.  But don't think they needed to scapegoat anybody if they didn't want to.  They've seemed OK with saying how amazing it is to reach LCS back-to-back-to-back, with a world championship in the middle, and how punishing the World series hangover is, etc.. 

If they wanted, could easily have said they liked the cast and were more than willing to take another shot with the same good people. 



I'm not 100% sold on that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on October 26, 2017, 07:00:27 pm
https://twitter.com/TBTimes_Rays?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.northsidebaseball.com%2Fforum%2Fviewtopic.php%3Ft%3D1841
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on October 26, 2017, 07:11:02 pm
Thanks for links, Jeff. 

So, new batting coach, new pitching coach.  Hope they can each help some guys out. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 26, 2017, 07:24:08 pm
Cobb to the Cobbs seems a pretty damn likely bet now.  He loves Hickey.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 26, 2017, 07:26:05 pm
Martinez is reportedly in the lead for the Nationals job and the Cubs could go after Farrell for the bench coach.

Bosio rumored to be heading to the Tigers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 26, 2017, 07:30:13 pm
Would love to see Farrell here as a bench coach.  But I'll believe Davey actually gets a managerial job when it happens.

Have so many postseason managers ever been fired in the same season?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 26, 2017, 07:48:45 pm
Marc Topkin‏ Verified account
Not really .. and lotsa chatter that ex-#Rays bench coach Dave Martinez has real shot at #Nationals job

Sort blurb Hickey and the Cubs and why he left the Rays
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/rays/former-rays-pitching-coach-jim-hickey-joins-cubs/2342501
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 27, 2017, 06:04:24 pm
So Wade Boggs just congratulated Martinez on getting the Nats job on Twitter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on October 27, 2017, 06:06:44 pm
David Ross come on down...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on October 27, 2017, 06:08:16 pm
Anthony Rizzo has won the Roberto Clemente award

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-cubs-anthony-rizzo-roberto-clemente-award-20171028-story.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 27, 2017, 06:17:27 pm
Love Rossy, but I’m all about John Farrell for that job.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on October 27, 2017, 06:25:34 pm
It's strange that Boggs tweeted that 2 hours ago and no one like Rosenthal or Heyman has said anything about it yet.  You'd think they'd give some kind of confirmation or denial.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 27, 2017, 06:26:22 pm
Dear Cubs Fans,

"We never quit!" Our memorable team chant never rang more true than this season. Powered by the camaraderie in the clubhouse and gutsy performances on the field, our remarkable team transformed a challenging start into another deep postseason run - a truly impressive feat as we are just the second World Series champions in the past 15 years to win their division the year after hoisting the trophy.

Years in the making, our unprecedented third consecutive NLCS appearance required a little grit, a lot of hard work and overwhelming support from you - the most loyal fans in the game. While we fell short in the quest to defend our title, rest assured our future is bright. Built for sustained success, contending is now the expectation, not the exception. As we enjoy this new era of Cubs baseball together, our bond is even stronger. There has never been a fan base that has given more love to one team for so long. We cherish your relentless belief in our team and support of our organization.

In addition to the progress we've made on the field, we remain focused on restoring our beautiful ballpark and developing the surrounding area. Halfway through the 1060 Project, Hickory Street Capital was proud to introduce the Park at Wrigley - an inviting destination where families, fans and visitors gather whether the Cubs are at home or on the road. From spring festivals, summer movies and fitness series to farmers markets and winter ice skating, we'll continue to offer programming and events that contribute to our community. In early 2018, Hotel Zachary will begin welcoming guests and provide an authentic neighborhood experience featuring some of our city's most well-known hospitality groups. At the conclusion of the 1060 Project, we will have invested nearly $1 billion to ensure the vitality of our ballpark and vibrancy of our neighborhood, while also creating thousands of new jobs.

Far beyond the Friendly Confines, the character and heart of our team carried over into the community as we continue to grow the reach and impact of our charitable contributions. From improving local baseball fields to getting kids active and providing scholarships to deserving teens, the generosity of our players, partners, fans and associates is forging a brighter future for Chicago's children and families. As one of the most charitable franchises in sports, our team and Cubs Charities are on track to raise more than $6.5 million this year alone. We are excited to continue to find new and impactful ways to help kids achieve their full potential and deliver on our goal of being a good neighbor.

While it's always rewarding to celebrate our shared wins from the past season, like you, we can't "wait ‘til next year." This simple expression, once used to console us, now motivates us deeply as we embrace our role as a consistent contender. We look forward to a productive offseason and fielding a competitive team for years to come.

Let's Go Cubs,

Tom Ricketts
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 27, 2017, 06:43:25 pm
It's strange that Boggs tweeted that 2 hours ago and no one like Rosenthal or Heyman has said anything about it yet.  You'd think they'd give some kind of confirmation or denial.

Chelsea Janes, a nationals reporter has a tweet that no offer has been made to anyone. No clue.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on October 27, 2017, 07:20:39 pm
I presume that the "no announcements during the World Series" policy is not changed by a congratulations on Twitter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on October 28, 2017, 11:55:03 am
https://www.draysbay.com/2017/10/5/16417124/tampa-bay-rays-jim-hickey-pitching-coach-retrospective
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 29, 2017, 12:11:16 am
Fox 5 DC is reporting Martinez will get the Nats job and be announced after the WS is over according to Cubs Insider.

Robert Murray mentioned on Twitter that Todd Greene could be a bench coach option.

https://www.baseballessential.com/news/2015/09/25/todd-greene-managerial-candidate-talks/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 29, 2017, 12:28:01 am
I figured Sandberg for the bench job.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 29, 2017, 01:20:24 am
I see what you did there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on October 29, 2017, 06:00:02 am
Fox 5 DC is reporting Martinez will get the Nats job and be announced after the WS is over according to Cubs Insider.

Robert Murray mentioned on Twitter that Todd Greene could be a bench coach option.

https://www.baseballessential.com/news/2015/09/25/todd-greene-managerial-candidate-talks/ (https://www.baseballessential.com/news/2015/09/25/todd-greene-managerial-candidate-talks/)

From the linked article:

“Todd is a cross between Mike Scioscia, Joe Maddon, and Mike Matheny,” says the scout."

High praise there.  ;)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on October 29, 2017, 07:41:43 am
I figured Sandberg for the bench job.

Ryne or Cindy?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ben on October 29, 2017, 08:33:18 am
Craig, thanks for the article about Hickey.

Seems like he brought some principles to Rays' pitchers and got strong buy-in to them...and got his guys to believe in themselves.

Self-confidence seems a given for the best-of-the-best type guys who can climb the mountain to make it to the major league level...but most of those guys go through crises of confidence at the MLB level, too, playing against other players who are also ridiculously talented and the many other obstacles other teams can through at them today with advanced scouting and sabermetric support.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 29, 2017, 09:22:43 am
Heyman is confirming Martinez to the Nats.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on October 29, 2017, 10:18:49 am
I've been thinking of what the perfect, yet reasonable offseason would look like. For me it would be somehow winning the Otani sweepstakes, trading Baez for Michael Fullmer and resigning Wade Davis to a 3 year deal. That gives the Cubs a young, controlled, cost effective rotation for several years going forward and leaves Montgomery in the swingman, 6th starter role in case of injury. I know, this is pie in the sky thinking, but hey, a man can dream.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 29, 2017, 10:47:19 am
Ryne or Cindy?
Yes
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 29, 2017, 10:57:50 am
I've been thinking of what the perfect, yet reasonable offseason would look like. For me it would be somehow winning the Otani sweepstakes, trading Baez for Michael Fullmer and resigning Wade Davis to a 3 year deal. That gives the Cubs a young, controlled, cost effective rotation for several years going forward and leaves Montgomery in the swingman, 6th starter role in case of injury. I know, this is pie in the sky thinking, but hey, a man can dream.

Perfect offseason- Ohtani, Cobb for the rotation. Marrow (if Cameron’s 2/18 is realistic), McGee and Shaw. Plus Hinkey teaching Edwards, Wilson and Maples to throw strikes and Chili Davis fixes Heyward.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on October 29, 2017, 12:14:29 pm
Heyman is confirming Martinez to the Nats.

Mark Gonzalez in the Tribune:  First base coach Brandon Hyde could transition to become the bench coach, a position he held under Edwin Rodriguez and Jack McKeon with the Marlins in 2010-11.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on October 29, 2017, 12:28:30 pm
Perfect offseason- Ohtani, Cobb for the rotation. Marrow (if Cameron’s 2/18 is realistic), McGee and Shaw. Plus Hinkey teaching Edwards, Wilson and Maples to throw strikes and Chili Davis fixes Heyward.

This is pretty close to mine too, except I'm not too interested in Morrow with his history of being injured and mediocre from 2013-16.  I'd rather target Addison Reed, but he'd be more expensive which probably forces them to downgrade one of McGee or Shaw.

And any ideal offseason plan of mine also involves getting Yelich in return for some of the major league depth.  I still think they were hurt more than expected this year by the loss of Fowler and good Zobrist. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 29, 2017, 02:21:22 pm
I think it's going to be Cobb for the rotation and another offseason of trying to get lucky on the bullpen with quantity over high-priced quality.  Maybe Schwarber or Happ dealt for pitching if the right deal emerges, but I wouldn't bank on it.

Otani is a pipe dream, but however minuscule the chances are you have to throw everything you can into it.  He's a game-changer but he's likely going to an AL team, probably the Yankees.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 29, 2017, 02:24:11 pm
A few hearts stopped by this tweet:

Quote
Willson Contreras‏Verified account
@WContreras40
Follow Follow @WContreras40
More
Thanks Chicago for so much fun and love.! I’ll keep you all in my heart ❤️ There is not better place  to be than CHICAGO ❄️
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 29, 2017, 02:25:52 pm
He's retiring to spend more time with David Ross' family?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 29, 2017, 03:07:02 pm
I assume it's some kind of reference to heading south for the winter, but the wording is pretty ROFL.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on October 29, 2017, 04:12:17 pm
So bench coach, hitting coach, and pitching coach, probably the top 3 sub-manager coaching positions, yes?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 29, 2017, 05:09:00 pm
On most staffs yes.

I think Borzello and Hyde have more importance than what their titles are. I think Butterfield will too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 29, 2017, 10:36:18 pm
I was reading Cameron’s chat on Fangraphs and he seems to think that the Cubs are going to make an attempt to get Archer from the Rays and use Russell as trade bait. He doesn’t think that Schwarber and Happ combined would have the value to get it done. He also thinks that Happ would bring back a pitcher better than Folty from the Braves.

I’d be kinda conflicted on Archer for Russell +. They both have some risk, but it would give the Cubs a really cost controlled rotation. While I think Russell is better than Baez, the drop off isn’t huge and Happ/Zobrist/LaStella could handle second.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 29, 2017, 11:32:30 pm
Depends on what the + is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on October 30, 2017, 10:06:14 am
Mark Gonzalez in the Tribune:  First base coach Brandon Hyde could transition to become the bench coach, a position he held under Edwin Rodriguez and Jack McKeon with the Marlins in 2010-11.

Mark Gonzalez again:
Quote
If Hyde moves to the bench, a potential replacement at first base is Doug Dascenzo, the Cubs' minor-league outfield and base-running coordinator who was an outfielder for the team from 1988-92. Dascenzo, 53, was hired as first-base coach in the 2014-15 offseason before Maddon arrived and Hyde reassigned from bench coach to first base.


Dascenzo also pitched a little bit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 30, 2017, 10:45:54 am
Depends on what the + is.

I can't see them doing a 1:1, but I also can't see the + being really great either.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on October 30, 2017, 10:50:58 am
There is no way the Rays would do that.

They are really high on Willy Adames, and they would want a bounty of A level studs for Archer.  Trading for a Super 2 eligible SS doesnt really help them that much.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on October 30, 2017, 11:40:35 am
Russell wouldn't give them any additional team control.  And if he broke out, it's not even clear he'd give them cost savings beyond 2018.  I don't see why the Rays would do that--I think they benefit more from just holding on to their best pitcher.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 30, 2017, 12:42:14 pm
I don't think the Cubs have the guns to deal for a pitcher of Archer's caliber anymore.  If they acquire SP via trade it's going to be high-ceiling guys with lots of warts (like Arrieta was).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 30, 2017, 01:14:52 pm
There is no way the Rays would do that.

They are really high on Willy Adames, and they would want a bounty of A level studs for Archer.  Trading for a Super 2 eligible SS doesnt really help them that much.

I could see trading Archer for somebody like Russell if they don't want to rebuild and they think that they have the young pitching to replace him.  Long shot sure and I'm not 100% convinced the Cubs would do it either.

I just looked up Adames and he is 1 year and 8 months younger than Russell.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on October 30, 2017, 01:19:05 pm
Rays are looking to move to Hillsborough County.
 
Last week Hillsborough announced they have secured the land needed for a new stadium in Ybor City area of town. There is still about 300 million in gap financing that is missing and it will likely go to the polls to determine if the tax payers want to approve that type of expense. (link - http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2017/10/24/hillsborough_busines.html )

I would be shocked if they somehow decided to short circuit a fairly lengthy rebuild here and ship off their biggest trade chip for anything short of what the Sox got for Q. Some believe that Archer is worth a Sale type return... and i'd wager that is what the Rays are going to be looking to get. 2-3 high Ceiling high floor class A level players.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 30, 2017, 02:56:51 pm
Rays are looking to move to Hillsborough County.
 
Last week Hillsborough announced they have secured the land needed for a new stadium in Ybor City area of town. There is still about 300 million in gap financing that is missing and it will likely go to the polls to determine if the tax payers want to approve that type of expense. (link - http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2017/10/24/hillsborough_busines.html )

I would be shocked if they somehow decided to short circuit a fairly lengthy rebuild here and ship off their biggest trade chip for anything short of what the Sox got for Q. Some believe that Archer is worth a Sale type return... and i'd wager that is what the Rays are going to be looking to get. 2-3 high Ceiling high floor class A level players.

Might be a bad time to do a full rebuild, but a retooling they might be able to sell to the public.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on October 30, 2017, 03:16:59 pm
I think most fans here in Tampa are aware they are "re-tooling" as we speak, have been doing so since the David Price trade.  Its probably another 1-2 years before they are in a good spot.

On local sports radio its basically a forgone conclusion that they are retooling for a new stadium in Tampa, or for a new stadium outside this area entirely. No one be-grudges the Rays on any of this... esp considering the state of the trop, and potential for increase in taxes for a new stadium.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 30, 2017, 03:46:16 pm
Pitcher          W  L       QS    K     HA     ERA     WH
one              10  14      19   219  178   3.51    1.14
two              13    9      23   173  188   3.31    1.19
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 30, 2017, 04:02:52 pm
Need more info..........
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on October 30, 2017, 04:05:55 pm
How many innings for each? Walk rate?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 30, 2017, 04:10:26 pm
Pitcher             IP    BB
one                202   68
two                201   51
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 30, 2017, 04:19:15 pm
Stroman is pitcher 2 and I think pitcher 1 is Archer, but some of his numbers are wrong.  I like Archer more than Stroman, but both are nice. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 30, 2017, 04:25:03 pm
No. 1 is Archer, but what numbers are wrong?  #2 is not Stroman
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 30, 2017, 04:26:15 pm
Pitcher #2, believe it or not, is Lackey.  I don't see Archer's allure.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 30, 2017, 04:32:00 pm
On what planet did Lackey have a 3.31 ERA this year?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 30, 2017, 04:36:37 pm
10-12, 60 BB, 249 K, 4.07 ERA, 201 IP

I'm at a loss on pitcher 2 then, he's the only one with 201 IP and 13-9 this year.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on October 30, 2017, 04:39:02 pm
On what planet did Lackey have a 3.31 ERA this year?
10-12, 60 BB, 249 K, 4.07 ERA, 201 IP

I'm at a loss on pitcher 2 then, he's the only one with 201 IP and 13-9 this year.


I see what I did.  Those are three year averages.  Sorry.  But still...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 30, 2017, 04:43:40 pm
Pitcher #2, believe it or not, is Lackey.  I don't see Archer's allure.

Archer is owed $6.4, $7.666, $9, $11 million over then next 4 years.  His luxury tax salary number is $4.25 million/year to go with Quintana's $4.2 million.  That helps with signing the core and maybe adding a Bryce Harper.

Beyond that he strikes out a lot people and doesn't walk many.  Chris Archer is amazing.

PS: Lackey was a good pitcher until he turned 38 and Archer is going to be 29 for almost all of next year.




Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on October 30, 2017, 05:30:52 pm
His salary numbers alone make him too expensive  (talent-wise) for the Cubs to acquire him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 30, 2017, 05:32:39 pm
I don't see any universe in which a 29 year-old Archer and a 38 year-old Lackey are remotely comparable, or where 3-year averages are a good way to measure a 38 year-old pitcher's projectability.  Archer is a very good pitcher, probably a legit #2, and Lackey is pretty much done.

But that's not the issue.  The issue is cost, and Archer - as a very good pitcher and cheap, is somebody the Rays would have to be blown away by an offer to deal.  I don't think that's in the best interests of the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 30, 2017, 05:38:09 pm
It's a shame Kikuchi Yusei won't be posted until after next season at the earliest, because as a pitcher he may end up being just as good in MLB as Otani.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 30, 2017, 05:46:39 pm
Will the team not post him or he doesn’t want to come over?  A 26 year lefty that hits 98 would make a lot of money this year, but he might get lost in next years class.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 30, 2017, 06:19:12 pm
Will the team not post him or he doesn’t want to come over?  A 26 year lefty that hits 98 would make a lot of money this year, but he might get lost in next years class.

Every report I've seen is that Seibu isn't likely to post him until after the 2018 season at the earliest.  It is a strong FA class, but he's an elite talent - he'll draw plenty of interest.  As far as the club is concerned all that matters is that they get the max posting fee, which is a lock.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 30, 2017, 07:33:56 pm
2018 will stretch what teams can pay. You could be looking at Kershaw, Price, Keuchel, Cole headlining the pitching class and then all the position talent. I’d think his chances at an overpay are better when your looking Darvish, Arrieta and Tanaka as your competition.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 30, 2017, 09:03:24 pm
What does Seibu care?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on October 30, 2017, 09:08:15 pm
Not saying they care. I’m surprised he isn’t pushing to come over this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 30, 2017, 09:43:15 pm
It's not the Japanese way to threaten to make a public stink or hold out, and clubs generally try not to screw a player over for too many years when they really want to leave (apart from the Giants).  They'll post him when they post him but they definitely don't want to post him now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on October 31, 2017, 10:21:46 am
Sharma on Schwarber.

https://theathletic.com/141372/2017/10/31/examining-trade-chips-in-cubs-quest-to-solidify-rotation-kyle-schwarber/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 31, 2017, 10:25:41 am
The problem with dealing either Schwarber or Russell right now is that, to an extent, you'd be selling low.  They both have a lot of value but not as much as they would have after 2016 (or might after 2018).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on October 31, 2017, 12:04:51 pm
My guess is that Russell's value isn't depressed that much, but given what no-glove bats went for at the trade deadline, I can't imagine Schwarber is worth much right now...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on October 31, 2017, 12:09:27 pm
Those bats were not as young or cost-controlled as Schwarber and lacked his enormous offensive upside.  Plus. there might be someone out there intrigued by using him at least part-time at catcher.

It was only a year ago that Schwarber was apparently enough to bring back Andrew Miller.  I know his value is depressed from its peak but he has real value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on October 31, 2017, 05:53:00 pm
I doubt there's much interest in Schwarber's catching potential. He's barely played there since being drafted and the way he plays the outfield he'd do some catching if he were better at it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on October 31, 2017, 06:06:40 pm
Some people here have a really high bar for LF defense...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on November 01, 2017, 10:40:22 am
http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/11/01/the-jeff-samardzija-trade-rumor-connection-returns-is-he-the-right-fit-this-time-around/

I wonder what it would take to get Samardzija from the Giants. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 01, 2017, 10:43:35 am
How do we feel about Tanaka?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on November 01, 2017, 10:53:36 am
Might be smart to go after him after a down year, but I don't know if we have what the Yankees would want.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 01, 2017, 11:27:53 am
Tanaka is intriguing, but I suspect the trade cost on Shark would be lower.  I'd be very into that if it were the right deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 01, 2017, 12:01:06 pm
I think Tanaka is probably going to opt out of his contract.  He was just as good as he'd ever been in the second half--his down year was based almost completely on being terrible in May.  He can get more than the 3 years, $67 million he's owed if he goes out on the open market, so I'd expect him to do that.

He'd be a good target if they're convinced his arm is going to hold up.  But isn't it a given that his elbow is going to eventually pop and he'll have to have TJ surgery?  I thought that was the assumption after he hurt his elbow a couple years ago.

Tanaka's #1 most similar player on Baseball Reference is Alex Cobb.  I bet Cobb gets half as much as Tanaka this offseason.  So I'd prefer Cobb since he's already past his TJ rehab.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 01, 2017, 12:58:16 pm
Cobbs is likely going to get a 3-4 deal, maybe around for McCarthy got 4/$48 million?  Tanaka will be a lot more.  I'd really like to keep some powder dry for next years FA class if possible.  I'd prefer Cobb to Tanaka.

Depending on cost, I'd be a yes on Samardzija.  If the Giants eat some of his contract he'd get a decent return, but not any of the MLB guys.  If they are just trading his contract I don't think the cost would be too much.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 01, 2017, 01:28:11 pm
I do think the medical concerns will depress Tanaka's value somewhat.  How much?  Hard to say.  His velocity was his best as a major leaguer this past season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on November 01, 2017, 02:38:57 pm
I don't want anything to do with Tanaka and his arm. He should have had TJ surgery when he was first injured. Whoever signs him is going to pay for a lot of rehab.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 01, 2017, 02:41:24 pm
HOyer can decide, but I'd think any of the Tanaka/Samardz/Cobb type guys, you add to Hendricks/Q/Lester, and staff may be deep enough to make a pretty good run for the NL Central.  Maybe somebody of that level, or maybe step it up for Darvish or Otani or whomever. 

If you really believe playoffs is a lottery, and you're OK with just getting in, any one of those types of Cobb/Samardz type guys could give you reasonable hopes of getting past St. Louis/Milwaukee. 

For 5th starter, I assume they take a shot and wing it.  Try something clever/cheap that doesn't cost a ton; possible strong value-per-dollar if best-case works out.  Maybe it's like 2018 Brett Anderson, or what Mahomes or Feldman were like when we signed them, or last-winter's Charlie Morton.  Maybe a Wada, or an Eddie Butler or Jacob Turner.  Maybe Tseng.  Maybe Montgomery.  Maybe like Jason Hammel of 3 and 4 years ago.  Who knows, maybe even the now version of Jason Hammel himself!  (Had a 4.37 FIP, right around Lester's ERA....)  I just figure they'll go cheap/creative/take-a-shot with 5th starter, and only invest seriously in 4th starter.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 01, 2017, 02:46:16 pm
I don't want anything to do with Tanaka and his arm. He should have had TJ surgery when he was first injured. Whoever signs him is going to pay for a lot of rehab.

The fact that Tanaka's velocity was up substantially this season suggests rehab was pretty successful, at least in the short term.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 01, 2017, 02:48:26 pm
HOyer can decide, but I'd think any of the Tanaka/Samardz/Cobb type guys, you add to Hendricks/Q/Lester, and staff may be deep enough to make a pretty good run for the NL Central.  Maybe somebody of that level, or maybe step it up for Darvish or Otani or whomever. 

If you really believe playoffs is a lottery, and you're OK with just getting in, any one of those types of Cobb/Samardz type guys could give you reasonable hopes of getting past St. Louis/Milwaukee. 

For 5th starter, I assume they take a shot and wing it.  Try something clever/cheap that doesn't cost a ton; possible strong value-per-dollar if best-case works out.  Maybe it's like 2018 Brett Anderson, or what Mahomes or Feldman were like when we signed them, or last-winter's Charlie Morton.  Maybe a Wada, or an Eddie Butler or Jacob Turner.  Maybe Tseng.  Maybe Montgomery.  Maybe like Jason Hammel of 3 and 4 years ago.  Who knows, maybe even the now version of Jason Hammel himself!  (Had a 4.37 FIP, right around Lester's ERA....)  I just figure they'll go cheap/creative/take-a-shot with 5th starter, and only invest seriously in 4th starter.   

At some point I think this team needs a SP who's capable of being a difference maker in a short series, not just helping you get to the postseason.  But given the massive needs in the bullpen and the SP market, this might not be the winter where that happen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on November 02, 2017, 09:48:19 am
106 days until pitchers and catchers report.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 02, 2017, 02:23:41 pm
Bookmark for your reference.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/11/mlb-offseason-key-dates.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 02, 2017, 06:32:34 pm
MLB Trade Rumors has their free agent predictions up.  They have the Cubs getting:

Darvish at 6 years, $160 million
Addison Reed at 4 years, $36 million
Jake McGee at 3 years, $18 million

I'd be on board for the Reed and McGee deals (though I'd prefer to cut a year off each of them and offer an extra million or two per year), but I'd be a pretty hard no on Darvish at that price.  He's a pretty good #2, but he's not an ace who deserves one of the largest pitcher contracts in baseball. 

They have Alex Cobb getting 4 years, $48 million from the Twins.  If that's what he gets, I would be surprised if the Cubs weren't at least a finalist for him.


https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/11/2017-18-top-50-mlb-free-agents-with-predictions.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 02, 2017, 07:27:43 pm
Only interested in Darvish if he can deliver Otani.

Deeg do you know anything about Mike Mikolas?  He struggled with the Padres and Rangers but did well in Japan. This year he had a 9K/9 and 1.1 BB/9. With the Padres out of the pen he averaged 94/95 and starting for the Rangers he was 92.7. He could be an interesting pen/5th starter guy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on November 02, 2017, 07:29:17 pm
I'd rather give Arrietta that money, not saying I would.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on November 02, 2017, 08:10:29 pm
A guy just told me that Buster Olney said on Mike and Mike this morning that Darvish was tipping his pitches in the series.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 02, 2017, 08:15:52 pm
I wouldn't mind loading up the bullpen with salaried relievers as long as you can identify guys that won't completely crater within the length of their contract.  Relief pitchers are so valuable and in demand that you can almost always trade them away without having to help pay down their contracts.

If your farm system starts producing viable relievers that you want on the big league club full time and not just riding the Iowa shuttle, you can always make room by moving a guy or two via trade.

Of course, the "identify guys that won't completely crater within the length of their contract" part is easier said than done.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 02, 2017, 08:49:44 pm
Only interested in Darvish if he can deliver Otani.

Deeg do you know anything about Mike Mikolas?  He struggled with the Padres and Rangers but did well in Japan. This year he had a 9K/9 and 1.1 BB/9. With the Padres out of the pen he averaged 94/95 and starting for the Rangers he was 92.7. He could be an interesting pen/5th starter guy.

I don't know that much about him, except that the Giants are by far the richest team in NPB and they don't waste rotation spots on hack players.  You don't put up the numbers Mikolas has in Japan without having decent stuff, and his velocity in NPB has been pretty consistent with what it was as a starter in MLB.  I don't think Mikolas is a guy with a true knockout pitch, but he throws hard enough and has developed exceptional command.  Upside to me would be a poor man's Mike Leake.  He could be a decent back-end starter, but I wouldn't sign him with the intention of relying on him to be an anchor in the rotation by any means.

In Darvish's defense, there seems to be ample evidence that the balls were altered in the postseason.  Verlander is certainly convinced - he says he literally learned a cutter on the fly because he didn't trust his slider enough to throw it.  For a guy like Darvish, who throws hard but relies heavily on tricksy finger action on a wide range of pitches, sliicked baseballs could be a real problem.  I'm not saying I'd pay him 6-$160, but I'd pay him more and for more years than Arrieta.  His velocity is still elite and he was outstanding the entire time he was with the Dodgers until the WS.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 02, 2017, 08:58:05 pm
According to Edwardo Perez there was some hand movement in his glove that tipped his pitches. The Dodgers supposedly fixed another tipping issue when they got him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 02, 2017, 10:05:19 pm
Tipping his pitches wouldn't explain how flat Darvish's breaking stuff was, though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 02, 2017, 10:10:07 pm
Smooth ball also wouldn't explain why he was way, way, way, way, way worse than anybody else who pitched in the series. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 02, 2017, 11:15:29 pm
Could be a combo of fatigue, the ball and tipping his pitches. It just doesn’t have to be 1 thing.

I am generally against giving post TJS guys multiple years and $100+ million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 02, 2017, 11:33:57 pm
Smooth ball also wouldn't explain why he was way, way, way, way, way worse than anybody else who pitched in the series. 

Lots of guys were worse pitchers in the series than they had been before, especially on the Dodgers.  And I would argue that Darvish is more of a "feel" pitcher than almost anyone else in baseball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 03, 2017, 12:41:16 pm
INteresting to compare the core position groups. 
Houston: Springer, Bergman, Altuve, Correa, and Gonzalez.  That's a REALLY good core. 
Cubs:  Rizzo, Bryant, Contreras, Russell, Baez, Schwarber, Almora, Happ, Heyward.  That's actually a longer collection of young position players. 

The extra volume of guys could hypothetically make that a better core for the Cubs. 

But Houston has 5 really, really good hitters, maybe 4 if you don't want to include Marwin. 

Not sure if the Cubs will have more than 3 really good hitters. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 03, 2017, 12:57:33 pm
Have just started the Cubs Way book.  Theo talks about a concept where you need to have 4 "impact" players.  Got three with Rizzo, Bryant, and Contreras.  For the moment, not sure we've got the fourth? 

Part-way through Schwarber chapter.  Appears that Theo just loved the guy, so fired up because Schwarber used F-word in interview, and so enthusiastic about Schwarber's leadership potential.  Theo's perspective was that Schwarber is/was an impact bat.  Theo routinely references his Boston experiences; so talks about Schwarber as a Big Papi bat.

Some hyperbole, and Schwarber isn't likely to reproduce Ortiz's offense, or Rizzo's.  But Ortiz had a .234 season with Twins; Rizzo hit .141 for Padres, and then .233 in his second year in Chicago. 

So I suspect Theo's still pretty reluctant to trade Schwarber, and will hope that like Ortiz and Rizzo, that Kyle will be able to make some adjustments.  Perhaps blossom into a guy who might be able to support and sustain a .250 batting average in future, or even better.   

Schwarber hit .211 while K'ing over 35% of his AB and strugglied with both spin and velocity, so maybe Theo will reassess the dream.  But think they'll look at his 2nd-half numbers, where he hit .253/.335/.559/.894, and and think that might be sustainable, or perhaps even improvable.  I expect he'll be back. 

Would make a huge impact if Schwarber could evolve into an asset impact bat, even if platoon only. 

Will be curious to see what ideas he and the Cubs have for improving his hitting.  Maybe won't, just figure that his second half is good, don't mess with anything.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 03, 2017, 02:38:31 pm
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/11/cubs-claim-randy-rosario-from-twins.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 03, 2017, 02:53:24 pm
Averaged 93.5 last season, FWIW.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 03, 2017, 02:59:38 pm
Fairly anti-HR in the minors.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on November 03, 2017, 03:03:24 pm
Quote
But think they'll look at his 2nd-half numbers, where he hit .253/.335/.559/.894, and and think that might be sustainable, or perhaps even improvable.  I expect he'll be back.

Agree.  Lots of reasons why his first-half numbers could have been anomalous (WS pressure/hangover, leadoff pressure, natural recovery from year off, etc).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 03, 2017, 05:05:25 pm
INteresting to compare the core position groups. 
Houston: Springer, Bergman, Altuve, Correa, and Gonzalez.  That's a REALLY good core. 
Cubs:  Rizzo, Bryant, Contreras, Russell, Baez, Schwarber, Almora, Happ, Heyward.  That's actually a longer collection of young position players. 


Cubs really have a lot more control of their players.

Cubs Insider has Rosario up to 97 with the fastball and a 90 mph slider. That is interesting and he was good against lefties in a SSS.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 03, 2017, 06:26:15 pm
Tanaka opts in with the Yankees.  One less free agent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on November 03, 2017, 06:37:09 pm
Didnt want Tanaka.

Dont want Darvish either.

Ill take Arietta over both of them and Im not 100% certain I want him back.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 03, 2017, 06:59:54 pm
What would a Cubs-Rays trade involving Brent Honeywell look like?

Pipe dream?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 03, 2017, 07:36:40 pm
Didnt want Tanaka.

Dont want Darvish either.


What a coincidence.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 03, 2017, 07:43:38 pm
What would a Cubs-Rays trade involving Brent Honeywell look like?

Pipe dream?

Most likely, the Rays don’t trade guys when they are cheap. I’ve wonder what Happ is worth in a trade and so far from various chats people seem to think he’s worth a lot. The most recent question was Happ for Teheran and the chatter through the was worth more. I wonder how much the Cubs are interested in a guy with little experience for the rotation too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on November 03, 2017, 07:50:04 pm
What a coincidence.

It has nothing to do with anything but facts.

Japanese pitchers are usually ragged out before they even get here and Tanaka or Darvish havent done anything to prove me wrong.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 03, 2017, 08:08:56 pm
Darvish is 18th out of 277 qualified starters in fWAR since he started his career in 2012 (between Arrieta at 17th and Samardzija at 19th).  He's 50th out of 277 in innings pitched. 

Tanaka is 22nd out of 177 qualified starters in fWAR since he joined the Yankees in 2014 (between Hamels and Hendricks).  He's 39th in innings pitched.

There are good reasons to want to avoid them at this point in their careers--Tanaka's elbow is questionable, and Darvish is going to get paid like a surefire ace when he's really more of a #2 at this point.  But they've earned more than what they've been paid since coming to MLB. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on November 03, 2017, 08:15:20 pm
I just now looked at the free agent starting pitchers in this class and Ill stand by my stance.

If Arietta and Darvish are the headliners I think we're all in agreement that we want to stay away from Boras and Arietta and I dont want to pay Darvish what he's gonna expect with him only being 2 years removed from TJS.

Sign the second tier starter that you like best and then maybe a lottery ticket SP for insurance and spend the rest on the pen.

I bet we're looking more at the trade market.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on November 05, 2017, 10:34:44 am
Didnt want Tanaka.

Dont want Darvish either.

Ill take Arietta over both of them and Im not 100% certain I want him back.

The chance of keeping Arrieta just fell with Tanaka's decision, and will fall even more if Darvish enter the FA market.  With both of them off the market, Arrieta's price would rise considerably, and the Cubs' effort to resign him will correspondingly fall with his increased contract demands.

In other words, if you really want the Cubs to keep Arrieta, it is much better if Darvish and Tanaka were both entering free agency.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 05, 2017, 05:13:04 pm
Mark Feinsand‏Verified account @Feinsand  22m22 minutes ago
More
Hearing Rays are likely to make a qualifying offer to Alex Cobb. Not surprising after strong season (179 IP, 3.66) 1st full yr post-surgery.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 05, 2017, 05:47:55 pm
So that would mean the Cubs would lose their second round pick and $500,000 of IFA money to sign him, but if his contract is less than $50 million ion guareented money vale the Rays get nothing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on November 06, 2017, 12:22:14 pm
Sharma on Javy Baez.

https://theathletic.com/147403/2017/11/06/examining-trade-chips-in-cubs-quest-to-solidify-rotation-javier-baez/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on November 06, 2017, 12:55:15 pm
How many here subscribe to The Athletic?

Money well spent?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 06, 2017, 01:39:17 pm
If we subscribe, does that make us an Athletic supporter?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on November 06, 2017, 01:56:22 pm
If we subscribe, does that make us an Athletic supporter?

I like it, primarily because of Sharma.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 06, 2017, 04:11:56 pm
Cubs added Carasiti, claimed Cory Mazzoni from the Padres and outrighted Martin.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 06, 2017, 05:01:48 pm

Chris Cotillo‏Verified account @ChrisCotillo 5m5 minutes ago

Chris Cotillo Retweeted Chris Cotillo

Just these nine players received QOs. Confirmed.

Chris Cotillo added,
Chris CotilloVerified account @ChrisCotillo
QO list expected to include these nine players: Arrieta, Cain, Cobb, Davis, Holland, Hosmer, Lynn, Moustakas, Santana.
0 replies 0 retweets 0 likes
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 06, 2017, 05:07:42 pm
So based on the new CBA, what is the impact to the Cubs if (when) Arrieta and Davis sign somewhere else?

And what happens if the Cubs sign Cobb (or Cain...I guess there's an outside chance they could be interested in him)?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on November 06, 2017, 05:19:39 pm
So based on the new CBA, what is the impact to the Cubs if (when) Arrieta and Davis sign somewhere else?

And what happens if the Cubs sign Cobb (or Cain...I guess there's an outside chance they could be interested in him)?

I thought I read that Cain is retiring?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 06, 2017, 05:20:01 pm
So based on the new CBA, what is the impact to the Cubs if (when) Arrieta and Davis sign somewhere else?

We'll receive a compensatory pick after Competitive Balance Round B, which takes place just prior to the draft’s third round.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 06, 2017, 05:20:31 pm
I thought I read that Cain is retiring?

Lorenzo, not Matt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 06, 2017, 05:24:07 pm
And what happens if the Cubs sign Cobb (or Cain...I guess there's an outside chance they could be interested in him)?

We'll give up our second-highest draft pick and $500K of international bonus pool money in the next int’l signing period (which opens on July 2).

If we sign more than one QO free agent, we'll give up our third-highest pick for the second signing and so forth, but not lose any additional international pool money.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 06, 2017, 05:56:40 pm
We'll receive a compensatory pick after Competitive Balance Round B, which takes place just prior to the draft’s third round.

Only if their contract has $50 million in guaranteed money. From what I’ve read the $50 million doesn’t effect the signing team losing picks and IFA money.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 06, 2017, 05:59:55 pm
Only if their contract has $50 million in guaranteed money. From what I’ve read the $50 million doesn’t effect the signing team losing picks and IFA money.

True.  I presumed both Jake and Wade will easily sail past $50 million guaranteed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 06, 2017, 06:00:41 pm
I thought I read that Cain is retiring?
Lorenzo, not Matt.
Doofus
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on November 06, 2017, 06:07:46 pm
Who is Doofus Cain?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on November 06, 2017, 06:21:18 pm
You misread.  That is Doofus Curt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 06, 2017, 07:20:33 pm
I can get this kind of abuse at home.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 06, 2017, 09:38:26 pm
The first ZiPS projections for 2018 have the Cubs winning the NL Central by 3 games.  Keep in mind that these projections use the current roster...so it assumes the Cubs have a Quintana/Lester/Hendricks/?/? rotation and no closer.  With a 3 man rotation and no closer, the Cubs are still favorites for a third straight division title.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/21265001/early-projections-2018-standings-zips-loves-la
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 06, 2017, 10:25:00 pm
I still like Lynn as our #5.  Means you only have trade or pay big for one big starter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on November 06, 2017, 10:32:23 pm
I still like Lynn as our #5.  Means you only have trade or pay big for one big starter.

You assuming Lynn would be cheap?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 06, 2017, 10:47:29 pm
No, but I doubt he's going to go as high as guys like Darvish and Arrieta.  Even Cobb, now that he's been QOed has high hidden costs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Some Guy on November 06, 2017, 11:08:36 pm
Cobb is far more preferable to Lynn. Who wants to watch a fatass with no control.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 06, 2017, 11:09:31 pm
Oops.  Just read the Cards made a Qualifying Offer to Lynn.  Bastards must be reading his board!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 06, 2017, 11:42:59 pm
Lynn and Cobb will probably go for about the same money.  If you go strictly by career numbers and raw stuff, I don't think there's any question Lynn is the better pitcher.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 07, 2017, 07:23:12 am
Cobb has much more upside to Lynn. You get the bonus of moving him from the AL to the NL, which will help his stats. Cobb also spent the second half, when he had better results, doing a right version of Rich Hill throwing fastball/curves. Coming off TJS he lost the feel of his knuckle change which is his best pitch. If he can get that pitch back he could be a #2/3 for cheap.

Cubs Insider did a piece about Chacin having a better slider than every pitcher in the game not named Scherzer. His pitch sequencing was sub optimal and with a change there he could be significantly better.

Throw in the possibility both Japanese pitchers are coming over and someone like Chatwood, who isn’t my favorite, there are plenty of starting options on the market that are better than poorly controlled fastball pitcher Lynn.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on November 07, 2017, 08:49:39 am
Cobb and Lynn seem pretty close, but I would prefer Cobb.  He has better control and has a better GB/FB ratio.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 07, 2017, 10:42:16 am
Cobb and Lynn seem pretty close, but I would prefer Cobb.  He has better control and has a better GB/FB ratio.

Legitimate, of course, but I prefer Lynn.  Better velocity, much better K-rate - and on the whole, better results.  I prefer SP who miss bats, given the choice.  In reality, both are probably #3-4 starters assuming their elbows don't blow up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 07, 2017, 11:38:27 am
Cobb has much more upside to Lynn. ....  Cobb also spent the second half, when he had better results, doing a right version of Rich Hill throwing fastball/curves. Coming off TJS he lost the feel of his knuckle change which is his best pitch. If he can get that pitch back he could be a #2/3 for cheap.


What I don't understand is why, if he has upside and could become a #2/#3, we'd think he could be "for cheap".  FA pitching is routinely expensive and in short supply, so supply and demand means price goes up.  The same things you like about him might also be liked by some, perhaps many, GM's. 


So I suspect there's going to be aggressive competition for him, and the highest bidder is going to need to pay higher/riskier $$/length than other teams think is reasonable.  Almost by definition, he's going to get more years and dollars than the rest of the market thinks is good value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 07, 2017, 11:48:52 am
I guess it depends on what you consider "cheap", but I don't see anyone arguing either Cobb or Lynn could be had for less than 4-50, 5-65, something like that.  Maybe compared to what someone like Arrieta or Darvish might bring, that might be considered a good value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on November 07, 2017, 11:53:49 am
I'll take Cobb for 4/50.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 07, 2017, 12:33:45 pm
What I don't understand is why, if he has upside and could become a #2/#3, we'd think he could be "for cheap".  FA pitching is routinely expensive and in short supply, so supply and demand means price goes up.  The same things you like about him might also be liked by some, perhaps many, GM's. 

He's only thrown over 150 IP twice, so that is going to be held against him and make him cheaper.  It is a risk, but nobody is giving him 5 years and Brandon McCarthy is the only pitcher like him to 4 years and he got 4/$48.  I think s 3-4 year deal is most likely for him.  If he had multiple years of 180+ IP he would get more than what Samardzija got.  So he's cheap because of risks, but he has some upside too.

Cobb has a career ERA-/FIP- of 89/92.  His best  year is 72/87.  Cobb made an decreasing his change up usage and going with his fastball/curve.  He finished the second half with a 20% K% and Aug was 25.4% and Sept/Oct was 23.1%.  This was after he made an adjustment in how he pitched and his GB% returned to his career normal.  His release point was off on his split change-up so there isn't anything saying he can't get his best pitch back.

Lynn on the other hand has a career 88/94 ERA-/FIP- so it is really close to Cobb, almost identical.  Last year though it was 81/113, which isn't reassuring.  Looking deeper into his numbers his K% fell from a career 22.3% to  19.7% last year.  His second half his K% dropped to 17% and his BB% increased to 11.3%.  Then the big problem is his pitch mix.  He throws a 4 seam fastball 39%, 2 seam fastball 42.4%, cutter 10.7%.  He throws a version of his fastball 92.1% of the time and his Curve and change up are below average pitches.  His fastball velocity has decreased and is likely to continue going down making his best pitch/frequently thrown less effective.  So in short Lynn is losing velocity and has no other pitches to help and is getting less effective.  I would stay far, far away from him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 07, 2017, 01:15:59 pm
I'll take Cobb for 4/50.

...nobody is giving him 5 years and Brandon McCarthy is the only pitcher like him to 4 years and he got 4/$48.  I think s 3-4 year deal is most likely for him. ....

I'm with Play, I'd also be happy to sign him for 4/50.  For reasons that you have nicely articulated, blue.

I may be way off, and what do I know.  But I'm predicting that you guys are significantly underselling the market that he's going to get. 

I'm predicting he'll get a deal significantly better than 4/50.  Lots of teams want a pitcher, lots of teams have the capacity to spend 4/50 and well beyond, and lots of teams are interested and willing to take a chance.  I'm also hesitant to assume that former deals are a good predictor for what this winter's deals will go for. 

Think he's going well north of $50/4, and that the winning bidder will be a team that's just willing to take on more and probably longer risk than the losing bidders.  Obviously with options, a deal can conditionally go beyond 4 years even if it's not fully guaranteed. 

If you want to play it safe, don't dabble in FA.  But if you need a piece, you may need to over-risk and over-spend and over-length to get that piece.  May not be Hoyer and Theo.  But somebody is going to take a chance well north of 4/50, I think....
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on November 07, 2017, 01:20:59 pm
I would like to see the Cubs sign both Cobb and Lynn, if they can do each for about 14 million per year.  That would finish the rotation, and should still leave them some money to shore up the bull pen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 07, 2017, 01:34:31 pm
Lynn is also one year off TJS, so to conclude he's "losing velocity" seems pretty silly to me.  Most guys regain velocity the 2nd year back after TJS.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 07, 2017, 01:38:31 pm
If it's a tossup, I would always sign players away from our biggest threats.  St. Louis, Dodgers, Nationals, Brewers...  You fill a hole and guarantee one in the other team.  I'm sure that's what the Cards were thinking with Fowler, although I doubt we would have resigned him.  We did it to them with Lackey.  Sure that can backfire, but since the free agent system was created, it's what the top teams do to each other.  That's why I would pursue Rosenthal before the Cards sign him to a minor league deal.   Word here is that the Cards are in on Santana, JD Martinez, a trade for Stanton, and Arrieta and Davis.  They will go hard for Davis.  If nothing else, they want us to go higher to try to keep him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 07, 2017, 01:55:23 pm
Cardinals with JD Martinez could be pretty scary. 

I've wondered about the Cubs going after him.  Adding a really good, professional hitter in the middle of the lineup would really, really make a difference.  Over last four years his composite OPS has been well over .900, so it would be like adding another Rizzo-caliber bat to the lineup. 

I know Theo loves Schwarber, but if you were to add a Martinez, you could then free up Schwarber for trade.  Not sure quite what he'd bring you, but somebody who'd at least have a shot to become good. 

Think an extra really, really good bat who's an every-day threat makes the lineup more relentless and takes some pressure off the other guys.  And gives the lineup a better chance to be good even during weeks when Bryant or Rizzo, or both, are cold. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 07, 2017, 02:20:59 pm
I love JD Martinez's bat, but the problem with him is that he's already almost unplayable in the outfield defensively.  He's also over 30 now, so there's not much chance that he's going to improve.  At some point during his next contract, he's almost definitely going to have to move to DH full time. 

I agree that another every day bat is a need for this team, though.  I'd prefer it to be more of an on-base guy for the top of the lineup rather than a slugger.  I really believe the "you go, we go" effect with Fowler was bigger part of their success in 2016 than anyone realized, and not having that in 2017 was a major reason the lineup was so much more inconsistent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 07, 2017, 02:52:18 pm
Phil Rogers is doing his best to get attention:

Phil Rogers‏ @philgrogers 
@Giants have interest in @Cubs' Jason Heyward, w/Jeff Samardzija and Mark Melancon to offer. Very complicated deal but not impossible.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 07, 2017, 02:55:52 pm
Lynn is also one year off TJS, so to conclude he's "losing velocity" seems pretty silly to me.  Most guys regain velocity the 2nd year back after TJS.

That isn't true.  Velocity is one of the first things to return.  It either comes back or it doesn't.  Command and control can take awhile to return, but not velocity.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on November 07, 2017, 02:58:48 pm
Phil Rogers is doing his best to get attention:

Phil Rogers‏ @philgrogers 
@Giants have interest in @Cubs' Jason Heyward, w/Jeff Samardzija and Mark Melancon to offer. Very complicated deal but not impossible.


Tear their **** arm off and run Theo.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 07, 2017, 03:26:54 pm
Why would the Giants do That? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 07, 2017, 03:33:12 pm
I love JD Martinez's bat, but the problem with him is that he's already almost unplayable in the outfield defensively.  He's also over 30 now, so there's not much chance that he's going to improve.  At some point during his next contract, he's almost definitely going to have to move to DH full time. 

I agree that another every day bat is a need for this team, though.  I'd prefer it to be more of an on-base guy for the top of the lineup rather than a slugger.  I really believe the "you go, we go" effect with Fowler was bigger part of their success in 2016 than anyone realized, and not having that in 2017 was a major reason the lineup was so much more inconsistent.

Yeah, good points.  Is there a FA leadoff guy available?  If so, I haven't been thinking of him. 

Martinez is a good bet to be as good or better an OBP guy than Fowler, it's not like you're giving up any OBP with a bat like that. 

I'm fine to defer to you guys and Theo on the defense, didn't realize it was that bad.  Schwarber's isn't exactly good either; so if you were to replace a DH in left with another DH, would it really be that big of a defensive decline?  Heh heh, if he's really a mile worse than schwarber defensively, that is kind of scary! 

Still, I admit that part of me thinks that hitting, hitting, and hitting every day is just such a team-changer.  You replace a .211-BA Schwarber with a .300-hitting Martinez, every day, and without needing to platoon, and that really makes it easier to sustain innings and grind a pitcher.  I know for Theo's Red Sox champs, Manny Ramirez wasn't an asset in left defensively, but an elite bat in the lineup changes a lot.  And most games there aren't many balls hit to left anyway, most of which are easy plays or sure hits regardless, without necessarily discriminating much between an awful left fielder versus a merely bad one. 

I know Cubs have pitching problems.  But I'm a huge believer that a consistent, high-scoring offense can cover up a multitude of sins.  And I think it actually can make pitchers better.  Pitching with a lead, or with the expectation that team will come back and score runs even if you give up a solo-HR, would seem to have a freeing influence, and allow guys to throw more strikes rather than needing to nibble so much.  Which seemed to be very much the Lester/Q/Montgomery/Arrieta approach as starters, and the Bosio/Contreras approach with the bullpen guys as well. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 07, 2017, 03:35:50 pm
How reliable is Dan Bernstein?  Does he know anything?  Here is his tweet in response to the Rogers tweet:

Dan Bernstein‏ @dan_bernstein 
This is true.  I have heard similarly.


It really makes no sense for the Giants.  As much as some people here don't like him, Samardzija is still a pretty good pitcher.  If they ate a little of his contract, they could get pretty good prospects back.  And I'm not high on Melancon going forward, but at least he's under contract for only 3 more years.  And with a good 2018, you might get lucky and have him opt out of the last two years of his deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 07, 2017, 03:52:48 pm
Yeah, good points.  Is there a FA leadoff guy available?  If so, I haven't been thinking of him.   

I think the closest thing to a leadoff guy on the market is Lorenzo Cain.  He wouldn't be bad--he hit .300/.363/.440 in 2017--but I'm not sure he's going to be worth what he's going to get paid in his 32-35 year old seasons.  Still, he wouldn't be the worst fit.

I'm going to keep beating the Yelich drum until the roster is settled.  He's been a consistent 4.5 fWAR guy over the past 4 years--he's more of an impact guy than people realize.  The Marlins are publicly stating they're not going to trade him...but I think that's a negotiating ploy.  If they're dealing Stanton, it's hard to believe they'd hold anyone on the team back if they got players that they wanted.

I know Cubs have pitching problems.  But I'm a huge believer that a consistent, high-scoring offense can cover up a multitude of sins.  And I think it actually can make pitchers better.  Pitching with a lead, or with the expectation that team will come back and score runs even if you give up a solo-HR, would seem to have a freeing influence, and allow guys to throw more strikes rather than needing to nibble so much.  Which seemed to be very much the Lester/Q/Montgomery/Arrieta approach as starters, and the Bosio/Contreras approach with the bullpen guys as well. 

I agree with this.  Plus, I'm not convinced the Cubs' pitching problems are as bad as they're being made out to be.  I think people are judging the loss of Arrieta, Lackey, and Davis in terms of their reputations, not their actual performance.  Those three guys combined for a total of 4 fWAR this year--upgrading over that is not hard.  They're going to make up more than half of that WAR just by having Quintana on the roster all year.  Add Cobb, a 5th starter who can eat 150+ innings with a 4.00ish ERA, and two of the second tier relievers (Reed, Shaw, McGee, Morrow, Minor, Swarzak, or Nicasio), and the 2018 pitching staff is likely significantly better than the 2017 version.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on November 07, 2017, 03:53:03 pm
Does Heyward have a no-trade?  Zobrist and at least one more do, as I recall.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 07, 2017, 03:56:19 pm
Yeah, Heyward has a no trade. 

So does Melancon.  So does Samardzija, though his is limited to 22 teams (and the Cubs weren't one of the restricted teams at midseason).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 07, 2017, 04:07:56 pm
Given what you know about them so far, would you offer any of the non-Bryant young Cubs the Anthony Rizzo contract this offseason?  How about if you had to bump the 2020-and-beyond values by $2-3 million per?

18:$0.75M, 19:$1.25M, 20:$5M, 21:$5M, 22:$7M, 23:$7M, 24:$11M, 25:$14.5M club option (or $2M buyout), 26:$14.5M club option (or $2M buyout)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on November 07, 2017, 04:14:40 pm
I would offer that contract to Russell, Baez and Contreras.  I would seriously consider offering it to Happ, and I wouldn't totally rule it out for Schwarber, depending upon the views of the scouting department and medical doctors.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on November 07, 2017, 04:14:46 pm
The Giants have serious OF problems, and Heyward would be a real asset for them defensively.  Samardzija would be a nice fit for the Cubs.  Not sure how to make a trade work, though, even forgetting about the no trade clause.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 07, 2017, 04:29:14 pm
How about if you had to take Cueto instead of Samardzija?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 07, 2017, 05:11:54 pm
Samardzija over Cueto.
 
The Cubs pay money and tell Heyward he's a great guy and it didn't work out.  If he stays with the Cubs he'll be Zobrist and Almora's back up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 07, 2017, 05:29:31 pm
If he stays with the Cubs he'll be Zobrist and Almora's back up.

Similarly, Sam Dyson was really effective for the Giants last year outside of his last two games in September.  If the Giants told Melancon he had to win the closer's job back, he might be more willing to move on.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on November 07, 2017, 05:35:33 pm
Think that's a pretty fair trade considering the loss of Heyward's defense would be pretty stark depending on his replacement. Only real problem with Samardzija--and it's not a small one--is he allows a lot of home runs despite his home games in AT&T park.

Heyward's owed 12M more over the three years Samardzija has left, but the Cubs would be out from under the last 65M of Heyward's deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 07, 2017, 06:42:52 pm
Heyman tweeted that Lackey is not retiring and plans to pitch next year.  Hopefully it's for someone other than the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 07, 2017, 07:26:18 pm
If my math and Cot’s contracts is correct Samardizja and Melancon are owed $107.4 through 2020 and Hayward is owed $135.1667 through 2023 because the Giants backloaded their contracts and Hayward’s was frontloaded.

The neat feature is that for luxury tax purposes Samardizja and Melancon are worth $33 million/year and Heywad is $23 million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 08, 2017, 09:40:36 am
I wonder how many Cub fans are out there who will be shocked when Arrieta signs with someone else.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on November 08, 2017, 10:08:13 am
I wonder how many Cub fans are out there who will be shocked when Arrieta signs with someone else.   

What? Do you really think he would do that?  Say it ain't so, Jake!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 08, 2017, 10:16:01 am
If my math and Cot’s contracts is correct Samardizja and Melancon are owed $107.4 through 2020 and Hayward is owed $135.1667 through 2023 because the Giants backloaded their contracts and Hayward’s was frontloaded.

The neat feature is that for luxury tax purposes Samardizja and Melancon are worth $33 million/year and Heywad is $23 million.

How is that "neat"? 
For us, that lux-wise, we'd be getting a rotation guy (and if healthy perhaps a pen piece) for "only" $10 hit in lux?  Whereas if we sign a FA rotation guy plus a pen guy, while keeping Heyward, the lux-increase would be much, much, much higher than $10? 

And perhaps also a motivation for them, that they would knock $10 off, and free up lux space for buying other assets? 

Interesting that a salary exchange like that would save the Cubs <$30M longterm ($107 vs $135).  But would clear Heyward's commitments off from when Bryant etc. are free agents.  An extra $23/year might be kinda welcome during the 20's. 

Melancon was to have pronator-syndrome surgery.  Suggested 2-3 month recovery, so theoretically could be fully recovered for next season.    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/04/breaking-giants-mark-melancon-to-undergo-surgery-for-rare-muscular-syndrome/ 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2017, 10:50:15 am
How is that "neat"? 
For us, that lux-wise, we'd be getting a rotation guy (and if healthy perhaps a pen piece) for "only" $10 hit in lux?  Whereas if we sign a FA rotation guy plus a pen guy, while keeping Heyward, the lux-increase would be much, much, much higher than $10? 

And perhaps also a motivation for them, that they would knock $10 off, and free up lux space for buying other assets? 

Interesting that a salary exchange like that would save the Cubs <$30M longterm ($107 vs $135).  But would clear Heyward's commitments off from when Bryant etc. are free agents.  An extra $23/year might be kinda welcome during the 20's. 

Melancon was to have pronator-syndrome surgery.  Suggested 2-3 month recovery, so theoretically could be fully recovered for next season.    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/04/breaking-giants-mark-melancon-to-undergo-surgery-for-rare-muscular-syndrome/ 

You wouldn't have to replace Heyward externally.  Happ and Zobrist could take over RF, so no increase in pay roll for RF.  So they Cubs would essentially be getting a relief pitcher and starter for $10 million a year, which you might be able to get 1 relief pitcher for a little less than that.  If you keep Heyward the cost is $23+ SP + RP, which will be much more than

The other neat thing is getting rid of the extra years allows the Cubs to clear payroll when Russell and Bryant will be entering their last year of arbitration.  I get the appeal for the Cubs, but I'm not sure why the Giants would want to do it unless they really hate Melancon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2017, 11:36:59 am
There's no chance the Giants are remotely interested in any iteration of this.  It's a non-story.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 08, 2017, 11:40:32 am
Giants beat writers are now tweeting that this rumor is nonsense. 

Keep in mind it originated with Phil Rogers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 08, 2017, 11:48:09 am
I heard Bumgardner is a throw-in.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on November 08, 2017, 11:51:47 am
The trade would be a -1 for the Giants.  No way in hell they do that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jack Birdbath on November 08, 2017, 12:00:53 pm
The best part of this Heyward to the Giants story is Roger's follow up tweet:


One additional motivation to deal Heyward: Would improve @Cubs position in recruiting Shohei Ohtani. He and Heyward both hit left-handed.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 08, 2017, 12:31:16 pm
True dat
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 08, 2017, 12:39:15 pm
Trading Hendricks should also help recruit Otani, in that case.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on November 08, 2017, 12:57:52 pm
I wonder how many Cub fans are out there who will be shocked when Arrieta signs with someone else.   

Personally, I will be shocked if Arrieta does NOT sign with someone else.  I would like to keep him, but I doubt that the Cubs will give either the dollars or years it will probably take.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 08, 2017, 04:13:01 pm
Personally, I will be shocked if Arrieta does NOT sign with someone else.  I would like to keep him, but I doubt that the Cubs will give either the dollars or years it will probably take.
That's what we've been saying.  Idiot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on November 08, 2017, 05:33:26 pm
So we agree.  That is refreshing, since you are so seldom right that it is not often I get to say that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 08, 2017, 07:24:34 pm
http://m.mlb.com/news/article/260793498/5-ways-tyler-chatwood-could-be-charlie-morton/

An interesting case for Tyler Chatwood.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2017, 09:59:23 am
Ken Rosenthal‏Verified account @Ken_Rosenthal  2m2 minutes ago
More
 Brandon Hyde will be #Cubs’ new bench coach, sources tell The Athletic. #Mets had offered him bench-coach job. #Cubs stepped up to keep him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 09, 2017, 11:04:51 am
He was renteria's bench coach, is that correct? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on November 09, 2017, 11:57:36 am
He was renteria's bench coach, is that correct? 

That is my recollection.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2017, 01:16:22 pm
Yes he was Renteria's bench coach and previously was the bench coach for the Marlins as well.  I think he started out in the front office with the Cubs, but moved back into coaching.  A lot of the Cubs minor league instructors at one time had times to him as well.

http://www.cubsinsider.com/2017/11/09/notes-jed-hoyers-discussion-cubs-offseason-strategy-spiegel-parkins/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 09, 2017, 07:52:53 pm
Jon Heyman released his top 80 free agents today with predictions by both him and an "expert," who is apparently pretty good at predicting contracts.  Here is the full article:

https://www.fanragsports.com/inside-baseball-how-much-will-the-top-80-free-agents-get/

The relief market looks good and affordable, no reason to go after Davis:

Wade Davis: Expert: 4/$64; Heyman: 4/$72
Addison Reed: Expert: 4/$35; Heyman: 3/$27
Jake McGee: Expert: 2/$15; Heyman: 2/$12
Bryan Shaw: Expert: 2/$12; Heyman: 3/$24
Juan Nicasio: Expert: 2/$14; Heyman: 2/$12
Anthony Swarzak: Expert: 4/$28; Heyman: 3/$21
Brandon Morrow: Expert: 3/$23; Heyman: 3/$24

Lots of options, and this doesn't even include guys like Neshek, Minor, and Watson.  If those prices are fairly accurate, I'd love to see the Cubs get McGee, Reed, and either Shaw or Nicasio for a total of about $21 million per year.  In fact, at those prices, I'd be disappointed if the Cubs didn't end up with at least McGee and Shaw/Nicasio.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2017, 07:57:10 pm
If they are close on Cobb’s market then a big no for me.

McGee, Shaw and Nicasio would be my choices at those prices/years. I like the idea of Reed, but he scares me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 09, 2017, 07:59:43 pm
At those prices, I don't think there's really a wrong solution as long as they stay away from Davis and Holland.  I'd be perfectly fine with going into Spring Training with 2-3 of McGee, Shaw, Nicasio, and Reed plus Wilson in a battle for the closer job.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 09, 2017, 08:05:58 pm
Also, I wouldn't hate Cobb at Heyman's price (4 years, $58 million).  But the expert's 5/$75 would be awful--might as well pay the extra money for Darvish and fill the 5th spot very cheap if you're going to commit that much to Cobb.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2017, 08:29:53 pm
You have the expert and Heyman reversed.

 I really wouldn’t want to pay Cobb that much at either price to be honest, he needs to be under $50 million for me to like it.

 Chacin/Chatwood would be more interesting to me especially if you could get both. Tillman/Mikolas/Miley would all be sorta gambles for 5/6th starters. Put me down for a 2 year Pineda contract too.

Mike Minor is another interesting lefty, but the 2 TJS are scary.

Drew Hutchison on a minor league deals too, and maybe Jared Cosart.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on November 09, 2017, 10:09:08 pm
I would go for Cobb at 4 / 58, although under 50 would be obviously much better.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on November 09, 2017, 10:13:28 pm
Maybe I’m crazy, but I could see someone paying $100 million for Cobb.  Quality pitching is tough to find especially in free agency.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 09, 2017, 10:54:24 pm
Maybe?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 09, 2017, 11:08:16 pm
Just from listening to Hoyer on the radio, it sure sounds like the Cubs want to keep money available for 2018 FA. I think they’ll go cheap and look more for Charlie Morton 2.0.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 09, 2017, 11:23:12 pm
They should be pretty fresh going into 2019 then.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 09, 2017, 11:31:48 pm
Just from listening to Hoyer on the radio, it sure sounds like the Cubs want to keep money available for 2018 FA. I think they’ll go cheap and look more for Charlie Morton 2.0.
Chatwood?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 09, 2017, 11:48:16 pm
Lackey?  :)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 09, 2017, 11:52:45 pm
Robb probably wants Vargas.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 09, 2017, 11:55:54 pm
Seems like there are quite a few pitchers of the medium level.  From that fanrag suggestion, lots and lots of guys they project in the $6-10/year range relief-wise. 

Some of those guys will turn out quite well; others not so much.  It's really going to put a burden on the Cubs scouts to identify the rights ones; and on Hickey and Maddon to use them rightly so that they can be productive.  But if they can identify the right guys and how to use them, they could help themselves a lot. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 10, 2017, 12:03:24 am
Springfield Illinois paper is reporting Hickey has signed as pitching coach.  I know we all expected it, but was this reported as fact before and I missed it?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 10, 2017, 12:09:11 am
Hickey was reported to have accepted offer a week or two back. 
Hoyer said Hickey was coach on radio interview this week. 

Hoyer said they'd have an official announcement on all the coaches within the next week or two. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 10, 2017, 07:26:19 am
Otani has been posted.

The Cubs F.O. has been excellent at identifying cheaper pitchers that out preform, I’m not to worried.

The Cubs made the NLCS this year and they need to replace 2.9 fWAR in their rotation. The 2016 Cubs got 4.6 fWAR out of Lackey and Hammel. I think they can easily beat 2017 and come close to 2016 numbers by going cheap.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on November 10, 2017, 08:39:16 am
Does anyone else see think our future Right Field is going to be Harper?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 10, 2017, 08:44:16 am
Does anyone else see think our future Right Field is going to be Harper?
Not after we trade Bryant for a relief pitcher.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on November 10, 2017, 09:14:23 am
This article has an interesting analysis of Cobb:

http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/11/10/new-pitching-coach-jim-hickey-really-seems-to-want-the-cubs-to-land-free-agent-alex-cobb/

Last year, he was basically a 2 pitch guy who gave up a lot of hard contact.  I'm fine with paying him 4/50 as a #4/5 type starter, but he comes with some uncertainty and I would hesitate paying him much more.  And I would definitely not give him 5 years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 10, 2017, 09:42:03 am
Which is a problem, as he's almost certain to get 5 years.

I'd try real hard to get Lynn on a 4-year deal if at all possible.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on November 10, 2017, 10:18:40 am
Quote
Not after we trade Bryant for a relief pitcher.

Bryant to NYY for Chapman.  Then Harper signs with the Yankees next off-season.  That sounds like some 1980's and 1990's Cubs **** (poopoo) moves.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 10, 2017, 10:51:10 am
Hope Schwarber has a big year, sign Harper and trade Kyle for pitching.  Done.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 10, 2017, 12:36:11 pm
If there was just another example of a post TJS surgery with declining velocity and declining K% who recently signed a free agent deal......

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=4505&position=P
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 10, 2017, 12:48:43 pm
http://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/cubstalk-podcast-jed-hoyer-how-handle-offseason-trade-rumors-heyward-lackey

Hoyer podcast.  Very laid back, no sense of urgency, and not many hints of agenda. 

Did specify they'd like to get the bullpen to throw more strikes.  Talked about relievers emerging.  FA market is relatively deep for relievers but otherwise not as a whole.

Emphasized that they've already won WS, and want to consider 2019 and 2020 as well as 2018.  Gave the sense there isn't urgency for this year.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on November 10, 2017, 12:57:19 pm
There's always the opportunity to pull something off midseason if the Cubs appear to be a move or two away from getting over the hump.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 10, 2017, 01:32:29 pm
There's always the opportunity to pull something off midseason if the Cubs appear to be a move or two away from getting over the hump.

That's the approach that cost us Torrez, Jimenez and Cease.  Not saying you don't do it when you have to, but there are drawbacks to relying on that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 10, 2017, 01:37:34 pm
There's always the opportunity to pull something off midseason if the Cubs appear to be a move or two away from getting over the hump.
That's the approach that cost us Torrez, Jimenez and Cease.  Not saying you don't do it when you have to, but there are drawbacks to relying on that.
I was thinking along the same lines as Deeg.  Too often the midseason trades are much more costly.  As teams are sorting out their rosters and seeing where they need to fill holes from day one during December often allows them to consider trades they wouldn't think about midseason.  Just think about the return we could have gotten on Schwarber last winter.  It's still a business and if the hometown team can make a trade to keep the faithful hopeful and excited about the coming season, winter is the time to do it.  JMO
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on November 10, 2017, 02:20:00 pm
Of course, there's unpredictability in the way your opening day roster will perform.  Some players will undoubtedly step it up unexpectedly whereas others will under perform.  In addition to strengthening the roster overall, it's also important to strategically add pieces that you need.  Not all needs are going to be evident during the offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 10, 2017, 02:43:25 pm
Also will need some huge breakout summers for the very thin, very young minor-league system.  They've already moved Torres, Jiminez, and Cease, as well as Soler, Vogelbach, Candelario, and Paredes over a 13-month period.  Not much firepower left, for the moment, at least so it seems today. 

But who knows, maybe by July a bunch from within Ademan, Alzolay, Albertos, Wilson, Little, Lange, de la Cruz, and Velasquez will be exploding and looking like tradable pieces? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 10, 2017, 02:49:10 pm
Alex Cobb is at least saying he'll prioritize winning over money:

https://twitter.com/MLBNetworkRadio/status/929084092129439747
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: PRCubFan on November 10, 2017, 04:27:47 pm
I'll be almost shocked if the Cubs don't sign Cobb after listening to him talk about Maddon and Hickey. 

https://twitter.com/MLBNetworkRadio/status/929094837097418753
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 10, 2017, 04:35:01 pm
I'm actually more worried about what, in desperation, the Cardinals may do than what the Cubs do. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 10, 2017, 05:19:18 pm
Sounds like a classy guy that it would be easy to like. 

Whether he'd pitch well, or sign for a fair price, beats me!  :) 

Yeah, easy to envision signing a guy like that as 4th guy; signing some guys for relief; and kind of improvising/winging it for 5th guy. 

For 5th I could easily envision "taking a shot" on somebody or two.  If it works, great.  If not, there's Montgomery as an option, and it's always possible to snag  Dan Haren-type guy, or Turner like we had this year, or go with Tseng or whomever. 

We also know that lots of good relievers were starters once.  Could envision perhaps signing a couple of guys to compete for 5th starter, and if you're lucky maybe you'd get decent work for 5th plus have other end up being very effective for you in relief? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 10, 2017, 05:25:21 pm
So Cobb talks like he wants to join the Cubs, and has also said money isn't the biggest factor for him.  I read something somewhere today (Bleacher Nation?) that said Hickey had a similar response when he was asked if he'd like Cobb to join the Cubs.  We've heard Cobb's names in rumors the last few offseasons and trade deadlines too, so it seems obvious that the front office likes him.  So it seems like there is a lot of interest from all directions.

It really seems like Cobb will be a Cub as long as they make a competitive offer and no one else offers him a blow away deal that he just can't turn down.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 10, 2017, 05:26:43 pm
Think Cubs may need to be willing to sign some "take-a-shot", but also be willing to cut some salaries, rather than just carrying a bad pitcher because you took a shot and lost. 

Also think signing some "take-a-shot" starters with the full willingness/expectation that one (or two) might shift to pen might be a good thing.  That might, hypothetically, support an adjustment in Cubs bullpen use. 

To date, Maddon has been a committed quick-switch short-usage guy.  He does NOT like to have his righties pitch to lefties.  And most of his guys have been short-relief.  Rondon, Strop, Edwards, not sure how often any of those three have pitched two full back-to-back innings.  Or Duensing either. 

Think it's hard to use starters as "go through the lineup twice" guys, then be willing to pull them out pretty quickly after that.  If Monty is the only non-short man you've got in pen, and especially if you're going to habitually go ROOGY/LOOGY and do mid-inning switches frequently when an opposite-hand hitter comes up. 

So I'd be interested in perhaps having some ex-starters who'd be very comfortable going 2-3 innings.  And having Maddon/Hickey perhaps consider switching guys less quickly. You're going to lose some games, I get that.  But maybe letting other relievers pitch full innings, or even two innings, more frequently, even if it involves facing some oppo hitters.  But then having guys appear less frequently, and perhaps end up more well rested come October. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on November 10, 2017, 06:49:13 pm
I'll be almost shocked if the Cubs don't sign Cobb after listening to him talk about Maddon and Hickey. 

https://twitter.com/MLBNetworkRadio/status/929094837097418753


Yeah,wow. Listening to that, if the Cubs want him, it seems awfully likely they will get him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on November 10, 2017, 08:44:18 pm
Yeah,wow. Listening to that, if the Cubs want him, it seems awfully likely they will get him.

Yeah, I would almost bet on him ending up with the Cubs, but looking at his use in 2013 and 2014 under Madden, why did he only pitch in 22 games in 2013 and 27 in 2014?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 10, 2017, 08:51:31 pm
Yeah,wow. Listening to that, if the Cubs want him, it seems awfully likely they will get him.

Heh heh, I still can't quite get used to guys WANTING to sign with the Cubs!  And especially on the grounds that they are safe/certain to be consistent contenders. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 11, 2017, 10:22:18 pm
An open question to the board: why don’t you hear the Cubs connected to Tyler Chatwood more? He seems to be the kind of target they like - a young SP with good stuff who seems readily tweakable. Probably can be had on a 2-3 year deal, and has been far better away from Coors.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 11, 2017, 10:40:12 pm
Yeah, he's under the sonar. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 11, 2017, 10:40:58 pm
I have the opposite opinion.  I've feel like several Cubs bloggers and reporters are suggesting the Cubs should go after Chatwood, and  I don't know why.  He walks a ton of batters and can't stay healthy.  The Cubs are really good already...they need stability in their two open rotation spots, not a guy who could be good if he'd suddenly stop getting hurt.  They made that mistake with Brett Anderson last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 11, 2017, 10:46:06 pm
What?  Brett Anderson was a mistake?  That's heresy.  I never would have said that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 11, 2017, 11:08:37 pm
I certainly haven't heard all that much chatter about Chatwood, and he's been pretty healthy the last couple of seasons - 300 IP.  27 year-old FA who can average almost 95 as a SP are pretty rare commodities.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 11, 2017, 11:42:19 pm
Chatwood was on the DL once this year, and twice in 2016.  And he pitched about 200 innings total in the three years before that.  There is no reason to expect him to stay healthy. 

In four of his six years, he's walked at least 4 batters per 9 IP.  He's walked 4.2  batters per 9 IP in his career.  The most frustrating thing about the Cubs in 2017 was their inability to throw strikes.  They don't need more guys who can't consistently throw strikes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 11, 2017, 11:48:36 pm
br, compare his splits.  I think pitchers in Denver tend to be too fine, causing more walks.  Chatwood's breaking pitch is better away from Coors, too.  Evaluating a Colorado player or pitcher is full of issues.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 12, 2017, 12:51:10 am
Chatwood has still walked about 4 batters per 9 IP away from Coors in his career.  I'm skeptical he's going to improve on his away-from-Coors numbers just because he's no longer pitching half his games at Coors.

Only six pitching staffs had worse BB% than the Cubs this year: Orioles, Braves, Marlins, Mets, Reds, and White Sox.  Those were also 6 of the worst 7 teams in team ERA, and 6 of the worst 10 in fWAR.  In general, pitching staffs that can't throw strikes are bad.  The Cubs really need more strike throwers, and Chatwood doesn't help.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 12, 2017, 12:57:18 am
The Cubs need SP who can get good hitters out (well, they need SP period).  Arrieta wasn't much a strike-thrower before we picked him up and that worked pretty well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 12, 2017, 07:02:54 am
Chatwood is super risky. He has had 2 TJS already as BR pointed out he walks a ton of batters and hasn’t to this point struck people out. The positives is that he gets a ton of ground balls and has spin rate on his curve ball that he only threw 10% of the time. His 4 seam fastball also has a high spin rate as well.

He is basically a younger version of Morton, but you have to change the type of pitcher he is and hope is control improves. He is risky. I would like something a little more secure as a fourth starter, but as a fifth starter he would be great.

Chacin is with his slider you could make him into Chris Archer lite. Just have him throw a fastball/slider and let him go 2 times through the order. He doesn’t have Archer’s fastball velocity which is the only draw back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 12, 2017, 07:12:12 am
A high spin rate on breaking balls = nasty breaking pitches, more movement and sharper break. A high spin rate on a four seam= less drop or what appears to be a rising fastball. A sinker you want to have a low spin rate. A change up depends on what you want out of it.  A high spin rate change would have more velocity and less movement. A low spin rate change would have more movement and less velocity.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 12, 2017, 09:34:22 am
How effective was Darryl Kile's curveball in Denver compared to St. Louis?  My recollection is that he became Cy Young in St. Louis.  Could explain why Chatwood doesn't throw the curve much in Colorado.  Sucker doesn't break.  Hangs and goes out.  The Coors effect on both hitters and pitchers is dramatic.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 12, 2017, 10:54:36 am
Chatwood's upside seriously undersold here.  Fortunately I'm pretty confident Theo doesn't read this board.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 12, 2017, 11:04:03 am
His stated reason was that he didn’t have a feel for the pitch surgery, but it usually had less vertical movement in Colorado. It looks like he tried throwing it more in August and it wasn’t a great month for him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 12, 2017, 12:11:47 pm
Chatwood's upside seriously undersold here.  Fortunately I'm pretty confident Theo doesn't read this board.

I don't think anyone is underselling his upside.  He clearly has a lot of upside.  I think what is being undersold here is his downside.  It wouldn't be shocking if he broke out and became a legitimate TOR pitcher.  But the more likely outcome is that he'll hurt his arm, or he'll regularly struggle to go beyond 5 innings because he racks up a huge pitch count.

I think Chatwood would be a really good risk for a team like the Orioles or Padres, who need a ton of pitching and need to hit on a couple upside players to have any chance to compete in 2018.  But I'd rather see the Cubs be more conservative.  They're going to be favorites in the division no matter who they have in the back two spots in the rotation, so my preference would be for a couple guys with lower upside but high likelihood of being 2-3 WAR pitchers who eat at least 150-170 innings.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 12, 2017, 12:23:30 pm
I just would like to point out there were  54 2-3 fWAR pitchers in the majors last year. They aren’t easy to come by.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 12, 2017, 06:47:03 pm
Good discussion.  I'm pretty comfortable letting Theo and those guys try to come to a decision.  Too complex for me.
1.  Conservative approach might be OK for competing for and perhaps winning the division. 
2.  To win the World Series, they might need to convert on a higher-ceiling guy?  Or maybe not, maybe Lester-Quintana-Hendricks-Cobb would be a plausible WS-rotation, if you had really good hitting and pen...
3. A #5 guy won't be high-ceiling without either a high price or high risk or both; only affordable-and-limited-length if some serious wildness and injury risk. 

I'd love to see Cubs sign Chatwood as #5.  They wouldn't unless they had reason to believe he had a solid chance to be good outside of Coors, and thought he had a reasonable chance to throw enough strikes.

I'd also enjoy adding two strike-throwers.  Hopefully the offense is consistent and relentless, and the defense plays at a high level so that guys don't need to be afraid to throw strikes, even if some hard contact results sometimes.
Nibble less than bullpen and Lester and Quintana did this year. 

I guess my feeling is to go for a Cobb-like #4, who mostly throws strikes; and then take a riskier shot on #5.  Like Chatwood.  If he flops or gets hurt, it's not the end of the world and you can improvise.  But if he did emerge, and improve his command, and stay healthy, maybe you've got a steal. 

To some degree, if you're going to win the World Series, some things need to break your way.  A risky guy works out; a guy doesn't get injured.  Maybe somebody outperforms their contract. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 12, 2017, 07:03:36 pm
I would generally be getting a higher floor guy #4 as that is someone who will be in the playoff rotation. I generally consider Cobb and Chacin to have higher floors than Chatwood. Going for a riskier #5 I think is a great idea.

The Cubs have been pretty excellent at picking up lower tier starters recently. The only flops I can remember are Scott Baker and Anderson and those were more injury issues.

The stat cast guy I linked above about Chatwood mentions Tyson Ross and Anibel Sanchez as potential bounce back guys as well. I’d generally be more interested in the then as minor league deal guys or 6th starter/bullpen options.

 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 12, 2017, 07:35:05 pm
mlbtraderumors.com predicted a $20/3 contract for Chatwood.

The chances of Chatwood signing for that little is zero.  Not 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001%.  Zero.

He'll get closer to $50 than $20.  I want to say closer to $100 than $20, but I'm not quite that brave.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on November 12, 2017, 08:17:51 pm
Sure wish there was a way to save posts involving absolute certainty like this or predictions for later quick reference.

You know, like if someone were to confidently and repeatedly proclaim that a presidential candidate were toast.... stuff like that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 12, 2017, 08:23:45 pm
So, a $1 get at those odds would get what?  I may be interested.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on November 12, 2017, 08:49:13 pm
Sure wish there was a way to save posts involving absolute certainty like this or predictions for later quick reference.

You know, like if someone were to confidently and repeatedly proclaim that a presidential candidate were toast.... stuff like that.

You mean like the "Predictions" topic?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 12, 2017, 08:52:33 pm
Given his age, I wonder if Chatwood would consider signing a 1 year deal with somebody to prove he can be good outside of Colorado, then cash in big-time if he does.  Given the glut of SP in next year's class maybe a 2-year is more likely.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 12, 2017, 10:22:14 pm
Yeah, if a guy is confident, taking a short deal and killing it later makes some sense. 

I suppose from the player's side, a Heyward type contract makes better sense:  guaranteed length if you stink, and an opt-out if you kill it. 

Will be interesting if the Cubs end up making some creative contracts. 

I also wonder how quickly they'll move? 

I suppose calibrating the market for Happ may be step one.  If they get somebody they like as 5th starter for him, rather than getting both via FA, that might influence how much $$ they have for the other spot. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 12, 2017, 10:34:47 pm
If Chatwood could get a Heyward type deal, I'm sure he'd take it in a flash.  But he won't - which is why a 1 or 2 year might make sense for him.

As for Happ, if you guy you're trading him for is someone you view as a 5th starter, that's a hard pass from me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 12, 2017, 10:55:46 pm
Sorry, should have said "other guy" instead of #5.  We've got three starters, and we know we're going to sign at least one FA, so that makes four.  It's whether the other guy also comes via FA vs in trade for Happ that's uncertain. 

Don't think Happ is going to net a guy who's immediately going to slot ahead of Quintana in quality.  But how the Happ guy versus the FA slot on the initial pecking order, and then how they end up slotting in reality, who knows. 

I wouldn't object to trading Happ for a potentially good guy regardless of where he slots on the initial rotation ladder.  For example, if you signed Cobb and traded Happ for a cost-controlled guy, I double Happ-guy would initially slot ahead of Quintana or Cobb.  But they all get 30 starts, so if your 5th guy is excellent, that's a lot of wins. 

And status changes.  So an unproven talent may start #5, but finished #1 if he develops well.  Hendricks was viewed as #5/#6 entering 2016. 

Whatever, I'm just saying that they might trade Happ for one of the starters rather than necessarily using FA for both. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on November 12, 2017, 10:59:24 pm
You mean like the "Predictions" topic?

Sure.... if you want it used for predictions other than team record.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 12, 2017, 11:26:37 pm
Happ is worth far more than a fifth starter. I’m really struggling to see which pitcher is going to be available in the starting rotation or relief that the Cubs could trade for and would be worth a young MLB hitter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 12, 2017, 11:43:57 pm
The problem is finding the right matchup. I wouldn’t trade Happ for a 5th starter. There ar plenty of young SP who are controllable who I’d trade Happ for in a heartbeat that Happ would never be enough to get. As ever, the problem is finding the right guy who’s actually available. If I were betting on it, I’d guess none of the young core is traded this offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2017, 06:45:30 am
AA getting hired by the Braves might open some options, but Happ isn’t really a fit with their needs and none of their major league starting pitchers are worth Happ alone.

Teheran has a nice contract, but his pitching isn’t great. Newcombe has a severe walk problem and Gohara has some make up issues. If they could get some minor league pitching prospects to go with Gohara or NewcombeI guess I could see something, but that is a risky trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 13, 2017, 09:01:42 am
Yeah, if there isn't a fair-value young pitcher available for Happ, then of course you don't trade him, and just go with free-agent pitching. 

It's not like Happ isn't a potentially valuable guy for the Cubs, particularly if he were to improve some.  Zobrist is very near the end; Schwarber may get much better but may also just be a platoon .211 hitter; and Heyward's bat could make a lot of RF starts available to anybody who can hit.  Also rare that both Baez and Russell are healthy and hitting well at the same time. 

Tangent:  Hard to find a fit, and teams rarely will trade talented pitching prospects, but could consider Happ for a minor leaguer. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 13, 2017, 09:09:05 am
Tangent:  Hard to find a fit, and teams rarely will trade talented pitching prospects, but could consider Happ for a minor leaguer.

Brent Honeywell
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 13, 2017, 09:21:52 am
Fangraphs top 50 free agents, with Dave Cameron's and crowdsourced contract estimates:

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2018-top-50-free-agents/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 13, 2017, 09:31:10 am
AA getting hired by the Braves might open some options

Some writers have suggested it could be beneficial for the Braves to deal Inciarte now for someone with more power since they have Acuna ready to take over for him.  If AA bought that logic, could an Inciarte/Teheran package be a fit for the Cubs?  I guess this depends on how you feel about Almora's future at this point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2017, 10:07:47 am
I wouldn't complain about the trade, but I'm not sure Inciarte is a big enough upgrade to justify the cost.  Teheran isn't my cup of tea as a pitcher, and Foltynewicz would give you more control as a 4/5 guy. 

I think the best trade partners for the Cubs are the Braves and A's at this point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 13, 2017, 10:46:45 am
I happen to like Newcombe a lot - I think he has the stuff to be a #2 if he figures it out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2017, 12:56:38 pm
USA today has the Cubs going $2 million over the luxury tax, which will affect the QO to Davis and Arrieta and penalties for signing a QO FA.  It is a little weird because Cot's, before midseason trades had the $17 million below the threshold.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 13, 2017, 01:06:43 pm
USA today has the Cubs going $2 million over the luxury tax, which will affect the QO to Davis and Arrieta and penalties for signing a QO FA.  It is a little weird because Cot's, before midseason trades had the $17 million below the threshold.

Too bad.  Are you confident USAToday has it right? 

I'm not doubting, and Theo who wasn't going to stop at Eloy probably wouldn't give pause to lux tax either, in order to get into the playoffs.  But I'd think Cubs were pretty lux-tax aware. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 13, 2017, 01:50:52 pm
While none of us are sure how the luxury tax is calculated, I've always read that it's based on the AAV of contract plus around a $13 million allowance for benefits.

The Cubs used 47 players in 2017.  I just added up what I presume the luxury tax figure is for each and added $13 million.  The result was a shade less than $195 million.  I did not take into account that some costs were paid by other teams (part of Quintana, part of J. Wilson, etc.).

That exercise would suggest that the Cubs won't owe the luxury tax.

Who knows?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 13, 2017, 01:54:19 pm
While none of us are sure how the luxury tax is calculated, I've always read that it's based on the AAV of contract plus around a $13 million allowance for benefits.

The Cubs used 47 players in 2017.  I just added up what I presume the luxury tax figure is for each and added $13 million.  The result was a shade less than $195 million.  I did not take into account that some costs were paid by other teams (part of Quintana, part of J. Wilson, etc.).

That exercise would suggest that the Cubs won't owe the luxury tax.

Who knows?

Thanks, Jeff. 

Others are smarter, but I tend to forget about the "plus around a $13 million allowance for benefits".
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 13, 2017, 03:24:39 pm
Craig, here's the USA Today article.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2017/11/13/dodgers-mlb-luxury-tax-offenders-2017-top-payrolls/857918001/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 13, 2017, 03:42:08 pm
Man, that's a shame.  Heh heh, Brett Anderson puts them over the lux tax!  Oops! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2017, 03:52:55 pm
Or Martin.  I wonder if the form they got includes the $13 million so USA is adding it twice.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2017, 05:33:09 pm
Rogers tweeting Cubs weren’t over. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 13, 2017, 05:41:59 pm
 Patrick Mooney‏Verified account @MooneyNBCS

Source: #Cubs are not projected to pay the luxury tax this year after staying under the $195 million threshold.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 13, 2017, 05:46:43 pm
 Jon Heyman‏Verified account @JonHeyman
4m4 minutes ago

cubs and dodgers are among teams showing interest in zach britton, who's back on the block.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 13, 2017, 05:48:43 pm
Patrick Mooney‏Verified account @MooneyNBCS

Source: #Cubs are not projected to pay the luxury tax this year after staying under the $195 million threshold.


Way to go, Mooney and Rogers!  That's good.  For the draft this year in particular, and for the international spending allotment, right?  And the lux tax also has a proliferation factor embedded too, right? 

It actually would have been surprising to go over.  Think HOyer was quite aware of the lux tax line, and seemed to be making a point of trying to get under it last winter.  They always try to position themselves to pick up some talent as needed at the deadline, so I would have expected they'd stay far enough under last winter to at least allow for some not-ginormous pickups like Q and Wilson. 

Obviously staying under lux was a preference and not a priority, though.  BEcause by all accounts they were pretty interested in Verlander, and his massive contract would surely have sent them flying past the line, no? 

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 13, 2017, 06:26:59 pm
Jon Heyman‏Verified account @JonHeyman
4m4 minutes ago

cubs and dodgers are among teams showing interest in zach britton, who's back on the block.

Unless his price is really low, I think the Cubs should stay away.  So many warning signs last year--huge jump in walk rate, drop in strikeouts, multiple trips to the DL, and his velocity was down a tick.  I would be scared to give up much value for him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 13, 2017, 06:27:28 pm
Unless Britton is a straight salary dump, that's a firm "no" from me.  I'm tired of giving up valuable assets for rental closers, especially ones coming off lousy years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on November 13, 2017, 06:29:04 pm
why not just sign Reed and make him a closer. he did well filling in for Familia.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 13, 2017, 06:32:13 pm
That's my preference.  Sign 2-3 of the second tier relievers and have them compete (possibly with Wilson too) for the closer's role.  My personal preference would be adding some combination of Reed, Shaw, and McGee.  But there are a half dozen others that would be fits too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 13, 2017, 06:33:10 pm
Reed, McGee, Cobb and Chatwood would be a very solid mid-priced offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 13, 2017, 06:59:15 pm
So many cheap bullpen options this year. I would be interested in a Gausman + Britton package, but I don’t have a clue why the Orioles would trade Gausman.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 13, 2017, 07:05:22 pm
No on Gausman.  Bad, bad, bad face.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 13, 2017, 07:06:14 pm
Craig, you're in Twins country.  What can you tell us about Kyle Gibson's raw stuff?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 14, 2017, 08:17:15 am
Henry Blanco is going to the Nationals as their bullpen coach. He was a quality control coach with the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 14, 2017, 08:37:48 am
http://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/what-not-paying-luxury-tax-means-cubs-and-alex-cobb

Mooney article, not well written, seems to say that Cubs will receive 3rd-round picks for Arrieta and Davis.  That's not correct, right?  They are second round picks, so long as they're really under the lux tax?  Or are they really 3rd round picks? 

2nd, in the remotely unlikely even that Cobb was to sign for under $50, would that then mean that you wouldn't NOT give up 2nd pick as compensation? 

3rd, I wonder how that "$50" works, with incentives and stuff.  I assume that would be $50 in guaranteed?  Don't imagine there is any way he's going to sign below $50 guaranteed anyway.  But just curious whether there might be a creative way to construct a contract, where it wasn't all guaranteed but perhaps there were really easy-to-reach triggers.  For example, suppose only $45/4 guaranteed; but then year 5 is non-guaranteed $17, with a $4 mutual option (like Fowler had, I think, where he gets it whether Cubs opt out or he ops out), and with the Cubs losing their opt-out if he gets 30 innings between years 4 and 5.  So, at worst he gets $49/4.  With a super-teensy trigger for year 5 he almost surely gets $62/5.  (Maybe even something like that isn't competitive, beats me....  Just trying to understand what the constraints are on squeaking under the $50 limit.) 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 14, 2017, 08:47:59 am
Craig, you're in Twins country.  What can you tell us about Kyle Gibson's raw stuff?

Very pedestrian.  He's bad, don't want him at all.  Has a good/decent arm (velocity) but nothing special; I guess maybe faster than the Cubs limited-velocity rotation, but it's not like he's got a big power arm or anything; bad control; he's supposed to be a groundball guy but he gives up a million HR's; "bad face" guy; even when he gets some guys out he seems to be struggling and laboring; often needs a lot of pitches to labor through.  Although on occasion when his location is on he can sometimes buzz through a lot of pitch-to-contact groundouts.  His K/BB/HR ratios are really bad, and it's no fluke.  Granted, I haven't watched him much, more likely radio while going somewhere.  It's also my sense that he is NOT a move-to-the-bullpen away from being a really good reliever, either.   

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 14, 2017, 09:09:06 am
Mooney article, not well written, seems to say that Cubs will receive 3rd-round picks for Arrieta and Davis.  That's not correct, right?  They are second round picks, so long as they're really under the lux tax?  Or are they really 3rd round picks?

If the team was not a revenue sharing recipient or the free agent signed for less than $50MM guaranteed, the team will receive a compensatory pick after Competitive Balance Round B, which takes place just prior to the draft’s third round.

The picks will be just prior to the start of the third round.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 14, 2017, 09:12:38 am
Thanks, Jeff, that's what my memory was, after 2nd round. 

(What Mooney had written:  "This status also means that if Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta and All-Star closer Wade Davis decline their qualifying offers and sign elsewhere as free agents, the Cubs will receive two third-round draft picks.")
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 14, 2017, 10:20:14 am
I've seen some that say the $50 only applies to revenue sharing teams.  If it is a >$50 million they get a pick after the 1st round, <$50 the same pick as the Cubs.

Jesse Rogers seems to think the Cubs are going FA route and not trading from the major league team because Happ won't bring enough back.

He mentions Cobb and a reclamation project for a the rotation.  He also mentions Mike Minor being a reliever of interest.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 14, 2017, 10:33:27 am
He's certainly of interest to me.

No more assets for closers.  Sign 2-3 good setup guys and let them fight it out with Wilson for the job.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 14, 2017, 10:44:25 am
Unless Britton is a straight salary dump, that's a firm "no" from me.  I'm tired of giving up valuable assets for rental closers, especially ones coming off lousy years.


Agree.  Agree agree agree. 


And now that we have zero farm assets, you can't trade for a valuable rental unless you're trading from the big-league roster. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on November 14, 2017, 10:45:22 am
Jed Hoyer squashes the latest Phil Rogers make-believe rumor.

Quote
Jason Heyward - OF - Cubs

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday that the team is not shopping Jason Heyward.
There was some chatter last week that the Giants and Cubs might be working on something involving Heyward, but it sounds like no actual discussions ever took place. "That whole rumor was out of nowhere with zero base for truth," Hoyer said. "I think Jason has done a great job for us on defense, in the clubhouse, on the bases. He hasn’t been offensively where he was before getting to us, but he’ll get there. He’ll keep working hard. There is no point in going into hypotheticals." Heyward has batted just .243/.315/.353 in 268 games since signing an eight-year, $184 million contract with Chicago, but he has also earned two Gold Glove Awards in two seasons.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 14, 2017, 10:46:25 am
I've seen some that say the $50 only applies to revenue sharing teams.  If it is a >$50 million they get a pick after the 1st round, <$50 the same pick as the Cubs.

Jesse Rogers seems to think the Cubs are going FA route and not trading from the major league team because Happ won't bring enough back.

He mentions Cobb and a reclamation project for a the rotation.  He also mentions Mike Minor being a reliever of interest.   

Thanks Blue, for note on the $50M comp factor. 
And for Rogers note on Happ's value and the likely resort to FA. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 14, 2017, 10:56:46 am
He mentions Cobb and a reclamation project for a the rotation.  He also mentions Mike Minor being a reliever of interest.   

Rogers clarified the "reclamation project" statement by saying that he was talking more about a typical 5th starter type.  So that could mean a pure reclamation project, but he also mentioned Sabathia and Lackey by name as players who could also fill that role.

I tend to agree with Rogers that there isn't going to be a big trade for a TOR guy.  I just don't think the deal is out there.  I still don't see the match for Archer that a lot of people think is there, and the Rays don't seem that interested in trading him anyway.  It doesn't sound like the Blue Jays are going to make Stroman available.  Cole might end up being available, but he's been more of a mid-rotation guy outside of his 2015 season and only has two years of control left.  I think those are the only TOR names that have been speculated to be available so far this offseason.

I do wonder about guys like Odorizzi (coming off a bad year and getting expensive), McHugh (injuries in 2017 pushed him to 6th/7th on Astros depth chart), Corbin (5th starter on that team with only one year of control left, and Diamondbacks may need to use his money somewhere else), and maybe a few others.  I wonder the Cubs might still be able to match up with some team without using the major league depth because those teams have motivations beyond just getting top value back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on November 14, 2017, 11:19:14 am
Lackey returning wouldn't surprise me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 14, 2017, 11:26:44 am
It's kind of interesting to imagine how the next season will evolve, and provide more context for the Cubs building plan. 

Cubs have won WS already, and two other playoff seasons, and are likely to get into the playoffs more times future, so the Theo legacy is secured even if they never get to another WS or never rank among the top 2-3 teams in the league again in any future season. 

But it's going to be interesting to see how some of the philosophies play out:
1.  Accumulate hitters, trade for good pitching.  They picked up a couple of rental relievers, and Eloy/Quintana.  Not sure that's quite the quantity or quality of cost-controlled young pitching that was envisioned in the plan?  Maybe if Happ and Schwarber explode this year, there might still be a chance for more.

2.  Young hitters develop.  Premise of the plan and Maddon's view is that young hitters develop and improve.  What they had in 2015, the expectation was that by 2018 the improvement would be huge.  But to some degree Russell/Baez/Schwarber weren't much better 2017 than 2015 (or Soler).  (Baez numbers were better, as deeg will note).  Think 2018 will be a big year to see whether Schwarber, Baez, Russell, Almora, and Happ show improvement.  If not, I think it's going to be harder to assume that 4th year guys are just young and will  start to figure things out in years 5 and 6. 

3.  Hangover plateau?  Development is often non-liner, and has progression interrupted by periods of plateau or regression.  Coming off WS they were all stars, perhaps not much perceived need to get better.  If status-quo is 103 wins and WS, who other than Heyward needs to mess with success?  But perhaps this year, after hitting badly first half and 2nd season, plus ugly situational hitting stats, perhaps there will be some motivation both organizational and individual to adjust? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 14, 2017, 12:11:25 pm
http://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/how-wade-davis-returning-cubs-could-fall-place

Theo, and Mooney, talking about closer and Davis.  Mooney makes a good point: with a lot of the big-market and contending teams set at closer, and with a lot of other interesting relievers on the market, how many teams will bid crazy on Davis? 

Certainly Cardinals might be one team that's interested?  Houston with the way Giles finished off, may have interest?  Only take one team to give the extra year(s) or the extra dollars.  But given supply and demand, not implausible to envision a scenario where Davis comes back at a deal that's anti-awful from the Cubs perspective? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 14, 2017, 12:46:48 pm
The problem with Davis is that even if his price tag falls, he's still going to cost somewhere around $60 million over 4 years.  That's still at least twice what guys like Reed, Shaw, McGee, etc. are likely to get.  And given that Davis' underlying numbers were no better than those guys this year, I don't think you can really project him to be much better than them going forward.

I just don't see any way the Cubs can bring in Davis and still improve as much as they would if they brought in Reed, McGee, and maybe even a third cheaper reliever for the same amount of money they're giving to Davis.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 14, 2017, 01:03:38 pm
http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/11/13/another-closer-trade-the-cubs-have-reportedly-spoken-to-the-orioles-about-zach-britton/

More summary of rumors and Rogers.  He mentioned the Cubs would be interested in a 3 year/$50-55 million deal with Davis.  Additional starters mentioned Bucholtz and Mikolas from Japan.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 14, 2017, 01:25:20 pm
I fear a precipitous decline from Davis over the next 3 years.  Just not that interested.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 14, 2017, 01:52:33 pm
Wouldn't it work for Davis to take the QO and go FA next year?  3/55 and the QO Aren't that different.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on November 14, 2017, 02:49:55 pm
I wonder how Davis profiles compared to someone like Eckersley, who remained pretty effective late into his career (as I recall). 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: grrrrlacher on November 14, 2017, 03:20:40 pm
It's kind of interesting to imagine how the next season will evolve, and provide more context for the Cubs building plan. 

Cubs have won WS already, and two other playoff seasons, and are likely to get into the playoffs more times future, so the Theo legacy is secured even if they never get to another WS or never rank among the top 2-3 teams in the league again in any future season. 

But it's going to be interesting to see how some of the philosophies play out:
1. Accumulate hitters, trade for good pitching.  They picked up a couple of rental relievers, and Eloy/Quintana.  Not sure that's quite the quantity or quality of cost-controlled young pitching that was envisioned in the plan?  Maybe if Happ and Schwarber explode this year, there might still be a chance for more.

2.  Young hitters develop.  Premise of the plan and Maddon's view is that young hitters develop and improve.  What they had in 2015, the expectation was that by 2018 the improvement would be huge.  But to some degree Russell/Baez/Schwarber weren't much better 2017 than 2015 (or Soler).  (Baez numbers were better, as deeg will note).  Think 2018 will be a big year to see whether Schwarber, Baez, Russell, Almora, and Happ show improvement.  If not, I think it's going to be harder to assume that 4th year guys are just young and will  start to figure things out in years 5 and 6. 

3.  Hangover plateau?  Development is often non-liner, and has progression interrupted by periods of plateau or regression.  Coming off WS they were all stars, perhaps not much perceived need to get better.  If status-quo is 103 wins and WS, who other than Heyward needs to mess with success?  But perhaps this year, after hitting badly first half and 2nd season, plus ugly situational hitting stats, perhaps there will be some motivation both organizational and individual to adjust? 


Just think we have traded Jorge Solar, Gleyber Torres, Donald DeWees, Matt Szczur, Zach Rosscup, Dylan Cease, Eloy Jimenez, Jeimer Candelario, Starlin Castro, Adam Warren, Arismendy Alcantara, Paul Blackburn, Daniel Vogelbach, Billy McKinney and some others.

And what do we have from all those trades less than 2 years later?  Mike Montgomery and Jose Quintana (and a WS).  It just feels like we wasted a lot of assets.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on November 14, 2017, 04:02:11 pm

And what do we have from all those trades less than 2 years later?  Mike Montgomery and Jose Quintana (and a WS).  It just feels like we wasted a lot of assets.

Oh, yeah. "(and a WS)" also known as the World Series Championship. That seems like it's worth quite a lot to me.  But maybe that's just me.   ;)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: grrrrlacher on November 14, 2017, 04:06:36 pm
Yes it is worth a lot and I wouldn't take back that Chapman trade.

My issue is the FO stated desire to trade hitting assets that we used to have for cost controlled pitching which is not what we got for ALL those assets.  They don't seem to think enough of relief pitching to go out and spend the $$ on, but they are willing to trade more valuable cost controlled assets for those same RP.  Its just infuriated me the most about this FO.  They needed to address the RP and could have in FA instead of wasting our farm system.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on November 14, 2017, 04:21:13 pm
I'd like to see a breakdown on the risk/reward ratio for spending money on free agent relief pitchers.  I bet it sucks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 14, 2017, 04:43:18 pm
Since 2003, here are the closers for Theo's teams:

2003 - Byung-Hyun Kim (acquired via trade for Shea Hillenbrand, who was superfluous with Bill Mueller just signed as a free agent)
2004 - Keith Foulke (multi-year free agent contract)
2005 - Foulke (Mike Timlin backed him up when he failed)
2006 - Jonathan Papelbon (homegrown)
2007 - Papelbon
2008 - Papelbon
2009 - Papelbon
2010 - Papelbon
2011 - Papelbon
2012 - Carlos Marmol (inherited)
2013 - Kevin Gregg (one-year free agent contract)
2014 - Hector Rondon (Rule 5 selection)
2015 - Rondon
2016 - Rondon / Aroldis Chapman (expensive deadline trade)
2017 - Wade Davis (expensive offseason trade)

It's pretty clear that Theo still remembers his bad experience with Foulke.

We need to find our Papelbon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 14, 2017, 04:52:53 pm
Sign 2 good set-up guys and let 'em compete with Wilson.  This isn't brain surgery.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 14, 2017, 04:57:05 pm
And if the two setup guys signed are Reed and McGee, all three guys battling for the job have closed in the past--there would be no reason to doubt things would work out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on November 14, 2017, 04:59:03 pm
Yes it is worth a lot and I wouldn't take back that Chapman trade.

My issue is the FO stated desire to trade hitting assets that we used to have for cost controlled pitching which is not what we got for ALL those assets.  They don't seem to think enough of relief pitching to go out and spend the $$ on, but they are willing to trade more valuable cost controlled assets for those same RP.  Its just infuriated me the most about this FO.  They needed to address the RP and could have in FA instead of wasting our farm system.

What did the other teams get for all those assets? Torres and Eloy while amazing super awesome prospects are just prospects... and if you consider the $$$ value of signing eloy and getting Q out of it, its a slam dunk.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on November 14, 2017, 05:53:37 pm
Right on, method.  It's hard to complain about the return on our youngsters, at least as things stand now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on November 14, 2017, 06:16:54 pm
http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/21385913/hot-stove-survey-stanton-st-louis-otani-bronx-insiders-weigh-winter

A poll of GMs found one predicting Otani would sign with the Cubs..... so long as that one was Theo or Hoyer....
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 14, 2017, 06:26:09 pm
If either Dillion Maples or Edwards can consistently throw strikes there is the Cubs version of Paplebon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on November 14, 2017, 09:27:39 pm
http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/21385913/hot-stove-survey-stanton-st-louis-otani-bronx-insiders-weigh-winter

A poll of GMs found one predicting Otani would sign with the Cubs..... so long as that one was Theo or Hoyer....

In looking at the article more closely, perhaps there is reason to think the exec who thought the Cubs would sign him is Theo or Hoyer -- " Seattle has a strong history with Japanese players, and the Cubs could jump into the fray even though they didn't score strongly in this survey."

The only strong reason to think the Cub might "jump into the fray" is if it was Theo or Hoyer who thought the Cubs will sign him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2017, 01:19:09 am
Mooney floats the option of Mikolas as a 5th starter option for the Cubs, though whether he has a source of just read that here is anybody’s guess.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 15, 2017, 08:21:25 am
Mooney floats the option of Mikolas as a 5th starter option for the Cubs, though whether he has a source of just read that here is anybody’s guess.
  Interesting.  Plate is same size and distance in Japan, so if he was good there he may be capable here, too? 

Wonder if they might not be intending to bring in a couple of candidates, actually, rather than kind of committing to one?  That only works if you aren't enslaved to keeping them.  3-4 guys, let the best man win is fine; but you've got to be willing to deal with the losers.  Non-roster, no commitment, nothing lost?  Non-roster, send to minors for a while?
  Health question, send off on a rehab for a while?  Major league contract, but cheap enough that no hesitation to eat it and cut guy?  Or maybe guy is good enough that even if he doesn't win April rotation spot, you've got a spot in the bullpen for him? 

Maybe they scout Mikolas favorably enough to just commit to him as #5 and that's it.  But I guess I'm kind of thinking if they do sign somebody like that, he might be one of a handful of options.  Thought I've seen Buchholz mentioned, for example, certainly you'd not sign him and have him as the only guy.  But with several candidates, maybe you get lucky and one of them kills it in rotation and another one ends up being really good in relief. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 15, 2017, 08:44:44 am
  Interesting.  Plate is same size and distance in Japan, so if he was good there he may be capable here, too? 

Wonder if they might not be intending to bring in a couple of candidates, actually, rather than kind of committing to one?  That only works if you aren't enslaved to keeping them.  3-4 guys, let the best man win is fine; but you've got to be willing to deal with the losers.  Non-roster, no commitment, nothing lost?  Non-roster, send to minors for a while?
  Health question, send off on a rehab for a while?  Major league contract, but cheap enough that no hesitation to eat it and cut guy?  Or maybe guy is good enough that even if he doesn't win April rotation spot, you've got a spot in the bullpen for him? 

Maybe they scout Mikolas favorably enough to just commit to him as #5 and that's it.  But I guess I'm kind of thinking if they do sign somebody like that, he might be one of a handful of options.  Thought I've seen Buchholz mentioned, for example, certainly you'd not sign him and have him as the only guy.  But with several candidates, maybe you get lucky and one of them kills it in rotation and another one ends up being really good in relief. 
Isn't the ball a teensie bit smaller?  Thought I read that somewhere.  No matter; guy looks interesting.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 15, 2017, 10:00:23 am
Mikolas is listed at 6-5, 220 on zfangraphs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2017, 10:31:13 am
Yes, the ball is a hair smaller.

CBJ asked about Mikolas before.  I think he could potentially be a decent 5th starter at $3-4 million a year - I wouldn't put the ceiling much higher.  It's also worth keeping two other names in mind - Wakui Hideaki, SP who won the Sawamura (Japanese Cy Young) in 2009 and is coming off a down year.  True FA, 88-92 with a big mix of pitches, probably a lesser version of Maeda.  Higher ceiling than Mikolas IMHO, but likely a #4-5.  Also Hirano Yoshihisa, a closer who the Cards and Red Sox are supposedly interested in.  True FA - 91-94 FB, very good forkball.  Both those guys are in the 32-YO range.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 15, 2017, 02:04:24 pm
http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/11/15/miles-mikolas-references-taking-over-who-is-this-dominant-npb-pitcher-the-cubs-might-pursue/

Strong stache game at least in the past.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 15, 2017, 02:43:07 pm
I was just going to note that if we sign him, the 70’ pornstar stache has to go. It’s no wonder his nickname is “Lizard King”.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 15, 2017, 02:48:37 pm
Until proven otherwise I believe there is a mullet under his cap, the stache must stay.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 15, 2017, 02:57:11 pm
"In 2017, Mikolas made 27 starts and posted a 2.25 ERA over 188.0 innings, while striking out 187 and walking just 23."

That's a career year, relative to his previous seasons there.  Still those walk-numbers are very likable.  187K/23BB, that's good in any league. 

 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 15, 2017, 04:34:24 pm
What time tomorrow do the QO"s expire?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 16, 2017, 10:31:41 am
Jason Parks was hired by the D-Backs to be their Director of Pro Scouting. :(

In happier news.

Patrick Mooney‏Verified account
@MooneyNBCS
 1h1 hour ago
More
Biggest takeaway is Cubs are not prepared to do another rental deal on the Chapman/Davis scale right now.

http://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/why-zach-britton-no-longer-makes-sense-cubs-team-going-different-direction-bullpen
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 16, 2017, 04:28:55 pm
What time tomorrow do the QO"s expire?

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/11/all-9-recipients-will-reject-qualifying-offer.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 16, 2017, 06:03:48 pm
Thank you, Jeff.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 19, 2017, 06:04:55 pm
You're welcome.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 19, 2017, 06:08:22 pm
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/11/al-rumors-indians-orioles-machado-red-sox.html

Clubs also approached the Tribe about a couple less heralded members of the organization in outfielder Greg Allen and minor league righty Shane Bieber, Pluto adds.

Bieber seems like a guy the Cubs might have interest in.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=bieber000sha&utm_campaign=Linker&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=linker-

Sickels:

20) Shane Bieber, RHP, Grade C+: Age 21, fourth round pick in 2016 from University of California Santa Barbara; posted 0.38 ERA in 24 innings in New York-Penn League with stellar 21/2 K/BB; should follow Adam Plutko path with 90 MPH fastball, solid slider and change-up, excellent command and control; the Indians have a good track record at getting the best out of this type of pitcher. ETA 2019.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on November 20, 2017, 09:05:22 am
http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/11/20/the-hawk-returns-andre-dawson-is-coming-back-to-the-cubs-organization/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 20, 2017, 09:19:45 am
MLB rumor mill today has the Cardinals having made an offer for Stanton, with Red Sox and Phillies preparing to follow.  Rumor is that if Dodgers show interest, Stanton won't waive trade clause for those other three.

big actions expected once either Arrieta or Darvish sign.  Sets the stage for all the others.   Same on reliever front, as soon as Holland or Davis sign with someone.  On hitting front, Santana and JD Martinez or Stanton trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on November 20, 2017, 10:05:29 am
http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/11/20/the-hawk-returns-andre-dawson-is-coming-back-to-the-cubs-organization/


I'm a huge Dawson fan, but what in his style of play, or anything that he has actually done in the Marlin's organization, indicates that he actually fits in with the Theocracy approach, or has any particular skill in talent evaluation, or pretty much anything else anyone in the front office does?  If Dawson were a free agent in his prime right now, there really isn't even any reason to believe the Theocracy would make any effort to sign him.... unless, of course, he did as he did with the Cubs back in '87 when he signed a contract with no salary number filled in and shamed the Cubs into signing him -- he never worked the count, never walked enough to amount to anything (only 32 times in his 49 HR MVP season).  His approach at the plate just did not fit the current Cub mold.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on November 20, 2017, 07:18:55 pm
Cubs add De La Cruz,Alzolay,and Bote to 40 man roster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 20, 2017, 07:19:08 pm
Cubs add Alzolay, de la Cruz, and Bote to the 40-man roster.

Hannemann has been outrighted to AAA Iowa.

Roster stands at 36.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 20, 2017, 07:37:15 pm
Bote?  That's a surprise. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on November 20, 2017, 08:14:39 pm
No Stinnett surprises me a bit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 20, 2017, 08:38:04 pm
Dave, get serious.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on November 21, 2017, 09:57:54 am
Len and JD will have to find a new "Cubs Insider"
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DPKj565VoAAUNyW.jpg:small)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on November 21, 2017, 10:10:36 am
Good riddance
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on November 21, 2017, 10:20:45 am
reorganization
layoffs
cutbacks

Same difference


As long as they keep Kelly Crull I'll be happy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 21, 2017, 10:41:26 am
I think Mooney is one of the best Cubs beat writers, I'm sorry to see him go.

One reason NBC Sports is having to cut back is because they encourage the use of ad blockers on their website.  If there is an auto play video embedded in one of their articles, it won't run as long as the ad blocker is turned on.  They seem to think disabling annoying auto play videos is a punishment.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 21, 2017, 10:50:15 am
Too bad.  In recent years Mooney has replaced Trib/Daily Herald/Sun Times from old days.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 21, 2017, 10:51:59 am
Yeah, I don't think Mooney was half-bad as beat writers go.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 21, 2017, 12:28:45 pm
Just let this sink in Jesse Rogers is the best currently employed, non-paywalled beat writer covering the Cubs.  I really need to get an Athletic subscription.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 21, 2017, 12:43:59 pm
To Jesse's credit, he has gotten a lot better than he was when he started.  At first, he barely seemed to know the rules of baseball. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on November 21, 2017, 03:36:06 pm
Mark Gonzales‏
@MDGonzales
 34m34 minutes ago
More
Will Venable Cubs’ new first base/outfield coach; Jim Benedict hired as Special Assistant to Baseball Operations
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 21, 2017, 03:42:19 pm
Benedict is a good get.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ben on November 21, 2017, 04:30:48 pm
And Will Venable is a very smart young man...and a class act!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 21, 2017, 05:41:20 pm
Benedict is a huge get and they can still get a new Minor league pitching coordinator too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 22, 2017, 08:23:19 am
 
...Jim Benedict hired as Special Assistant to Baseball Operations

Benedict is a huge get and they can still get a new Minor league pitching coordinator too.

Hopefully he'll help.  "Special assistant" is a pretty vague title.  Wonder how a guy distributes between amateur scouting, pro scouting, working with minor-league pitcher development, minor-league pitching coach development/consulting, and working with Hickey and the minor league pitching coordinator. 

Cubs philosophy was to use top-10 picks on players, history suggesting that you can sometimes get pitchers later.  That draft-and-develop approach with pitching hasn't succeeded thus far. I wonder how much of that is draft scouting versus pitcher development versus just the absence of getting lucky on anybody?

Hopefully they'll get intelligently lucky both in the draft and in their big-league take-a-shot reclamation projects.   

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 22, 2017, 01:02:56 pm
http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/11/22/the-cubs-landed-something-of-a-pitching-star-in-special-assistant-jim-benedict/

He had the same role with the Marlins, this might help describe what he does a little better.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 22, 2017, 01:52:41 pm
Thanks, Blue, helpful. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on November 26, 2017, 05:16:30 pm
I suppose this isn't the right thread (not sure what would be a this point), but I just finished the Verducci book The Cubs Way.  Terrific book. Especially enjoyable and interesting is his description of the World Series games 6 and 7, with commentary/recollections from Maddon, Epstein, Hoyer and players, reliving those games.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do so. Among so many other things, it provides a fascinating detailed description of the organizational process by which the Cubs prepare for games.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dihard on November 26, 2017, 10:29:30 pm
Thanks, Ron. It’s on my list for Santa. Should be good off-season reading.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 28, 2017, 06:54:47 pm
Levine says the Cubs have offers on the table for free agent starters and relievers including Alex Cobb. 

http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/11/28/report-cubs-have-offers-on-the-table-to-free-agent-pitchers-including-alex-cobb/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 28, 2017, 08:36:54 pm
I'm sure those are the "get the **** out of town" offers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 29, 2017, 12:51:33 pm
Passan connected the Cubs and Indians on possible Salazar interest.  I could see that making a certain amount of sense for both sides.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2017, 01:04:13 pm
Any idea of the cost?  Salazar has 3 years of control I think and the last 2 years have been injury filled.  I'd hate to trade Happ for him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 29, 2017, 01:09:24 pm
Really?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on November 29, 2017, 01:17:29 pm
I'd trade Happ for Salazar and I like Happ.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 29, 2017, 01:26:31 pm
Salazar is good...but if Cleveland is willing to give him up at a decent price, I'm not sure that's a good sign.  He has dealt with a lot of injuries the last couple of years. 

He's also a shaky command guy, which is something the Cubs seem to be trying to get away from.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on November 29, 2017, 01:28:40 pm
Sign Cobb, and you don't have to trade Happ.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on November 29, 2017, 01:29:24 pm
Happ for Salazar was what was proposed by a writer.  The writer admitted that the Indians would likely have to add more.

A while back, I mentioned this guy as a possible Cubs target:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=bieber000sha
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2017, 01:53:00 pm
Really?

He's thrown 137 and 103 IP the last 2 years.  He's been demoted to the minors for being ineffective and has a bad elbow with only 3 years of control.  He's kinda risky.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2017, 01:59:33 pm
Happ for Salazar was what was proposed by a writer.  The writer admitted that the Indians would likely have to add more.

A while back, I mentioned this guy as a possible Cubs target:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=bieber000sha

Notes
Bieber had a terrific career at UC Santa Barbara (2.24 ERA as a sophomore, 2.74 ERA as a junior) largely because he has superlative fastball control. He fell to the 2016 draft’s 4th round because Bieber’s fastball sat mostly 88-92 as a junior and his secondaries were fringe to average. He’s throwing a bit harder, sitting 90-94 this season while issuing just one free pass in six starts so far this season. His slider remains fringey and we are talking about a college draftee performing in A-ball, but Bieber was young for a college draftee (he only turned 21 a week before the draft) and the added velocity is evidence that some of the bat-missing is real.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on November 29, 2017, 02:16:30 pm
I would drive Happ to the airport myself if that were the deal.

Yes, there are obvious injury concerns with Salazar.  There's also a 30%-plus K rate.  I wouldn't take the Indians (theoretical) willingness to move him as a red flag so much as an acknowledgment of the fact that they need some younger bats.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ray on November 29, 2017, 02:27:24 pm
I'll buy ya the gas.  Salazar may have some concerns, but what can you realiastically expect to get for happ pitching wise?  Hes not an elite type guy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on November 29, 2017, 05:15:10 pm
Happ for Salazar was what was proposed by a writer.  The writer admitted that the Indians would likely have to add more.

A while back, I mentioned this guy as a possible Cubs target:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=bieber000sha

He threw a total of 173 innings this year at age 22.  I would look for arm trouble in the very near future.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2017, 08:18:16 pm
Dario Alvarez is showing up on the Cubs roster 40 man roster on MLB.com. He is a LHRP recently outrighted off the Rangers 40 man and elected free agency. Nasty slider.  He was traded to the Rangers from the Braves in 2016.

Edit: Mets minor league (Alvarez’s first team) is confirming. So the Cubs signed a free agent!!!

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on November 29, 2017, 08:46:49 pm
He pitched 16 innings last year, and walked 14.  How can we tell him apart from the rest of the pen?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 29, 2017, 09:23:33 pm
So he's wild and he's allowed 10HR in 48 innings?  That's Cub! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2017, 09:33:50 pm
It was only 4 HR (3 in AAA, 1 in MLB). 

With the Braves in 2016 he K'd 28 in 15 IP and the walks weren't a huge issue in AAA or 2016. 

I'd would have liked him on a minor league deal, but for the league minimum he's worth a shot in spring training.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on November 29, 2017, 09:45:33 pm
10HR/48innings is composite over his 4-year big-league career. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on November 29, 2017, 09:51:36 pm
Aww.  3 came in his 5 innings with the Mets.  61 K/22 BB in those 48 innings.  He's interesting, even though he's unlikely to due much.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on November 29, 2017, 10:35:33 pm
Irony aside, I agree that he is certainly worth a shot for what he cost.  There were a few relievers that did quite will last year, with prior records not much better.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on November 30, 2017, 08:58:48 am
Quote
After their subpar 2017 seasons, the Cubs may opt not to offer arbitration-eligible Hector Rondon and Justin Grimm contracts before Friday night’s deadline because the salary increases they still could receive under the raise-friendly arbitration system may make their arbitration cost prohibitive. Though Rondon and Grimm were effective in previous seasons and provide plenty of experience, the Cubs may continue to seek bullpen upgrades through trades and free agency.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-cubs-bullpen-changes-20171130-story.html (http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-cubs-bullpen-changes-20171130-story.html)

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on November 30, 2017, 09:00:21 am
I have no problem with letting Justin Grimm go away.  He's had enough chances.

But I'm inclined to try Hector Rondon for one more season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on November 30, 2017, 12:50:16 pm
Quote
I have no problem with letting Justin Grimm go away.  He's had enough chances.

But I'm inclined to try Hector Rondon for one more season.

I agree with both of these, but Joe may not.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 30, 2017, 01:23:36 pm
Rondon is tricky because of the injury issues he's had the last couple of years.  I remember reading that he had to be convinced not to retire at some point in the season before the Cubs picked him up in the Rule 5 because he was tired of dealing with injuries.  Of course you bring him back if he's healthy...but given his injury history, I think the Cubs have good reasons to doubt that.

Ideally, they can find a trade for him before tomorrow so they won't have to worry about it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on November 30, 2017, 03:54:51 pm
I think Rondon may have mental injuries also.   When Chapman came over, he expressed that given an opportunity to get a closer like Chapman, you have to take it.  He was a real team player about it, but I've wondered how much it burned his confidence, his self-image, his morale.  I still like him, but it may be too late to be fixed.  Joe would pull Rondon in situations he would let Davis or Chapman work out of.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on November 30, 2017, 08:31:18 pm
I saw earlier that the Astros are trying to trade Mike Fiers before the non-tender deadline tomorrow. Would a swap of non-tender candidates (Fiers for either Rondon or Grimm) be worthwhile for the Cubs?  He'd be a decent fallback for 5th starter if other options don't work out, and could become a swing man (or could just be dumped before the season starts) if the Cubs end up with better options.  He was bad last year, but averaged about 2 fWAR a year from 2012-16. 

I doubt he'd make sense for the Cubs if he cost anything valuable.  But if they could get him for a guy they might drop tomorrow anyway, I could see the appeal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 01, 2017, 09:10:55 am
Jon Morosi‏ @jonmorosi
Source: @MLB ownership conference call to ratify Japanese posting agreement scheduled for 1 pm ET today. Approval is considered a formality at this point; Shohei Ohtani to be formally posted soon afterward. @MLBNetwork


Once he's posted, he has three weeks to sign.  So he'll sign before Christmas.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 01, 2017, 10:14:50 am
There is a surprising amount of speculation that the Cubs are serious suitors for Ohtani. I don't know if this is because of the assumption that Epstein and the Cubs are capable of just about anything or what.  I just know that I find it very hard to believe (even though I would sure like to), even though the reports are that money isn't a factor at all and that some of the things he's asking clubs to describe are ones for which the Cubs can make a strong case. 

One can dream, I suppose.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 01, 2017, 10:23:19 am
Why would that be surprising?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 01, 2017, 10:34:07 am
That seems such an implausible long shot. 
1.  Cubs have no money advantage; and some disadvantage. 
2.  The guy wants to be an amazingly-unique 2-way guy, he loves to hit; Cubs have no DH, and don't have any starts at 1B to give away either.
3.  Cubs don't have the international reputation of the Yankees. 
4.  Chicago isn't a shorter flight back home, nor is it an unusually established Japanese hot-spot, either community-wise or as a team. 

Just hard to imagine why Ohtani would want to choose the Cubs ahead of one of the AL/DH teams that project to be annual contenders. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 01, 2017, 10:36:31 am
I do wonder whether also going after Darvish as well, or perhaps another Japanese pitcher, and having two countrymen together to share some of the life together, and maybe a translator and cultural-adjustment assistant, might make some sense? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 01, 2017, 11:06:11 am
There is a surprising amount of speculation that the Cubs are serious suitors for Ohtani. I don't know if this is because of the assumption that Epstein and the Cubs are capable of just about anything or what.  I just know that I find it very hard to believe (even though I would sure like to), even though the reports are that money isn't a factor at all and that some of the things he's asking clubs to describe are ones for which the Cubs can make a strong case. 

One can dream, I suppose.

I don't know what the source of the information was, but I read in a chat yesterday that the Cubs have said they would play him as an OF as well as a pitcher. Not sure if that's as a bullpen pitcher or as an SP, but if the Cubs are willing to let him play wherever he wants, whenever he wants, they should be a strong contender. Extraordinary recent success, extraordinary future potential, major market, excellent management, etc. We may not be able to offer the cultural comforts of a place like Seattle, and we may not have the mythos of the Yankees, but the Cubs can position very well for the majority of the questions asked by Otani's "RFP," for lack of a better term.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 01, 2017, 11:14:55 am
I suspect the two way player thing will end pretty quickly. So, if he wants to get a decent number of at bats, the NL is the spot since he'll have to hit every 5th day and there is more pinch hitting in the NL. Finally, playing for Maddon and being part of his unconventional and creative use of his roster may get him some additional at bats and non-pitching playing time.  For the other stuff, the Cubs stack up well - Chicago is a big, global city; the team is really good now and set up to be good for awhile; and they have an absolute need for him where he'll be the #1 guy immediately. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 01, 2017, 11:21:39 am
Japanese teams play only a 144 game season.  I wonder of Ohtani really knows what he is asking for.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 01, 2017, 11:25:56 am
That seems such an implausible long shot. 
1.  Cubs have no money advantage; and some disadvantage. 
Otani is leaving TENS - if not HUNDREDS - of MILLIONS of dollars on the table. Money is not a motivator here, and it's not going to make a difference. When you waive your ability to earn nine figures, the difference between high six and low seven figures is meaningless.

2.  The guy wants to be an amazingly-unique 2-way guy, he loves to hit; Cubs have no DH, and don't have any starts at 1B to give away either.
Otani has 60-70 grade speed and a cannon arm. He's likely an excellent defensive OF, and the Cubs are reportedly saying they would let him play OF. Under normal circumstances, that would simply be too great a risk for a pitcher of Otani's ability, but if your chances of signing him disappear without the OF option, it's literally no risk at all, especially given that he's basically going to play for free wherever he signs.

3.  Cubs don't have the international reputation of the Yankees. 
Agreed. This is a challenge for the Cubs and one of the reasons why - though they may be serious contenders - they cannot be considered front runners.

4.  Chicago isn't a shorter flight back home, nor is it an unusually established Japanese hot-spot, either community-wise or as a team. 
Don't think the shorter-flight-back-home will matter much, but the Japanese cultural issue is also a weakness for the Cubs.

Just hard to imagine why Ohtani would want to choose the Cubs ahead of one of the AL/DH teams that project to be annual contenders. 
If Otani really wants to challenge himself and prove his ability in every aspect of baseball, AL/DH teams are not necessarily at an advantage.

My opinion on the matter literally means nothing and is worthless, but I'll give it anyway: Otani, in waiving hundreds of millions of dollars, is coming here for one thing.

Glory.

The chance to prove himself the greatest and most complete baseball player of all time by excelling in every facet of the game; the incarnation of the ideal Platonic form of baseball greatness; the first ever two-way star; an icon and an archetype for a select few future athletes who might also attempt two-way greatness. Basically, Baseball Jesus.

He could have waited a few years, and barring injury, still have played on the greatest stage while preserving the ability to earn absurd amounts of money. But if he waits a few years, he loses some of his prime. He loses years he could have plied against the greatest numbers in record books. 

Coming now says, "I want to be Baseball Jesus," and I don't know that Baseball Jesus is a DH.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 01, 2017, 11:31:26 am
Once Otani signs, the truly fascinating question is how and when his new club will propose a contract extension, and how MLB will react.

There is absolute precedent for offering players with little-to-no major league experience significant major league contracts. Not if, but WHEN this happens, what will the Commissioner's Office do?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 01, 2017, 11:57:14 am
NOtani.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2017, 12:04:05 pm
It also has been rumored he might want to go to a team that hasn't had a significant Japanese player in the past, so he could be orginal star.

I have no clue what the guy wants, but I have every confidence that Theo will put the Cubs in the best position possible to win.

Alvarez was announced and he apparently has an option remaining.  That makes him more interesting.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 01, 2017, 12:48:40 pm
NOtani.
That crap only works in Tennessee.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 01, 2017, 12:48:58 pm
Latest Wrigley Field renovations underway
New club box and field box seats, improved concourse on agenda


While the Cubs' front office is focused on finding players for the 2018 season, the next phase of the renovation at Wrigley Field is underway, and this offseason's work will result in new club box and field box seats, an improved concourse, more netting to protect fans and wider dugouts.  The dugouts will move closer to the first and third base bags and will be wider.

The dugouts will not only move closer to the first- and third-base bags, respectively, but they will be wider.

[/size](http://m.cubs.mlb.com/assets/images/2/7/6/262554276/cuts/640x360/cut.jpg)

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: chgojhawk on December 01, 2017, 12:55:43 pm
It also has been rumored he might want to go to a team that hasn't had a significant Japanese player in the past, so he could be orginal star.

I have no clue what the guy wants, but I have every confidence that Theo will put the Cubs in the best position possible to win.

Alvarez was announced and he apparently has an option remaining.  That makes him more interesting.

I hope Fukudome doesn't hurt us here. :)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 01, 2017, 01:03:48 pm
Happy 25th birthday to El Mago


The video lasts 5:10

https://www.kissyoutube.com/watch?v=--zGaton8Mo (https://www.kissyoutube.com/watch?v=--zGaton8Mo)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 01, 2017, 01:13:35 pm
I hope Fukudome doesn't hurt us here. :)

:):):) 

Fukudome, Kawasaki, Koji, what chance to we have?  :) 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 01, 2017, 01:17:57 pm
Once Otani signs, the truly fascinating question is how and when his new club will propose a contract extension, and how MLB will react.

There is absolute precedent for offering players with little-to-no major league experience significant major league contracts. Not if, but WHEN this happens, what will the Commissioner's Office do?

Yeah, great point.  I've wondered about that too.  How do you keep the Dodgers or Yankees from saying we'll give you $200/7 deal once your first year or first month is done? 

No idea what commissioner can do to prevent either the reality, or the promise thereof? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 01, 2017, 01:19:35 pm
Yeah, great point.  I've wondered about that too.  How do you keep the Dodgers or Yankees from saying we'll give you $200/7 deal once your first year or first month is done? 

No idea what commissioner can do to prevent either the reality, or the promise thereof?

They'd have to justify the extension based on performance. Maybe he'll do enough to justify it but if it's just a way to work around the rules, the commissioner will not allow it and the team will probably have some punishment issues.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 01, 2017, 01:20:11 pm
Craig, I think you underestimate the popularity of the Cubs in Japan.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 01, 2017, 01:41:49 pm
I don't know what the source of the information was, but I read in a chat yesterday that the Cubs have said they would play him as an OF as well as a pitcher. Not sure if that's as a bullpen pitcher or as an SP, but if the Cubs are willing to let him play wherever he wants, whenever he wants, they should be a strong contender. Extraordinary recent success, extraordinary future potential, major market, excellent management, etc. We may not be able to offer the cultural comforts of a place like Seattle, and we may not have the mythos of the Yankees, but the Cubs can position very well for the majority of the questions asked by Otani's "RFP," for lack of a better term.

From the Cubs view, I think that could actually make a ton of sense.  Cubs may not be very deep or strong in the outfield.  Heyward can't hit, and we don't really know how much Schwarber can hit (and we know he fields kinda badly); so adding another weapon option to the OF conglomerate could be really beneficial to the Cubs. It's not like the Cubs wouldn't have plenty of AB's to share, if Ohtani deserved them, and within whatever constraints pitching allowed. 

Still, the AL/DH makes so much more sense.  Signing with an AL team doesn't mean he can't play OF, so your "Baseball Jesus" emphasis doesn't preclude signing AL and playing OF , within the constraints that pitching allows.  But there might be many days where the constraints of pitching does NOT allow outfielding, but DOES allow hitting.  On days when he's not pitching and his pitching-arm needs rest, he can still DH.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 01, 2017, 01:46:44 pm
I don't think the two-way player thing will end - Otani is a terrific hitter.  But I think it's going to be as a DH on an American League club.

I find reports the Cubs are making a serious play not at all surprising.  They'd be fools not to, first of all, and they do have some things that would be attractive to Otani.  But in the end, it just seems very unlikely to me he'd sign with an NL club when the DH gives him his best chance at 3-400 ABs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 01, 2017, 01:49:31 pm
Craig, I think you underestimate the popularity of the Cubs in Japan.

In the time I lived there I never noticed any Cubs presence outside of Kagurazaka, where they were very popular (with two people).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 01, 2017, 01:54:39 pm
I suspect the two way player thing will end pretty quickly. So, if he wants to get a decent number of at bats, the NL is the spot since he'll have to hit every 5th day and there is more pinch hitting in the NL. Finally, playing for Maddon and being part of his unconventional and creative use of his roster may get him some additional at bats and non-pitching playing time.  For the other stuff, the Cubs stack up well - Chicago is a big, global city; the team is really good now and set up to be good for awhile; and they have an absolute need for him where he'll be the #1 guy immediately. 

Time will tell how long the two-way thing will last.  Maybe it won't.  But that doesn't impact the decision now.  Tico has articulated the desire for glory.  The reality may prove very different, and the 2-way may not end up lasting.  But the kid isn't making his decision three years from now after which perhaps he realizes the 2-way thing isn't realistic, he's making the decision this month.  The hunt for glory would seem to want at least the opportunity to be an amazing 2-way guy, and to have at least the opportunity to bat, whether as an outfielder or as a DH, on any day that his arm permits. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 01, 2017, 02:39:42 pm
People are very closed-minded about this two-way thing. “No one’s done it in a long time, so it can’t be done.”  Otani is going to leave a lot of small-minded doubters in his wake.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2017, 03:14:33 pm
Yeah, great point.  I've wondered about that too.  How do you keep the Dodgers or Yankees from saying we'll give you $200/7 deal once your first year or first month is done? 

No idea what commissioner can do to prevent either the reality, or the promise thereof? 

Trout signed a $144.5 million/6 year contract after 3 years in the bigs and 28.7 fWAR in those 3 years.  Anything bigger and sooner than that will draw a lot of intrest from MLB.

I don't think the two-way player thing will end - Otani is a terrific hitter.  But I think it's going to be as a DH on an American League club.

I find reports the Cubs are making a serious play not at all surprising.  They'd be fools not to, first of all, and they do have some things that would be attractive to Otani.  But in the end, it just seems very unlikely to me he'd sign with an NL club when the DH gives him his best chance at 3-400 ABs.

I think his best chance to keep hitting is going to be in the NL.  The guy has strike out issues in the Japan league and that isn't MLB pitching.  Between the amount of time it will take to improve his swing and the level of hitting it will require to be a DH I don't think it will last long.  The guy seems to want detail plans and evaluations of himself as a player, so I think Theo could make a strong case on scouting/development that the NL is better for him.  Maybe he won't agree, but I think there is a decent chance he would listen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 01, 2017, 03:38:52 pm
They'd have to justify the extension based on performance.

His performance in Japan justifies it, as it has for so many free agents who came over before the restrictions in international spending. Moreover, if you can extend multimillion-dollar, multi-year offers to minor leaguers, who have no history of major league performance, why can't you do that with Otani the instant he signs?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2017, 03:41:28 pm
Because owners want to keep more of the pie for themselves and the union wants the money to go to established players. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 01, 2017, 03:41:52 pm
Those are two wildly different scouting evals:  deeg that he's going to be a good hitter, Blue that he's so bad a hitter that he won't get any AB's at first in the AL, and the only way to get any initial AB's will be the several AB's an NL pitchers gets. 

My guess remains that GMs from blue's perspective, who don't think he can hit right now, will not be able to make a very compelling pitch.  And that a team with a GM who does believe he can hit, or at least says he does whether it's sincere or not, will end up being the team that gets him. 

Seems to me that he'd be nuts to go to a team that won't at least sell the opportunity.  As with any competitor, what he does with the opportunity will dictate from there. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2017, 04:05:50 pm
I wasn't super clear.

Ohtani has a long swing because he sells out for power.  He will need to shorten it do deal with MLB velocity.  He struck out 161 in 613 PA in the last 2 years in the JPPL.  He has work to due.  The Yanks averaged a .764 OPS for their DH's last year.  That is going to be tough for him to match.  Last year their were 15 21-23 in the majors that topped that with 200 PA.

I think Ohtani can be a good hitter, but he has work to do.  Will contending teams let him DH if he isn't hitting well?  My guess is now.  I'd tell him you have work to do and we have the depth to let you hit and work on it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 01, 2017, 04:18:10 pm
Yeah, that's fair.  I think any competitor can handle that:  you've got work to do, we'll provide help and opportunity, and as you earn AB's you'll get them.  That's not a turnoff. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 01, 2017, 04:24:12 pm
In the time I lived there I never noticed any Cubs presence outside of Kagurazaka, where they were very popular (with two people).
Interesting.  I was told differently.  Where's Tuffy when you need him?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 01, 2017, 04:48:21 pm
Interesting.  I was told differently.  Where's Tuffy when you need him?

He was six blocks away from me.  We were the two people...

I don't think Otani is going to have any difficulty OPSing better than .764 in the majors - that would be a larger than normal dropoff from NPB to MLB.  He'll take his walks and certainly hit for power.  It's also worth noting that he was still developing, even in Japan - he's three or four years short of his likely peak as a hitter.

I'd expect .250-320-490 or so as a rookie, with significant improvement after that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 01, 2017, 04:49:53 pm
"We were the two people..."

LOL
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on December 01, 2017, 05:10:12 pm
Just randomly throwing it out there, but does anyone think Jay Bruce would be a good fit for the Cubs?  He's a guy I always thought was born for a place like Wrigley Field, and although I guess he's probably too much of the same thing we have throughout the lineup, he might help when Bryant or Rizzo is going through a slump. 

That might free things up to trade another outfielder for help too.  His defensive metrics haven't generally been bad in the outfield, so he wouldn't be a drawback there.

He doesn't seem to get talked about very much and there's not really a very natural fit for him in the lineup, but he also seems like a guy who could be a somewhat decent value in this market who would take to Wrigley really well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 01, 2017, 05:25:36 pm
Jesse Rogers just tweeted that Rondon will be non-tendered.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 01, 2017, 05:28:51 pm
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/12/cubs-release-matt-carasiti-to-sign-with-japans-yakult-swallows.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2017, 05:49:00 pm
Bruce seems like a more expensive, older, less upside version of Schwarber. Bruce’s UZR/150 has been good for awhile and he’s super streaky.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 01, 2017, 06:19:34 pm
I don't think a (non-bench) position player makes sense this offseason unless it's a strong OBP guy who probably plays CF, so I'm not high on Bruce.  The offense was much less consistent this year than it was in 2016, so I think replacing one of the consistent bats they lost after 2016 (Fowler or good Zobrist) makes sense if they can find one.  Bruce just seems like more of the same inconsistency they had in 2017.

Grimm will be tendered a contract according to Chris Cotillo on Twitter.  Interesting the way the non-tender deadline played out--if they kept only one, I would have been confident to put money on Rondon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2017, 06:40:36 pm
I don't think Otani is going to have any difficulty OPSing better than .764 in the majors - that would be a larger than normal dropoff from NPB to MLB.  He'll take his walks and certainly hit for power.  It's also worth noting that he was still developing, even in Japan - he's three or four years short of his likely peak as a hitter.

I'd expect .250-320-490 or so as a rookie, with significant improvement after that.

Hideki Matsui went from a 1.153 OPS in Japan to a .788 OPS with the Yankees in his first year. That was as a 29 year old and without having to pitch every 5th day or Ohtani’s K%. I think Ohtani is super intriguing as an offensive power. He is a plus runner with power. He has a lot of work to do to hit major league pitching and thinking he is going to come over and it is going to be easy is hard to buy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 01, 2017, 07:20:29 pm
His performance in Japan justifies it, as it has for so many free agents who came over before the restrictions in international spending. Moreover, if you can extend multimillion-dollar, multi-year offers to minor leaguers, who have no history of major league performance, why can't you do that with Otani the instant he signs?

The MLB office could and should determine that the original signing was a sham to get around the rules if he were to be released and re-signed for a much larger amount with little or no additional information available between the two signings.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2017, 07:26:26 pm
Taylor Davis nontendered as well. 40 man at 34.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on December 01, 2017, 08:34:09 pm
His performance in Japan justifies it, as it has for so many free agents who came over before the restrictions in international spending. Moreover, if you can extend multimillion-dollar, multi-year offers to minor leaguers, who have no history of major league performance, why can't you do that with Otani the instant he signs?

What a load of crap. 29 owners would revolt if this occurred if the deal didn't land in place with prior deals...

Specifically, the agreed upon best baseball player in MLB right now will have earned 77.842 million by the end of his 6th year in baseball. If a team signs him for a 300K bonus and then waits 1 month to hand out a 7 year 200 million dollar extension, that would definitely draw the ire of 29 other teams.

Currently the best case scenario was either Moncada or Jose Abreu, however both were under different signing rules,the moment the cubs/dodgers/yankees can offer up a 300K contract to sign him followed up by a massive deal shortly there after without amazing performance 29 other teams will be screaming murder...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on December 01, 2017, 09:10:42 pm
Actually, it wont be 29 other teams. It will just be the JR/Selig bloc that has driven the international signing/Draft pool decisions for the last 15 years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 01, 2017, 09:49:35 pm
Ohtani would be worth significantly more under the old IFA rules or if he was a free agent. The players union is also happy to throw IFA under the bus too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 01, 2017, 10:11:33 pm
A potential extension can easily “land in place with prior deals” and still be an enormous sum more than what Otani will get.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 01, 2017, 10:15:19 pm
When we see the heavy punishments handed down to the Cardinals for their hacking fiasco with the Astros and the Braves' situation resulting in their GM banished for life, playing games with signing bonuses and premature extensions would not be smart.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on December 04, 2017, 08:14:16 am
The Cubs are one of seven finalists for Ohtani.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/937672406935785472
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 04, 2017, 08:36:16 am
As Ron and deeg and blue and others have noted, still seems remotely long shot that Cubs would get him.  If there were 7 West Coast teams, don't imagine the Cubs would still be on the list! 

Still, I think it's kinda cool that the Cubs are one of the two "other" teams.  Seems like for most of our memory as Cub fans, how often would the Cubs situation or management be able to stack even that favorably?  Speaks well for the capability/persuasiveness of management and the evident competitiveness of the Cubs. 

Any given the uncertainties of what Otani is looking for, who knows.  Cubs have set a major priority on "character", and Otani's choices suggest that he may have a high value for values other than $$ and glamor.  (For Jeff's sake, I have to mention values other than wine, women, and song!  :) 

Cubs have also seemed to really profess, and demonstrate, a priority on caring and protecting the individual guys and their families, on treating people well.  Chicago may not exactly qualify as "small market" (and who knows whether that's really much of a priority for Otani anyway).  But it may be that "small market" is less about actual population than it is code for a situation where a man is respected and appreciated for his own individual personality, rather than as a commodity.  Cubs might perhaps come across very favorably as a place where a guy can be himself, and that might be very appealing. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 04, 2017, 09:11:23 am
Always appreciated, Craig!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 04, 2017, 09:48:02 am
I would imagine, Theo being Theo, our presentation was the best of the lot.  Plus, for a unique player like Otani a manager like Maddon is a real asset (and I'm pretty certain he was involved in the pitch).  If we were on the West Coast, I think we'd be the favorites. As is, the only teams I'd rank as longer longshots would be Texas and San Diego.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 04, 2017, 10:08:36 am
I don't get the West Coast thing.  Why would that be so important?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 04, 2017, 10:16:52 am
I don't get the West Coast thing.  Why would that be so important?

I can think of two obvious reasons...

1. The largest Japanese-American populations in the U.S. are on the West Coast.  Especially SF, Seattle and L.A. metro.
2. Shortest direct flights to Japan are from the West Coast.  Not so important for the player in-season, but for people the players wants to have visit him during the season.

Also, weather could be a factor, lansdcape - who knows?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 04, 2017, 10:28:58 am
I can understand wanting to live where one feels comfortable as a Japanese man, but I would think that would be possible in a number of major cities across the country.  As far as reducing travel time, a few additional hours added to an 11 hour trip doesn't seem like a big factor.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 04, 2017, 10:43:54 am
10 hrs to 14 hrs... it's a 40% increase in time in the air. It's also additional time zones to have to work through. Not saying this is what tips the scales for Otani, but I think it's a legit (if secondary or tertiary) concern.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 04, 2017, 11:16:26 am
One would think that being on the right team from the point of view of winning and practicing your craft optimally would be paramount.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 04, 2017, 11:21:58 am
Heyman wrote an article that the small market west coast thing was "a sense" from the Yankees brass. 

I really think where he lives is a less important to him.  He sounds like he is a baseball rat that plays video games in his off time, he can do that anywhere.  I really think it comes down to those 8 questions he asked.

A lot of conventional wisdom as been wrong on what Ohtani wants.  First it was AL DH teams, but he choose 4 NL teams to 3 AL and 2 of the AL have full time DH's already.  Then it was the Yankees as the prohibitive favorites, and they were the first team announced as out. 

I have no clue what he wants or where he is going to end up.  Any of the 7 teams wouldn't shock me and as long as it isn't the Dodgers, I'm good with it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 04, 2017, 12:06:34 pm
..First it was AL DH teams, but he choose 4 NL teams to 3 AL and 2 of the AL have full time DH's already.  ....I have no clue what he wants or where he is going to end up.  ...

Great point.  Yeah, I was a DH-thinker; but 4/7 NL teams suggests that isn't a driving factor. 

(tico, and reb and others, were right in arguing otherwise!)

Like you say, who knows!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 04, 2017, 12:10:55 pm
Rosenthal says that the Cubs are looking at Morrow and Minor as potential closers:

https://theathletic.com/174057/2017/12/03/rosenthal-in-a-game-of-leverage-giancarlo-stanton-holds-almost-all-of-it-pirates-sinking-decisions-for-phils/

I'm fine with signing one of them.  But if those are the Cubs' only two big bullpen additions, I'm not going to be a big fan.  They need at least one of the relievers they sign to have a history of staying healthy.  Both Morrow and Minor have spent most of the last few years hurt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 04, 2017, 01:02:16 pm
If we're still on the positive list, I assume that our previous Japanese players reported positive experiences to him.  That's an assumption.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 04, 2017, 01:28:34 pm
Great point.  Yeah, I was a DH-thinker; but 4/7 NL teams suggests that isn't a driving factor. 

(tico, and reb and others, were right in arguing otherwise!)

Like you say, who knows!

I don't think anyone was right about anything yet, because if he picks an AL team (as I still think he will) the DH will likely have been a tremendously important reason why.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 04, 2017, 01:33:51 pm
I'd like adding Morrow. 
1.  Guy seemed to be a tough competitor, pitching non-stop in the World Series.
(The flip is that maybe his arm will be shot from that and he won't be nearly as good...)
2.  Seemed to have a pretty rubber-arm. 
3.  I liked the uncomplicated nature.  Sure, guys are going to hit fastballs sometimes.  But I kind of like the idea of a guy whose fastball is so good that he can throw a bunch of them, and doesn't need to rely on trickery all the time.  Doesn't have to nibble to a 3-2 count on every batter, and depend on hitters outing themselves on chase pitches. 

Personal interest is that I've been Type 1 diabetic since kindergarten, and daughter Nitro Nicole (named after Nitro Nic Jackson?) has been since 8th grade.  So it would be fun for us at the human-interest level to have a successful diabetic helping the Cubs.  Plus I'm pretty expectant that the Cubs would be very practical in enabling him to handle his T1D without compromising his baseball effectiveness.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 04, 2017, 06:09:39 pm
10 hrs to 14 hrs... it's a 40% increase in time in the air. It's also additional time zones to have to work through. Not saying this is what tips the scales for Otani, but I think it's a legit (if secondary or tertiary) concern.

The direct flight from Chicago to Tokyo is only one hour longer than the flight from LA and two hours longer than from SF. If this guy makes this decision based on a couple hours in a plane for some people who might come over a couple times a year, he's insane.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 04, 2017, 07:39:30 pm
It's probably not his main concern, but I'm sure it's one of many.

The cultural aspect is probably more important.  There isn't an Asian population in Chicago to rival SF or LA, much less Japanese.  And I'm sure the disgustingly ignorant stuff that happened when Kosuke was here doesn't help.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 04, 2017, 08:04:07 pm
What happened to Kosuke other than him sucking?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 04, 2017, 08:27:16 pm
Racist t-shirts, racist signs, that sort of good stuff.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 04, 2017, 08:37:35 pm
The direct flight from Chicago to Tokyo is only one hour longer than the flight from LA and two hours longer than from SF. If this guy makes this decision based on a couple hours in a plane for some people who might come over a couple times a year, he's insane.

Insane?  Or simply prioritizing things in a different way than you do?

Which likely would include coming to the US to play MLB for tens of millions less than he could get by handling things a bit differently.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 04, 2017, 08:46:40 pm
Racist t-shirts, racist signs, that sort of good stuff.

You might include good stuff like Dusty's comment.  Fukudome had an OPS+ his first year of 89 (though in the first half of the season he did well enough to make the All Star team), which certainly does qualify as quite weak for a starting OFer, but his next two and a half seasons with the Cubs he had the following OPS+ numbers: 104, 114, and 105.  While those are exactly HOF offensive production numbers for a RFer/CFer, they also do not come close to qualifying as "sucking."
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 05, 2017, 09:49:21 am
Quote from: Bruce Miles
For fun's sake here, the Cubs can show Ohtani a video of manager Joe Maddon yanking him from the mound in Game 7 of the World Series in the fourth inning but leaving him in the game to play left field and having Ohtani hit a game-winning home run.

Using that scenario in the AL city, the Cubs would be going without the DH and trading the left fielder’s bat for the pitcher’s spot the rest of the way.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 05, 2017, 07:01:41 pm
According to Rosenthal, the Cubs, Mariners, and Rangers met with Ohtani today.

According to Morosi, the Cubs have talked to Brandon Kintzler.  He's okay, but he'd be no better than 6th on my list of relievers (behind Morrow, Reed, Shaw, McGee, and Nicasio).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 05, 2017, 07:11:08 pm
This is the problem with the whole "we gotta sign strike throwers!" obsession.  Yes, guys who don't walk guys in the bullpen is something we need more of.  But Kintzler just isn't that good, period.  The #1 priority should be to sign the best possible pitchers, not just the guys with the best control.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 05, 2017, 07:24:54 pm
Well, Reed, McGee, Morrow, and Shaw have all historically been pretty good strike throwers, so it's not that hard to find better pitchers who throw strikes this offseason.

I wouldn't hate Kintzler if he was the 2nd or 3rd best reliever they sign.  I'd be very disappointed if he was the best they got.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 05, 2017, 07:31:12 pm
Just to throw this out there, Edwards had a 10.1% walk rate last year. Marrow has a 10.2% walk rate. Marrow was much better last year.

Padres only team left to meet with Ohtani.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 05, 2017, 07:38:42 pm
Oops, looked at the wrong line on Morrow's Fangraphs page, he's not a strike thrower historically.  He does have upside, though, which Kintzler doesn't have.

I'd like McGee and either Reed or Shaw. All three have a good balance of strike throwing ability and skill/performance. Then find an undervalued Duensing-like guy to fill out the pen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 05, 2017, 07:53:45 pm
According to Rosenthal, the Cubs, Mariners, and Rangers met with Ohtani today.

Rosenthal added in another tweet that Ohtani met with the Angels yesterday.  It had already been reported that he met with the Dodgers and Giants yesterday, so the Padres may be the only team left.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 05, 2017, 07:56:31 pm
So we'll know soon right?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 05, 2017, 08:14:22 pm
So we'll know soon right?

Well, within 17 days for sure.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 05, 2017, 08:17:00 pm
Some speculation that he might do city visits still.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 05, 2017, 08:19:31 pm
I wouldn't be shocked if they cut it down to a final three tomorrow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 05, 2017, 08:59:40 pm
The Padres getting their own day is a worrying sign.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ray on December 05, 2017, 09:11:22 pm
I'm hoping the next cutdown activity is more interesting.  Maybe team karaoke. Or team strip poker.  I think the cubs would have good shots at coming out ahead in both being a youngish sort.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 05, 2017, 09:15:20 pm
I just can't imagine he'd go to the Padres.  The Cubs and Dodgers are two of the best teams in baseball.  You can see the path to the playoffs for the Giants, Rangers, Angels, and Mariners.

But the Padres...I really don't see how they're going to win anything any time soon.  If Ohtani signs with them, who's their second best player?  Wil Myers?  They only have two players under contract--Clayton Richard and Jose Pirela--who had an fWAR of at least 2.0 this year (2.3 and 2.1, respectively).  They're terrible.  I guess there's some appeal to being the big fish in a small pond...but even if he has five straight Cy Young level seasons, he's not going to get much attention playing for a 70ish win team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on December 05, 2017, 09:19:18 pm
If he has no regard for $$$ and only wants legacy. Making the Padres forever known as Othani's team is worth it isnt it? where else can he do that on the west coast?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 05, 2017, 09:26:36 pm
Aren't the Padres already forever known as Gwynn's team?  He'd have to do a lot to replace Tony Gwynn as the all time greatest Padre.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 05, 2017, 09:28:38 pm
I thought the same Br.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on December 05, 2017, 09:30:26 pm
Easier then taking over Ruth's team or Bonds... Or Ichiros...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 05, 2017, 09:38:22 pm
I guess...but if he wants to be "best player ever" for a certain team, why not leave Todd Helton's team or Evan Longoria's team in the running?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on December 05, 2017, 09:55:43 pm
Maybe he just wants an awesome place to live.

Not that San Diego is.

You all should definitely keep living where you are.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on December 05, 2017, 09:59:41 pm
Heh
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 05, 2017, 10:01:56 pm
It's a big jump (and a rather silly one IMO) to say Otani wants to be the "best player ever" wherever he goes.  But he may want to be the face of the current franchise, and he'd certainly be that in San Diego.  There's be less pressure to win right away, he'd be on the West Coast but not in a colossal megalopolis like LA. And San Diego never seems more like an awesome place than it does before you actually live there.  I can see the draw.

Me, personally?  Hard to imagine a player like Otani signing in San Diego if he cares about winning.  But he seems to be serious about them, and he has ties to the organization.  I think they're a very real threat.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on December 06, 2017, 06:58:35 am
The Padres will always be Steve Garvey's team to me.  I still hate on him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: goblue007 on December 06, 2017, 08:02:43 am
Gwynn was only born and raised in So Cal, attended San Diego State and spent all 20 seasons of his HOF career as a Padre (15x all-star, 8x batting champion, 7x silver slugger, 5x Gold Glove winner). Story checks out
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 06, 2017, 10:23:43 am
None of that has anything to do with Otani or his decision, of course.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2017, 11:13:36 am
Schwarber looking more trim in a Cubs Snapchat video. Bleacher nation caught a screen grab.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 06, 2017, 11:45:21 am
Schwarber looking more trim in a Cubs Snapchat video. Bleacher nation caught a screen grab.
Is this it?
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DQX2jfiW0AIkFgr.jpg:small)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on December 06, 2017, 12:17:21 pm
Quote
Gwynn was only born and raised in So Cal, attended San Diego State and spent all 20 seasons of his HOF career as a Padre (15x all-star, 8x batting champion, 7x silver slugger, 5x Gold Glove winner). Story checks out

Not a bad player for Steve Garvey's crappy team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2017, 12:21:04 pm
Is this it?
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DQX2jfiW0AIkFgr.jpg:small)

Yes
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on December 06, 2017, 12:21:18 pm
I was just a kid.  Still angry...

https://youtu.be/PMIJ3QRMQIw (https://youtu.be/PMIJ3QRMQIw)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on December 06, 2017, 12:23:45 pm
And the announcers say, "look at the effort by Cotto."  Was it even close?  I can't even see the ball come down with this crappy 1984 definition video.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2017, 02:21:48 pm
Jeff Passan‏Verified account
@JeffPassan
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Sources: Shohei Ohtani is done interviewing the seven finalists to sign him. His last meeting was actually Tuesday night with the San Diego Padres. Next, presumably, will be his decision. Timetable is not clear yet, but it could well be soon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2017, 02:23:39 pm
Passan tweeted that the Padres had actually met with Ohtani last night.  His speculation was that the next step could be a decision, and it could be soon.

I had assumed the next step was probably narrowing it down to the top 2-3 teams and then doing city visits, but maybe not.  Maybe Passan is right and it'll be done soon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2017, 02:27:21 pm
TOOOOOOOOOO SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 06, 2017, 03:06:27 pm
Weird.  I think he'd be crazy to rush a decision that's going to control the next 6 years without even visiting the city, or the stadium and facilities where you'll be spending so much of your life.  Likewise kind of a bummer for the Cubs, since they invested a bunch in their fancy clubhouse, you'd think they'd like to use that as a show-off thing. 

Also think going through the whole "face-to-face" interview bit, if you're doing 3-a-day on those, how much time or concentration can you really have for a decision that's going to say shape your life and habits and relationships for so long. 

But, maybe I'm way off, and sitting in an interview/visit with guys speaking a language you don't understand really isn't much fun and is just a worthless drag/exhaustion, who knows. 

Theo's ability to articulate thoughtful and nuanced ideas is part of what makes him so successful.  I wonder if those qualities are kind of lost if you're talking to a guy who doesn't know English that well?  If it's all going through a translater anyway, does the translated version differentiate between a source speaker like Theo versus somebody like Hendry or Fleita? 

I also wonder to what degree Maddon is/was involved, if the whole "face-to-face" meeting was limited to 2-3 hours?  And if he's an asset or not?  My understanding is that Asian baseball culture is pretty serious and practice-heavy, with managers who can be relatively drill-sergeant authoritarian?  Part of Maddon's thing is being fun and cool, laid-back, don't have rules or manager-meetings, dress casual, don't practice too much, wear funny pajamas and stuff.  Wonder if that would appeal to Otani, or seem too loose?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 06, 2017, 05:18:40 pm
Weird.  I think he'd be crazy to rush a decision that's going to control the next 6 years without even visiting the city, or the stadium and facilities where you'll be spending so much of your life.  Likewise kind of a bummer for the Cubs, since they invested a bunch in their fancy clubhouse, you'd think they'd like to use that as a show-off thing. 

Carrie Muskat reported that Ohtani is at least familiar with the impressive Cubs' spring training facility.

"Ohtani got an up-close look at the Cubs' Spring Training facility in Mesa, Ariz., last year while doing rehab work in February, according to the Kyodo News. The Cubs' state-of-the-art complex opened in 2014 and includes a 7,500-square-foot workout and training facility. The Fighters have held the first phase of Spring Training at the Padres' complex in Peoria, Ariz., the past few years."

http://m.cubs.mlb.com/news/article/262901260/cubs-make-pitch-to-shohei-ohtani/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2017, 08:05:18 pm
Jon Morosi‏ @jonmorosi
Source: One @MLB team in pursuit of Shohei Ohtani is on the verge of acquiring international slot money from #Twins in a trade tonight. @MLBNetwork


I think this is potentially bad news. No matter how much international slot money they have, the Cubs can't spend any more than $300K, right?  And the top Braves free agents seem to be off the market.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2017, 08:06:24 pm
Mark Feinsand‏ @Feinsand
Source: The Mariners are finalizing a trade with the Twins tonight to acquire more international bonus pool money. #ohtani
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2017, 08:13:16 pm
Mariners acquired $1 million in international money.

Now Morosi is reporting another Ohtani contender is trying to acquire slot money.  This may mean the Cubs are out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: chgojhawk on December 06, 2017, 08:15:18 pm
Or it may mean that those teams are out as money is not a huge factor for Ohtani but would be for Braves prospects.

Glass half full.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2017, 08:16:05 pm
Angels add $1 million too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on December 06, 2017, 08:18:23 pm
Who did the mariners give up?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2017, 08:29:10 pm
David Banuelos, C from Mariners.

Jacob Pearson, OF from Angels.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 06, 2017, 08:47:16 pm
At what point could a team agree to ALLOW a player's contract to go to arbitration?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 06, 2017, 08:58:23 pm
Hard to spin this development as good news for the Cubs.  Occam's Razor suggests the Angels and Mariners know they're finalists and want to play every card they can.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2017, 09:17:21 pm
it could mean the Mariners and Angels are the top two or they are just trying to gain any advantage they can. The Angels gave up a player that sounds like Dewees and the Mariners a defensive catcher. I’d give that up if I thought it gave me even a small chance to get Ohtani.

Have the Angels officially announced Maitlan?  If not they have enough money to sign him from this pool.

I’ve given up trying to predict Ohtani. The info is on lockdown and nobody has a clue.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 06, 2017, 09:27:27 pm
Dennis Lin is probably the best random beat writer follow on Twitter.  In response to Rosenthal pointing out how much more money the Rangers ($3.5 million), Mariners ($2.5 million), and Angels ($2.3 million) have to offer...

Dennis Lin‏@sdutdennislin
Fwiw, I’ve heard Ohtani’s annual endorsements in Japan are worth at least double the Rangers’ max bonus offer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 06, 2017, 09:42:20 pm
It's clear money isn't the primary motivator for Otani or else he wouldn't be coming over now, instead of two years from now.  But maybe people are too quick to dismiss the difference between a potential $3.5 or $2.5 million and 300K.  Remember, as someone who's not likely to speak English publicly much if at all, Otani's endorsement opportunities in the States will be limited.  What if he blows his arm out before he can negotiate a lucrative extension?  Those few million bucks could make a big difference.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 06, 2017, 09:49:28 pm
That could be true, got a great opportunity, and money isn't top priority, but scraping by on $3M plus endorsements might more easily tide a guy over for a while until the hundreds of millions come in. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 06, 2017, 09:51:14 pm
If they ever do come in.  Until he signs a big extension, nothing is a lock.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: goblue007 on December 06, 2017, 11:17:48 pm
None of that has anything to do with Otani or his decision, of course.

What
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 06, 2017, 11:34:20 pm
Ohtani made $2.4 million playing in Japan and has according to Lin $7+ million in endorsements in Japan already. The guy has his parents keep track of money and his mom started putting a $1000/month in his bank account that he rarely touched. I think he’ll be ok.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 12:10:21 am
Easy for you to say.  The kid's giving up a ton of money coming over now, but that doesn't mean it's not at least a factor in his mind.  I still say people are too quick to dismiss it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 07, 2017, 12:11:53 am
I've never been very good at reading tea leaves. So I won't try to speculate about what, if any, significance there is to any of this.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2017, 07:42:27 am
Easy for you to say.  The kid's giving up a ton of money coming over now, but that doesn't mean it's not at least a factor in his mind.  I still say people are too quick to dismiss it.

I have no clue what the guy wants. What we know about him and money seems to point to it not being a bid deal. 4/7 teams are limited to $300,000 and he is turning down a chance at $200 million by not waiting 2 years. He also eliminated 2/3 teams with $3+ million in bonus money.

My hunch is he is going to the team with the best plan for him. If it is a tie, maybe the $1 million tips the scale between teams. He earned $10 million last year he can live off that if his parents invest in marginally well for him the rest of his life. He can afford to not consider money. He isn’t a poor kid from the Dominican.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on December 07, 2017, 09:24:49 am
I would imagine he will do quite well in endorsements once he is playing in the states. Yes, he is walking away from big money by coming now, but regardless of where he plays, he won't be hurting.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 09:36:48 am
I would imagine he will do quite well in endorsements once he is playing in the states. Yes, he is walking away from big money by coming now, but regardless of where he plays, he won't be hurting.


The greatest Japanese star in American baseball is, indisputably, Ichiro.  But how much endorsement work has Ichiro done in the States?  Not much.  And how many times can you remember Ichiro publicly speaking English - in an interview, say?  Ichiro understands English and can say the words, believe me, but most Japanese people are very self-conscious about their English pronunciation and thus, reluctant to use it publicly.

Of course Ichiro's endorsement market in Japan has continued to be strong, in part because of his stardom in the U.S..  We're a long way from saying Otani is going to be that successful on the field, but it's possble - he does have the talent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2017, 10:09:38 am
Ohtani's endorsement money has always been in Japan.  Bryant makes significantly less that athletes in other sports.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 07, 2017, 10:36:52 am
I'm beginning to question the assumptions that were made about what Ohtani wants.  Small market? The only one he hasn't eliminated was San Diego.  Biggest Japanese star?  Seems like Seattle and Texas should have been eliminated long ago.  I think he has a good idea of where he wants to be and it's down to one or two teams, maybe always was.  I picked Seattle, but I'm really feeling Chicago.  It's not small market, it's not West Coast, and it's not DH friendly, so why are we still on the list, unless all the assumptions were wrong?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 10:50:25 am
Well, we know he likes big steaks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2017, 11:06:09 am
I think it all is about the plan for how he is going to be used and everything is secondary.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 12:18:51 pm
Cubs have signed Chatwood for three years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 07, 2017, 12:19:12 pm
Chatwood to the Cubs, 3 year deal.  Not a fan.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 07, 2017, 12:21:23 pm
You all beat me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 12:21:52 pm
Depends on the numbers, but as you know I've been on Chatwood for a good while.  Love the upside there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 07, 2017, 12:25:25 pm
Depends on whether he was recommended by the scouts who recommended Arrieta or the ones who recommended Anderson.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2017, 12:30:30 pm
3 years $38 million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 12:31:14 pm
If that's all guaranteed money it's a lot, but pitching ain't cheap.

Except Otani.  He's $300,000.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 07, 2017, 12:31:52 pm
3 years, $38 million is a lot to spend on upside.  He's never been particularly good, is often injured, and walks a lot of batters--doesn't check many boxes for me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on December 07, 2017, 12:35:06 pm
No bargains in free agency.   If you think he’s worth a shot, though, you have to do what you have to do to bring him in, and it sounds like his upside is worth a shot. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 12:40:23 pm
"He's never been good" but he's held opponents below .200 away from Coors both of the last two seasons.  And he's a soon-to-be 28 year-old FA rather than 30 or 31.  Sure it's a gamb le, but I think a smart one.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2017, 12:40:35 pm
So the Good with Tyler
-Velocity and a high spin rate curve ball.  His slider and change-up seem decent.
-High GB%
- He won't pitch in Colorado
The Bad
- Lack of strike outs
- The walks
- The injuries

I'm not sure how I feel.  $12 million if he can stay healthly isn't bad for a fifth starter.  Their is plenty of upside if he can just have a little better control and with increased curve useage the K's might come.  I get why the want him and I get why people are scared of him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 12:42:51 pm
 Bob Nightengale‏Verified account @BNightengale
3m3 minutes ago

In last 2 seasons, Tyler Chatwood is tied with #Nats Stephen Strasburg for 2nd in the NL in road ERA with a 2.57 ERA, trailing only #Dodgers Clayton Kershaw (2.16 ERA).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 12:43:59 pm
Also, doesn't cost us a pick.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2017, 12:54:33 pm
Bob Nightengale‏Verified account @BNightengale
3m3 minutes ago

In last 2 seasons, Tyler Chatwood is tied with #Nats Stephen Strasburg for 2nd in the NL in road ERA with a 2.57 ERA, trailing only #Dodgers Clayton Kershaw (2.16 ERA).

2016 xFIP Home 4.33 Away 4.40// FIP 4.97/3.70
2017 xFIP 4.14/4.30//FIP 5.11/4.79

His K/BB numbers are nearly identical on the road vs away.  He gets some softer contact on the road (2016 there were less extra base hits on the road), but the dramatic change is in LOB% and BABIP.  Basically I think if you are using his home/road splits to justify this signing let me quote Luke Skywalker, "This is not going to go the way you think."
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 12:56:34 pm
Thank goodness Theo runs this team and doesn't read all this bunk.

Also worth considering is that Chatwood is among the leaders in baseball in ground ball %, and Colorado's infield defense is terrible.  Ours, meanwhile, may be the best in the game.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2017, 12:56:35 pm
If Chatwood can get this, I'd guess Cobb is going to be way more than I'd want to spend too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 07, 2017, 01:03:12 pm
I hope not.  If they sign Chatwood and Cobb this winter, it will have been a successful one.

Anyone have a scouting report on Chatwood.  Above it mentioned a good fastball.  Any readings?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 07, 2017, 01:05:00 pm
Here's Bleacher Nation's profile on him when they were looking at potential targets for this winter:

http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/11/17/taking-stock-of-potential-cubs-free-agent-targets-tyler-chatwood/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 01:09:36 pm
I think this means Cobb is unlikely, personally - I can't see the Cubs dropping that kind of money on two projected #4 type FA starters.  Assuming the Otani thing doesn't happen, I think the other SP comes via trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 07, 2017, 01:15:56 pm
If Chatwood can get this, I'd guess Cobb is going to be way more than I'd want to spend too.

Yeah, Cobb is going to be way pricier than numbers that were being mentioned earlier on. 

Wonder if Chatwood's a guy who might be a good transition to relief?  I'm not suggesting that's the plan or anything, but often things don't follow plan.  Seems like he might be the sort who, in relief, the control would be less a thing; the fastball would play up; and with faster fastball the curve might become more deadly.  And as is routine with wild starters, throwing fewer pitches in relief can help become more consistent. 

Or, heh heh, if they were to, say, sign Cobb, and then Otani stunned everybody and unexpectedly chose the Cubs, :):):), ghdn maybe a Chadwood could get bumped to the pen and become a stud reliever or something!  :) 

At 28, hopefully the Cubs have some ideas and Hickey can help Chatwood to step up his game, and he's ready to break through as a consistently good starter. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 07, 2017, 01:17:42 pm
I don't think that the Cubs have/had a reasonable chance for Otani.  And recent events certainly don't sound promising.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 07, 2017, 01:18:21 pm
I think this means Cobb is unlikely, personally - I can't see the Cubs dropping that kind of money on two projected #4 type FA starters.  Assuming the Otani thing doesn't happen, I think the other SP comes via trade.

I'd agree this might seem to mean Cobb is less likely. 

Still don't see the trade, thing, though.  Don't think Happ is going to bring what you want; don't think they want to sell low on Schwarber, or that he'd get what you want anyway; and don't think they're going to trade Baez.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 01:21:26 pm
I'd agree this might seem to mean Cobb is less likely. 

Still don't see the trade, thing, though.  Don't think Happ is going to bring what you want; don't think they want to sell low on Schwarber, or that he'd get what you want anyway; and don't think they're going to trade Baez.



But they pretty much have to bring in  one more SP who's not a fringy #6 type.  If it's not Cobb or similar and it's not a trade, what is it?  Could be Darvish I suppose but I've always been skeptical of that possibility. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2017, 01:23:02 pm
Pitch Repertoire At-A-Glance
Tyler Chatwood has thrown 11,490 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2011 and 2017, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season and Spring Training. In 2017, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (95mph), Sinker (95mph) and Slider (90mph), also mixing in a Curve (80mph). He also rarely throws a Change (88mph).

BETA Feature:
Basic description of 2017 pitches compared to other RHP:
His fourseam fastball is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has much less armside movement than typical and has slightly above average velo. His sinker has surprisingly little armside run, generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' sinkers, results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers, has well above average velo and has little sinking action compared to a true sinker. His slider is thrown extremely hard, generates a very high amount of groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders, has less than expected depth and has primarily 12-6 movement. His curve is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' curves, generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' curves, has a sharp downward bite and has primarily 12-6 movement. His change is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' changeups, has surprising cut action and is much firmer than usual.

http://www.brooksbaseball.net/landing.php?player=543022
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2017, 01:26:57 pm
Chacin?

Cobb is better than Chatwood, just because his contract might be more than what I'd want to spend on him doesn't mean the Cubs will view it the same way.  If the choice is a pitcher like Cobb and it costing Happ or paying Cobb more money, paying Cobb more money is fine by me.  Just get Ohtani and it all becomes mute anyway. :)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 07, 2017, 01:40:00 pm
I cant hate on signing Chatwood.

We desperately need pitching and he does have the potential to be better than average.

Now if we do land Cobb that's a strong starting 6.

We legitimately have 5 now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 01:44:45 pm
We do?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 07, 2017, 02:16:19 pm
Lester,Quintana,Hendricks, Chatwood,Montgomery.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2017, 02:21:26 pm
Epstein already said Montgomery is going to be in the swing role, not in the rotation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 07, 2017, 02:25:42 pm
They've already said Montgomery is probably going to start the season in the bullpen, so you can't count him.

If the Cubs got Ohtani, I wouldn't be surprised if they still added another starter (Cobb?) and ended up with some kind of modified six man rotation.  That seems to be the plan the Rangers have to help Ohtani adjust, and the Cubs are going to need some pretty strong insurance for Chatwood & Ohtani since they don't have a track record for pitching a lot of innings.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 07, 2017, 02:28:15 pm
Buster Olney‏ @Buster_ESPN  52m52 minutes ago

The Cubs' rotation is a work in progress, with additional depth needed. For now:
Jon Lester
Kyle Hendricks
Jose Quintana
Tyler Chatwood
Eddie Butler
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 07, 2017, 02:53:35 pm
http://m.cubs.mlb.com/news/article/260793498/5-ways-tyler-chatwood-could-be-charlie-morton/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 07, 2017, 03:15:06 pm
Then we do need another starter then and I kinda like Eddie Butler.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 07, 2017, 03:22:23 pm
Thanks, Play, that's a really interesting article. 
 
1.  The curveball spin rate is always mentioned.  But he says he didn't use it much (10%) because he didn't have a feel for it.  *IF* he can develop a feel for it, and control it, so that he can be effectively throwing 25% curve instead of 10%, could be huge.  And could result in massive jump in K-rate. 
2.  I have no scouting reason to guess whether that's likely.  Edwards and Grimm and Strop and Rondon all have killer breaking balls, too.  But without command, and if hitters just spit on them, how often can you throw them? 
3.  The jump in fastball velocity is quite interesting.
4.  Seems to me that if velocity is up, thanks to mechanical adjustment; and IF he were to more frequently and better utilize the curve, there's a lot of possibilities. 

5.  I thought the bit about 1st time, 2nd time, and 3rd time through order was also really interesting.  A problem, of course, is that if you're walking everybody, you may not get through the lineup that quickly.  If the plan is to throw more wild curveballs, so that you naturally walk more guys, you'll be getting in the 3rd-time-through-lineup in the fifth innning. 
6.  This is where the Cubs success in bullpen-improvement is so crucial. If you've got a deep, good bullpen, then a game plan of 5-innings-then-pen can really work.  But if you're terrified of your crummy wild bullpen, and that means you're going to be using a Grimm wildman all the time, it's a lose-lose deal.  Also feel like Maddon perhaps modifying his bullpen approach may be critical.  May need to let guys pitch full innings, and let RH-reliever face LH hitters, for the 8-month-season logic even if it means putting some games at risk regular-season.     

7.  It's interesting that we repeatedly see "ERA" in these discussions, as if it was 1975.  As blue notes, yes Catwood's road ERA was very good; but is that real and sustainable?  There may be some fluke there, and the flat K/BB rate suggests he probably really shouldn't be expected to be that good on the road.  (Although still better than Lackey, no argument).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 07, 2017, 03:26:01 pm
I like the signing.  Think it's fun.  And as deeg notes, think it's a great match with our infield defense. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 07, 2017, 03:38:49 pm
Yes, but br and CBJ don't like it, so it must stink.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dihard on December 07, 2017, 03:51:38 pm







Basic description of 2017 pitches compared to other RHP:
His fourseam fastball is a real worm killer...  His curve is a real worm killer... His change is a real worm killer...


Look out, worms of Wrigley.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 07, 2017, 03:59:43 pm
Yes, but br and CBJ don't like it, so it must stink.

Glad you're catching on and recognize who knows what they're talking about.[purple]

Like CBJ, I recognize what people like about it. There's definite upside with him. Philosophically, though, I just don't think he's the guy the Cubs need. They're already a really good team, so they just need to not suck at the back of the rotation.  Chatwood could be a guy who ends up settling in as a strong #2 for the next three years...but he's just as likely to continue to be the injury prone back end starter he's always been.  I'd prefer someone like Cobb whose expected outcome is much more settled (assuming he doesn't blow out his elbow again). 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 07, 2017, 04:10:58 pm
Glad you're catching on and recognize who knows what they're talking about.[purple]

Like CBJ, I recognize what people like about it. There's definite upside with him. Philosophically, though, I just don't think he's the guy the Cubs need. They're already a really good team, so they just need to not suck at the back of the rotation.  Chatwood could be a guy who ends up settling in as a strong #2 for the next three years...but he's just as likely to continue to be the injury prone back end starter he's always been.  I'd prefer someone like Cobb whose expected outcome is much more settled (assuming he doesn't blow out his elbow again). 
Just yanking chains of friends.   ;D
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 07, 2017, 04:16:33 pm
Just yanking chains of friends.   ;D

Friends?  You have no friends.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 07, 2017, 04:20:34 pm
I think that Epstein's comment about starting Montgomery in the pen was based upon the assumption that they will sign another starter, and not need him in the pen.  But if for whatever reason that they do not sign one (or lose one in spring training) I believe that Epstein would have no problems with Montgomery as the fifth starter.  Personally, if they can't sign Cobb or someone similar, I would prefer to see them begin with 6 starters, with Montgomery and Butler sharing the fifth spot.  It would give us a chance to find out if either one can do the job.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 07, 2017, 04:26:02 pm
Count me as pro-Chatwood, for sure.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 07, 2017, 04:34:42 pm
I think that Epstein's comment about starting Montgomery in the pen was based upon the assumption that they will sign another starter, and not need him in the pen.  But if for whatever reason that they do not sign one (or lose one in spring training) I believe that Epstein would have no problems with Montgomery as the fifth starter.  Personally, if they can't sign Cobb or someone similar, I would prefer to see them begin with 6 starters, with Montgomery and Butler sharing the fifth spot.  It would give us a chance to find out if either one can do the job.
I'd like to see them with 6 starters too, the last two being Darvish and Ohtani.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on December 07, 2017, 05:05:20 pm
Two things...

1) Colorado’s infield defense is terrible? Really? In what bizarro world?

2) Chatwood reminds me quite a bit of Matt Clement. I was a big Clement fan.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 07, 2017, 05:11:13 pm
Two things...

1) Colorado’s infield defense is terrible? Really? In what bizarro world?

Yes.  Frightful.  Except 3B.  Oh, and 2B.  And Shortstop.  Yeah, except for those 3 positions, their infield sucks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: chgojhawk on December 07, 2017, 05:13:17 pm
Haven’t gotten a great deal from my source but was told that nothing will happen until Ohtani situation has been determined. My guess is that the signing of Chatwood is indicative of the Cubs being told they aren’t getting Ohtani. This is assuming that he was straight forward with me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 07, 2017, 05:18:24 pm
Quote
Bleacher Nation‏ @BleacherNation

Chatwood's 58.1% groundball rate was 5th best in baseball in 2017.

Extremely relatedly? The Rockies had only the 13th best defensive efficiency against grounders in 2017 (per BP).

The Cubs? They had the best.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 07, 2017, 05:27:40 pm
...Like CBJ, I recognize what people like about it. There's definite upside with him. Philosophically, though, I just don't think he's the guy the Cubs need. They're already a really good team, so they just need to not suck at the back of the rotation.  Chatwood could be a guy who ends up settling in as a strong #2 for the next three years...but he's just as likely to continue to be the injury prone back end starter he's always been.  I'd prefer someone like Cobb whose expected outcome is much more settled (assuming he doesn't blow out his elbow again). 

Not quite sure I'm tracking, br.  You're saying they just need to not suck at the back; but then you're not satisfied with Chatwood?   Isn't that exactly what he is, an anti-awful #5 starter, only with a chance to perhaps be better than just anti-awful? 

At least, that's how I'm envisioning this, that's he's #5, but that they're going to add somebody perhaps more established as the #4, from the Cobb/Darvish/Arrieta/Lynn group.  (Or Ohtani, of course, in the dream world.) 
I'd think Hendricks/Quintana/Lester/Cobb/Chatwood could be a pretty competitive regular-season rotation, with good infield defense, if the bullpen and offense were good. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2017, 05:29:11 pm
I would say I’m neutral. There are things to like and things to be scared about.

The Cubs always needed 2 starters so I’m not sure it says anything about Ohtani.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 07, 2017, 05:36:02 pm
Haven’t gotten a great deal from my source but was told that nothing will happen until Ohtani situation has been determined. My guess is that the signing of Chatwood is indicative of the Cubs being told they aren’t getting Ohtani. This is assuming that he was straight forward with me.

Thanks jhawk.  Being optimist, I'd spin/hope it differently.  They needed to add two rotation starters.  If Chatwood is one of them, there's still plenty of space for Ohtani.  So, not going to sign Arrieta or Darvish or Cobb or Lynn until Ohtani is determined.  But this in itself isn't that big of a signing, this isn't the big stuff.  Obviously any starter, and any >$10/year addition, isn't "nothing".  But maybe in your friend's eyes, this is kinda "nothing" relative to the bigger move he's expecting. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 07, 2017, 06:14:52 pm
Isn't that exactly what he is, an anti-awful #5 starter, only with a chance to perhaps be better than just anti-awful?

Well, he's anti-awful when he's on the field. But staying on the field has been a major problem for him. If he's out for 60 games and is struggling to get through 5 innings when he's healthy because he throws so many balls, there are a lot of innings that are going to have to be covered by the worst relievers on the team and guys like Butler or Tseng.

When the team is already really good, I'm just a big fan of filling less important roles (back end starters, middle relievers, bottom of the lineup) with as much certainty as possible. It's kind of like when Hendry needed a LH hitting right fielder after 2008 and went for the injury-prone upside in Bradley instead of taking the relative certainty of the more boring, steady bats on the market that year (Raul Ibanez or post-Phillies Bobby Abreu, to name a couple). Obviously, Bradley's personality made him far more risky than Chatwood. But there is some similarity in the on-the-field risk where you don't have a clear understanding of what or how much you're going to get.

I hope it works out. And despite my doubts, I'm fairly optimistic it will be fine because the Cubs' front office has a really good track record. But it's just taking on more risk than I think is necessary for this team.

(By the way, I think this would be an excellent move for a team like the Angels, Mariners, Pirates, or Rays who are close to contention but have limited resources and need to take a risk on an upside player or two.)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 07, 2017, 06:25:23 pm
https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/what-the-cubs-might-see-in-tyler-chatwood/

Just adds more info. My worry is the walks and injuries. The stuff is intriguing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 07, 2017, 06:47:31 pm
You guys need to look at the big picture and the brighter side of all this: better Chatwood on the DL than Ohtani.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 07, 2017, 08:59:38 pm
One thing the Cubs have done better than the rest of MLB over the last few years is to keep their starters relatively healthy.

If that is in fact a function of conditioning routines or use or anything else other than random chance, it could portend good things for Chitwood's health with the Cubs, and if he remains reasonably healthy with the Cubs, he could prove a very nice signing..
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 07, 2017, 09:37:57 pm
Chitwood, Jes?

We aint talking about Hoosiers here.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 07, 2017, 10:53:13 pm
Well, if this is right, the Cubs are on Stanton's very limited trade list.

Craig Mish @CraigMish
Now told Stanton will approve :

Dodgers
Yankees
Cubs
Astros
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 07, 2017, 11:26:47 pm
To hell with that unless they'll trade him for just Heyward.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2017, 12:10:30 am
Well, if this is right, the Cubs are on Stanton's very limited trade list.

Craig Mish @CraigMish
Now told Stanton will approve :

Dodgers
Yankees
Cubs
Astros


LOL.  Just our luck.

Stanton is a legit great player, but it's hard to see that deal ever making sense for the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 08, 2017, 01:01:02 am
Not sure.  Cubs have a window now, and not sure how long it's going to last. 
Stanton is a premium player with a contract that is very reasonable during the upcoming window. 
Next five years, Stanton is at a Heyward-caliber price, with his prime overlapping very nicely with the Cubs prime window. 

What he'll be 6-10 years from now, that might be a bad deal then.  But if they have a dynasty during his next 5, to which he would greatly contribute, what would be so bad about that? 

May also be that 6 years out, if contract inflation continues, that his contract won't look so bad. 

We can worry about his 2024 contract in 2024, but he could be really really good value to a contending team over the next handful of years.  Heh heh, and adding another .900-1.050 OPS guy in the middle of the lineup, rather than Zobrist, would be a big impact. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2017, 06:20:53 am
Cubs Insider reporter that a a Japanese reporter following Ohtani flew from LA to Chicago. What that means I have no clue.

If Heyward would opt out I’d trade for Stanton, but $50+ million in RF seems hard to stomach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ray on December 08, 2017, 07:43:09 am
Stanton would be a lot cheaper than Bryce Harper next year. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2017, 08:02:36 am
Original report came from Sun Times about the reporter.

I guess you could platoon Heyward/Almora in CF and change Stanton’s opt out date.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 08, 2017, 08:12:33 am
So, he's rejected the Giants and Cardinals?  Interesting.  Actually, that list looks like he wants to be a Dodger.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 08, 2017, 08:51:45 am
Cubs Insider reporter that a a Japanese reporter following Ohtani flew from LA to Chicago. What that means I have no clue.


All my digits crossed!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 08, 2017, 08:53:06 am
So, he's rejected the Giants and Cardinals?  Interesting.  Actually, that list looks like he wants to be a Dodger.

Both this, and he wants to be on a juggernaut.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 08, 2017, 08:58:57 am
...If Heyward would opt out I’d trade for Stanton, but $50+ million in RF seems hard to stomach.
Stanton would be a lot cheaper than Bryce Harper next year. 
..I guess you could platoon Heyward/Almora in CF and change Stanton’s opt out date.

Like Ray said, plenty of fans have dreamed for Harper next year; Stanton's contract will look teensy by comparison, plus you'd have him for 2018 in case you want to take a run this year.  Stanton's contract over the next 5-7 years will be a great value, compared to if he was a FA or what Harper will get.  His short-term salary is on par with guys like Heyward and Lester, not bad at all.  It's the length that's the thing.  But who knows, the guy is great and might last very well.  And the way contracts inflate, late in contract it might be very modest, such that it won't kill you if he's not even playing. 

Not sure that just because you signed a deal, that you need to start Heyward for the next 6 years.  The money is gone, but what's gained by doubling the mistake and reminding yourself of that mistake every time through the lineup as a rally-killer auto-out?  If you were to spend more, and the wins-above-Heyward were substantial, no different from wins-above-replacement at any other spot. 

But, I have no idea what Stanton trade would involve.  Cubs have nothing much to trade, so if it's both the contract and a harvest of young talent, even if the Cubs do have the cash they don't have much in the way of expendable young talent to exchange.  So, totally don't see that. 

Think Stanton's list is kinda smart.  He's been on a loser, those four teams are going to be four winners for sure.  And all winners where taking on his contract won't crimp the team's ability to afford strong surrounding talent.  If the Cubs figure they can't afford surrounding talent in addition to Stanton, that he's too expensive, then he is well served to have his list further reduced.  If he's too good for the Cubs, LA or Yankees can both certainly afford him and championship teammates besides.  He's in a great spot. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 08, 2017, 09:16:24 am
Original report came from Sun Times about the reporter.

I guess you could platoon Heyward/Almora in CF and change Stanton’s opt out date.
Looking at what was reported to be the players in the SF deal, I'm thinking Almora would be Miami bound.  If the Giants lose out on both Stanton and Ohtani, it may be time to talk to them about Heyward.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 08, 2017, 09:36:54 am
Theo on Chatwood.

http://www.dailyherald.com/sports/20171207/cubs-epstein-chatwoods-a-guy-weve-been-after-for-a-while
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2017, 09:46:18 am
I think Stanton wants to go to the Dodgers and the Cubs have little interest.  I think the Marlins will have to take whatever to get rid of Stanton from whoever trades for him.

Harper is younger and you get more peak years and he doesn't cost prospects.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ray on December 08, 2017, 10:03:30 am
Stanton isn't going to take that much prospectwise and you are saving 100+ million. Both seem a tad injury prone to me.  Im not sure pursuing Stanton is the right move but I think it might be the smarter option over Harper (tho I'd still like to see them sign Harper).  I'm just trying to look at this with an open mind.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2017, 10:04:14 am
Supposed insider Marlin Bystro (who has gotten things right in the past) has reappeared on Prosportsdailly, and had this to say: "It's been a while, but I heard that the Cubs are cautiously optimistic on Ohtani. Doesn't mean much since no one really knows anything for sure, but it's clear they are preparing for a potential 6 man rotation just in case."
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 08, 2017, 10:08:03 am
Supposed insider Marlin Bystro (who has gotten things right in the past) has reappeared on Prosportsdailly, and had this to say: "It's been a while, but I heard that the Cubs are cautiously optimistic on Ohtani. Doesn't mean much since no one really knows anything for sure, but it's clear they are preparing for a potential 6 man rotation just in case."

This is the one "supposed insider" who I take seriously.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 08, 2017, 10:16:58 am
"He's uber-talented, a right-hander moving into his prime. He's got great makeup. We think his best days are ahead of him, getting him into an environment where we think he can gain consistency with all of his pitches and play to his strengths a little bit more."  Theo

"It's going to be nice," he said. "To be able to have the same routine and be able to work on stuff and have your ball do the same thing home and away, it's going to be nice."  Chatwood

In Cubs Way book, Arrieta talked about how with Cubs he came to a point where he felt like *if* he could repeat his delivery exactly, he knew where to aim the ball in order to have it end up moving and finishing reproducibly low-outside corner.  Even with all the movement, *if* he could reproduce every detail of delivery, he could approximately reproduce the spot and moderate his volume of walks.  Every pitcher must have that, kind of automate everything for glove-side and arm-side corners low and high. 

But for Chatwood, if exactly reproduced delivery spots the ball at very different spots in Denver versus road, in a sense he'd need to double his number of reproducible deliveries.  Perhaps move to Cubs will help Chatwood to reduce the number of deliveries he needs to automate, and improve consistency, particularly with curve. 

I suspect that having fewer deliveries to reproduce is one of the reason guys often improve in relief.  Let-it-rip jump in velocity is obviously huge. But sometimes (Grimm and Strop excepted, of course!!!), using mostly only a couple of pitches in relief makes guys better able to reproduce delivery and improves control in addition to throwing harder.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 08, 2017, 10:28:36 am
...., but it's clear they are preparing for a potential 6 man rotation just in case."

That's an interesting aspect, if true.  Pre-Chatwood, they were two-guys-short of a 5-man without Ohtani, and still two-short of a 6-man with Ohtani. 

If you need two starters either way, and given that Ohtani won't cost anything for the first year or two, it would seem that the budget planning and spending targets for this winter would not necessarily hinge that much on whether Ohtani shocks you and says yes, or does the expected and says no.  If you want and can afford both Chatwood and Cobb, for example, you might pursue them regardless. 

Perhaps Ohtani would actually have a bigger impact on outfield targets than on rotation/relief? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 08, 2017, 10:46:14 am
This is the one "supposed insider" who I take seriously.

Yeah, but he hasn't had much to share since Tim Wilken left the organization.  I suspect he's not very plugged into the Cubs anymore, but could probably get some pretty interesting Diamondbacks rumors.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2017, 10:51:47 am
Where is wetbutt when you need him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2017, 10:53:20 am
It's all rumor at this stage, but Otani seems very keen on the 6-man rotation idea.  It would seem to give him more opportunities to hit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 08, 2017, 10:54:57 am
Is the assumption that a six man rotation would give Otani more days to rest and to play the outfield?  So we have 4 now.  I suppose Butler and Montgomery would be insurance, but who else do we get?  A one year deal to Lackey?  I hear Brett Anderson is available.  Kill me now.  Cobb still a target?  Liriano?  Sabathia!  Would be nice to get another lefty.   Jaime Garcia?  Oft injured but surprisingly effective for the money.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 08, 2017, 10:55:44 am
Where is wetbutt when you need him.
Davep is in Florida I thnk.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2017, 11:11:39 am
Finding a 6th starter if we get Otani is, honestly, the least of our problems.  Getting him basically free gives you plenty of money to sign a decent #5-type for two years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 08, 2017, 11:19:00 am
Is the assumption that a six man rotation would give Otani more days to rest and to play the outfield?  So we have 4 now.  I suppose Butler and Montgomery would be insurance, but who else do we get?  A one year deal to Lackey?  I hear Brett Anderson is available.  Kill me now.  Cobb still a target?  Liriano?  Sabathia!  Would be nice to get another lefty.   Jaime Garcia?  Oft injured but surprisingly effective for the money.

Isn't the 6-man schedule closer to his frequency in Japan?  And if so, all the more reason to take seriously the 2-way usage? 

With Chatwood as #5 I've been assuming #4 would be targetted for somebody at a higher class:  somebody from the Cobb/Lynn/Arrieta/Darvish group.  Not from the lower Anderson-style class.  :)

Not sure Ohtani would change that much.  Maybe somebody Arrieta-price would be less needful, and could afford a lesser 6th guy?  Maybe Cobb or Lynn would still make great sense, AND be affordable?  Maybe Darvish would actually be a great fit in an Ohtani-Chatwood rotation?

 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 08, 2017, 11:24:24 am
6-man would be interesting from the roster-standpoint.  I thought Maddon had tired/worn-out some of his relievers the last couple of years.  Would adding an extra 6th starter:
1.  Come at the expense of a reliever?
2.  Come at the expense of another position sub? 
3.  Have a starter available each day?  (Sunday starter is available for relief on Wednesday; Monday starter on Thursday, etc...  On 6-day rotation, every day you've got a guy at least 3 days from last and next start....) 
4.  Significantly change Maddon's bullpen usage and cut down on the mid-inning switches?  Have more 2-inning outings? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2017, 11:26:37 am
6 man would be once a week most of the time, so close to Japan.

If the Cubs got Ohtani, I'd line up the rotation Ohtani, Quintana, Hedricks, Lester, Chatwood, ???.  So somebody in Cobb's class would be more of a luxury as the playoff rotation would be Ohtani, Quintana, Hendricks, Lester is some order.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 08, 2017, 11:28:09 am
Pen and pitching-coach tangent:  To what extent are pitching switches and pen usage Maddon, versus Bosio/Hickey? 

Is it possible that Hickey will have different views, that impact the frequency of mid-inning ROOGY switches? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2017, 11:39:29 am
Buster Olney on ESPN 1000 in Chicago just now (supposedly):

“Multiple GM’s around the league feel the Cubs feel EXTREMELY confident about their chances about getting Ohtani after their presentation”
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2017, 11:43:52 am
There's a bit of smoke out there, enough to make me believe there's at least some buzz that the Cubs feel good about Otani (whether they actually do or not).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 08, 2017, 11:43:57 am
Buster Olney on ESPN 1000 in Chicago just now (supposedly):

“Multiple GM’s around the league feel the Cubs feel EXTREMELY confident about their chances about getting Ohtani after their presentation”

I know Theo is THEO!  But still, this would be one heck of an accomplishment if he's able to recruit Ohtani in these circumstances. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 08, 2017, 11:45:25 am
To me, the Cubs have always seemed like a logical landing spot for Ohtani.  Assuming NL teams were under consideration at all.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 08, 2017, 12:00:43 pm
6-man would be interesting from the roster-standpoint.  I thought Maddon had tired/worn-out some of his relievers the last couple of years.  Would adding an extra 6th starter:
1.  Come at the expense of a reliever?
2.  Come at the expense of another position sub? 
3.  Have a starter available each day?  (Sunday starter is available for relief on Wednesday; Monday starter on Thursday, etc...  On 6-day rotation, every day you've got a guy at least 3 days from last and next start....) 
4.  Significantly change Maddon's bullpen usage and cut down on the mid-inning switches?  Have more 2-inning outings? 

Haven't some teams been campaigning, along with the union, to expand the roster by one?  Cubs would probably move to the front of the line.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2017, 12:13:44 pm
Like Chatwood said, why would anybody not want to play for the Cubs these days?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 08, 2017, 12:35:34 pm
Buster Olney on ESPN 1000 in Chicago just now (supposedly):

“Multiple GM’s around the league feel the Cubs feel EXTREMELY confident about their chances about getting Ohtani after their presentation”

I gather someone else posted that Olney had said this (given the "supposedly").  But Olney apparently has not tweeted or otherwise mentioned this in any way that I can find.  Count me as skeptical about Olney saying this without something more tangible.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2017, 12:38:16 pm
http://www.espn.com/espnradio/chicago/play?id=21711234

Ohtani starts at 6 minute mark.  The quote is that from talking to execs of other teams that have talked to the Cubs is that the Cubs feel really good.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 08, 2017, 12:41:35 pm
Buster Olney on ESPN 1000 in Chicago just now (supposedly):

“Multiple GM’s around the league feel the Cubs feel EXTREMELY confident about their chances about getting Ohtani after their presentation”

Smoke within the industry, sure.  That's fun. 

Cubs always talk about "process, not results".  So they can feel great about their process.  But I don't think they can know what the actual result will be and what Ohtani will decide. 

Also can't even possibly imagine Theo is telling other GM's about what he's thinking or expecting, so what do they know?  . 

Heh heh, nor do I  think Ohtani is telling Japanese journalist what he's going to decide, even if he's already made up his mind.

Still, it's fun to not be out of it!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 08, 2017, 12:53:49 pm
http://www.espn.com/espnradio/chicago/play?id=21711234

Ohtani starts at 6 minute mark.  The quote is that from talking to execs of other teams that have talked to the Cubs is that the Cubs feel really good.

I think Olney's description (the Cubs feeling really good about their presentation, etc) is far short of saying that the "Cubs feel EXTREMELY confident."

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2017, 12:59:44 pm
And remember this is coming from other teams, not the Cubs.

I think the more interesting stuff on Ohtani is the silence surrounding his recruitment.  Only the Giants and Mariners have given even a small amount of info about his recruitment and that it might be coming more from the teams not wanting to offend Ohtani becuase no body is sure what he is looking for.  Buster even speculated that his agents may not really be sure what he wants.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2017, 01:06:41 pm
Dylan Hernandez tweeted Ohtani to the Angels.

Multiple tweets now.  Ohtani and Trout is at least fun.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2017, 01:10:23 pm
All the national guys are following up, Angels win.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 08, 2017, 01:11:02 pm

Jeff Passan‏Verified account
@JeffPassan

In the statement announcing Shohei Ohtani will sign with the Los Angeles Angels, agent Nez Balelo said: “In the end, he felt a strong connection with the Angels and believes they can best help him reach his goals in Major League Baseball.”
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 08, 2017, 01:13:11 pm
Well, that's too bad.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 08, 2017, 01:13:29 pm
Well, if not the Cubs, better the Angels than the Dodgers (or the Giants).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 08, 2017, 01:14:05 pm
Shohei, enjoy getting your ass kicked by the Astros for the next few years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 08, 2017, 01:20:09 pm
Wow, fast.  Pretty cool that this whole thing has moved so fast. 

O well, never thought Cubs had much chance anyway. 

Angels and M's, AL-DH teams on west coast, always made the most sense  And Angels with money and contention, makes more sense than M's. 
Marketing great there.

Makes all the sense in the world at every level.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 08, 2017, 01:29:37 pm
Glad he didnt go to the NL if he wasn't gonna be a Cub.

The AL fits his skill set better.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 08, 2017, 02:41:32 pm
Disappointed, but at least now, other chips should fall pretty quickly.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 08, 2017, 03:11:03 pm
Jon Morosi‏ @jonmorosi
#Cubs fans, know that Theo Epstein and his staff did all they could to impress Shohei Ohtani: Their presentation included a Virtual Reality experience of his possible life as a Cub. @MLB @MLBNetwork
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 08, 2017, 03:23:35 pm
I was skeptical, but today I got really loopy hopeful, now I'm depressed.  Gonna go eat worms.  Big fat fuzzy ones, little slippery wiggly ones, a maybe a slug or two.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2017, 03:23:44 pm
Amazing how much this hurts, even though I always knew we were an extreme longshot.  Otani is such a freak at this cost it's almost impossible to gauge his surplus value.

I really don't know where the Cubs go after this.  Cobb makes little sense to me after signing Chatwood, and the other FA options apart from Darvish are pretty unappealing.  I know next winter is a much better FA class to say the least, but can you really afford to throw away a year of your window when windows close so fast modern baseball?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 08, 2017, 03:26:00 pm
The Cubs play the Angels a couple times in spring training but there are no inter league games during the season between the two clubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 08, 2017, 04:11:22 pm
Amazing how much this hurts, even though I always knew we were an extreme longshot.  Otani is such a freak at this cost it's almost impossible to gauge his surplus value.

I really don't know where the Cubs go after this.  Cobb makes little sense to me after signing Chatwood, and the other FA options apart from Darvish are pretty unappealing.  I know next winter is a much better FA class to say the least, but can you really afford to throw away a year of your window when windows close so fast modern baseball?

Heh heh, that's kind of how I felt, too.  Never thought we had much chance, but then some of the morning buzz was getting hopes up; and with him the hopes for years of greatness were just limitless.   O well, back to reality, as is the usual way in life!  :)

I don't see the "Cobb makes little sense" bit, though.  Why not, and what does Chatwood have to do with that?  With Chatwood in hand, Cobb to me actually seems like as good or better a fit than ever.  Certainly can budget-fit both.  Cobb's not too old, age fits.  Obviously Cobb's very limited velocity-wise, but there's potental to pitch significantly better future than he has past, if he could recover feel and touch on his weird ball.  If you got the good versions of both of those guys, you could have a very good, contender-ish rotation, and either could pitch their way into playoff rotation.  Cobb makes excellent sense, in my always-hopeful, always-optimistic view.   I don't think a rotation with Hendricks, Quintana, Lester, Cobb, and Chatwood would be necessarily too weak to have WS-aspirations, if things broke right.  (Obviously you'd need to have some hitters hit....)   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2017, 04:42:03 pm
People are underrating Quintana, Hendricks and Lester here too. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 08, 2017, 04:45:08 pm
I'd be all for a Cobb signing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2017, 04:46:17 pm
Craig, I just don't see the sense in spending 100-million plus on two guys are basically #4-5 starters (though Chatwood has the upside to be more).  Cobb isn't all that appealing to me, TBH - he's a two-pitch pitcher who's never thrown 200 innings, and he's going to cost probably 5 years at 70 million-plus.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 08, 2017, 05:06:29 pm
Cobb was tied for 36 in fWAR with Jake Arrieta. If that is your definition of a 4/5th starter....
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2017, 05:20:06 pm
Mediocre stuff, mediocre peripherals, mediocre health.  Mediocre pitcher.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 08, 2017, 07:46:16 pm
Buster Olney on ESPN 1000 in Chicago just now (supposedly):

“Multiple GM’s around the league feel the Cubs feel EXTREMELY confident about their chances about getting Ohtani after their presentation”

I believe we received the same reports about Tanaka after the interview with him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 08, 2017, 07:50:16 pm
Ill admit that once I realized Otani was basically gonna sign for free I was all for him but now that we didnt Ill let it be known that I dont think he's gonna be a two way player.

He'll be an elite pitcher that can hit ala Madison Bumgardner but what good will that do in the AL?

And we all know the injury history of Japanese pitchers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 08, 2017, 07:52:51 pm
I think that Cobb is the very best we can hope for.  I doubt very seriously that the Cubs will seriously consider coming up with the money for Darvish or Arrieta. 

Possibly Lynn, if you think he is better than Cobb.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 08, 2017, 08:04:19 pm
I don't think this is how it's going to play out, but I'd rather fill out the rotation with some ham-n-eggers and load up the bullpen - Morrow, Reed, and a third.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 08, 2017, 08:09:02 pm
I think I would, too.  Sign a 5th starter with high risk but some upside, spend real money on real relievers and load up next winter then there's a glut in the SP market.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2017, 12:27:40 pm
I wonder if the Yankees are out on Alex Cobb now that they have Stanton.  Are they close enough to the luxury tax that they're going to have to go cheaper to fill out the rotation?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2017, 08:55:12 pm
FWIW, Levine says the Cubs are pushing hard to sign Cobb before Monday.

Not that nuts for that move, not so much because Cobb isn't an OK pitcher but because that means $100 million+ dumped on two back-end rotation guys without doing anything to fix a badly broken bullpen losing its only reliable member, and five SP with multi-year commitments going into the best FA year for SP in baseball history.  You'd basically be adding two starters who, unless they exceed expectations, really aren't guys you'd look forward to starting in a postseason game.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 09, 2017, 09:14:40 pm
Ha, I'd like a Cobb signing...I guess we're on opposite sides of all pitchers this offseason.  Ideally, he'd have a history of eating more innings. But when healthy (and he seemed to be fully back from TJ by the end of the year), he's been a consistent 2.5-3 win pitcher.  If he pitches 175ish innings again next year, he's exactly how I wanted the Cubs to fill out the back of the rotation.

If they do settle the rotation before the meetings really start, I wonder (and maybe this is just wishful thinking) if that makes them more likely to go hard after Yelich. As good as the free agent market is for relievers, I don't think they're going to use any of their top trade depth for the bullpen.  So they'd be in a position to be aggressive with the Marlins.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2017, 09:24:33 pm
Ha, I'd like a Cobb signing...I guess we're on opposite sides of all pitchers this offseason.  Ideally, he'd have a history of eating more innings. But when healthy (and he seemed to be fully back from TJ by the end of the year), he's been a consistent 2.5-3 win pitcher.  If he pitches 175ish innings again next year, he's exactly how I wanted the Cubs to fill out the back of the rotation.


Chatwood and Cobb is problematical for a number of reasons, another one of which is that both have below-average track records when it comes to staying healthy.  If you somehow got 30 starts from each of them, this looks like a rotation that could get you to the postseason pretty well.  But it's not an intimidating playoff rotation by any stretch - it just lacks the shutdown power guys that dominate in October and November.  Maybe Lester can be that guy again, maybe he can't.  I don't see that out of the others. 


The biggest issue is that the bullpen was a disaster in October, and it's going to require a massive overhaul that hasn't even begun yet.  Is there enough money left to sign all the guys necessary to rebuild it?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on December 09, 2017, 09:53:04 pm
Levine is also linking the Cubs to Morrow and Reed...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2017, 10:10:36 pm
Those would be two signings I would wholeheartedly support.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 09, 2017, 10:54:15 pm
FWIW, Levine says the Cubs are pushing hard to sign Cobb before Monday.
Levine is also linking the Cubs to Morrow and Reed...

Interesting.  A team always is interested in a million guys, and gets only a few.  So, who knows.

Would be fun to haul in all three of those guys. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 09, 2017, 11:13:34 pm
deeg, I don't see it the same re Cobb/Chatwood.
1.  Don't think that would preclude signing pretty interesting relievers, plural.  IIRC, Jeff had us down around $120, maybe less; so $12 Chatwood, $14-15 Cobb, $8-each for a couple of relievers, could still have some room.
2.  Also not sure that filling the rotation with $10/year guys would preclude going after a good playoff-starter next winter.  With another year on his tired, Lester might be cooked by then.  If everybody is healthy and Lester is still a desirable rotation guy, that's all great; moving Chatwood at $12 to relief seems no problem. 

I do agree that a rotation of Q, Lester, Hendricks, Cobb, and Chatwood, none of those guys look like they're going to be advantage-pitchers in the playoffs.  When facing Scherzer or Strasburg or Kershaw, are there any of the Cubs 5 (hypothetically including Cobb) where you'd feel our guy was better than theirs, or more talented?  We're going to pitching from behind, talent-wise, in the playoffs, that's a given.  But, what do you do?  It's not like there are any Strasburg-like aces sitting out there being offered in exchange for Almora or Happ or Zobrist. 

I also agree that bullpen must improve.  I think that might be more true than ever in event of Chatwood+Cobb being added as 5+4 starters.  Neither have history of injury-durable; neither have history of innings-eaters.  Chatwood's control and 1st-2nd-3rd-time-through-order combined with Cobb having only finally passed 150 innings, that suggests to me that both guys shouldn't be asked for 7 innings very often, and you should build your bullpen well enough so that if Chatwood normally gives you 5 good innings and Cobb 6, you can pick up the other 4 and 3 innings routinely by your pen.  That may be problematic if doing so means you're alway turning to Grimm or Maples or Koji or somebody of the Felix Pena/Florio caliber.  Pen obviously needs good guys plural. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 09, 2017, 11:53:52 pm
Maybe you don't do anything this year, but you sure as hell have to get yourself one of those "advantage" starters next winter, when so many of them are available.  And at some point you probably have to trade Schwarber or Russell or Baez for another one, because if you're going to win another World Series you probably need two of them in your rotation.

Incidentally, there was an ace pitcher being offered last season for that type of talent in exchange - and the Astros traded for him.  It seemed to work out pretty well for them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 10, 2017, 02:33:34 am
I’m not seeing a glut of “advantage-starters” in FA next year. Kershaw and... ? Gio Gonzalez? That’s the only SP I’m seeing who is clearly superior to the Chatwood/Cobb level of SP this year, to say nothing of Arrieta and Darvish. What am I missing? If anything, next year’s FA SP class looks light. Way more pitching on the FA market this year. Next year it’s bats and RP.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2017, 02:53:53 am
I dont see how anyone here could complain with Chatwood and hopefully Cobb unless they want us to sign Darvish.

I do agree that we need a few upper tier relievers though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 10, 2017, 07:16:53 am
.......have to get yourself one of those "advantage" starters next winter, when so many of them are available.  And at some point you probably have to trade Schwarber or Russell or Baez for another one.....

Nobody's trading a playoff-advantage ace starter for Schwarber, Russell, or Baez.  Not great enough hitters for that.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on December 10, 2017, 07:58:57 am
I’m not seeing a glut of “advantage-starters” in FA next year. Kershaw and... ? Gio Gonzalez? That’s the only SP I’m seeing who is clearly superior to the Chatwood/Cobb level of SP this year, to say nothing of Arrieta and Darvish. What am I missing? If anything, next year’s FA SP class looks light. Way more pitching on the FA market this year. Next year it’s bats and RP.

Full list

Madison Bumgarner (29)  — $12MM club option
Carlos Carrasco (32) — $9MM club option with a $663K buyout
Patrick Corbin (29)
Nathan Eovaldi (29)
Doug Fister (35) — $4.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Gio Gonzalez (33)
Cole Hamels (35) — $20MM club/vesting option with a $6MM buyout
Jason Hammel (36) — $12MM mutual option with a $2MM buyout
J.A. Happ (36)
Matt Harvey (30)
Hisashi Iwakuma (35)
Scott Kazmir (35)
Clayton Kershaw (31) — can opt out of remaining two years, $65MM
Dallas Keuchel (31)
Brandon McCarthy (35)
Matt Moore (30)  — $10MM club option with a $750K buyout
Charlie Morton (35)
Wily Peralta (30) — $3MM club option with a $25K buyout
Martin Perez (28) — $7.5MM club option with a $750K buyout
Drew Pomeranz (30)
David Price (33) — can opt out of remaining four years and $127MM
Garrett Richards (31)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (32)
Chris Sale (30) — $15MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Ervin Santana (36) — $14MM club/vesting option
James Shields (37) — $16MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Josh Tomlin (34)
Edinson Volquez (35)
Adam Wainwright (37)
Travis Wood (32) — $8MM mutual option with a $1.5MM buyout
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 10, 2017, 08:10:43 am
Maybe it's time to consider offering a 6-year deal to Arrieta.  A rotation of Arrieta, Q, Hendricks, Lester, and Chatwood would be excellent.  I'd rather take this aggressive approach than to sign another bottom of the rotation guy all things considered.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 10, 2017, 08:17:34 am
If Cobb is a back end starter, then 2017 Arrieta was a back end starter too.  Arrieta struck out a few more, but Cobb walked a few less.  Everything else was almost identical:

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2017&month=0&season1=2017&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=4153,6562
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2017, 08:19:14 am
So Price is the only guy that might be added to the list, but with his elbow issues that is unlikely.

I think people are underrating Hendricks, Lester and Quintana. With more rest I think Hendricks will be more consistent and Lester will bounce back. Quintana is just underrated on this board for whatever reason. Even in 2016 I never felt great with any of the pitchers going up against Kershaw, Scherzer etc...

Bullpen needs work. I’d really like to see 3 guys added this year. Marrow, McGee and 1 other righty.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 10, 2017, 09:05:48 am
br, I don't see it that way.  Arrieta had a higher K rate (23.1% vs. 17.3%), a lower hard contact rate (29.4% vs. 36.9%), and a higher soft contact rate (20% vs. 14.9%).  It is true that Cobb had a lower BB rate (5.9% vs. 7.8%). but to my eye the numbers indicate that Jake was indeed the better starter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2017, 09:38:34 am
br, I don't see it that way.  Arrieta had a higher K rate (23.1% vs. 17.3%), a lower hard contact rate (29.4% vs. 36.9%), and a higher soft contact rate (20% vs. 14.9%).  It is true that Cobb had a lower BB rate (5.9% vs. 7.8%). but to my eye the numbers indicate that Jake was indeed the better starter.

Couple problems with direct comparisons. Cobb pitches in the AL with a DH, so the K% is going to be less because he doesn’t get to face pitchers. Cobb also had trouble with the feel for his best pitch coming off TJS, but there isn’t any reason he can’t get this pitch back. Just moving to the NL will boost his K%. Plus the fact that when Cobb changed his approach to fastball/curve his K% was similar to Arrieta’s.

The Rays also gave up a lot of hard contact last year.  Archer’s hard contact percentage has higher than Cobb’s last year at 39.4%. This was a 7% jump from from his career norms. Some have speculated that there has an issue with the Rays stadium inflating hard contact % with StatCast.

I think Jake will be a better version of Jake next year, but I think Cobb will be better next year too so the production will still be similar and Cobb will be tens of millions of dollars cheaper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 10, 2017, 10:26:07 am
Cobb and Arrieta may have gotten their results in different ways.  But in the end, their ERAs were only marginally different, while their FIP and WAR were identical.  Like CBJ, I expect both to be a little better next year.  And I think both are mid rotation starters going forward.

Cobb's numbers you cited improved a lot in the second half, by the way, which is a very good sign coming off TJ.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 10, 2017, 10:38:27 am
Red Sox are interested in Schwarber:

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/12/east-notes-rumors-marlins-red-sox-schwarber-stanton.html

Seems unlikely, but I wonder what a trade including Benintendi would look like. It might require more players from both sides unless the Red Sox are interested in opening a spot for JD Martinez.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 10, 2017, 11:38:12 am
I can't see the point in trading Schwarber for anything other than pitching, and I don't think he will get a top pitcher in return.  I believe that this front office is still sold on Almora in center, and nothing in his record seems to indicate that they are wrong.

If they add Cobb, they will have an excellent starting pitching staff (barring injuries, which applies to every staff in baseball), and although there may be an increased chance of injury for the two of them based upon their history, there is also a good chance of a career year by either or both of them, because of their potential. 

And they still have a top offense with the depth to deal with likely injuries.  Obviously, they need to shore up the bull pen, but I have every expectation that they will do so.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: bitterman on December 10, 2017, 01:15:58 pm
I would peg the likelihood of resigning Arrieta at 1%.. I don't want that contract.. Time to move on.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2017, 01:52:15 pm
Quote
Bruce Levine‏
@MLBBruceLevine
 5m5 minutes ago
More
According to sources the Cubs are moving quickly on free agent set man Brandon Morrow.Morrow crazy numbers include zero home runs allowed in surrendered in 45 games last season. 6-0 record -10 K per 9 innings pitched ( 1.9 walks per 9 innnings)  0.91 WHIP.


Morrow was obviously great last season - the question is, do you believe it's sustainable?  I like him as a target, but he's not going to be cheap.  And is he being targeted as a closer or the 8th inning guy?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 10, 2017, 02:00:18 pm
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
Cubs are closing in on deal for brsndon morrow


Looks like the Cubs might get a chance to see if it's sustainable.  I bet he is at least in the competition to close if they get him.

If they get Morrow, I'd like the next reliever to be a consistent pitcher who has been healthy.  Reed or Shaw come to mind.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2017, 02:04:58 pm
Boy I like these pitching additions.

One has to think either Morrow is closing or we're signing a closer next because there cant be more than a couple spots left and that dont include Cobb.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2017, 02:28:59 pm
I'm fine with letting Morrow and Wilson battle for (or split) the closing duties.  Don't waste precious resources on signing a "closer" just because they have a bunch of saves (an idiotic stat) on their resume.  Sign one more solid setup guy - Reed, whoever, just not a lottery ticket - and focus on improving the roster in other places.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2017, 02:33:18 pm
Ken Rosenthal‏Verified account
@Ken_Rosenthal
 23m23 minutes ago
More
#Cubs close on Brandon Morrow, per @MLBBruceLevine. Had mentioned last week they were considering him to close. Likely will sign one other late-inning reliever as well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2017, 02:33:25 pm
Reed and Cobb would be fine by me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 10, 2017, 02:35:42 pm
Full list

Madison Bumgarner (29)  — $12MM club option
Carlos Carrasco (32) — $9MM club option with a $663K buyout
Patrick Corbin (29)
Nathan Eovaldi (29)
Doug Fister (35) — $4.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Gio Gonzalez (33)
Cole Hamels (35) — $20MM club/vesting option with a $6MM buyout
Jason Hammel (36) — $12MM mutual option with a $2MM buyout
J.A. Happ (36)
Matt Harvey (30)
Hisashi Iwakuma (35)
Scott Kazmir (35)
Clayton Kershaw (31) — can opt out of remaining two years, $65MM
Dallas Keuchel (31)
Brandon McCarthy (35)
Matt Moore (30)  — $10MM club option with a $750K buyout
Charlie Morton (35)
Wily Peralta (30) — $3MM club option with a $25K buyout
Martin Perez (28) — $7.5MM club option with a $750K buyout
Drew Pomeranz (30)
David Price (33) — can opt out of remaining four years and $127MM
Garrett Richards (31)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (32)
Chris Sale (30) — $15MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Ervin Santana (36) — $14MM club/vesting option
James Shields (37) — $16MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Josh Tomlin (34)
Edinson Volquez (35)
Adam Wainwright (37)
Travis Wood (32) — $8MM mutual option with a $1.5MM buyout

Ok, I missed Keuchel, but I don’t think he bears the playoff-advantage starter any more than Lester or Q. This year has much more appealing options on the SP front, IMO, and I’d be really happy with an acquisition of Cobb. There were some significant adjustments he made in the second half of the year that portend to a really good 2018, if healthy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 10, 2017, 02:47:18 pm
Jon Heyman‏Verified account
@JonHeyman

Morrow will have deal with cubs. Expected to be for 10 or 11M a year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 10, 2017, 02:48:48 pm
Ok, I missed Keuchel, but I don’t think he bears the playoff-advantage starter any more than Lester or Q. This year has much more appealing options on the SP front, IMO, and I’d be really happy with an acquisition of Cobb. There were some significant adjustments he made in the second half of the year that portend to a really good 2018, if healthy.

Well, there's also Baumgarner.  Maybe the Giants won't exercise their club option.   ;)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2017, 02:56:19 pm
Morosi saying 2 year deal with an option for Morrow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 10, 2017, 02:56:57 pm
Passan says the Morrow deal is two years with an option.  A little higher on AAV than I expected, but I'll take it if the deal is only 2 years guaranteed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on December 10, 2017, 02:57:43 pm
Hoping that’s a team option...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2017, 02:58:47 pm
$10m/annum is about what I expected.  If it's 2 years with a club option that's a great contract.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 10, 2017, 02:59:56 pm
Yeah, doubt that’s a club option. If so, awesome. Either way great.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2017, 03:00:01 pm
Hopefully that ridiculous abuse by Roberts in the playoffs didn't break Morrow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 10, 2017, 03:22:04 pm
I bet Reed or McGee will be the next reliever.  Then they can have a three way competition between Wilson, Reed/McGee, and Morrow for closer, and all have at least a little experience in the role previously.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 10, 2017, 03:24:52 pm
Joel Sherman‏Verified account
@Joelsherman1

#Cubs do have 2-yr agreement with Brandon Morrow as @JeffPassan reported, pending physical. #Cubs moving quick on targets Chatwood, Morrow and Cobb. If can get Cobb done, will feel have done heavy lifting then sit and see what comes to them or they find.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 10, 2017, 03:25:40 pm
Bad feeling that last year was a career year and a fluke.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 10, 2017, 03:29:23 pm
Joel Sherman‏Verified account
@Joelsherman1

#Cubs do have 2-yr agreement with Brandon Morrow as @JeffPassan reported, pending physical. #Cubs moving quick on targets Chatwood, Morrow and Cobb. If can get Cobb done, will feel have done heavy lifting then sit and see what comes to them or they find.

I'll be interested to see what follows if they get the Cobb deal done soon.  Maybe it's nothing, but it definitely seems like if they get the big hurdles cleared early, they could spend the meetings trying to pull off something big and unexpected.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 10, 2017, 03:33:33 pm
I think our terminology is incorrect again.  I don't think our FO is looking at Cobb and Chatwood  as #4 #5 pitchers.  They're gatering a flock of 2's and 3's
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2017, 03:45:37 pm
They can hope for whatever outcome they want, doesn't make it likely.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2017, 03:57:05 pm
Hope Sherman is wrong on Jed being done if we get Cobb.

We still need another reliever unless you're happy with Montgomery, Wilson, Grimm, Strop, Maples, Edwards, Morrow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 10, 2017, 03:59:13 pm
I'm surprised they don't try to re-sign Duensing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 10, 2017, 04:02:32 pm
I wouldn't be surprised if Duensing is trying for a 2-3 year deal right now coming off his good season.  He seems like the type who might ultimately be forced to take a 1 year, $3 million deal in February--there are just too many good options on the market for him to get a multi-year deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on December 10, 2017, 04:41:10 pm
Ok, I missed Keuchel, but I don’t think he bears the playoff-advantage starter any more than Lester or Q. This year has much more appealing options on the SP front, IMO, and I’d be really happy with an acquisition of Cobb. There were some significant adjustments he made in the second half of the year that portend to a really good 2018, if healthy.

I agree, other then Kershaw and Keuchel, there isnt too much to be excited about in next years SP class.

IMO Kershaw will be resigned by the dodgers, so you have Keuchel, Price (if he opts out) and a lot of blah next year for SPs.

IF cobb costs less then 15 a year for 3-4 years, he is a good upside signing... he will get you 2-3 war seasons with a peak of 4.5 one year over that contract.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 10, 2017, 04:45:53 pm
Wherever Kershaw signs, if I’m giving +$40M/yr to someone next winter, it’s not the 30 yr old pitcher with back problems.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: goblue007 on December 10, 2017, 04:46:50 pm
Friend who attended Arkansas with Smyly said he’s visiting with Cubs today.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 10, 2017, 04:53:56 pm
Nice
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on December 10, 2017, 04:58:07 pm
Smyly is frighteningly home-run prone and is another TJ surgery survivor.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 10, 2017, 04:58:14 pm
Yes to Smyly. And Rosenthal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 10, 2017, 05:19:09 pm
Agree on Rosenthal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on December 10, 2017, 05:27:56 pm
Wherever Kershaw signs, if I’m giving +$40M/yr to someone next winter, it’s not the 30 yr old pitcher with back problems.

I'd give him 40 million a year for 4 years. He is a stud. He should change his name to Kersheartaw.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 10, 2017, 07:01:24 pm
Bad feeling that last year was a career year and a fluke.

Think "career year" is probably true.  However, the year was so good that he could drop off from that, and still be a very good value. 

The weird thing last year was that his walk rate was good, less than half his career rate.  So, could be fluke.  Or, could be not that flukey, the result of pitching 1-inning stints and challenging with a ton of fastballs, rather than mixing in lots of 3rd pitches? 


I mentioned this a few days back, but I do think the T1 diabetes could be a bit of a factor.  (Even if rare/minimal).  A lot easier to manage your blood sugar for one inning of work, versus 6 innings.  Plus he's had it longer now and knows how to handle it better.  So perhaps some of the mediocre results earlier in career was teensily influenced by the diabetes? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 10, 2017, 07:15:44 pm
Smyly is frighteningly home-run prone ....

Yeah, not sure I'm very enthused to add a guy to the rotation who, over the last two years of only 242 innings, has given up 43 HR's.  Wow.  That's literally as bad or worse than John Lackey in terms of HR-factorizing.  Smyly's a very large step less desirable than Cobb, that's for sure. 

My interest in Smyly would be more in term of a 6th starter/swing-man/relief guy than as an intended starter.  Given how much better so many guys are in relief, that would be an interesting role for him. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 10, 2017, 07:17:36 pm
Hope Sherman is wrong on Jed being done if we get Cobb.

We still need another reliever unless you're happy with Montgomery, Wilson, Grimm, Strop, Maples, Edwards, Morrow.

Yeah, absolutely need more relief help.  If all you do is replace Davis with Morrow, that doesn't do anything to help improve the problem in getting to Davis. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 10, 2017, 07:25:59 pm
Need a bare minimum of two "major" reliever acquisitions.  Three would be better.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ray on December 10, 2017, 07:45:30 pm
I really like the Morrow signing. He looks dominant enough, I'd like to see them sign Reed to close and put him in the Miller role.  Having a guy like that can really help swing a win loss record or playoff odds more than simple war would indicate. Dominate bp guys are really undervalued to me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 10, 2017, 10:25:22 pm
I think our terminology is incorrect again.  I don't think our FO is looking at Cobb and Chatwood  as #4 #5 pitchers.  They're gatering a flock of 2's and 3's

I agree.  If they both are injured again, then neither will be a #4 or #5.  But if either or both stay healthy, they will be much better than most team's #4 pitcher.  Perhaps Chatwood needs to not only stay healthy, but also improve his command and control, but Cobb, barring health problems, is already shown that he is capable of being a #2/3 with his current abilities.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on December 10, 2017, 10:43:50 pm
Would be interested to see data on pitcher's command after leaving Coors field. I would imagine that act alone could improve command.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2017, 07:08:00 am
Morrow 2 years, $21 million. The option is vesting for $12 million with a $3 million buy out. He’ll get $9 million/year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 11, 2017, 07:36:13 am

Ken Rosenthal‏Verified account
@Ken_Rosenthal

Brandon Morrow’s deal with #Cubs, if completed, will be two years, $21M, sources tell The Athletic. Morrow would earn $9M in 2018 and $9M in ‘19 with a $3M buyout or $12M vesting option for 2020.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 11, 2017, 08:46:37 am
Payroll update.



[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 11, 2017, 09:47:50 am
Thanks, Jeff.  That is really helpful.  Very helpful.   

Questions: 
1.  On the bottom, you have $181,757,143 (sum of the lux tax fixures), plus also $197,000,000  and  $15,242,857 listed.  The latter two are cut-and-paste leftovers not meant to be there, correct?

2.  I wonder whether, instead of two relief spots to fill, whether they won't want to add at least 3 more?  (Whether that means bumping the budget, or splitting an allotment into two smaller ones...) 

3.  Is Grimm's contract such that if you cut him in camp, you don't have to actually pay the full $2.4, and how much you do pay depends on how early you cut him?  (I know reb has a good memory for those details, so I hope you either come back, reb, or else that somebody else remembers!)  Or are they really effectively committed to $2.4 for Grimm? 

4.  Does Dario Alvarez have options?  Maybe they're going to figure they're OK with leaving one bullpen open spot, with Grimm as $2.4 place-holder, but then with Maples, maybe a Rule 5, and whatever non-roster guys or Alvarez types they've got competing? 


5.  Maybe Hickey or Benedict think they see something fixable, so they want to at least give Grimm a camp shot?  Without assuming that he'll make it, particularly if camp injuries don't open up spot(s)? 

6.  Overall I'm just thinking that it might be good to pick up another one or two comeback guys on $2M-ish deals, or somebodies like Duensing last year.  To compete with Grimm for last spot. I don't want to assume Grimm on the staff, and then be an injury or two (starter or reliever) from having 3 pen guys comparable or worse than Grimm? 

7.  Or else just get a pretty solid/decent 13th guy at a contract that pays accordingly (≥$3.5), with Grimm outside the bubble barring injuries. 

8.  I also wonder if they might not want a failed rotation guy for relief, an option to Montgomery as long-man/swing-man insurance?  A fill-in starter, or if you wanted to do some 6-man rotation for a while; or a guy who wasn't that good in rotation but might emerge as quite effective when used in relief?  Not sure how bad a guy would need to be to settle for a role like that at a price that's cheap enough, though.  (For example, I kinda doubt a guy like Smyly would need to settle for a $7.5/2 relief/swing contract.)   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 11, 2017, 09:51:30 am
Craig, the $197 is the 2018 luxury tax threshold and the delta is how far we are from that.

Alvarez has options.  Butler and Grimm are the only bubble guys that don't.  Well, La Stella doesn't either, but I'm considering him a roster lock.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 11, 2017, 09:54:36 am
Craig:

http://m.mlb.com/glossary/transactions/non-guaranteed-contract
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 11, 2017, 09:57:09 am
That's a really encouraging snapshot of things, projecting $15M below lux tax even with sizeable signings for the last SP and RP spots. I mean, if the Cubs were so inclined, they could even go out and get someone like Darvish and still come in under the cap for this year.

And how 'bout those Rizzo and Q deals? Basically $6M and $4M respectively for lux tax purposes? Wow wow wow.

Lastly, are the benefits/burdens for sure a part of the taxable amount? Is that just a general estimate at $15M, or is that a standard charge assumed by all teams in lux tax calcs?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 11, 2017, 09:57:11 am
Craig, here's the best reference for who has options and who doesn't:

http://www.thecubreporter.com/cubs-40-man-roster
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 11, 2017, 10:30:55 am
Craig, the B&B are definitely part of the luxury tax calc.  Cot's uses a $13 million allowance.  I bumped it to $15.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2017, 10:47:49 am
Bob Nightengale @BNightengale
The Boston #RedSox have let several teams know that CF Jackie Bradley is available in their pursuit of a power bat. #Cubs
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 11, 2017, 10:50:07 am
Craig, the $197 is the 2018 luxury tax threshold and the delta is how far we are from that.

Alvarez has options.  Butler and Grimm are the only bubble guys that don't.  Well, La Stella doesn't either, but I'm considering him a roster lock.

Ah, excellent, Jeff, your command of all of the details is fabulous. 
1.  So, Grimm is not guaranteed, and can easily be cut in camp at neglible extent. 
2.  Yeah, that's a pretty reasonable margin below lux tax.  You want to have some, so you can pick up a Verlander or Chapman in July.  But no risk of picking up $15M in remaining salary.
3.  Thanks for including the B&B, with the extra cushion.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2017, 10:58:14 am
Good contract for Morrow.  Though of course swapping Morrow for Davis does nothing in itself to strengthen the pen - you need at least one more frontline reliever, preferably two.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on December 11, 2017, 11:05:31 am
Thoughts on a deal around Bradley/Schwarber?

JBJ doesn’t do a lot for me, personally...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 11, 2017, 11:13:47 am
What was Butler's injury? 

I know he didn't miss bats, he was wild and inconsistent, and nobody missed him much when he got sent out.  But he did actually have the best rotation ERA on the staff at the time they sent him out. 

I kinda wonder whether he might not be an anti-awful candidate to be a relief guy, and maybe compete with Grimm for a last spot?  (With potential to get stretched out and make a few fill-in starts if needed again).  Obviously in relief tend to want K-guys, so that's not him. 

But I wonder if he might do OK?  Be a little faster; control a little better throwing just 2 pitches; control a little better throwing every other day instead of sitting for days between starts?  Maybe Hickey or Benedict will have some little tweak to improve his breaking ball just a bit?  Maybe even an unimproved breaking ball plays a little better when fastball is coming 95-97 instead of 91-93 and is being thrown with higher frequency?  Heh heh, not expecting, but sometimes when a season turns out great, some unexpectedly effective guys emerge. 

Just kinda thinking that **IF** the Cubs were to sign Cobb, it might be best to assume Chatwood and Cobb as 5-inning guys, and view anything beyond as frosting.  If Butler was to emerge as an anti-awful pitch-to-contact faster-fastball guy who could pick up the 6th, or perhaps get used as a 2-inning bridge, that might be advantageous, and protect the late-inning guys.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2017, 11:31:31 am
Thoughts on a deal around Bradley/Schwarber?

JBJ doesn’t do a lot for me, personally...

I wouldn't be high on a deal, but I think it's worth at least talking about if you're the Cubs.  JBJ will play next season at 28 years old, so he is what he is at this point--a great defensive outfielder with inconsistent (but league average or a little above) offense. If you think 2017 Schwarber is what he's going to be, then I think it's a pretty good trade for the Cubs.  But if you think Schwarber will be break out, I don't think you make the deal (if only because someone will overpay next offseason if he has a big offensive year).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 11, 2017, 11:42:46 am
Thoughts on a deal around Bradley/Schwarber?   JBJ doesn’t do a lot for me, personally...

Not sure I'd be very excited.  Bradley seems almost "too Cub"; yet another high-K low-average hot-and-cold hitter.  Who's probably eaten alive by post-season-caliber pitchers. 

His splits aren't that sharp either.  So doesn't look like platoon with Almora would result in a monster combo, or anything.   

I think the Cubs offense is a worry, so I'd probably rather roll the dice on Schwarber and hope he can make enough adjustments/improvements to turn into a pretty valuable platoon bat.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2017, 12:19:48 pm
I wouldn't make that deal, personally.  Bradley probably is a better hitter than he was last season, but Schwarber has a chance to be an elite offensive player.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 11, 2017, 12:33:46 pm
When I hear the name Bradley, I can't help but think of Milton.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on December 11, 2017, 12:34:21 pm
Agreed...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 11, 2017, 12:43:21 pm
Cubs likely have a league average offensive, superior defensive CF in Almora, who is four years younger than JBJ.

Don't get me wrong, I think JBJ is better than Almora, but with a multitude of options in the OF (Schwarber, Happ, Almora, Heyward, Zobrist; even Baez, Contreras, and Bryant) I don't know that it makes sense to swap out one OF (Schwarber) for another (JBJ) who seemingly replicates the qualities of a third (Almora).

If the front office lacks confidence in Almora, then the trade might make sense, but I think they very much want to give Almora (and Schwarber) a real shot this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 11, 2017, 12:45:20 pm
I think Almora is likely to show significant progress offensively this season.  That would make him too valuable to deal for any realistic return.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 11, 2017, 12:48:03 pm
Given what Theo and company think of Schwarber, and his near .900 OPS in the second half, I don't see them trading him unless they could somehow convince another team to consider Schwarb the centerpiece for a high-end starter, which also isn't going to happen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on December 11, 2017, 12:48:26 pm
I really want to see what Schwarber is going to do this year. I think this year will define what he is. Was last year a fluke? Or indicative of what we expect going forward?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2017, 12:57:03 pm
I don't know if it was a fluke, but it won't be typical of what he'll become.  He was basically a rookie coming off a yearlong knee injury. In hindsight it was pretty much predictable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2017, 01:02:50 pm
Just for the sake of argument...  Any interest at all in Matt Harvey, if the Mets were basically giving him away?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2017, 01:08:51 pm
If he'd pitch out of the pen, yes.  If he wants a guaranteed spot in the rotation, no.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 11, 2017, 01:27:11 pm
If Im trading Schwarber it's gonna be for a pitcher with as much potential as he has.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 11, 2017, 01:30:39 pm
Boston might be willing to get rid of Wright. ;D
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 11, 2017, 01:49:16 pm
Cubs likely have a league average offensive, superior defensive CF in Almora, who is four years younger than JBJ.

Don't get me wrong, I think JBJ is better than Almora, but with a multitude of options in the OF (Schwarber, Happ, Almora, Heyward, Zobrist; even Baez, Contreras, and Bryant) I don't know that it makes sense to swap out one OF (Schwarber) for another (JBJ) who seemingly replicates the qualities of a third (Almora).

If the front office lacks confidence in Almora, then the trade might make sense, but I think they very much want to give Almora (and Schwarber) a real shot this year.

I think Tico pretty well nails it.  Personally, I don't think that Bradley is much better than Almora will be, if at all.  But certainly he is not so much better that I would trade Schwarber to get him.  Like several posted later, if they trade Schwarber, it should be for a pitcher, and they are not likely at this point to get a pitcher who would be a difference maker.

If the Cubs can get Cobb, or someone similar, they are pretty much set for next season, unless they decide to really go strong for a closer such as Davis, and it doesn't look as if they are going in that direction.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2017, 01:53:57 pm
How does replacing Davis with Morrow make us set for next season?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 11, 2017, 02:03:29 pm
I think that either Edwards or Morrow are likely able to fill the closer role, and ( I see I skipped it in my post) I think that the rest of the pen can be filled in with free agent set-up types, such as Duensing.  With Chatworth and Cobb, and Montgomery concentrating on relief, there should be much less of a strain on the bull pen, and I don't expect it to be the black hole it became last October.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 11, 2017, 02:15:35 pm
We need at least one more good reliever and one more starting pitcher.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 11, 2017, 03:04:16 pm
How does replacing Davis with Morrow make us set for next season?

We need to add at least a couple more relievers who will end up being effective. 


Obviously spending does not ensure effectiveness. 


And obviously low-salary guys sometimes emerge as good and effective. 


HOpefully combo of some scouting and good luck and smart FA signings will end up with a good pen. 


But replacing Davis with Morrow, that alone doesn't improve the bad pen we ended with. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 11, 2017, 03:38:34 pm
Given ....his near .900 OPS in the second half, I don't see them trading him ....

Tango's "Marcel the Monkey" projects to .806.  I expect something above Marcel but below 2nd-half .894.  I'm guessing maybe .830-type guy? 

Im guessing the amazing HR/contact rate he had 2nd half isn't sustainable and will drop.  He was more than double the HR/contact of any of Bryant, Rizzo, or Baez; higher than Stanton; almost Judge; and short of Bonds 73-HR season but much closer to that than to Bryant or Rizzo. 

HR/contact rate: 
2017 Baez:  7.1%
2017 Bryant:  6.8%
2017 Rizzo:  6.6%
2nd-half Schwarber:  14.9%

Stanton 2017:  13.6%
Judge:  15.6%. 
Historic juiced-ball-juiced-body 73-HR-season Bonds:  19.0% 

So, I think we should be a little cautious in assuming the .894 2nd-half is what we should expect as normal.  Without a 15% HR/contact rate, he'd need other aspects of his offense to go up, in order to stay near the .894 2nd-half number he posted. 

His 2nd-half K-rate jumped a lot, compared to first half, and his walk-rate dropped. 

So kind of looks like he just got more aggressive and sold out for the HR, and it paid off. 

Will be interesting if he tries, and is able, to make any adjustments to hit the ball more often.  Or if maybe he and management will figure it's best to just sell out on the HR, and that's just who he is and what he's going to be.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2017, 04:03:39 pm
I would guess around .250/330/520/850 for Schwarber next season.

Two more relievers for sure, and yes - more money doesn't automatically mean more effectiveness, but the Cubs have tried the "cheap and hope" approach for the last few years, and apart from Duensing largely failed.  McGee and Reed would be a nice pair to add to Morrow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 11, 2017, 04:11:23 pm

Will be interesting if he tries, and is able, to make any adjustments to hit the ball more often.  Or if maybe he and management will figure it's best to just sell out on the HR, and that's just who he is and what he's going to be.   

Theo has made it crystal clear that the Cubs want and expect Schwarber to go back to/become a more pure hitter who makes more consistent contact, one who does not "just sell out on the HR."  He's made this point several times since the end of the season and has said that Schwarber is in agreement.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 11, 2017, 04:14:12 pm
They have to add at least one more in the Reed/McGee/Shaw class.  On Twitter today, I've seen them connected to Reed and Kintzler.  If it's down to those two, Reed is far and away the better buy.  I think Reed is a perfect fit now, actually.  He'd compliment Morrow perfectly because the things you worry about with Morrow--specifically, durability and command--are the things that Reed excels at.

If they got Reed, it would be nice if they could also add McGee too.  But I think at that point they could wait out the market and target someone who falls through the cracks and doesn't sign until mid-January.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2017, 04:40:50 pm
If they are only going to add 1 late inning guy I'd really prefer McGee to Reed.  Montgomery is going to be the swing guy which would leave Wilson as the only lefty in pen.  Detroit Wilson that would be ok, but Cub Wilson that can't throw a strike scares me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 11, 2017, 04:46:57 pm
Surely Jed realizes we still need a couple bullpen arms.

This man has proven to not be stupid.

If it is only one more it means they think the world of Edwards and Maples.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 11, 2017, 04:53:40 pm
Theo has made it crystal clear that the Cubs want and expect Schwarber to go back to/become a more pure hitter who makes more consistent contact, one who does not "just sell out on the HR."  He's made this point several times since the end of the season and has said that Schwarber is in agreement.

Thanks, Ron.  Hadn't seen those, so sounds really interesting.   I hope it works.  I wonder what that might mean in terms of adjustments or approach? 

Schwarber was a high-K guy in minors as well as in majors.  So he may be able to shift some things around, but with some variation he's been kinda the similar general profile hitter since he turned pro.  Will be curious to see how much he can redefine himself as a hitter?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2017, 07:28:20 pm
I suppose when Theo says pursuing Stanton didn't make sense because of "some future plans", it does get you thinking a bit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 11, 2017, 07:28:41 pm
Schwarber wasn’t a high K guy in the minors. He was 17.7-20.2% in most of his minor league PA, with a 11.5-17.3% BB%. The only time he was above 25% was in AAA and that is barely 100 PA.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 11, 2017, 07:42:26 pm
I wonder if Cub fans expecting Bryce Harper are like UT fans expecting Jon Gruden?

I have a baseball Bryce threw to me in the bleachers at Wrigley back in our shitty days.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 11, 2017, 08:00:47 pm
I'm not sure I want Bryce Harper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 11, 2017, 08:21:37 pm
Me either.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2017, 08:35:24 pm
I'm sure I do.  At what he ultimately costs?  Who knows.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2017, 08:38:01 pm
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Cubs have shown some interest in Matt Harvey. As with O's and Rangers, unclear how serious as of yet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 11, 2017, 08:45:38 pm
Of course I like Bryce the player.

Im just not gonna like that contract.

I may be more inclined to get 3-5 good players instead of one.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 11, 2017, 08:46:11 pm
Im game to give Harvey a chance if it comes cheap.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 11, 2017, 10:03:52 pm
Maybe Hickey or Benedict will have some little tweak to improve his breaking ball just a bit?  Maybe even an unimproved breaking ball plays a little better when fastball is coming 95-97 instead of 91-93 and is being thrown with higher frequency?  Heh heh, not expecting, but sometimes when a season turns out great, some unexpectedly effective guys emerge.

Do you really want to sign multi-million dollar contracts based on maybe's which don't even seem to have any particular logic of reason behind their likelihood?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 11, 2017, 10:07:57 pm
Harper isn't just the clear second-best player in baseball (and he'd be the best in most eras, when there isn't a once-in-a-generation talent eclipsing him) - he'll be the youngest FA of his caliber ever.  It's hard to put a true estimate on how much would be fair value for him, but it's an awful lot.  If he truly is intrigued by the idea of playing for the Cubs (and who knows if he really is) I don't know how you can't be extremely interested.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 11, 2017, 10:18:56 pm
I don't think there is anyone that wouldn't want Harper on the Cubs.  The question is, would he become a Cub at a price that we are willing and able to afford.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on December 12, 2017, 08:11:57 am
With the new TV deal coming online and the improvements to Wrigley wrapping up along with the increased revenue streams, it's time the Cubs put on their big boy pants and act like a big market team at some point. Yes, that will probably mean paying the luxury tax, but they can and will easily be able to afford it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2017, 10:17:56 am
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Sources: The San Diego Padres continue to be one of the more active teams at the Winter Meetings. There's traction to their talks with Eric Hosmer, and they're seeking a young, under-control shortstop. One match to keep an eye on: The Chicago Cubs.


What possible match would the Padres have with the Cubs for Baez or Russell?  Seems like it would have to be a three way trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2017, 10:31:54 am
With the new TV deal coming online and the improvements to Wrigley wrapping up along with the increased revenue streams, it's time the Cubs put on their big boy pants and act like a big market team at some point. Yes, that will probably mean paying the luxury tax, but they can and will easily be able to afford it.

There's spending like a big market team, and then there's just spending irresponsibly.  How high are you willing to go?  The contract is going to be, at minimum, 10 years, $400 million...and that's if only one team is seriously in the market.  Are you willing to pay him $45 million a year?  $50 million a year?  At some point, the cost is too much even for Harper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2017, 10:35:57 am
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Sources: The San Diego Padres continue to be one of the more active teams at the Winter Meetings. There's traction to their talks with Eric Hosmer, and they're seeking a young, under-control shortstop. One match to keep an eye on: The Chicago Cubs.


What possible match would the Padres have with the Cubs for Baez or Russell?  Seems like it would have to be a three way trade.

I can't see Hand being enough, but maybe a three team trade for Archer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 12, 2017, 11:34:03 am
There's spending like a big market team, and then there's just spending irresponsibly.  How high are you willing to go?  The contract is going to be, at minimum, 10 years, $400 million...and that's if only one team is seriously in the market.  Are you willing to pay him $45 million a year?  $50 million a year?  At some point, the cost is too much even for Harper.

In a year where he only played 111 games, Harper was worth 5 wins last year. At market rate that's $45M in value. He's one of two players in the game capable of putting up a 10 win season. He'll be 26 when he's a free agent. Yes I would pay him $40M (but that deal likely extends beyond 10 years). Yes I would pay him $45M. If it had to go as high as $50M that would begin to limit the number of years I'd be willing to offer. I'd potentially be willing to go higher than $50 if Harper wanted to hit the market again in his early 30's.

Harper is basically left-handed Frank Robinson. I'm all in.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 12, 2017, 11:49:32 am
http://www.nbcsports.com/...de-davis-maddon-mlb-trade (http://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/cubs-plan-keep-stockpiling-pitching-even-2018-staff-comes-focus-theo-morrow-wade-davis-maddon-mlb-trade)

"We'd love to add another starter one way or another if we could and at least one more reliever."

Obvious enough.  If anything, only surprise is reference to "one" versus mentioning "two" relievers. 


"Our greatest threats right now relate to pitching and not having enough quality pitching, suffering multiple injuries to pitching, not having enough depth."

"the Cubs still figure to be involved in what Epstein calls a very deep reliever class. "  Andracki

[/size]That would seem to be an opportunity to add more than one more capable guy, of course. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 12, 2017, 11:57:45 am
Okay, this is a stretch, but if they are thinking of re-signing Duensing or Rondon, that would not be adding a new reliever right?  Semantically?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 12, 2017, 12:14:52 pm
Every winter Theo and Hoyer talk about pitching contingency planning, wanting depth, being prepared, etc..
The trick is you can only dedicate so many roster spots to pitchers.  So you want contingency/flex in-roster; and you want some off-roster help at Iowa.

At present, MM is the only pen/rotation swing guy. Adding another could be helpful. 

Flex in the pen, in case a main guy gets hurt or a guy expected to be a main guy goes haywire, that just depends on having depth of guys who are quality or at least anti-awful.  Nowhere is "status" more fluid than in pen; we know a guy with a good arm who starts near the back of then pen pitching only in losses or in the 6th inning, can sometimes pitch well and end up getting used extensively in the 7th and 8th to protect leads.  Got some work to do there, obviously.

Off-roster, I guess Tseng, perhaps Mills, Zastryzny, or Maples are options guys.  (Maybe Maples will be good, others are probably hoping for anti-awful.)  Maybe Alvarez?  But they haven't had much luck in past with their Florio and Frankoff "depth-with-options" pickups. 

Otherwise will try to get veteran(s) for Iowa, but obviously vets who aren't good enough to get big-league contracts are limited.  I'm more interested in injury-rehab take-a-shot guys than proven 4A guys, but long odds regardless.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 12, 2017, 12:24:37 pm
"Joe Maddon is a huge proponent of rest and the Cubs have no interest in running relievers — closers or not — into the ground by having them throw more than three outs on a consistent basis." Andracki

Not sure I actually agree.  Might it not be LESS stressful on a reliever to pitch two full innings every three-four days, each one starting as a clean inning with warmups, rather than pitching single or partial innings more frequently, often amid high-stress "dirty" innings?

For example, 40-45 two-inning outings ending up with 80-90 innings. 
*Versus Strop pitching 60 innings over 69 appearances? 
*Edwards 66 innings over 73 games? 

Might not the 69-73-appearances guys be more worn out come October than the 40-45 appearance guy, even if the latter did end up with 20-30 more innings?  I dunno, maybe not. 

I'm just kinda thinking that as we realize that starters often decline by 3rd time through lineup, and that all of the starters arms are already tired by the all-star game and need some extra rest their, Lester especially, we almost want to ask the relievers to pick up even more innings, not less.  But how can they possibly pick up more innings, if MM is the only reliever who averages more than 1-inning per appearance? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2017, 12:51:16 pm
I wonder if somebody like Underwood or Butler could be an effective 2 inning reliever?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 12, 2017, 01:20:42 pm
I wonder if somebody like Underwood or Butler could be an effective 2 inning reliever?

Yeah, could see Butler settling into a role like that. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2017, 01:43:57 pm
I think Eddie Butler has potential.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 12, 2017, 01:57:38 pm
Yeah, could see Butler settling into a role like that. 

I can't see Butler being consistently effective in any role, to be honest.

The Cubs have tried to do the bullpen on the cheap the last three years, and ended up having to bankrupt the farm system to try and fix it mid-season or offseason.  They won a WS in spite of their pen two years ago, lost because of it last year.  Pick your poison, but I would argue it's time for a more proactive approach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2017, 02:40:01 pm
You do realize you can go into spring training with more relievers than spots.  It isn't an either or thing.  The Cubs can go out and sign multiple relievers and still take a shot with Butler, Alvarez, Underwood.  If Butler doesn't work he gets released.  Other guys have options and can get sent down.  In fact not trying to find some relievers on the cheap would be about the absolute dumbest thing the Cubs could do.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 12, 2017, 02:57:49 pm
Brandon Morrow
Carl Edwards Jr.
Pedro Strop
Mike Montgomery
Justin Wilson
5 spots seem determined. 

Three to go. 

Theo/Hoyer will do what they want to do, of course.  But I think at least two of those three should be addressed with non-cheap solutions.  Better than take-a-shots.  Maybe all three, to varying degree. 

I'd be pretty disappointed if not just one but TWO are left open for take-a-shots, or for "competition" between Grimm/Butler/Underwood/Alvarez/Maples/Rule 5. 

With 13 pitchers to start, we know injuries will come.  So I'd almost like to build a roster with Maples (and Alvarez, if he has any talent) available as Iowa yo-yos, even in the unlikely event that they do actually look excellent in camp. 

If they leave one spot for competition/take-a-shots, that's one thing.  But not two. 

If Grimm and Butler, a Rule 5, some non-rosters, and some rehab guys have one spot to fight for, I'm comfortable with that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 12, 2017, 03:03:43 pm
Mark Gonzales‏ @MDGonzales  14m14 minutes ago

Saw Schwarber briefly in the lobby. Looks as lean as in photos. Says he hasn’t weighed himself but would estimate he’s dropped around 25 pounds.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2017, 05:22:05 pm
I was sure the Winter Meetings were going to be exciting after the Ohtani and Stanton situations resolved last week.  But we're at the end of day 2, and the most significant deals of the meetings is Pat Neshek to the Phillies and Chase Headley traded to the Padres.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2017, 06:28:36 pm
Jesse Rogers
@ESPNChiCubs
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer thinks they'll add at least one more pitcher before the end of the winter meetings.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 12, 2017, 06:36:39 pm
https://twitter.com/CarrieMuskat?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fs9e.github.io%2Fiframe%2Ftwitter.min.html%23940713021411864576

Carrie Muskat‏Verified account
#Cubs waiting for word on Morrow physical. Hoyer says he anticipates another move before they leave Orlando

Expects rush of players to find teams before Xmas

Hoyer: "It's Dec. 12. Players don't love being free agents after Christmas and everyone knows that."
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 12, 2017, 07:10:29 pm
Snoozerville winter meetings so far.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 12, 2017, 07:37:14 pm
Ken Rosenthal‏Verified account
@Ken_Rosenthal
 2m2 minutes ago
More
#Cubs LHP Mike Montgomery would like chance to start or go to place where he can, sources close to the pitcher tell The Athletic. Has communicated desire to start to #Cubs, but not desire to go elsewhere if opportunity is not available, sources say. Role in ‘18 presently unclear.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 12, 2017, 07:49:11 pm
If Reed can be had on a three year deal instead of four, cough up the dough and get it done.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2017, 07:52:58 pm
I hadn't really thought about Montgomery as a trade chip, but I guess he could be a pretty good one.  Still four years until free agency...if it doesn't look like there is going to be a spot for him in the rotation long term and he's not going to be okay with that, maybe now is the time to cash him in on the trade market.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: goblue007 on December 12, 2017, 07:59:38 pm
Smyly is in. Sorry if posted
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 12, 2017, 08:00:53 pm
Where'd you see that, Bubba?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: goblue007 on December 12, 2017, 08:01:04 pm
2 year deal
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: goblue007 on December 12, 2017, 08:01:42 pm
Well my boy had told me to expect it. Cubs Twitter confirms

https://twitter.com/cubs/status/940762650966941699
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2017, 08:01:45 pm
Cubs just tweeted it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2017, 08:02:33 pm
Jesse Rogers shares a cryptic quote from Hoyer:

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer says new ideas have popped up recently as some teams have changed directions. He wouldn't get into specifics: "There's some things that have changed with teams since we were here (GM Meetings) last time. Circumstances have changed or ideas have changed...There are teams shifting what they want to do."

So what has changed in the last month? AL East teams outside the Red Sox and Yankees seem to be more willing to deal...but pursing Archer or Stroman wouldn't seem to be a real change for the Cubs--they've probably been asking about them the entire offseason.  Marlins more willing to completely tear down? It seems like they were focused on only trading Stanton, Gordon, and dead weight a month ago; now, Ozuna and Yelich seem to be more in play.  IMO, Yelich's combination of ability and contract should change any team's focus if he becomes available. Have there been any other potential shifts?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2017, 08:03:13 pm
Smyly for two years is a nice deal.

Morrow is also official now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 12, 2017, 08:04:20 pm
http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/21751911/tyler-chatwood-chicago-cubs-contract-be-reworked-due-cy-young-escalator
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 12, 2017, 08:04:30 pm
Duffy?  Royals committing to a full rebuild?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2017, 08:06:52 pm
I knew someone here called Smyly.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2017, 08:11:21 pm
One rumor is Ozuna to the Cards for 2 of Flaherty/Hudson/Alacantra and 1 of Piscotty or Grichik.

Maybe the Orioles are open to trading Gausman?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 12, 2017, 08:12:49 pm
Gausman sucks.  No offense to him personally.  Sign a couple of relievers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2017, 08:15:11 pm
Smyly 2 year $10 million + $7 million in incentives according to Rosenthal.

Gausman sucks with the Orioles, which doesn’t mean much.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 12, 2017, 08:22:46 pm
Love the Smyly deal. Now sign Rosenthal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2017, 08:24:42 pm
Smyly has been good his whole career until last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2017, 08:30:22 pm
Smyly won't be much of a factor for most of 2018, but could be in the bullpen towards the end of the season.  Smyly was excellent in relief with the Tigers in 2013.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 12, 2017, 08:36:39 pm
Is Smyly injured? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2017, 08:40:06 pm
TJS in July. Also a history of shoulder issues.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 12, 2017, 08:46:59 pm
Got it.  So mostly paying to rehab him for 2019.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 12, 2017, 08:48:24 pm
Sahadev Sharma‏ @sahadevsharma
Smyly deal is $3 million guaranteed in year one, $7 million in year two. Up to $6 million more in incentives in 2019 if he's a starter, $1 million if he's a reliever. Potential for $16 million total.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 12, 2017, 08:50:04 pm
For luxury tax purposes it is $5 million AAV.  I’m not sure how the incentives are figured in.

Rehab from TJS can be anywhere from 12-18 months, so it isn’t impossible for Smyly to pitch next year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 12, 2017, 09:11:03 pm
When Hoyer said he thought they'd have another deal before leaving, I had assumed it would be something of more immediate significance than a Buildican 2019 take-a-shot. 

Maybe this isn't what he meant, and he's got another one coming this week. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 12, 2017, 09:32:57 pm
Very disappointing if they are punting the bullpen in favor of an injured HR factory.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 12, 2017, 09:36:50 pm
I dont see any way they're even considering "punting the bullpen".
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 12, 2017, 10:01:57 pm
I hadn't even realized that our closer was 0-5 with a 7.20 ERA this year, in Triple-A.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: vander-built on December 12, 2017, 10:21:05 pm
Anyone know if Smyly and Keuchel have any connection/friendship still from days at Arkansas?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: vander-built on December 12, 2017, 10:22:36 pm
It appears they are.  Smyly gonna recruit Keuchel next year?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 12, 2017, 11:13:37 pm
Smyly 2 year $10 million + $7 million in incentives according to Rosenthal.

Gausman sucks with the Orioles, which doesn’t mean much.

I love contracts that are very heavy on incentives.  It is hard for a team to go wrong with them, and players with considerable upside can still sign and perform with the confidence they will be paid well for doing better than expected.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 13, 2017, 08:38:32 am
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/12/cubs-indians-have-discussed-potential-danny-salazar-trade.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 13, 2017, 09:52:22 am
From ESPN Winter Meetings:

It was a little bit of a throwaway line but this quote from Theo Epstein underscores what the team still thinks of Kyle Schwarber and/or his trade value: "He's always been someone teams have had interest in, I guess, but we probably have the most interest."
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2017, 10:22:34 am
I can totally see the appeal of Salazar from the Cubs' POV.  Obvious risk factor there, but when the guy is on he has "Game 1 starter" stuff, which they desperately need in this rotation.  Maybe a guy who would benefit from a 6-man rotation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 13, 2017, 10:33:40 am
I think the 6 man rotation was only happening if they got Ohtani.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 13, 2017, 10:38:26 am
How soon can you trade your draft picks under the new CBA?  Theo can trade all of last year's picks right now, right? 

Maybe he figures he can just package his 2016 and 2017 draft classes for a July relief rental? 

But the 2018 class, does he need to wait until winter or until 2019?  Or can he start adding them into deals for relief rentals this summer, as soon as he signs them? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2017, 11:57:26 am
I think the 6 man rotation was only happening if they got Ohtani.

There were reports the Cubs had been toying with the idea generally speaking.  Who knows if that's true.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2017, 12:04:46 pm
How soon can you trade your draft picks under the new CBA?  Theo can trade all of last year's picks right now, right? 

Maybe he figures he can just package his 2016 and 2017 draft classes for a July relief rental? 

But the 2018 class, does he need to wait until winter or until 2019?  Or can he start adding them into deals for relief rentals this summer, as soon as he signs them? 

Not till after the WS.

Salazar as far as I can tell has thrown 150 IP in 2 seasons in his career and in the Indians last 2 playoff appearances he was thrown 4.2 innings in relief.  Great stuff or not the injury risk is a huge negative.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2017, 12:34:11 pm
That's why the trade cost may be just manageable.  Or not, but it's worth at least considering.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 13, 2017, 01:10:16 pm
Bruce Levine thinks Wade Davis is going to have to settle for a 3 year (or maybe even 2 year + option) deal.  At that contract length, the Cubs should probably be interested.


http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/12/13/levine-on-the-score-i-would-encourage-people-to-keep-their-eyes-on-davis-and-the-cubs/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 13, 2017, 01:13:44 pm
We've lost Davis,Duensing,and Rondon from a weak bullpen and replaced him but Morrow.

We better be interested.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2017, 01:17:28 pm
@BleacherNation
I'm seeing enough in the reports, and hearing enough on my end, to say that the Cubs are sincere in their inquiries about starting pitching trades. It's interesting, given Cobb's continued presence on the free agent market.
There are tons of plausible explanations (Cobb demand still deemed too high; Cubs not actually serious on Cobb; Cubs prefer trade targets; Cubs want six quality starters; etc.), and I can't tell you which one(s) are correct. I just believe the trade stuff is no pure smoke screen.



Davis getting a 2-3 year deal doesn't seem to fit with this reliever market.  If it is then the Cubs should lock him up ASAP.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2017, 02:02:14 pm
No more than 2 years for Davis.  He's pretty clearly on the decline.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2017, 03:54:14 pm
Starting to sound like this Montgomery thing could get a bit ugly.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on December 13, 2017, 04:34:45 pm
Starting to sound like this Montgomery thing could get a bit ugly.

https://twitter.com/MDGonzales/status/941072943995551744
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 13, 2017, 05:23:15 pm
Getting very worried about the bullpen.  We needed volume of good relievers and the options are mostly off the board.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 13, 2017, 06:31:03 pm
There were reports the Cubs had been toying with the idea generally speaking.  Who knows if that's true.

It seems pretty clear that the Cubs think that keeping their starting pitchers fresh for the postseason is important.  This past year, the top starters pitched very little in spring training.  That may have helped their performance in October, but we all saw the decreased velocity and effectiveness in the first half.  Impossible to say for sure that there's a direct cause-and-effect relationship there, but it seems to make sense.

I wonder if they'll experiment with some sort of modified six-man rotation this season.  Prepare via spring training in the traditional way so they're ready to hit the ground running at full strength.  But maybe fold in a sixth starter every other time through the rotation.  Something like that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 13, 2017, 06:34:12 pm
Getting very worried about the bullpen.  We needed volume of good relievers and the options are mostly off the board.

Agreed.  I can just hear Theo expressing his frustration at the market cost of relief pitching.

Bite the bullet and sign both Reed and Davis.

Davis-Morrow-Reed-Edwards-Strop-Wilson-Montgomery-eighth guy
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2017, 06:56:37 pm
If you get Davis back I’d much rather get a lefty.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 13, 2017, 07:01:02 pm
Get the better pitcher, period.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 13, 2017, 07:14:30 pm
Get the better pitcher, period.

yes, yes, yes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2017, 08:13:33 pm
Get the better pitcher, period.

It is more complicated than that. Adding Davis, Marrow and Reed is some serious $$$ and years.  While WAR is far from perfect when dealing with relievers Reed outside of 2016 has been worth 1 WAR/year and has been kinda blah outside of his time with Mets. Duensing was signed for $2 million and almost produced the same WAR. So figuring out who is the best reliever is hard and then when taking into account $ it is really hard.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 13, 2017, 08:18:27 pm
I would argue that, in the bullpen, it's not necessarily about WAR.  It's about the profile of the specific pitcher - is this a guy you're going to be willing to pitch in the playoffs?  If you have an eight man bullpen and five of them are guys that you're not going to pitch in a postseason unless the game is an out of hand loss, you're sunk.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 13, 2017, 08:19:26 pm
Mark Gonzales
@MDGonzales
Theo on possible moves before end of meetings Thursday: “leaning more like no, but there’s a chance” it can change with one phone call.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 13, 2017, 08:23:24 pm
I also read that Cleveland wants a LH bat for Danny Salazar.

Ill assume all of us would trade Happ for him but if it took Schwarber would you?

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2017, 08:44:12 pm
I would argue that, in the bullpen, it's not necessarily about WAR.  It's about the profile of the specific pitcher - is this a guy you're going to be willing to pitch in the playoffs?  If you have an eight man bullpen and five of them are guys that you're not going to pitch in a postseason unless the game is an out of hand loss, you're sunk.

If you had asked me when the Cubs acquired Justin Wilson he'd profile well in the playoffs.  I'm not sure that works.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 13, 2017, 08:46:37 pm
His profile plays in the playoffs.  He was just messed up.  Maybe he always will be, but that's irrelevant to the decision making process.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2017, 08:55:23 pm
Ignoring the volatility in relievers leads to bad contracts.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 13, 2017, 09:00:35 pm
Agreed, but a track record is a track record.  Reed and Davis both have them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 13, 2017, 09:05:58 pm
10.1 IP, 8 R, 7 ER for Reed in playoffs.

Don’t get me wrong Davis, Marrow and Reed would make me happy. I’d just rather spend less and fortify the lefties in the pen because Montgomery and Wilson scare me for different reasons. I say that as someone that is fine with Edwards facing Harper.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 14, 2017, 08:21:48 am
Cubs signing Chisek.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 14, 2017, 08:22:23 am
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/12/cubs-to-sign-steve-cishek.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 14, 2017, 08:23:12 am
One more, Theo.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 14, 2017, 08:31:48 am
Is Duensing asking for too much money or did he flirt with a FO wife or what?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 14, 2017, 08:33:24 am
35.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 14, 2017, 08:36:40 am
So a 0ne year or two year contract should be fairly safe.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 14, 2017, 08:42:46 am
Jerry Crasnick‏ @jcrasnick
Steve Cishek’s deal with the #Cubs, as reported by @Ken_Rosenthal, is for two years in the $12-14 million range. Pending physical.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 14, 2017, 08:46:07 am
Cishek could be a great pickup when paired with a strong Cub infield defense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 14, 2017, 08:50:48 am
Are there any worthwhile relievers we could rescue from the Miami dumpster fire?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 14, 2017, 09:14:48 am
Jerry Crasnick‏ @jcrasnickSteve Cishek’s deal with the #Cubs, as reported by @Ken_Rosenthal, is for two years in the $12-14 million range. Pending physical.

That seems very modest. 

Is this JR's friend and fellow alum, or am I getting mixed up? 

He's got ~.130 R/L split.

Not sure what that will mean. I'm guessing Maddon will want to profile him as a ROOGY, and will probably be yanking him whenever a lefty comes up with a man on base or the game is close? 

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 14, 2017, 09:50:20 am
His OPS against vs. LH hitters was .663 last season.  Don't know why he would be used as a ROOGY.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on December 14, 2017, 10:01:06 am
Is this JR's friend and fellow alum, or am I getting mixed up? 

Nah, the only connection I have with him was that he was on my fantasy team back when he was closing for the Marlins.

I'm not sure I'm wild about the pickup, but maybe he has another productive year or two in him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 14, 2017, 10:03:39 am
Cishek's velocity dip is troubling, but he's a strike-thrower so the mob demanding some of those should be pleased.  It's not an exciting signing, but he should be an acceptable 6th-7th inning guy.  We need one more impact arm down there for sure, though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 14, 2017, 10:09:37 am
The guy's only 31 years old.  If he's healthy, he's likely to have a number of good years left.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: goblue007 on December 14, 2017, 10:10:02 am
When’s the last time the Cubs had a submariner? Cishek drops pretty low.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on December 14, 2017, 10:11:06 am
The guy's only 31 years old.  If he's healthy, he's likely to have a number of good years left.

Yeah for some reason I thought he was older.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 14, 2017, 10:18:32 am
He pitches like he's older.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on December 14, 2017, 10:29:53 am
Davis, please.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 14, 2017, 10:36:35 am
If they were to bring back Davis or bring in Reed and re-sign Duensing, that would be a pretty good looking bullpen on paper.  Thank Grimm for his contributions and send him on his way.

Davis/Reed
Morrow
Edwards
Strop
Cishek
Duensing
Wilson
Montgomery

You could manage that if your last starter was a lower salary guy.  Danny Salazar, your seat is ready.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 14, 2017, 10:42:09 am
His OPS against vs. LH hitters was .663 last season.  Don't know why he would be used as a ROOGY.

1.  Maddon's history.  Seems to me Maddon frequently replaces RH relievers mid-inning when lefty hitters are coming up.  Strop's career vs LHP is .627, Rondon .659, both better versus lefties than Cishek's .663 last year.  So Maddon might likely pull Cishek mid-innning when lefties come up even more than he's done in past with Strop and Rondon.
2.  Don't you usually have lefty relievers with OPS vs. LH hitters well below .663?  A lot of lefty relievers do considerably better than .663 versus lefties. 
3.  Qualitatively a low-slot guy maybe gets scouted as being tougher on same-side hitters?  Perhaps arm-slot might tend to have managers past and future even less likely to let Cishek fight through LH hitters? 

I've just been thinking about this for two reasons.  Cubs just signed a short-innings starter in Chatwood; and I think the postseason highlights how pitchers pitching tired don't pitch as well.  We've also seen a couple of seasons where, by all-star break, Lester especially is dead-armed, and guys have kind of benefitted from a break and some rest. 

But, if you do even more to lighten the load and keep the innings and pitch-counts off on the rotation, how is that possible if you don't pick up extra innings with relief?  But now for two years straight we've seen bullpen rotten in October, and some relievers pitching tired.  Can you possible pass even more innings from rotation to relief, without just killing the pen? 

Flip argument:  Maybe the non-Davis, non-Chapman relievers weren't tired, they got plenty of rest.  Maybe they were just bad because they were bad, wild because they're wild and the pressure got to them.  So perhaps workload had nothing to do with it, and they could easily handle as many or more innings future. 

From that view, nothing needs to change with the pen usage.  Just have better guys pitching better. 

But *if* Maddon thinks the pen was compromised by exhaustion late, then I would suggest that a way to have them cover as many innings (or more) with less exhaustion would be to reduce appearances by reducing mid-inning changes.  [It's also a hypothesis that pitching full inning without coming into a dirty pressure inning might also be conducive to better control and throwing more strikes.] 


Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 14, 2017, 10:52:42 am
That's some good thinking, Jeff. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 14, 2017, 11:08:27 am
Michael Cerami's take:

http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/12/14/getting-to-know-new-cubs-reliever-steve-cishek-a-sidearming-contact-specialist/

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: BearHit on December 14, 2017, 11:09:18 am
And the new pitching coach adds another element that wasn't there last season
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 14, 2017, 11:13:05 am
Cishek with the Rays

9.49 K/9, 2.55 BB/9, 1.09 ERA, 2.14 FIP, 3.37 xFIP

I believe I saw where he was recovering from hip surgery and that might have affected some of his numbers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 14, 2017, 11:46:55 am
I'm just really, really leery of committing a lot of money to Davis.  He seems like an almost sure bet for a significant regression - and for most of last year he wasn't dominant, just effective enough to get by.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 14, 2017, 11:57:15 am
I'm just really, really leery of committing a lot of money to Davis.  He seems like an almost sure bet for a significant regression - and for most of last year he wasn't dominant, just effective enough to get by.

He was dominant in the past, but I agree that he was not really dominant last year.  But perhaps that WAS his regression, and he will continue at that level for a couple of seasons.  Not a bad situation.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 14, 2017, 11:58:22 am
Yeah, I'm not a big fan of committing a ton to Davis either. But it sounds like the Cardinals are likely to get Colome and the Rockies might get Holland.  At that point, there might not be anywhere left for Davis to get a big contract.  At that point, maybe a 2 year + option deal could get him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 14, 2017, 12:12:17 pm
Dont kid yourselves.

We need Davis back horribly.

If we can eat the Heyward contract and get nothing in return we can handle Davis's.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 14, 2017, 01:21:45 pm
Yeah, I'm not a big fan of committing a ton to Davis either. But it sounds like the Cardinals are likely to get Colome and the Rockies might get Holland.  At that point, there might not be anywhere left for Davis to get a big contract.  At that point, maybe a 2 year + option deal could get him.

Also not fan of committing a lot for long, and like deeg not confident in Davis's stuff.  But may be that the market is going to make his price appropriate.
 My perception of pre-Cub Davis was a guy with a very good, anti-HR fastball, which set up counts for his slider.  My Cubs perception is a guy whose fastball was straight and whackable, such that he was afraid to throw it much for strikes.  Leading to HR's, long counts, and guys sitting breaking ball and chasing less.  Getting by on guts and savvy, but stuff no longer that good. 

Still, he was effective, and a pen with Davis better than Grimm.  I also wonder whether he might not be able to sustain or be a little better this year.  Davis like all of the pen guys was such a nibbler with the fastball.  Maybe Theo's idea of throwing more aggressively with the fastball could help all four of Davis, Strop, Edwards and Wilson (and Rondon too, had he come back). 

Also think more regular work schedule might help him.  Seemed he'd go forever without work, and get rusty; then get overworked for a spell.  But never a good consistency groove.  Perhaps using somebody else to close at times would be find, to protect against over-use; but using in non-save spots might also be good, to avoid under-use rust. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 14, 2017, 02:22:40 pm
I haven't been very in the rumor-mill loop.  But has there been any rumors about what Darvish is doing, and who's pursuing him? 

Is there any chance that for whatever confluence of scouting and budget reasons, that nobody is going very hard after Darvish?  And that he might end up being available for a contract that wouldn't be undesirable? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 14, 2017, 02:33:45 pm
Twins supposedly want Darvish.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 14, 2017, 02:37:18 pm
Thanks. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 14, 2017, 02:50:05 pm
Debate on one of those "yell at each other and get pissed" shows the other day about whether Darvish was hurt or just tipping pitches and that nobody was moving on him yet because they had doubts.  FWIW
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on December 14, 2017, 02:53:29 pm
https://www.si.com/mlb/2017/12/11/dodgers-yu-darvish-tipped-pitches-world-series-astros
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on December 14, 2017, 03:41:11 pm
Quote
Maddon's history.  Seems to me Maddon frequently replaces RH relievers mid-inning when lefty hitters are coming up.

Unless he views them as reverse-split guys.  I think he goes by the numbers rather than knee-jerk lefty-righty decisions.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 14, 2017, 04:56:27 pm
Sure, we've seen that with Edwards, and with Koji. 

The board was often much crabby about Edwards getting used as much as he was, given his wildness; it may be that his numbers versus lefties contributed to that?  (If you put in Strop or Rondon, and know you're going to yank them the minute a lefty comes up, maybe use Edwards instead so you don't, and can save or rest lefties?) 

As pertain to Cishek, though, his numbers versus lefties are worse than Strop or career Rondon.  So unless Maddon decides to change how he manages, we can assume that Cishek will be as or more prone to getting lifted when a lefty comes up that has been true with Strop or Rondon. 

Rondon's career numbers are better than Cishek, but they were kinda poor this last year.  Worse overall, of course, but particularly so versus lefties.  I wonder whether that factored in at all in the decision to non-tender him?  Maybe Maddon just knew he was never going to trust Hector versus lefties, and he's hoping that this year he can be more trusting of Strop and Cishek as well as Edwards versus lefties? 

Cubs lefties actually aren't that split-strong versus lefties.  Wilson's numbers were obviously terrible versus everybody, but his 2017 numbers versus lefties were really bad.  Duensing didn't have much split either, and his overall OPS versus lefties doesn't look any or much better than using Cishek versus lefties, certainly not as good as Strop or Edwards.  Montgomery isn't much of a splits guy, either. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 14, 2017, 04:58:47 pm
Speaking of lefties and splits, any interest in Tony Watson?  Obviously he'd cost more than Duensing, but he is a guy whose lefty splits are more significant, for better or for worse. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 14, 2017, 06:34:38 pm
I know the Theocracy has been holding its breath to see what I think of it, but I like the Chisek signing  Nice addition.  Decent contract level.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 14, 2017, 06:41:16 pm
I wonder what the Cubs are going to do about the backup catcher spot.  Will they go with a veteran and let Caratini play every day at Iowa?  Or will they go with Caratini and sign some veteran ham-n-egger to stash at Iowa?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 14, 2017, 06:50:04 pm
Victor Caratini can handle the job and do so with potential unlike most backup catchers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 14, 2017, 07:41:36 pm
Patrick Corbin was mentioned in a few rumors during the meetings--the Yankees apparently were involved. I wonder if he could be a relatively cheap target if the Cubs can't sign Cobb and don't want to give up what it would take to get someone like Salazar or Duffy. He has only one year until free agency, so I don't know if the Diamondbacks could demand anyone off the major league roster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 14, 2017, 07:47:12 pm
If we're down to talking about Corbin, let Mills/Butler/Tseng fill the fifth spot in the rotation and load up the bullpen.  Sign both Davis and Reed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 14, 2017, 07:48:27 pm
The Theocracy has done a nice job of plugging holes and setting things up so that they should only need to make another move or two to be in good shape.  Wade Davis plus a starter?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 14, 2017, 07:49:07 pm
If we get Davis, do we need Reed?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 14, 2017, 07:55:35 pm
If we get Davis, do we need Reed?

If we're talking about spending money on Patrick F. Corbin, I'd rather spend that on Davis/Reed and use an internal rotation option.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 14, 2017, 08:07:45 pm
If Cobb really wants $20 million per as is being reported, that's a hard pass for me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 14, 2017, 08:48:00 pm
Agreed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 14, 2017, 08:58:21 pm
If we're talking about spending money on Patrick F. Corbin, I'd rather spend that on Davis/Reed and use an internal rotation option.
If we're down to talking about Corbin, let Mills/Butler/Tseng fill the fifth spot in the rotation and load up the bullpen.  Sign both Davis and Reed.

Plus, if you can't get a worthwhile 5th starter and go internal, the internal guy just might end up being Montgomery.  In which case the pen gets one man shorter.  If you've already got a Grimm in the pen, now do you need to bring up this year's version of Dylan Florio or Seth Frankoff? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on December 14, 2017, 09:09:26 pm
If Cobb really wants $20 million per as is being reported, that's a hard pass for me.

What did you think he was going to ask for? They just gave a reliever with a short track record and lots of injury issues $11.5 per.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Coach on December 14, 2017, 11:02:45 pm
Are there any worthwhile relievers we could rescue from the Miami dumpster fire?
I'd take Barraclough in a heartbeat
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 14, 2017, 11:13:26 pm
Problem is, none of those relievers have big contracts so Jeter has no real incentive to deal them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 14, 2017, 11:33:15 pm
Anybody with a last named pronounced Bear Claw has to be a bad ass.

You'd think he was a native American.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 14, 2017, 11:36:34 pm
Dusty,

Do you ever stop and consider that a post might be offensive to some before you make it?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 15, 2017, 12:03:27 am
The thought that me playing around like that would offend someone never entered my mind.

I post and read other boards that are considered very tame and they say much worse than that.

Believe me when I say I know this is a tough crowd.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 15, 2017, 12:59:43 am
Remember the old school Tim McGraw song "Indian  Outlaw"?

In the song he mentions the indian name Bear Claw.

If Im a piece of **** he is too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on December 15, 2017, 07:16:12 am
Quote
Dusty,

Do you ever stop and consider that a post might be offensive to some before you make it?

 ???  A reference to a native american possibly being named after an animal is now offensive?  That's like saying anyone with a last name starting with Mc might be Irish is offensive.

The snow is getting deep...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on December 15, 2017, 07:27:47 am
Which reminds me of a joke.

Close your eyes Bennett...

The young Indian boy had spent most of his life in a quandry.

.. He felt different yet.

.. couldn't figure why.

.. he was just so depressed. He went to the Chief for answers.

.. He asked the chief how his brother Red Deer Running had gotten his name.

..

The chief answered in his typically poetic way.

.."When Red Deer Running was born, at the moment of his birth, the first thing his mother saw was a beautiful deer running off into the forest.

.. and so Running Deer was named. It is the custom of our tribe to name the offspring according to the spirits in nature visiting upon the birth."Then, the boy said to the Chief.

.. And how did my sister "Thundering Bird" get her name? The chief described again, how at the moment of her birth Thundering Bird's mother had heard a roar of thunder and looking up, saw a bird flying in the sky.

..

The boy asked again, how his cousin "White Crouching Bear" had been given such a name.

.. And the chief, looking down once more at the boy, explaining the traditions of their tribe.

..

. White Bear's mother had seen a rare white bear crouched over a stream at the moment her baby's birth. Then he asked the boy.  "Why do you ask, Two Dogs Fvuking?"
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on December 15, 2017, 07:38:42 am
And so you don't think I have it out for Native Americans.  There are jokes for everyone.  If you can't laugh at yourself who can you laugh at...

Two men were sitting next to each other at a bar. After a while, one guy looks at the other and says, "I can't help but think, from listening to you, that you're from Ireland."

The other guy responds proudly, "Yes, that I am!"

The first guy says, "So am I! And where abouts from Ireland might you be?"

The other guy answers, "I'm from Dublin, I am."

The first guy responds, "Sure and begora, and so am I! And what street did you live on in Dublin?"

The other guy says, "A lovely little area it was, I lived on McCleary Street in the old central part of town."

The first guy says, "Faith & it's a small world, so did I! And to what school would you have been going?"

 The other guy answers, "Well now, I went to St. Mary's of course."

The first guy gets really excited, and says, "And so did I. Tell me, what year did you graduate?"

The other guy answers, "Well, now, I graduated in 1964."

The first guy exclaims, "The Good Lord must be smiling down upon us! I can hardly believe our good luck at winding up in the same bar tonight. Can you believe it, I graduated from St. Mary's in 1964 my own self."

About this time, another guy walks into the bar, sits down, and orders a beer. The bartender walks over shaking his head & mutters, "It's going to be a long night tonight."

The guy asks, "Why do you say that?"

"The Murphy twins are drunk again."
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 15, 2017, 09:43:45 am
Boras and every agent/player is different, for sure, so case-by-case who knows.  But I expect a lot of decisions/signings over the next week. 

Hoyer mentioned something I've thought before, that FA's tend to like to have a decision before Christmas.  There's been time to negotiate and think and enjoy the process, but at some point a guy is ready to pull the trigger and make a decision.  Maybe agent's wife/family want him not working holidays week; maybe a player's wife would like to know where she'll be living next season; maybe doesn't want Christmas relatives  constantly asking him about where he's going to go and giving crazy suggestions. 

So good chance that some decisions that impact the Cubs (maybe indirectly) will come down by next weekend. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 15, 2017, 09:53:31 am
???  A reference to a native american possibly being named after an animal is now offensive?  That's like saying anyone with a last name starting with Mc might be Irish is offensive.

The snow is getting deep...

I had never expected to be in a position of defending Dusty from the suggestion that he is being insensitive, offensive or even bigoted in something he wrote. But I am with wmljohn on this.  If I were still living in either Oklahoma or Santa Fe, I'd be able to check in with one of the Native Americans I knew there to see what they thought, but my guess is they would not be offended.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 15, 2017, 10:45:23 am
R&P or bleachers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on December 15, 2017, 01:23:42 pm
Quote
R&P or bleachers.

Oh...  I forgot about the topic police.  let me get back on target.


Q: What is the difference between a Cubs fan and a baby?
A: The baby will stop whining after awhile.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on December 15, 2017, 01:26:33 pm
Q: How do you make a Cubs fan laugh on Monday?
A: Tell him a joke on Friday!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on December 15, 2017, 01:27:24 pm
I took my broken vacuum cleaner back to the store. They put a Chicago Cubs jersey on it and now it sucks again.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on December 15, 2017, 01:30:14 pm
Father & Son
A father and son are outside Wrigley Field, and the young son is asking his father to buy him a "Cardinals Suck" T-shirt. The father hesitates, but finally tells his son, "You can have the shirt if you promise never to say that word."

"That's right," says the T-shirt vendor, wanting to make the sale. "'Suck' isn't a very nice word."

"No," replies the father. "I meant the word 'Cardinals'."
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on December 15, 2017, 01:50:07 pm
Weren’t we looking at Tony Watson at the deadline? Either last season, or the year before?

I’m surprised he hasn’t signed somewhere yet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 15, 2017, 02:06:18 pm
Neat videos of Schwarber doing drills.  He is clearly leaner than in the past.  In the foot drills he sure looks quick.  It will be interesting to see how much this transfers into improved performance in the field and at the plate.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/21776262/inside-chicago-cubs-outfielder-kyle-schwarber-offseason-workout-routine
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on December 15, 2017, 02:08:38 pm
The one at the end where he is talking about his off-season work outs had no audio for me.  Sucks I had to watch a 30 second commercial to watch a video of someone talking with no audio.  :(
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 15, 2017, 02:33:57 pm
Weren’t we looking at Tony Watson at the deadline? ...

I'd prefer Watson to Duensing (ignoring cost factor)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 15, 2017, 02:38:13 pm
Are the Cubs a "dominant candidate" for Darvish?  Bleacher Nation found a report from Japan that seems to say that (using Google translator).

http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/12/15/enormous-grain-of-salt-report-out-of-japan-seems-to-suggest-cubs-are-in-on-yu-darvish/

Here's the original report from Japan:

https://www.nikkansports.com/baseball/mlb/news/201712150000763.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nikkansports_ogp
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 15, 2017, 02:47:31 pm
I doubt it, but being in silent running mode and swooping on Darvish late would be in character for Theo.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 15, 2017, 02:59:52 pm
I had mentioned Darvish a day or two back, no rumors.  Wondered if he isn't getting a ton of action, too many teams who figure they just can't or don't want to commit the price/length they assume he'll cost? 

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 15, 2017, 03:03:21 pm
If Darvish is going for a discount because of the WS flop and/or pitch tipping, I would seriously consider trying to benefit from that.  The guy has TORP stuff, and pitchers like that don't come available all that often.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 15, 2017, 03:11:12 pm
Let's assume the Cubs have ~$25 million a year left to spend on pitching.  What would everyone here prefer?

- Spend all (or at least the vast majority) on Darvish.  Bullpen either stays as it is, or the Cubs take a flyer on a guy they can get for $2 million (like Duensing last year, but probably with less success)
- Make mid-level additions to both the rotation and bullpen (Cobb and Reed)
- Spend for Davis, then add a lesser SP (maybe someone like Jhoulys Chacin or Jeremy Hellickson)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 15, 2017, 03:23:11 pm
A.

But I think there are other options out there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on December 15, 2017, 03:23:13 pm
Darvish
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 15, 2017, 03:39:15 pm
What about Greinke if the D-Backs pay down is salary?

Darvish being nearly the same age as Arrieta and post TJS scares me for a big $, long term commitment.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 15, 2017, 03:41:16 pm
I'd bet on Darvish outperforming Greinke over the remaining years of Greinke's deal.  Of course, you'd have to sign Darvish for 6 years, probably.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 15, 2017, 03:54:13 pm
Cobb and Reed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 15, 2017, 03:58:29 pm
Arrieta.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 15, 2017, 04:08:58 pm
Davis and Reed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 15, 2017, 04:19:41 pm
This is overwhelmingly likely to be a moot discussion anyway.  We were on Darvish's no-trade list.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 15, 2017, 05:35:45 pm
Dusty,

Do you ever stop and consider that a post might be offensive to some before you make it?

You just start reading his posts?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 15, 2017, 05:40:48 pm
Now, just to clarify, I not only see nothing wrong with Dusty's post, I agree with it.   Of course, that is a separate issue from whether Dusty ever stops to consider that a post might be offensive.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on December 15, 2017, 09:15:38 pm
Schwarber looks great. You can see why the front office thinks so highly of him. He busts his hump to get better in every way.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 15, 2017, 09:23:50 pm
I don't think losing 20 pounds will make any difference to his Ks or getting tied up on inside fastballs.  But it might make him slightly less of a defensive liability in left.  As for the work ethic and attitude, I don't think anybody ever questioned that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 15, 2017, 10:50:24 pm
Schwarber has also working on his swing in those videos.

Marlin chimed in on PSD saying he thinks unless the Cubs really overpay that they can’t get any trades done with the Rays.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 15, 2017, 11:34:44 pm
Yeah, I saw that.  I don't think we had anything cooking anyway (if there's a surprise deal for a SP coming, Salazar is way more likely than Archer).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 16, 2017, 12:44:51 am
Jason Martinez on MLB trades rumors thought it would be Salazar + for Happ, FWIW.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 16, 2017, 03:12:59 am
Salazar intrigues me.

I'd be willing to talk business with Cleveland.

How much longer would we control him?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 16, 2017, 07:12:34 am
3 years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 16, 2017, 10:00:48 am
Phil Rogers is apparently writing under the byline of Jesse Rogers now. Either that or Jesse Rogers has gone off the rails, proposing the Cubs trade Addison Russell for one year of Manny Machado.

"But even if Machado doesn’t sign on long term, the Cubs can still come out of a deal just fine. One year of Machado in the middle of a strong lineup featuring the right-handed-hitting Machado and Kris Bryant around the left-handed Anthony Rizzo would be worth the price of admission every night in every ballpark. The Cubs' lineup would again be October-worthy, making the deal worth it for that reason alone."

http://www.espn.com/blog/...-machado-blockbuster-deal (http://www.espn.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/46311/why-cubs-should-make-addison-russell-for-manny-machado-blockbuster-deal)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 16, 2017, 10:21:43 am
Nope.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Tuffy on December 16, 2017, 10:55:26 am
Are the Cubs a "dominant candidate" for Darvish?  Bleacher Nation found a report from Japan that seems to say that (using Google translator).

http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/12/15/enormous-grain-of-salt-report-out-of-japan-seems-to-suggest-cubs-are-in-on-yu-darvish/

Here's the original report from Japan:

https://www.nikkansports.com/baseball/mlb/news/201712150000763.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nikkansports_ogp

The focus seems to be just on how the Cubs have suddenly come into the discussion, and that the Cubs are a big-money team with spending power, implying (for his fans, and not directly stating) that Darvish could get a big payday and play with a winner again.

I'd love to have him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 16, 2017, 11:05:44 am
Brett Taylor's assessment of getting Machado:

http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/12/16/manny-machado-is-great-but-should-the-cubs-dangle-addison-russell-to-get-him/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 16, 2017, 11:17:38 am
Machado seems like the product of beat reporters with too much time on their hands looking for a story.  No way the Cubs do this.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 16, 2017, 12:53:58 pm
The first question with Machado would be, "Where would he play?"

Shift him to 2nd and put Baez at SS?

Shift him to LF?

Leave him at 3B and move Bryant to LF?

Hope Maddon finds a 10th position on the field to put him in?

The next question is whether last year was an abberation or a clear indication of what to expect for the next year or two?

In 2017 Machado had an OPS+ of only 107, which certainly is not terrible, but also is not all that great.

And just what is expected from Russell in the future?

Those three questions need to be answered before moving to the issue of whether he would sign an extension, what an extension might cost, or whether the trade might be worthwhile even if he would not consider an extension and insists on leaving via FA.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 16, 2017, 02:00:10 pm
$13/2

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/12/cubs-to-sign-steve-cishek.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 16, 2017, 02:08:25 pm
Bruce Levine‏ @MLBBruceLevine
Something to keep your eye on . Cubs in on numerous pitchers and are kicking the tires on Yu Darvish now .
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 16, 2017, 02:25:25 pm
It sure seems like we are in on Darvish.

I hope he's healthy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 16, 2017, 02:34:30 pm
Let's assume the Cubs have ~$25 million a year left to spend on pitching.  What would everyone here prefer?

- Spend all (or at least the vast majority) on Darvish.  Bullpen either stays as it is, or the Cubs take a flyer on a guy they can get for $2 million (like Duensing last year, but probably with less success)
- Make mid-level additions to both the rotation and bullpen (Cobb and Reed)
- Spend for Davis, then add a lesser SP (maybe someone like Jhoulys Chacin or Jeremy Hellickson)

Tough one.  I guess I'm going to say Darvish, because he seems like he has the reputation for having the stuff to win some postseason games. 

I'm just going by gut instinct, not by head.  I think *if* the Cubs signed him, that would be much more exciting, and I'd have higher hopes entering March.  How I'd feel over the ensuing years, of course, who knows! 

One other note/perspective:  as it stands, until they add SOMEBODY for rotation, Montgomery stands as 5th starter.  So whether it's somebody like Darvish, or Cobb, or Hellickson, if/when they do add a starter, that effectively moves Montgomery back to the pen.  So, in a sense, whether they sign starter+reliever, or 2-relievers, the pen ends up with the same number of guys.  Montgomery + two other guys, it's one for rotation and two for relief either way.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 16, 2017, 04:35:42 pm
There seems to be enough smoke around this Cubs-Darvish business to suggest there's more fire than just that Japanese media report.  It does make sense, no question - why wouldn't they be interested?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 16, 2017, 04:48:08 pm
I do wonder if the Darvish rumors are being leaked just to pressure Cobb to sign. I don't know where he's going to get more than about 4 years, $50 million if the Cubs are no longer part of the bidding.

It could be a situation where two things are in play--Cobb is asking for more than expected, and Darvish's market is less than expected. If Cobb is asking for something like 4/$80 and Darvish's expected price of 6/$150 has fallen to something like 5/$120, then why not pay the extra for Darvish?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 16, 2017, 05:04:14 pm
Timing after the Ohtani disappointment is about right...go after another big fish.  But I got my hopes up for Ohtani and I am going to be more rational on Darvish.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 16, 2017, 06:00:35 pm
About time you were rational about SOMETHING.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 16, 2017, 06:00:48 pm
If the numbers are even remotely close between Darvish and Cobb, it's a no-brainer to go after Darvish.  We're talking prime ribeye vs. ground chuck.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 16, 2017, 07:14:21 pm
...It could be a situation where two things are in play--Cobb is asking for more than expected, and Darvish's market is less than expected. If Cobb is asking for something like 4/$80 and Darvish's expected price of 6/$150 has fallen to something like 5/$120, then why not pay the extra for Darvish?

That's a good perspective, I think that makes a lot of hypothetical sense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 16, 2017, 07:17:44 pm
Other boring comment is that the Cubs presumably have an interest in almost anybody who's good and fits their needs.  For every trade discussion that results in a trade, there are presumably hundreds of others that happen but don't.  Team signs a couple of FA's every year; but were probably "interested in" and probably "kicked the tires" on dozens of others? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 16, 2017, 08:14:30 pm
They could also be looking to drive the price up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 16, 2017, 08:29:52 pm
The more I think on Darvish, the more I really want this to happen.  He takes a middling rotation which is likely at a disadvantage against most postseason opponents and turns it into a strength.  If you can get him for 5 years at not much more than $20M per, that would be a great move.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 17, 2017, 10:02:43 am
I agree that that would be a great move.  But I expect that he will bring much more than that, which would make it a not-so-great move.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 17, 2017, 10:34:42 am
Teams just got $50 million from the sale of BamTech. The chances of Darvish signing for Jordan Zimmermann money is small
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 17, 2017, 11:35:17 am
Also worth noting that Darvish is not a Boras client. Tellem’s group seems to have decent relationships with the Cubs, and might be less likely to hold out until spring hoping to get what the agent thinks the guy is worth (which will probably happen with Arrieta).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 17, 2017, 11:38:10 am
Suppose Darvish will sign for $130/5 today.  Do you agree?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 17, 2017, 11:45:13 am
I would do that, yes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on December 17, 2017, 11:53:04 am
I would as well...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on December 17, 2017, 02:07:13 pm
Phil Rogers is apparently writing under the byline of Jesse Rogers now. Either that or Jesse Rogers has gone off the rails, proposing the Cubs trade Addison Russell for one year of Manny Machado.

Either that or someone at ESPN told Rogers he needed to start getting more clicks or he'd be the next to go.  That giant "blockbuster" headline going along with it is just made for clickbaiting.

I almost feel like ESPN is turning into a big clickbait site.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2017, 01:44:27 pm
Speculation that Otani actually preferred to sign with the Cubs, but was afraid with his UCL issues playing the outfield was too big a risk.  That would suck.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 18, 2017, 01:50:29 pm
NL DH, please.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2017, 02:05:14 pm
but sac bunts and double switches.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2017, 02:21:23 pm
Just read on the PSD board that Levine was on the radio this morning saying that Darvish could accept a deal for only 4 years (or 4 years and an option).  If that's true, the Cubs should really be in on him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2017, 02:36:15 pm
Heh, I was just thinking along those lines. 4 years 100 million, with a 30 million option and a 10 million buyout. Why not offer it and see what happens?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2017, 03:09:54 pm
Bruce Levine‏ @MLBBruceLevine
Cubs Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer landed in Dallas this afternoon. Free agent Yu Darvish meeting is likely destination for the two execs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 18, 2017, 03:14:55 pm
Bruce Levine‏ @MLBBruceLevine
Cubs Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer landed in Dallas this afternoon. Free agent Yu Darvish meeting is likely destination for the two execs.

Yeah, and we're going to get Ohtani too!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2017, 03:15:14 pm
4 years?  I'd be ok with that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 18, 2017, 03:16:40 pm
Bruce Levine‏ @MLBBruceLevine
Cubs Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer landed in Dallas this afternoon. Free agent Yu Darvish meeting is likely destination for the two execs.


Interesting. Not sure yet whether to take this seriously, but I'm certainly less skeptical than I was.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Eastcoastfan on December 18, 2017, 03:21:09 pm
The fact that the Cubs have no other Iranian stars is a big plus, I understand.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2017, 03:28:15 pm
Levine seems modestly well-connected - he's usually not totally out in left field.

Darvish is the sort of opportunity that just doesn't come around that often.  If his WS bomb is causing his price to drop, we really should be all over that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2017, 03:55:42 pm
Confirmation:

Jon Heyman‏ @JonHeyman
sources: cubs are indeed meeting with yu. they have cast a wide net on free-agent/trade markets for a top starting pitcher. cobb, lynn, arrieta, duffy, archer among other possibilities.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2017, 03:59:25 pm
Flying to Dallas to meet with Yu indicates that at the very least, the Cubs are serious about this and think they have a great chance if they want to pursue it.  Especially with Theo bringing Jed to fetch the coffee.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 18, 2017, 04:19:08 pm
Jon Heyman‏ @JonHeyman
sources: cubs are indeed meeting with yu. they have cast a wide net on free-agent/trade markets for a top starting pitcher. cobb, lynn, arrieta, duffy, archer among other possibilities.

That's a higher price/years/quality class than the Hellickson/Chacin/Lackey pool of back-end rotation-fillers. 

I get the feeling they're going to take the least awful deal they can, and that they'll probably pay whatever it takes to bring in somebody from that class of guys.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 18, 2017, 04:19:34 pm
I don't get the Archer inclusion, unless his late-season arm problems are serious enough to have depressed his trade value a lot. 

If you want to trade for a good player on a good contract, I don't think that works if your best minor leaguers are Ademan, Alzolay, Albertos, and Caratini. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2017, 04:31:31 pm
That's a higher price/years/quality class than the Hellickson/Chacin/Lackey pool of back-end rotation-fillers. 

I get the feeling they're going to take the least awful deal they can, and that they'll probably pay whatever it takes to bring in somebody from that class of guys.

a 4-year deal on Darvish would be anything but awful.

Sign Darvish.  Trade Happ and a prospect for Yelich, Barraclough and Prado.  Done - great offseason, worry about next year next December.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 18, 2017, 04:33:14 pm
Flying to Dallas to meet with Yu indicates that at the very least, the Cubs are serious about this and think they have a great chance if they want to pursue it.  Especially with Theo bringing Jed to fetch the coffee.


Due diligence!  :)  Not sure it says anything about "great" chance.  I'd assume they'd do diligence on even a teensy chance. 


There are four variably decent SP FA's in Darvish, Arrieta, Cobb, and Lynn. I think they ought to be flying wherever it take to sales-pitch each of those four guys/agents, perhaps repeatedly if needed. 


Adding one of those to your rotation (and your budget) is obviously very impactful.  With at least >$50+ at stake (Cobb, Lynn) or >$100 (Darvish or Arrieta), and your odds of competing this season as well as beyond, I think it's well worth some flights to try to get the right guy and make the right deal!  :) 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2017, 04:35:10 pm
How often do you hear about Theo and Jed jetting off together to far-flung parts of the country to chase free agents?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 18, 2017, 04:42:43 pm
Am I understanding right that *IF* they were to sign Darvish, he'd not cost them a draft pick? 

Obviously a second-round draft pick isn't a big deal, I don't think.  But it would be kinda fun to keep them all, and perhaps draft smart and luck into a good player or two this draft. 

McLeod's 2nd-rounders have been: 
*Zastryzny,
*Stinnett,
*Donnie Dewees>Alec Mills.... 
*This year Cory Abbot, who knows how he'll turn out. 
*Duane Underwood, back when we drafted at the top of the round, instead of the back.

So keeping or losing a guy like that isn't much of a reason for Darvish or against Cobb or Lynn.  Still, it would be fun to have a first plus three 2nd-rounders this draft 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 18, 2017, 04:43:42 pm
How often do you hear about Theo and Jed jetting off together to far-flung parts of the country to chase free agents?

Not often, but I assume only a fraction of the trips, conversations, or tire-kicking that they do make the news. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2017, 04:50:48 pm
Theo/Jed flying somewhere is certainly past the tire kicking stage.  It might not get done, but this is at least serious.

Darvish+Yelich+Prado would put the Cubs over the luxury tax in 2018 and 2019. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 18, 2017, 04:51:46 pm
a 4-year deal on Darvish would be anything but awful.   Sign Darvish.  ....

FA's don't normally sign bargain deals.  :)

I assume every agent factors longer deal => less per year.   

For example, maybe $150/6 ($25-per), $133/5 ($27.5-per), or $120/4 ($30-per). 

Would $120/4 be way better than $133/5?  Beats me. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2017, 04:53:18 pm
Sign Darvish.  Trade Happ and a prospect for Yelich, Barraclough and Prado.  Done - great offseason, worry about next year next December.

I don't think the Marlins are going to be motivated to trade Barraclough unless someone overpays. He's not even arbitration eligible, and has a far lower profile than guys like Yelich and Realmuto (so no one is going to even notice or care if he demands a trade). And I still think Almora would have to be included even if the Cubs took back Prado.

But man, finishing off the offseason with Darvish and Yelich would be exciting. It would put the Cubs right there with the Astros and Dodgers for best team in baseball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 18, 2017, 04:56:21 pm
They're already there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2017, 04:56:46 pm
Craig, indeed Darvish carries no compensation pick penalty.  Just money.

Even if taking on Darvish and Prado would push the Cubs over the tax threshold now, there are creative ways to get around that next winter.  Just watch how the Yankees and Dodgers do business.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2017, 06:09:56 pm
I don’t think the Yankees are an example for the Cubs. They have waited years for big $ vets to fall off their payroll. The Dodgers sent a bunch of 1 year bad deals for a bad deal spread over 2 years. The Cubs only bad deal is Heyward and that still has multiple years.

If you trade for Yelich you do it players/prospects, not taking on bad money.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2017, 09:46:53 pm
Yu Darvish apparently tweeted something about meeting with the Cubs in Japanese. Bing translate isn’t great, but it appears to have went well.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2017, 09:51:17 pm
Twitter's attempts to translate Darvish's tweets:

1. so today was also reported to have cubs were meeting.
It was a very good meeting. Interpretation, to want to take the next step English 3 and half hours has been meeting ^_^ from the talk at first unfamiliar + strain to utter a word but makutta impatience from the middle was.

2. I'm tired me so I just had a question / remark there, pretty much with the brain in the past 10 years the most tired. Also tomorrow I English (^^) still be scared quicker progress after challenging withdraw no more!. The gutter to the Dodgers was (^^)


https://twitter.com/farid...status/942960388743876608 (https://twitter.com/faridyu/status/942960388743876608)

https://twitter.com/farid...status/942960981008887808 (https://twitter.com/faridyu/status/942960981008887808)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2017, 09:54:53 pm
Cubs Insider has a translation. The meeting went extremely well and Darvish did the 3.5 hour meeting without a translator. He had some trouble at first with English, but then did well with it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2017, 09:58:54 pm
What does "The gutter to the Dodgers was (^^)" mean?  Is (^^) some kind of substitute for an emoji?  Is it positive or negative?  Does "gutter" mean trade?  It sounds like he's working without a translator again tomorrow...is that while talking with the Dodgers? Or the Cubs again? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 18, 2017, 09:59:57 pm
We're gonna sign him.

I bet Jake loves knowing we believe in Darvish and not him.

I hope he's healthy and I hope we dont use all of our bullpen money.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2017, 10:02:09 pm
What does "The gutter to the Dodgers was (^^)" mean?  Is (^^) some kind of substitute for an emoji?  Is it positive or negative?  Does "gutter" mean trade?  It sounds like he's working without a translator again tomorrow...is that while talking with the Dodgers? Or the Cubs again? 

Nothing on the second tweet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2017, 10:02:20 pm
Interpretation of the second tweet:

Dylan Hernandez @dylanohernandez
Darvish on speaking English in meeting with Cubs: "You develop faster if you challenge yourself instead of freaking out and cowering. I realized that when I went to the Dodgers."


I bet Jake loves knowing we believe in Darvish and not him.

There's good reason to believe in Darvish over Arrieta.  Jake has lost a couple mph the last couple of years; Darvish threw as hard as ever this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2017, 10:09:28 pm
Yu is only half-Japanese, and he has some personality aspects that seem quite un-Japanese - maybe a coincidence.  But this business about not using an interpreter is very, very unusual even among Japanese who understand English well. 

People will laugh that off as trivia, but it's not.  He took this very seriously indeed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2017, 10:10:41 pm
Darvish on speaking English in meeting with Cubs: "You develop faster if you challenge yourself instead of freaking out and cowering. I realized that when I went to the Dodgers."
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 18, 2017, 10:17:42 pm
Free agents don't normally tweet about talking to specific teams before they sign.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 18, 2017, 10:27:00 pm
Where there’s smoke...

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2017, 10:27:53 pm
My guess is we sign Darvish, probably five years, probably something like $125 million with a substantial back-load. I hope so, as I think that'd be a great score for the Cubs - absolutely could be wrong, but this whole exchange feels like it has serious weight to it.  And Darvish has always been strikingly open about his intentions as an athlete - if there's a widespread perception here and in Japan that he's linked with the Cubs, it's because he wants there to be.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 18, 2017, 10:43:13 pm
Nothing is signed yet, but as others have mentioned, we almost never hear of Theo & Co’s specific moves as they unfold, and it’s very rare for a player to telegraph so publicly his positive meeting with a suitor team. Sure feels like this could happen...

If you had told me at the start of the offseason that the Cubs would sign Darvish, Chatwood, Morrow, and Smyly, I’d have said no way. You could have substituted Cobb for Darvish and I’d have been thrilled with that list. But a rotation of Darvish, Lester, Quintana, Hendricks, Chatwood... wow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 18, 2017, 10:47:36 pm
Free agents don't normally tweet about talking to specific teams before they sign.

Yeah, this is starting to sound pretty serious. 
I thought it was just "kicking tires" and due diligence, but this indeed sounds like it's moved past that. 

I wonder about the 3.5-hour interview in English.  I imagine Cubs wanted that?  I wonder if they always do that?  Or if the magnitude of a Darvish deal provokes greater precaution?  I admit I wonder whether some of the Chapman story makes them even more cautious perhaps than may have been true formerly? 

Will be very curious to see whether anything happens with this over the next few days. 

And if we get him, whether or not he'll be good for the Cubs?  Or a HR-factory who's more #3-ish.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 18, 2017, 10:51:10 pm
It is unusual for this front office to go public with their efforts to sign a free agent.  The only other one I remember was when they went after Tanaka.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 18, 2017, 10:52:20 pm
Nothing is signed yet, but as others have mentioned, we almost never hear of Theo & Co’s specific moves as they unfold, and it’s very rare for a player to telegraph so publicly his positive meeting with a suitor team. Sure feels like this could happen...

If you had told me at the start of the offseason that the Cubs would sign Darvish, Chatwood, Morrow, and Smyly, I’d have said no way. You could have substituted Cobb for Darvish and I’d have been thrilled with that list. But a rotation of Darvish, Lester, Quintana, Hendricks, Chatwood... wow.

You guys are getting my hopes up on this. Stop it!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 18, 2017, 10:53:24 pm
It is unusual for this front office to go public with their efforts to sign a free agent.  The only other one I remember was when they went after Tanaka.

I don't think that the Cubs have gone public on this.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 18, 2017, 10:54:43 pm
I don't think that the Cubs have gone public on this.

ITA - none of this came from them.  But clearly, Darvish had no problem with it being public.  That's kind of his personality though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 18, 2017, 11:07:35 pm
It is unusual for this front office to go public with their efforts to sign a free agent.  The only other one I remember was when they went after Tanaka.
I seem to recall our pursuit of Lester was pretty public.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 18, 2017, 11:16:45 pm
Sharma had a nice piece on the Athletic.  He thinks initially the Cubs went after Cobb, but his price was too high so they looked into Duffy and the trading cost was too high and they moved onto Darvish and it sounds like the price is more to the Cubs liking. Another interesting tidbit is the Cubs haven’t talked to the Rays about Archer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on December 18, 2017, 11:39:27 pm
Cobb's price is higher than Darvish's?  Hmmmm...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 18, 2017, 11:41:23 pm
Sharma had a nice piece on the Athletic.  He thinks initially the Cubs went after Cobb, but his price was too high so they looked into Duffy and the trading cost was too high and they moved onto Darvish and it sounds like the price is more to the Cubs liking. Another interesting tidbit is the Cubs haven’t talked to the Rays about Archer.

Here is the link: https://theathletic.com/189473/2017/12/18/cubs-pursuit-of-yu-darvish-wasnt-part-of-the-plan-but-now-he-might-be-their-best-option/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 18, 2017, 11:43:11 pm
Cobb's price is higher than Darvish's?  Hmmmm...

Sharma does not say that. He says that Cobb's price appears to have crept closer to the price for Darvish, enough closer that it may make more sense for the Cubs to go for Darvish, the better pitcher, instead.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on December 19, 2017, 12:28:08 am
Sharma does not say that. He says that Cobb's price appears to have crept closer to the price for Darvish, enough closer that it may make more sense for the Cubs to go for Darvish, the better pitcher, instead.

Well that makes more sense I suppose.

I'm not sure Darvish' perceived value has ever really matched his talent though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 19, 2017, 06:25:48 am
I wonder if you’d complain that Babe Ruth wasn’t a switch hitter?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 19, 2017, 08:34:19 am
Career 3.42 ERA, last year 3.86. 
*Over is career, he's basically been a 6-inning-per-start guy.
*Career average is 1.0 HR/game, lower early in his career, higher lately. 
*Turns 32 this summer. 
*The hope will be that he can maintain his stuff and his performance for several years, but it's obviously probable that at some point during the contract is stuff is going to decline to some extent going into his mid-30's. 
*Fastball has good velocity, but not especially good movement.  (Sometimes hitters anticipate fastball against good-fastball guys, but still can't kill it because the life is good.  Houston killed them.) 

Seems like a solid pitcher, very good, I'd love to get him, and the 2018 Cubs will probably be a LOT more competitive with him than with Lackey or some back-end rotation filler.  So I'm fired up about the possibilities.  I'm also guessing that he's got stuff so that on his better days, he can probably be really good.  Hopefully some of those will be in October and November.  But I can't expect him to be great, he's a 3.42 guy who gives up a lot of HR's, and who probably uses a lot of pitches to get through his 6 and once-in-a-while 7 innings.   

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 19, 2017, 08:44:38 am
Think Wrigley April could be a good thing if they were to sign him.  In "Cubs Way", Lester talked about his first season, when he didn't start off very well and he said he felt a lot of pressure to try to justify the contract and expectations.

Darvish's biggest vulnerability is HR.  But Wrigley in spring is NOT HR-friendly.  So if you're protected from your biggest vulnerability early, I'd think you could maybe get some success early, so that fans and media and teammates and yourself all settle down and get past the gotta-make-a-good-impression pressure.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 19, 2017, 08:46:03 am
I don't think that the Cubs have gone public on this.

They have not gone public, but nor have they kept it under wraps, as they usually do.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 19, 2017, 08:57:56 am
Draft question:  If nobody gives Davis a $50 deal, do the Cubs still get a comp pick? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2017, 09:08:52 am
From 2012-2017

Darvish is 18 in fWAR despite being between 200-400 IP behind most of the people ahead of him on the list. Lester and Quintana 9th and 10th.

He is 15th in ERA- (Hendricks is 4th, so put what weight you want into this stat.

Darvish would easily be the Cubs #1 starter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2017, 09:29:35 am
Yup.  Unless Lester somehow reverts to 2016 form Yu would be the de factor #1 guy.  He'd be the projected Game 1 starter.  Hard to overstate how much of an impact a guy like that has on your team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 19, 2017, 09:57:21 am
Numbers regardless, you could have potential for a really excellent regular-season rotation.  Lester, Hendricks, Quintana, Darvish, we could debate who's #1.  But the real advantage would be coming at #3/4.  Choose whichever of those guys you think are #1/2; but whichever two are left as #3/4 could be relatively way good.  Going to have a lot of regular-season games where opponent is at a big disadvantage when using their  #3/#4 starters.

And of course I'm all optimistic that Chatwood will be good too, and will function like a solid #3 starter.  May be a lot of games when Chatwood might go up against opponent's #3/4 guy, and we'll still be at no disadvantage. 

Fun to imagine a rotation where you could expect pretty consistent strong starts day in, day out.  That's good for consistency, and great for regular season. 
I'd be pretty fired up for the 6-month regular season with those five guys. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2017, 10:08:21 am
If we sign Darvish, I won't be surprised if we try a 6-man rotation with Monty for good chunks of the season.  There are a lot of reasons to like the idea.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 19, 2017, 10:10:08 am
I think a consistent rotation is good for pen.  If rotation is consistently going 6, with as many 7-inning starts as there are 5-inning starts, I'd guess that would make it easier for Hickey to schedule/spread out work among the 8 relievers. 

Enough innings to keep everybody sharp, but not so many as to exhaust anybody. 

Would be pretty desirable to have a relatively consistent collection of 8 relievers, though.  Would hope that for most regular-season 6-inning starts, that you could more often cover 3 innings of relief with 3 relievers rather than needing multiple mid-inning switches and routinely needing 4-5 guys to cover 3 innings. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 19, 2017, 10:14:22 am
It may be a good idea to temper the excitement a tad about Darvish and how much he would benefit the Cubs.  I'm just sayin' ...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 19, 2017, 10:29:07 am
If we sign Darvish, I won't be surprised if we try a 6-man rotation with Monty for good chunks of the season.  There are a lot of reasons to like the idea.

I saw someone post this yesterday somewhere else. Here's some discussion from this past weekend on why 6 man rotations are bad from Will Carroll (starts somewhere between 15 and 16 minutes in):

https://omny.fm/shows/julie-dicaro-on-670-the-score/6-man-rotations-are-bad

Basically, there's no evidence that a 6 man rotation that a six man rotation helps keep players healthier.  And with no real evidence, why take about 25 starts from your top 5 starters to give them to your sixth best starter?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2017, 10:43:39 am
Because the body of evidence is too small to draw any definitive conclusions, no matter what Carroll says.  And there's some evidence from NPB that it can actually produce the desired result.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 19, 2017, 10:59:16 am
I didn't listen to the podcast, so they might have covered this, but I'd argue it's not health as much as freshness.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 19, 2017, 11:15:40 am
Early in the season, many teams send a fifth stsrter to the minors because there arent enough starts. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2017, 11:29:14 am
Jesse Rogers added more to the Cobb/Darvish.

The issue with Cobb seems to be years and not cash.  The Cubs would like a 3 year contract and Cobb is looking for 4/5.  Rogers also added that due to age/health Darvish might only get 4 years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on December 19, 2017, 11:36:40 am
I can’t blame Cobb too much.  Someone out there will give him four.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 19, 2017, 12:04:02 pm
Non-pitcher, non-Yu discussion. 
1.  Oddity:  Cubs roster presently has only 14 players.  Caratini is 12th man, for now.   

2.  Zagunis and Bote are the others.  Very short roster numbers-wise, and very shallow in "next man up" quality.
 
3.  Cubs could be very active and appealing in acquiring non-roster 4A types.  David Bote and Mark Zagunis the only guys to beat to become "next man up" and be one injury away from a callup?  *IF* you can produce, you've got a great chance.  Don't know who they've signed if any, but I'd think by April there could be some veterans at Iowa. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 19, 2017, 12:07:24 pm
We will probably sign a vet backstop, though they don't have to.  I'm guessing a defensive outfielder, too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2017, 12:09:04 pm
While getting a guy that could play CF would be nice, they have Almora, Happ and Heyward on the roster already.  With the glut of COF/1B players they might be able to get a nice bench bat for cheap.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2017, 12:35:54 pm
If we sign another catcher, I'd be very happy with Rivera.  It'd be nice to have one elite defender on the roster.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 19, 2017, 12:48:55 pm
Jon Jay had had 379 AB and 433 PA last year.  How do those get picked up?  Barring injury, we've got what projects as a strong/deep 12-man roster. 

So Maddon will just need to divvy up those extra 433 PA's as best he can among the existing carryover guys. 
*Almora + Happ:  323, 413 PA. 
*Schwarber + heyward: 486, 481. 
*Zobrist: 496. 
*La Stella: 151. 

Perhaps split up Jay's 433 as follows?:
150 to Almora (323 > 463)
80 to Happ (413 > 493)
50 to Heyward (481 > 531)
50 to Schwarber (486 > 536)
150 to La Stella (151 > 301)
Reduce Zobrist by 50 (496 to 446)

I'm sure Almora and Happ are eager to take more, but they already had a lot.  Neither can add a ton.  Given how hot-cold Happ can be, and how vulnerable to some kind of stuff, I think it's desirable to be able to not play him all the time when he's in a hole. 
*Almora will pick up a bunch, but he can be hot-cold too, and it's unclear whether facing tough righties all the time might not beat him down.  I'd like to give him a bunch more, but putting him into **too** many failure-situations is not necessarily doing him or the team a great favor. 

Heyward:  I hate the idea of giving even more AB's to helpless-hitting, almost-never-a-good-AB Heyward.  But may need to bite the bullet and give away even more AB's to him?  (If somehow the miraculous happened and he became a decent hitter, that would be so fun...)

Schwarber:  I'm much hoping that Schwarber improves a lot, and that we'll be happy to give him more.  But as with Almora with RHP, I'm not sure that running Schwarber out there against lefties who are going to eat him alive is doing him any favor.  May be kinda optimal to just try to shape him into a good platoon guy rather than forcing him to struggle against LHP? 

Zobrist:  maybe he'll be healthy and better and take on some extra, or at least carry a comparable load but more productively.  But at this age I just figure he's probably in the serous decline phase of his career.  I'd rather plan on dropping him one or two hundred PA's rather than gaining more!  But Maddon may feel like he's got no choice other than to keep giving him PA's whether he produces or not. But man, if both Heyward and Zobrist are bad, and are still starting most games, the lineup could be less than relentless!

La Stella:  I'm imagining La Stella getting a lot more.  *IF* Tommy can put up a lot of consistently good AB's, he might end up getting a lot of starts, and could easily pick up an extra 150 PA and get up to 300.  Think he'd also kind of replace some of the Jay profile in the lineup; long tough AB's that can give tough AB's even versus good pitchers. 

The mis-fit with La Stella is that days you want to sit Schwarber and Heyward versus lefties, La Stella doesn't help you there.  Happ is better versus RHP too.     

Zo had 397 PA versus RHP last year; so I could imagine Tommy getting 150 of those, if he's hitting and Zobrist isn't?  With injury, last year Z was much worse versus LHP than RHP; so if that split continues, transferring his RHP aB's to La Stella does not make perfect sense.  But career-wise Zobrist as been better vs LHP.  So if Zo could productively keep or increase his AB versus LHP, and Tommy picked up more of Zobrist's AB versus RHP, that might work?  (If one or the other was starting, I wonder how they'd fare leading off?) 

So, maybe Zobrist and Happ could pick up a lot of the AB versus LHP when Maddon sits Schwarber and/or Heyward?  And La Stella/Happ/Zobrist pick up starts against RHP when Maddon sits Almora, and sometimes Baez or Russell.  Think it's really important that Zobrist returns to some level of anti-awful versus LHP! 

Baez and Russell mostly every-day guys.  But both tend to be slumpy, and I can't imagine Baez is going to change his profile much.  So may be some matchups and slumps where getting some PA's from TLS/Zo/Happ in place of Baez or Russell might make sense.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 19, 2017, 12:53:55 pm
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DRbdN9hXkAA_BsY.jpg:small)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 19, 2017, 01:05:23 pm
We will probably sign a vet backstop, though they don't have to.  I'm guessing a defensive outfielder, too.
While getting a guy that could play CF would be nice, they have Almora, Happ and Heyward on the roster already.  With the glut of COF/1B players they might be able to get a nice bench bat for cheap.

No room for another OFer. 

Maddon wants a 13-man staff, and well he should. 

2nd catcher, yes that's a question. 

But the other 10 guys seem very well defined, with Happ, Zobrist, and La Stella taking the three bench spots.  No interest in replacing Happ or releasing La Stella for a defensive outfielder. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 19, 2017, 01:08:53 pm
Wouldn't shock to see Contreras getting a little LF action, too, if they want to keep his bat in versus LHP, but need to rest his legs and use Rivera or Caratini or whomever catching. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 19, 2017, 01:28:44 pm
Interesting analysis of Cishek by Brett Taylor:

http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/12/19/steve-cishek-was-all-universe-after-midseason-trade-to-rays-this-year-cubs-getting-that-guy/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2017, 03:03:57 pm
Darvish meeting with the Astros.  That's a bit worrisome.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2017, 03:20:05 pm
Their 2018 payroll is $148 million, which is already $20+ million more than last year.  I wonder how much higher they can go?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on December 19, 2017, 03:26:45 pm
After winning the World Series and getting the fourth largest media market excited about them, they might have a lot more to spend than usual.

Hopefully not for Darvish though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 19, 2017, 03:27:23 pm
Big market, just coming off WS so probably sales and revenue is going crazy.  Shouldn't their spending capacity be more-or-less comparable to Cubs, or maybe higher? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 19, 2017, 03:27:49 pm
Hopefully the meetings mean that he's getting close to signing and this won't drag out too much longer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 19, 2017, 03:33:34 pm
The Astros do already have 6 starters--Verlander, Keuchel, Morton, Peacock, McCullers, and McHugh (plus Joe Musgrove, who they probably see as a full time starter eventually)--so I don't really see why they would work hard to outbid anyone for Darvish. I wonder if they're in mostly because they think he might come at a discount.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2017, 03:59:02 pm
Big market, just coming off WS so probably sales and revenue is going crazy.  Shouldn't their spending capacity be more-or-less comparable to Cubs, or maybe higher? 

According to Forbes the Cubs revenue in 2016 was $434 million, the Astros $299.

Cubs attendance was 3.199 million vs 2.4 for Houston and the Cubs Forbes estimate for revenue/fan was $83 for the Cubs and $33 for the Astros.

It think the Astros currently have a better TV deal, but they are capped at $80 million/year without any equity until 2032 vs the Cubs 60ish million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: goblue007 on December 19, 2017, 04:29:06 pm
Wow

https://twitter.com/mlbbrucelevine/status/943241596564275200
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on December 19, 2017, 04:41:14 pm
What on earth would the Cubs trade for Machado? Happ+? Russell and Happ?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 19, 2017, 04:47:15 pm
As someone who has thought the Cubs need to add a bat all offseason, I just don't see the fit for Machado.  Too expensive for a one year player, and the outfield is where they need to improve the offense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2017, 04:54:18 pm
I think the Machado stuff is bunk, personally, but who knows.

The Astros do have 6 starters, but Keuchel and Verlander are not exactly secure long-term propositions for them at the top of the rotation - they may be less worried about depth and more worried about having a TORP in place for the next few seasons.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 19, 2017, 05:05:37 pm
According to Forbes the Cubs revenue in 2016 was $434 million, the Astros $299.

Cubs attendance was 3.199 million vs 2.4 for Houston and the Cubs Forbes estimate for revenue/fan was $83 for the Cubs and $33 for the Astros....

Thanks, blue, interesting.  I wonder how much winning closes the attendance and revenue/fan ratio? 
Houston was a non-playoff 3rd place 84-win team that season, while Cubs had their greatest season in team history and won the WS with a bunch of playoff games hosted, lots of jersey sales and Cubs Christmas gifts I think!  That's probably going to close the projected revenue gap for this year and next, I assume.  But I have no idea how much. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 19, 2017, 05:23:36 pm
I didn't listen to the podcast, so they might have covered this, but I'd argue it's not health as much as freshness.

I forgot to respond to this earlier. They did talk about this--Carroll said that pitchers aren't really any fresher either.  He said pitchers' arms fully recover in about 3 days after pitching (though I guess that doesn't address the issue of cumulative innings for the year).  He actually suggested a better plan that fits better with the evidence is to go to load up the bullpen and go to a four man rotation where starters are only expected to go five innings.

He also mentioned in passing that the NPB six man rotation didn't really help either, but he didn't go into detail on that (except to say that pitchers in Japan are worked harder when they're younger, so there might be a survivor bias).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 19, 2017, 05:54:29 pm
Japanese pitchers are worked harder when they're younger?

Damn I would have never thought that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jack Birdbath on December 19, 2017, 05:57:51 pm
Do you seek validation and approval in your real life as much as you do here?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 19, 2017, 06:20:19 pm
My wife says I do. Lol

I do it here as more of a reminder that Im not the dumbass some here would have you believe I am.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 19, 2017, 06:32:53 pm
I forgot to respond to this earlier. They did talk about this--Carroll said that pitchers aren't really any fresher either.  He said pitchers' arms fully recover in about 3 days after pitching (though I guess that doesn't address the issue of cumulative innings for the year).  He actually suggested a better plan that fits better with the evidence is to go to load up the bullpen and go to a four man rotation where starters are only expected to go five innings.

I have always thought that that would be a great way to go, at least for the #5 and even #4 starters.  Let two guys piggyback, as they do in the low minors, and do away with those incessant one-inning relievers, at least for that rotation spot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 19, 2017, 06:59:50 pm
So Orioles apparently want Baez for Machado. I really hope that is a no.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 19, 2017, 07:25:52 pm
So the question is is 1 year of Manny Machado worth how ever long we have left of Javy Baez?

3 years?

Depends on if we're selling out for another world series.

I couldn't immediately say "no".
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 19, 2017, 07:31:38 pm
I could.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on December 19, 2017, 07:37:08 pm
I’m guessing Machado wouldn’t be interested in agreeing to an extension before a trade, but that would make some of those trade ideas a little more palatable.  I know that’s really kind of a no no to trade a top young player regardless of an extension or not, but Machado will have so much competition next offseason, it might be worth it in his case.

Still not likely to happen though.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 19, 2017, 07:44:47 pm
Baez for Machado is as close to a literally insane idea as hot stove bullshirt gets.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 19, 2017, 07:45:04 pm
I dont think I could do it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 19, 2017, 07:47:44 pm
I don't take the idea of a trade for Machado seriously.  That said, it's worth noting that Machado is all of five months older than Baez, so an extension would make such a trade a whole lot more conceivable.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 19, 2017, 07:54:06 pm
As much as Machado would cost he'd surely take us out of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.

So who would you rather have?

Probably Harper because he may help us keep Bryant.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 19, 2017, 07:54:23 pm
All of Russell, Baez, and Happ are objectively worth more than one year of Machado.

I don’t believe the rumors, but if they’re real, one of two things is happening:

1) We’re trading one of the MI’s, but not to Baltimore. Instead, one of the MI trio is being dealt elsewhere for cost-controlled SP, thus clearing a spot for Machado.

2) We’re trading one of the MI’s to Baltimore, but it’s for more than just Machado.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 19, 2017, 08:45:49 pm
Career 3.42 ERA, last year 3.86. 
*Over is career, he's basically been a 6-inning-per-start guy.
*Career average is 1.0 HR/game, lower early in his career, higher lately. 
*Turns 32 this summer. 
*The hope will be that he can maintain his stuff and his performance for several years, but it's obviously probable that at some point during the contract is stuff is going to decline to some extent going into his mid-30's. 
*Fastball has good velocity, but not especially good movement.  (Sometimes hitters anticipate fastball against good-fastball guys, but still can't kill it because the life is good.  Houston killed them.) 

Seems like a solid pitcher, very good, I'd love to get him, and the 2018 Cubs will probably be a LOT more competitive with him than with Lackey or some back-end rotation filler.  So I'm fired up about the possibilities.  I'm also guessing that he's got stuff so that on his better days, he can probably be really good.  Hopefully some of those will be in October and November.  But I can't expect him to be great, he's a 3.42 guy who gives up a lot of HR's, and who probably uses a lot of pitches to get through his 6 and once-in-a-while 7 innings.   

Kyle Hendricks is sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of the Cubs' pitching staff, and perhaps of major league pitchers in general.

In 2016 he had an ERA+ of 196, 25 points better than next best Jon Lester and 60 points better than Arrieta.  Hendricks' FIP in 2016 was 3.20, meaningfully better than Lester's 3.41.... and we all know how important and telling the FIP is.... except when it isn't because it doesn't fit our agenda.

In 2017, despite physical problems that put him on the DL and caused his ERA to bloom to a completely uncharacteristic 4.09 in the first half, he finished again with the best ERA, best ERA+ and best FIP on the team, largely thru a 2nd half ERA of 2.19, close to repeating his 2016 full season ERA of 2.13.  His ERA+ in 2017 -- 144, 21 points better than the 2nd best on the team.

So how did Darvish compare?  An ERA+ of 118 in 2017 and 134 in 2016, well below Hendricks -- Darvish was at 134 in his better year, while Hendricks was at 144 in his weaker year.

From 2012-2017

Darvish is 18 in fWAR despite being between 200-400 IP behind most of the people ahead of him on the list. Lester and Quintana 9th and 10th.

He is 15th in ERA- (Hendricks is 4th, so put what weight you want into this stat.

Darvish would easily be the Cubs #1 starter.

Yup.  Unless Lester somehow reverts to 2016 form Yu would be the de factor #1 guy.  He'd be the projected Game 1 starter.  Hard to overstate how much of an impact a guy like that has on your team.

Darvish will be 32 next year, an age when most pitchers are NOT improving and are often showing some decline.

Hendricks will be 28, an age when many pitchers are still showing improvement.

Darvish has a WAR the last two years of 5.8; Hendricks has an 8.5

In the world where actual performance on the field is less important than what a pitcher register on a radar gun, Darvish might well be the staff ace in 2018 if the Cubs add him.

In the world where actual on the field performance is more important, Hendricks would be the likely ace, and Darvish a very nice #1 or 2.

Don't get me wrong, I really like the idea of the Cubs signing him.  I simply do not believe he would likely be the best starter on the team in 2017.  What he would almost certainly do, however, is to help the Cubs field a rotation of at least four very strong starters.  Good move.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 19, 2017, 10:00:50 pm
The best way to sign a 5th starter is to sign a 1 and move the rest back a spot.

I cant hate on it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ben on December 19, 2017, 10:03:46 pm
Jes, that's a good post re Hendricks. 

"Hitting is timing, pitching is the destruction of timing."  Hendricks does that incredibly well, which is why his WAR is as it is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 19, 2017, 10:25:08 pm
Jes, that's a good post re Hendricks. 

"Hitting is timing, pitching is the destruction of timing."  Hendricks does that incredibly well, which is why his WAR is as it is.

Some here have essentially admitted in their comments that to them, being an ace requires lighting up a radar gun.... and, interestingly, these are often folks who not only embrace sabermetrics, but they ridicule those who may not share the same enthusiasm about some of the manufactured stats.... and then they ignore actual performance in favor of a reading on a radar gun.

I do really hope the Cubs sign Darvish, but not because I think he will be better than Hendricks, and if he were going to be reliably better than Hendricks has been over the last two years, the bidding war would likely cause the Theocracy to wisely walk away.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 19, 2017, 11:07:58 pm
For Darvish, I'd think Houston being in home-state of Texas would be to their advantage.  So might his post-season experience:  Darvish and his Dodgers staff totally dominated the Cubs hitters, but the tenacious Houston hitters totally dominated him and beat up the good Dodgers staff pretty well.  He may figure the Astros hitters are going to take the team farther than the Cubs hitters can?  Advantage Houston?

I'd think the short LF fence in Houston would be unappealing.  Disadvantage Houston. 
Racist stuff from Gurriel. Is that the kind of clubhouse culture he wants to be a part of?  Disadvantage Houston?

Theo and Maddon might make a better sales pitch.  Advantage Cubs?

$$$$  Who knows? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 19, 2017, 11:20:50 pm
I think it is less than encouraging that he even wants to talk to others after an "excellent" meeting with the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 19, 2017, 11:21:45 pm
Another project?  http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/21822399/tim-lincecum-bulked-possibly-attempting-major-league-comeback
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on December 19, 2017, 11:23:53 pm
Another project?  http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/21822399/tim-lincecum-bulked-possibly-attempting-major-league-comeback

Hey we were the first team that drafted him!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 20, 2017, 12:00:01 am
I'd love to see the Cubs take a chance on him.  Though I don't know where they would use him if they also sign Darvish and everyone is healthy, it is not all that normal for an entire starting rotation to be healthy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 20, 2017, 08:26:54 am
Article on Schwarber:

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/21817891/cubs-slugger-kyle-schwarber-lost-20-pounds-mission-transform-body-game
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 20, 2017, 11:36:41 am
Hoyer downplays the significance of meeting with Yu Darvish, saying they meet with a lot of players during the winter.

https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/943531874063970304
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on December 20, 2017, 12:21:54 pm
I'll be pretty surprised if Schwarber is traded.

I'll be a bit surprised if any of the core guys are traded.  It doesn't seem like any of the "trade a guy for controllable young starting pitching" scenarios are worth it. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 20, 2017, 01:35:37 pm
Orioles may release Britton, supposedly.  That would be a no-brainer for us or some contender if they do.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 20, 2017, 03:05:51 pm
Hoyer downplays the significance of meeting with Yu Darvish, saying they meet with a lot of players during the winter.

https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/943531874063970304

Thanks, Ron.  That was helpful.  He said they've probable gone out and visited with 6-8 guys this winter; and if you sign one or two, that's good.  I'm actually surprised the number of visits is that few.  But yeah, gave more the take of "due diligence" than any hint that they're all that likely to sign him, or that they're on the brink of finishing a deal or anything. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 20, 2017, 04:02:37 pm
The Cubs have met with 6-8 players so far.  They have signed 4 free agents, Darvish and I would guess Cobb. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on December 20, 2017, 04:03:19 pm
Stupid Yankees...

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/12/20/yankees-interested-yu-darvish/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 20, 2017, 04:53:00 pm
Would you guys get the Darvish deal done and quit farting around?  I expect better of br, deeg, CBJ, that craig guy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 21, 2017, 08:35:19 am
Quote
Darvish, who was traded from the Texas Rangers to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, would not cost the Yankees any prospects, but the four-time All-Star won’t come cheap. He is expected to command a multiyear deal that will pay him in the ballpark of $25 million annually.

Of course, the Yankees are not alone in their interest in the 31-year-old Japanese hurler. The Dodgers, Rangers, Cubs and Astros are also reportedly keen on Darvish.


Yankees, Dodgers, Rangers, Astros, sounds like more competition than just Astros and Twins. 


Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 21, 2017, 10:29:48 am
I haven't seen any evidence that the Dodgers are in on Darvish, and until either they or the Yankees shed salary they can't add him without going over the cap (and we should just be honest and call the "luxury tax" that).  For now, the Astros and Twins are the other confirmed suitors.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 21, 2017, 11:14:24 am
http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/12/21/obsessive-yu-darvish-watch-yankees-sniffing-around-if-price-drops/

It seems a stretch that the Yanks are really in on him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 21, 2017, 12:00:04 pm
My guess is Darvish is letting this drag out a bit to see if someone (like the Yanks) jump in and push it to 6 years, and if not he'll sign with the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 21, 2017, 12:45:07 pm
I'm counting on you, Deeg.  Bring it home.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 21, 2017, 12:48:18 pm
Could do a Kickstarter, I suppose.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 21, 2017, 12:58:08 pm
 Ken Rosenthal‏Verified account @Ken_Rosenthal
3m3 minutes ago

#Rays were in more urgent position with Longoria, who is 32, had $86 million remaining in guaranteed money and stood to gain full no-trade protection as a 10-and-5 player in April. Rays can spend 2018 assessing young talent. Archer, as long as he stays healthy, will retain value.
0 replies 8 retweets 5 likes
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 21, 2017, 01:40:20 pm
I haven't seen any evidence that the Dodgers are in on Darvish, and until either they or the Yankees shed salary they can't add him without going over the cap (and we should just be honest and call the "luxury tax" that).  For now, the Astros and Twins are the other confirmed suitors.

Not sure it's always in team's interest to "confirm" their pursuits.  So the lack of "confirmed" reports of pursuit doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  Also, I'm not sure the lux tax is really a show-stopper.  Teams have gone over all the time, so I'm not sure the premise that Dodgers and Yankees need to stay under the cap is necessarily true. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 21, 2017, 01:59:38 pm
They need to get under this year so they can blow past it next year without invoking the really severe penalties.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 21, 2017, 02:11:52 pm
These are the penalties:

• First time over: 20 percent tax on the overage

• Second time: 30 percent

• Third time: 50 percent

There are also surtaxes:

• Between $20 million and $40 million over the threshold: 12 percent

• $40 million over: 42.5 percent

• Second time $40 million over: 45 percent

These rules would have increased the Dodgers tax bill to $121.9 from the acutal $81.6 million they paid 2013 to 2015.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on December 21, 2017, 02:39:33 pm
There is also forfeiture of draft choices, isn't there?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 21, 2017, 03:59:24 pm
 Buster Olney Retweeted

ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish)

Verified account
 
@faridyu
 6m6 minutes ago
More ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) Retweeted Carl
#fakenewsダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) added,
Carl
 
@barstoolcarl
Darvish to Cubs done deal after being evaluated by team docs #scoopcity
35 replies 326 retweets 500 likes
Reply 35   Retweet 326   Like 500
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 21, 2017, 04:07:03 pm
Okay...so it's done or it's fake news?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on December 21, 2017, 04:07:18 pm
?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!???!!!!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ray on December 21, 2017, 04:08:57 pm
Looks fake. Or wrong.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 21, 2017, 04:09:04 pm
That Barstool Sports guy tweeted that the deal was done.  Then every real Cubs beat writer almost immediately tweeted that he was wrong, and Darvish confirmed it was wrong with the #fakenews tweet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 21, 2017, 04:13:28 pm
So glad br is a translator.   I speak 3 languages, but Tweet is not one of them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on December 21, 2017, 04:13:41 pm
He forgot the all caps with the multiple exclamation marks.  We wouldn't have been as confused if he had done it right.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 21, 2017, 04:18:18 pm
Carrie Muskat

Verified account
 
@CarrieMuskat
 25s25 seconds ago
More Carrie Muskat Retweeted ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish)
Yu says it's fake. No need for interpreter. #Cubs
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 21, 2017, 04:21:08 pm
Apparently, this same guy tweeted repeatedly that the Cubs had an agreement to trade for Hamels back in June 2015 and he just needed to waive his no trade clause. He eventually weaseled out of that claim by saying the Phillies changed their mind.

It was interesting how quickly and harshly Darvish and all Cubs beat writers responded. Most of the time, they barely even acknowledge a tweet like this from someone who just wants attention.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 21, 2017, 04:52:38 pm
There is also forfeiture of draft choices, isn't there?
Over $40 million over 1st puck drops 10 spots. There might also be IFA $ lost as well.

Looks like I missed all the fun.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 21, 2017, 07:06:33 pm
So glad br is a translator.   I speak 3 languages, but Tweet is not one of them.

Too bad English ain't one of them.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 21, 2017, 07:17:26 pm
I no english gooder than the other too
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on December 22, 2017, 11:13:30 am
And to think that your red pencil was feared by Lutheran children across the country.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 22, 2017, 05:38:03 pm
Here is some discussion of projections for Darvish:

http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/12/22/yu-darvishs-2018-zips-projects-are-out-and-theyre-pretty-great/

Basically, ZiPS has him at an ace level pitcher for about 170 innings, while Steamer has him more as a #2 in about 180 innings. Either way, they should sign him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 26, 2017, 10:44:54 am
Day late, but Merry Christmas, everybody! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 26, 2017, 01:52:30 pm
As we know, pitch framing was a big problem in 2017:

http://www.bleachernation.com/2017/12/26/cubs-pitch-framing-fell-off-a-cliff-in-2017-was-that-a-hidden-factor-in-the-pitching-drop-off/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 26, 2017, 03:01:21 pm
And as most of us know, framing really matters.  That's why if there's going to be a third catcher (assuming Caratini isn't traded) I would love it to be a good framer like Rivera.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 26, 2017, 03:13:15 pm
Interesting, P2.  I just did a one-minute skim of the article.  But the main points I skimmed were:
1.  Cubs pitch framing went backwards by 33 runs, from 2nd best to 22nd in baseball.
2.  33 runs calculates as ~3 Wins. 
3.  Contreras was terrible (98th out of 110 catchers)   (Avila was worse (105th), and Rivera barely above average.)
4.  Contreras went from 2016-asset (+4.3, 22nd best) to 2017-terrible (-6.3 runs, 98th).

Watching Willson catch, easy to figure he would score as way-bad; bigger surprise that he actually scored as excellent in 2016. 

Looking forward, I have no idea? 
1.  It's a recognized issue, so Willson will focus on it and it do a lot better?
2.  Approach the mean?   After being really high 2016 and maybe a little on low end 2017, due to be average?
3.  2-way street?  Good framing helps pitchers, but maybe strike-throwing pitchers help framing stats, too?  I've gotta figure it's easier to frame well on a guy who hits the target, than with Grimm or Edwards, or often Jake Arrieta. 

I think Theo wants pitchers to risk more strikes and nibble less, and I assume Hickey will probably agree.  Would shifting the approach in that direction impact framing?  I think conceptually framing stats are supposed to be independent of wildness and stuff; but I guess I just assume it's harder to do the framing tricks on balls that are moving more sharply away from the strike zone? 
 

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 26, 2017, 04:17:45 pm
I think some of Willson's trouble with framing last year was catching Lester and Arrieta and the pressure that put on him getting rid of the quickly to throw runners out.  Framing requires him to be still and Lester/Arrieta required him to get rid of the ball quickly.

Lester, if anyone, should have manifested framing related stat issues.  Lester's BB% was up, but it has gone up for 3 straight years.  His K% had a slight drop from 24.8% to 23.6%.  That doesn't really explain Lester's jump in ERA or FIP though.  (His xFIP- went from 84 to 89 so it wasn't a huge change).  Lester's biggest run problem was his BABIP went from .256 to .310, HR% from 12.2% to 15.8%, and his LOB% went from 84.9% to 68.7%. 

Willson need's to do better framing without a doubt, but some of what he needs to do on defense will limit his ability to frame pitches. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 26, 2017, 04:21:58 pm
[quote author=craig link=topic=496.msg333143#msg333143 date=1514322795

I think Theo wants pitchers to risk more strikes and nibble less, and I assume Hickey will probably agree.  Would shifting the approach in that direction impact framing?  I think conceptually framing stats are supposed to be independent of wildness and stuff; but I guess I just assume it's harder to do the framing tricks on balls that are moving more sharply away from the strike zone? 
[/quote]

Strike throwing shouldn't matter was umps and pitchers are corrected for.  So if Arreita is hard to catch for instance there is less or no penalty vs say Hendricks giving you less of a bonus.  Willson does stab at the ball to much and that costs strikes, but Lester/Arrieta are so bad at holding on runners you can't always try and frame a pitch with a runner on.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 26, 2017, 04:38:06 pm
That's a great point on priority on throwing vs framing.   

On Lester, I think all of his numbers declined because his fastball, and his confidence therein, declined.  Weaker fastball, the fastball mistakes are more likely to get hammered.  Weaker fastball, contrast with curve reduces, and less likely to get away with the hanging curves.  Weaker stuff makes him more scared of mistakes over the plate and makes him want to nibble more, so the walks rise.  Pitch count especially, because even when he does get ahead, he's less confident to put a guy away with another strike, and more likely to nibble and hope for a chase swing.  He's an artist, but it's just harder when the fastball is 91.1 versus 92.1 in 2016, or 93.7 back in 2009.  Will be interesting to see whether the fastball reduction was part of WS hangover, and he'll get some back this year?  Or if it's age, and he'll be the same, or lose a little more besides? 

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=4930&position=P#pitchtype
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 26, 2017, 04:47:01 pm
...Strike throwing shouldn't matter was umps and pitchers are corrected for.  So if Arreita is hard to catch for instance there is less or no penalty vs say Hendricks giving you less of a bonus.  Willson does stab at the ball to much and that costs strikes, but Lester/Arrieta are so bad at holding on runners you can't always try and frame a pitch with a runner on.

I know it's not supposed to matter, and the system is supposed to be too smart for that. 

Still, I can't help but think that if you call for an inside fastball with Hendricks, and it's 3 inches off target, it's pretty easy to adjust the glove, to stay still, and to pull it back into the zone.  But if you call for the same pitch but Rondon throws it 3 inches off the outside, wouldn't it be a lot harder to get the glove over there and pull it in? Lucky to stab it at all, and in process of lunging to grab it then momentum pulls the glove further outside?  Good framers have a knack for pulling balls into the plate; that just seems harder with sharp breaking balls breaking away from the plate, or fastballs that are far off target.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 26, 2017, 07:15:10 pm
Contreras' framing numbers aren't bad because of the movement on Jake's pitches or a staff that's bad at holding runners on - they're bad because he sucks at framing.  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.  Will he get better with time?  He could - some guys do (a little - most don't) but he's at least good at a lot of other things.  Criticizing Contreras over one element of his game isn't the same as arguing he's not a good player and shouldn't be treated as a third rail.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 26, 2017, 08:13:35 pm
Willson is a bad bad man.

Im sure even Kate Upton has a flaw.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 26, 2017, 08:23:48 pm
Contreras' framing numbers are... bad because he sucks at framing.  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar...

Yeah, that seems the most straightforward perspective. 

But how on earth did he come out as +4.3 in 2016, well above average?  A non-reproducible fluke of some kind?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 26, 2017, 08:29:28 pm
You've seen him catch - again, doesn't that seem like the most likely scenario?

Also, relatively small sample size in '16 - started 41 games at C.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 26, 2017, 10:10:12 pm
Pitch framing stabilization occurs rather quickly just do the sheer number of pitches caught in a game.

Contreras can be horrible at framing, but when he is quite and not set up too far outside he can be good.

Pitch framing is defiantly a skill that can be taught and improved on, so he can get better. The issue is that you have to be quiet behind the plate and he needs to set up better as well. That is going to cost him in the throwing game and picking off runners.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 26, 2017, 10:27:13 pm
Pitch framing stabilization occurs rather quickly just do the sheer number of pitches caught in a game.

Contreras can be horrible at framing, but when he is quite and not set up too far outside he can be good.

Pitch framing is defiantly a skill that can be taught and improved on, so he can get better. The issue is that you have to be quiet behind the plate and he needs to set up better as well. That is going to cost him in the throwing game and picking off runners.
So if he's "quite" and "defiant" he can improve?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 26, 2017, 11:05:13 pm
Someday I will have a post without spelling errors. Someday.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 26, 2017, 11:11:48 pm
Then where the fun be?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on December 27, 2017, 01:03:21 am
Automate the strike zone and put an end to this pitch framing horseshit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 27, 2017, 02:54:52 am
Ill agree with that.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on December 27, 2017, 05:08:26 am
Automate the strike zone and put an end to this pitch framing horseshit.

Amen to that.

I'd also agree with this statement even if the first five words weren't included.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 27, 2017, 10:25:08 am
http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den

Suggests that using small-sample 2017 defensive metrics, Happ scored better in center than Almora. 

Not sure anybody really believes he's good or as good.  But maybe kinda anti-awful? 

Will be interesting to see how often Almora sits against RHP, and how often it's Heyward versus Happ who takes his place in center.  When Almora sits versus RHP, I can see three ways to get two lefties in CF/RF:
1.  Heyward center/Zobrist right
2.  Heyward center/Happ right
3.  Happ center/Heyward right

If Maddon wants Zo replacing Almora, Heyward has to play center.  But if it's Happ and Heyward, probably makes best sense to leave Heyward in right where he's really good, and put Happ in center which is the easier position to play. 

(Heh heh, obviously also possible if Zo bounces back and Heyward is auto-out that Maddon might at times play Scwarber-Happ-Zobrist even versus a RHP, and just bench Heyward for defensive-replacement purposes later.) 

I'm also hoping that Happ will improve in LF and RF.  Those are obviously harder spots to pick up; the foul walls add difficulty, fly balls get to the wall more easily, the lighting in RF is tough, and in general the spin and slice on balls hit opposite field can be much more difficult than in center.  But the guy really doesn't have much LF/OF experience.  Hopefully he'll improve there with time and practice.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 27, 2017, 10:30:34 am
Whether or not Happ can sustain, or perhaps improve somewhat, really could matter an awful lot.  All those 400+ PA of Jon Jay, if Happ goes Schwarber and relapses to being a .200 hitter, that's one thing.  Versus being able to sustain hitting .250 and >.800, or perhaps even improving and blossomed into a .275 hitter without loss of power, that's going to be huge. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on December 27, 2017, 10:40:25 am
If there's one good thing that's come from all this research into pitch framing, hopefully it will be that baseball's higher ups will notice all this effort that's going into manipulating umpires and realize this is not a healthy thing for baseball and get around to automating the zone.

Really it isn't a healthy thing for baseball in general either that a great young catching talent like Contreras is getting bemoaned because he seemingly forgot how to frame pitches in 2017.  The guy should be viewed as a budding star and should be putting his efforts towards being an even better hitter, even better defensive catcher, etc. instead of worrying that he wasn't good enough at manipulating umpires last season.  That's not healthy for the sport if otherwise all around talented catchers might have to move from the position, might have to be benched, or might have to focus their efforts on pitch framing at the expense of hitting or throwing runners out because of bad pitch framing metrics.  Imagine if pitch framing metrics back in the 90's said Mike Piazza was a bad framer or Johnny Bench was a bad framer in the 70's.  We might be losing otherwise all-time great Hall of Fame players from the position because of that.

I felt like making a post about how pitch framing is a metric that doesn't make the game better or doesn't make the game more enjoyable to watch, but if it leads to automating the strike zone, I'll take that back. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 27, 2017, 10:50:47 am
I can remember when replay after replay BEFORE calls could be reversed showed how good the umpires were.  The umpires were right and replay proved it over 95% of the time.  Then instant replay became a rule and now there seems to be one or two calls a GAME that are reversed because of replay.  Replay has also caused the game to change because infielders frequently get an out merely for holding their glove on runners for that almost imperceptible moment when he comes off the bag to dust himself off.  Umpires seemingly have adopted the same attitude that the NFL officials have...I'll call it and if I'm wrong, replay will make it right.  The pressure to get it right is no longer present.  After throwing the thumb, the ump may think to himself, not sure about that one, but replay will correct it.  Not good. 

As far as automated strikes, today in a game that is 15-1, late innings, umpires may invoke an unspoken mercy rule and call more borderline pitches strikes to end the damb thing, but an automated system won't.  Be prepared to sit another 20 minutes during a blowout.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 27, 2017, 10:53:38 am
I'm beginning to think that the Cubs should try to move Zobrist.  That would open up the opportunity to use Happ regularly in multiple positions while giving the large majority of starts in CF and at 2B to Almora and Baez.  The increased development this allows for Almora, Baez, and Happ more than outweighs the possibility that Zobrist would have a big comeback year, IMO.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on December 27, 2017, 12:18:59 pm
No real surprise that the back end of the Zobrist contract is feeling albatross-y, but I think he's got a no-trade.  Plus he's the World Series hero.  I think it would be tough to try to move him, even if would make more sense going forward.  Maybe one of those things (like trading Gleyber Torres) that hurts, but you look at and say "yep, but that was the price of winning the World Series."
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 27, 2017, 12:30:25 pm
I don't see the need there, P2.  https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHC/2017.shtml

Happ already got 413 PA, Almora 323, Zobrist 496, and Jay 433.  Splitting up Jay's AB will be more than Almora and Happ alone can handle, they can't take Zobrists also.  (I think La Stella will need to absorb more.)  With Jay gone, there will be plenty of AB's to go around to anybody who's healthy and hitting, I think.   

That was in a season when they were pretty lucky in terms of long-term DL injuries.  Just Russell and Contreras?  (Maybe Zo should have gone on DL and gotten healthy instead of playing through, but he still racked up 496 PA....)

Heh heh, I can see value in unloading Zo not so much to free AB's, but to clear $29/2; or perhaps if you figure he's too old to hit enough to be useful..... 

I also think with Happ, Almora, Schwarber, Heyward, Baez, Heyward, Cubs have a lot of guys who are probably kind of hot-and-cold guys, and with matchup vulnerabilities.  Want to keep some depth so you can depend less on guys when they're cold, or facing a bad pitching matchup, or are dinged up. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 27, 2017, 12:37:29 pm
I could easily see where of the 10 non-catchers, where Zobrist might kind of settle at the back of the line.  Ten guys covering 7 spots, not sure Zo's bat really justifies giving him more starts than Happ or Almora, or perhaps La Stella either? 

Heh heh, maybe of those 10 guys, big FA's Heyward and Zo would be 9th and 10th on the list, in terms of which names you want to see in a starting lineup? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on December 27, 2017, 12:53:36 pm
Good points, craig.  The issue for me is how to get Almora more playing time without eating into the ABs for Happ or Baez.  It will probably require fewer starts for Zobrist (he had almost 500 PAs last season).  It would help a lot if Zobrist would rebound from his terrible season vs. LHP.  That would give him plenty of time at corner OF vs. tough LH pitchers.  Over half his ABs last year came at 2B, and I think that number needs to drop.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 27, 2017, 12:54:56 pm
Ben Zobrist's contract status

4 years/$56M (2016-19)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 27, 2017, 12:58:45 pm
Is this the time to point out that Maddon loves the guy and all the stats you quote won't mean diddle to Joe.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 27, 2017, 01:15:35 pm
No way Zobrist is getting traded.  Look elsewhere for roster fixes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 27, 2017, 01:27:23 pm
Good points, craig.  The issue for me is how to get Almora more playing time without eating into the ABs for Happ or Baez.  It will probably require fewer starts for Zobrist (he had almost 500 PAs last season).  It would help a lot if Zobrist would rebound from his terrible season vs. LHP.  That would give him plenty of time at corner OF vs. tough LH pitchers.  Over half his ABs last year came at 2B, and I think that number needs to drop.

Yes, good points, I agree on all of them.
1.  **Very** desirable that Zobrist rebounds vs LHP.  Need that to lift starts from Heyward and Schwarber vs lefties.  (*IF* both Zo and Happ well vs LHP, you could start Happ-Almora-Zo, and have Rizzo-only-lefty lineup.  With La Stella, Heyward, and Schwarber on bench.)   

2.  Agree that Zobrist could cut way back at 2B.  More for Baez, and perhaps also more for La Stella?  (If Heyward is status quo or worse, I could see more starts for Tommy at 2B, with Baez at 3rd and Bryant in OF.)

3.  I just think Zo should probably cut back altogether, unless his hitting picks up a lot.  If he got "only" 350 PA, (which is still a lot for a bench guy), then taking 150 from him and 430 from Jay and you've got 580 extras to divvy up between Almora, Happ, and Baez.  No worries about Almora or Happ getting blocked. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 27, 2017, 04:12:00 pm
Tommy La Stella is an excellent pinch hitter.  Ben Zobrist, despite his age, is better a better at 2B than La Stella.

I really think a lot of Zobrist's issues with hitting last year was due to the wrist injury and it wouldn't shock me if he hits lead off and plays in RF fairly often, unless Heyward somehow remembers how to not be Darwin Barney on offense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 27, 2017, 04:42:18 pm
Agree, TLS is the worse than Zo defensively; probably worse than Happ too. 

Think he's so good a PH because he's just a very good hitter.  Had 3rd best OPS on team last year (Rizz, Bryant). 

If Zo and the other guys are all hitting, and I hope they do, then can afford to go defense-over-offense at 2B (and RF, CF, etc.)  No reason for TLS to get many starts if Zo and Heyward and Almora and Happ and Russell and Baez are all hitting well.   

If Zo/Heyward/Schwarber are all hitting as well or better than TLS, then it's probably going to be a really good year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 27, 2017, 05:06:02 pm
I will be very, very disappointed if Schwarber isn't a better offensive player in 2018 than La Stella.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 27, 2017, 05:29:50 pm
TLS was .861 OPS last year.  That may have been a small-sample career year fluke, I get that.  But I'm not actually so sure it was.... 

Put it this way:  ***IF*** TLS reproduces another .861 OPS, and **IF** Schwarber out-produces that, we will all be VERY happy. 

And **IF** TLS is posting .861, but Zobrist still gets a million starts ahead of TLS, I'm guessing that won't happen unless Zobrist's OPS is a lot higher than the .693 from last year.  An extra .150+ in OPS can at least begin to steal some starts from a better fielder.  Maybe if the difference is <.100, not so much. 

Same with Heyward, if La Stella is firing it up at .861, but Heyward is still starting all the time, that might mean that somehow Heyward is hanging out north of .700, perhaps even north of .730.  Which would be really nice. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on December 27, 2017, 06:19:00 pm
Craig, La Stella's career OPS is .721.  If you think it's likely he'll repeat .861, great - I don't.  But there's a hell of a lot of wiggle room north of that career OPS for me to still be disappointed if Schwarber doesn't beat it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 27, 2017, 07:37:01 pm
I also think with Happ, Almora, Schwarber, Heyward, Baez, Heyward, Cubs have a lot of guys who are probably kind of hot-and-cold guys, and with matchup vulnerabilities.  Want to keep some depth so you can depend less on guys when they're cold, or facing a bad pitching matchup, or are dinged up.

Obviously Heyward is twice as streaky as the others.....
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 27, 2017, 07:48:40 pm
I'm also hoping that Happ will improve in LF and RF.  Those are obviously harder spots to pick up; the foul walls add difficulty, fly balls get to the wall more easily, the lighting in RF is tough, and in general the spin and slice on balls hit opposite field can be much more difficult than in center.  But the guy really doesn't have much LF/OF experience.  Hopefully he'll improve there with time and practice.

Has anyone seen anything on whether Happ is doing anything this offseason to work on his OF defense?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 30, 2017, 03:07:47 am
Dont expect Theo and Jed to spend much more on the pen. A starter on the other hand...

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2017/12/29/wade-davis-exit-expected-cubs-jake-arrieta-free-agency/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on December 30, 2017, 11:59:48 am
"Cubs remain in the conversation to re-sign Arrieta, sources said."

Mentions Darvish, Cobb and Arrieta, but does not include Lynn in that group.

I don't imagine Levine really has much more info than you or I do, though. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on December 30, 2017, 04:37:49 pm
Jon Heyman has taken a look at all 30 teams

CHICAGO CUBS

https://www.fanragsports.com/inside-baseball-mlb-notes-astros-targeting-long-term-catcher/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on December 30, 2017, 09:44:28 pm
Jon Heyman has taken a look at all 30 teams

CHICAGO CUBS

  • One rival exec speculated that the Cubs are probably the favorite for Bryce Harper in a year, noting that he and Kris Bryant are great friends, and also that “their wives are great friends.” That certainly would give the Cubs quite a righty-lefty combo for years.


How many athletes sign lucrative deals based on their and their wives' friendships?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 30, 2017, 10:00:48 pm
Like UT fans chasing Jon Gruden.

Harper may very well end up a Cub but it's far from already decided and who do we decide to let walk if we invest 300 million in Harper?

Rizzo?

I think Ill pass.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 30, 2017, 10:06:50 pm
How many athletes sign lucrative deals based on their and their wives' friendships?
The ones that want regular nookie.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 30, 2017, 10:39:07 pm
Harper may very well end up a Cub but it's far from already decided and who do we decide to let walk if we invest 300 million in Harper?

It'll be closer to $500 million than $300 million. I'm guessing something like 12 years, $450 million. He may get half a billion dollars if the Yankees and Dodgers go after him.

I'd love it if the Cubs had Harper...but even as good as he is, the price tag seems like it's going to be prohibitive. I'm starting to wonder if blowing off next offseason and going all in this year (when there isn't much competition for the top players) might be a good idea. The Yankees and Dodgers are preparing to go over the luxury tax next year, so they're not real factors this year. Sign Darvish, who doesn't have many serious suitors. Trade for Yelich (his contract may have the most surplus value in the game right now). Sign Reed, a backup catcher, and whoever else is needed to fill the bench after the Yelich trade. Go over the luxury tax threshold this offseason, and then try to figure out how to dump Zobrist and/or Heyward to get back under next year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 31, 2017, 12:50:11 am
Harper is going to get opt outs, so he might be signing a 12 year contract, but it will likely me a 2-4 year deal so he can get another shot at free agency.

Not that I think the Marlins are a well run team, but it makes sense for them to trade for prospects if they are going to tear it down.  The Cubs would have to trade off the major league roster and I can’t see that helping the Marlins with PR. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 31, 2017, 08:09:11 am
Heyward got opt outs too. Sometimes opt outs don't work out like you expect.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on December 31, 2017, 10:40:23 am
Jon Heyman has taken a look at all 30 teams

CHICAGO CUBS

  • They are said to have made a spirited attempt to trade for Machado – though it couldn’t be confirmed that all of Russell, Almora and Montgomery were offered. Montgomery was in the mix, and it is apparent Machado would have taken Russell’s shortstop spot, so he may well have been, too. Russell had a rough year last year.
  • The Cubs’ interest and meeting with Yu Darvish seemed to come after hearing what they saw as a high asking price from Alex Cobb. Cobb has seemed like the logical fit for the Cubs since he has strong connections to manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Jim Hickey, and perhaps that will still work. But the Cubs, as is wise, are considering everything. Makes sense, if Darvish was willing to come for a similar price (or even a bit more), that might be the better deal.
  • One rival exec speculated that the Cubs are probably the favorite for Bryce Harper in a year, noting that he and Kris Bryant are great friends, and also that “their wives are great friends.” That certainly would give the Cubs quite a righty-lefty combo for years.
  • The Cubs still seem to believe strongly in Kyle Schwarber, who has been putting himself through quite the workout regimen this winter in hopes of avoiding a second straight slow start. With his dedication, it is hard to see him as anything but a star.
https://www.fanragsports.com/inside-baseball-mlb-notes-astros-targeting-long-term-catcher/

I've been wondering lately whether Jon Heyman is a New York version of Phil Rogers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on December 31, 2017, 10:49:27 am
I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the amount of money we are imagining Theocracy would spend on Harper when they have Bryant, Rizzo, and a host of others to take care of in the next few years.   We'll end up with a core of 4 or 5 super players with the other roster spots filled with AAAA players.  Can't win with that.  If Harper ends up with the Cubs, I'm guessing he will have to make some adjustments to his demands.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 31, 2017, 02:14:32 pm
It would not be hard to see him and the Cubs agree to a one or two year deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 31, 2017, 02:33:00 pm
You have to remember new cable deal is coming that will significantly increase the amount of money coming to the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on December 31, 2017, 03:15:43 pm
Yeah, but if the luxury tax under the new CBA is going to function as a harder cap than it has in the past (which seems to be the case so far), having the extra money won't mean as much.

I don't see how the Cubs (or any team but maybe the Dodgers and Yankees) could afford both Bryant and Harper once Bryant reaches free agency. If they sign Harper, I think that means that Bryant is most likely gone in four years. Maybe Rizzo too...but he'll be 32 years old when he hits free agency, so his leaving would probably be more of a baseball decision.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 31, 2017, 04:04:42 pm
As long as you remain below $40 million above I don’t think it will matter. The Cubs will have decisions even without Harper.

The Yankees have wanted to reset forever, but they will likely be over for a long no time after this.

I don’t think the Dodgers are in as good of shape financially. They were rumors that they were having issues with debt and the luxury tax.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ray on December 31, 2017, 04:45:16 pm
I say go for it while you can if Harper will sign.  I could be wrong here but I think wives being friends is a bigger deal than Harper and Bryant being friends.  Future theo and future Jed can work things out then. 

I'm even ok with Manny trade myself if Russell is majority of price. Still could have a future mi duo of Baez-Happ that would be solid.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on December 31, 2017, 04:54:20 pm
Perhaps not, but I would be afraid Machado at SS would be brutal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on December 31, 2017, 05:19:37 pm
I wouldnt be afraid to move Russell in the right deal and I doubt Theo and Jed are either.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on December 31, 2017, 05:46:03 pm
My issue with a Machado trade is it makes upgrading the rotation impossible.  Machado, if he costs Russell, takes away the ability to trade for a pitcher and his $17 million salary eliminates most of the FA pitchers, besides the fact that it would be a huge overpay.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 01, 2018, 09:05:45 am
Happy New Year, Cubs friends!  Looking forward to a fun and interesting season, and still some improvements before the season starts. 

Just the one more starting pitcher to go?
Or also still one more reliever? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 01, 2018, 09:28:20 am
Mixed feelings on the reliever front.  Unless I'm forgetting, we're sitting with just MOntgomery and Wilson as lefties, right? 
1.  Bad:  That seems thin.  What if Wilson's lost his confidence and does NOT come back well?  Then super thin.  And what if Montgomery ends up needing to start some games?  That seems like a really vulnerable situation, lacking in contingency-planning. 

Theo and Hoyer have a history of selling the farm for short-term relievers. For the moment they've got nothing to sell, but I'm reluctant to set up a situation where the odds are good that come July, they're positioning themselves to do it once again. 

2.  For these reasons, I think paying a market price, or perhaps above fair-market price, to bring in Duensing or Tony Watson might make some sense.  Neither will be budget-busters, so the cost now, a few $, might be much preferable to the cost in July.

3.  I could see one advantage in NOT getting a 3rd lefty.  Maddon is a prolific mid-inning switcher.  But if he has only two lefties, I wonder if he may necessarily do more full-inning usage?  Perhaps that will make for faster, funner games for me the fan.  But more importantly, perhaps that will reduce the wear on the pen arms, and perhaps over the course of the season multiple guys will emerge as trustworthy.  And maybe some guys will develop more confidence. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 01, 2018, 10:23:43 am
I'm on board with bringing Duensing back.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 02, 2018, 12:09:57 am
Another lefty reliever would be nice. But Watson's peripherals have gone in a bad direction the last two years, and Duensing was barely holding on to an MLB career from 2014-2016. Either would be good if they would take something like a 1 year, $4-$5 million deal. But if they're demanding much more than that, they're probably not worth it.

I think the Cubs should probably hold off on more bullpen acquisitions until they figure out what they're doing with the rest of the team. The current bullpen is fine--Fangraphs has them projected as the 5th best bullpen in baseball by fWAR already, and they're half a win from #2 behind the Yankees. Sign Darvish or Cobb, and figure out if Yelich or Machado is possible before committing more money to the bullpen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 02, 2018, 08:21:52 am
Agree, Duensing and Watson aren't worth huge deals. 

Also agree that waiting and seeing what you end up doing with rotation might kind of impact what resources you have left. 

I just don't want to be trading the two best prospects in an already terrible farm for Watson-equivalent come July! 

Yelich, Machado, not happening.  Don't think the stuff we've got to offer for Yelich can compete.  A system has only so many resources; I think they've already expended so many of them to get Chapman, Davis, Wilson, and Quintana, that we can't trade for good-value guys for at least a while. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 02, 2018, 10:35:31 am
Duensing was a very pleasant surprise, no question.  But he seems like the very definition of a reliever who's likely to see a reversion in 2018, and I don't think he's going to be worth whatever premium his unsustainable 2017 places on his price.  Better to try and find the next Duensing than overpay for the last one.  You can't count on guys like that, but they're nice to have as contingency plans - as Duensing showed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 02, 2018, 11:52:06 am
I totally get the idea of reliever unpredictability/inconsistency.  If you pay a guy well based on last year, it might be money down the drain; and it's better value to add some low-priced guy who's ready to be the next Duensing or Morrow.   

Brandon Morrow is a classic.  Early last summer he's a 32-year-old JAG with a 7.20 ERA and an 0-5 record in AAA; now he's the closer for the contending Cubs? 

I love the idea of finding the bargain rather than overpaying for a guy who regresses.  But the problem is that the Cubs have two discretionary bullpen spots left.  Morrow-Cishek-Strop-Edwards-Montgomery-Wilson are locked in.  I assume one is for a RHP (the Grimm/Maples/Butler spot), the other for a LHP. 

Somewhere in baseball there's going to a couple of next-Duensings that turn up.  Maybe your best chance to get the next Duensing is to count on one of
Zastryzny, Randy Rosario, or Dario Alvarez?  And maybe the best way to get the next Morrow is to trust one of Grimm/Maples/Butler to emerge.  But not sure Zastryzny/Rosario/Alvarez or Grimm/Butler give great odds. 

   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 02, 2018, 12:08:38 pm
I think Grimm may have lost his place in line.  He's had umpteen opportunities to show what he can do and each time we get excited, he takes two steps back.  Butler may forever be that AAAA pitcher we call up to absorb innings when we have an SP hurt.  Montgomery, I don't believe, is a lock.  He may be heading out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 02, 2018, 12:14:25 pm
Agree on grimm, Curt.  Grimm just can't locate any of his pitches.  Hard to be very optimistic that he's going to be a guy you want. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 02, 2018, 01:47:48 pm
Levine mentions Yelich and Lorenzo Cain as potential Cubs targets after they get starting pitching figured out:

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2018/01/02/cubs-2018-needs-additions-arrieta-darvish-cobb-yelich/

Beyond pitching, the Cubs could look to add another position player if it’s an ideal fit. The Marlins have set out on a salary-dumping course and may look to trade outfielder Christian Yelich, who has four years and $43.25 million left on his contract and then a $15-million team option or a $1.25 million buyout for 2022. Yelich, 26, hit .282 with 18 homers, 81 RBIs and an .807 OPS in 156 games in 2017. He could potentially fill the lead-off spot for the Cubs, boasting a career .369 on-base percentage.

If the Cubs wanted to obtain Yelich, it’s almost certain that outfielder Albert Almora Jr. would be sent back to the Marlins as part of the package. Almora, 23, is under team control for five more seasons.

Another name to keep an eye on is free-agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who could also potentially fill the lead-off role. Cain, who turns 32 in April, has a career .342 on-base percentage, including a career-best .363 mark in 2017.

Both Yelich and Cain are considered quality defensive players and have 20-stolen base potential.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 02, 2018, 04:04:34 pm
Ill gladly take either one even if Yelich does cost Almora and Russell.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 02, 2018, 04:27:59 pm
Buying a guy whose value is largely based on speed (Cain) just when he's due to begin a steep decline seems like a real bad idea to me.  Unless he's willing to sign a 2-year deal (which I assume he's not) I'd steer clear of that minefield.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 02, 2018, 04:53:58 pm
Yeah, Cain only makes sense on a shorter term deal. But if his market isn't what he expected and he ends up signing a 2 year deal, he wouldn't be a bad fit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 02, 2018, 06:26:24 pm
I think Grimm may have lost his place in line.  He's had umpteen opportunities to show what he can do and each time we get excited, he takes two steps back.  Butler may forever be that AAAA pitcher we call up to absorb innings when we have an SP hurt.  Montgomery, I don't believe, is a lock.  He may be heading out.

I don't see why Montgomery would be heading out, unless of course, there is an unexpected great offer.  But the front office seems to love him in what they see is his role - swing starter/reliever.  Where would they get someone better for a lower price?

Personally, I would rather use him as the fifth starter, and let Butler or even Grimm compete for the swing man.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 02, 2018, 06:29:57 pm
Yelich is not going to come in a trade headlined by Almora.  And I sure wouldn't want to give Almora and someone better than Almora off the current roster.  I don't see either center field or leadoff as pressing needs for this team.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 02, 2018, 09:43:53 pm
I disagree--I think CF is a pretty big need. I think Almora is a platoon player long term, and I don't think Happ can handle CF defensively. I've also said several times that I think lengthening the reliable part of the lineup beyond just Bryant/Rizzo/Contreras is important--they need to replace some of what they lost when Fowler left and Zobrist suddenly aged. It doesn't necessarily have to be leadoff, but a high OBP guy at the top of the lineup fits best.

But more than just filling a need, I think Yelich is the type of player who is so underpaid for the value that he provides that you can't pass up making a serious attempt at trading for him when he's available. He's a fairly safe 4-5 fWAR player in the prime of his career, and he's getting paid like a 1-2 win guy for the next five seasons. Getting that kind of cheap production out of CF would help the bad contract in RF hurt a lot less.

Like others here, I do have doubts that the Cubs have the right players to get Yelich. But as long as the Marlins are discussing trades, the Cubs need to be actively trying to get him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 02, 2018, 10:18:51 pm
How reliable was the Astros offense last season?  In the 2016 playoffs how many times did Fowler and Zobrist have a greater than .340 OBP in a series (NLDS, NLCS, WS) combined?  How often was it below .300?  Below .200?

Almora had a higher hard contact against right handed pitching than lefties last year. He also had a 10% IFBB against righties vs 0% against lefties. (Soft contact % was fractionally lower vs righties last year). It will be interesting to see if the IFBB% was flukey last year. I’ve always maintained that Almora is underrated on this board.

Almora being a 2-3 WAR player making less than $1 million helps the Cubs more than Yelich. I like Yelich. He’s a great player, but the acquisition cost is too great for what Happ/Almora can provide in CF for 1/8 the cost of Yelich’s AAV.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 02, 2018, 10:31:03 pm
I don't see why Montgomery would be heading out, unless of course, there is an unexpected great offer.  But the front office seems to love him in what they see is his role - swing starter/reliever.  Where would they get someone better for a lower price?

Personally, I would rather use him as the fifth starter, and let Butler or even Grimm compete for the swing man.
Damb.  I had hoped you would be smarter in 2018.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 02, 2018, 11:08:24 pm
Almora had a higher hard contact against right handed pitching than lefties last year. He also had a 10% IFBB against righties vs 0% against lefties. (Soft contact % was fractionally lower vs righties last year). It will be interesting to see if the IFBB% was flukey last year. I’ve always maintained that Almora is underrated on this board.

And I've always maintained Almora is overrated on this board. Almora has never really hit above A ball.  He was mediocre at best in AA and AAA, and has been league average-ish at the MLB level. But his MLB starts have come more often against LHP, and most of his starts against RHP come against guys who get hit by righties. He doesn't walk. His defense hasn't been as advertised at the MLB level. You can cite his hard hit rate all you want...but his overall results over the last 4 full seasons point to him being an average hitter at best.

Quote
Almora being a 2-3 WAR player making less than $1 million helps the Cubs more than Yelich. I like Yelich. He’s a great player, but the acquisition cost is too great for what Happ/Almora can provide in CF for 1/8 the cost of Yelich’s AAV.

Almora was a 1.2 fWAR player in 2017 (and a 1.0 rWAR player). Steamer projects him to be a 1.1 WAR player in 2019. If he took everyday ABs, maybe he'd boost his WAR some...but he'd also be facing tougher RHP pitchers, which would probably drag his WAR down. I think you're dreaming if you think a 2-3 WAR season is likely. And even if a 2 WAR season was likely, I'd say paying the extra $6 million in 2018 for a 4 win player would be worth it.

I think Almora is the next Reed Johnson. That's a good major league player. He can build a good career starting for third/fourth place teams and platooning for contenders. The Cubs aren't a third place team, and everyday players are preferable to platoons.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 03, 2018, 01:03:29 am
I think it's a mistake to underestimate Almora.  The only area where Yelich is clearly better is in BB% and therefore in OBP.  Almora is as good as Yelich defensively and has at least as much power.  Almora has only 440 PAs compared to Yelich's 2800+.  Almora's OBP% improved from .308 his rookie season to .338 last year.  Like Almora, Yelich has a severe split differential although in his case he is much weaker vs. LH pitching which is not as serious a flaw.  Almora has proved himself to be a smart player with good baseball instincts.  Almora has a lot of room to grow whereas Yelich has probably reached his ceiling (which is excellent offensively with an OBP that has never dipped below .360).  There's no doubt that I would prefer to have Yelich right now, and that he would fill a big need at the top of our order.  If Miami wants to swap Yelich for Almora for business purposes, I'm in.  But I'm not giving up much else. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on January 03, 2018, 10:59:14 am
Almora is sorely underrated by some on this board.

Albert wants playing time!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ray on January 03, 2018, 11:21:18 am
Almora is sorely underrated by some on this board.

Albert wants playing time!
I agree.  Besides the walks I think he can be very comparable to Yellich. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 03, 2018, 11:21:48 am
Another Cubs rumor from yesterday was that they'd be willing to go 4 years, $110 million on Arrieta. What would people here think of that? I'm torn--four years is right, but the $27.5 AAV is kind of scary given his decline the last two years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 03, 2018, 12:25:31 pm
I don't believe that Almora will be a superstar.  But I think he will be a very good player, and I would hate to give up a lot to move up from Almora to Yelich (who I agree is better).  I would certainly not trade Baez, Russell, or Happ in order to get Yelich.  And if we still had Jiminez and Cease in our system, I would not trade them for Yelich.  The potential improvement just isn't there, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 03, 2018, 12:33:34 pm
Another Cubs rumor from yesterday was that they'd be willing to go 4 years, $110 million on Arrieta. What would people here think of that? I'm torn--four years is right, but the $27.5 AAV is kind of scary given his decline the last two years.

No, I would not offer that for Arrieta.  Darvish, yes.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 03, 2018, 12:38:16 pm
No, I would not offer that for Arrieta.  Darvish, yes.

This is the tough place for a GM.  You want to win. 
So, you say no to $110/4 for Arrieta.
Darvish says no to that offer from you.
Maybe you also don't like to pay whatever Cobb or Lynn want. 

So, then what do you do?  Go with Montgomery?  Go and sign John Lackey?

It's the trouble of having to choose between variably problematic options. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 03, 2018, 12:38:42 pm
I don't believe that Almora will be a superstar.  But I think he will be a very good player, and I would hate to give up a lot to move up from Almora to Yelich (who I agree is better).  I would certainly not trade Baez, Russell, or Happ in order to get Yelich.  And if we still had Jiminez and Cease in our system, I would not trade them for Yelich.  The potential improvement just isn't there, in my opinion.
Good grief.  You're probably still upset about the trades for Heredia and the other fool.   ;)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 03, 2018, 12:39:49 pm
Almora was a 1.2 fWAR player in 2017 (and a 1.0 rWAR player). Steamer projects him to be a 1.1 WAR player in 2019. If he took everyday ABs, maybe he'd boost his WAR some...but he'd also be facing tougher RHP pitchers, which would probably drag his WAR down. I think you're dreaming if you think a 2-3 WAR season is likely. And even if a 2 WAR season was likely, I'd say paying the extra $6 million in 2018 for a 4 win player would be worth it.

I think Almora is the next Reed Johnson. That's a good major league player. He can build a good career starting for third/fourth place teams and platooning for contenders. The Cubs aren't a third place team, and everyday players are preferable to platoons.

There's a lot to unpack in here, but Almora put up 1.2 fWAR in 323 PA.  I think the defensive metrics are also underselling his defense at this point, but in 836 innings in CF he has a UZR/150 of 5.7.  That would have given him a higher ranking last year than Jackie Bradley Jr, Inciarte and Lorenzo Cain last year.  So his defense hasn't really been that bad. 

Put let's look at what the defense would get you over 600 PA.  Almora had a wRC+ of 81 against RHP last year.  Kevin Pillar had a wRC+ of 85 last year and he had a UZR/150 of 7.4.  That type of offense and defense was equal to 1.9 fWAR last year.  Now Pillar had a wRC+ of 148 against lefties and 64 against righties, so he is more split prone than Almora.  The year before when Pillar had a wRC+ of 81 and a UZR/150 of 26.3 he was worth 3.3 fWAR.  Almora's spring speed last year was 27.7 to Pillar's 27.9 mph so the speed is similar.  So it isn't hard to get to 2 WAR with bad offense and slightly above average defense.  Put up some excellent defensive numbers and you have a 3 WAR player.  Jackie Bradley Jr had a wRC+ of 90 and was worth 2.3 fWAR is another example.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 03, 2018, 12:48:10 pm
Good grief.  You're probably still upset about the trades for Heredia and the other fool.   ;)
Karchner, don't ever forget.

Another Cubs rumor from yesterday was that they'd be willing to go 4 years, $110 million on Arrieta. What would people here think of that? I'm torn--four years is right, but the $27.5 AAV is kind of scary given his decline the last two years.

That would get him off the books the same time as Bryant, Rizzo, Russell, Schwarber, Baez and Montgomery.  I think that is more important to the Cubs than the AAV.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 03, 2018, 01:11:02 pm
This is the tough place for a GM.  You want to win. 
So, you say no to $110/4 for Arrieta.
Darvish says no to that offer from you.
Maybe you also don't like to pay whatever Cobb or Lynn want. 

So, then what do you do?  Go with Montgomery?  Go and sign John Lackey?

It's the trouble of having to choose between variably problematic options. 

Yes, no one ever said this was easy.  If none of your targets are coming in at what you consider acceptable levels, you have to make a choice between several seemingly bad choices.  Too much AMV for Jake?  Too many years for Yu?  Too much of both for mediocrity with Cobb?  Roll the dice on Monty?  This is why Theo gets paid so much money - to look at the risk-reward on a bunch of sweaty-palm options and pick the most favorable one.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 03, 2018, 01:30:02 pm
Jake at 5/120M
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on January 03, 2018, 01:31:21 pm
Is that a report?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 03, 2018, 01:31:52 pm
No, just my offer.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 03, 2018, 01:32:20 pm
Is that a report?

Goc, I hope not.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 03, 2018, 01:35:58 pm
This guy could be a sleeper:

http://www.bleachernation.com/2018/01/03/cubs-sign-right-hander-ryan-weber-to-a-minor-league-deal/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 03, 2018, 04:34:10 pm
https://www.cubsinsider.com/2018/01/03/levine-cubs-cards-compete-arrieta-closer-yelich-cain-real-possibilities-well/

Interesting read.  Here is the Yelich/Cain stuff.

“I think they really need a center fielder. I don’t believe that Joe (Maddon) believes that (Albert) Almora is an everyday center fielder. He’s a good outfielder, he’s a good hitter against left-handers, but he didn’t have quite enough at-bats against right-handers and I don’t think Joe trust him against right handers. Can he get better? I don’t know, but I just believe that they’re gonna trade for either a guy like (Christian) Yelich or sign a free agent like (Lorenzo) Cain."

That is a quote from Levine.  It sounds a lot more like what Levine thinks they should do vs what he is hearing, at least to me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 03, 2018, 05:46:18 pm
That is a quote from Levine.  It sounds a lot more like what Levine thinks they should do vs what he is hearing, at least to me.

I think it's some of both. Yesterday's article sounded like there was some speculation on Levine's part too. But I would guess he's not just making up the idea that Maddon doesn't really trust Almora. He may not be the best beat reporter, but he's not in the business of spreading fake rumors. So maybe the "the Cubs should trade for Yelich or sign Cain" is more his opinion, while "Maddon isn't really excited about Almora and the Cubs could try to do something about it" was something he heard from a source.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 03, 2018, 06:10:21 pm
... while "Maddon isn't really excited about Almora and the Cubs could try to do something about it" was something he heard from a source.


Or something he simply concluded from observation, as some also have here.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 03, 2018, 06:39:14 pm
This guy could be a sleeper:

http://www.bleachernation.com/2018/01/03/cubs-sign-right-hander-ryan-weber-to-a-minor-league-deal/



Easy to like signings like this, since they cost almost nothing compared to the total payroll.

The guy has parts of three seasons in AAA, for a total of 167 innings there, with an ERA of 1.16 and a WHIP of 1.030, and a walk rat of 1.5/9.

For a team which supposedly is going to be more concerned with pitchers who throw strikes in 2018, I think there is a very good chance we will see some of him in Wrigley.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 03, 2018, 06:46:22 pm
Dylan Floro with a slower fastball.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 03, 2018, 07:19:32 pm
Dylan Floro with a slower fastball.

In parts of three seasons in AAA, for a total of 167 innings there, Ryan has an ERA of 1.16 and a WHIP of 1.030, and a walk rate of 1.5/9  In 2017 his AAA ERA was  0.85 in 32 innings with a WHIP of .758.

In parts of three seasons in AAA, Floro threw 243 innings for an ERA of 4.38 and a WHIP of 1.343, and a walk rate of 1.5/9.

???????

I think you may be giving a bit too much emphasis on those identical walk rates when you draw that comparison.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 03, 2018, 07:47:38 pm
Floro 5.11 ERA, 17.1% K%, 6% BB% in the majors
Weber 5.00 ERA, 12.4% K%, 6.1 BB% in the majors

In AAA 2015 Weber had a 86.8% LOB% and a .234 BABIP, 2016 a 2.3% HR/FB, 2017 93.2% LOB% with a .207 BABIP underlying those ERA and WHIPs.  If he could translate that the majors he might have a chance.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 03, 2018, 08:27:21 pm
Floro has a MLB WHIP of 1.824; Weber 1.244.

But with Floro we are taking about a total of 25 innings and with Weber only 68.

Forgive me for thinking the significantly larger AAA samples are more meaningful.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on January 03, 2018, 08:37:03 pm
Both of these guys are ham-n-eggers with a slight chance to be meaningful MLB contributors.  Their chance depends much more on their heart and their ability to execute pitches than it does on their AAA or MLB stats to date.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 03, 2018, 09:45:50 pm
Weber has never broken 100 IP in 1 season in AAA or 200 innings in total so no neither sample is large enough to be better. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 04, 2018, 10:12:53 am
Mooney signed on with the Athletic and will cover the Cubs with Sharma.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 04, 2018, 10:19:20 am
Looks like all the good baseball writers are consolidating at The Athletic.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 04, 2018, 10:38:54 am
I got a year subscription for $24.  They run deals all the time. 

Rosenthal had a blurb about the Padres asking about Baez and the cost was too high.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 04, 2018, 10:44:32 am
Padres beat writer Dennis Lin has more on the Baez/Padres thing:

Dennis Lin @sdutdennislin
.@Ken_Rosenthal mentioned the Padres’ balking at the asking price for Javier Baez last month. Of note: The Cubs would have wanted more besides Lamet or Perdomo. Brad Hand likely was discussed. SD has had interest in Baez, who can play shortstop and move around the infield.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 04, 2018, 11:37:31 am
Lamet has a very good young arm.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 04, 2018, 12:09:40 pm
Probably a reliever in the long run. Basically a two-pitch guy.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 04, 2018, 12:20:17 pm
To be clear, Rosenthal mentioned the Padres asked on Baez around the winter meetings (I'm assuming that means before they acquired Galvis). So I doubt there is any chance of it happening at this point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 04, 2018, 12:35:17 pm
Probably come March, the Cubs won't have made any trades.  FA, and that's it for roster changes.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 04, 2018, 12:41:22 pm
Probably come March, the Cubs won't have made any trades.  FA, and that's it for roster changes.   

Are you meaning you think they're done for the offseason?  Because I don't think that's the case.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 04, 2018, 12:55:39 pm
I took it to mean free agents will be signed, but not a big trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 04, 2018, 01:15:39 pm
Correct. 
1.  They'll sign some FA pitcher from the DArvish/Arrieta/Cobb/Lynn group. 
2.  Sign a LHP.
3.  Maybe add a vet catcher. 

That's all they'll do, other than rehab/non-roster guys. 

No trades. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: chgojhawk on January 04, 2018, 01:25:40 pm
I think Craig is pretty spot on though I would drop Lynn from the conversation.

I do think it is possible that there will be a big trade that includes Russell among others.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 04, 2018, 01:27:54 pm
I think that's probably the most likely scenario. I think there's a good chance they'll add a Jay replacement at some point too (there are several OFs like Austin Jackson, Jarrod Dyson, and even Ichiro who won't cost too much).

But I'm still going to hold out hope on Yelich until he either joins a new team or makes his season debut with the Marlins even though i know it's not likely.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 04, 2018, 01:56:55 pm
Dyson makes a lot of sense to me, but other teams might be able to offer more guaranteed playing time.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 04, 2018, 02:47:57 pm
There is no room on the roster for an extra outfielder. 

For the 12-man position group, the only question is whether Caratini or a vet gets the backup catcher spot. 
But the other 10 non-catcher spots are already taken. 

They'd need to cut La Stella to make room for Dyson/Jackson/Ichiro. 

They've already got six outfielders, seven if you count Willson. 
Schwarber-Almora-Heyward
Happ-Zobrist-Bryant
Contreras. 

It's really just about deciding backup catcher.  Otherwise, just looking for non-roster players willing to go to Iowa and wait for a big-league injury. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 04, 2018, 03:23:14 pm
I don't think it's necessarily about the number of guys who can play OF - I think it's about having a guy you're comfortable using in CF against RHP.  Maybe that's Happ, or maybe it's Heyward with somebody else in right - but it wasn't be chance we picked up Jay last year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 04, 2018, 03:46:37 pm
The chances are pretty good that the Cubs won't start with a 13 man rotation, especially when they can use the 10 man DL. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 04, 2018, 04:06:36 pm
The chances are pretty good that the Cubs won't start with a 13 man rotation, especially when they can use the 10 man DL. 
Yeah, doubt the 13 man rotation idea.  Still not even sold on 6 man, so 13 is ridiculous.  And putting 10 guys on the DL at one time is nuts too.  Or am I misunderstanding something?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 04, 2018, 04:12:53 pm
The past three years, we've clearly seen that 13 pitchers is Maddon's predominant norm.  Don't think he'll change, 10-day DL notwithstanding.  During the games in which he wants 13 pitchers (even if it isn't 162 games or opening day, I'd still be surprised if it isn't at least 140.....), you can't have 13 players. 

So if you sign Dyson to give 13 players, what would you do during the >140 games with 13 pitchers?  Options:
1.  Assume somebody will always be injured so it won't be a problem. 
2.  Cut La Stella.
3.  Send Happ or Schwarber to Iowa
4.  Cut Dyson. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 04, 2018, 04:14:22 pm
Pretty sure he meant 13 pitchers and 10 day DL
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 04, 2018, 04:18:35 pm
Are you meaning you think they're done for the offseason?  Because I don't think that's the case.

I think they might make some minor trades, but I doubt that they will be bringing a TOR starter back in trade this winter.  Free agent, possible, but I think a Cobb-type is much more likely than a Darvish-type.  I think they would like to bring back Arietta if they can get him for 4 years.  He has the knack for winning.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 04, 2018, 04:21:51 pm
I think they might make some minor trades, but I doubt that they will be bringing a TOR starter back in trade this winter.  Free agent, possible, but I think a Cobb-type is much more likely than a Darvish-type.  I think they would like to bring back Arietta if they can get him for 4 years.  He has the knack for winning.
I think if they miss out on Arrieta, Darvish, and Cobb, we may see a major trade.  Otherwise, no.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 04, 2018, 04:26:52 pm
Well, I sure hope not.  I have no desire to trade anyone on the roster for another pitcher.  In my opinion, they are extremely likely to make the playoffs with the roster they have, and they have little need for a fifth pitcher in the playoffs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 04, 2018, 04:32:11 pm
The past three years, we've clearly seen that 13 pitchers is Maddon's predominant norm.  Don't think he'll change, 10-day DL notwithstanding.  During the games in which he wants 13 pitchers (even if it isn't 162 games or opening day, I'd still be surprised if it isn't at least 140.....), you can't have 13 players. 

So if you sign Dyson to give 13 players, what would you do during the >140 games with 13 pitchers?  Options:
1.  Assume somebody will always be injured so it won't be a problem. 
2.  Cut La Stella.
3.  Send Happ or Schwarber to Iowa
4.  Cut Dyson. 

1.) The 10 day DL makes it easy to shuffle pitchers/players around.  See the Dodgers from last year.
2.) If Baez starts at 2B most days, Zobrist rebounds some, Dyson is the left CF option and Happ can get optioned to Iowa to get regular playing time. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 04, 2018, 04:39:16 pm
Don't sleep on a Salazar trade.  That's one that could happen.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 04, 2018, 04:46:30 pm
Well, I sure hope not.  I have no desire to trade anyone on the roster for another pitcher.  In my opinion, they are extremely likely to make the playoffs with the roster they have, and they have little need for a fifth pitcher in the playoffs.
Your comment is again lockstepped into the mentality that another pitcher will be #5.  Why?  I'd rather have 5 #2's than a 1,2,3,4,5.  Pitchers get hurt.  When the season starts, your #5 may go against the other team's #1 many times because of a rainout or a schedule fluke.  Gotta get rid of that thinking.  It only works on paper; not in real play.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 04, 2018, 05:28:55 pm
I've never seen an offseason move this slowly.  It almost defies belief.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 04, 2018, 06:23:28 pm
Agree, Curt.  Rare other than opening day and playoffs that #1 matches #1.  Having five #2's (if that were possible) would serve you really well through the regular season.  Being able to put out a solid #2/#3-type guy every day is very conducive to winning streaks. 

The guys they are looking for are guys that might be #2 or whatever.  WS winter, people wondered if Hendricks would even make the rotation, or if Warren or Cahill or Wood might beat him out.  Any of Darvish, Cobb, or Arrieta might end up in our playoff rotations.  Chatwood too, hypothetically. 


Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 04, 2018, 07:08:38 pm
Even if we dont make a trade we're just a few moves away from being a 90+ win team [reliever,starter,leadoff man].

There's plenty of time and plenty of options available.

Tranquilo.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on January 04, 2018, 08:47:48 pm
I've never seen an offseason move this slowly.  It almost defies belief.

Basically you have a lot of players that teams want but don't want to pay their asking price for.  GM's don't want to give $20 million per year to Alex Cobb or 6 years to Jake Arrieta any more than any of us, so it's pretty much a waiting game until someone bites.  It's just a long drawn out game of chicken with the different teams and players that we have going on right now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 04, 2018, 10:04:07 pm
I've never seen an offseason move this slowly.  It almost defies belief.

I'm starting to think nothing is going to happen until the last minute before Spring Training starts. About a month from now, we'll see about 120 free agent signings in a week.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 04, 2018, 10:43:43 pm
I imagine if there was a good deal for a pitcher, the Cubs would have already made it.  Sooner or later they're going to bite the bullet and take the least-bad deal they can find, and hope the guy they get works out great. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 05, 2018, 09:11:48 am
Theo is generally not one to be reactive.  I expect a big move soon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 05, 2018, 09:51:47 am
Quintana and Hendricks are included in this assessment of the 10 most steady pitchers going through batting order three times, FWIW.

https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-starters-who-maintain-production-late/c-264262296
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 05, 2018, 09:56:35 am
So Kapman reported the Cubs offered Cobb 3/$42, FWIW.  Hard to believe they thought that had any chance, although I wouldn't want to go much higher (or longer) than that myself.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 05, 2018, 10:06:22 am
I've never seen an offseason move this slowly.  It almost defies belief.
ESPN Insider had an article about this.  They blame some of the agents (Boras) who tend to cut it close and squeeze as much as they can, the quality of the free agent class (not much there), and the money a non-quality free agent market is looking for.  As soon as a couple of guy accept lower offers, the dam probably won't break.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 05, 2018, 10:15:36 am
I'm not sure I agree with the pretext that this is an overly weak FA class.  It's not elite by any means. but I don't think it's a bad group at all on  the whole.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 05, 2018, 10:22:14 am
Combination: non-elite, but good, talent looking for elite level money.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on January 05, 2018, 10:56:03 am
along with teams saving their $$$ for the next two years.

Harper, Blackmon, Kershaw and Machado hit the market next year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 05, 2018, 12:22:10 pm
That was mentioned that these FAs are asking for the kind of money those FAs will be looking for.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 05, 2018, 12:30:16 pm
A majority of GM's being analytical and not wanting to pay for past performance too.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 05, 2018, 12:51:04 pm
The conflict for many GM's is whether to pay for last performance in terms of putting butts in the seats vs bringing in the sabre-solid but unspectacular players more likely to help the team win.  Glorious when you can get both.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 05, 2018, 01:59:21 pm
Your comment is again lockstepped into the mentality that another pitcher will be #5.  Why?  I'd rather have 5 #2's than a 1,2,3,4,5.  Pitchers get hurt.  When the season starts, your #5 may go against the other team's #1 many times because of a rainout or a schedule fluke.  Gotta get rid of that thinking.  It only works on paper; not in real play.

You are missing the point.

They now have four decent starters - Hendricks, Lester, Quintana and Chatwood.  If they sign another starter, SOMEONE will become largely superfluous in the playoffs.  Whether that is the new signee or Chatwood or Hendricks, or lester, or Quintana, it will add little value in the playoffs,  And, in my opinion, they are likely to get to the playoffs even if they do not sign the new pitcher.  And I doubt that they will sign a new pitcher who will so much better than Chatwood in the playoffs that it will justify the price.

What number you assign to the new pitcher is meaningless.  The point is, he is probably not needed.  It is true that depth is helpful.  Montgomery provides that depth.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on January 05, 2018, 02:01:27 pm
Likely due to injuries or non performance, another starter wouldnt be superfluous. I am with Tico, spend the cash this year, next years crop is going to be way way overpriced.

Sign Darvish now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 05, 2018, 02:05:39 pm
I am not against signing another good pitcher.  I just don't believe it is necessary.  And the price in a trade would be too high, in my opinion.  If they can  sign Darvish to a price then can afford, then fine.  I just believe that, with the current roster, a Darvish-level free agent pitcher would not be worth the price.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: chgojhawk on January 05, 2018, 05:38:05 pm
I am extremely confident that Jake, Darvish or Cobb will be a Cub soon.  That would give us a rotation that includes Chatwood, the new signee, Hendricks, Q and Lester.  Montgomery would have the same role as previous seasons.

I would not be surprised to see the Cubs make a deal for another front line starter above and beyond what we have.  It may not be this off season, but I wouldn't be surprised if Russell and Hendricks were shipped out within the next 12 months.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 05, 2018, 05:48:58 pm
Why on earth would they move Hendricks?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 05, 2018, 05:55:28 pm
Why on earth would they move Hendricks?

Hendricks continues to be perhaps the most unappreciated Cub among some folks here. Pretty sure he's unappreciated by Theo though, and that's what counts.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 05, 2018, 06:18:31 pm
Hendricks continues to be perhaps the most unappreciated Cub among some folks here. Pretty sure he's unappreciated by Theo though, and that's what counts.

Did you perhaps forget to include a "not" in there?  Like, "Pretty sure he's not unappreciated by Theo though, and that's what counts."
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 05, 2018, 06:40:30 pm
No one under appreciates Hendricks here, he's been great. He'll probably continue to be good for the next three years while the Cubs still control him.

But there is a reason you don't see many players with his velocity in MLB anymore--they just have so little room for error. If he ever lost a little command, he would be in trouble. If he loses much velocity, he's probably not going to really struggle to get by. All pitchers are risky by nature, especially those with no real margin for error.

In theory, I think some combination of all the reasons listed below could motivate them to trade Hendricks:
 - The risk mentioned above--at some point, maybe the trade value is worth more than his expected future on-field value once risk is factored in.
 - The farm system is weak and Hendricks has a lot of value--he can help refill the pipeline as the current core starts closing in on free agency.
 - He's getting expensive, the Cubs are getting close to the luxury tax, and he's a significant salary they can move easily.
 - He's getting close to free agency--he'll only be two years away next offseason. He's probably not going to be a priority to sign long term over guys like Bryant or Contreras (or Harper or Machado if they decide to get into those markets next offseason). So maybe he's less untouchable a year from now.

I think it's unlikely for Hendricks to get traded, but I see the reasoning. 

Hendricks has always been compared to Doug Fister as a control artist with low (for MLB) velocity. So I think it's interesting to note that when Fister was 29 and had four years of MLB service (which will be Hendricks' status next year), the Tigers traded him to the Nationals for what was viewed as a questionable trade at the time. The Tigers got a lot of criticism. But it turned out that they moved on at the right time. Fister has been worth a total of about 4 fWAR in his last four seasons after being worth almost 16 fWAR in his first four years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 05, 2018, 06:55:59 pm
I would take the contrarian view that Hendricks is perhaps the most fetishized player around here...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 05, 2018, 07:01:32 pm
No one under appreciates Hendricks here, he's been great. He'll probably continue to be good for the next three years while the Cubs still control him.


Many here have under appreciated him ever since he came up, minimizing his success, insisting it could not be repeated, describing it as smoke and mirrors, and viewing him as anything other than the best starter on the staff.  That attitude tends to match hand-in-glove with the belief of many than top pitchers have to be hard throwers and that pitchers getting lots of strikeouts are inherently better than those who do not.

Contending otherwise is nonsense.... particularly when the contention comes from someone whose own comments put him in that under appreciating category --
But there is a reason you don't see many players with his velocity in MLB anymore--they just have so little room for error. If he ever lost a little command, he would be in trouble. If he loses much velocity, he's probably not going to really struggle to get by. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on January 05, 2018, 07:07:47 pm
But there is a reason you don't see many players with his velocity in MLB anymore--they just have so little room for error. If he ever lost a little command, he would be in trouble. If he loses much velocity, he's probably not going to really struggle to get by. All pitchers are risky by nature, especially those with no real margin for error.

br, what you say is true, but Hendricks is a genuine outlier.  He has once in a generation command combined with once in a generation pitching skills.  He's going to be a very difficult case for Theo.  I get the impression that Theo looks for comparables to see how they age, etc.  There aren't many comparables for Kyle.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 05, 2018, 07:21:58 pm
When Hendricks velocity was down last year he wasn’t as good.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 05, 2018, 07:39:49 pm
I get that Hendricks is an outlier...but presumably, even once in a generation pitching skills stop being effective at some velocity level for any (non-knuckleball) pitcher. What is that velocity level? I don't know, but I'd guess it's closer to 85 mph than 75 mph.

I also really worry about injury risk for him. If he had a significant arm injury, then I think you have to worry if he'd still have the command and movement he absolutely has to have to succeed.

I'm not really advocating one way or the other...I can see the argument for trading him, and I understand why most here wouldn't want to trade him. I just wanted to make the point that suggesting or advocating for a Hendricks trade isn't necessarily a case of someone under appreciating Hendricks. It's an interesting discussion to have and a decision that I'm glad Theo will be making.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 05, 2018, 07:49:30 pm
Recently, Hendricks was ranked #11 of MLB aces.  He was in lofty company. We would be thrilled with any of the ten listed above him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 05, 2018, 08:39:12 pm
What is that velocity level? I don't know, but I'd guess it's closer to 85 mph than 75 mph.
Jared Weaver became less effect at 86.
Doug Fister decline started at 87, less effective at 86.
Maddux was worth 3.9 fWAR in his 41 year old season and average 87.2 on his sinker.  He was worth 2.4 fWAR as a 42 year old and averaged 83.9 on his sinker.

Hendricks was still good last year and averaged 86.3, but he wasn't as good as when he was 88-89.  I think it safe to say Hendricks can't afford to lose much more on his velocity and maintain his high level of production.  I would say he'll age better than Fister, but not as well as Maddux.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on January 05, 2018, 09:00:07 pm
Quote
Recently, Hendricks was ranked #11 of MLB aces.

Currently #12 on the Bill James Starting Pitcher list.

Ahead of Lester.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 05, 2018, 09:23:08 pm
I'm not sure how one can say Hendricks has "once in a generation" command and pitching skills.  That's an incredibly sweeping statement.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: chgojhawk on January 05, 2018, 09:38:35 pm
Why on earth would they move Hendricks?

The best reason would be if Theo felt Hendricks perceived value around the league was higher than Theo's opinion of his value.  As many have suggested, there is little margin for error.  If his velocity drops a few MPHs he will be taking advantage of his Ivy League education as opposed to getting outs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 05, 2018, 09:42:17 pm
I believe that Hendricks is the best pitcher on the current rotation, and is likely to continue to be so for the next several years.  He had a slump in the first half of last season when pitching through minor injuries, but his second half was quite comparable to his outstanding 2016.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 05, 2018, 09:55:17 pm
Personally, I take Quintana over Hendricks in a heartbeat.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 05, 2018, 09:57:00 pm
I am extremely confident that Jake, Darvish or Cobb will be a Cub soon.  That would give us a rotation that includes Chatwood, the new signee, Hendricks, Q and Lester.  Montgomery would have the same role as previous seasons......

I feel the same way.  They're going to get somebody pretty interesting, almost certainly one of those three guys.  Not going to settle for a Lackey, or for Montgomery with Tseng as next-man-up.  . 

DaveP, I understand the logic of the point, that if you pay for a pretty good starter from the Darvish-Cobb-Arrieta class, one of the five starters won't be starting in the playoffs.  If we have five kind of interchangeably good starters, at least one is not going to start in the playoffs.  So why pay big for a guy who's going to be interchangeable and no better than somebody else?  Zero playoff 'WAR' then!

I don't share your assumption that we'll be in the playoffs regardless, though.  1st, Getting into the playoffs might be harder than we think.  Winning the division is pretty important target and improving our regular-season rotation I think improves the chances.  2nd, I think that winning a lot and getting into the playoffs more easily is helpful for setting things up and being able to pace the relievers, and starters, in September.  3rd, you don't know which of your 5th starters in February will be unavailable come June or October.  Somebody is likely to be injured or ineffective by October.  Maybe Chatwood will be super wild.  Maybe Lester will lose another mph and jump from 4.3ERA to 4.8 ERA for the season?  Who knows who'll get hurt? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 05, 2018, 10:00:23 pm
Chatwood, assuming he throws strikes, would be excellent coming out of the pen in the playoffs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 05, 2018, 10:24:52 pm
I have a hard time believing in Hendricks.

He always proves me wrong but still.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 05, 2018, 10:28:05 pm
Chatwood, assuming he throws strikes....

Yeah, perhaps.  That's a pretty risky assumption, though! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 05, 2018, 10:30:44 pm
So those who would appear to be in the camp of serious "doubters" about Hendricks would be brjones, deeg, CUBluejays, and DUSTY.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 06, 2018, 01:17:09 am
Thinking somebody may not age as well as a HOF makes me a doubter?  Whatever.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 06, 2018, 02:48:19 am
I said he proves me wrong every time.

I just dont think he's a 1 or 2.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 06, 2018, 12:53:35 pm
Kaplan throwing cold water on Yelich to the Cubs. On twitter Brett Taylor speculated that it would cost 2 mlb hitters + 2 top pitching prospects and that still may not be enough. Kaplan agreed at the cost and said he wasn’t a realistic target. Sorry BR.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 06, 2018, 01:32:56 pm
Well, the X-factor in a Yelich deal is that the Marlins have probably the worst front office in baseball. Who knows what their motivations are? They clearly didn't seem to care about getting the best package available for Ozuna.

Kaplan and Taylor are right that it's not especially realistic--someone will probably offer a stronger package of prospects than the Cubs can offer. But I could see the Marlins deciding they want to prioritize young MLB players over prospects who are a year or two away. Not many other teams can give up two young MLB players (plus more) in a deal for Yelich and still improve their team.

Those tweets were in response to Twitter talk about Levine on the radio this morning, by the way. Levine apparently said the Cubs are trying to trade for Yelich and have a 3 year offer out for Cain.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 06, 2018, 04:36:31 pm
Perhaps I am badly mistaken, but I am having grave doubts about Levine's credibility ... or at least that of his sources
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 06, 2018, 04:53:06 pm
I will admit, I'm giving Levine a lot more credibility on this than I'd normally give him because I really want it to be true. And it's not just the Yelich rumor--the whole idea that the Cubs are trying to improve the lineup/CF is something I always wanted to be a top priority of the offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 06, 2018, 06:39:22 pm
So did Levine.

I’ll take Kaplan on this.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 06, 2018, 06:53:43 pm
Not many other teams can give up two young MLB players (plus more) in a deal for Yelich and still improve their team.


And I think the Cubs are one of them.  I don't think the team would be improved by getting Yelich for, for instance, Russell and Happ.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 06, 2018, 06:59:45 pm
Well, Kaplan's and Levine's statements are not mutually exclusive--the Cubs could really be interested and calling the Marlins daily trying to find a match, and the deal could still be unlikely. Also, I feel like there is at least some personal opinion coming from both--while both may have their sources telling them different things, neither seems to be directly quoting a source.

Here's my fearless prediction--if the Cubs don't upgrade an OF spot now (preferably CF), they'll be looking hard to do it at the deadline because it'll be a pretty obvious need.

Now let's see some offseason movement so we can stop rehashing the same topics here any time there is a new semi-rumor.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 06, 2018, 07:09:23 pm
"Now let's see some offseason movement so we can stop rehashing the same topics here any time there is a new semi-rumor."--br

I have noticed that Almora is still a Cub, Yellich is still a Marlin, and Hendricks can't throw any harder than the last time we discussed his standing in the starting pitching universe.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 06, 2018, 07:50:41 pm
Liar.

Hendricks was 88-89 to end the year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on January 08, 2018, 09:48:32 am
Quote
Greg Holland - R - Rockies

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says the Cubs are "now in the picture" for free agent reliever Greg Holland.

The Rockies' signing of former Cubs closer Wade Davis leaves the club with a need. The Cubs have already inked late-inning reliever Brandon Morrow this winter, but with Davis and Hector Rondon leaving, they surely could use more high-leverage arms. The Nationals, among others, are also believed to be in on the 32-year-old.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 08, 2018, 10:01:42 am
Ken Rosenthal

Yesterday’s notes column: https://theathletic.com/205424/2018/01/07/rosenthal-nats-interested-in-lance-lynn-yelich-suitors-line-up-teams-calling-red-sox-on-swihart-more-notes/ … Have since learned #Nationals are not as aggressive as others on Lynn at this moment. Teams most intent on adding starting pitching through free agency or trade, according to sources: #Astros, #Cubs, #Twins.

No Lance Lynn, no Lance Lynn.

And unless it is a huge discount I'm pretty meh on Holland.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 08, 2018, 10:30:56 am
I agree on Holland. If they're going to spend a lot for another reliever, make it Reed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 08, 2018, 12:06:39 pm
Hendricks and Quintana rank in the top 10 of ML pitchers the third time through the batting order:

http://www.bleachernation.com/2018/01/08/cubs-have-two-of-the-best-third-time-through-the-order-starters/

Wow!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 08, 2018, 12:17:09 pm
Hendricks and Quintana rank in the top 10 of ML pitchers the third time through the batting order:

http://www.bleachernation.com/2018/01/08/cubs-have-two-of-the-best-third-time-through-the-order-starters/

Wow!

So sad to discover that I'm on Playtwo's ignore list.   :'(
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 08, 2018, 12:43:14 pm
You're on more than just P2's.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 08, 2018, 01:46:16 pm
http://www.bleachernation.com/2018/01/08/cubs-arent-necessarily-pursuing-lorenzo-cain-so-much-as-they-might-be-open-to-a-bargain/

Explains more of what Levine said about Cain.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 08, 2018, 03:24:01 pm
3 years, $60 million.  Cobb or Cain, you have to give that deal to one or the other.  Which one do you give it to?  Just for fun.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 08, 2018, 03:37:30 pm
Cobb.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 08, 2018, 03:47:36 pm
I think the only way a Cain deal happens is if there's a corresponding trade for a pitcher. So it really depends on who the pitcher is.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 08, 2018, 04:10:54 pm
http://www.bleachernation.com/2018/01/08/cubs-arent-necessarily-pursuing-lorenzo-cain-so-much-as-they-might-be-open-to-a-bargain/

Explains more of what Levine said about Cain.

Thanks for this link. I can well imagine that the Cubs have looked at such a scenario, as one of may options, depending on other developments.  They seem to game lots of different scenarios in order to be prepared to pursue avenues that will benefit the team.

But I can't see the Cubs signing Cain unless they also trade Almora. And I have the impression that they aren't very interested in doing that - unless they could get a really good young starting pitcher in return. And to get that done, I'd expect the Cubs would have to give up someone like Baez or Russell along with Almora, which I don't believe they will do.

Time will tell.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 08, 2018, 04:14:46 pm
I don't think Cain and Albert are mutually exclusive, but I don't also don't think Cain will sign at the kind of discount the Cubs are looking for.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 08, 2018, 04:52:22 pm
http://www.espn.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/85013/real-or-not-special-edition-reasons-for-the-sloooow-hot-stove-season

Repeats a lot of what we've said in this topic and others.  The Free Agents in this class do not measure up to previous years or NEXT year's.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on January 08, 2018, 07:51:27 pm
Quote
but I don't also don't think Cain will sign at the kind of discount the Cubs are looking for.

I'm okay with that result.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 08, 2018, 09:08:44 pm
Cobb.  Not even close.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 09, 2018, 05:51:25 pm
Thinking somebody may not age as well as a HOF makes me a doubter?  Whatever.

I offered no such explanation as to why I put you in the doubter camp, nor would that accurately reflect my reasoning.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 09, 2018, 08:30:36 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68sRqrZZ6wQ
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 09, 2018, 09:42:26 pm
Rivera isn't coming back, he signed with the Angels.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/angels-sign-rene-rivera.html
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: chgojhawk on January 10, 2018, 06:12:38 pm
My preference is/was Darvish over Jake even prior to seeing this video.  Now....even more so.  Nasty.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=yu+darvish+pitch+overlay&ru=%2fsearch%3fq%3dyu%2bdarvish%2bpitch%2boverlay%26form%3dEDGTCT%26qs%3dPF%26cvid%3d888e9140c98447399ac22dd4813424d1%26refig%3daf185f8a49a948a08663625a2edf3332%26cc%3dUS%26setlang%3den-US&mmscn=vwrc&view=detail&mid=21A4530C660CEA761A9B21A4530C660CEA761A9B&rvsmid=0E341A785883F4ACC5940E341A785883F4ACC594&FORM=VDQVAP
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 10, 2018, 08:30:11 pm
Darvish tweeted about the rumor going around that his choices are down to the Cubs, Twins, Astros, Rangers, and Yankees:

ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish)‏ @faridyu
I know one more team is in.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on January 10, 2018, 08:38:24 pm
Darvish tweeted about the rumor going around that his choices are down to the Cubs, Twins, Astros, Rangers, and Yankees:

ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish)‏ @faridyu
I know one more team is in.


I knew the Marlins were saving their money for something.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 10, 2018, 08:53:06 pm
Marlins?  Mariners?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 10, 2018, 09:58:18 pm
My preference is/was Darvish over Jake even prior to seeing this video.  Now....even more so.  Nasty.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=yu+darvish+pitch+overlay&ru=%2fsearch%3fq%3dyu%2bdarvish%2bpitch%2boverlay%26form%3dEDGTCT%26qs%3dPF%26cvid%3d888e9140c98447399ac22dd4813424d1%26refig%3daf185f8a49a948a08663625a2edf3332%26cc%3dUS%26setlang%3den-US&mmscn=vwrc&view=detail&mid=21A4530C660CEA761A9B21A4530C660CEA761A9B&rvsmid=0E341A785883F4ACC5940E341A785883F4ACC594&FORM=VDQVAP

That's a really cool video. I wonder whether Darvish is particularly unusual in this respect.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 10, 2018, 10:05:58 pm
Lester is really good at this.

https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/pitch-tunneling-is-it-real-and-how-do-pitchers-actually-pitch/
http://wrigleyville.locals.baseballprospectus.com/2017/02/01/jon-lester-and-pitch-tunnels/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 11, 2018, 08:36:31 am
Really starting to doubt Darvish is coming.  Seems to me if he was that impressed with the Cubs and wanted to play for them, he would have signed by now and stopped dicking around.

https://www.mlb.com/news/yu-darvish-narrows-suitors-to-six-teams/c-264556936
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 11, 2018, 04:26:32 pm
Articles like this make it seem like the Cubs and Cobb might be coming back around to each other.

https://theathletic.com/209655/2018/01/11/will-alex-cobb-talk-himself-into-the-cubs-maybe-thats-the-plan/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chiman on January 11, 2018, 05:15:37 pm
BR,the Athletic is pay site. I can see that the article it is about Cobb.  Can you give us your cliff note version.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jack Birdbath on January 11, 2018, 05:44:38 pm
BR,the Athletic is pay site. I can see that the article it is about Cobb.  Can you give us your cliff note version.

Pay for the content.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on January 11, 2018, 06:00:56 pm
Quote
Pay for the content.

I did.  There's nothing earth-shattering in it.  Quotes from Cishek about how he's reached out to Cobb and hopes he signs because, you know, he's good.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chiman on January 11, 2018, 06:40:33 pm
Thank you DMF.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 11, 2018, 07:04:07 pm
Yeah, nothing earth shattering...but it was a lot like what was being written about Cobb at the beginning of the offseason when a Cobb signing seemed inevitable. I’ve seen a couple things like that the last few days, which makes it seem like beat writers are helping the Cubs reset expectations away from Darvish.

I’ll be fine if Cobb signs—I was really on board at the beginning of the offseason. But after the Darvish tease, it would feel a like a little bit of a letdown.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 11, 2018, 07:37:57 pm
If we can get Cobb for a price that Epstein feels is reasonable, I will be quite satisfied with the winter.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on January 11, 2018, 08:16:38 pm
We'd still be short one reliever.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 11, 2018, 08:48:27 pm
And one starter you'd actually want to use in the postseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 11, 2018, 08:52:21 pm
If they signed cobb, who would you be reluctant to use in the post season?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 11, 2018, 08:52:49 pm
Cobb.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 11, 2018, 09:15:14 pm
There's still a few moves left to be made IMO.

Does Theo and Jed still see it that way?

Im not so sure.

I'd like to think even before we address the position players they'd still be looking to add another starter and reliever.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 11, 2018, 09:36:07 pm
As the roster currently stands Mike Montgomery is clearly one of our 5 best starters so adding a starter really adds a reliever too so lets look at it like this...

Locks...

Lester, Quintana, Hendricks, Chatwood, Montgomery.

Morrow, Cishek, Edwards, Strop, Grimm, Wilson.

We know we dont want Montgomery starting so you know we have to add a SP which moves Montgomery to the pen which gives us 7 locks.

That means we either believe in Dillon Maples an awful lot or we're gonna add a reliever too.

Ill take Holland and Cobb.

Dont waste big money on position players unless one falls in our lap.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 11, 2018, 10:49:53 pm
Cobb.

If the Front Office signs Cobb, it will be because they don't agree with you.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 12, 2018, 10:29:31 am
Justin Wilson is the first arb eligible Cub to agree, he'll get $4.25 million this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on January 12, 2018, 10:53:39 am
I wouldn't be surprised if Russell and Schwarber had much better years than last year. That alone would make the offense the best in the NL. I don't see a need to bolster the offense at this point. Another reliever and starter are the obvious additions lacking at this point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 12, 2018, 11:03:12 am
Hendricks agrees at $4.175 million.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 12, 2018, 11:38:04 am
Good.  Now sign him to a long term contract.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 12, 2018, 12:03:26 pm
La Stella agrees at $950,000.

Still waiting on Bryant, Russell, and Grimm. The deadline to exchange numbers just passed, so we should hear one way or the other soon. There has been some speculation that they'll hold the Bryant announcement back until tonight at the convention.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 12, 2018, 03:19:49 pm
Bryant sets a new record for a first year arb eligible player with $10.85 million. Since he's a super two, he still has 3 more years of arbitration remaining. Josh Donaldson got $23 million earlier today for his last year of arbitration...will Bryant be pushing $30 million in three years?

Russell also agrees for $3.2 million. So Grimm is the only guy who will file.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 12, 2018, 03:38:02 pm
Bryant sets a new record for a first year arb eligible player with $10.85 million. Since he's a super two, he still has 3 more years of arbitration remaining. Josh Donaldson got $23 million earlier today for his last year of arbitration...will Bryant be pushing $30 million in three years?

Russell also agrees for $3.2 million. So Grimm is the only guy who will file.

I don't know what the Cubs' offer is, but Grimm would appear to have brass balls to be the one guy filing for arbitration given his incredibly inconsistent performance.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 12, 2018, 03:57:49 pm
Heyman is reporting that the Cubs have talked to the Pirates about Cole is addition to the Yanks and Astros.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on January 12, 2018, 04:04:05 pm
Heyman is reporting that the Cubs have talked to the Pirates about Cole is addition to the Yanks and Astros.

Cubs would have to surrender, what, Happ and Alzolay/Albertos for Cole?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 12, 2018, 04:10:42 pm
Happ straight up or GFY.  And that ain't gonna cut it, so eff it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Chris27 on January 12, 2018, 04:14:36 pm
I'm guessing the price is higher in an intra-division trade.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 12, 2018, 04:29:09 pm
They reportedly want Torres from the Yanks so I'm sure the cost is absurd for the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 12, 2018, 04:33:12 pm
Why trade for someone when you can sign someone?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 12, 2018, 04:34:34 pm
It seems like the Pirates think it's December 2015, when Cole was coming off a 4th place Cy Young season, had four years of control left, and looked like he was turning into an ace.

He has two years left and has pitched like a #3 the last couple of years...his reputation is far stronger than his actual performance at this point.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on January 12, 2018, 04:52:49 pm
Thanks but no thanks for Cole.  Or any of the trades I've heard speculated.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 12, 2018, 05:53:28 pm
Im interested in buying low on Danny Salazar.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on January 12, 2018, 06:09:43 pm
Cleveland isnt selling low... they want market value.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 12, 2018, 06:34:42 pm
I'm not interested in overpaying for 2 years of Cole, but I think it's a mistake to write him off as a #3 starter.  He's throwing harder than ever and his stuff is ace level.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 12, 2018, 08:22:41 pm
Cole is an excellent pitcher.  But the cost in a trade would be too high.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 12, 2018, 10:40:24 pm
I'll take Jake or Yu.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 13, 2018, 07:45:35 am
I have a hard time knowing whether to take seriously the possibility of bringing Arrieta back.  I guess I'll be surprised if that happens.

I suppose if no team is willing to give Jake what he and Boras want/expect, and the Cubs are in the same ballpark as to money and length, they would have two advantages. Arrieta would be coming back to a place he knows and is comfortable. And Boras could save some face re Arrieta taking so much less than Boras projected by saying Arrieta always really wanted to return to the Cubs and was willing to take less to do so.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 13, 2018, 08:03:24 am
The Cubs have this marvelous window of opportunity over the next few years and they simply must augment their pitching with one more high end starter.  Trading for one is not realistic, so that leaves Jake or Yu.  I don't have strong feelings about which of them they get, but getting one of them is imperative.  Sure, they would be an excellent team with the addition of a lesser pitcher but, as others have said, this would leave them at a serious disadvantage come playoff time.

I'm confident that we will land Jake or Yu and I'm pulling for Jake on a reasonable 4 (or even 5) year deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 13, 2018, 08:50:45 am
I think trading for Salazar may be realistic.  And when he's healthy enough to pitch he may be as good or better than Yu or Jake.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 13, 2018, 09:45:46 am
I would prefer to give up money rather than significant young talent.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 13, 2018, 10:10:07 am
http://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/frozen-baseball-offseason-hot-stove-starting-pitching-pitcher-theo-epstein-jake-arrieta-yu-darvish-alex-cobb-gerrit-cole-mlb-trade-rumors

“I like the talent that we have right now, but I think we could certainly add to the depth. And you could do that through depth moves or through adding another real quality pitcher and bolster the depth even more that way...."


“We’re looking to add another pitcher just to possibly improve the options in the starting rotation and especially the ripple effect that will add depth,” Epstein said. “The best way to build a championship team is to mitigate all the risks that sink teams and prevent them from being championship teams. And with us right now, we’re very well protected on the position-player side. But there’s legitimate risk for injury or underperformance to our pitching staff that we’re going to be scrambling midseason. You don’t want to be scrambling.

“So we need to continue to add quality and depth and try to mitigate as many of the risks as we can. You never eliminate all the risks, otherwise you’d win it all every year. But eliminating as many of those risks as you can is our job.”


Thoughts:
1.  The focus is on pitching, of course.  But I think the underlined statement about position-players is really relevant.  Cubs have 10 non-catcher position guys, with people like Happ, Zobrist, La Stella, Almora, and Heyward at the back end of that group.  Much flexibility, so I agree with Theo that they are well protected there.  But, behind those ten guys are what, David Bote and Mark Zagunis? 


My point here is that they don't have a position surplus.  If you need to trade two of those ten guys, even one of them, the depth and contingency coverage could VERY quickly erode.  Thus I think Theo should be *very* reluctant to trade Happ or Happ/Almora from that pool.


Position pool is nice as is; but not superfluous/redundant to allow a trade without getting really risky position-wise. 


So, I agree with P2, spending $$$ in FA is the way to go. 


2.  It's interesting how Theo talks about the pitcher.  This is a variation on standard Theo/Hoyer cliche that the repeat every winter, about wanting depth and risk-mitigation for pitchers.  That's what they said two years ago when they added Adam Warren and Cahill, etc..  Last year they talked about that a bunch, but in practice ended up committing to Anderson for the rotation, and the "depth" additions were the likes of Eddie Butler, Dylan Florio, Seth Frankoff, and Alec Mills. 


It's the same spiel every winter, kind of.  But obviously in context we know that Theo is meaning more than adding Butler, Florio, Frankoff, and Mills this time around. 


"could do that through depth moves or through adding another real quality pitcher and bolster the depth even more that way"

Theo talks about "depth moves", but obviously the "adding another real quality pitcher" which then bumps everybody down is really the way to go.  That still won't be super deep:  Chatwood as #5, Montgomery as #6, with Tseng as #7 isn't necessarily the deepest, strongest contingency protection.  But it's a world better than Chatwood #4, Montgomery #5, Tseng #6, and Zastryzny as #7, or whatever. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 13, 2018, 10:16:24 am
And gives us 4 strong playoff starters with the fifth (presumably Chatwood) moving to the pen for the postseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 13, 2018, 10:23:11 am
Heh heh, the prospect of having a 5th starter that you'd be happy to use in playoff relief is super appealing to me.  Unlike Lackey!  :):)

October was a super-fail in that regard.  Lackey and Montgomery were our 5th/6th starters; the pair couldn't have been more bad in playoff relief. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on January 13, 2018, 10:56:11 am
Rosenthal tweeted that Arrietta is down to the Cards and Cubs. I thought it was an old tweet but it was just 3 hours ago. Wasn't this leaked as a trial balloon about a week ago?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 13, 2018, 12:22:32 pm
Rosenthal tweeted that Arrietta is down to the Cards and Cubs. I thought it was an old tweet but it was just 3 hours ago. Wasn't this leaked as a trial balloon about a week ago?
Interesting.  Heh heh, might be fun if Cubs were to get Darvish, they get Jake, and over a couple of years we'd get to watch how the two respective pitchers and contracts played out over time for the two rivals. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 13, 2018, 12:23:06 pm
I don’t see it on Rosenthal’s timeline, 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on January 13, 2018, 12:48:38 pm
From the convention...

Kid: "Theo when do you think I can get my Bryce Harper jersey?"

Theo: "Ask Kris Bryant he seems to have quite a few."

For those of you who remember (or know) Moses...that was his son’s question...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 13, 2018, 01:08:24 pm
Smart kid.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 13, 2018, 01:34:31 pm
That's great, DAve (and Moses's son....)  Nice answer by Theo, too. 

Yeah, I'd have loved to have Reed at that contract.  Bummer.  Still, I can see the appeal for him to get a clear role as closer on a playoff team with a lot of young and rising talent, in a really nice place to live too. 

Heh heh, if Hoyer is just figuring to end up signing Lackey as 6th starter depth, he'd have had lots of cash left to pay Reed too.  He must have not wanted to pay enough to get Reed because he wants to use his $$ on Darvish this year and Harper next, right?  :)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 13, 2018, 03:42:15 pm
Rosenthal tweeted that Arrietta is down to the Cards and Cubs. I thought it was an old tweet but it was just 3 hours ago. Wasn't this leaked as a trial balloon about a week ago?

I don’t see it on Rosenthal’s timeline, 

Nor do I see it on Rosenthal's twitter account. 

He is one of the few baseball reporters who I think should be taken very seriously on such things  But absent some documentation of the source, I assume this is not current, and/or not from Rosenthal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on January 13, 2018, 04:19:19 pm
Willson dominated Q&A today...especially on the topic of Lester/Pham.

Can someone link the video here? I saw it on Twitter a few minutes ago...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on January 13, 2018, 05:29:56 pm
Willson dominated Q&A today...especially on the topic of Lester/Pham.

Can someone link the video here? I saw it on Twitter a few minutes ago...

https://twitter.com/kg_holler/status/952264656894251008/video/1
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 13, 2018, 05:58:25 pm
https://twitter.com/kg_holler/status/952264656894251008/video/1

Thanks so much, Bennett!  That was a moment.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Dave23 on January 13, 2018, 06:06:47 pm
Thanks...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 13, 2018, 06:12:24 pm
Willson said "to hell with the young ears in the crowd".

We're raising a soft generation anyway.

They'll hear worse.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 13, 2018, 09:17:25 pm
The Cubs have this marvelous window of opportunity over the next few years and they simply must augment their pitching with one more high end starter.  Trading for one is not realistic, so that leaves Jake or Yu.  I don't have strong feelings about which of them they get, but getting one of them is imperative.  Sure, they would be an excellent team with the addition of a lesser pitcher but, as others have said, this would leave them at a serious disadvantage come playoff time.

I'm confident that we will land Jake or Yu and I'm pulling for Jake on a reasonable 4 (or even 5) year deal.

I am not a big fan of resigning Arrieta.  I am afraid not just that he best days are behind him and that his trendline is not good, but that what we saw from Arrieta in 2017 is better than we will ever see again from him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 13, 2018, 09:26:24 pm

right now, we’re very well protected on the position-player side. But there’s legitimate risk for injury or underperformance to our pitching staff that we’re going to be scrambling midseason. You don’t want to be scrambling.

“So we need to continue to add quality and depth and try to mitigate as many of the risks as we can. You never eliminate all the risks, otherwise you’d win it all every year. But eliminating as many of those risks as you can is our job.”

Thoughts:
1.  The focus is on pitching, of course.  But I think the underlined statement about position-players is really relevant.  Cubs have 10 non-catcher position guys, with people like Happ, Zobrist, La Stella, Almora, and Heyward at the back end of that group.  Much flexibility, so I agree with Theo that they are well protected there.  But, behind those ten guys are what, David Bote and Mark Zagunis? 


My point here is that they don't have a position surplus.  If you need to trade two of those ten guys, even one of them, the depth and contingency coverage could VERY quickly erode.  Thus I think Theo should be *very* reluctant to trade Happ or Happ/Almora from that pool.

I suspect Theo looks at it much the same way.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on January 14, 2018, 08:37:40 am
Update on all the work being done during the offseason at Wrigley

Quote
The dugouts are being moved roughly 28 feet up the line, which will align them better with the new batting tunnels that are being put in. The new protective netting will extend all the way to the far end of the new dugouts, so it’s going to be a really considerably expansion.

http://www.bleachernation.com/2018/01/13/from-the-cubs-business-side-wrigley-field-updates-hotel-tv-deal/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 16, 2018, 11:00:01 am
http://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/why-kyle-hendricks-excited-have-tyler-chatwood-cubs-starting-rotation-pitcher-hot-stove-free-agent-mlb-trade-rumors-jake-arrieta

"Chatwood, I think, is going to be really big for us," Hendricks said. "We grew up in the same area, so I played summer baseball with him senior year, and he wasn't even pitching then, he was a shortstop, great hitter. But he's just a baseball guy, baseball mind, and that's kind of what this team's about. It's a bunch of guys who love playing the game, love being together. I think he's going to fit in great, personality-wise.

"And the stuff he has, I know it's going to play really well. He's only had a couple starts at Wrigley, but he's obviously pitched well there. That's going to bode well for him in the future. And being able to pick guys' brains, like Lester and these older guys that have been around. I think they're going to help him like they've helped me."
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 16, 2018, 12:09:49 pm
I agree with Kyle, I think Chatwood had a chance to be really good.  There's bust potential there but a lot of upside.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 17, 2018, 08:46:19 am
Cubs add a lefty:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
Sources: cubs have deal to bring back Brian Duensing. $7M for 2 years.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 17, 2018, 08:47:06 am
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
Duensing had deals for significantly more money elsewhere but liked the cubs experience so much he wanted to return. Can’t blame him. Chicago’s the best (in the summer)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on January 17, 2018, 09:00:35 am
That's good news and a fair deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 17, 2018, 09:20:22 am
Thanks for update.  Not surprised. 

Wraps up the lefty spot we knew they'd sign. 

Could perhaps just leave the rotation guy. 

Once they sign their rotation guy, that will still leave the Grimm+competition spot in the pen.  I wonder if they'll just go with that, or if they'll still add a guaranteed contract guy to replace Grimm?  Or will add some interesting rehab guy or additional non-roster competition to compete with Grimm and perhaps Maples? 

I'm quite curious whether Maples might be kinda good, and might emerge as a guy we like to use.  But at this point I think that even if he was to look excellent in camp, it would still make best roster-sense to send him to Iowa, just so that you've got somebody with yo-yo capacity, of hopefully useful quality rather than the Florio/Frankoff level we had last year. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on January 17, 2018, 09:28:35 am
At this point I think the market is playing into the Cub's hands. Who is left to offer the big contract to the big three free agents? Even if all go off the board Lance Lynn isn't a terrible fallback on a club friendly deal. His peripherals suggest he was lucky last year, but he was in his first year after Tommy John, has always seemed to perform better than his numbers suggest, and would be a nice number 4 on most teams.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on January 17, 2018, 09:30:40 am
We're a little over $30 million below the luxury tax threshold with only one starting rotation slot and the backup catcher position to fill.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 17, 2018, 09:35:42 am
Bortolo Colon always has a good first half.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 17, 2018, 09:40:35 am
I'd rather have Montgomery in the rotation than Lynn.

Maples is super interesting.  If he throws can throw enough strikes he has the best raw stuff in the pen.

Duensing at 2/$7 million is a nice deal, I wasn't a fan of bringing him back because I thought he'd cost a lot more/year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 17, 2018, 09:51:20 am
Very fair for Duensing.  I think it's better than even-money he regresses back to a 4A pitcher, but we haven't lost much.

My fear is that Cobb caves before Yu and we sign him, Darvish's market totally dries up and the Yankees or Dodgers end up with the guy everybody wanted - as usual - as a bargain basement price.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 17, 2018, 10:04:35 am
Good to see Duensing back.  Now let's get Jake/Yu and we're pretty much ready for battle.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JeffH on January 17, 2018, 10:26:34 am
Once Duensing is added, the 40-man roster will stand at 39.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 17, 2018, 12:17:27 pm
Maples is super interesting.  If he throws can throw enough strikes he has the best raw stuff in the pen....

If Maples, Edwards, Morrow, Strop, Grimm, and Wilson could all locate, that would be a VERY talented collection of strong-stuff relievers.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 17, 2018, 12:24:41 pm
We're a little over $30 million below the luxury tax threshold with only one starting rotation slot and the backup catcher position to fill.

Thanks, Jeff.  That seems to give plenty of space to add the priciest of the pitchers, AND still have some cushion for picking up a contract in July if needed. 

For lux purposes, they usually give signing bonus which pro-rates, right?  So even if they did sign Darvish, they could probably both give him a nice signing bonus but also have a relatively modest lux-tax hit for this year.  I almost wonder if they wouldn't prefer to structure it frontloaded.  Rather than "waste" some under-lux space this year, push as many cap dollars into this year as is practical.  (Not $30, of course, because they'll want to keep their July-contract-pickup cushion.) 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 17, 2018, 12:54:15 pm
Luxury tax is calucalted on AAV.  So a 5 year/$125 contract counts as $25 million even in you pay $100 million in the first year.  There must be some wording preventing longer contracts so you couldn't sing Darvish to 10 year/$160 million contract paying him peanuts at the end so he just retires.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 17, 2018, 12:59:22 pm
Thanks! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 17, 2018, 01:44:36 pm
Carrie Muskat makes the case for Kris Bryant batting leadoff. I thought this was a good idea last season.  Not only is he a high OBP guy, he's reportedly the fastest runner on the team, with good instincts. 

https://www.mlb.com/cubs/news/batting-bryant-leadoff-makes-sense-for-cubs/c-264778282

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on January 17, 2018, 01:47:25 pm
Carrie Muskat makes the case for Kris Bryant batting leadoff. I thought this was a good idea last season.  Not only is he a high OBP guy, he's reportedly the fastest runner on the team, with good instincts. 

https://www.mlb.com/cubs/news/batting-bryant-leadoff-makes-sense-for-cubs/c-264778282


Whatever change CreateAForum made recently isn't working as well as it should.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 17, 2018, 02:50:35 pm
http://www.bleachernation.com/2018/01/17/lukewarm-stove-giants-and-pirates-move-market-creative-yankees-offer-for-darvish-much-more/

So, speaking of the Yankees’ involvement in the Yu Darvish sweepstakes, Joel Sherman tries to get creative with a potential Yankees offer, which would pay Darvish $30M annually in his first two years in New York, with an opt-out thereafter, but keeps his AAV down by making the full deal six years and $120M, which could be just low enough to sneak under the luxury tax threshold in 2018. It assumes a lot about Darvish’s financial preferences (and multiple opt-outs always make things a bit more complicated), but according to the Commissioner’s Office and Players Association, this would not be against the rules. There would be a monetary “true-up” expense down the line, but it would count towards their 2020 payroll for luxury tax purposes, not 2018. If Darvish thinks he’ll still be rocking two years from now, this could be the way he maximizes his earnings. The Yankees would be taking on a TON of risk to do this, though.

Heywards contract has been structured the same way.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 17, 2018, 03:15:01 pm
So, speaking of the Yankees’ involvement in the Yu Darvish sweepstakes, Joel Sherman tries to get creative with a potential Yankees offer

Sherman and Heyman have really been working this offseason trying to find a way for the Yankees to sign Darvish. Both keep pushing the "Ellsbury could be traded" narrative even though no other team wants him (and he has a full no trade clause anyway). They're supposedly national writers (though Sherman does his writing for a NY based paper), but they can't help but act like Yankees beat writers half the time.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 17, 2018, 04:20:56 pm
Only reason I shared it was JH contract is front loaded to a smaller degree and just on the super small chance he opts opt.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 17, 2018, 05:23:23 pm
Can there really be any doubt of how much the Cubs can and will offer Darvish at this point?  The roster is pretty much set.  And we're literally almost running out of time before pitchers and catchers report.  Yu is clearly their first choice, but dragging this out much longer seems kind of pointless.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 17, 2018, 05:46:30 pm
Think how boring this offseason has been to fans of most other teams. As frustrating as it has been to wait for the Darvish/Cobb/Arrietta situation play out, at least the Cubs have otherwise been active. They've added Chatwood and three relievers (plus Smyly)--that probably puts them among the top five or so most active teams this offseason.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 17, 2018, 05:52:29 pm
No doubt, but that doesn't change the fact that the Darvish situation seems to be at a stalemate.  Might be time for an ultimatum. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 17, 2018, 06:02:20 pm
For all we know, there might have already been and ultimatum.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 17, 2018, 06:06:15 pm
If Maples, Edwards, Morrow, Strop, Grimm, and Wilson could all locate, that would be a VERY talented collection of strong-stuff relievers.

I know that since the days of the Nasty Boys in the Reds' bullpen in 1990 many people have wanted "strong-stuff relievers."

As a result the market inefficiency is almost certainly such that NON-power relievers with a decent track record of getting outs is almost certainly a better way to go.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 17, 2018, 06:09:06 pm
We still need a starter and a reliever.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 17, 2018, 06:12:18 pm
With Duensing signed, I can't imagine them adding another reliever at this point. What they have is what they'll go with.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on January 17, 2018, 06:31:59 pm
The schedule often has an impact on the mix between starters and relievers at the start of a season.

The Cubs begin with four games at Miami on March 29 - April 1, followed by two games in Cincinnati on April 2 - 3.  April 4 is the first off day followed by four games in Milwaukee on April 5-8.  April 9 is the home opener against Pittsburgh .  That means they six games, an off day, and five more games before the next off day.  Needing only four starters for a week or two doesn't happen this year.



https://www.mlb.com/cubs/schedule/2018-04
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: chgojhawk on January 17, 2018, 06:39:46 pm
The schedule often has an impact on the mix between starters and relievers at the start of a season.

The Cubs begin with four games at Miami on March 29 - April 1, followed by two games in Cincinnati on April 2 - 3.  April 4 is the first off day followed by four games in Milwaukee on April 5-8.  April 9 is the home opener against Pittsburgh .  That means they six games, an off day, and five more games before the next off day.  Needing only four starters for a week or two doesn't happen this year.



https://www.mlb.com/cubs/schedule/2018-04

Looks like 11-0 to start the season.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 17, 2018, 06:58:16 pm
So our pen was a weakness last year and we replaced two relievers with guys who arent as good as they were?

If they are done either we'll trade Ian Happ for one at the deadline or not have a very good year one.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 17, 2018, 07:26:56 pm
Cishek is better than Rondon but if money wasnt a factor I would take Davis over Morrow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 17, 2018, 07:32:26 pm
The Cubs bullpen wasn't a huge weakness--they were middle of the pack. Obviously as a World Series contending team, you want to be better than average. But I don't think they need as much help as you think. (By the way, Fangraphs has the 2018 Cubs projected as the 6th best bullpen in baseball right now by fWAR.)

Davis may have been more valuable overall than Morrow last year because Morrow started the season in the minors. But Morrow was the better pitcher once he joined the Dodgers. I'd take Morrow over Davis going forward no question, even with the injury risk.

Cishek is significantly better than the version of Rondon the Cubs have had since he hurt himself midseason 2016. It's probably unlikely that the 2014-2015 version of Rondon is coming back.

Don't forget about the addition of Wilson--that could be huge. If he returns to his Tigers form (and there's good reason to think he will, IMO), that's a huge difference between last year's pen and this year's pen.

I think the pitching coach change could be a bigger factor than we realize too. I think we may have overlooked some of Bosio's shortcomings over the years because of how much success he had with Arrieta. I get the impression that he's probably about as good as it gets when dealing with old school, bulldog types like Arrieta, Lester, and Lackey. And Hendricks has such a good idea of how to pitch that I don't think his pitching coach matters as much. But I wonder if other pitchers may be better off with a different type of coach. Specifically, the lack-of-command guys (Edwards, Wilson, Strop) could benefit from a different voice with (what I perceive will be) a more modern/analytical approach.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 17, 2018, 07:51:42 pm
This is same as br's, but since I'd already written it almost, thought I'd post it anyway.  I'm intrinsically a big optimist.  So while I know objectively that things might go wrong with the pen, I'm really hopeful that it will go well.  What are some scenarios for the pen to be excellent, better than last year overall (which wasn't bad) and way better than the post-season pen that sticks in memory (which was awful)?

1.  If Morrow is excellent.  If Davis to Morrow is not a significant fall, if any.  Morrow throws harder, so may be able to attack the strike zone with fastballs more aggressively than Davis. 
2.  Expect Cishek >> Rondon.  Rondon was bad last year.  Chance for a big improvement there.  And as a strike-thrower, may be less uncertainty about what you'll get on a given night. 
3.  Expect Wilson >> Wilson.  Wilson wasn't good last year, for us.  (to say the least).
4.  Expect Grimm > Grimm.  Grimm was horrific last year.  Given that he wasn't nearly so awful in previous Cubs years, either he'll be less bad, or else he'll be replaced. 
5.  Expect Maples >> Johnson/Florio/Frankoff.  The Iowa yo-yo's were really bad.  Maples might be somewhere well north on the antiawful continuum. 
6.  Edwards/Montgomery:  The October versions are in my head, Edwards unable to throw a strike; Montgomery 14H/9R in 4 innings.  But MM pitched more innings as starter than in relief, where he was a 2.49 ERA guy during season; think he's got a chance to be effective.  Perhaps more so if he's consistently used in relief? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 17, 2018, 08:30:16 pm
Looks like 11-0 to start the season.

Me thinks someone is doomed to disappointment.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 18, 2018, 01:12:26 pm
Expecting anything more than 10-1 is just plain silly.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 19, 2018, 10:22:26 am
Jerry Crasnick @jcrasnick
I asked an MLB executive what he expects on the free agent and trade markets from here. "My latest guess is a consistent trickle for the next few weeks, and then a mad rush the week before spring training,'' he said. That pretty much summarizes the offseason. #consistenttrickle


So another 2-3 weeks of next to nothing, then we finally get the activity we usually see at the Winter Meetings.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 19, 2018, 11:12:14 am
Its almost over.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 19, 2018, 11:27:16 am
This guy looks like quite an athlete, but I'm not sure why he chose baseball:

http://www.bleachernation.com/2018/01/19/cubs-reportedly-sign-outfielder-wynton-bernard-to-minor-league-contract/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 19, 2018, 12:54:46 pm
Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs is being too harsh on Hendricks in his chat today.

Bebop 10:29   
do you think the Cubs should prioritize signing Hendricks & Contreras to extensions?  i know the players have to be interested as well but those seem to be two players that are definite keepers based on position & skillset.

Jeff Sullivan 10:29
Not a whole lot of urgency with either and I can see how the Cubs might want to wait another year or so on Hendricks given how he lost so much more velocity. He's still effective today, but, for how much longer?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 19, 2018, 12:57:23 pm
The jury is still very much out on that, IMO.  That was a huge 1-year velocity drop for Hendricks, the only saving grace being that he partially recovered in the second half.  Where he is in 2018 is going to tell a lot.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 19, 2018, 01:48:55 pm
The Cubs control Hendricks through 2020 which will be his 31 year old season.  I'm pretty ok with letting him hit FA, just like Arrieta unless he wants to sign a team friendly deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: chgojhawk on January 19, 2018, 03:46:41 pm
The Cubs control Hendricks through 2020 which will be his 31 year old season.  I'm pretty ok with letting him hit FA, just like Arrieta unless he wants to sign a team friendly deal.

I will wager Hendricks doesn't get to that point as a Cub.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 19, 2018, 04:00:21 pm
I see Im not the only sceptical one here in regards to Hendricks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 19, 2018, 04:12:56 pm
I've been negative about my share of Cub players, so I have little room to talk, but when negative comments are made about a Cub without whom we wouldn't have been World Champions and Division winners, it makes me uncomfortable.  Hate to see Cubs worthy of our support become victims of guys wanting I Told You So's at some point so they could be the Smartest Guy in the Room. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 19, 2018, 04:41:41 pm
Some fans and writers have been insisting for four years that Hendricks doesn't throw hard enough to be a really good starting pitcher. Each year he has shown they were wrong (though he did have a sub-par year in 2015), they predict that his success won't last, because he doesn't throw hard enough.

Here is what he's done each of four years in the major leagues:

2014: 2.46 ERA, 154 ERA+, 1.083 WHIP, 2.9 WAR
2015: 3.95 ERA, 96 ERA+, 1.161 WHIP, 1.8 WAR
2016: 2.13 ERA (#1 in NL), 196 ERA+(#1 in NL), 0.979 WHIP, 5 WAR
2017: 3.03 ERA, 144 ERA+, 1.189 WHIP, 3.5 WAR

It remains to be seen how long Hendricks will remain to be one of the better starting pitchers in baseball (which by some measures I gather he has been the last couple of years).  But I do wonder what it will take for him to earn the respect he's earned with his actual performance.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 19, 2018, 05:19:06 pm
That conveniently ignores the fact that his average fastball dropped what, 2 MPH last season?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ray on January 19, 2018, 05:48:46 pm
Amazes me as well, Hendricks gets so little respect.  I fully expect to learn that what he did last off-season doesn't work and not repeat the mistake.  I think it's fairly well known they changed up off-season stuff.

I can't wait till his age 34 season when he finally sucks and the I told you he wouldn't hold up long-terms come out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 19, 2018, 05:52:47 pm
Worrying that Hendricks may backslide isn't the same thing as hoping it happens.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: chgojhawk on January 19, 2018, 06:00:44 pm
I've been negative about my share of Cub players, so I have little room to talk, but when negative comments are made about a Cub without whom we wouldn't have been World Champions and Division winners, it makes me uncomfortable.  Hate to see Cubs worthy of our support become victims of guys wanting I Told You So's at some point so they could be the Smartest Guy in the Room.

I'm not sure if this was directed at me (in whole or in part) but I am far from negative relative to Hendricks.  I am a huge fan.  Probably as much or more so than most.  I have simply been given reason to believe that the Theocracy and Madden don't feel as strongly as I do.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ben on January 19, 2018, 06:02:20 pm
Upon his return at the end of July until season end, Hendricks steadily improved toward the level of his 2016 brilliance.

After his return, he returned to TORP numbers: a 2.19 ERA (3.38 FIP), 1.18 WHIP, an increased K/9 (8.3) and decreased BB/9 (2.2), with a hard contact rate (25.7%).   His velo crept back up until he was once again averaging roughly 87MPH by his last few starts...no doubt a factor in his 2nd-half resurgence.   Kyle was brilliant in Game One vs the Nats (7IP, 2 hits as I recall).

Hopefully, the velo dip was "hangover" from our extended WS run in 2016.  I'm sure as hell glad we have him and certainly hope his velo stays around 87.  He's a super smart player, a great teammate and he's been one helluva pitcher for us.   

However, IF his velo doesn't stay up around 87, I'd guess he's still a decent candidate to continue to be a good major league pitcher...he sets up hitters extraordinarily well, fields his position with the best and, most importantly, he's been beating the odds for SO damned long!! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 19, 2018, 06:03:42 pm
It remains to be seen how long Hendricks will remain to be one of the better starting pitchers in baseball (which by some measures I gather he has been the last couple of years).  But I do wonder what it will take for him to earn the respect he's earned with his actual performance.

I don't think there is anyone here who is not giving him the respect for his performance to this point in his career. He's been great. Clearly one of the 20-25 best starters in baseball over the last 3-4 years.

I think things are being interpreted as knocks on Hendricks when they're not intended that way. An expressed concern that Hendricks has a risky future or a compliment of another player (specifically, I was placed in the "Hendricks doubters" category last week partially because I said Quintana is a better pitcher) is not disrespecting Hendricks' accomplishments. It almost seems that some Cubs fans are starting to develop the same kind of relationship with Hendricks that Cardinals fans have with Molina (on a much smaller scale, of course).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: DelMarFan on January 19, 2018, 06:35:10 pm
Quote
Clearly one of the 20-25 best starters in baseball over the last 3-4 years

Number 12 according to Bill James, but what does he know.

Quote
http://www.billjamesonline.com/polls_ratings/starting_pitcher_rankings/

Any pitcher can regress, flame out, or get hurt. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 19, 2018, 06:39:17 pm
If Hendricks is as good at his position as Molina has been at his position, for as long as Molina has been, I will be greatly satisfied, and will go to his HOF induction.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 19, 2018, 07:15:57 pm
I remember when this board didn’t think Hendricks could be a fifth starter or go more than 5 innings. I’ve liked Hendricks for a long time. Being worried about how he ages isn’t the same thing as disliking him. It isn’t a velocity.

This isn’t a velocity issue either. I didn’t want to sign Arrieta either because the Cubs got what are likely to be his best years in arbritratio.  The same goes for Hendricks.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 19, 2018, 07:27:23 pm
My post wasn't aimed at any one poster.  And I wasn't complaining about noting his decline in velocity.  Glad so many of you are his supporters, but some of the negativity sometimes comes across almost as glee.  It's probably just me.  I apologize.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 19, 2018, 08:46:47 pm
It remains to be seen how long Hendricks will remain to be one of the better starting pitchers in baseball (which by some measures I gather he has been the last couple of years).  But I do wonder what it will take for him to earn the respect he's earned with his actual performance.

Either a 95 MPH fastball, or more brighter fans.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 21, 2018, 03:26:26 pm
It sounds like Cashman took the Yankees out of the mix for Darvish, though it could be a negotiating ploy. If it really is down to the Cubs and Twins you’d have to think we have a pretty good chance.

I wonder if we might actually have more competition for Cobb than Yu, since he fits realistically into the financial picture for more teams.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 21, 2018, 07:23:00 pm
Now the Brewers have reportedly made an offer (seemingly confirmed by Yu himself), though how serious it is who can say.  That would be kind of a worst-case scenario for the Cubs.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 21, 2018, 08:28:41 pm
Darvish just responded to the Brewers offer with an emoji, which could've been interpreted different ways. But this probably confirms a Brewers offer:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal
Source confirms: #Brewers have made offer to Darvish. First reported: Yahoo Japan.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 21, 2018, 10:30:13 pm
Darvish is an interesting fellow...
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 21, 2018, 11:02:54 pm
Darvish is an interesting fellow...

As in "tease?"
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 21, 2018, 11:39:49 pm
As in "tease?"

Well, more just generally quirky and mischievous, I would say.  He seems to enjoy messing with people a little bit.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 22, 2018, 12:14:32 pm
I would rather have Darvish on the Brewers than the Dodgers. 

The Brewers had pretty much everything go right for them and a number of Cubs underperformed.  With that the Brewers still finished 6 games back. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 22, 2018, 12:19:49 pm
I'm finding it hard to believe that the Brewers can offer more than Texas, the Twinkies, or the Cubs.  Of the Dodgers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 22, 2018, 12:28:44 pm
The Brewers payroll is pretty low so they could fit in a large contract and the same goes for the Twins.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 22, 2018, 12:29:30 pm
I've mentioned this before, but I don't understand why St. Louis, which had enough $$$ to acquire Stanton, and has Lynn coming off their rotation + books, wouldn't be making offers to these pitchers who are supposedly either getting no offers at all or only getting sub-market offers from Yankees/Dodgers/Houston/Texas; and who are presumably getting only below-market offers from the Cubs.  Unless Cardinals scouting doesn't like any of the starters, why wouldn't they at least be making offers? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 22, 2018, 12:43:07 pm
My smart a$$ answer is that even signing Darvish doesn't close the gap with the Cubs and that their closer situation is a bigger need.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 22, 2018, 12:52:26 pm
Craig, down here, the rumor mill is heavy that the Cardinals are IN on Arrieta.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 22, 2018, 01:04:55 pm
Thanks, Curt.  They've certainly got to have the $$ for one of these guys.  I think it's part of a national media thing, don't seem to pick up on Cardinals rumors as much as some of the other teams.  But that doesn't mean Cardinals GM isn't as active or smart as the next guy. 

O well, still over 3 weeks till pitchers and catchers report, so no rush for any of the agents to jump yet. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Playtwo on January 22, 2018, 01:19:24 pm
I'm perfectly fine with the Cards getting Arrieta and us getting Darvish.  Or vice versa.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 22, 2018, 04:37:33 pm
 Jerry Crasnick

@jcrasnick

Yu Darvish has at least one five-year offer on the table, according to a source, but nothing yet has enticed him to take the plunge. It's uncertain if the years or the $$ are the hangup -- or both. #Cubs, #Twins, #Rangers, #Dodgers, #Brewers are all believed to be in the mix.
11:42 AM - Jan 22, 2018
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 22, 2018, 06:43:51 pm
Chris Cotillo just tweeted that Chris Gimenez signed a minor league deal with the Cubs, and that Gimenez is close with Darvish (both played for the Rangers). Hopefully this is like the Lester/Ross package deal.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 22, 2018, 06:55:41 pm
Interesting story given Gimenez’s Darvish connection. They’ve been talking this offseason, and Darvish isn’t a big fan of rules around the clubhouse (seems to be a perfect fit for Maddon).

https://www.twincities.com/2017/12/12/relationship-with-twins-gm-thad-levine-could-be-game-changer-for-yu-darvish/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 22, 2018, 07:24:56 pm
That might be a good sign.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: PRCubFan on January 22, 2018, 07:37:56 pm
According to Gimenez himself in this story about the signing, he spoke early in the offseason with Darvish about trying to be a package deal, but they haven't really talked in a while. Gimenez had worked with Maddon in Tampa and probably sees a chance to make the team since other than Caratini, there is no backup right now. Unless Darvish told the Cubs to sign him for him to sign, doesn't sound like a package deal. We'll see. 

https://www.twincities.com/2018/01/22/chris-gimenez-signs-with-chicago-cubs-is-yu-darvish-next/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 22, 2018, 07:38:12 pm
That might be a good sign.
cool.  Double meaning.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 22, 2018, 10:36:00 pm
Pass the salt, but...
Quote



AP Source: Cubs Having Active Talks With RHP Yu Darvish
By The Associated Press


Jan. 22, 2018
CHICAGO — A person with direct knowledge of the discussions says the Chicago Cubs are having active talks with free-agent pitcher Yu Darvish.


The 31-year-old Darvish is one of the top remaining players available in a slow-moving market this winter. He finished last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, helping them reach the World Series.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 22, 2018, 10:41:17 pm
Fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 22, 2018, 10:59:53 pm
Talk to me about Tommy John.

Didnt he already have it?

How long does it hold up?

Im being serious.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 22, 2018, 11:12:18 pm
Anywhere from one year to forever.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 22, 2018, 11:14:19 pm
TJ surgery has gotten better and better.  Most pitchers totally recover.  Now and then some don't, but Darvish has had a full year on his new elbow.  Most pitchers continue to get better.  Now and then a pitcher has a reoccurence but while a consideration, it is thought that a successful surgery means the odds of another TJS is the same as any other pitcher.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 22, 2018, 11:24:17 pm
His velocity is as good or better than ever, for what it's worth.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 22, 2018, 11:25:57 pm
My spidey senses are tingling.  The Gimenez thing doesn't feel like a coincidence.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 22, 2018, 11:31:32 pm
Chicago Tribune


@chicagotribune
 4m4 minutes ago
More
A person with direct knowledge of the discussions says the Cubs are having active talks with free-agent pitcher Yu Darvish http://trib.in/2Dz4N8s
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 22, 2018, 11:41:18 pm
Well then.

Better than Cobb or Arrieta.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 22, 2018, 11:44:13 pm
7 years is what I’ve seen quoted for TJS. Some last longer, some shorter. If you are talking about a 5 year deal that would but him at 7 years. The velocity and stuff being back is the big thing for him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on January 23, 2018, 12:06:05 pm
This has to be some good news . . .

Quote
Yu Darvish - S - Dodgers

Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press was told by a club official who has been in contact with the Twins front office that it's doubtful the team will be able to sign Yu Darvish.

Darvish's market appears to finally be heating up, which could take the Twins out of the running. "They aren’t giving him $150 million," the club official told Berardino. It's probably a stretch to expect Darvish to receive a $150 million deal, but the bidding could still go higher than what the Twins have in mind. It was reported Monday that the Cubs are having "active talks" with Darvish, but teams like the Brewers, Dodgers, Yankees, and Rangers are also in the mix here. The Twins have an obvious need for a starter, but they might have to pivot to a second-tier name like Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 23, 2018, 06:54:48 pm
I’m only posting this because the offseason is so brutally slow, so take it with several thousand grains of salt...but apparently, a Brewerfan.net poster who apparently had the Lucroy trade early a couple years ago (among other smaller deals) says the Cubs have Darvish.

http://forum.brewerfan.net/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=36301&start=160

I’m very skeptical, but it’s something. Seems like if some random forum poster knows something, Rosenthal or someone should break it soon.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 23, 2018, 07:04:41 pm
I will say Darvish has been pretty active on twitter when rumors pop up to either confirm or deny them, but he’s been radio silent on this.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 23, 2018, 07:07:19 pm
I'm all about the Fox Mulder thing on this but...  Why would the Brewers be the first to know Darvish was signing with the Cubs?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 23, 2018, 07:09:48 pm
If it takes 5/125, I'm there - reluctantly.  That's probably the cutoff for me.  No 6th unless it's a club option with a small buyout or an almost impossible vest.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 23, 2018, 07:15:07 pm
I'm all about the Fox Mulder thing on this but...  Why would the Brewers be the first to know Darvish was signing with the Cubs?

There was a Darvish/Brewers rumor yesterday, so I guess that’s the connection.

It’s probably nothing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 23, 2018, 07:20:54 pm
There was a Darvish/Brewers rumor yesterday, so I guess that’s the connection.

It’s probably nothing.

I get that, but I still don't see why they (and thus someone connected to them) would know before anybody connected to the Cubs.

If I were a poser trying to sound like an insider, saying "Darvish to the Cubs" is a decent bet.  Seems like the most likely place where he'd end up.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 23, 2018, 07:23:47 pm
Mooney just published a story speculative Darvish to the Cubs piece on the Athletic that has no real info in it.

I could see Darvish’s agent telling the Brewers we have x from the Cubs, do you want to beat it or he’s going there.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 23, 2018, 07:27:49 pm
I can't imagine why someone connected to the Brewers would know who Darvish was going to sign with (other than the Brewers, perhaps).

But it isn't unusual for the Cubs Front Office to keep pretty strong radio silence on large deals.  I never heard any rumors about the Fowler signing before it was announced, nor had I heard anything about getting Russell from Oakland.  Most accurate Cubs rumors seem to come from the prospective free agent or from the potential trading partner, rather than from a Cub source.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 23, 2018, 07:28:16 pm
Yeah, but he obviously seems to have fooled that forum in the past...so he seems to be smart enough to say something like “Darvish and Cubs have momentum” instead of “Darvish to Cubs” if he wants to keep the scam going. Still gets credit with the first statement while leaving an out.

Just playing devil’s advocate, you’re probably right.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 24, 2018, 07:43:24 am
...a Brewerfan.net poster who apparently had the Lucroy trade early a couple years ago (among other smaller deals) says the Cubs have Darvish.....   I’m very skeptical, but it’s something. Seems like if some random forum poster knows something, Rosenthal or someone should break it soon.

Thanks for rumor, br.  Always fun.  We'll see what happens.  Still 3 weeks till pitchers and catchers report, so still plenty of time. 

And you never know, sometimes smoke/fire.  This would be a rumor from Brewers side, to go with a rumor from Twins side, that those teams might think they are out.  Could imagine a deal where Cubs are in active talks, and have upped an offer; agent tells Twins and Brewers that Cubs are at $125/5, so get me your better/best offer or else I don't have time to be talking and texting and emailing about this, I've got Cubs discussions to focus on.  If the Twins and Brewers realize they aren't going to match or beat that, maybe then they leak to a reporter or mention it to a friend that they're out.  Of course, could also easily imagine an agent bluffing; maybe he's telling there's a $125/5 offer to bluff up their bids, when in reality there is no such actual bid from Cubs or anybody else?  Who knows for now. 

Kind of fun.  Heh heh, whenever I check bleacher bums, I'm always kinda hoping there's something new in Cubs in '18; maybe something has happened! 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: wmljohn on January 24, 2018, 07:57:31 am
I’m only posting this because the offseason is so brutally slow, so take it with several thousand grains of salt...but apparently, a Brewerfan.net poster who apparently had the Lucroy trade early a couple years ago (among other smaller deals) says the Cubs have Darvish.

http://forum.brewerfan.net/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=36301&start=160

I’m very skeptical, but it’s something. Seems like if some random forum poster knows something, Rosenthal or someone should break it soon.

I wonder if there is ever a post on another teams board quoting one of our posters on something?  That would be funny and cool to read.  :)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 24, 2018, 09:46:59 am
If we get other teams reposting Jes doesn't that count as industrial sabotage?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 24, 2018, 10:30:46 am
Jon Morosi @jonmorosi
Source: Yu Darvish is increasingly likely to sign with an @MLB team this week. #Twins are among the teams with whom he is engaged in ongoing discussions. @MLBNetwork
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 24, 2018, 06:41:43 pm
Deeg, would you please get the Dervish deal done.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 24, 2018, 08:02:30 pm
Let me make a call.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 24, 2018, 08:48:13 pm
The Cubs were supposedly marginally interested, so I guess it's interesting that this market may be moving too.

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
lorenzo cain has begun informing some teams they are out of consideration. unclear exactly how close he is to a final call, though, as he's believed to be weighing a variety of offers.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 24, 2018, 08:52:58 pm
Let me make a call.

I thought you said yesterday you didn't want him anymore, if he's beyond $125/5?  Think pretty fair chance the Twins, and maybe Brewers or Cardinals too, might be willing to beat that....
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on January 24, 2018, 08:56:51 pm
I saw a poster on the Twins board say Deeg can keep this one under 5/$125.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 24, 2018, 09:17:31 pm
Even if they were interested in Cain, the Cubs probably weren't in at this level.

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
lorenzo cain is believed to have received several 4-year offers at this point. unclear exactly when his call is coming though he has narrowed the field.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 24, 2018, 09:59:34 pm
I'll get him here for 5-125.  Word is he likes deep dish rather than lutefisk.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 25, 2018, 01:05:05 am
I'll get him here for 5-125.  Word is he likes deep dish rather than lutefisk.


mmmmmmmm lutefisk
                            (https://i2.wp.com/jenieats.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/IMG_3239.jpg?fit=676%2C507)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 25, 2018, 07:50:03 am
Some dork at ESPN is ranking the Twins and Brewers ahead of the Cubs in the Darvish sweepstakes.  Deeg must not have made his call yet.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 25, 2018, 08:14:16 am
Bleacher Nation tweeted that the Cubs had a large move on WS odds on off shore beating markets for no news....
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 25, 2018, 10:12:42 am
I'm working the phones. Bluefin tuna are changing hands.  I expect an announcement around midday tomorrow.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 25, 2018, 11:02:46 am
Jon Greenburg has an interesting article on The Athletic from his fairly extensive interview with Theo.

https://theathletic.com/221674/2018/01/25/theo-epsteins-almanac-a-fallow-winter-could-still-lead-to-a-prosperous-spring-and-summer-for-the-cubs/

Here are a couple of excerpts:

On the Cubs' closer situation and why the Cubs generally limit using their "closer" in the 9th inning.

And yes, the Cubs are done looking for a closer. Cishek and Carl Edwards Jr. are the backups at that spot, if necessary.

“When we signed [Morrow], we told him, in our minds, he was our closer unless somehow, we were able to bring back Wade Davis,” Epstein said. “It’s the best role for him.”

Like Davis last year, the Cubs plan on using Morrow exclusively in the ninth inning or later. (Davis entered with two outs in the eighth one time in the regular season, on Sept. 15.) If you're the kind of person who argues about old-school baseball vs. new-school analytics, Epstein explains how tradition wins out in how the Cubs still relate to closers.

“With Wade going exclusively in the ninth, that structure allowed him to stay healthy and thrive,” Epstein said. “That should serve Morrow well also. This is one of the areas where optimal analytical usage butts against reality. The best way to play someone like Morrow is matching up against different parts of the order in different innings. That’s where you can get the greatest impact from a shutdown guy. But in reality, using him the way we used Davis should allow him to thrive over what we expect is a seven-month season. I’ll take suboptimal usage on a nightly basis for a better chance to stay healthy over the course of seven months.”

On Duensing completing the Cubs' bullpen for 2018.[

“We were really happy in the end that we were able to bring Duensing back,” Epstein said. “We made a strong run at him early in the offseason and it didn’t look like it would work out. But he made a tough decision to leave a little more money to come back and be happy with us. That really completed our bullpen moves.”

On Theo's apparent openess to trading young core player(s) for pitching.

“I wasn’t going to rush into anything, but it was something we were open to,” he said. “We have two extra starting-caliber position players on any given night and we were going into the offseason short on pitching. If it was something we weren’t open to, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs. We explored a lot of a different possibilities, but in the end there just wasn’t a deal available that would give us a fair return back. We didn’t want to take less talent or control just to add a pitching prospect. Balancing the roster wasn’t that fundamental to make a bad deal happen.”

The reality is Russell and Schwarber, to name two tradable players, had uneven seasons that suppressed their value. Given their age and contracts — not to mention the Cubs’ payroll space — there’s no reason to sell low.

But there’s more to it than negativity, Epstein said.

“Our position player core is a big part of identity and we really believe in them,” he said. “It’s not a coincidence the Royals, us and the Astros all developed a position player core that came up together, went through adversity together, learned to win at the big league level, lost in the postseason and then came back in the postseason to win a championship.

“Trading away too much of the core would have chipped away at that identity a little bit and left us in a weaker position because these guys are a big part of who we are. Building around them and making the pitching work from year to year makes sense for us.”

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 25, 2018, 12:00:47 pm
https://www.fangraphs.com/tht/tht-annual-2018/batting-practice-is-probably-a-waste-of-everyones-time/
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 25, 2018, 12:45:05 pm
Thanks, Ron, interesting, and sensible. 

I think I agree re closer, in part but not in full.  Having a defined closer structures life for him, the other relievers, and the manager.  That's maybe helpful.  And I agree it protects the closer from getting overworked. 

But I do think it runs the risk of overly irregular usage.  For others, Maddon/Hickey can set up usage habits that protects against over-use.  But can also decide how to keep them from getting rusty. 

I don't think save situations necessarily schedule themselves rightly.  Thought there were stretches last year when Davis pitched so little that he got rusty.  Then suddenly he'd be going back-to-back-to-back.  Think it's better to avoid weeks without at least two appearances, while likewise limiting weeks with as many as four. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 25, 2018, 02:23:48 pm
There is no reason why the Cubs could not adhere to a schedule like that.  In the rare situations where a closer could (should) be used 4 games in a row, they would not lose much to insert Edwards or Cishek could be used once without losing much effectiveness.  The most difficult part would probably using the closer in a non-closing role.  I don't know about Morrow, but it seems to me that most closers perform badly when placed in non-closing games.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 25, 2018, 04:23:20 pm
Am I the only one here who is strongly confident that we'll add one of the big 3 [Darvish,Arietta,Cobb]?

I'd even go as far as to say Ill be surprised if we dont sign Darvish.

My order of preference would go Darvish,Arietta,Cobb BTW.

I'd love to find a leadoff option for cheap too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 25, 2018, 04:34:30 pm
On St. Louis ESPN this morning they had a baseball writer on who had an interesting perspective on the free agent market this winter.  He said that a third of the teams have no hope so why spend money on players none of whom would turn a franchise around by themselves, one third are so dominant they don't really need any of these players at the price they are currently demanding, and the middle third can't afford to spend the kind of money being demanded for the "chance" of getting better.  He said it's not collusion, it's common sense.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 25, 2018, 05:25:14 pm
Completion of Yelich trade to Milwaukee certainly does nothing to undermine the credibility of the supposed Brewers insider.  Claimed the Cubs were going to sign Darvish, and the Brewers were 95% probably going to trade for Yelich. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 25, 2018, 05:34:35 pm
...one third are so dominant they don't really need any of these players at the price they are currently demanding...

Not sure how absurd the demand prices may be, and how prohibitive.

But in a world where only two teams make the World Series and only one wins, there's still plenty of competitive drive for teams like the Cubs to get better. 

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Tuffy on January 25, 2018, 07:15:42 pm
Brew Crew getting Yelich is great news for us with Darvish.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 25, 2018, 11:14:38 pm
FWIW another board's "insider" Marlin Bystro (who has demonstrably been right several times in the past) is betting on Darvish to the Cubs.  Though to his credit he admits his sources aren't as highly-placed as they used to be.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 25, 2018, 11:30:16 pm
His source (or more likely, his source's source) is with the Diamondbacks now.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 26, 2018, 09:52:10 am
I knew losing Jason Parks would suck... ;)

I think there is an industry consensus building that the Cubs will get Darvish, but it could certainly end up being wrong.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 26, 2018, 09:59:37 am
I got too excited thinking we had Ohtani to get too excited this time.  SHOW ME THE SIGNED CONTRACT!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 26, 2018, 10:49:27 am
High Heat predicts 2 trades for the Brewers, but he is going ice fishing and expects a Santana trade soon, possibly today.

Just for fun I looked up the rosters for the Brewers and Cubs. 

The "rebuilding" Brewers will feature a line up with 4 position player starters over 30 and only younger than Cubs at 1 position.  I'm counting Zobrist as a utility guy or it would be 2.  When Zobrist doesn't start the Cubs will have 0 position players over 30.

The Brewers pitching is younger, but the Cubs only have 1 starter currently over 30 in the rotation in Lester.

Looking at the farm systems using Fangraphs rankings.

The Brewers have 1 position prospect with 55 grade, and 3 with a 50 grade.  The have 2 55 pitchers and 1 50 pitcher. 

The Cubs currently have 1 50 grade SS in Aldeman and 1 50 grade pitcher in Alzolay.  The thing is Dela Cruz, Alzolat, Aldeman, Albertos, Little and Lange could all bust out this year and have much higher grades.

But what does that mean in projections?  The Brewers have 3 prospects projecting to 2.5 WAR/season.  Are they really rebuilding?  Is there window of competition really longer than the Cubs?  Brewers fans really seem to think so, but I just can't see it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 26, 2018, 11:02:26 am
Sharma on the Brewers and Cubs.


https://theathletic.com/222873/2018/01/26/how-the-cubs-will-or-wont-react-to-the-brewers-big-moves/ (https://theathletic.com/222873/2018/01/26/how-the-cubs-will-or-wont-react-to-the-brewers-big-moves/)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 26, 2018, 01:12:26 pm
Blue, in my brain Josh Hader seems key for Brewers.  He seemed overpowering in relief, fabulous.  **IF** he was to transition into rotation, and was able to sustain that level of dominance over 6 innings every 5th day, the Brewers might be very good.   But if Hader ends up being a setup reliever and perhaps not much better than Strop, it will be lots harder for them.

Agree, it's not that young a team, they're trying to compete now.  With Yelich and Braun, and now Cain, they've got some really good players.  We'll see. 

The Cubs being younger is meant to allow getting better.  We'll see whether younger guys improve much.  Having come up early, and now with multiple years of experience already, it remains to be seen whether their youth will lead guys like Javy, Russell, Schwarber, and Almora to improve significantly.  Hoping so.   
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 26, 2018, 02:04:21 pm
I don't mean to say the the Brewers are bad, they are a nice team.  The Brewers message board just seems to think that 2020 on the Brewers are just better positioned than the Cubs and I really struggle to see how that is the case. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 26, 2018, 06:07:46 pm
Cubs signed this guy to a minor league deal:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=roth--002mic
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 26, 2018, 06:45:26 pm
I was going to make a joke about Jes liking because I remembered him throwing 84 at one point, but his velocity last year was up to 90. He has largely been a not great starter, but I wonder if he might make an interesting reliever conversion.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 26, 2018, 10:11:37 pm
MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM‏ @MLBNetworkRadio
@ChrisGimenez5 says he has talked to Yu Darvish (@faridyu) "probably 10 or 12" times since signing, but concedes he "has nothing to do" with where Darvish signs.


You can listen to the full sound clip here: https://twitter.com/MLBNetworkRadio/status/957078799883128832
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 26, 2018, 10:22:43 pm
If Darvish signs elsewhere, I hope Gimenez enjoys his summer with the Granite City River Rats.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 26, 2018, 11:46:37 pm
MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM‏ @MLBNetworkRadio
@ChrisGimenez5 says he has talked to Yu Darvish (@faridyu) "probably 10 or 12" times since signing, but concedes he "has nothing to do" with where Darvish signs.


You can listen to the full sound clip here: https://twitter.com/MLBNetworkRadio/status/957078799883128832

Yes, I'm quite sure the subject never came up, nope...

Gimenez also said "Of course if he wants to sign here I'm not going to say no."
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 27, 2018, 12:06:59 pm
Jerry Crasnick @jcrasnick
Not sure how close Yu Darvish is to a decision, but the field appears to be narrowing. Some execs think #Cubs are still the frontrunner. The rest of the starting market is waiting for him to make a call.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 27, 2018, 12:39:11 pm
Would be fun to have a blow-by-blow knowledge of how a process like this goes.  Cubs have pretty much made best offer, and are just waiting for Darvish to take it or leave it?  Agent is just holding out in hopes that some other team steps in and ups their offer, or that Cubs will get nervous and raise theirs?  First five years are pretty well agreed upon, and they are just haggling over how the non-guaranteed 6th year will look, in terms of how much the Cubs would need to pay to buy it out, and how many innings Yu will need to vest it?  For example, Cubs want a modest $2M buyout, with 350 innings over previous seasons to vest; agent is asking for $6M buyout and only 200/2 innings/years to vest? 

Or, maybe somebody else has a better dollar offer in, but Yu would rather go to Cubs?  Maybe agent is waiting to give Cubs a chance to boost there offer and make it at least more competitive before agent and Yu make decision? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 27, 2018, 12:48:47 pm
I think your last scenario is most likely to be correct.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 27, 2018, 01:31:07 pm
I'm beginning to lose confidence in Deeg and his telephone technique.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on January 27, 2018, 01:37:33 pm
I’m sure not just the agent is waiting to get every dollar he can, but the player’s association as well.  The MLBPA puts a lot of pressure on players to get the best deal they can, and I’m sure there’s even more pressure given how slow the market has been this year.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 27, 2018, 07:34:36 pm
Heh, someone tweeted a fake ESPN reporter ("Mike Timmons") said on the radio the Cubs were "out" on Darvish, and it turned into a minor hurricane of panic. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 27, 2018, 08:17:30 pm
Would be fun to have a blow-by-blow knowledge of how a process like this goes.  Cubs have pretty much made best offer, and are just waiting for Darvish to take it or leave it?

Think of how different this is than it was in 2006 when Hendry was determined to sign Soriano, and to do so quickly so he ended up having the Cubs bid against themselves.

I get the feeling some of the impatient posters here would sort of like the Cubs to do that again, and I suspect that the fans who want to see their teams do that are later among the first ones to complain about the inevitable later year albatross contracts the teams end up stuck with.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Bennett on January 28, 2018, 08:57:52 am
Judge and Stanton bat back-to-back? Who cleans up in Boston? Answering baseball's five biggest lineup questions

1. Where does Boone place Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the Yankees' lineup?
2. Who will hit second for the Giants?
3. Where does Mike Trout bat in the Angels’ lineup?
4. Who will bat cleanup for the Red Sox?
5. Who hits leadoff for the Cubs?


Olney goes on to speculate about what the next collective bargaining talks will be like in light of the current free-agent situation..

http://www.espn.com/blog/buster-olney/insider/post/_/id/18113/judge-and-stanton-back-to-back-who-cleans-up-in-boston-answering-baseballs-five-biggest-lineup-questions
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 28, 2018, 11:15:57 am
Jim Hendry was on an airplane when Soriano was signed.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 28, 2018, 11:41:10 am
So he was high?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 28, 2018, 05:56:43 pm
.....Olney goes on to speculate about what the next collective bargaining talks will be like in light of the current free-agent situation..

http://www.espn.com/blog/buster-olney/insider/post/_/id/18113/judge-and-stanton-back-to-back-who-cleans-up-in-boston-answering-baseballs-five-biggest-lineup-questions

Interesting to talk about working towards a spending floor.  Trying make the tax less impacting would help the union.

Not sure I really see the problem with the current off-season.  Sure, it's different than before.  But, there aren't many studs, (none, really), and two of the main four guys remaining are Boras boys (Arrieta and Martinez.)  Boras often pushes deals really late.  (Scherzer, Maddux, heh heh Brownlie, etc., just thinking of Cub deals....). He's often gotten teams to bid up against themselves just by waiting longer, even when there was nobody else bidding high enough to force those bid-ups. 

Back at the start of November, there were multiple articles in which guys would rank the FA's and project their deals, often with input from an agent or front-office sources.  Remember when there were several suggesting $48/4 for Cobb, and we were thinking those sounded pretty reasonable?  To date, with one or two exceptions almost all of the deals that have been signed have come in as high or usually much higher than the projections.  I don't see any indication of price-fixing or collusion based on the deals in. 

If Arrieta/Boras expected $200, I think that might be unrealistic expectations by players more than collusion by clubs. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 28, 2018, 06:06:34 pm
Part of the problem is the CBA encourages tanking. So being a mildly competitive team keeps you from getting amateur talent that you need. Teams giving large, long contracts to older players will likely continue to be rare since old school GM’s are mostly gone from the game and owners are less likely to listen to Boros and spend big. The players should get rid of arbitration and move FA up earlier and get rid of teams incentives to play around with service time. Reworking the draft caps would be helpful too.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 28, 2018, 07:04:24 pm
Has Deeg gotten Darvish signed yet?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 28, 2018, 08:13:06 pm
I'm not sure the status quo, with median payroll of $140M, and as many teams over $190 as are under $90, is all that crummy for the union.  Not sure the majority of the union is going to want to strike over that? 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 28, 2018, 08:33:06 pm
The MLB players % of total revenue is falling.  MLB likes to use net income to calculate player % and other leagues use some form of revenue.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 28, 2018, 09:37:40 pm
I had him ready to sign, but he was worried that the comments here might get too nasty if he has a bad game and now he's back on the fence.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 28, 2018, 10:41:19 pm
Heyman had a really say-nothing tweet about the Cubs earlier today.

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
folks are now expecting darvish deal may go down this week. they've also seen cubs as the favorite. but other teams have been involved.


Translation: Darvish might sign this week, but he might not. The Cubs may be the favorite, but someone else may be the favorite.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 28, 2018, 10:42:47 pm
I had him ready to sign, but he was worried that the comments here might get too nasty if he has a bad game and now he's back on the fence.
Yeah, Ron can be pretty brutal.  (Let's see if he thinks THAT is funny.)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 28, 2018, 10:43:34 pm
Heyman had a really say-nothing tweet about the Cubs earlier today.

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
folks are now expecting darvish deal may go down this week. they've also seen cubs as the favorite. but other teams have been involved.


Translation: Darvish might sign this week, but he might not. The Cubs may be the favorite, but someone else may be the favorite.
My wife can predict whether a pregnant mother is going to have a boy or a girl.  She's remarkably right 50% of the time!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 28, 2018, 10:49:56 pm
Couldn't he just put Craig on ignore?  Of course, that didn't work for poor Nic Jackson.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 29, 2018, 07:56:48 am
http://www.espn.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/46358/if-you-think-the-cubs-havent-made-a-big-addition-this-offseason-chili-davis-will-prove-you-wrong
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on January 29, 2018, 09:46:59 am
If Darvish isn't tough enough to withstand Beerfan asking if he's been released yet or JBN comparing him to a bag of horse p iss or Kevin Orie, he's probably better off going to Minnesota anyway. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 29, 2018, 03:11:07 pm
Latest report (credible, LA Times) is that Darvish wants to return to LA and is waiting to see if the Dodgers can move enough salary to make him a competitive offer. If so, he really has no incentive to hurry since the market is pretty much waiting on him. It’s entirely possible we couldn’t sign Cobb now even if we wanted, as he and Jake may not sign before Darvish does and sets the market.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 29, 2018, 03:12:16 pm
Rangers reporter is now saying the same thing about Darvish and the Rangers.  This off season blows.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 29, 2018, 03:21:47 pm
Seems a little strange that beat writers for two teams basically report the same thing at the same time about their team. Could be Darvish/his agent leaking information that's not necessarily true.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Robb on January 29, 2018, 03:25:09 pm
Here are the reports:
Andy McCullough of the LA Times that Darvish is waiting for the Dodgers to shed money:

Link: My understanding is that Yu Darvish has made clear he would like to return to the Dodgers, and part of the delay in his free agency is related to waiting to see if the team can move some of the money. The Dodgers have explored scenarios for moving useful but (theoretically) extraneous assets such as Yasmani Grandal, Logan Forsythe and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Given the fact that those players are still Dodgers and Darvish is still a free agent, you can guess how the market has reacted to this gambit by the front office.


T.R. Sullivan (Rangers beat reporter) for MLB.com saying all signs are pointing to Darvish wanting to return to Texas:

Link: It seems obvious -- reading all the signs -- that Darvish wants to return to the Rangers. The problem is the Rangers keep saying that it is "unlikely" that they'll be active at the top of the free-agent pitching market. Certainly the term "unlikely" leaves wiggle room, and the tedious dance continues with Rangers fans left tantalized by the wait.

Despite all other factors being tossed about, Darvish could be the one keeping the free-agent market from moving. He is the top starting pitcher on the market, and those guys usually sign in November. If Darvish were to sign, it could break the inertia. But he may be waiting to see if the Rangers blink first.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 29, 2018, 03:29:12 pm
It's entirely possible that the Dodgers and Rangers are Yu's preferred destinations, and he's got some kind of tacit understanding with them that if they can move salary they'll make a competitive offer.  The timing of the two reports certainly isn't coincidental, but they doesn't necessarily mean they're BS.

I hope the hangup with the Cubs isn't an unwillingness to offer a 5th year.  No way you'll get Darvish on a straight 4-year offer, and I don't think you should - 5 years is quite realistic based on his track record.  If it's about not giving him a 6th year, that I'm fully on-board with.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 29, 2018, 03:32:26 pm
It could be true. But either way, I think there's a good chance it's some kind of posturing. He's either trying to push the Cubs to make a bigger offer by hinting at interest from LA/Texas that isn't really there, or he's giving LA/Texas a last chance to make their move they need to make before adding him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 29, 2018, 04:18:15 pm
That seems pretty realistic to me.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 29, 2018, 04:23:11 pm
Agree with posts.  Could be posturing.  And could totally be true.  Hometown discount or hometown preference is normal.  Why move from beautiful LA, which has a great team, and has better World Series chances than the Cubs particular if he resigns, and where he's made friends?  Why leave if they can make him a competitive offer?  Same might go with Texas, he's played there for years, he's comfortable and has made friends; if they make a competitive offer why move to Chicago? 

But, the ability/willingness to make a competitive offer would seem a challenge.  Camp doesn't open for another couple of weeks, so no rush for him. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 29, 2018, 04:41:50 pm
If he was saying how impressed he was with the Cub presentation, he may have been trying to get more money from Texas or LA?  I feel so...used.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 29, 2018, 05:39:38 pm
Interesting note on Duensing:

The team has tried to add some free agents this offseason — The Chronicle has learned that Oakland offered left-handed reliever Brian Duensing $3 million more than the two-year, $7 million deal he accepted from the Cubs. The A’s also made outfielder Austin Jackson a one-year offer; he took a two-year offer from the Giants.

http://www.sfchronicle.com/athletics/article/Roster-turnover-other-A-s-issues-hot-topics-at-12530786.php?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on January 29, 2018, 05:55:26 pm
Interesting note on Duensing:

The team has tried to add some free agents this offseason — The Chronicle has learned that Oakland offered left-handed reliever Brian Duensing $3 million more than the two-year, $7 million deal he accepted from the Cubs. The A’s also made outfielder Austin Jackson a one-year offer; he took a two-year offer from the Giants.

http://www.sfchronicle.com/athletics/article/Roster-turnover-other-A-s-issues-hot-topics-at-12530786.php?

$3,000,000 is a little over 30% of the nearly $9.8 million in total salary Duensing has made in his career up to this point.  Definitely not chump change to him at all.  Pretty shocking he'd turn that kind of money down.

Gotta tip your hat to him.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 29, 2018, 06:27:44 pm
Seems a little strange that beat writers for two teams basically report the same thing at the same time about their team. Could be Darvish/his agent leaking information that's not necessarily true.

As shocking as the idea that there might have been gambling at Rick's place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMIyDf3gBoY



Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on January 29, 2018, 06:33:17 pm
As shocking as the idea that there might have been gambling at Rick's place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMIyDf3gBoY

That's a movie scene that will bring a smile to my face every time I see it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 29, 2018, 06:38:00 pm
My wife and I watched the entire movie New Years Eve, and much of it had pretty much flown right by here when she had watched it before.  She hadn't really liked it before having it explained.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on January 29, 2018, 07:02:07 pm
Our local indy theater showed it a couple of weeks ago to commemorate its 75th anniversary.  You probably ought to take her to see it on the big screen if it ever shows up in Chattanooga sometime.  That's the way to go see it.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 29, 2018, 07:19:25 pm
Theo's grandfather and great-uncle were the screenwriters. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 30, 2018, 07:22:45 am
Our local indy theater showed it a couple of weeks ago to commemorate its 75th anniversary.  You probably ought to take her to see it on the big screen if it ever shows up in Chattanooga sometime.  That's the way to go see it.

If I ever get back to Chattanooga....
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 30, 2018, 11:03:20 am
FWIW, here is the latest from Chris Gimenez, via Carrie Muskat. In this piece, Gimenez is less playful and more straightforward, not only about Darvish, but also how he became a Cub and what his expectations are.

https://www.mlb.com/news/chris-gimenez-downplays-effect-on-yu-darvish/c-265496934 (https://www.mlb.com/news/chris-gimenez-downplays-effect-on-yu-darvish/c-265496934)
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 30, 2018, 12:02:22 pm
I'm starting to worry this may drag on right up to spring training.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 30, 2018, 12:06:19 pm
I agree that the only reason Darvish hasn't signed somewhere is that he's hoping someone offers just a hair more.  I just hope the team he wants to offer more is the Cubs and that he just isn't using the Cubs to get a better offer elsewhere.  It's a game of chicken.  I would guess if the Cubs signed Cobb tomorrow, both Arrieta and Darvish crap because their price just took a hit with a major player out.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: ticohans on January 30, 2018, 12:37:14 pm
Don't think Theo is the type to let his offseason plans be held hostage. If Cubs aren't happy with Darvish's timeine to sign, my guess is they'll say "you've got 24 hrs or we're pulling the deal," and then move on as appropriate.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 30, 2018, 12:43:13 pm
I don't see Theo as the type to cut off his own nose to spite his face, either.  How many options does Darvish have really?  Maybe an ultimatum offer will come at some point, but it's probably not this week.

The thing is, Darvish is certainly deserving of a 5-year deal in a normal, non-collusive market.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 30, 2018, 02:58:04 pm
Think teams may be afraid of Darvish's health?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 30, 2018, 03:33:48 pm
I don't see any reason why the Cubs would give Darvish a deadline, unless Cobb (or whoever) indicated he was ready to sign with them and they wanted to secure the situation.  They didn't sign Fowler until the spring training reporting date.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 30, 2018, 05:16:43 pm

Jon Heyman
‏Verified account @JonHeyman
17m17 minutes ago

brewers are talking to darvish, and are said to be among the more aggressive teams to this point. no word on how close a deal might be though. from me and @RobertMurrayFRS
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 30, 2018, 05:34:00 pm
I've got to think Darvish is going to make his decision very soon. This makes two days in a row of teams that had been more or less dismissed suddenly being reported to be aggressive again. It feels a lot like posturing.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: JR on January 30, 2018, 05:35:49 pm
When are we going to get the report that Darvish really wants to go to the Marlins and they're trying to clear payroll room to get him?
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 30, 2018, 05:43:17 pm
Brewers beat writer isn't sure about the Brewers' renewed interest. In a reply to Heyman's tweet:

Adam McCalvy‏ @AdamMcCalvy
We'll see whether this goes beyond talking. Sometimes stuff like this gets out there to push a player's preferred teams along.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Jes Beard on January 30, 2018, 05:51:12 pm
Think teams may be afraid of Darvish's health?


Of course.  Everyone knows Japanese pitchers are always ready to have their arms fall off.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 30, 2018, 06:32:38 pm
Deeg, it's time for you to open YOUR personal reserves and supplement the Cubs' offer.  We're counting on you!
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Deeg on January 30, 2018, 06:38:02 pm
26 cents and a half-bottle of sake isn't going to move the needle.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 30, 2018, 06:38:53 pm
That's 24 cents and any sake more than the rest of us.  Combined.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 30, 2018, 07:57:36 pm
I will chip in another .26 if you give me the bottle of sake.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 30, 2018, 07:58:59 pm
High Heat from the Brewers board is claiming the Cubs have the high offer on the table for Darvish FWIW.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: Ron on January 30, 2018, 08:00:08 pm
High Heat from the Brewers board is claiming the Cubs have the high offer on the table for Darvish FWIW.

I'm guessing not much.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: guest61 on January 30, 2018, 08:00:13 pm
I still think we get him.

Im certain we'll get 1 of the 3.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: brjones on January 30, 2018, 10:24:03 pm
High Heat from the Brewers board is claiming the Cubs have the high offer on the table for Darvish FWIW.

At this point, I think that HighHeat guy is basically another ABTY or BigBird. He probably has some contact, but that contact is something like a sales guy with the Brewers who has lunch once or twice a month with the assistant GM's assistant. He was definitive on the Cubs signing Darvish and the Brewers being out a week ago, and now he thinks the Brewers have a 40% chance of signing Darvish. He was similarly definitive on Santana being traded last weekend, and Santana is still with the Brewers. He called a Yelich deal, but he never really said anything but the deal was likely and that it would take Brinson+ (Brison+ was the obvious package).
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 31, 2018, 07:12:06 am
I think he has a better source than ABTY, but his source isn’t in Stearns inner circle and he’s prone to making sweeping statements when his spice material doesn’t back it up. Rumors are never going to be 100%, even if we had info coming straight from Theo on this board.

Rosenthal is reporting the hold up is Brewers entering mix and Dodgers/Yanks trying to dump cash and the fact that nobody has met Sarvish’s number yet. The last bit might be the most important part.

Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: davep on January 31, 2018, 09:11:42 am
BlueJay makes the pertinent point.  Short of Darvish or his agent, there is no source that could possibly know who he is going to sign with, or even who is the current high bidder.  Even if Epstein (or any GM) WAS a source, all he could tell you for sure is that he is very interested, and that he has or has not an offer on the table.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CurtOne on January 31, 2018, 09:27:02 am
The article I read this morning wasn't very encouraging.  It said it's between the Brewers and the Dodgers.  I think the speculation that Darvish would prefer to go back to LA has merit.  It explains the long wait.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: CUBluejays on January 31, 2018, 09:34:33 am
Or nobody has met his price/years yet.  I think there is a good shot that is the only reason he hasn't signed anywhere yet.

The Dodgers to unload enough money are going to have to hurt the team by giving up quality players or premium prospects to unload Kemp. 
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: method on January 31, 2018, 09:38:16 am
I hope he sits out at this point. Would be entertaining to see this run into april.
Title: Re: Cubs in '18
Post by: craig on January 31, 2018, 10:08:41 am
Or nobody has met his price/years yet.  I think there is a good shot that is the only reason he hasn't signed anywhere yet....

Yes.  Even so, not sure that's very meaningful.  Every agent's "price" is the best he can get. 
*Maybe originally they figured Scherzer ($210/7) would be good price/years to set.  It's not like he's going to sit out the year if he doesn't get that price.
*Or maybe they anticipated a realistic price of $130/5 guaranteed ($150/6 if 6th year vests), and Theo made that offer in December.  Wouldn't the agent s