The Long Goodbye--Cardinals 9 Cubs 0

Game 162 was finally upon us and with it the conclusion that had been foregone for at least a fortnight. The Chicago Cubs season would end with an unceremonious thud that represented so much more than the first time in five years that the Cubs season ended at game 162. Joe Maddon's fate had been sealed far before the downturn that ended the 2019 campaign. It had probably been sealed before the several months doldrums that gave the Cardinals and Brewers a chance to claim the Central playoff spots. There was perhaps some symmetry with Joe Maddon's reign as Cubs manager coming to an end in St. Louis. It was there in 2015 that the era began with a bang with the first playoff meeting of the Cardinals, and the era ended with a whimper in St. Louis just under five years later from that moment.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

The pitching matchup told you how this one was likely to go with Derek Holland facing Jack Flaherty. The Cardinals ace dominated the Cubs lineup through seven innings. Flaherty faced the minimum through six and two thirds innings with Willson Contreras being thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double with one out in the second. Robel Garcia hit a pinch hit infield single to lead off the fifth, but he was erased on an inning ending double play. Ian Happ drew a two out walk in the seventh inning.

The Cardinals would have no issues facing a parade of Cubs relievers. Derek Holland was the nominal starter and he began about as bad as you possible can be with back to back walks to start the game. Paul Goldschmidt bounced a single to score Dexter Fowler. Holland induced a groundball double play from Marcell Ozuna that scored Tommy Edman. Yadier Molina drew a walk, but a Matt Carpenter fielder's choice ended the first frame with a 2-0 Cardinals lead.

Holland retired the first two Cardinals he faced in the second inning. Jack Flaherty smacked a single into left field to keep the inning alive. Dexter Fowler launched home run number 19 on the season to put the Cardinals ahead 4-0.

Holland would try to get through another inning. Paul Goldschmidt hit his second groundball single to start the inning, and he stole second easily off the lefty. Ozuna singled to drive in Goldschmidt. A walk to Yadier Molina was the final straw for Holland's outing. Duane Underwood Jr. faced Matt Carpenter and gave up a bomb to see the Cardinals lead explode to 8-0. Underwood plunked Paul DeJong before retiring the next three Cardinals.

Paul Goldschmidt launched a one out homer in the fourth inning against Underwood. The 9-0 lead would be more than enough for Flaherty. James Norwood worked around some traffic and some hard contact in the fifth inning. Norwood put the first zero on the board. Norwood would put another zero on the board in the sixth inning. He worked around a two out walk to Yadier Molina in this frame, but the Cardinals lead remained in the single digits for at least another inning.

Dillon Maples was the next Cubs hurler. He retired the bottom of the Cardinals order in order including mercifully a pinch hitter for Jack Flaherty. Victor Caratini delivered a one out single against Giovanny Gallegos, but Nico Hoerner bounced into an inning ending double play. Ben Zobrist shifted from shortstop to pitcher in the bottom half of the eighth. Zobrist walked former teammate Dexter Fowler to start the inning. Tommy Edman lined out to Hoerner in center for the first out. Zobrist threw four straight bad ones to Goldschmidt in the next plate appearance. Ozuna hit an infield fly for the second out. And then likely to end his Cubs career, Zo punched out Yadier Molina swinging to end the eighth.

Carlos Martinez faced Daniel Descalso to start the ninth inning. Descalso put a charge into the first pitch but Bader was able to make an awkward catch for the first out. Martinez made quick work of the next two Cubs hitters, and the Cardinals did get to celebrate winning another NL Central crown at the Cubs expense.

Random Reference
In some ways it is a relief to be done with the frustration that was the 2019 Cubs, but in many ways I am not ready for this era to end. The Cubs are saying goodbye to a number of the people that made this the most successful stretch of Cubs baseball since the first World War was fought. Ben Zobrist and Pedro Strop both likely put on a Cubs uniform for the final time. There is also Cole Hamels, Steve Cishek, and Brandon Kintzler who are without contracts for 2020. The next iteration of the Cubs is going to look radically different for the first time in five years, and for now it is more than a little twinge of sadness that this is how the era ends.

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  • I think I've used this before, so please pardon the rerun. It just seems appropriate with what we've come to expect during the Maddon era:

    "People stay just a little bit longer.
    We want to play, just a little bit longer.

    Now the promoter don't mind.
    And the union don't mind.
    If we take a little time
    And we leave it all behind and sing
    One more song."

  • fb_avatar

    I know we didn’t win today but is there any doubt—Joe Madden, your table is ready!!

  • This was NOT his fault, I hope Theo knows what to do and will have the resources to do it. Our personal was lacking this season.

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    It is never one persons fault. Plenty of blame to go around from the FO, the Maddon, the coaches and players.

    I think everyone agreed the players need a new voice and that is why the change was made. Thanks Joe and best of luck to you.

    On to the 2020 season.

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    He has had plenty of resources up to this point.

  • These past few weeks have been tough to stomach. But regardless of how difficult it was to watch at times, there is always an overwhelming feeling of sadness when the baseball season ends.

    No more boxscores to look at. No more standings to analyze. No reports on minor leaguers and their progress.

    Only 180 or so days until opening day.

  • What do we make of Zobrist's 8th-inning relief appearance? Ben and Joe having fun in a 9-0 blowout? Wanting to do something in his last game with the Cubs? Or a "bucket list" moment to end his career?

    I won't read too much into it for now, but as I said during the game, watching Zo strike out Yadi and Yadi's reaction may have been the highlight of the 2019 season for me.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I probably should ....but I won’t put this last game on Maddon and thank him for being the right guy for the job these last few years but this game......no.....you just don’t do that. Doesn’t matter if we are out of it....the integrity of the game is still more important. Yes, we won the 2 games earlier with a depleted lineup but that still doesn’t cut it. I have no problem Zobrist pitching at the end, the game was over then but we still should have put a more competitive lineup out there.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Give it a rest bro. That was best line up possible. If Zo wanted to pitch then who cares. I am glad we had joe for 5 years. If you want to whine about what happened in a blow out game in the last inning of his last game then continue on. Joe did a great job holding this aging/garbage of a pitching staff together.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    You missed the point slick.....if the Cubs were one game out and were hoping another team could have pitched their #1 or #2 starter but didn’t and went with a slug and it cost the Cubs their chance at a division I’m sure you would be singing a different song. That’s what I’m sayin.....Darvish and Hendricks aren’t hurt and are being paid over 180 million to pitch....doesn’t matter what Milwaukee wound up doing.....this decision was made before the games began.....and the optics are more than poor....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I found this game very off putting. javy baez is probably my favorite player with his ability and the way he plays the game. I didn't like seeing him and cubs laughing at top of dugout at end of game. on a day your manager was fired and you got your butts whipped by your biggest rival, this was an embarrassment. cubs had a chance to send cards to a wild card or 1 game playoff with a win. instead they celebrated and we laughed and chuckled like schoolgirls. joe should have been dismissed and not allowed in the clubhouse today. theo Epstein and joes interview before game was also very off putting. theo just fired this dude and they are standing next to one another gushing on how each one thinks the other one is great. this whole scenario today made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I have never seen a firing of a manager mishandled like this.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Theo announced no ctt renewal that he probably knew about since last year. He didn’t fire him , he let the contract expire and made that public today.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    That’s frankly absurd. The only thing that mattered today was saying goodbye to the greatest manager in the history of the franchise.

  • In reply to TC154:

    He was the most productive for a short period of time with a very good roster. Give Jim Riggleman and a laundry list of others that roster.

    That said like a Mike Ditka he was the right leader at the right time. My guess is his agent is very busy on the phone. He'll be very well paid.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    He was good in Tampa Bay too. I used to watch Rays games just because he managed so differently than the stuffed shirts in the game at that time. I hated the old school bs, and while he came from that tradition he used what was worthwhile and chucked the rest. I was thrilled that he brought that to the Cubs and I’m sad that he’s gone. He was the best Cubs manager in my lifetime. Oh, and no Jim Riggelman wouldn’t have won the WS. That’s silly.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I tend to agree TC. This was a game after the Cubs had been eliminated, and the only thing at stake was whether the Cards or Brewers was going to end up in the wild card - both were already guaranteed spots in the playoffs. If there is such as thing as an essentially meaningless game - this might have been it.

    Maddon worked some significant magic 2015-2017. The ends of the last 2 seasons have been serious disappointments - but we still had a solid team that was mostly fun to watch - if a bit maddening at times.

    It'll be interesting to see what they redo this winter,... I expect that one or more of the 'core' gets traded for prospects - and although I will be sad to see him/them go - it's something that probably needs to be done. I suspect that the mostly likely person to get traded is Bryant due to his escalating cost and unlikeliness to sign an extension. With Bote and Happ both competent at 3B and Evans down in AAA having had a decent year - I think that 3B can be covered absent Bryant.

    We will see soon enough.

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    In reply to Oldno7:

    Back in the day 70 years ago I was a pitcher , If I had SMILED while losing 8-0 I would have had my ass kicked .

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    I'm going to agree. This last game reminded me of the big deal over spilled tacos in St Louis by the that time loser Cardinals. I suppose it eases the disappointment for some, but I'm not crazy about that kind of stuff. Be a good sport, but don't play patsy to the Victors. And don't play favorites for other teams still fighting for post season spots.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    You do realize that if the Cubs won that game the Cards would still be division champs, right?

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    That is not what you said slick. There wasn’t much more of a line up joe could use. We have no idea if Theo or ricketts or the players themselves said they didn’t want to play or pitch. It was this game that cost the brewers the division. Every game of the 162 matters not just the last one.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    As has been said on Cubs Den numerous times, none of us knows what's going on inside the clubhouse.
    Is it possible that Derek Holland went to Joe and the FO and asked to start today so he could prove to himself and others that he is still a ML starting pitcher? Professional athletes are rare birds. For those I have known, the sun set long before they knew the sun was even starting to set. I understand your frustration at the way the year ended.

  • Brewers lost again, so it's not like a Cub win would've helped them.
    They were in a position to win the division, then choked it away.

  • An interesting comment I saw from Grandpa Rossy tonight:

    "I think it's one of the best jobs in baseball. I've got a lot of close ties with those guys. I think the interest would be there. I think my heart is drawn to that dugout a little bit."

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I am not sure he is ready and right fit, yet. Depending on what Theo does to this roster. I saw a quote from KB saying he was fun and entertaining but could tell you what you needed to hear. I’d be concern about the buddy buddy relationship to all of sudden being your “boss” sort of speak.
    I would think cubs would go after someone not affiliated with cubs. A fresh start.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Who knows if Ross is ready? Who would have thought that Aaron Boone would have led the Yankees to 100 win and 103 win seasons in his first two years?

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Yet Yankees fans still hate the guy. I have no idea if Ross is the right guy but these fans who criticized Joe’s every move better realize that Ross, DeRosa or whoever it is will be 100% controlled by the FO which will lead to even more second guessing.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Exactly. I've heard the calls for Girardi, but there is no way that is happening, both monetarily and control-wise. The trend in the game is to hire cheap, inexperienced skippers who basically manage the players' personalities, and the FO and analytics departments set day-to-day lineups and configure bullpen usage.

    I'm afraid that is what will happen here. The more I've looked over the last couple years the more that I've come to the realization that the majority of the blame lies with the hubris of the FO. Over-valuing their own abilities. I'm afraid they may double-down on their control in an effort to prove everyone wrong, and in doing so show even more deficiencies.

    I hope I'm wrong.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I know for sure Theo can change course in terms of style of play, he did it in Boston. My only question is will he? If Jed does go to Boston it would behoove Theo to select a GM out of his personal network. In other words, Ben Cherington whose name has been rumored, may not be the best choice. It’s all on him now regardless. I hope he can do it, he got my two favorite teams to the promised land.id love to see him do it one more time.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Agreed that the majority of the blame lies with Epstein & Hoyer. But Maddon can't be absolved for failing to improve the performance of those young turks who got us to the WS in 2016.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    From what I heard on The Score this morning it wouldn't surprise me. His name was featured.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    This isn't directed at you Barley but Frankly I don't get why fans are so obsessive about managers having previous managerial experience. Hasn't recent league trends shown that managers don't necessarily need to be experienced to have success? Look around Dave Roberts, Davey Martinez, Craig Counsell, Aaron Boone, Rocco Baldelli Alex Cora, even AJ Hinch was once an inexperienced front office geek. The league is littered with successful yet inexperienced new young managers. This whole idea cubs fans have that Ross should be disqualified because he's inexperienced is mind numbingly stupid to me. If the guy fits the boxes we're looking for then hire him I don't care about experience that shouldn't be the deciding factor with most of the top new managers being young and inexperienced. Ross should at least get an interview along with the other candidates

  • I'm just relieved that the season is over.

  • I’m always a little melancholy at the end of the Cubs season, no matter how it ends. Thank you Joe, Zo, Pedro, and other Cubs not returning for 2020. I feel like this is truly an end and thus a beginning of something I hope is hugely successful. Can’t wait for next season. Go Cubs.

  • In reply to 1945AD:

    Thank you for some sensibility.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Hear, hear!

  • In reply to 1945AD:

    Closing time.....Every new beginning comes from some other beginning end......

  • Anyone have any thoughts or ideas on what the cubs will do 1st? Will they take care of manager spot 1st or will they work on roster 1st?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    With a shakeup like this it is pretty standard to get the management team in place first. You want a clear vision and a united goal. In practical terms you can also negotiate and deal with coaches before you can with players, who are basically off-limits until well after the conclusion of the World Series.

    I expect a manager to be in place within the next couple weeks, and that new manager will have input into their coaching staff (another hint about true autonomy). The roster, through FA signings and trades, will fill out much later.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    They are going to wait for the Dodgers to not win the WS again and Dave Roberts to get fired.

  • You say goodbye. And I say hello, hello, hello.........

  • We tied with Boston for 14th in overall record this year, what's the tiebreaker for draft position; or is there a coin toss?

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    In reply to Treebeard:

    We draft 16th next year and get more money for our draft budget and I think for IFA signings.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Unfortunately IFA money is not tied to finish but your market size. It is basically three pools available (one for those that get draft pick compensation, one that doesn't and any teams that pay luxury tax going in descending order in terms of bonuses).

  • I read this essay every September or October, depending. I guess I've been lucky that it's been more often October the past five years, and a few years ago I'm sure I forgot to read it all together...

    Bart Giamatti, "The Green Fields of the Mind".
    https://mason.gmu.edu/~rmatz/giamatti.html

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Thanks for the link! Great essay, no wonder you read it aftre every season. Saddens me that the other interferences of life made this season a bleary backdrop to other players.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    My pleasure. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Commissioner Giamatti was a before my time, but one has to wonder what would have happened if he hadn't died tragically at just 50 years old and one year into the role as commish. Fay Vincent succeeded him and a few years later was rolled by a power move and vote of no confidence led Bud Selig and George Steinbrenner. The rest is history.

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    I can't find it now but one of the most meaningful posts I saw about Joe leaving was a song sung in the last episode of The Office. I hope someone can track it down. It was very apropos.

  • How long will Joe be out of work? it won't be long.

  • So here we are, it's he first day after the departure of the best Cubs manager in our lifetimes. Here's the thing though, manager is not the only hire that's important here. With the promotion of Jason McCleod to VP of Pro Personnel Theo is going to have to find a new VP of Amateur Scouting and Player Development and with the cubs having the best draft position, at 1 in the first round, since 2015 this is going to be a huge hire. I'm hoping Theo goes out of his comfort zone and poaches a young exec from another successful organization. A fresh set of eyes would be a wise move. The other potential hire in the FO is General Manager if Jed departs for Boston which is starting to look likely with the news that Andrew Friedman almost certainly has no interest in leaving LA. I think outside Theo's network is the right move here too, even if Ben Cherington is already being rumored for that job. If the reason for Maddon's exit was a fresh approach why shouldn't these jobs be held to the same standard?

  • In reply to TC154:

    Should have read "having the best draft position, at 16 in the first round". A typo, not wishful thinking ;)

  • In reply to TC154:

    TC...........I hope you are feeling as well as possible.

    When looking around the league and what execs move from team to team, who was the last member of the Cubs front office to be poached? Was it Jared Porter? Is that telling that there is little movement from the FO? Or is that called loyalty for staying?

    Do we count Dave Martinez, Brandon Hyde and Derek Johnson as folks molded by Joe or folks molded by the FO? They are the one's who have left in the last 4 years.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Thank you for asking. I'm doing well. Next round of tests next week as they're keeping a much closer eye on me these days.

    As far as FO guys leaving, there have been a few but I think Porter was the last higher profile guy. Coincidentally he's one of the names in rumored to be in the Boston mix along with his boss Mike Hazen, his colleague Amiel Sawdaye and of course Hoyer. I go back and forth on Jed as to whether he'll leave. I think he probably wants to stay and take over for Theo in a couple of years but that's riskier now if the team doesn't make marked improvement. Not that he'd be out of work long but he might not get the job he really wants if he's the victim of a FO implosion in Chicago. It will be interesting how it all plays out.

  • In reply to TC154:

    My guess is, if the job is offered, he accepts.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Jed that is.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Theo seems more patient and meticulous then Jed. I don't think, that if it were up to him that Jed would let issues linger for as long. He is fiery. Rumor has it that Jed sometimes throws things after some of Joe's decisions. I kind of look forward to watching Hoyer run the Cubs or some other org.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Well, Jedks first go in SD was not too inspiring, if I remember correctly.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    *Jed’s

  • In reply to TC154:

    Good call, TC. I don't think McLeod deserves a job, TBH. I think he has been awful in his drafts. He has changed philosophy in his pitcher selections for years now, for one example. I think sometimes the stale "same way, same people" actually prohibits organizational advancement as there is no sense of diversity of thought. I think some fresh perspectives from outside the Cubs would be helpful at this juncture of the semi-rebuild.

    I was very against any discussion of moving a KB, Baez, or Contreras. But as I take an objective look at this team and leave my emotions behind, I think it makes sense for the next 5-7 years versus the 1-2 year run. I don't believe Bryant signs a long-term deal. I thin Baez may be more open to one. Willson could probably fetch a good haul. So there are the 3 with value and who would bring back top flight players. Schwarber and Happ are not those types and spare me Almora, Bote, and Russell. Those last 3 would be nothing more than a toss in. From the mound, I hear about Lester. I can't believe he would fetch anything of value. I believe Hendricks is the only one on our staff who could get a premium prospect in return. Kimbrel is going nowhere. Chatwood and Q would be bundled in a deal to shed salary and that is all. So when all is said and done, we really only have 3 major trade chips.

    This will be an interesting off-season.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    A friend and Cub fan spoke of trading KB for Fernando Tatis. My reluctance is twofold: I love KB and secondly, Tatis plays a position held by Baez. It is interesting tho.
    As for Schwarber I would have gladly traded him late July. But he has since become a much better, more selective hitter. I believe he can put it all together next season. Which makes him tradeable, to which I say only if you can get a way above average leadoff hitter.
    It will indeed be an interesting off season.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    I HIGHLY doubt the padres would even entertain bryant for tatis jr, one is pushing 30 the other is not even 21.I would make that trade in a heartbeat if the padres were willing. Tatis jr is a stud and was playing great before the injury

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    That's about the size of it. Trading any of those three players create it's own set of problems as well. I wouldn't be too surprised or miffed if the Cubs come back with pretty much the same team due to lack of good options. Only addition being a leadoff man and bullpen pieces. And, of course, a new salty manager. Go Cubs!

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Schwarber would bring back a nice haul especially with his numbers after 6/1 and even more so in the second half, but Contreras, Baez or Bryant would bring back elite, near ready or recently called up prospects. Schwarber would net and MLB player and maybe a lesser prospect.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I think that the Cubs keep Schwarber. He is one of those types that are hard to find. Left hand power for the middle part of a lineup. He has worked his way into being a pretty good left fielder as well. A serious injury and some mismanagement by the decision makers slowed his progress, but he is now what he was always meant to be.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Let's say that this FO signs Javy and Schwarber to extensions this off-season. They decide to trade Contreras and Bryant after not being able to extend them. Do you have confidence that this FO can get maximum value with a trade partner after looking at their trades over the past 2-3 years?

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    I would as their track record indicates the ability to make good deals. I would say I think there is a blueprint of sorts out there for what could be expected in return for players of Bryant and Contreras' caliber.

    Is it better to say "no, I don't trust them. Let it ride with no deals and then we will be in 5th place in 2 years when these guys all leave via FA?" Gotta roll the dice at some point. If we had won another World Series or two since '16 I may feel different, but we need some moves to extend this window a few years and the way looks to be a trade or three. Agree or no?

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Part of me still thinks that we can win another WS with this core. I don t want to pile on Joe because he was the absolute right guy for job. Hats off to him. Still, Maddon was and is a manager for a team of young players not veterans. It would have been difficult to pull the plug on Joe before now, but I'd like to see what someone else could do with this bunch in 2019. Anyway, I would like to include a third catcher as the 26th man next year. It would free up Willson to play another position more and give us a strong defensive receiver when needed. He and Vic could still do the majority of the work behind the plate, but said third receiver could spot start and be a defensive replacement in late innings of close game where framing, blocking and throwing are paramount. Contreras could play left, right and third. He is very talented and I like his bat most of the time. Victor gets his starts behind the plate, keeps Rizzo fresh and pinch hits from both sides. Add Hoerner and a right hand platoon with Heyward and we are only one leadoff man away.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I don’t think any MLB will offer great value to this FO. They have proven to strike fast. Let’s look at how LAD, NYY and Houston have approached trades the last few years. Not one of these teams would include an elite prospect in any deal. It can be argued that Theo gave up more to the Tigers to get Avila and Wilson (Bolla’s All time favorite Cub) than the Astros gave up for Verlander (with Detroit picking up 40% of his salary over 2+ years). I’m not sold on this FO’s ability to get max value on trades.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Ok. I don't agree with you. I think Theo/Jed are very good and smart execs. I see the point you are making. I don't think the Dodgers did anything other than Machado, so I am not sure they are a shining example. Yankees did well. HOU did well albeit eating some contracts which the Cubs would not do.

    I think Theo/Jed got some pretty good value with Strop and Arrieta for Feldman and Clevenger. Rizzo for Cashner. Q and Chapman were good deals filling a need at the time.

    I think the Cubs are in a different position than filling a quick hole and will be able to make a real significant splash. I think Theo and Jed will succeed if one of our premier players is moved.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I agree the deals made early on were fabulous. Chapman was fabulous because I do not think we would have won a WS without him.
    It's after that time where I think we bought high and did a less than stellar job with our prospect currency.
    With respect to the Astros, they did not take on much salary in the Verlander and Greinke deals. Houston's part of Verlander salary in 2018 was $11Mil, with $13Mil this year. Arizona is paying $24Mil of Greinke's remaining contract (Astros paying $26 Mil per year for 2 years) and the top player the Astros gave up was a 23 year old first baseman who has not played above AA.

    Now if we want to go all Jerry Dipoto, we can swing a blockbuster (while dreaming). Pick up Q's option, then trade him and Bryant to the Padres for Wil Meyers and Tatis. Trade Myers and Contreras with $34.5Mil to the Bosox for Betts. Move Baez to 3rd, sign a FA defensive catcher, move Heyward to CF, figure our 2B on the fly, Non-Tender Almora and Russell, then pray that no one gets hurt. It's fun to be 12 years old again and play GM!!!!

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    a 12 year old playing GM would never accept "sign a FA defensive catcher, move Heyward to CF, figure our 2B on the fly, Non-Tender Almora and Russell, then pray that no one gets hurt." A 12 year old would have a much better plan in place than that. LMAO!!!!

    I think the lack of taking on salary made the deals you refer to impossible for Theo to pull it off.

    Theo will have to give up something significant to get a huge return. I think he understands this and can mold deals around the budget and needs as he searches to change some parts on this dysfunctional roster. I bet he gets a great return versus dealing out of necessity--teams would line up to get Baez, Bryant, and/or Contreras, IMHO. There would be plenty to choose from and probably help himself with a mini-bidding war.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Agreed on trading the “future hall of famer “ Bryant. He will bring back a nice haul. Let some other team bite on his future franchise crushing albatross contract. He can join his underachieving buddy in Philadelphia and open a high end hair salon.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    I see your point, but I disagree-- this front office has some chinks in their armor, but making trades is one of their strengths. They seem to be really good at trading veterans especially for younger players/prospects. If they trade from the core they should focus on acquiring assets in those deals instead of using their best players to fill other holes on the team.

    I'm not sure this front office will have the desire to trade from the core this offseason. They tend to hold onto players they believe in- which I think might be an issue going forward.

    Last two trade deadlines they picked up Castellanos, Hamels, & Kintzler--- did they really give much up?

    Astros rebuild took longer, and they acquired more assets. During the build up phase, they start trading veterans away trade deadline 2010 before the new owners bought the team in 2011. Houston does a lot of great things. It is amazing how many pitchers they acquire who start pitching better with then, in both the rotation, and bullpen.

    I hope this front office can work/think on ways to making the Cubs better across the board.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Especially in trades for prospects or undervalued young talent sure

  • Does anyone know what time Theo's press conference is today? I'd like to catch it, if possible.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    3 pm I believe.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Thanks.

  • Is next year's pitching staff made up of Underwood, Norwood, Maplewood, and Chatwood?

  • In reply to JayPea:

    That's a lot of wood,... :D

  • Last offseason the Cubs did very little to the roster, because of payroll restrictions, and also the front office belief that this team would improve. It didn't happen, Cubs got worse, and that was with multiple Cubs having better seasons! The Cubs tried this season with adding Kimbrel, Castellanos, and others as mid-season reinforcements.

    If the Cubs keep the core 5 hitters together, I think this front office will make massive changes to the rest of the roster. I think they will make a lot of minor trades, try to shake things up. I think they are going to try to wait longer to sign free agents, & focus more on value contracts, than going after one specific player in free agency.

    I think Schwarber is more likely to sign an extension than get traded. This front office really seem to believe in him.

    If Cubs decide to trade from the core K. Bryant seems to be the most obvious player to trade.

    I'm excited for the offseason, and positive about the Cubs future.

    The Cubs need to remake the player development/amatuer scouting department with fresh minds from outside the organization.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I would love to see Kite and Javy extended. Bryant might be odd man out, but I'd really hate to move all that talent and his level headed approach. I think we keep him as long as possible.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Where is the depth in the org at 3B? I just can't see KB getting traded. Javy, on the other hand...

  • I think a change in manager and having better bench players may be all that is needed as far as position players. Need to work on the bullpen and need another starter.

  • Joe to Angels??? Ausmus was just fired. Joe came up through their minor league system before getting his shot in Tampa.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I have difficulty believing they haven't already talked to Maddon before making that decision...

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Joe to Angels was the first thing that crossed my mind.

  • Pretty sure they wouldn't have fired Ausmus if Maddon wasn't available. Gives Joe a lot of leverage for sure.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I'm not in that inner circle, but it feels that way to me.

  • Shouldn’t the white sox be beating down the door to sign Maddon? Sox are on the precipice of the playoffs and have many young players. That is on line one of joe’s resume. Going to angels is deadmansville. Or maybe Sox brass have seen joe for what he really is and will stick with the venerable Ricky renteria. Good grief!

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    It would be cruel and unusual punishment to can Renteria twice to hire Joe. Besides that I think he's a very good manager. He had the Cubs heading in the right direction at the end of '14. That's when the worm was starting to turn.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    I think they would hire Maddon, just to stick it to the Cubs... I think it would be funny. White Sox will not pay Joe's big salary.

  • Cubs are gonna hire a director of hitting and a director of pitching????? Theo is grabbing for anything to stay afloat. How about Theo hiring a director of not making terrible signings or director of how to draft and develop a pitcher????

    More I think I think joe will be better off for this. I like to see him in San Diego.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    "More I think I think joe will be better off for this. I like to see him in San Diego."

    If Joe goes to SD, the next time we hear anthing will be the day he retires.
    They don't have the resources to compete in that division.

    I think he goes to the Angels. There is no reason they can't compete.
    Like the Cubs, the Astros will have to start paying players soon.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    What better off means to me must be different then how you take it. SD has a top farm system and joe does well with young hungry talent. Now and days you do not have to win the division to make playoffs. You are aware that there are 2 wild card spots. I don't know what their top prospects are or how close to mlb ready they are. They have a couple core guys up already and if they have young talent Joe could be better off. Won't have a GM firing his staff every year.
    If we are using your theory then why would he go to the AL west the astros are king for a while!!!!

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I take it you didn't listen to Theo's comments. These comments came after his discussing "controlling the strike zone" is paramount for both hitters and pitchers. And the Cubs were not very good at it. And wants to improve in this aspect and seed it throughout the organization. He identified a flaw and is implementing change to change that current trajectory. Hardly anything to question. It's what a smart leader does.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I can certainly see the wisdom in having a director that knows the status of each player, what their weaknesses are and what the plan is to address each weakness. The ability to feed this information to the manager can help determine playing time and circumstance. I have no doubt others will be added to the FO staff to assist with the other "suggestions" made by the original ranter.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Smart leader is debatable. I am not saying theo is dumb. But to call him a smart leader is a reach. This controlling strike zone is been a process for several years. How about a director of better drafting or director of not signing hot garbage.

  • Congrats to Ian. NL Player of the Week. Had a real solid month too. The young man took it on the chin in March. He finished strong. Tip of the cap.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    Agreed. Accolades well deserved.

  • Steve Greenburg's take from Theo's press conference, in the Sun-Times:

    "There’s no excuse for players going soft, lacking hunger, losing their edge. If you want to play for the Cubs, you had better be more accountable than that. You had better be prepared to push yourself harder than ever. And, no, driving these things home to the players isn’t the job of the front office. It’s clear that, in Epstein’s estimation, Maddon dropped the ball in that regard."

    Thoughts?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Hard to argue against that take when Theo went berserk at 2018's presser to end the season talking about a sense of urgency and then Cole Hamels adding fuel to this with his comments about the lack of a killer instinct and playing hungry. Then an anonymous coach relays a player on the Cubs told him it was a lackadaisical atmosphere like a country club and commented how their stretching routine was weak is damning evidence against how Joe runs his ship.

    Joe's first mantra I believe was "don't let the pressure exceed the pleasure" and maybe he took too much pressure from the young players. I've always maintained in my coaching and well as my conversations with my son that it is a good thing to be excited and feel butterflies in your stomach before playing. If the Cubs don't feel any of that then it reflects a "go through the motions" style of play -- lethargic, un-energized, no joy, too business-like. This is exactly what we have watched for 3 seasons now.

    I love Joe and what he did--he is one of a kind and was exactly what this team needed. Now I think it is time for a new voice, new direction, and new accountability on the players.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I agree, but Joe didn't' drop the ball because he didn't pick it up. His thing is have fun. I get the feeling that Maddon was never too invested in 2019. He was a little too cute and a lot too stubborn throughout his tenure. It worked to our advantage for a time, not so much in the end.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    That reads a little harsh. He was mostly pretty cool. Most managers have a 'use by date'. Joe, of course, was no exception. He wasn't the first one in the express lane out of town and won't be the last. It's the nature of the beast.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    What I find a bit interesting is that, if in fact the FO is putting a lot of the blame at the feet of Joe for not holding the players accountable and instilling an atmosphere of a country club, why didn’t they fire Joe in July?

    That would have shaken things up big time in the clubhouse. They could have put Loretta in charge at that point and maybe the players are all of a sudden more focused for the last 60 games or so.

    Looking back, I think this might have been a good scenario for the 19 season.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Interesting thought. Maybe they thought adding Kimbrel and Castellanos might spark the team? They also may not have been comfortable with an Interim manager, but I thought Loretta took care of that.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    As I had noted, it would have been difficult to pull the plug before the season's end. Joe had won a WS and held a good won/loss %. This was probably best even tho we missed the playoffs. A bold GM might have run Maddon in April. They gave us a pretty good preview early.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    No accountability for theo’s actions. Ultimately this falls on him. You can be on third hitting coach, third pitching coach and second manager in a 3 year span. To me it says he can’t make good decisions on who to hire.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Some don't believe it will make a difference, but here's the reality: Theo's NOT fired. If that's what it will take to make his detractors happy, we're in for a lot of disappointment this winter. Like it or not, Theo will still be here for the 2020 season. Are you gonna spend the whole year focused that he's still here or talking about what actions might move the team forward? Is there a limit on pitching coaches? Managers? Should he do nothing, since some of what he has done in the past hasn't worked? He's made some GREAT decisions, decisions that got the team to a World Series - but because he's also made some poor decisions, we should, what, stay angry until he's gone?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    This is coming from the guy who jumped off the cliff months before the season ended. The one who whined and cried and complained about the team? The one who was angry and said season is over? I will be disappointed this winter then. They should have been a package deal.All of sudden you are the biggest fan out there. I can't understand are word you are saying with theo's rear on your lips. He should be fired. If his contract was up as Joe's was he would not be renewed!!! Every positive thing you said about Theo can be said about Joe.
    Anyone with a baseball brains can see this is a last try to salvage his job. Anyone who knows anything about baseball can see his latest revolution is a joke. Just like his launch angle philosphy created this mess. Your come back makes my point for me. "Is there a limit of pitching coaches, hitting coaches and managers? Yes if you are doing a good job. You shouldn't have to burn thru coaches and managers in a 3 years span. It reflects on him. I am all for a new voice but need a new person to evaluate talent. Because the cubs won a world series and it was 108 years til last one doesn't make him a good GM. Has he made a few good decisions yes, but in the last three years he is a mess. The best players on the roster aren't even his draft. Made a good decision on trading for Rizzo. Baez wasn't his. Conteras wasn't his. Kyle is his best draft pick. Almora not good for a first rounder. Happ isn't good. Jason was bad. Nate was a good trade. Nico can be good but is small sample yet. Don't even get me started on pitching staff!!!! Bottom line is Theo created this mess of a roster, minor leagues, coaching merry-go-round, and not much flexibility because of bad contracts. Must be nice to have a job where you can royally screw up and keep your job!!!!!!

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    When you learn to have a discussion without the personal attacks, you may have a conversation with me. You have some valid points, but they are totally lost in your juvenile need to one-up people who disagree with you. Good day.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Good day. I love when someone sticks it back to you they are juvenile but when you do it baseball knowledge. I believe you called me angry???? I have my own mind and don't follow along with someone because they are in charge. I hope he can change it around but he has a challenge to change all aspects of being a good GM

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    When you learn to have a discussion without the personal attacks, you may have a conversation with me.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    You need to take your own advice

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    When you learn to have a discussion without the personal attacks, you may have a conversation with me.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Take your own advice

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    No offense but what are you talking about freaking out over every little quote of Theo's press conference? He said the blame starts with himself and the front office what in the world else do you want or expect him to say lol. As an executive part of his job is expressing confidence in his front office, and the future direction of this franchise. He already said blame starts with him he's not gonna make the entire press conference into nonstop apologies for every move he made that didn't work out. Some of you are way too emotional over this season, and making it only into Theo vs. Joe.

    The reality is a lot of the same players that were huge parts of this teams World Series and recent success either haven't progressed, or even declined in the case of some players. There's no excuse for these players to be leading the NL in errors and major league baseball in outs ran into on the bases. Most of the every day guys are the same guys that made this organization successful in the 1st place. So how did they go from a historically great defensive and baserunning team into a below average baserunning and defensive team? I just don't get it we've seen them have success with baseball fundamentals you do the math. Some of you all keep trying to make this into who should they fire Theo or Joe instead of holding the players accountable. No offense wait til next year Theo and joe have both made their share of mistakes, but why would Theo give up on the talent that turned around this franchise from the laughing stock of baseball in the 1st place. At the end of the day it's on these young players to take ownership of their careers and improve. For whatever reason that progression didn't happen under Joe Maddon, but the players are at fault too not just the coaching staff and front office.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Just because I mention I don't like his comments I am freaking out? I have said this before the letting joe go. Difference between 16 and now is 19. We have no legit ace. Whose fault is that? Jake was a beast we had nobody to replace that? 6-7 years of GM isn't that long enough to draft a TOR guy? Addison Russel fell apart. Whose fault is that? That is not Joe or Theo's fault. 16 we had a closer!!! Last few years we had davis, Morrow, to Hurtbrell. Whose fault is that????
    These are the major flaws and difference from 16 to now. Who regressed? Javy got better???? KB is about the same, Rizzo is the same, and Schwarbs is about the same, and Wilson is better. Jhey got better from 16 but still is garbage and handcuffs us. Almora is same as then. Addi is the one who got bad but that is on him.. I will make the argument that these guys all came in blazing and playing out of this world and there was no way to play at that pace for 5-6 years in a row. I am saying they both deserve to get fired if taking that route.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I don’t think anyone is arguing the front office doesn’t deserve blame also this definitely isn’t the 2016 roster. But The facts are the team had a massive decline by any metric when it comes to simple fundamentals like baserunning and defense. They had enough talent to at least win the division IMO. That’s on the players and coaching staff. They also had a lot of guys that had great seasons, and the team carried an impressive run differential all season. Yet this still were one of the worst teams in baseball in tight 1-2 run games, and had a crazy amount of late inning losses. Now some of that is on theos shaky bullpen, but I’ve said it for a long time maddon is a poor pitching change manager. With all he does well his pitching changes drive me nuts pulling his starters constantly too early when they’re dealing, and over using his top relievers. I always evaluate managers decisions in close games, and it constantly seemed like maddon pressed the wrong buttons as opposed to say Craig counsell who had even less pitching talent.

    I’m by no means saying theo is blameless especially with some of his moves since the World Series. But at the end of the day he’s the more proven commodity. He’s the main guy that took this roster and organization to respectability in the 1st place, while overhauling the entire infrastructure of the organization. He’s made mistakes but I don’t believe that the team should fire such a proven evaluator, because he’s guilty of being impatient and making too many all in win now moves during the teams window of contention. At the end of the day the guy has 4 rings all before the age of 45 he must be doing something right, and Andrew Friedman or Jeff Luhnow aren’t walking through the cubs door anyways. I say stick with the guy that’s broken both the Red Sox and cubs curses. His track record is too successful to not give him a shot at cleaning up this mess. And you also say theo should be blamed for all the fired coaches. I have knowledge that it was actually joe maddon that insisted on firing John malee and hiring his buddies chili Davis and Jim hickey. The overall divide between the front office and Maddon on coaching staffs was a part of the reason it was time for a change for both parties

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I disagree with you there is a lot of same piece on this team. The offense has a big chunk the same guys. Starting rotation has a few but the bullpen is very different. The core of this team is the same. FO didn’t replace or the underestimated the importance of a leadoff hitter, ace and closer.
    You say the team had a decline due to “metrics” give me evidence. I hear people say Schwarbs defense got better??? Nate wasn’t a great defender but I think he played a solid rf. KB has arm issues. Rizzo was good. Baez likes to take risk. Wilson needs to get better at blocking and receiving pitches. Base running is due to a lack of a lead off hitter. How many times do I read on here that someone needs to tell Rizzo he is fast? Baez was aggressive on base paths and gotta way with some horrible moves by his trick slides. KB was a good base runner. I think joe likes guys to be themselves on bases. In the bigs you gotta learn base running along the way.
    Cubs did have enough talent to win the division. So did cards and so did brewers. If you say that that is on manager that is false. Theo did bad moves to give joe a bullpen to work with. If we have weaknesses on a roster then that is FO job to strengthen them Joe has to play what he has. I have thought joe has goofy moves in the pen but figured he has more stats available ahead of time then we do. I have thought he pulls starters to soon. But then next day it will come out that Yu wanted out or Lester not feeling well. But did brewers have inferior pitching???
    I will disagree on who is proven commodity. Joe is much more. I will say the Baez Wilson we’re old GM. He did well with moves for Rizzo Addi I guess, I have no issues with Chapman deal. Nate was good too. I never liked the Q deal. His free agent signing have been terrible from Edwin to Jhey to morrow to Descalso. And the system is in bad shape. That is Theo.

    I don’t believe you have inside information. Theo is responsible for that. That is what gives Theo a black eye. I truly believe in this case both should be gone. This whole director of stuff is a joke. You can say he using it to get better but bottom line is the farm stinks cause of him and his free agent signings are terrible. All worthy of being let go.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    On metrics as I stated they led Mlb in outs ran into on the basepaths, which we all know was the furthest thing from this teams issue in 2016. They were 2nd in the NL in errors and listen to this they were according to espns defensive team fielding metrics the 2nd worst defensive team in all of baseball only ahead of SD. They were middle of the pack according to fangraphs team defensive WAR, a stat they usually thrive on. Overall I think anyone with eyes can tell you there was a team collapse in fundamentals overall. And the front office invested a lot of money into their rotation and at closer. I personally don't believe kimbrel is a bust I think he was just beat up all year after pitching deep into the World Series. I think the team simply got unlucky with kimbrel , and I think he rebounds with good health. He needed rest a lot of relievers struggle after being overused in the playoffs even a hall of fame type closer in kenley Jansen.

    As for who is the more valued commodity this isn't a knock on joe but he's only had success working with theo and former rays GM Andrew Friedman 2 future hall of famers. Joe has inherited 2 of the best young rosters over the past 2 decades, and many of his rays players have had long successful careers. He still only has 1 WS to show for it. And let's get real he didn't make great decisions overall the 2016 postseason. Theo has now won multiple rings with 2 different organizations, and frankly the Red Sox are still thriving on core superstars his regime signed or drafted Betts and bogarts. We can debate this all day I'm frustrated by some of theos recent moves too, but theos resume is as impressive as any current executive in baseball. That's not to say he's perfect especially with some of his recent moves, but the guys developed a lot of star talent and that includes javy and willson.

    As for you doubting my inside info one of my closest friends has close relationships with a lot of the former and current Hispanic players on the roster. I won't name drop current players, but I can confirm he's close to former cub Jorge soler and a number of core players. He heard 1st hand chili Davis was maddons guy, and a number of players hated working with Davis. The reason I know this is because players vented to him a lot chili David in particular. Many of them opted to do one on one work with assistant hitting instructor Juan cabreja instead. Theo fired hickey and Davis after a number of players and staff expressed frustration about maddons hand picked coaches. Unfortunately it left the cubs to promote hottovy and former minor league hitting coach Anthony iapoce

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Defense struggled but did javy get exposed at SS because he wasn’t at SS in 16? Where did cubs see the biggest increase in errors?? What person?? Was it because guys were hurt and they had to play lesser talent???
    To discard joe success because he had hall of fame GM is silly. I can say the only reason those 2 GM are hall of famers is because of the great managers. How did Red Sox do this year with theo’s talent??? Get this they didn’t fire the manager.
    I agree with u on Kimbrel. I was happy to get him. But it didn’t work for what ever reason but not on Joe. Did Theo not check the medical experts well enough???
    As far as inside info. Don’t believe you. Nobody close to a major leaguer is going to give out info that belongs in the club house. But again it makes Theo look bad to fire all the time

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    You can doubt all you want but I'm 1000% certain my source is accurate. His information comes from an all star player that had no issues with chili Davis, and he got this inside information after chili Davis was fired. The player specifically said that other players actively avoided working with Davis, and he also touched on Davis was joes guy and they were close. Believe whatever you have to in order to take any blame off maddons plate, but I can vouch my source doesn't make up stories. I also know he's as well connected to the cubs players as any civilian that I know of

    And I'm by no means saying maddon didn't help Friedman and Theo. Maddon was a huge part of changing this organizations culture, and he'll be revered here forever as he should be. But theo also was the 1st executive to interview both joe maddon and terry Francona. Part of being a strong executive is finding new managerial talent. But overall I think the cubs were an organization on the rise with or without joe maddon let's not forget they had the top farm system when joe arrived. Getting maddon definitely put the finishing touches on the cubs rebuild, but overall theo and Friedman have built upper tier rosters anywhere they've gone, and frankly both have a long way to go in their careers. For all we know theo May retire with 6 or more rings by the time he's finished. All that said I have a ton of respect for maddon. I just think it was time for a change for both parties. As I said they can't even collectively agree on all aspects of their hitting instruction. Both guys think they're in the right, and I think theo wants a manager whose more collaborative than joe

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Kk, you bring up Joe pulling his starters too soon drives you nuts and then compliment Counsell. If a manager pulling his starters too soon drives you nuts, you’d be in a straight jacket if you were a Brewers fan. Because of analytics, Counsell never lets his starters go a 3rd time through the order. I’ve seen him, many times, pull his starters in the 5th inning after giving up only a couple hits and 0 runs. And it’s cost the Brewers games this year a number of times because until September, his bullpen wasn’t great

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    I think with your average starters it makes sense to pull your starters 3rd time through the order. Analytics generally supports pulling most starters 3rd time through the order in
    Favor or relievers. But the difference is the Brewers strength recently has been the bullpen led by hader, while their starting has been an issue. I think in the cubs case their pitching strength this year and recent years has been in the starting pitching at least until the end of this season. My issue pitching change wise is with maddons refusal to adapt given his rosters strengths and weaknesses. Too often he sticks with pre game plans rather then just letting the game play out, and seeing whether or not his starting pitcher is on their game. I want to make clear philosophically I’m Fine with going to the pen earlier, but overall it depends on the strengths and weaknesses of the pitching staff. If the cubs fix their bullpen then I’m Fine playing that game. But I just have a lot more trust in the starters overall. I still think To this day the cubs may have had a small shot at beating LA (or at least had a competitive series) in the 2017 nlcs had they just stuck with their starters at times a bit longer, esp over the 1st 2 games. Overall though I want to make it clear that I think maddon has a ton of strengths, and I expect him to change the culture of whatever organization he ends up with. I think he needed change as much as anyone I’m sure it’s not always easy to work with Theo, who I’m sure had an ego of his own on various decisions

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    My doubting your sources have nothing to do with protecting Maddon. It has to do with making stuff up. That information never hits the civilian.
    I just think right move is both part from cubs. But Theo was lucky to have 2 years left.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    so if a player tells him “a lot of the guys work with Juan they don’t like working with chili” that player should be disregarded. And how would you know that do players you know refuse to talk baseball with you lol? I

    Don't mean to sound rude but Sounds like your in denial now that your whole point on blaming theo for hiring different coaches is misinformed. What I can tell you is my friend has an extremely close relationship with the the players in question. What I can also tell you is that he doesn't go around talking about clubhouse issues to everyone. I'm one of a few people he tells these stories to, and honestly he'd probably stop sharing conversations with me if he knew I was talking about them online. You choose to believe whatever fits your unsupported opinion go ahead and tell yourself that chili Davis and hickey were theos guys

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Every team has the same analytics. And Dodgers fans and Nats fans complain about Roberts & Martinez pulling their starters too early all the time. And they both have much better rotations than the Cubs. I just thought it was interesting how you complained about Maddon pulling his starters too soon and then complimented Counsell, who is the worst (or best, depending on your point of view) manager in the league regarding pulling starters too soon

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I also think there was a divide on hitting instruction overall. the lack of progression from their rookie years from all of these once elite level prospects is alarming and very unusual. I get some of these guys (I won’t name but you know who) simply aren’t gonna pan out. But I question overall whether the hitting instruction is getting the most out of the talent. 3 hitting coaches in 3 years seems like theo feels they need a change in this area as well

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    If Theo is a proven leader then he should have homework done on who his hitting instructor is going to be. How do players get used to someone and switch after a year. Theo should have found the guy he wanted not change 3 times.
    You keep talking about regression. Give me examples. Addi went back but that is nobodies fault but his. Baez got better. Wilson got better. You can say Jhey got better from the beginning. Rizzo about same. KB went from ROY to MVP and expected to stay that high??? His average went up and strike out rate went down. That progress. Kyle been a 240 30 hr guy. What progression do you want?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I said some didn’t progress, and some went down (almora, happ until lately, Schwarber until this year, Russell) . From a fundamental standpoint I think all of those guys had some of their poorer defensive seasons. Even javy who is an elite defensive player, but was generally a bit more mistake prone this year on the bases and in the field. The issue is guys aren’t progressing from their rookie years, and a scout on 670 said teams like to trade for the cubs Mlb level hitters. They think they do fine developing minor league hitters, but not so well at developing hitters at the major league level. Look how much better la Stella or soler got after leaving. Everyone wants to blame theo but theo acquired an undersized la Stella, and rostered the guy for 4 years. Why was he so much worse with the cubs? Same with soler who my friend told me was disgruntled with how maddon used him. I have a ton of respect for joe, but there was clearly a divide between him and theo on hitting instruction. And theos found a ton of successful young hitters going back to his Boston days, so it’s hard for me not to feel like theo maybe onto something with him taking issue with maddons hitting coaches. There was clearly a divide between the 2, and it’s hard for theo to tell a highly successful celebrity manager what to do. Both guys will be fine in their next jobs and I think a change is what’s best for both theo and joe in this vase

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    You still haven’t given proof of regression. I don’t agree with you. Almora hasn’t gotten worse he has stayed the same. Maybe Theo 1st number 1 draft pick was a bust. La Stella isn’t very good. Had nice year but isn’t a every day player. Soler has tools. I think the problem is everybody came to the mlb at same time and nobody said this is who is playing and I believe guys get frustrated at playing every other day. But it shows you that Theo traded the wrong guy????

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I said they mostly didn’t progress but willson, Rizzo, KB, the 2B including Addison, and heyward all had down years defensively check the error and defensive metrics they’ll generally support that. I also think almora was just a bad pick and that’s on theo let me be clear on that one. And as I told you my friend was very close with soler, and soler asked to be traded quietly behind closed doors. He wasn’t happy with how he was being used, and I can tell you 1st hand that the front office wasn’t very happy with how soler approached his every day work and simply rehabbing his body. In case you don’t believe that one I can tell you my source has joked on multiple occasions that soler didn’t have the best work ethic, while he was a cub at least. In any event I frankly don’t think he’s any better then Schwarber. I think soler maybe a bit more toolsy, but I take Schwarbers work ethic and playoff success any day. I don’t think having soler would’ve made a difference look at how well castellanos played, yet it made little difference

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Still no proof. I don’t think Theo cared about defense. He built winning on hitting hr and buying old aging pitching that worked a few years then pitchers aged and didn’t strike out as many guys as they did in 16. More hard contact was given up which allowed for tougher plays.
    Give your source a rest.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    “More hard contact was given up which allowed for tougher plays”. Do you have any proof that was the main reason the defense declined so much?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    You want Theo gone too? Isn't as simple as Theo got a big money 5 year extension when the Cubs were playing well? I think you would be hard pressed to find many professional sports teams that fire a GM with Theo track record, and 2 years $20 million left on his contract. Going into this season without an extension didn't most fans assume Joe was gone, unless the Cubs had a great season.

    I believe the clock is ticking for this front office to turn things around. You have pointed out things Theo & company has done well, and poorly. I once again assume this front office knows they have done a poor job drafting and developing players, plus which free agents, and trades didn't go as planned.

    I think you are right in that Theo, and company need to be better to keep their jobs.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I truly believe he is lucky he has 2 years left or he’d be gone. 20 millions is a lot to waste but we did it on morrow or. Smyle. I would be thrilled if he gets gerrit Cole and sterling marte. He better tighten it up quickly. I also just think his director of hitting is a wasted plead.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Theo earned his extension. Isn't timing, just about everything? Madden contract came up when the Cubs finished 3rd. Madden is still well respected in the baseball business.

    The one thing disappointing to me is the lack of players developed. The whole mantra was player development! MLB took away the great advantage they used in Boston! Spending more money on the draft, & International free agents then most other clubs year in, and year out.

    The money advantage went away. Focus the big money from the draft cap budget on hitters. They have even gone away from the one thing that kinda worked for them.

    I think Theo and company have absolutely earned the right to try to improve the Cubs roster and minor league system. Their track record is pretty good. Every negative thing you said, is also true, too.

    I'm excited to see how aggressive they are this offseason.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    My sources close to the situation tell me that cub pitchers gave up over 200 hits more this season then in 16.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Nobody said the pitching hasn’t declined since 2016 I understand this roster had playoff upside at best. What I asked is how does that account for increased errors and an overall big decline in team defensive metrics. More Hits shouldn’t account for the increase in defensive miscues. You ask everyone for evidence but you’re making a lot of huge claims on theo without much information to support is all I’m saying. Blaming him solely for all of the coaching changes has it ever occurred to you that the divide between maddon and Theo on coaches maybe part of the reason they parted ways? I don’t see how the coaching changes fall solely on one person or another

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    If there were over more 200 hits means balls were put in play more which increases more opportunities for errors.

    Who has the power to hire and fire? Theo is responsible for firing guys. If I had to fire someone and then hire them. I would make sure it was the right fit. Not do it again a year later. The part on coaching staff that is all on Theo.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Seems like the coaching changes were more of an issue of theo and joe not being on the same page. Mallee/bosio were theo guys and I personally thought those 2 were the best options for this team. Davis and hickey were maddon guys and obviously theo wasn’t happy with those 2. Now they had to resort to iapoce and hottovy and thus far I think both of those guys can be improved on

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Theo fault for not being on same page.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Should he just accept coaches like Davis or hickey if he and the players clearly think there are better options, especially after players bashed Davis during exit interviews? Maybe he hired those guys out of respect for maddon given the fact that it’s maddons coaching staff. Unfortunately in today’s game though coaching hires are done with collaboration between front office and coaching staff that’s just the way teams operate nowadays, and I’d say theo hired what were the best options in mallee and especially Bosio. They should’ve kept those guys and not signed hickey or davis after multiple successful years. The fact they can’t even agree on coaches is just one factor in why I’ve been saying parting ways is in everyone’s best interests

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    According to fangraphs K/9 innings Our pitchers strike out rates were all basically in line with their career numbers. Yes there were more hits but it wasn’t a result of a declining number of strikeouts even in the case of Jon Lester or hamels. Believe it or not Jon Lester had a pretty big increase in Ks with 8.65 K/9 and a 7.38 K/9 last year. Lester’s WAR was even better this year with a 2.8 WAR and a 2.0 WAR last year. He also had a 4.26 FIP this year and a 4.39 last year. Hamels believe it or not had a rock solid 9.05 K/9 with a better FIP then last season.

    So why the significantly worse results I think it’s pretty apparent the defense really let this team down this season. So in other words less balls were put in play from the starters, yet they still had all of these defensive miscue issues. Frankly that’s why I asked you for evidence you seem to ask everyone else for evidence, yet give all your opinions off the top of your head. I believe baseball shouldn’t just always be viewed solely through numbers sometimes you just gotta watch the game and learn. But at the same time I think this is a perfect example of how sometimes you need numbers to really illustrate what’s going on with a team, as everyone has different opinions. The facts are 4/5 starters had superior strikeout numbers to last year. Although they lacked an ace I don’t deny that the biggest decline in run prevention came from their team defense hands down. That enough evidence for you? Seems like only one of us cares to back up our evidence with facts, and not off the top of our heads based on misconceived opinions

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    The ability to translate numbers to formulate a theory what the numbers could mean is beautiful thing of baseball. The cub pitchers were more hitable this year which mean more ball were put in play. Which increases error chances. No Addi at SS and Baez at 2nd took care a lot of that. Fowler playing cf took care of that having Jhey 3 years younger help. That not off top head. That is easy read. I have not seen a offensive stat from you that tells me guys regressed. Don’t make a blanket statement. If a team doesn’t replace a cf or have adequate replacement at position whose fault is that? That should be enough evidence for you. Better then lying about “special inside information “

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Should they accept coaches??? Isn’t that Theo job to make sure guys are a good fit for ball club and in-line with his philosophies???? More times one has to fire someone more that means failure on who hired him.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Coaching staff was good enough to win the big game. Is is odd GM can’t get on same page multiple times. Theo doesn’t do things out of respect for coaches. He fired a coach for respect of joe then hired another coach for respect but then fired that one too He just didn’t go about things the right way to construct a good staff.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Sorry all of your Points have been discredited and you can’t admit your evidence is incorrect. You said more balls were put into play well and that’s why the defense declined. The strikeout numbers by the starting rotation have improved, so again what are you talking about? So there’s one piece of evidence where you’re clearly talking out of your ass, and yet I’m the liar lol. And as for the coaches do you think it’s easy on maddon and Theo when it comes to agreeing on coaches? Theo has firing ability so what he can’t just force coaches on Joes lap if joe doesn’t want to work with them. It’s joes staff dude theo can’t always put his foot down and force joe to work with people. Clearly you’ve never worked in business you clearly don’t understand that collaboration isn’t always easy. That’s the issue with having a celebrity GM and manager they have to be able to collaborate, and give and take. Part of the reason it’s best those 2 parted ways.

    As for you insulting me again by calling me a liar straight up. This is why most on this site don’t respect you, your opinions or comments. You’ve gotten into it with pretty much every poster at one point or another, and your constant recent aggressive attacks of cliff and others are getting old. You insult others opinions and insights, yet provide no evidence to ever support your opinions. Everything post is off the top of your head such as you saying more balls were put into play off the cubs pitching staff, which we’ve found out isn’t true. Tell yourself whatever you want about my sources sounds like you’re just in denial because some guy of the knowledge I have makes you look silly. Glad you’re not running the team my goodness looks like someone’s jumped off the ledge

  • I haven't read the comments, so I am not sure if others have been discussing the direction of the roster going forward. I have a controversial opinion/hypothesis & want to discuss with knowledgeable fans.

    I love Javy Baez. I agree that he seems to play the game on another cerebral level. He makes amazing plays. However, I think that perhaps the roster could shake out where Javy would be the premier piece of an offseason trade.

    I believe that Schwarber (LF) is about to blast off; Rizzo (1B) is the heart and soul of the team; Bryant (3B) offers a ton of skill at a position of limited depth at the big league level; Happ appears to be turning the corner & could perhaps find himself starting 80-100 games at 2B; Contreras seems like a lock at C; re-signing Castellanos (RF) should be a top-priority; Heyward & his contract could/should be unmovable and I would expect him to play a lot of CF; Almora has no trade value; Bote is a reserve, no more; Zobrist contract expired, right?; Caratini is a valuable backup & could sweeten a deal, as long as Cubs pickup veteran backstop; which brings us to SS & Javy Baez. Russell & Hoerner are on the 40-man too & all three can handle SS. If Javy would bring a young cost-controlled TOR starter to the Cubs, I think the roster is deep enough at SS to allow this type of trade.

    Now, for the negative Javy talk. I really, really have not like his bat in the middle of the lineup. The team is in trouble if he's batting cleanup. Could he clean it up & become Manny with a GG SS? Sure, but is the team deep enough in other areas & fanbase patient enough to let him continue to progress? Is he progressing?

    With no injuries, I think the starting offensive talent is good enough to bat Javy in a safer spot, however injuries in other seasons have necessitated Javy batting cleanup. And I don't like it. He's a phenomenal player, but we all agree that his offensive approach is behind that of Rizzo, Bryant, and it's looking like Schwarber as well. Contreras is similar to Baez to me. Both get in swing mode too often. If they can re-sign Castellanos, I'd put him above Javy too.

    I remember when Russell came back & fans, analysts, etc. were saying that this is Javy's team. That struck me as a problem. This is Rizzo's team.

    Just my opinion.

  • In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    Nah , Báez is top ten in drs and was top 3 in defensive war literally right behind Ahmed and story. He has defensive value and is a 30 hr 80 rbi offensive, trade Báez and who is replacing that?

    Bryant is the one who should be moved his defense is underwhelming and he’s injury prone , if he doesn’t accept an extension move him for pitching.quite frankly you can put josh Donaldson at 3b and get equal offense and much better defense for waaaay less.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I think this has the potential to be a very exciting offseason. The Cubs need to think a little like the A's, Twins, Indians, &/or Rays this offseason.

    Cubs should deal one of the core 5 hitters. Baez would be the last one out of the five core hitters, I would trade. In fact try to extend Baez, & Schwarber.

    Trade K. Bryant- get a good return, and he will save the Cubs the most against the tax/cap payroll penalty out of the core five. I have zero issues with trading him for a young power arm relief pitcher, and a few hotshot prospects. Saving money is a big part of trading Bryant.

    I would look into signing free agent starter Alex Wood LHSP from Cincinnati. This is a buy low deal/risk versus/reward type of deal.
    He had back issues this season. Has to check out medically, had some good seasons with the Dodgers, and Braves. He is only 28., & could be a #3/4 starter on a playoff caliber team.

    If you trade Bryant. I would look into trading for Marlins 3B/OF Brain Anderson. I think he has some upside, and would hit better if he played in a better lineup. Depends on the cost of the trade.

    He is far from perfect, but I would look into trading for Dee Gordon from Seattle. He offers the Cubs speed can play 2b, CF, and a little SS. I bet Seattle would eat some money to get rid of him.

    Free agents, let the market play out, even with Castellanos who I would like to have back, especially if the Cubs trade one of the core 5. Try to get some value this free agent period.

    Trades-- shake things up, trade a few of the current depth pieces- get whatever you can get. Maybe a package of Q, Happ, and some second tier prospects can get you something sorta exciting coming back?
    Q, Chatwood, Happ, Bote, Almora, R. Garcia, Kemp, & some bullpen guys--- shake things up. Be proactive, listen/make offers.

    Bullpen go young &/or cheap... If it isn't working, and the team is good next year make some trades to beef it up during the season. Maybe some of the prospects could help the bullpen next year?

    I personally think this might be Jason Heyward offensive high-water mark with the Cubs, this is your best chance to trade him. I assume you have to pay most of his contract off with money going out, and some bad contracts coming in. Be very aggressive in dumping Heyward, this deal has not worked out the way the Cubs planned.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I agree - watching the A's - Blue Jays game last night just reinforced the need to acquire and/or develop cheap young talent with upside. Where are the "waves & waves" Theo promised in 2011 or 12? Too many bad draft picks like Happ, Zastryzny, Almora, Blackburn and sacrifice of too many top prospects in trades coupled with decreased ability to sign Intl free agents due to new MLB rules.

  • In reply to Laker802:

    The Cubs have the ability to solve/improve the roster, with big money moves! Huge advantage, but they cannot fix all their issues with big money moves.

    Good small market teams have to adjust their roster, and solve issues on the cheap. Cubs need to do that for some of their issues probably most years.

    My two cents from a fan, the Cubs have only developed a few draft picks, and international signings, and most of them were highly rated prospects by the MLB pros.

    This front office/ownership group has spent more on amateur scouting/player development. Have more minor league teams, more coaches, and more scouts/front office personnel working on finding, and developing prospects. Especially when you compare this to Cubs past management-regimes.

    Why haven't they developed more minor league depth, and prospects?

  • I'm not a fan of Happ at 2B on a regular basis. I think he's an OF, and if they sign Castellanos and keep Schwarber, Happ and JHey, there's some surplus. I would be OK with Schwarbs or Happ being used to bring a CF who can lead off, if such an animal exists, and pitching. Russell is someone I don't want to see on the 2020 team. I can't imagine he adds anything to the chemistry and he has the baseball IQ of a rosin bag. Trade Javy? There are no "untouchables," but it would take a sweet, sweet offer to get me behind it! I'd be OK with Hoerner at 2B, but I wonder if they can use the 26th roster spot to bring Zobrist back as a mentor and backup? I'd still like to see another infielder added who could sub at SS and 2B.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    We just don’t know where it is going, but is sure gonna be fun.

    Heck they could hand over SS to Hoerner and trade both Báez and KB getting back 4 power controllable SP arms and 3 bats. Sign Rendon to play 3B and move on. Let Hamels and Strop walk. Trade Chatwood or Q for little and reallocate those funds for Gerrit Cole making him the highest paid pitcher. There is a lot that could be done and we don’t know at this point.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Rendon was just offered $210M over 7 years. Is that the price you expected him to cost? Cubs would probably need to offer more and if you strip everyone from the core, why would Rendon and Cole be interested to play for a third place ream?

  • In reply to stix:

    I expect him to get about 7/$225-$250 and while the Nats offer wasn't as silly as the offer to Harper last year it was still low and contained a lot of deferred money. Other teams will offer him straight deals.

  • In reply to TC154:

    The “salary cap” is up only $2M next yr. Not sure what/where the cubs spend their money as they were already over the salary cap in 2019. There going to need to be a big turnover of high priced talent to leave room to try to get Castellanos, Cole and Rendon to sign in FA. Would seem to me those three would cost at least $75M/yr. those totals far exceed the $60M or so coming off the books. If they want to pay salary cap penalties then game on but I doubt they want to pay 50-90% excess penalties.

  • In reply to stix:

    I said “could” not what I would attempt to do.

    Rendon was going to turn down ANY offer so he could fit FA.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Tbh with arbitration raises to most of the core talent I think there’s almost no shot they sign Rendon or gerrit Cole who reportedly wants to go to a California team. I think we’re gonna see a more creative approach personally I’d try to trade guys that aren’t a part of this teams future for long term pieces. Jose Quintana overall is a guy I’d like to move I have no interest in keeping him, yet he’s still a proven commodity. Also clears up $11.5 million in needed salary relief. I just don’t see why they should keep him only to let him walk for nothing. He’s not a irreplaceable asset anyways in the short term get something for him

  • In reply to stix:

    Isn't the timing a little weird for the Rendon offer? It seems weird they'd do it just before a WC game...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Don’t know on timing. I heard they’ve offered him different extension deals three or more times during the yr. did they do it to set Rendon’s floor or trying to keep others away.

  • In reply to stix:

    As jerry Seinfeld said to the price of juicy fruit at the bodega before the cock fight”that’s outrageous “. Dude is s good player but way too much $ and years. I think he is thirty one years old. This is one of many reasons I stopped going to games and will not pay to watch cubs on their new network. Pat and Ron are the media I will use going forward. Good grief!

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    I think he’s 29 and one year older than Arenado who got an equivalent offer from Rockies. I don’t believe he’s worth that much but I believe Boras is his agent so anything goes.

  • In reply to stix:

    What would Bryant cost over the next 7 years, including arbitration?I don't think they'd have to "strip" the core, KB alone would bring back both MLB talent and prospects, possibly a SP. The budget wouldn't change much and the team would be improved. I'm sure it's an idea being kicked around, but the FO is still in the brainstorming phase...

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I don’t like this kind of fun. Waiting for a new manager, figuring out how to fix the mess. My fun is post season and then adding pieces to help the puzzle.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    That window has closed brother. This team is no longer playoff worthy. They have been lapped from the country club atmosphere to some bad signings locking up payroll. The Cubs are the definition of insanity— doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Time for change. Time to make a major tweak and splash. I look forward to it and it will be fun for me to see and then arm chair QB the moves like everyone else in here.

    I expect a few of Báez, KB, Contreras, Schwarber, Q, and Chatwood to be dealt. I wish Heyward could be dealt too. Hamels, Strop, Almora, and Russell will all be gone. That is a lot of movement and spots to fill.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    One or two guys will be moved but the changes won't be that major. If you can get a huge haul for Bryant you do it but otherwise you might move one of those other guys you mention. This is a retool situation not a rebuild.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Yep. This is not a rebuild. A few moves brings back parts to make the team better and more complete.

  • In reply to TC154:

    They won't get a haul for Bryant so he will be back

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    The thing to consider is that while this team underachieved they still have 5 players who finished over .800 OPS and by Pythagorean record should have won 91 games. I've said this for months but this was a bad mix. I know Joe and Jed made the lineups together but there was a real chaotic feel there like there was consistent conflict between their ideas. I don't mind daily changes for matchup but there didn't seem to be a plan, just a random series of moves. They also got sub 85 wRC+ performances out of 2B and CF, that has to change. So offensively the team needs tweaking not overhaul. The starting pitching is similar. I like the idea of Alzolay fighting for a starting slot but signing a Strasburg (who will almost certainly opt out) should be considered. Honestly the only place massive overhaul is required, IMO, is the bullpen. That's not going to be easy but until this year this FO has always been good at piecing a pen together. Frankly they weren't awful at it this year by the overall numbers but the high leverage pen production was atrocious. This team has a lot of work to do, and I'm not sure they can be a WS contender next year, but they should contend for the division if the right moves are made. Tnhis was not a bad team, it was a mediocre one which often feels worse.

  • In reply to TC154:

    2B and CF were abysmal and destroyed the flow of the Offense. And Heyward does not get a pass from me with his 100 wRC+ season. He had a couple of months where he was a 130+ producer and then more months as a sub 80 producer. His wild inconsistency kills an offense. We paid huge dollars for a corner OF who produced like a middling 2B. When we had “bad” Heyward we often gave up 4 outs out of the 9. You can’t win consistently doing that.

    I hated that signing much like I didn’t care for Yu and Chatwood’s deals. Yu may prove to be a great signing over the next few years, but he handcuffed the finances of the club when coupled with Hamels and then a waste of $13 million on Chatwood. And Morrow’s paycheck bandit waste of money hurt Theo’s ability to address the holes. We really need a few shrewd trades and may have to over pay or take less in return to rid some of these contracts.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Heyward as CF doesn't hurt as much as in RF offensively - but point taken. An OF of LF - Schwarber, CF- Heyward, RF - Castellanos most days at least has decent offensive punch and won't kill defensively if that's how things go for 2020.

    I am interested in seeing if they think Hoerner can cover CF though.

  • In reply to TC154:

    On second thought, I think maybe rbrucato is correct the window has closed. I think TC might be as well with one major core be moved or possibly two. I had seen enough of Joe and was wondering if they would keep the core and add around the edges, but I'm not thinkin that way this morning.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    It seemed to me that he was saying this team as currently configured will not compete but with a change of a few key pieces could be right back in it. I believe that to be the case, but the right leadership has to be in place as well. It also may take a player move or two to break up the "country club" atmosphere, which seems to be the Cubs version of the "beer & chicken" fiasco from the BoSox. This will be interesting...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I am just a fan from the outside looking in, but I also think some players believe they deserve star treatment, like their teammates, without being stars. Russell, Almora, & Happ. I think all three are fighting for their major league careers. Almora is still young, but how many other teams will give him a chance to start? It wouldn't surprise anyone if the Cubs non-tender Russell. Russell has potential, but what team will want him? I think Russell would have a very short list of teams interested, and will be taking a pay cut.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    That’s correct, Cliff. IMO, the window on this current team has closed. I do believe there are still enough talented players that a couple of trades to change the lineup construction and get more consistent production would put them right back at the top. This current bunch had 2 consecutive meltdowns and a goo portion were around in ‘17 as well.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Don’t forget that 2 of the veteran BP depth signings, X. Cedeno and Barnette, were injured and basically didn’t pitch this year. Both were more than servicable in 2018.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Don't agree with you on window has closed. This team stays healthy in August and September they are a deep playoff team but that didn't happen and is part of the game. I also don't think the cubs have been insane "doing the same thing over and over. The cubs have been very active in change. Cubs have hire and fired a few hitting coaches and pitching coaches. Cubs have made many FA moves/signing most just didn't work. Cubs have also been active in trade market which they have had better luck with. It isn't like the cubs sat back and did nothing. I don't think this means you blow up the core of this team by hitting a panic button. Find a legit ace (cole) and get a legit 1-2 hitter for cf (marte) and roll again with a new manger.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I agree with all of these points. There will not be a blowup, nor should there be, of the roster. The 4 core guys are all due to hit FA in a couple years, so sure any with difficulties getting a contract extension are candidates for a trade. I think the only major faults are:
    a) there is a perceived lack of togetherness, or urgency, among the entire team. Epstein emphasized that is a primary focus for hiring the next manager (getting the team to work together). Perhaps Joe was just a little too mellow in this area.
    b) there is a complete and utter lack of success in developing young pitchers on the farm. It's one thing to strongly believe in TINSTAAP, but this organization has taken that into another realm. TINSTADOP - There Is No Such Thing As Development of Pitchers. We are clearly one of the worst organizations at developing pitchers, and that hurt this team badly this year. The rotation is getting old, and 2 of the Cubs starters (Hamels and Lester) hugely sucked in the 2nd half. I love Lester, like most Cubs Denizens, but he has to wear his awful second half performance.

    If this org can address these weaknesses, they won't need a teardown to right the ship.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    The Cubs have money to sign the number one free agent pitcher to a long term contract averaging over $30 million a season? Maybe it will happen. A true ACE would help a ton.

    Yankees had to have more injuries than the Cubs. They seem to get big contributions from multiple guys on the cheap.
    Yankee Stadium is a hitters park, but geez all these guys were in a platoon, or veterans in the minors at the start of the season.

    LaMahieu, Voit, Maybin, Urshela, Tauchman, & even C. Frazier a blocked prospects helped a little.

    At a minimum the Cubs need to find a few guys like Castellanos, & LeMahieu type free agents, guys that perform better after joining the Cubs/new team.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I think we’d all love Cole in theory but I don’t see the cubs investing in another mega deal after some of their failed ones, and I think Cole wants to play on the west coast unless the cubs blow other offers away . As Bryce and machado have shown it’s very difficult to live up to that type of deal as well. With arbitration eligible players getting raises I don’t think the cubs have that type of payroll flexibility, especially with a lot of bullpen and overall needs plus possibly keeping castellanos. I think we’ll see a different style of reloading the roster then we’re accustomed to. I don’t think they rebuild and trade core stars yet, unless they really get a strong offer for say KB or someone else. But I see them going more after mid to bargain level free agents rather then premium guys like Cole or rendon. Like you I think the cubs needs to find under the radar finds like lemahieu, or like castellanos recently. The one guy I want to trade is Q. He isn’t a part of this teams future I’d rather get back long term pieces. I think Q is replaceable personally even if the team wants to contend, and the trade doesn’t have to involve prospects even. I’ll take a hitter or a high end reliever I’m fine if they trade some pieces for win now moves, and not necessarily prospects

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I don't think the Cubs will sign Cole. I personally think long term high price contracts, hurt clubs more than help them.

    Cubs currently have lots of issues for a team looking to make the playoffs next season. Bullpen, RF,CF,2B, rotation issues. I agree I think for lack of a better term Cubs need to make some small market type moves this offseason to try to improve some issues with the team.

    I'm excited to see what the front office does this offseason.

    Cubs might be the new era. Could this be the new low watermark for a disappointing Cubs seasons? They just need to get better at using their $40 to 100 million payroll advantage over the rest of the NL Central.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Exactly naujack and even though I feel that cubs fans are overreacting calling for theos job, I understand the criticism of recent past individual moves. Just because they have money is no excuse to just spend recklessly with little regard to value, although I do believe Lester and the teams window of contention factored into all the recent win now moves. But now that the team is at a transition point I’d like to see them start thinking more like a small market team good way to put it. We got ourselves into this mess in part by making deals where the players acquired needed to perform like superstars in order to fulfill the price paid. I’m not saying rebuild I think they have enough pieces to contend next year, but I’d like to see them search for more undervalued hidden gems like they did before 2016. Jon Lester lived up to his deal, but I’m at a point where philosophically I don’t believe in handing out $200+ million contracts except in very special circumstances. Overall though this team doesn’t have the overall team depth or the payroll flexibility anymore to go all in on 1 mega deal player

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I'd love to get Cole, but I'm not sure SPs are where the Cubs should focus their FA spending. By team ERA, the Cubs finished 7th in MLB, ahead of playoff teams like the Yankees, Braves, Twins and Nats. I think the bullpen is the bigger need and could probably be greatly improved for less than it would take to get Cole. If the Cubs improve defense in 2020, so much the better.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Isn’t team era like money? never have too much of it :). I would absolutely take a ace/legit number 1. We may have the 7th best era but doesn’t mean we can’t improve that. Currently we don’t have anyone who is a 1 or 2. Yu could be but I were about how fragile he can be. I don’t know if he’ll get 25 starts. With Lester getting older. I would want that ace. Keep Chattwood in the pen and get a healthy Kimbrel and that is upgrade. Not sure how many arms they will replace in the pen?? I truly believe with better pitching it will make defense look better.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I am not advocating a blow up. I believe there will be some trades to address the roster weaknesses that exist. This current team despite all the talent has failed 2 straight years. And as Cubs fans and the FO know changes will take place on the current construction of the roster. A couple of good trades and this team vaults right back to the top of the division.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Window has not closed and you won't see the core pieces traded.
    How can you say they are doing the same think over and over with the number of trades, free agent signings and coaches fired and hired.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    If no Addi which I am fine with. And you trade Javy. Who is at SS??? B

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Not that I want to see Baez traded - but Hoerner is a decent SS, if still largely untested, Short had a solid year in AAA, Bote doesn't stink there but I wouldn't want to rely on him there all season.

    I would rather keep Baez, that kid is just fun to watch and a solid ballplayer.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Baez is definitely fun to watch. He has a few other positives, like being an elite player at virtually every level of the game (defense, hitting with power, hitting in the clutch (that's me), base running). Let's not forget these other details.

  • Wow Kyle Boddy from driveline picked the reds over the cubs , he’s the reds new pitching coordinator ,tough blow

  • In reply to bolla:

    I believe guys will be scared to be fired in a year. Theo is has a good reputation but he is also building one that will chase off people.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Bolla good to see you back. But just wondering how do you know the cubs were also in the running not seeing any information on that? He seems like a really interesting hire don’t get me wrong. Sucks looks like he has former ties with former cubs pitching coordinator Derek Johnson. I still believe to this day that losing DJ was amongst the most damaging departures that this organization has had in recent years

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Travis sawchik from 538 tweeted the cubs made an offer but he chose the reds

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Travis_Sawchik/status/1179148934498967555?s=20

    The cubs interviewed Boddy recently and ditto everything else you said

  • In reply to bolla:

    Thanks that sucks that’s the exact type of hire that I wanted them to make. Someone innovative and independent of the organization. Unfortunately the guys knows Johnson from their Vanderbilt ties. Wish bosio could’ve gone and got himself black balled from Mlb before Johnson took the brewers pitching coach job

  • fb_avatar

    There are a lot of comments to read and I might be repeating some of what was said. First of all, Theo wanted to change the culture of players striking out and not getting on base and getting rid of older, middle of the road players who were good but not great. I think we went from striking out the most to walking the most. He made some great trades—Jake, Hendricks, Stropy, Russell, and I can’t think of the others. We drafted KB and might have drafted Appel if he wasn’t chosen first. With the trades and KB and Schwarber we came close in 2015 and of course won it in 2016. He also jumped and signed Joe in the 2 weeks he was a FA. He also signed Jon Lester and Lackey. I’m not a Theo basher but Baez was a Hendry draft, and he did draft Eloy and Cease and Contreras. Who else have we signed and developed? Yes Happ, but erratic so far. We know that no pitchers have contributed (I know we’ve traded some, most notably to get Castellanos.) Our scouting department has to be improved and especially in identifying and developing pitchers. Our IFA signings have been good when we had money and now we can begin to sign more. I want to see players with plus talent developed—after 8 years we should have more.
    We won when many of our players were young and not even at their prime yet they didn’t improve as much as we thought they would. That’s been kind of the problems— we had name players with potential that never lived up to that potential. Maybe some new eyes will help.
    Btw, we still have some excellent players but we strike out too much and don’t walk enough and try to hit too many HR.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I forgot we traded for Anthony Rizzo too.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Wasn’t conteras a hendry IFA in 2009 ????

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Yes. And Eloy was a Theo IFA the same year they signed IFA Gleyber. Cease was a 2014 6th round draft pick.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    That was a good IFA class

  • fb_avatar

    Washington came back from a 3-1 deficit in the bottom of the 8th with a 3 run hit by Juan Soto (helped by an error in RF) and they held on for a 4-3 win. Bye bye Brew crew.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Also the hit by pitch was questionable. Doesn’t bother me brewers got in. I want cards bounced out.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Cardinals might just win this thing.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Heavens to Murgatroid, I hope not....

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Hopefully, they'll "exit, stage left." Or right. Either is fine.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    The Cardinals are the worst team left in the playoffs, weren't hot coming in (lost 4 of their last 5, two to the Cubs Scrubs) and will almost certainly have to beat multiple 100+ win teams.

    Good luck!

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    FYI... Braves went 4-2 vs. StL this year.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yeah, I saw that. Loved it.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Hmmm....MIL loses 4 in a row to end the season. 3 in COL where they could have clinched the division, then the WC game. Seems all vaguely familiar....

    If BP will let me indulge (and my apologies to Simon and Garfunkle)

    Oh Schadenfreude, my old friend!
    I’ve come to feel your glow again....

  • Frustrating how Hader looks somewhat vulnerable vs the rest of mlb but lights out vs the cubs.That was a terrible misplay by grisham that lost the brewers the game, woodruff,suter and pomeranz shut down washington then hader loads the bases and blows the save.

    Schrezer was underwhelming and labored thru 5 and gave up 2 hr's

  • In reply to bolla:

    Counsell is getting heat up here in Wisconsin for pulling Pomeranz before the 8th. It was asking a lot of Hader to get six outs. Pomeranz was rolling, 6 up and 6 down, and had only thrown 30 pitches. He had started for most of the year, so pitch count wasn't a big deal. I thought it was a mistake to not send him out in the 8th & have Hader ready if he got in trouble. But as I've said many times, every teams fan base seems to hate how their manager manages a bullpen. That's why I think its funny when many Cubs fans seemed convinced that Maddon is poor at bullpen management and other managers, like Counsell, are good at it. My guess is front office execs in baseball think Maddon is very good at managing a bullpen.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    All managers could be more in the moment. They should have a game plan, but leave 'money Ball' in their office.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I agree. But every move a manager makes that doesn't work can be 2nd guessed. If Hader shuts out the Nats for two innings and gets the save, very few people will question that move. It didn't work, so he is getting ripped for poor bullpen management

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    True. I meant it more, in general, than specifically.

  • In reply to Cubpack:

    Hader was ragged out vs. COL.
    I'm not at all surprised at what happened.
    Go to the well too many times and eventually you come up empty.

  • Hey, ya'll. Good discussions, even if it's getting a little heated. Remember to keep the personal insults to a minimum, or actually non-existent, please and thank you.

    I had volunteered for a season-ending obituary article, but I just couldn't muster the motivation to produce. I think we all need a little break after this monumental disappointment. We'll be back up and running soon with some solid content, but I think we all just need some time to let this sink in.

    Just a tease, most fans are expecting a large turnover in the roster. This is true, and necessary. But the biggest news of this offseason will be the shakeup in the FO. Our player development sucks and is already being addressed. Theo no longer has free reign to run the show, unquestioned. He is now being questioned, and ownership is listening to ideas from outside.

    I'll try to start writing again to help us navigate this tumultuous offseason, and I'm sure I'll hear your opinions.

    Go Cubs!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Looking forward to this, BP. I was hoping there would have been an analysis piece on Theo’s presser.

    I’m not surprised to hear that there will be a FO shakeup and that Theo is being questioned. That’s what I would do if I was Ricketts. Those clamoring for Theo’s head should probably just be patient, knowing that he is on the clock. I will not at all be surprised to hear that Ricketts is giving Theo a year to fix this, and to see him fired if certain Postseason goals are not met.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I'm interested in hearing more about the FO shakeup and what role ownership is playing in the "retool" of the lineup. It'd be great to see more forward-thinking discussion once most of the angst is out of the way.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Agreed I know the reds hired Kyle Boddy from Driveline and unfortunately he chose the reds over the cubs due to his Vanderbilt ties to former cubs pitching coordinator and current reds pitching coach Derek Johnson. Although I would've liked that hire I do like that they're looking to add those types of people. I get Jason Mcleod has a pretty good reputation in baseball circles, but I'd like to see Theo hire forward thinking, innovative minds from outside of the organization (and I think he will). The facts are now every team invests a ton of money on analytics and other new forward thinking technologies like Driveline. I'd like to see the cubs try to add forward thinking minds from outside of the organization. The reality is a lot of the league has copied or caught up to a lot of the market inefficiencies and forward thinking ideas that Theo has employed in the past.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I believe there was some discussion over proprietary rights as well. For example, if Boddy develops a technique that helps pitchers, can he use it (through Driveline) for pitchers from other teams, or does it "belong" to the Cincinnati Reds? I think the Cubs will find another "guru" but Boddy is the name everyone wanted.

  • It's probably pure speculation but BN is reporting that Jon Morosi said on 670 the Score that Bryant will be made available and the Rangers are a potential destination.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Possibility? Yes. Probability? No.

    Baez could be dealt, and 29 teams would be interested. I'd bet we'd even receive a nice return.

    I could write 17 articles like this per day to draw views and sell Amazon products, but I don't. Welcome to this whirlwind offseason.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Cliff....The Rangers need a 3B. Their minor league pitching system makes ours look stacked!!!

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Yeah, but until somebody makes a move, the sports folks have to talk about SOMEthing!

  • Do you guys think MLB will expand the payoff?

    I think it would create more interest down the stretch for a few more cities every year. Some parks at the end of the year seem like ghost towns. Not sure how they would change the playoffs.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I don't think so. Some teams won't get fans even in great seasons. Atlanta and Tampa are 2 examples.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I hope not, but... They'll probably end up with an NHL-style system where more than half the teams in the league "qualify."

  • David Ross is the favorite/front runner to be the cubs next manager according to Heyman and several other reporters

  • In reply to bolla:

    I know a number of cubs fans are against hiring Ross for IMO nonsense reasons to outright eliminate a candidate such as lack of experience. But to me I'm not saying I have zero concerns on Ross. For example I don't know how his close friendships with several players will play as their manager and boss. But with all that said he's my 1st choice he has all of the qualities that teams look for in a young manager in today's game. I remember reading articles in the past where front office execs were quoted as saying that Rossy will have his choice of jobs once he retires, whether that's as a manager, a tv analyst, or a front office guy/scout.

    For me also I don't get why some fans get so hung up on experience when it comes to hiring coaches. Most of the best new hires around baseball are young 1st time managers that's just the direction the league is trending right now. Teams don't want celebrity managers like an old school Tony La Russa alpha male type that you can't tell how to run their teams. It's much more collaboration today between the front office/analytics department and coaching staff in making decisions. I think it's been proven that a manager doesn't necessarily have to be experienced to be successful. As long as Ross fits the criteria teams look for in young managers I'd have no problem with him as their choice. Really in general I think Maddon's coaching staff and locker room culture/accountability has been hurt by departures such as Bosio, Davey Martinez, David Ross, etc. All guys that hold players accountable and aided Joe Maddon in managing the locker room

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I think some Cubs fans took the FO for their word when they stated their reason for not initially hiring Sandberg as manager, back when the current FO initially began their reign, was solely because he had no managerial experience. This seemed like a deal breaker for them at the time. Yes, times can change, but I haven't heard them state that they were wrong in that thinking.

    Also, I'll come out and say I don't think Ross is a good fit as manager. Have you heard him broadcast games with ESPN? He is a very outgoing and likeable guy, but he just yammers on endlessly at times. I don't see a ton of coherence to his thinking. I know he plays a traditionally cerebral position, but comparing how he expresses his ideas with someone like Girardi is like night and day. He comes across as a jovial puppy dog.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Interesting points Hef. On Sandberg honestly I was as against the idea of hiring him as anyone and I think Theo is BSing if he's saying he didn't hire Sandberg solely over lack of managing experience. Sounds like a cop out answer to reporters, because I know a lot of cubs fans were interested in the idea of Ryno managing the cubs. I think front offices nowadays don't prioritize previous managing experience, as long as their candidate has the appropriate skills and expertise that teams want in today's game.

    Honestly I see what you're saying on Ross I don't think he's a bad analyst, but I agree he's not my favorite. Frankly though I think the era of teams seeking out alpha male managers who present themselves like good salesman is over. I remember Yankee fans bashing Aaron Boone saying that he was quiet, brought no good analysis to Sunday night baseball, and that Jessica Mendoza was smarter then him on tv. Craig Counsell for example also isn't as good in front of a camera as a Joe Girardi. For me at least I don't rank candidates based solely on how they look in front of a camera. I think that's how candidates get overlooked, and it's not like Ross isn't a good communicator in a clubhouse context. I don't think it's an accident Girardi hasn't gotten a job he's stubborn, and isn't the type of collaborative manager that teams seek nowadays. Sure he presents himself like the strong alpha male manager that teams used to seek, but hiring a guy for those types of reasons is frankly an outdated philosophy. New wave front office guys in the mold of a Theo or Andrew friedman want managers that are forward thinking, open minded that work well with others in a collaborative nature. That's just the direction not only sports but businesses in general are moving. There's more collaboration and teamwork with different departments then ever. Teams make decisions using a team effort in today's game, and it's not always easy to work with celebrity old school managers like Girardi who have their preconceived ideas of how they want to run a team. Personally I think if we disqualified managers based on their tv announcing, then Aaron Boone wouldn't even have sniffed an interview. But that said I agree they shouldn't just automatically lock in on Ross because they know him. There's plenty of other capable candidates out there, and I hope they keep an open mind. But I don't think Joe Girardi is gonna happen for example, and I strongly believe it's likely they hire a 1st time manager.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I totally get why ability to talk in front of a camera is not a huge issue. Actually, I think Ross is a very camera-friendly guy, and I don't think that ability is critical either, in managing a team successfully. I was more saying I'm not sure how Ross goes about actual analysis shows a good mind at problem solving. But trying to evaluate that from a TV broadcast is pretty shallow analyzing on my own part, I admit. What I'm saying is I just don't think Ross has the mental temperament to be a good manager. Communication skills? Yes. Not afraid to be critical of a player? Certainly. Handling the mental load of team strategy, offensive philosophy, coordinating all of the moving pieces of training, correcting, evaluating, BP and pitcher management, lineups, etc.? I think he will struggle mightily.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    My mistake Hef I gotcha you don't like the content of some of the things he says. I agree with a lot of what you say in general and for me at least I like Ross I think he's a sharp baseball guy and natural leader. But there's a fine line with being a clubhouse glue guy and a manager, especially when Ross would be managing some of his close friends. I'd like to see the front office keep an open mind, and evaluate Ross based on how the interviewing process goes while keeping an open mind on others. Again I'd be fine with Ross but I'm not sure how I feel about a coaching search where the future manager is already pre-determined. I'm not a part of the process so it's hard for me to evaluate these things, but overall I at least hope they're keeping an open mind. People forget when Theo interviewed Terry Francona and Joe Maddon in 2003 those guys really weren't hot coaching candidates. What they had in common is they absolutely killed their interviews, and fit a lot of the criteria that the red sox front office was looking for in a manager. I personally don't want to see Theo abandon his managing search criteria just because of nostalgia over how much Rossy helped in the cubs clubhouse. He still needs to fit all the criteria they're looking for, and I hope they at least interview other outside candidates besides in house guys like Mark Loretta or Will Venable. In any event though as others have said I also am more interested in seeing player personnel moves, in addition to front office moves such as who replaces Mcleod as the head of player development

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Honestly, i would prefer a guy outside the organization like Raul Ibanez or Mark DeRosa but I have no problem with Ross. Jason McCleod is going to have more impact on the MLB club than the new manager anyway.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I'm fine with either TC good candidates. I'm against a Joe Girardi type strong alpha male manager I think there's a reason he wasn't hired. Collaboration is more important in today's game then ever, and managers like Girardi have preconceived notions about how they want to manage their teams. I think it's why nobody's hired him in general with teams having more collaboration with different departments then ever in making baseball related decisions.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I’m honestly more intrigued by what personnel moves happen ,and who the cubs hire for the director of scouting/player development (hopefully someone outside the organization from the dodgers,rays or Astros) than the manager. That being said the buzz has been Ross will be a future manager for years, so I wouldn’t be against it but some roster turnover is the most important priority to me

  • In reply to bolla:

    Agreed I think the cubs likely hire a 1st time manager, and I also think the most important changes will come within the roster and the front office changes. I will say Boddy from driveline is the exact type of hire I was hoping they'd make. An innovative, forward thinking mind INDEPENDENT of the organization. I think Theo is a smart executive but I have to admit he has a lot of friends that worked in very high profile positions. Let's get real reassigning Jason Mcleod wasn't a promotion they practically fired him from running the minor leagues essentially. I'd like to see them look to add top forward thinking minds from other organizations to bring some fresh ideas and perspective into the front office.

    Agreed on the roster too I don't see them signing a Cole or Rendon with their young core mostly getting substantial raises through arbitration, plus possibly keeping Castellanos. But I'd like to see some activity and change overall, but I think we'll see them operate more like a small market or mid-level team, rather then just throwing money at their issues which is a big part of this teams current issues. Frankly I think Theo operates better when he thinks like a small market GM, rather then making all in win now moves without enough regard for high costs.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Agreed about the 1st time manager. And I think they go for somebody from within the organization in the end. I would not be at all surprised if it wasn't Loretta chosen in the end. I like Venable and the idea of Ross, but am not convinced about either of them as yet.

    Also agreed about the probably lack of a big FA signing like Cole or Rendon. Especially if they do want to make a solid play for Castellanos. There's just not that much cash that they are likely to be willing to spend even with ~$40MM coming off the FA books this winter.

    I do seriously think that one of Bryant (and most likely Bryant IMO), Schwarber or Baez (and least likely Baez) is going to get traded for some prospects. I think Almora would benefit from a change of scenery - but the return for him isn't going to be high. Almora becomes completely expendable if they move Heyward to CF most of the time, and can cover it the remainder of the time with Happ and/or Hoerner.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    No chance Bryant is traded for prospects.
    Don't think they make offers to Rendon, Cole or Castellanos
    Don't think Heyward should be a full time CF - leave him in right

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I personally don't think he is ready for being a manager. You talk about experience not that important. But with David he has none!!!! At least Martinez was a bench coach for years to learn something. Not retire, sit in a booth for a couple and then being a manager. I don't mind hiring a guy with no managing experience but I mind not being having any dugout experience or running or being around spring training as a coach.

    I don't know how you can tell us what organizations want as their manager? Different types of styles have proven effective just like different styles of playing ball can win games.
    It is hard to have that trust among the coaching staff when coaches are being replaced every year but we know whose fault that is.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I agree that a case can certainly be made that a number of other 1st time managers at least had coaching experience. Davey is a good example actually he had many years of experience as a bench coach before he got a managers gig. Overall in a perfect world I'd much prefer if Rossy had some type of coaching experience, even if he was always somewhat of a player coach. That said Aaron Boone had no coaching experience before he was hired as a manager. Neither did AJ Hinch or Craig Counsell and those are some of the more successful recent hires of the past decade. I prefer some coaching experience at least don't get me wrong, but overall experience wouldn't be one of my main factors I'm looking for given the success of many recent young inexperienced managers.

    I don't think there is one style of manager over the course of baseball history. I'm by no means saying let's only hire a young guy and not even consider or research other candidates. Teams have generally been hiring young managers for years around sports not just baseball that's the new trend I guess, yet the cubs still chose an older manager in Joe Maddon who was the perfect man at the perfect time for this organization. You never want to rule out older candidates that are proven and fill the criteria they're looking for. But the reality is teams are generally hiring younger, forward thinking managers in today's game, and if I'm being frank the young guys have generally had the most success amongst recent hires. Like you said different styles have been proven effective, so you never want to be closed minded. But given some of the collaboration issues between Theo and Maddon on the various issues I personally expect them to hire a young manager, which has been the obvious trend amongst new manager hires. I'd like to see a young manager in the mold of an AJ hinch, Rocco Baldelli, Aaron Boone, Counsell, Dave Roberts, Alex Cora. You may disagree but that's just my opinion that I think they hire that sort of type. I believe that method of finding the next young manager has proven it can be effective, and that's why I don't think experience should be a deciding factor if that makes sense. IMO I think younger managers collaborate better with front offices vs older managers who prefer to do things the way they've always done things. Again I'm not saying experience doesn't have any value, especially for a candidate like Ross who hasn't even been so much as a 1st base coach. (which is why they have to highly consider other candidates as well). But the game has shown that managers don't necessarily have to be experienced to be successful. The trend around sports overall not just baseball is we're seeing teams hire these young, forward thinking coaches like the Rams Sean Mcvay or Matt Nagy. I heard plenty of people call both guys too inexperienced saying they were too young, they never play called, blah, blah

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I am not sure it a good thing to be friend ms/teammates with a ton of guys you played with.
    All those baseball manager you mentioned never had any other coaching experience????
    McVay either???

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Counsel, Hinch, and Aaron Boone had zero cosching experience, and other then Davey the other mlb coaches I listed also only had about 1-3 years of experience as assistants. The lack of coaching experience and Ross’s friendly relationships with current players are basically my 2 main knocks against Ross. That’s why even though I like him I sure hope the team stays open minded, and have other strong candidates. That said I wouldn’t eliminate Ross just because he lacks experience, as I said inexperienced coaches have shown they can be successful. My biggest concern Rossy maybe being a little too friendly with current core players I question whether a new voice maybe preferable. Now I don’t think you or I have enough information to say he’s not ready because of those concerns that a lot of fans on other sites have touched on. But I agree he has enough knocks going against him where I don’t consider him a slam dunk candidate. I personally believe he’d make a good manager, but I agree he’s not a flawless candidate. I’m sure on Ross team officials have privately raised some of the same questions you have though. I just don’t think they’re as worried about things like experience as many fans seem to be. IMO most of the best new hired coaches these days have limited experience

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I would say that it would take a perfect situation for a no assistant experience manager to succeed. Astros could win with any current mlb manager. Enough talent to cover shortcomings. Same thing with Yankees. NY is tough media market. I personally don’t think cubs situation is set up for a inexperienced manager to come in.
    I would personally like someone way outside the organization.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I understand what you're saying, I just think you are off base. The reason the current players speak so highly of Ross isn't simply because they view him as a teammate and friend, but because he pushed them so hard. He got in their damn face when no one else would. It is fear and respect as much as friendship.

    I still think the job is his if he wants it. We shall see.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Just my two cents on the Ross idea. Yes, he has no managerial experience. But, and I mean this in a good way, he was never a good player (relatively speaking). He sat for years next to some of the greatest managers in baseball, game-planning and evaluating. He was for most of his career a de facto bench coach.

    The Cubs hired him on as a "special assistant" to the GM. He had spent the last couple years roaming the Cubs organization, talking with coaches and learning the system.

    I hear the arguments that you can't have a manager who is friends with the players, but I don't agree. Ask any player on this team. When you made a mistake, Grandpa Rossy would be there to pat you on the back and encourage you. Make that same mistake twice and Grandpa would be in your face and on your ass. That's when he was a teammate. He famously tore into Rizzo for not running out a ground ball during a spring training drill.

    That is what was missing during this season, leadership. Ross knows the game as well as anyone, and has plenty of respect within that clubhouse. If you think players will be dogging it because Grandpa Rossy, their friend, is the manager, you, and they, are mistaken.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Agree with this 100% barley I’m not one to generally dismiss the public’s concerns I understand some of what people are saying. But he’s been working with the organization for years, and he’s been an instructor at every single spring training since he’s retired. He’s considered one of the smartest baseball man pretty much unanimously from any organization he’s ever been a part of. And coincidentally every team he goes to seems to win over the many stops he’s made. Frankly too he’s pretty much revered with every single team and most teammates he’s ever been a part of, and it isn’t because of his hitting. I think ross had overall limited talent, but winning teams still want him because he brings off the charts makeup and intelligence to the locker room. I personally believe he has the balance of personality to hold these guys accountable while also being a players manager. We’ve already seen him get through to this group before. I’m an open minded person overall Ross isn’t the only candidate I like. But I think if anyone can get around not having experience as a manager he fits that criteria. Now I do want them to at least consider outside candidates, but overall rossy fits the criteria of the type that can be a successful manager IMO. Again I get why questions need to be asked by fans, but I don’t get why some already want to dismiss him over concerns like inexperience. What top new managers aren’t somewhat inexperienced these days

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    If player call him grandpa rossy that isn’t a good thing. Has to separate him from playing days to being their coach.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    People often go with the first thought that comes to mind. I trust the FO to interview for skills needed in the position and hire the candidate that best meets those skills.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I never saw Ross get “in someone’s damn face” neither did you. There is a difference when your buddy is filling the line up card and controlling your playing time. Just saying that is a tough transition for 1 to make.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Get a leader that has nothing to do with the past Cubs or any ties to Theo. Get a manager with some experience because this team can win now and can not wait for a manager to learn on the job.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Why does a manager need to learn on the job? Look at the recent managerial hires over the past decade other then Joe Maddon the vast majority of the successful new hires are 1st year managers are young, forward thinking 1st year managers. Aaron Boone, Rocco Baldelli, Dave Roberts, Alex Cora didn't need to learn on the job they came in and won games while turning around their franchises right away the 1st year. With all the collaboration managers have with different departments these days a lot of managing decisions and responsibilities are pre-determined anyways. I say get a young manager because I think that's what would be the best working fit with this younger front office. We need a manager that can and is willing to actually work collaboratively with the front office, the analytics team, and other baseball ops departments. An experienced old school manager like say Joe Girardi would want to do things the way they always have, and I think it's clear that Theo wants a manager that can he can work with in a more collaborative fashion that embraces today's analytics and new technology. Old school alpha male managers generally don't want to be told what to do by younger execs like Theo or Jed. It's an absolute no brainer IMO to get a 1st time younger hire as is the way of the league today. You may disagree but prepared to be disappointed if you're expecting a Girardi or Clint Hurdle type.

    And Barley I think you make great points on Ross and I agree. I don't how this notion came about that David Ross doesn't bring toughness, or the ability to hold these guys accountable. Talk to John Lackey or Jon Lester and they'd tell you otherwise, and we know those 2 are tough, old school grinders. Actually one reason I like Ross is that he seems to have a great balance between being a players coach, while still bringing toughness in the clubhouse to hold players accountable. He's always been known as that guy that's willing to have difficult arguments and discussions with former teammates, and I think it's part of the reason everyone respects him so much. All I know is this seemed like a much more accountable group of players when Rossy was in the cubs clubhouse. Something hasn't been the same since he left call it complacency or whatever you will.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Rocco Baldelli, Dave Roberts and Alex Cora all had previous coaching experience before becoming managers. Only Aaron Boone did not. Not sure how much the front office wants the new manager to have some kind of coaching experience before hiring someone as the next manager.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    You're correct some of those guys had a little experience. But even Roberts and Baldelli only had a few years as coaches, and they have the most experience amongst guys I listed. Counsell, Boone, and AJ hinch had zero coaching experience before their 1st managing jobs. Alex Cora actually only coaches for 1 season before winning a World Series last season in only his 1st season managing. That alone proves that managers don't need experience in order to "win now". If Ross is the type of manager in waiting prospect that some front office executives think he is, then experience shouldn't be the reason they outright dismiss him is my point. I'll say it again recent sports coaching hires has proven a head coach or manager doesn't necessarily need to be experienced to be successful. That's an undeniable point IMO at this point with the success of 1st time head coaches overall that we're seeing in MLB, NFL, and NHL

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    AJ Hinch was manager of the D-Backs for parts of 2 seasons (2009-2010). He was not very successful with them though.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ARI/2010-roster.shtml

    That was his roster 2016. Hire joe Torre or Bobby Cox for all I care they’re not even sniffing contention with a roster built to lose. Dbacks made a mistake firing hinch unfortunately he was tied to GM josh Byrnes who was deservedly fired

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    But this is to wait til next year you got your wish joe Girardi an experienced candidate is officially interviewing next week. Will Venable and David Ross also have scheduled interviews. I’m no Girardi supporter but I like at least giving him an interview. I question if he’s the best working fit with a young front office that prioritizes collaboration between the coaching staff and different baseball ops departments. But I also think they may as well at least sit in a room with the guy, and see if there’s a fit in addition to evaluating whether some of the criticisms of Girardi are true or false

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    The D-backs also fired Bob Melvin 3 time manager of the year to higher Hinch. I agree the D-backs were messed up back then.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I believe Ross was hired as a special assistant in order to groom him to be a managerial candidate. Not be given the job, mind you, but a prolonged job application.

    I really believe the job will be his.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    He went to scout Kimbrel and said he was ready. Ross is the most over rated 2nd or 3rd string catcher in Cubs history.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Maybe Kimbrel was fine and healthy until he actually started pitching regularly in games. Kimbrel seemed to be rounding into form in July until he got hurt. Closers that need time off after long postseasons usually start the season healthy, but then get hurt as the season progresses. The yankees signed Chapman after he was abused by the cubs in the playoffs. He was healthy and ready to go at 1st, but struggled mightily to start the season and the yankees put him on the DL the next 2-3 months. I don't think Chapman had an injury that would show up on an MRI. Sometimes these guys bodies don't respond well to pitching again after a season of overuse. I don't think Kimbrel had any type of major injury I just think he had a lot of wear and tear recently. Nothing rest can't help. Kimbrel woudn't be the 1st closer to struggle after a long playoffs, especially considering he didn't even sign with a team until June.

  • Also Girardi was on Chicago radio yesterday basically campaigning for the cubs job. Ironic because that’s who I thought the cubs would hire before maddon but Girardi chose to stay with the Yankees. He also downplayed his Chicago ties at the time,(in 2014) , his tune has certainly changed. Girardi also withdrew his name from the reds and rangers jobs last year to wait for the cubs opportunity

  • I don't know about Girardi, but I would like to see the Cubs get back to basics. Whatever they were doing the last two years isn't working. If anything, they need to think about simplifying the game. I concur that in this era the Mike Matheny and Bobby Knight tyrants won't play, but Maddon ended up being to cool and just as stubborn.

  • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nHSRPOCpbdA

    Cubs twitter tribute to Joe Maddon, serious tearjerker. Copy n paste the link to watch!

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    I'd like to see Rossy get the job, but I do trust Theo and whoever he picks we'll see what happens. I'm as concerned about the changes in the front office and our scouting department because we need better prospects and must build up our farm system.
    Is there a Rooney rule in baseball? If not, we should have one. I know Ibanez has been mentioned but I think he's the only minority so far.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Will Venable.

  • It's awfully quiet around the Den lately...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    The fishing has been good. I almost caught a bass yesterday, but I was able to jerk the hook away just in time.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Good luck with that!

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    The storm has passed until the next decision is made

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    I'm going with Loretta. Nothing against him, but he'd be Theo's scapegoat if 2020 bombs. Jmo.

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    I've been missing Davey Martinez for awhile but that boat sailed. It seemed like after he left Maddon lost half his mojo.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Interesting thought. Was Martinez's role the "enforcer" in Joe's hierarchy? Or, was it just coincidence that performance dropped when he left?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Martinez was a very soft spoken man. I doubt he was a enforcer.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    You don't have to be loud to get a point across. Fact is the loud ones generally have a short shelf life. Martinez has kept his cool through some tough times in DC.

    To be honest I hadn't considered how much his absence would matter. Fans don't see the day to day impact these guys have. More than most would guess I'd gather.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    I read that joe generally empowered Davey Martinez and David Ross to police the clubhouse. Joe has a hands off style he believes in player led clubhouses, and generally prefers to be the good guy with good relationships with all players. Actually he empowered David Ross and Davey to have tough conversations with players if they needed to be had. It’s hard for us to quantify how much Davey did for this team. But overall though I don’t believe the cubs have the same leadership within the clubhouse as they had in 2016. That’s not to blame joe I think great coaches generally have great coaching staffs, and the cubs have had a lot of strong assistant coaches leave for promotions or other reasons such as Chris bosio. I still to this day believe that losing Derek Johnson was one of the most underrated losses the cubs have had from an organizational standpoint. It seems wherever he goes success follows even the brewers pitching staff took a big step backwards after he left

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Still, Joe should have put his foot down, it the people he empowered were no longer in the dugout. The cold hard truth is 2019 ended up a waisted opportunity and Maddon didn't do enough.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    I just meant he is a very mild manner guy. He very well could have been a huge strategist that helped joe make decisions???? And being mild manner could have helped him thru the media criticism or added to the issues of the clubhouse or both.

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    Loretta as manager & Ross as assistant manager or a coach.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Ross has already been offered the assistant job, so I doubt he'd be interested. Loretta was picked for a reason and could be the best choice, but I wonder about his chances of implementing the changes wanted by the FO after being so close to the team. I'm sure they'll ask about that in the interview process.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Where has it been reported Ross has been offered any job?

  • I really really wish the cubs could get whit merrifield somehow, unfortunately I don't think they don't have the prospects or mlb players to make a real offer.Maybe happ and schwarber?

    Dude is the answer at 2b and lead off he's a contact machine! who has led mlb in hits 2 years in a row and before this year led mlb in stolen bases 2 years in a row.There's your lead off hitter & 2b, he's solid defensively(7 drs at 2b) he can play the outfield too(several games at rf anf cf) , although not as good a defender in the of.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I really wanted him last deadline too. Unfortunately I think he would cost Nico and Brennen Davis or Marquez maybe even more frankly. The still rebuilding royals aren’t gonna want Schwarber with his dwindling cost control they’ll want guys with 5-6 years of control. Happ could maybe be a 3rd piece KC has expressed interest in him in the past. The fact they didn’t deal him though last deadline with his value at an all time high though tells me they’re asking for an arm and leg. Just not that many leadoff types that aren’t only base stealing threats, but also get on base at a high clip

  • In reply to bolla:

    My concern with him is he is 30. I’d hate to give up 2-3 under 25 good players/prospects. Why was he 27 in his 1st year in bigs? Was he hurt? Late bloomer? Don’t get me wrong he is a very nice player has good numbers. He did strike out quite often.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    He wasn’t a top prospect waittilnextyear a bit of a late bloomer like zobrist. Now I think he’s proven he can play his critics that said he comes from little pedigree called last year a fluke year, and I think he’s proven his overall value with another strong season. My issue like you is he’s 31 and a big part of his success is due to his good speed and athleticism. Like other speed/average guys what’s gonna happen once he loses a step or 2. Right now he’s a great fit for any team but if they trade for him can they rely on the fact that whits best days are ahead of him? Doesn’t help too that the cubs are trying to build their farm system back up

  • In reply to bolla:

    While Merrifield has had 2 good years, I see his decline starting. Let's just look at Stolen Bases. In 2017, 34 stolen bases, 8 CS. In 2018, 45 SB, 10 CS. In 2019, 20 SB, 10 CS.

    I think that KC would be crazy if they don't trade him. They are likely already 1 year too late. However, if there is one guy who will over pay, it is Theo. I'm not saying the guys Theo has acquired via trade are bad or the wrong players. I just see that he over pays relative to other championship caliber teams.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    It is not true Theo overpays in trades. Theo won many trade deals which led to the World Series win.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Good points, I agree about theo overpaying compared to the other teams.The astros and dodgers don't overpay at all

    Astros added cole and grienke and STILL have their top 2 prospects in tucker and whitley. The dodgers wanted vasquez at the deadline(major bullet dodged) and the pirates wanted gavin lux, dodgers refused deal was dead.

  • In reply to bolla:

    LOL Blah blah blah.

  • Is it just me or would cole look better in cubbie blue!!!!!!

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Cole would look good.
    The problem is that the gulf between the Astros and Cubs is far greater than just Cole switching squads.

    The Cubs finished 23 games behind the Astros.
    The last place Pirates finished 22 games behind the Cardinals.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    I take the best AL records with a small grain of salt. Yes, HOU has a powerful club, but the AL is full of haves and have-nots. HOU played 19 games vs. SEA and at least 24 vs. BAL, DET, CHS, and KC. MIN won 101 games, but played 57 vs KC, CHS and DET. For me, LAD 106 wins against a more balanced NL is more impressive than HOU 107 wins in the AL.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Great point. The bottom of the AL barrel is so bad right now it's barely fair.

    That said, I think Houston is a great team, better than LAD. I guess we'll see.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    Houston is the best at the basics.

    They don't make errors.
    They strike out the other team.
    They don't strike out themselves.

    We may get to see a Dodgers / Astros rematch.
    But the road to get there isn't going to be easy.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Yup, the almighty astros are 35-28 vs + .500 teams they feast on the bad teams in the al. They went 18-1 vs the mariners in their divison. I completely agree about the difference between the dodgers and astros wins

  • In reply to bolla:

    Astros are 2-0 vs, the +.500 team they're playing right now.
    Rays haven't even scored a run against their starters,

    Their starting pitching is going to be hard to beat.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    This is pretty irrelevant to my point, I'll take a 162 game example vs 2 games.We'll see how dominant the astros are vs the yankees then dodgers gauntlet.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Astros are the favorites to win it all and have 3 of the top starters in baseball. Anything can happen in a short series but I would take the Astros over the Yankees or Dodgers.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I'm looking forward to Astros-Yankees.

    We get to see two differing philosophies at work.
    One has dominant starters, the other counts on a deep bullpen.

    I always like the dominant starter.
    Every time you change pitchers it's a chance for a guy to not have it.
    This assumes the manager of the team with the starters isn't dumb enough to have a quick hook.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    See Cardinals Game 3 closer as an example of a guy who didn't have it.
    I feel so bad for them.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Me, too. I'm absolutely heartbroken...

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Me too... so sad... :o)

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Yea me too, I think this is the dodgers year though.They are just like the 2016 cubs, elite pitching,offense and defense.

    If they beat the nationals their path to the world series is much easier ,the yankees and astros will have to beat each other up.Cards/braves aren't beating l.a.

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    I am tired of us trading our top prospects for players that are 30 and over. Theo wanted to sign players approaching their prime, not paying them for past performance.
    Merrifield is a good player, but to give up our top prospects is wrong, especially when they could be helping us in a year or 2. The only exception would have been Verlander because he was an elite talent and has continued to be. I don't want to hash over (careful guys, not that kind) the Q trade but he was a good player, not elite. I realize we gave up a lot (of potential, but plus potential) and it hasn't worked out yet.
    Keep our prospects, let go of our players who haven't performed and try and sign Cole. Did anyone see last night's game? He was throwing 99-100 in the 7th inning after 100 pitches, and not just speed but with movement. That's the player I want.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Good points JF. I like Merrifield but they would rob us blind for him. I hope they can sign Castellanos & find an obp guy cheaply for leadoff, or just go with Rizzo. Heck, Hatch & Lange (although I still like them as late bloomer types) got us Nick. Or if Zobrist feels he could play another year or 2 at a team friendly deal to wrap up his career.

    So like elite pitching, they haven’t developed a leadoff type hitter yet either. Not every player has to be high ops. 1 or 2 can just be a high obp whether it’s leadoff or #8 hole. I’m hoping if they do decide to leave Nico in the minors, that they have him only bat leadoff. If they keep him up to play 2B/CF then bat him 8th again to start out & maybe ease him into leadoff if all else fails.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Agree, on trading our top prospects and what we get in return. I've noticed many posters are convinced the Heorner needs more time in the minors. I'm not saying that he doesn't, but he is needed. I know this front office well enough to know, that they are not going to just hand him the job. Nico will have to earn it. I think Zo fits really well here, because an org doesn't need to spend precious resources that could be spent on other needs. If Nico is not ready, he looks close. I think Ben still wants to play.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I was encouraged by Theo's comment that the Cubs need to continue developing players after they reach MLB. If he can hire people to make this happen, it might be helpful to start Nico at MLB and work through the expected problems.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Is that what your supposed to do? Since cubs had so many young guys up that should go with out saying. Being able to and doing are two different things.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    There are not a ton of old school lead off guys anymore. A name I am intrigued by is Marte of pirates. I know he isn’t a typical leadoff. He does have speed and some pop. He does whiff more then I like. But could he be like Fowler was in 16?????

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Oops. Correction to my post: Richan & Lange got us Castellanos. Hatch got us Phelps.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I don't see any posts suggesting trading top prospects for merrifield(only kkhaivi speculating what it may take), the royals at the deadline wanted 3 mlb ready players. Merrifield will be 31 in january , not sure where you got that from.

    davis,marquez & amaya are the best prospects the cubs have on the 29th ranked farm. I wouldn't trade any of them unless for a young cost controlled stud(like gleyber torres or tatis jr), not a 31 year old merrifield.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Agreed with this 100% Bolla and just FYI because we haven't touched on this I take the royals demands as meaning they want either new major leaguers or close to big league ready prospects. In a small market like KC they can't afford to trade their biggest piece for prospects that are 3 years away. They'd want guys like Hoerner that are big league ready and still have all of their cost controlled years. With Schwarber only having 2 years of cost control I don't believe he fits their timeline, and they have a similar player in Soler.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yea I figured, merrifield is probably a pipe dream, he's an ideal fit though.Wish the cubs farm was better, at least middle of the pack so they can make these type of trades without giving up their top prospects.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I was against paying cole but man he's really coming into his own. I'd still like to see the cubs avoid signing $200 million types but I'm more open to the idea then I was before. This isn't the Cole we knew in Pittsburgh I think he's starting to become a pitcher not just a thrower

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    Not that I want him out, but would you guys like a trade centered around KB and Albies? I know Albies has the extension, so the other parts would be tricky. Solves bug holes for both teams.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I don't believe anyone is untouchable, but it seems to me that the deal would solve a problem at 2B for the Cubs while creating another one at 3B. If Hoerner is ready (or nearly ready) to take 2B, how would the trade benefit the Cubs?

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    In reply to Cliff1969:

    Correct. I forgot about that. Good thing I'm not in charge.

  • I sure hope the Cubs get a little more creative then just plug in a big name guy like Merrifield/Marte who will cost a ton in trade...

    I don't see how the Cubs can fix all of their issues with only big name/big money solutions...

    I'm hoping the Cubs do everything in their power to dump Heyward.
    Cubs need bullpen/2B/CF, and maybe a second OF.
    Plus the rotation could use some help at the top of the rotation.

  • I don't know what the Cubs will do managerial wise, but I hope that whoever it is, demands more accountability than we saw in 2019. The team had gone in into Spring Training spewing the principle of more urgency, and had none in April. I've never seen a Cub team less ready for the season. They stunk. I don't want to beat a dead horse, but 'what the hell was that'? 2019 was the worst job of a manager having a team ready to play, that I have ever seen. It was brutal and discussing. It pretty much, minus a couple hot spots, continued the rest of the 2019 wasted opportunity year. Boy Howdy, am I glad that's over! This thread has been a fun read hearing about things to come. Go Cubbies!

  • In reply to 44slug:

    This may not be the popular take, but I think the FO expected JOE to hold the players more accountable in 2019. In his press conference, Theo clearly said of accountability, "that's not on the front office." Remember all those changes that were supposed to happen - Joe being more accessible, more structured team practice events, more hands-on coaching from Joe himself? Maddon talked about how much he was enjoying his greater involvement, but you sure couldn't see a difference from team performance. Granted, holding a player accountable sometimes means playing someone else - an option Joe didn't always have, and the bullpen didn't help. That said, I agree with your take on the team being "ready to play."

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I’m glad it’s over too. The only “good things” thus far is the Brewers getting knocked out in choke fashion & the cardinals choking to the bravos.

    Looking forward to the 2nd wake up call to the FO. I thought last year was, or at least should have been. Hoping they get it right w/the manager hire as well.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Don't understand the thought that brewers and cardinals have choked?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    The Brewers were up 3-1 on the Nationals, 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th. in the One game wild card. That’s a choke. The game that I posted this comment after, the cards had choked...

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    I disagree. Those are not choke jobs. Guys made big hits when needed. Just tip your hat and move on.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Did Verlander choke last night or did the Rays just do a good job hitting?

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    Who is rooting for what team to win the WS?
    I'm rooting for any team in the NL except the birds since I don't like Astros or Yanks. Nothing against Tampa(I live in central Florida) but Houston is tough. I'd really like to see ATL win. I grew up watching them on TBS as a kid. Just like the Cubs on WGN.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I am clearly rooting for WSH and ATL. Can’t support LAD, just like I can’t support either NY team or StL. Would love to see WSH win it - Ewing effect, erase the ghosts of 1994, when the fanchise was in MTL. I was living in Canada that summer and watched that great Expos team all the time on TV - in French, and I don’t speak French. Shame the ‘94 strike washed away that post-season.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I’ll go anyone but the stros in the AL & Braves in the NL or anyone but the curds...

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    Well, the Cards are showing us how to get it done. Get them on, get em over, get em in. Molina added a little lesson for Acunu Jr in the process. Say what you want, these guys are playing baseball. I've never been able to cheer fir the Cardinals, but as a baseball fan, I'm obliged to give them credit.

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    Jmo, but I think KB should be traded before Schwarber. KB is an elite player and we all know he's gone in 2 years. Schwarber is the only other LH power bat in the lineup besides Rizzo. If KB gets traded, the Cubs could net a good haul. Especially if they trade with ATL. They have Albies(if ATL wants to move him), who would be a perfect fit for the Cubs, plus ATL has a loaded farm system. Plus they need a 3b. So KB & Russell for Albies & a few pitching prospects.
    Trading KB would obviously leave us without a legit 3b. They should go after Rendon. He'll probably get a contract less than what Arenado extended for. I'm guessing around 200mil.
    I know this is a pipe dream but it would solve our 2b, leadoff, SB, speed at the top of lineup for 6 years. I know we have Nico but I hope the FO doesn't rush him. Give him time to develop, unlike Happ/Schwarber who had trouble adjusting their 1st few years because lack of development.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I think the answer to "who" should be traded is the one that brings the most value to the team. Theo may have to listen to a large number of offers to figure that out...

    If ATL was willing to part with Albies, which I doubt, I'd like to see Camargo added to the haul. He's coming off a not so good year and can play infield and outfield, including 3B. I'd still want Rendon.

  • What about trading Contreras (sorry John A)? He's a two time All Star. Excellent at most phases of the game, but short at framing, (very important,) and pretty hyper, in general, moving behind the plate. By that, I mean often looking to back pick, when he should be concentrating on receiving. The Cubs would then be in the market for a strong defensive catcher to go with Victor. Willson should bring back a big haul with his arm and bat.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    I would trade Contreras for a big haul if they know they can sign Grandal. Catcher isn't an easy position to come by nowadays. And we all know Theo likes to keep it strong in the middle. I can see it happening, but it seems more likely a trade will be from a corner IF or corner OF. I also believe 2b is a bigger need than CF. We have alot of options for CF compared to 2b.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Who would trade for Contreras if they also could sign Grandal?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Why would you trade him? We have no one ready to step in.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    That's why I told him we'd have to have a catcher like Grandal commit to signing while shipping out Willy in a trade. Kind of like the Castro/Zo trade and sign in 2015. Except Contreras would get a haul compared to Castro. I personally want him to stay and extend. We all know Baez is the only untouchable because we'd be F'd if they ship him.
    Quick thought, probably would never happen. Bryant for Betts straight up. Only if they sign Rendon. In an alternate universe, would you do that if it was possible?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I don't know that they would. It would entail that they sign a replacement for Willson. One reason might be that he has an Injury history. Another could be that he that the org feels that he doesn't have the makeup to be a front line catcher for a championship team. If they sign a fill in free agent, the return could fill some pretty big holes elsewhere.

  • I would trade anyone, or even two of the core 5 hitters. K. Bryant would be first on my list. I would focus on younger players, and prospects when trading from the core.

    The rest of the 40 man roster needs to be cleaned up as well, get what you can for the guys the Cubs need to move on from. This has potential to be a long list.

    For 3B, I would sign Moustakas, and/or Castellanos for RF, or make a trade.

    The top three of the rotation is where Cubs payroll should be a huge advantage, over the rest of the NL central.

    Current roster has lots of holes, especially for a team thinking playoffs. Inexpensive players are going to have fill at least some of the holes.

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    In reply to Naujack:

    I'm all for trading Bryant. He's been great, but he's not clutch(Fangraphs has an article proving it), he's a Boras client, Cubs held him back, and we all know he's not going to be a Cub after 2021. But if they trade him, it has to include a young good/great leadoff bat that plays 2b/CF and 2-3 good pitching prospects. Plus they would have to fill 3B. That's why I'm all for Rendon. He would probably cost 6/200ish.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Rendon is very good. Cubs should be able to find cheaper offensive. I not a fan of signing 30 year old big name hitters coming off a career year, to huge long term contracts.

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    In reply to Naujack:

    If that's your case for trading KB, then what 3b would be available to plug in at 3b? Maybe a couple 3b, and Rendon is the best option by far when it comes to the others. I still believe that Davey Martinez was the biggest loss when he went to the Nats. Ever since he left, Joe didn't have a yang to his yin. Joe is a players manager & Martinez was the strategist. Jmo but ever since he left, Joe looked lost managing a game.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Depends on what the Cubs get back if they trade Bryant.

    Bryants payroll savings, resign Castellanos for the RF, &/or sign a quality starting pitcher.

    Maybe Contreras, could play a little 3B. I hope the Cubs let Contreras play a few OF games in 2020.

    A Bote/Happ split situation could maybe work at 3B? It would be cheap. Allow Cubs to spend Bryant money somewhere else on the roster.

    M. Moustakas- Less years, & less money than Rendon.

    Trade- I like B. Anderson-Marlins. Seems like the kind of player/bat who might take the next step. Better park/lineup.

    Maybe dump Heyward, and get a 3B back.
    K. Seager from Seattle, or Longoria from SF. They have issues, but so does Heyward.

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    In reply to Naujack:

    And Baez is going nowhere, no matter what anyone says. Unless it's Trout, it's not happening. The Cubs plan on contending next year and they can't do it without a SS. And we have no one to replace him.

  • You say goodbye and I say hello.....Hello, hello....

    This is indeed a long good bye.

    IMHO Whoever they hire for manager will be fine. Gotta have the horses. Something has to be done with the top of the order. And basic philosophy. Get 'em on get 'em over get 'em in is a must against TOR pitching. Instant offense is great but it's produced a lot of losses plating 0-2 runs. I'm saber metriced out. A couple of scrappy tough outs who play solid D would go a long way from my cheap seat.

  • According to ny media Mets will offer Girardi the managers job

    Man Gleyber Torres is a flat out stud , he’s got a double and hr off Greinke, and was raking vs the Twins he had a 1.378 ops in the alds

  • In reply to bolla:

    torres just got another hit driving in 2 more rbi's to make it 4 on the night,he's single handedly killing the astros

    *sighs*

  • In reply to bolla:

    Hindsight is easy to do now......should have traded Baez for Chapman.....Torres is better....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    did you enjoy the world series win? if cubs have traded baez they never win the world series.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Go root for the Yankees then. Good grief, dude never, ever played for Chicago Cubs. Not one single inning. Should we rehash every trade? Lou Brock ? Torres was traded for the last piece of the puzzle, a dominant closer, and cubs won World Series! As the great Doug buffone used to say “stop yourself”.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Torres is 22 and arguably better than anybody on the cubs current roster, no need to be angry over an observation.Torres is a stud who is setting mlb records in the postseason it's amazing to watch.

    but hey at least the cubs kept kyle schwarber instead who hit. 233 with risp and 133 with risp and 2 outs dude is a worse version of adam dunn.

  • In reply to bolla:

    I have been reading these posts since the Cubs final game and I am in awe that anyone even bothers to acknowledge your BS let alone answer it.

    Yes, Gleybar Torres is a real good ballplayer and we don't need you to convince us of that but you insist on comparing Schwarber with Torres to prove who knows what? Check out the previous 2 years of offensive stats and you will see Schwarber's stats are quite similar to Torres'. In fact, Schwarber's stats were slightly better, but you want us to believe Schwarber is a worse version of Adam Dunn.

    You seem to be the perfect model for the old saying: "open mouth, insert foot".

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I don’t know what stats you’re looking at , Schwarber got on base at a much lower clip than Dunn and hit for less power & Torres has equal ops and higher war in 2 years than Schwarber has in 5

    It’s not even debatable to be honest. Schwarber is not a good hitter and is a below average fielder

  • In reply to bolla:

    I got the stats from "https://www.baseball-reference.com" for the years 2018 and 2019. So, let's be honest: Where do you get your BS from?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    From the same site,Torres had a higher war as a rookie than Schwarber EVER had, Torres had 2 less hrs and more RBI’s as a rookie and .3 less ops as a rookie than Schwarber had in 2018

    In 2019 Torres Has 38 hr’s like Schwarber and again more rbis as a 2nd year player and the exact same ops along with a 3.9 war which Again is better than any year of Schwarbers career.add the fact this kid is crushing elite pitchers in the postseason. Torres has a higher woba and wrc+ and is 3 years younger. I’m not sure what exactly you’re debating.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I am not debating anything. Like I said: "Check out the previous 2 years of offensive stats and you will see Schwarber's stats are quite similar to Torres".

    You say "Schwarber got on base at a much lower clip than Dunn and hit for less power" and yet Schwarber's OBP is higher than Torres' for each of the last 2 years, not to mention Schwarber has been playing a new position unfamiliar to him. NO DEBATE, JUST FACTS.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    There's a great piece at the Athletic today about the Chapman trade.
    Chapman didn't just make it possible to win the WS, he was a key factor in the Cubs even getting there. He pitched 26 2/3 innings, struck out 46 and posted a 1.01 ERA, before the playoffs even started. He saved all three wins in the NLDS. That famous HR he gave up to Davis in game 7? It was the ONLY home run he gave up as a Cub. I suppose we'll always have someone posting "if only" stories about Gleyber. They show up here every time he zips his trousers without catching himself in the zipper. The reality, however, is you make that trade 100 times out of 100.

  • Lol. Cubs don’t win World Series without Kyle Schwarber . Do you remember his at bat in game 7? Probably not, you were already seeing the future of a gleybar Torres batting in the 2019 alcs. Surprised you are not on a pro team’s scouting team. Funny that you despise Theo Epstein so much even though he found your favorite player that was traded for,a World Series! Don’t care if gleybar is a hall of famer or,a flameout, it was a great and necessary trade. Too bad you weren’t on Boston’s front office when babe Ruth was traded to your beloved Yankees. As they say hindsight is always 20/20.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Maybe not but they do win it without Chapman. There-in lies the issue.

  • In reply to veteran:

    No way to know for sure, but I’m pretty sure they lose the series in 5 games without Chapman. You seem to forget the 2 1/3 innings of relief he threw to save that game. And there-in-lies the issue. They’d have Torres at 2B right now, but they’re probably still fighting that now 111 year curse without a championship

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    yes I remember Schwarber ab’s in the World Series , and I’m not sold that the cubs wouldn’t of won the World Series without Chapman or Schwarber. I mean the cubs won 103 games and advanced to the World Series without Schwarber getting a hit or rbi and sure Chapman was good but if the cubs shored up the back of the pen with other Good relievers instead of Chapman they would if still won it imo.

    You’re right hindsight is 20-20. I was watching game 1 of the alcs last night and was just in awe at how good this kid is he was crushing Greinke on a big stage.

  • I would have traded Babe Ruth in his prime to win the 2016 WS and they did win it. When you haven’t won a WS in 108 years you do anything you have to do to win it. I don’t care what Torres does with the rest of his career, HOF or bust makes no difference to me. If it cost Torres then it did. Would do it again in a heartbeat.

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