Cubs Tap David Ross As New Manager

David Ross

David Ross

The Cubs front office went through an extensive search in their efforts to replace Joe Maddon. They interviewed incumbent members of Maddon's staff, an up-and-coming bench coach from the team at the leading edge of the industry, a young manager recently let go, and an older manager coming off a year away from the game. Ultimately, they went with the in-house option:

Together Again For The First Time

Always considered the leading candidate, David Ross seemed the obvious choice from the start, but for a team looking to shake itself out of years of complacency the decision to hire from within will surely be met with resistance by some. During Ross's tenure as a player with the Cubs he always carried with him the aura of "the next guy." He was Grandpa Ross, both the trusted veteran the young core could look up to for support, but also the tone setter who would take them to task when they were not putting in the work.

There is valid concern regarding Ross's ability to coach former teammates. Especially since he is going to be learning on the job as a first time manager. But there are a couple of points to keep in mind.

First, the job of a manager has evolved in recent times. When it comes to in-game tactics, there are larger staffs available to assist in game planning and on-the-fly adjustments. Organizations have come to the realization that it takes a village. Ross should have the support system he requires.

Second, it is not just Ross who has to shoulder more responsibility. The core does too. They should no longer require the same type of guidance Ross provided as a veteran teammate. The core have turned into veterans over the past five seasons.

Those players should no longer be followers. They need to grow into leaders themselves. Most have started families. They've all experienced the highs and lows of postseason drama and personal achievements. And they are coming off a season with the bitter taste of collapse still lingering. There isn't much on a baseball field this group hasn't experienced by now.

Ross, and the players, will need to forge a new relationship. They share a past, but need to evolve, to create a new identity. They've won together before and now must discover a new path to do so again.

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  • I love Ross, like watched every episode of dancing w/ the stars love him.

    But I do about being stuck in the past.

    Here's hoping I am wrong and eating my words next year!

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    I like the decision. I feel it will be easier for Ross to hold them accountable than an outsider. Respect is already there as well at least with the former teammates. The new faces will more than likely fall in line so as to not rock the boat. At least I hope!

  • In reply to Scott Tomkiewicz:

    I agree. I thought he’d be their choice. He was the inside team leader and coach. Players want guidance and disciplined as needed, even professionals. A lack of mentoring allowed a young all star like Addison Russell to make poor choices, now it’s up to Ross to get this team back on track. I wish him the best.

  • Theo went out of his way at the year end press conference to say the team needs to forget about the World Series victory and start anew. I don't understand how hiring David Ross is consistent with that statement. David Ross seems to be the epitome of going back in time. I'm also quite wary that all of the baseball exec changes are just moving internal candidates to new/different roles. I'm concerned the Cubs aren't bringing outside ideas to the club to try and maximize the last two years of this window....As HJW49 typed, "Here's hoping I am wrong and eating my words next year!"

  • In reply to Ziggy Plays Guitar:

    I understand the angst over the "re-structuring" of the upper management when many names seem to be simply given different titles. Trust me, I'm no cheerleader for this FO. I've grown more weary, and critical, of the hubris that has allowed so many other organizations to pass us by. I've long thought that, although the roster obviously needs a lot of work, the shake-up in the scouting, development, and overall structure of the organization would be the biggest story of this offseason. Agree or disagree with the moves, at least there is finally an admission that "they" are a part of the problem (and, IMO, the biggest part).

    One thing to remember is that it's not done. Rules and protocol prohibit many executive moves until after the conclusion of the WS. There will be many outside views and voices added to the mix. We can't do it yet, but they have publicly said we will bring in more talent from outside the organization when we are allowed to.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Good points, I agree...also, changes on the field will be equally important to changing the makeup of the franchise, so I'm highly interested in seeing that play out as well.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I understand the claim that they'll bring in more talent from outside the organization after the WS, but by promoting internal candidates now they've shown that they had no intention of considering outside talent for them. I suppose there are more moves to be made, but it's disheartening to see change that really isn't. I think Ross will be OK, but I certainly understand those who question the pick over Espada, who has years of actual coaching experience.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    There is no rigid structure to deal with. These titles really don't mean much. We can still hire someone, and create a new title, to actually be above "Director of Player Development", for one example.

    The musical chairs were what we were able to announce at the time. I believe there is more coming, and again, I'm glad to see a partial admission of guilt. I still want the full admission, but baby steps.

    Theo is in the hot seat.

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    Do you think Ross will be able to get Strop to wear his hat correctly?

  • In reply to From the burg:

    I don't think Strop will be here at all, but if he's getting guys out, he could wear his hat sticking out of his fly for all I care.

  • I believe that a big part of the interview process was determining how much control the front office will have over day to day operation of the team. I wouldn't day Ross will be any kind of puppet, but he's on the same page as the FO. I'm not sure that was true of Maddon in his last year. I freely admit that Ross was my second choice - I preferred the experience of Espada, especially with the Yankees and Astros, but I can get behind Ross.

  • Another lame decision by THEO. We don’t need a buddy for the players to suck up to while they play like they have the last few years. Once again Theo is all lip service for making changes and hiring his buddies.

  • In reply to TheSarge#36:

    Ross has always been considered the guy capable of speaking uncomfortable truths. He isn't being hired to be a buddy for the players.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    This is why I'm good with the Ross signing. Maddon did NOT strike me as a confrontational guy- but his first couple years he had Ross, Arrieta, even Lackey to get in the faces of teammates. We've been trying to fill that veteran leadership void with the likes of Descalso (FAIL). A culture of accountability (not adult dress-up) would be nice from the top

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I agree, Ross will hold players accountable. Maddon lost control of the team.

  • If this spring we are hearing about the hugs, the laughs, and the good times, we're in big trouble.

    We'd better be hearing about the intensity, determination, and work.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Ross has always been a guy devoted to doing the little things right and is a big believer on gaining advantages in all aspects of the game. He won't put up with the lackadaisical defense and baserunning this team has showed the last two years. I expect more shifting and attention to detail, as well as fewer mistakes in the field.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    That’s why Theo released Maddon, get back to fundamentals and baseball, not gimmicks.

  • I have to disagree with the opinions that Ross might not be the right guy for the job. That is not a slap at Espada.
    And I would be ok if Theo thought Espada was the guy.
    What I like about Ross, is that I feel he knows how to handle people. He knows how to get their attention without getting 'out of character ', that is something I believe Maddon had trouble doing, over time.
    To me, the most important thing a manager does is handling these athletes in a way that lets them know his expectations. And the manager needs to communicate that in a direct way, without being overbearing.
    It is a talent you develop thru intelligence and ones life experiences. I think David Ross has that talent, and will be showing it quickly.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I think there's a good chance the Cubs couldn't go wrong between Ross and Espada. Both have been up-and-coming manager candidates for a while that the league expects to be successful.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I think you might be spot on. Decade pluses now ago I was the headhunter who originally sought out C-level execs and the idea was always to try to bring in two candidates that neither choice could go wrong. Obviously new or young was in, (often translated as having energy and active), Ross they know as to his cognitive abilities to incorporate the edge here and there from the organizational view. I really think Cubs really lost much when Davy "now a WS Mgr" Martinez who did so much for Joe on this that when he left we fell out of Division Winner.

    We are seeing a generation change with the young managers what happened twenty or so years ago and now those guys are retired, retiring or getting their last gig with pretenders..

    Ross will not shock the core as they personally know him but like any management ascension from Ross will have to be the manager and not Grandpa. I am confident he will do and the team will respond.

    I expect both catchers will become better but Ross will know not to put great offensive pressure on them like how Madden fell into that short term trap.

    His biggest decision will be where to play Hoerner, CF or 2B? Or will that be Epstein/Hoyer and Ross?

    Either way they made the decision.

  • I hope David Ross works out as manager. I knew the Cubs brass wouldn't have the balls to think outside the box and hire Joe Espada
    as the next Cubs manager.
    If Theo still has hopes his draft picks will work out, the Cubs will be in trouble. It's no secret the Cubs need a true leadoff man as well as increased team speed overall. The Cubs previous drafts have been dismal overall and need improvement as well as having continuity with their hitting and pitching coaches. Having two outfielders on the roster who don't know what base to throw to or overthrowing the cut-off man is a joke.I wonder if the Cub brass will make the necessary trades to improve the team.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I actually think this move did take balls. It's all on the line, all on Theo.

    I hate to comment and run, but I have something to finish. It's just that your comment hit the spot for many fans. I agree that from a distance this seems like the easy, lazy choice, but I think this is a bold choice to own the results.

    I'll be back soon, and look forward to digging into this a bit deeper.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I don't think David Ross was a bad choice for manager. I would have prefered Joe Espada because of his background with the Yankees and the Astros as well as being bilingual, that would relate to the Latin American players. He has also managed the Puerto Rico
    team in the World Classic.

  • Full disclosure, Espada was my first choice but I also have no problem with Ross. My preference for Espada wasn't the experience as a coach but from his working in various roles for two different analytics based, winning organization. Here's the thing though, Ross has been around. He played for winning teams and as an ESPN analyst researched and covered other teams as well. Theo had his eyes on him as a future manager as far back as 2008 with Boston. Also this reputation of him being the warm and fuzzy "Grandpa Rossy" was the creation of Rizzo and Bryant in 2016 and spread by the media. His locker room reputation was that of a hard ass who got on his teammates for lackadaisical play. He wasn't beloved by the fans in 2015 nor was he beloved by many of his teammates. The notion that he won't garner respect from the team is borne of lazy media tropes and wild guesses. Outside of the Cubs connection from 2016 he's no different from the selection of Aaron Boone who has excelled in New York. The honest truth is that none of us know how he's going to do in the role until he does it. Going into this I thought the most important thing was a guy who could help execute the plan from the FO and he's been groomed by them to do just that.

    Another thing I've seen a lot here is how the organizational reshuffling was simply moving deck chairs on the Titanic, that simply isn't true. Most of the guys that are in elevated positions of authority were brought in over the last couple of year to assess the things that weren't working. Most of them had no independent authority of their own. Now they do and we'll see.

    The bottom line is that the fate of this club is now in the hands of Ross and the FO. The team has more talent than many give credit for, by the numbers they should have won 91 games, but also needs a different mix of players to balance the offense and both some work with the pitching staff. It's not an easy task but it can be done. Theo and Jed are talented FO execs and while they've made mistakes their butts are really on the line now to fix those goes going forward. Never underestimate talented guys with skin in the game. They'll either do it or we'll see another group take over in a couple of years. Baseball is one of cycles, Dave Dombrowski didn't become a bad baseball guy all of a sudden he simply wore out his welcome in Boston. That could happen here or things could turn around, as fans of the overall game of baseball we've all seen it happen both ways.

  • In reply to TC154:

    As this drama wore on, I'll admit I was intrigued by Espada. What's not to like? Multiple stints in successful organizations and a totally fresh voice. Analytically driven, new-wave, and a totally FRESH VOICE. But I'm not sure that's what we need.

    IMO, what we need is to maximize the talent we have on the roster. To focus on fundamentals, preparation, and above all else, accountability. No one will say it publicly, but that lack of discipline was Joe's ticket out the door. David Ross will bring that, in spades.

    Espada was the sexy, "out-of-the-box" pick for those seeking a simple solution. I am a fan, and I believe he has a bright future in baseball. But there is a specific problem here on this talented team, and that is accountability. I've been screaming it since mid-May, and even went out of character by calling for Joe's head prior to the All-Star Game. Joe was no longer the right guy for this team at this time.

    We will not blow up this roster to rebuild at this time. There is no reason to. We have core talent that needs to be augmented. And we need that talent to play up to it's potential.

    I think Ross is the right guy to lead this ship.

  • I think Maddon was a good fit for the rebuild and overcoming the drought because he set a tone which allowed the players to stay loose and not have to worry about the pressure and the burden of 100+ years and the angst of millions of fans. He let the players be themselves, but in a team structure.

    Accountability and attention to detail did not seem to be his focus however, and that seems to be what this team needs now. Ross was known for that as a player, but we'll have to see if that translates as a manager.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Well said and the proper perspective re Maddon's time here.

  • It looks like Michael A. Taylor has worn out his welcome in Washington. I would like to see him traded to the Cubs for Albert Almora Jr. A change of scenery for both players might be a win-win for both players, and their teams.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    $3.6M for a guy who has posted a 71 and a 73 wRC+? For a change of scenery? I'd pass. We need good baseball players and he is not good. If you are saying as a 5th OF and a guy to shuttle between Iowa and Chicago for injuries, then ok. But $3.6M is a lot to spend on that type of player when you can get that production for the league minimum. Almora is looking at a non-tender, IMO.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I wouldn't give up on Almora just yet. He still has options to try and figure it out.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    He’s our best defensive center fielder.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    They should try and get a better every day center fielder this off season

  • I like the Ross signing because I would almost be certain he can manage a pitching staff better than Joe.

    And secondly, I think the daily lineup shuffle goes away. I wouldn't imagine he was ever in favor as a player of coming out of a lineup after a 2-3 hit day because of a "match-up" as all these guys believe they can hit anyone pitching. The lineup was my biggest frustration with Joe and I believe that will be a thing of the past.

    For those who think Ross is a softie, then you don't know Ross. The lack of accountability will be a thing of the past. I think this is a good move and I was ok that it came down to Espada or Ross as either would be the right guy for the job at hand.

    Now let's get the roster right for 2020!!!

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    We need to get the leadreship spot resolved

    Ross was the guy the players came to during crunch time in World Series, look at Rizzo in Game 7 going to him for guidance in dugout. I mentioned Ross a while back being the next manager and the Cubs needing new leadership. Now he's here and I wish him the best, so tired of Maddon's gimmicks.

    We need to get the roster right and I think Addison Russell at SS again would be huge, moving Baez back to 2B with Javy being best Cubs second basemen since Ryne Sandberg. Addison was an All Star SS and I believe he can get his head on straight and come back strong with proper guidance by our new manager.

    I wish we had a great pitching coach like a Chris Bosio or a Billy Connors, guys that make a difference to a staff. Still upset with the demise of Carl Edwards Jr and others on our staff since Maddon got rid of Bosio, a guy that did wonders for our pitching staff.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    The leadership spot is over rated. What they need to get resolved is a leadoff hitter, top of the rotation starter and 2-3 very good bullpen arms. Get a more talented roster and the manager does not matter.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Totally agree with your assessment of the Ross leadership in 2016. We don't win that Championship without his guiding hand and steadying influence.

    Totally, 100%, absolutely disagree about Russell. I have made my feelings known about him, and caught a lot of flak upon my initial reporting back in the day. The problem with this team is over-confidence by the FO in their own abilities. Their belief that they know better than others and can more accurately set present and future value has lead to many lost opportunities and has frankly put this organization in the precarious spot we are in.

    Personal feelings aside, the Addison Russell Experience was a perfect example of what went wrong in this FO. They were good, they were right, and they knew better than anyone else
    They were sure of their abilities, their righteousness, and their superiority. They were wrong on all counts, and grossly so.

    To me, Addison Russell epitomizes all that was wrong with the last few years. If he continues to be a member of this organization, no lessons were learned. But he won't be.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    No one has any idea how he will manage a bullpen or create a line up. This is a high risk move with someone with no experience. His in game decision making has more bearing on wins and losses than holding players accountable.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    The game in general is moving more analytically-driven. The lineups and bullpen availability are often determined far in advance, whether we agree or not.

    I don't get the "no experience" argument. I really don't. Anyone in the game of baseball knows David Ross would be a future manager since his days in the minors. To borrow a phrase from an old EF Hutton commercial: "When David Ross speaks, baseball listens".

    Ross has played, and been a de-facto bench coach, under some of the greatest managers of the last half-century. Many of these managers, coaches, and even FO personnel have been blown away and deferred to the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of David Ross.

    I don't understand how a guy who has learned from and drawn the praise of so many masters is seen as having no experience.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Well, because "de-facto" isn't "facto." I get that Ross has demonstrated some leadership qualities, but there is a difference between showing leadership qualities among your peers and making your living supervising and managing people - as well as being accountable for their performance. Espada has years of that, Ross doesn't. Does that mean Ross can't be a great manager? Absolutely not, but the Cubs must have seen qualities in Ross they value more than coaching experience, because Espada wins in that category.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I disagree. David Ross had no physical talent, relatively speaking. He has made his whole career on his mind, knowledge, and management of the game of baseball. He has sat at the side of (and literally sat, he wasn't good enough to play) Bobby Cox, Terry Francona, Joe Maddon, and a host of coaches who's talent surpasses their name recognition.

    There are stories throughout baseball of Ross, the "new guy", schooling the brass upon his arrival to a new team. They would literally ask why he was at a high-level meeting, and two minutes later defer to his knowledge. He has been a coach, and more, his whole career.

    I like what I've heard of Espada. He is a highly technical dude, but I'll admit my knowledge doesn't go much deeper than that. I can read, but that don't count. His Wikipedia page may say he has more coaching experience than Ross, and I concede that to be technically true. But anyone who tries to convince me that Joe Espada has more baseball and "coaching" experience than David Ross is in for an argument.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I'd love to hear some of those stories.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Here's one snippet from an article in The Athletic, as told by Theo when Ross had just been released by the Reds and signed with Boston:

    Ross was the emergency third catcher the Red Sox acquired in August 2008 — after he got released by the Reds — to back up Jason Varitek and Kevin Cash.

    “By the time the playoffs came around, he was respected enough that we invited him into our advance scouting meetings,” Epstein wrote in the foreword to “Teammate,” Ross’ New York Times bestselling memoir. “Again, I didn’t expect much from David. These are big, important meetings with the front office, manager Terry Francona and the whole coaching staff. Typically, advance scout Dana LeVangie and Varitek — both expert in this role — would take the lead breaking down opposing hitters, and pitching coach John Farrell, Tito, and a few of us in the front office would chime in.”

    “The third-string catcher was not usually present, let alone vocal,” Epstein wrote. “Except for David. He spoke up early and often, in a strong and authoritative voice, making insightful points about every opposing hitter. He wasn’t afraid to disagree, even with Varitek, and quickly won over the room. By the third or fourth hitter we discussed, others were deferring to Ross, the backup’s backup who up until the last six weeks had spent his entire career in the other league.”

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Espada did have a more well rounded coaching experience over Ross. His biggest advantage was he would be bringing in frsh ideas and getting away from 2016 which is what Theo preached during his end of year speech.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    We have no idea what espada told the cubs. He could have accepted another job already?

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I think in game decisions will become more of a team effort. Accountability on the other hand is something that’s been lacking. Joe was all about creating an atmosphere and he deemphasized things like extra batting or infield practice which worked once but clearly wasn’t anymore. Watching the playoffs you hear of these guys putting in all this extra work and Maddon actually discouraged it. I’m pretty sure Ross will not. That alone could do a lot of good.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Extra practice or more accountabilty is not going to make the dramatic change in wins many are predicting. The overall affect of the manager is only a couple games a year. His success will be based on the talent on the roster. Big offseason to fill holes.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    He was a big league catcher, handled pitchers & knows the game. I’m sure he can make a line up card.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    How many comments were made ripping Maddon's line up. Of course he can make a line up but will he be flipping players all around, play the match up game, bat the pitcher 8th, select different lead off hitters, etc

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Big difference between Schwarber leading off and George Springer off Houston, but as many say on this site, the lead off hitter doesn’t matter. I think a good lead off hitter and some speed on the bases does help.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I wouldn’t expect that the lineup philosophy would change much. Jed and Joe have always made those together. Now, that responsibility might fall to Jason McCleod and Ross but I’m not sure that the matchup lineup strategy is going to go away.

  • Hiring Ross was no surprise, but I'm expecting a few surprises by the FO this offseason:

    1) Shogo Akiyama in CF - left handed bat, high OBP, no posting fee
    2) Copycat league, so we add a power SP - priced out of Cole, but Zach Wheeler and Michael Pineda (another year away from TJ) are both gettable options
    3) Willson Contreras is traded, veteran backstop is signed. Grandal is the dream FA, followed by R. Chirinos, J Castro. I think all that "Contreras improved in pitch framing" is hot air from the FO to pump up WC's trade value. The Cubs bring in a defensive minded catcher something we haven't had since well, David Ross. (two minutes of Martin Maldonado excluded)

  • In reply to LAX2ORD:

    Robinson Chirinos rings a bell. Didn't Jim Hendry draft him a few years ago only to be traded by Theo?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Technically still while Hendry was a GM in early 2011.

    Cubs trade: Brandon Guyer, Robinson Chirinos, Sam Fuld, some young pitcher named Chris Archer
    Rays trade: Matt Garza, Zac Rosscup

    Yeah, we lost that trade.

  • In reply to LAX2ORD:

    WOW ! I didn't know that trade was so lopsided. Trading with Tampa is risky. They screwed Pittsburgh on another Archer trade.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Yep, win now moves rarely look good in hindsight. Still, I hope this current FO understands the importance of a veteran defensive catcher or two to handle a pitching staff. Houston, Boston, even Washington seem to load up on 1-2 of these guys.

    Pitch framing can be the difference b/w ending an inning early or turning into a rally. Hendricks and Lester are lower velo pitchers who work the high corners.. how many times last season did you see borderline pitches being called a ball dragging an inning on and on. David Ross made a career out of being a defensive catcher and I look for a major change coming at catcher in 2020.

  • In reply to LAX2ORD:

    They won't trade Contreras and Grandal will not fit in the budget

  • In reply to LAX2ORD:

    I'm not sure how the Cubs feel about Contreras, but I do have concerns about him as a receiver. One will not find a team in the World Series without an accomplished leader on the defensive side behind the plate. A pitching staff must have confidence in their catcher wether he can hit his weight or not.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    How quickly they forget.

    Contreras started more games and caught more innings than Ross and was behind the plate for at least part of all seven WS games in 2016.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Ross started three and didn't finish any of them in the world series.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Addison Russell was a core guy as of 2016 and Almora was a future CF and Dexter replacement too. Neither should be with the team next year.

    I still think one of the 'core' guys gets traded this offseason. Bryant and Baez have no backup plans, with Contreras we have Caratini and lots of trade value due to 3 ARB years remaining. Just speculation of course, but it would allow for retooling on the fly.

  • In reply to LAX2ORD:

    I would hate to see Wilson moved,... but he probably does have the highest value in return,... with the least disruption because passable in-house replacements and free agents could fill most of the hole trading him would create.

    Moving Baez is a bad idea IMO. They really don't have a known quantity that could backfill SS if they move him. Hoerner is still mostly a work in progress (but could end up very good). Russell (if they chose to hold onto him) is what he is - better than decent defense at SS - 0.240 hitter with some power, but also with some distasteful personal issues as baggage. Short down in AAA might be OK as SS - but is even greener than Hoerner in some ways.

    Bryant is possibly replicable - but with his looming FA and price-tag, his return value isn't going to be as great,....

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    There was a story on David Kaplan's radio show this morning about a time in 2015 (spring training I think) when Castro did something and Rossy stopped play and said "That's not how it's done. That's why you haven't won here." I am approximating what he said, but he was the one to do that, a player, not a coach or a manager. I have no doubt that he can be tough and encouraging too.
    I actually wanted Espada because Houston seems to be baseball 2.0 now and I want some of that. But I'm fine with Ross, besides, he's a catcher and many successful managers are former catchers.
    I also want the Cubs to sign Akiyama.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I'm very familiar with that story. It was a run-down drill involving Castro and Rizzo, and the rest of the team, in the spring of 2015 when Ross had just signed.. Rizzo slacked off, and Ross halted the entire drill (yes, Ross has been a "coach" for over a decade) and called Rizzo out in front of the whole team.

    Rizzo has said that was his "welcome to the big leagues" moment, and has credited Ross as his greatest inspiration.

  • I’m keenly interested in who Ross will be on his coaching staff. A very interesting offseason is afoot.

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    I assume Iopace and Hottovy stay as they were hired by the FO. I also assume they’ll pick most if Ross’ coaches but with some input from him.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I hope David Ross gets to pick his own coaches, not the ones the front office picked. The Cubs hitting philosophy was sub par. A few
    players took strike three with the bat on their shoulder. Then they were mad they didn't get the ball call from the umpire instead of fowling off close pitches until they could get a pitch they could handle.
    The Cubs baserunning was an embarrassment to anyone who knows the game . Same mistakes, over and over again.As far as Almora goes, maybe he can turn around his career but I doubt it.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Bring back Chris Bosio. Our pitching staff needs a veteran pitching coach and Chris did wonders for Arrieta and others(Maholm, Feldman, CJ, Hammel, Grimm, Strop, Montgomery...)

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I think the front office will keep the coaches

  • In reply to IVYADDICT:

    Chris Bosio as pitching coach? He was a miracle worker with Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, Pat Maholm, Scott Feldman, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards, Jason Grimm and others, a great pitching coach.

  • I just hope the money they saved on Ross can be used to get Gerrit Cole.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    How do you know how much money their paying David Ross ? Was that figure announced yet ? Another one of Theo's philosophy was drafting underslot players to have extra money for players later in the draft. This means your not drafting the best available player. You can only field nine players.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I believe Maddon was making about $6 million a year. If Cole signs for that (minus Ross' salary), Theo will go down in history as the world's greatest negotiator.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Here we go again. My point was the extra cash being saved on Ross over lets say a Girardi name can be added to the pot to help the team. Not sure how you figured they could sign Cole for 6 million.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    My apologies, WaitTilIStartSomeKrap, I mistakenly thought that when you said:

    "I just hope the money they saved on Ross can be used to get Gerrit Cole,"

    you actually meant:

    "I just hope the money they saved on Ross can be used to get Gerrit Cole."

    I will refrain from thinking you mean what you say from now on.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    My apologies
    “When I saw the reply was from cliff1969” I really thought you meant “I am cliff the douche bag.”

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    He is today. Anybody knows you won’t get Cole for 6 mil.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Then, why did he say it? You sure you want to be in his club?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Good job abiding by those forum rules!! That's why I ignore 99% of your comments - you aren't capable of having a conversation without dragging it into a juvenile insult-fest. I'll just go back to ignoring you - you have nothing to contribute anyway.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    You want to play the forum rule card. I guess if I got my ego bruised I’d crawl into a hole. You are the most sarcastic person here and always go to attacks.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Don't hold your breath until anything you ever do or say would cause me to have a bruised ego or anything else. Internet loud-mouths don't bother me - I just ignore them.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    You are the internet loud mouth. It is okay I am sure you will bounce back in time.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I guess I don’t know his contract. Implying that Ross is cheaper then Girardi would be.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ronvet69:

    The Cubs beat reporter( I believe it was Jesse Rodgers but might have been someone else) said on ESPN Waddle n Silvy that he heard Ross's salary was in 1-2 million dollar range quoting Cora getting about a million for his WS winning season as RedSox Skipper.

    Either way, its a big savings on what the Cubs were paying Joe

  • I know the Cubs made changes to the player development department. Are the Cubs also planning on making big changes to the amateur scouting department?

  • In reply to Naujack:

    reshuffled internal personnel

  • I see a lot of comments about leadership and accountability which was the reason for the “big”free agent signing of Descalso by the front office last year. So I have to wonder after all the exit interviews following the 2018 failure if that was the driver behind not extending Maddon. If Theo thought this was the problem to begin with he should have moved then and not wasted 2019. That would have been the ballsy move.
    This will be the last manager this front office hires. Just my two cents.

  • In reply to 523WSC:

    Still can’t figure out why we gave up LaStella.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    poor defense

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    He fields well, covers some ground. He was an All Star this year with Angels until injured. He hits better than Schwarber and could handle second as well as anybody we had there this season. Plus, he’s a hitting machine and demonstrated some power.

  • Just my opinion but money plays no part in this. Ross will be theo’s puppet and will actually listen to the front office’s daily lineup input. Hopefully Ross will be more effective than joe in keeping players accountable. We all know Theo and company lost confidence in Maddon. Wonder why they didn’t fire him mid season to change the culture of the team earlier. Rather they waited til,cubs were eliminated. I think Theo,failed as the president for that reason alone. I don’t think Ross is the answer. Just remember he was tasked to go look at kimbrel and his readiness for the season. Ross failed miserably in his assessment. Just a side note, Bryant and boras will get resolution on his arbitration this week. If successful Bryant will be free agent at the end of the 2020 season . His value will have tanked if that happens. There is no loyalty anymore in this game, so,I would,trade him either way. He does not want to stay in Chicago.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Wonder if the cubs playing with his service time would come back to bite cubs/Theo in the end.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    No way KB & Boras win that grievance. The FO held him back because he needed to work on his defense. I agree his service time was a big reason also, but take the time and look at his defensive stats in 2015. All of them were damn near the worst in MLB at 3b. So the FO was correct in using that as their excuse to hold him back & I believe 100% the FO wins. I hope KB gets traded over anyone else(except Russell). Dude is the least clutch hitter on team. Over 85% of his HRs & RBI are in non clutch situations. Fangraphs even wrote a detailed article about it. Bryant & Boras can pack their bags this summer & I wouldn't care less. Rather get a haul for Bryant and stick Bote at 3b, or sign an average bat/good D 3b.

  • In reply to Wrigley09:

    They did not hold him back to work on his defense.
    Bryant was brought up the next day afterhis service time was extended a year.
    Bryant's numbers with hitting with runners in scoring position is better than you think.
    You won't get a haul for Bryant and starting Bote at 3b would be a huge mistake.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Wow. Maybe you should watch & read more about baseball because you are wrong. 1st off, Bryant's defense was the Cubs excuse to not bring him up. That is a fact. Yes they called him up 1 day after, but his Defense did suck. Proven fact & Cubs will win grievance. 2nd, Bryant's #s suck with RISP when we need a clutch hit. The #s are okay if it's not a clutch situation. Therefore you are wrong again. There's a website called Fangraphs, look it up and see for yourself. 3rd, Bryant isn't going to extend l, so trade him. He will bring back a haul, unlike you said. It would just have to be the right team that is willing and desperately need a 3b.
    So, go ahead and take your time to learn facts before you respond with that garbage you wrote.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Dude had 2 count ‘em, 2 homeruns vs brewers and cardinals this season. He played 33 games against their biggest division rivals and produced a whopping 2 homeruns! Pitiful!

  • In reply to Wrigley09:

    Cubs didn’t bring KB up because of a business move.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Wrigley09:

    This team def needs a lil roster shake up. I am not sure KB is the guy to move, but if its between him and Javy and Javy is open to signing an extension, then you may not have a choice.

    The best place to send KB is to a win now team w money. A team like that may believe they can not only win w him, but also have a chance to resign him in 2 years. OR a small market team who feels KB is the piece to push them over in their "win now window" and wouldn't mind him only being a rental. It hard for me to identify a team like that. ( those WS Royals squads)

    I know the Dodgers are down on Seager w his pitiful playoff performance, and do not believe he's going to be that superstar they had him pegged as in 2016. They also have his backup ready for the show in Lux. IMO, I think its the injuries that have derailed Seager's career the most. Perhaps a move to 2nd base which is a physically less demanding position may help him stay healthy? Who knows? The Dodgers would also have to pony up a prospect or two ( which they have plenty but have been reluctant to do so). They are loaded with pitching prospects so they will have to deal some at some point. Dustin May is not going anywhere but the Cubs FO will have to identify whom they believe profiles best as a long term starter out of Josiah Gray, Mitchell White, and Dennis Santana. I would like them to throw in a lottery ticket like Edwin Uceta as well.

    Is that enough? Too much? Too little? I don't know, but for a ROY and former MVP, we should be able to get at least 1 MLB player along w some prospects too.

    Where would KB Play for LA? Turner will move over to 1B as David Freese has retired. Perhaps moving Turner off the hot corner could keep him healthier.

  • What did 2015-16 teams have that subsequent teams did not:

    1. Discipline and accountability. Seems these left at the same time as Ross (and others). Will see if it comes back. I’m bullish.

    2. A series of players / FO moves that acquired players playing well above their market values. Unfortunately (as he also did in Boston) Theo and team eschewed this approach to begin paying for everyone at top dollar. This has hamstrung the org, stopped internal development, and made it impossible to overcome the inevitable mistakes that occur.

    Why the cubs fell in love with all of Quintana, Darvish, Hayward, Kimbrell, and to lesser degrees Chatwood, Morrow, at the expense of letting minor leaguers develop or finding under the radar guys, I don’t know.

    They changed what got them there, and in the process congealed the roster, stopped any internal competition and dried up the one advantage they had over others in the central —money.

    Has this been addressed by the Ross move? Nope.

  • In reply to Gunga:

    To your 2nd point. And this is not entirely directed to you since this theme has been posted multiple times. Theo laid out the blueprint for the organization when he took over. He followed it religiously. And guess what, it worked!!!!! 5 of the 6 guys listed above are pitchers. Theo specifically said since pitching is a crapshoot (development and injuries) we will spend or trade to get it. So, I am not sure why this keeps coming up. Lester, Hamels, Lackey, Davis, and Chapman all need to be added to the discussion. The entire picture needs to be painted. These guy all were big contributors and followed his model. Heyward was exactly what Theo said he would spend on—a guy entering his prime years with growth potential. Again, Theo told us the type of guy who would spend on before doing it. I was vocal against it at the time, but understood the rationale behind it.

    The poor play and underperformance is not Theo’s fault. That is on the players. Questionable risky moves are fair game when injuries are known—I am looking at you Morrow. But his process and plan worked. That is indisputable.

    The one knock I would agree with anyone proposing it is McLeod is terrible as he has been horrid drafting and developing lower level talent. He changed his philosophies multiple times. Tater has been vocal on this point and I do agree with him. We drafted the wrong arm types so it is no shock we haven’t developed an MLB SP yet. That is on McLeod and his staff. I still am bothered with the Little draft pick when Nate Pearson was sitting right there. We weren’t looking for the right arms to stock our system with and it has hurt. I believe this past year that has changed based on the arms drafted. Had this approach been in play 3-4 years ago, we may be in a different boat with some cost-controlled SP.

    One thing overlooked is I believe Theo did a nice job staggering contracts and when those deals expire so he does have flexibility on an annual basis. That doesn’t mean we can go buy the top FA every year but should be able to make some deals. I don’t believe the Cubs are handcuffed by any stretch. I think they are in a good position for a trade or two and a Few shrewd signings. I think most of us all agree that this is Theo’s most critical off season as this team is at the proverbial fork in the road.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    It comes up because the best pitching moves followed my statement of playing well above market value. Witness Arietta, Feldman, Hammel, Hendricks, Strop, Rendon, Montgomery. All pitchers that directly or indirectly led to the 2015 & 2016 teams. This is precisely the strategy that they changed, and led to their failure the last 2-3 years.

    We don’t know if they could develop starting pitching because there was no room on the roster. Could Alex mills have become a viable 5th? We’ll never know. Could Cease have cracked the lineup? We’ll never know. Could the Cubs have signed a 2 War pitcher with 4 war upside on the cheap instead of Darvish or chatwood? Would the cubs have been more effective with a 20-30m war chest last year.

  • In reply to Gunga:

    Maddon getting rid of the pitching coach Bosio had huge effect on demise of pitching staff. Look what Bosio did with guys like Maholm, Feldman, Hammel, Strop, Grimm, Edwards, Arrieta and more

  • Who out of the core would you be most upset about being traded?
    Mine is Javy. SS is the hardest position to fill. Especially when it comes to defense. Personally, I'd probably go on strike from watching most Cubs game if they trade him. I'll admit he's my favorite player on the Cubs, and I'm being biased, but you simply can't put a price tag on Javy's skillset, instincts, and all the small things he does right to make the team better. To me, he's the heart of the team & Rizzo is the face of the team. In my eyes, both are untouchables.

  • In reply to Wrigley09:

    If traded, KB would save a lot of money and I feel Contreras can be replaced easier than the others. That's probably just me though.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Replacing Contreras would not be easy. Hard to find good hitting catchers. Who are you replacing Bryant with at 3b? If it is a free agent like Rendon you are not saving money but increasing payroll.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I think Caratini is a good hitter and might improve.
    I suppose I'd prefer to pay guys like Castellanos and Javy with that KB money.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Rendon could easily stay in Washington anyway.

  • In reply to Wrigley09:

    I would have zero issues with trading anyone from the core hitters.
    The issue is with the Cubs weak minor league system, they have to win a few trades to keep this thing moving forward.

    I know there are issues with his contract, but I would look real hard at trading Darvish- maybe to San Diego, Twins, or ???. I think he could have some nice value, especially if you take some contracts/money back. I don't see Darvish leading a team deep into the playoffs.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Darvish was their best pitcher in the second half. Why create a big hole in the rotation when you need to add?

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I look at the Cubs as a 3rd place team.

    Darvish's second half is why the Cubs might actually get a solid return for him, especially if they take some money/contracts back. I just don't see Darvish as a top two starter for a top/playoff team. I think he has a lot of mileage on his arm, is 33 with 4 years left on his deal, and hasn't stepped up in big games.

  • As the playstation commercial says: Water covers 2/3's of the Earth & Javy covers the rest. Pretty accurate statement imo.

  • In reply to Wrigley09:

    Also a pretty good portable windfarm too if you just pitch him outside.....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    Lol. Soriano 2.0. Except he's a defensive wizard at a premium position.

  • In reply to Wrigley09:

    He IS a top 5 shortstop yes.....my wish has always been that if he could discipline his overall game he could be a Hall of Fame player.....there is still time.

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I agree he definitely is a top 5 SS, but I think he is a top 1 second baseman. : )

  • In reply to KJRyno:

    He’s the best at 2B since Ryne for us. Put Addison back at SS, his troubles should’ve behind him and hopefully he’s
    matured.

  • fb_avatar

    I have been critical of Theo and Co. for the lack of success of the team and the farm system in the last few years. I like Nico, but it's no wonder our system is ranked 29th or 30th. He is not a Juan Soto or Eloy Jimenez. He is not elite. We (he) has to change that. We won when KB was our #1 prospect.
    We can still win, our core is still young-ish, but they need development and to get back to that 2016 level, at bat, in the field and between the bases. Maybe Ross can fix that, but it's an organizational problem too.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Joe Girardi to the Phillies. Jayce Tingler to the Padres.

    I wonder if Mark Loretta will be staying on as bench coach...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Oops, I meant that to be a general comment, not directed at you, Mr. Friedman.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Cliff1969:

    call me Jonathan, or Jon. Sometimes it's hard to know who we're replying too.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Seems like that is up to Theo and not Ross's choice

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I think you're right. I was kind of hoping (for him) that he'd get the Padres job.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    It is nothing Ross can fix. It is up to the front office to upgrade the roster

  • Well I've been saying from the start that to me by far the 2 most intriguing candidates were Espada and Ross. I think 2 intelligent, young candidates that embrace collaboration between all baseball departments make the best working fit with Theo and this organization. That's the main reason why I didn't want Girardi I don't believe he's a good working fit with a forward thinking cubs organization that embraces collaboration. For me I think it's baffling that some think David Ross should outright be eliminated from consideration over his coaching inexperience. In all sports who isn't inexperienced these days it seems like most successful recent coaching hires are 1st time head coaches/managers. I understand the concerns about Ross being too close to this teams core players, but I also believe that Theo and this organization are asking the same questions that we are. I'm not as concerned as others it's my opinion that this team is going to see some roster change anyways over these next 2-3 years. But he has all the qualities that teams look for in a young managerial candidate these days, especially being a highly intelligent former catcher and De facto coach of several winning teams. Overall to me this was always between Ross and Espada, but I'm frankly more concerned about what they do about the roster. I believe Espada may have been a good choice, but I also believe Ross will go on to a successful managerial career.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    And on Joe Espada let me start by saying that I've been really high on him from the start. I like his diverse background in the front office and as a coach in 2 strong organizations I've been promoting him and Ross overall recently. But I feel like cubs fans are only talking about Rossy's question marks such as inexperience, while ignoring Espada's. I like Espada but just to play devil's advocate on him a strong case can be made that he's just a flavor of the month coaching candidate, because he works under AJ Hinch for a 1st class Astros organization. How much of the Astros success is owed to Espada really? All I know is 2 years ago Alex Cora was Houston's bench coach and they were already an established roster and team before Espada took over. Cora went on to manage the Boston Red Sox to a World Series last year, and has established himself as one of the better young coaches in the league. So again how much credit does Espada deserve, and is he really as good as cubs fans seem to think he is? Houston was good before Joe Espada became the bench coach, so unlike a Davey Martinez (with the cubs from 2015) can we really say Espada has had a big impact on Houston's growth and success? Don't get me wrong I'm not saying he's overrated he quickly became a favorite candidate of mine, but at the same time it's kinda hard for me to really quantify how much credit he really deserves. His diverse background is great but he's also inexperienced as a manager, as this would be his 1st managerial job.

    I like Espada, but he also comes with his own question marks, as David Ross does. The reality is we won't know how these new coaches do until we see them in action. Different sport I don't think I saw one single positive review of the Green Bay Packers hiring of 39 year old head coach Matt Lafleur, and several bears websites mocked the hiring saying he looks like a kid and won't be able to get Aaron Rodgers respect. Now he's 6-1 and a trendy coach of the year candidate. The reality is strong coaches are found everywhere, and we're seeing that coaches don't necessarily need to be experienced to be successful. That's not to say experience doesn't have value, but it's outdated interviewing criteria to outright eliminate a qualified candidate due solely to lack of experience as long as they check the other boxes.

  • I really hope Ross pans out as a good manager for the Cubs. It's obvious that there is a real need for accountability on the team. Fundamentals are a real issue, or lack thereof, in both defense and base running. Fixing that will probably be goal #1.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    So what happened since 2016 when the Cubs were defensively #1 and close to that on baserunning (not stolen bases). Same cre did they all get older and sloppier?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to stix:

    They're older but still not old. I can't believe they all lost their talent. This is one of the biggest mysteries to me is how far they've fallen both defensively and baseball IQ-ness, if that's even a word.

  • In reply to stix:

    I don't know what happened since 2016. Things change? They obviously did for the Cubs in terms of fundamentals and defensive play. Do you disagree? I'm thinking the FO hired Ross as the answer to that riddle.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Don’t disagree but I don’t know what happened. Did they become complacent and lose concentration? Were Lackey ,Ross and Fowler key to their concentration level in 2016?

  • In reply to stix:

    Since 2016, they've replaced some real professional players (Fowler, Ross, Montero, Zo-gone for 4 months in 19, La Stella) with mostly younger guys (Happ, Bote, Almora, Contreras, Schwarber). That probably had some affect. I include Almora, Contreras, and Schwarber in the latter list because they did not play the entire 2016 season.

    I think Epstein also alluded to the lack of "team work out activities" in recent years, instead players were working out individually a lot. I think Ross can help shape them from a group of individuals to a united team. That sounds a bit like hogwash, usually winning unites a team better than anything else. But maybe Ross can help to build a better "group think" among the players.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Bingo! Fundamentals and accountability. Loretta even mentioned during his interview process that the atmosphere was too laid-back, which is actually somewhat of a knock against him. Practices and drills decreased significantly, and there was no one to get in the face of players who repeatedly made mental gaffes.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Sometimes what works at one time doesn’t work later on. At the beginning of Maddon’s run things like optional batting, IF and OF practice made sense. So too with not letting guys get to the park early to work with the coaches. Those guys were young and had those kind of things stressed in them their whole lives, Maddon cut them loose. Eventually some skills practices were worked back in but only on a one on one basis. During the playoffs there has been a lot of talk about players on other teams that get to the park early for individual work and then practice what they’ve learned in team drills several times a week. While I get that’s not always necessary it’s clearly been lacking here lately. Maddon said at one point this year that guys shouldn’t have to be pushed to perform, he’s right they shouldn’t but sometimes they do. Some guys need a fire lit under their behind. I’m guessing that under Ross the pressure will exceed the pleasure.

  • The thing that I like best is, that Ross was a catcher and good one. He gets the importance of that position in handling the staff and their confidence in the receivers. I'd like to see our 26th man be the the most accomplished defensive receiver available. He can work with Caratini, Contreras, and Ross. Very important. Both of our current catchers are hitters who can fill in for at other positions, in addition to improved work behind the plate. Willson wears down as the as his innings mount.

  • fb_avatar

    Rizzo and JHey have been named finalists for GG. No Javy. I don't believe it.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    That's a shocker. Congratulations to the others.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Baez made the 5th most errors in the NL last year. People who don't watch him a lot will not see how good he really is. Most voters just see the defensive stats which in my opinion are not very accurate.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I saw him make errors, but many are balls that others might not get too, but he has to learn when to throw or when to hold it. He still is a magnificent fielder.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Javy was #2 in MLB SS for DRS and DWAR. It’s comical he is not a finalist.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Agreed. The plays he makes or creates that no one in the long history of this game has ever thought of don't show up in statistics. His IQ deserves award recognition.

  • Just a thought on this slow Friday, so take it easy with the hostility that's all over this site nowadays.

    IF the cubs decide to move KB, I wonder if Contreras would become the everyday 3B and they pickup a vet backstop for cheap to split with Vic (I like him better as a C than Contreras). Looks like he played third while rehabbing at Iowa this year... Definitely an option to save money for elsewhere.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    If that is the plan, I would rather see the Cubs trade Contreras, then move him to another position full time. I think Contreras value is tied in with playing catcher. He makes the all-star team as a catcher.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    It's actually a throwback idea as I saw Willson play third in TN when Schwarber was catching; however, it would probably take him a full season to get back to Bote-level defense there. He's also played outfield.
    I'm just not convinced that the team needs to sell off parts to improve overall. Doubt they'll spend big in free agency, but a one year deal for Howie Kendrick (if you're willing to accept sub-optimal defense) to hold down the fort until Nico is ready gives a line-up of:
    Kendrick-4
    Bryant-3
    Rizzo-1
    Baez-6
    Schwarber-7
    Contreras-2
    Heyward-9
    Happ-8
    Pitcher
    I'd prefer another arm, but that lineup should produce for:
    Darvish, Hendricks, Quintana (with Mills opening to limit Q to 2x through lineup), Alzolay (with Chatwood), Lester.
    With a roster of 26, there's room for opener/piggyback to coddle the weak links.
    Payroll shrinks through attrition and non-tender of Russell.
    Maybe a couple new spare parts in bullpen together with the AAAA guys.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    What do the numbers mean after the players names?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I think its a combo of the lineup order / position numbers on the field?

    Put a 3 next to Rizzo and the missing 5 for Bryant and that it, i believe ?

    I think he was thinking about Rizzo hitting leadoff so he put the 1 there and Bryant hitting 3rd, maybe thats the small error?

    Or it

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I'm assuming defensive positions, with a couple typos. Rizzo at 1B and KB at 3B.

    Rizzo had his moment on the mound and has said that was enough. :)

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Trying for position in the field, but I typed a few incorrectly:
    Kendrick- 2nd base (4)
    Bryant- 3rd base (5)
    Rizzo- 1st base (3)
    Baez- Shortstop (6)
    Schwarber- Left Field (7)
    Contreras - Catcher (2)
    Heyward- Right Field (9)
    Happ- Center Field (8)
    Sorry

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    Oh ok, I thought might of been the case. Thanks.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    that*

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    Who says Kendrick is coming to Cubs?

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    If Ian Happ is starting in the OF next year, something went very wrong.

  • In reply to JohnCC:

    He shouldn’t be starting but he was damned impressive down the stretch and he could very well earn playing time and become the guy he was supposed to. Frankly I’ve never seen what some people saw in him but that slash of .276/.321/.606 .927 OPS .376 wOBA and 132 wRC+ was an eye opener. Small sample size, 137 AB, but remember Happ was the best hitter in his draft class so they expected this. If this team is going to get back to being a contender improvement from within is going to be at least as important as roster reconstruction from the outside

  • In reply to TC154:

    That slash was August and September btw. Sorry for not clarifying. Also notable that he got better as opposed to worse as his season progressed

  • In reply to TC154:

    Yes, he was much improved for sure. But I was responding to the idea of Happ as the opening day CF and maintain that if that comes true, something went terribly wrong. He could well become the 4th OF and/or backup at 2B/3B/1B, but in my mind a player like Happ at this point in his career is not a starter on a team with WS intentions. Hoping/planning that he could start next year is the perpetuation of the problem that plagued the team over the past few seasons; not being able to get beyond the potential and flashes of "what we hoped," and just move on. I wouldn't be sad if Happ, Almora, and Russell all found new homes next year.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    THAT'S THE MOST IDIOTIC COMMENT EVER, YOU STUPID LITTLE POOPY-HEAD!!!!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    You're not wrong. Upon further review, he didn't rehab at 3rd last year after all, according to baseball-reference. Hasn't really played 3rd in like 7 years. Still an idea though, I guess.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    On second thought, I've wondered the same thing. Many catchers have been moved off the position to minimize wear and tear and to extend the usefulness of their offensive abilities. Willson seems like a good candidate, especially when you consider that, aside from his arm strength, he's not a top-tier receiver.

    He was actually a 3B when we signed him as a 16 (?) year old out of Venezuela, but I wouldn't want him there on a competitive team. I believe he could be competent in LF. His offensive game is enough of a tease to contemplate the thought, but that gets back to the question "is he more valuable as a respectable LF who will slash .280/.360/.520 with 30+ bombs and 100 RBI, or as a trade chip to an organization desperate for offensive production from the catcher position?".

    One other concern I have, and I could be wrong, is that I don't know that Contreras would buy into this idea. Schwarber did, but it took a catastrophic injury to do so, and I've expressed my belief that his desire to please and accept whatever was asked of him has actually hurt his development. Contreras is intense, and I'm not so sure he would be as open to the idea.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Yeah I can't imagine he would take it well, especially when his former catcher teammate/mentor is the one filling out the lineup cards. I do think he would be fine with a spring to reacquaint himself to the position though. No worse than Bote this year.

    Trading KB is just the easiest way to clear future salary and find young impact pitching.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Bryant just had his grievance hearing this week. Looks like it may be months before a decision is made. That factors in on his value. Not sure I understand why so many want to trade him. He is after all the Cubs best hitter.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I'm certainly not in the "trade KB!" camp. I think the reason this story has legs is two-fold: the media needs clicks, and it is low-hanging fruit to a complex problem. The Cubs have organizational issues? Trade KB! We have serious environmental issues? Ban plastic straws! Yea!

    I can't help but to think this whole Bryant situation is a negotiating ploy. Bryant himself has hinted as much along the way, saying back when the grievance was filed it wasn't about him but future players. I can respect him for that, but this is Boras vs.the owners in a lead-up to the new CBA.

    Why this would take several months is a smokescreen. Again, this is a negotiating ploy. If this case goes to it's conclusion (which it may not, it could be settled, hence the time frame) the Cubs will win. They followed existing rules. The answer is in changing the existing rules, and that is done by negotiations between the parties involved in agreeing to a new CBA, not a singular complaint. This can go a lot of ways, but my guess is everyone in baseball understands KB is still under club control for two more years (not affecting his "trade value"). Bryant may sign an above-arbitration 2-year deal to cover the rest of his eligibility, and this case is used as evidence in the upcoming CBA negotiations.

    I do believe this issue will be addressed in the new CBA. The trend in baseball is to not pay ageing free agents based on past performance, but clubs still benefit from cheap control over a players' early years. Something's got to give, and I think the arbitration figures need to be elevated or possibly reducing the six years of club control.

    Like most of what our society has become, this is much ado about nothing.

    I wouldn't mind seeing him moved to the OF, though.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I love KB and see him having some big seasons ahead.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    I believe KB will have big future seasons... on a different team.
    If the Cubs could sign Rendon, IMO it's a no brainer.
    He's been a favorite player of mine for some time.

    You've not only got a guy that's signed long term that's as good a player as KB, but you also get the assets that KB brings in a trade.

    Many holes in the roster could be filled with just two moves.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Please don't mistake my trade scenario as me wanting to trade him. My final sentence in that previous post is all I'm saying. If you're gonna move someone...

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    I was not trying to single you out. I was just stating the many here have said the Cubs should move Bryant. Sorry if you read it like I was singling you out.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Trading KB would also be the easiest way to remove the best and most consistent bat from our lineup (excluding Rizzo). Rizzo has been more productive, but he's not as skilled a hitter as KB.

    All the following stats are from 2015 - present, with each player's 162-game average of home runs and RBIs (from BR) since then.

    KB: .284/.385/.516/.901 32HR, 92 RBI, 136 OPS+
    Rizzo: .283/.389/.510/.899 31HR, 108 RBI, 136+ OPS+
    Contreras: .267/.350/.470/.821 25 HR, 85 RBI, 113 OPS+
    Baez: .281/.319/.500/.819 27 HR, 89 RBI, 111 OPS+

    So, since KB has played with the Cubs, only Rizzo has been a little better than him. This is with playing through lots of injuries over the last 2 years as well. That's not easy.

    I will maintain that trading Willson Contreras, who always seems to go on the DL every year, and then trading Baez would be the best way to still leave this team with it's two best hitters, but also reduce the strikeouts a whole bunch. But having a better defensive catcher who can platoon with Caratini, and then getting a defense first SS who has great contact skills would be a start to replacing them. Then the $13-14M or so the Cubs would've had to pay Javy and Willson can go towards upgrading one of either CF or 2B. Plus there would be some pretty good starting pitching prospects that can be had from trading Baez and Contreras. It would set this team up much better for the future.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    "Trading KB would also be the easiest way to remove the best and most consistent bat from our lineup"

    I don't disagree.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Yes, but replace him with Rendon and your getting somewhere. Production wise they’re similar but they’re different types of hitters and if the Cubs had planned to spend the money on Bryant anyway it makes a ton of sense combined with what you could get back for KB.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Who says Rendon will leave Nationals?

  • In reply to TC154:

    Roe Skidmore, he may not but they aren’t close on the money right now. Look, he’s going to have a lot of suitors. I know the Rangers and Angels are considered favorites for him but why not the Cubs? Especially if they were prepared to pay Bryant. Figure on Arenado’s money as a good comp to Renton. Also if Strasburg opts out, which he almost certainly will they’ll have a choice to make. They can’t afford them both.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    A lot of things went right for the Cubs this season. 3rd place finish, was not all bad luck or injuries.

    Are minor adjustments, and keeping the more expensive core together really going to improve the team? Getting Texas to take D. Smyly $7 million 2019 salary was a gift. Picking up C. Hamels option was the minor adjustment last offseasons.

    After this season keeping the core together doesn't guarantee playoffs.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    "It would set this team up much better for the future ". Trading Javy and Willson for pitching prospects? What about the present?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    2020 season is the future, man! The Nationals are proving if the team is good enough, you can remove a star for nothing and improve upon the previous season.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I agree with you that just using offensive #s, KB has probably been the best and most consistent hitter over the last 5 years. And last year, he was just as good until his injury, so no recent drop off either.
    But these guys values go way above their hitting. Rizzo is a GGer, Contreras plays one of the most important positions on the field and is arguably the best active hitting catcher in MLB, to boot.

    And Javy's value is so much more than his OPS, which is good and will only get better, by the way. He does things on defense and in base running that are just not easily quantified. But for those of us who watch, we see one stat that usually correlates with Javy when he has a good game. It's called the Win. That has a high correlation.

    All I'm saying is that KB is probably still the most valuable bat on the team, but when taking in all of the other ways to contribute to the team's outcome, it's very hard to say that KB is the most valuable at this point.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Broken record time (is this #1027?):

    The only numbers that truly matter in baseball are the ones under the "R" column at the end of the game, and there are many ways to get there.
    .
    I understand different fans have different preferences, and that's fine. But I can't understand people who claim to be knowledgeable fans yet base everything on offensive numbers. You have to prevent runs to win games.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    And, of course, KB and Rizzo are "different" than Baez and Contreras. Yeah, I went there, but a history of comments led me in that direction.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Respectfully, I'm not sure I can follow you on the "different" players. I've seen more trade proposals featuring Bryant than any two other Cubs combined. Schwarber and Happ get their share, too. Proposals for trading Bryant are often accompanied by a desire to sign Rendon as a replacement. Trading a Venezuelan Contreras leaves the job to a Puerto Rican Caratini. Am I missing something in your take?

  • Bottom line is if cubs don’t improve the roster or get better performance out of guys it doesn’t matter who manages the club.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    NEWS ALERT: Bottom line, Teams don't need Managers because there is nothing they can do!

  • If they trade El Mago, they have lost their mind. I believe he will get an extension this winter.

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    Love Javy! Teams made a huge mistake not picking him up in a trade years back when he was struggling with strikeouts at an alarming rate.
    Of course we got robbed on trading Gleyber Torres, Eloy Jimenez, Jorge Soler, Tommy LaStella, Jeimer Candelaria, and others...

  • The hearing of Bryant's MLBPA grievance over his service time could end up being the monkey-wrench in any efforts to trade him. The return for KB could change drastically if the arbiter rules that he's a FA after 2020, meaning the acquiring team would have one year of control instead of two. And, it could be months before the arbiter rules, so the question could remain open through most of the offseason when trades are discussed.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Actually that is a real good point.....not knowing if he could go free agency a year sooner would certainly keep some teams away from bidding....

  • I will say the same thing about Ross as I would have about Espada if he had been hired, and that I said about Maddon when HE was hired.

    The day will come when he will be fired.

    By the way, I have said that about every manager that every team has hired since 1950, and have never been wrong.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Joe wasn’t fired , they didn’t rehire him. If he offered to manage for the same salary as Ross got he probably wouldn’t have been rehired.

  • In reply to stix:

    He was fired.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    An ignorant statement, sorry, but you made it. Pitiful.

  • Respectively, I hate to burst your bubble but some have not been fired, just plain retired.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Wouldn't that include Lou Pinella from the Cubs? Not sure if he "retired" or just "quit," but he was gone!

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I'm not sure, but I am pretty sure Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa retired and Boche is retiring now.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Boche was told his contract would not be renewed at the start of the season and both sides agreed to handle it with class. This week he said he’s taking a year off and will likely return to managing in 2021.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I am not so sure Bochy wanted to manage another year. I never heard of him not being offered a new contract. I think he was done after this year.The Giants had a new front office and he saw they may rebuild so he decided to move on.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I hadn’t heard it either until this week after he said he wanted to manage again. Jim Duquette called it a “mutual decision” designed for everyone to look good.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I see. The Giants treated Bochy great this year. Not tearing the team apart at the trade deadline to give Bochy one more chance to make the playoffs.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Yes. Classy on all sides.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Agree

  • Anyone watching WS? I'm rooting for nats(davey martinez). If trea turner can get on a roll this series, the Nats should win. Even without Rendon producing, you still have Eaton & Soto who have been on fire.

  • In reply to Wrigley09:

    Rooting for Nats. Nothing to do with Martinez. Just a NL guy.

  • fb_avatar

    I have said that trading KB will bring us the most back. Even when he has a "bad" season he's still very, very good. HIs career slash line is
    .284/.385/.516 with an OPS of .901. He strikes out too much but his OBP is still an average of .385.
    I don't want to trade Willson, but we have 3 excellent defensive catchers in the minors but PJ Higgins is the only one in AAA and I don't know what he can give us at the major league level. I wanted to bring him up last year and was scoffed at here. Pereda was the Minor league catcher of the year and Amaya was the AFL catcher of the season. We have catchers, but Willson is so good, so athletic with a whip like throwing arm that I don't think we can adequately replace him. I would trade Schwarbs because he has his ups and downs and right now he's as valuable as he's ever been.
    If it took 4 years for KB's grievance to be heard he might be retired by the time it's decided. Really, why has it taken so long for it to be heard.
    I've been watching the WS and love the competition. Soto and Robles are players we'll be watching for years to come and Altuve is of my favorite players in baseball.

  • fb_avatar

    I just saw that Chuck Meriwether, an umpire of 18 years, just passed away. He was 63. He's the second in a few weeks. Eric Cooper died earlier in Oct and he was only 52. Both are much too young to have died.

  • fb_avatar

    I don’t know if anyone will see this, but is there a “Bears Den” like Cubs Den where we can comment? Right now I’m not thinking about trading KB but trading Mitch T.
    Thanks.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    There is nothing that I am aware of. Bleacher Nation has their own Bears site but that it pretty much all I am familiar with since I don't really follow closely anymore.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Banghart:

    You save yourself a lot of heartache by not watching. Thanks.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    That place is just like the old Cubs dot com forum. Anything goes over there. Player bashing, owner bashing, Front Office bashing, commenter name calling. On & on.

    And Politics are allowed but only if it’s left leaning (republican bashing), LoL.

    The articles are ok, but 1 of the main writers is part & participle to the discussions devolving into bash feasts, allowed to be 1 sided & language to be abusive towards those with a differing opinion. Usually & mostly by those who’ve “been there for years” commenters.

  • Nothing like a couple sets of knockers to improve sagging World Series ratings......

  • We must be in the Long Slow Hello phase now.

    But I must add "What knockers"......."Zank you doctor".

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