Some interesting news regarding one of the players we’re watching in the World Series. Alex Gordon is expected to become a free agent and, according to Nick Cafardo, one executive says he wouldn’t give him more than a 3 year deal worth $36-$38M.
That kind of deal fits perfectly for the Cubs and Gordon’s lefty bat, contact ability, and defense is exactly what the Cubs are looking to add.
What’s more, Joel Sherman reports that the Cubs are on Alex Gordon’s preferred list of teams.
The trouble is where do you play him? He cannot play CF and the Cubs have two of their young stars: Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler in the corner OF spots right now.
Willson Contreras shines in AFL game
I have seen Willson Contreras play a lot over the past 4 years and I think today was the best I’ve ever seen him play in every phase of the game.
Contreras was locked in today. He started with a great AB in which he worked the count full and then was not fooled when he got a curve ball. Instead, Contreras stayed back and then whipped those quick hands through the zone, lining a 2-run HR over the LF wall. He later ripped a line drive single into LF on a 98 mph fastball.
But it was more than his good hitting. Contreras sprang out of the box and threw a bullet right on the bag to nail speedster Lewis Brinson on a SB attempt. Brinson got a pretty good jump but Contreras showed off his plus arm strength, a quick release, and that shortened arm action we’ve heard Mark Johnson talk about. It took all of those things to cut down Brinson.
Lastly, Contreras really worked hard on his game management skills. He came out to the mound on a few occasions to settle his pitcher down, but his best moment may have come at the end when DH Gary Sanchez came to the plate as the tying run. Contreras called time, talked to closer Austin Brice, a FB pitcher, and had a quick discussion on the mound. Instead of the heat, Brice started Contreras off with a change-up that froze Sanchez, then blew a 96 mph FB by him, then dropped a filthy curve on the outside corner to end the game.
It was Brice who executed the plan brilliantly, but he was quick to acknowledge Contreras, slapping him on his backside twice as the team celebrated on the mound. The change-up is by far the pitch Brice has the least confidence in. He has that good FB and a very good curveball — but the change-up is pretty ordinary. But with Sanchez geared up for the fastball, it was more than good enough.
Contreras appears to be learning those nuances quickly.
Other News and Notes…
- A perspective on Kyle Schwarber’s defense from Rian Watt at BP Wrigleyville, with scouting notes on his catching ability from our old friend and colleague Mauricio Rubio.
- Jeimer Candelario did not get a good hit but continued to have good ABs, including one AB that was about 10 pitches and almost 5 minutes long. He eventually popped up in that at bat but had a few loud fouls in that game. Mark Zagunis went 0 for 3 with a walk but looked like he was making an effort to go the other way, twice taking two hard hit balls that went foul.
- Jake Arrieta is a finalist for the Gold Glove award.
- Evan Moore wrote about the troubling lack of diversity among MLB managers. As Cubs fans and/or Chicagoans, there are a few names with whom we should be familiar in this regard. It’s amazing that Dave Martinez, for example, didn’t get more consideration. Neither did Rick Renteria, who did an admirable job under difficult circumstances and showed great ability to work with young players. Lastly, Chicago’s own DeMarlo Hale — a manager we have pushed for here in the past — has had as much success as any manager at the minor league level while also having important roles on the coaching staffs of some of the best organizations in baseball. It’s hard to imagine what else he needs to do to get a shot.
- Last but not least, I am honored and humbled to be a part of an esteemed, talented staff of prospect writers for an exciting new website called 2080.com. It will focus on the scouting/development side of baseball.
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