Red Sox, Angels use prospects as currency -- but how/why they used them likely differs from Cubs strategy

Theo Epstein likes to say the Cubs are awash in baseball currency.  By that he means the Cubs have accumulated wealth in terms of prospect depth and payroll flexibility.  It is something they intend to use, but also something they value greatly in their quest to keep the team competitive for years to come.

Prospects have value because they give a team cost-controlled production for 6 MLB seasons.  They  can do that for their  current organization or be moved to another organization in exchange for players who fill present needs.

The Cubs intend to use prospects in both capacities, so we should be watching what the Red Sox and Angels have done with great interest.

That said, they are unique situations that may not lend a lot of insight  on how the Cubs use their own prospect currency…

  • It’s interesting to note that both teams have new GMs and perhaps there is some desire there to make an impact quickly.  The Angels traded their two top prospects, one ranked 19th overall on MLB.com and the Red Sox traded 4 prospects, one of whom ranked 25th in all of baseball and another ranked 76th.  The other two prospects are potential MLB starters and at 6 years of cost control, that also becomes a valuable asset.
  • It’s also worth noting that both players acquired (Andrelton Simmons by the Angels; Craig Kimbrel of the Red Sox) are considered the very best in the game in their respective roles.  Simmons is considered the best defender, perhaps at any position, in all of baseball while many consider Kimbrel the top closer in the game.

So what we have are two GMs that are more familiar with their respective systems from an ousider’s perspective.  They don’t have the attachment  that comes with drafting and signing these players themselves.   Also as new GMs, they may be looking at making a bold statement early on

I like the Angels trade better, though I don’t think it was the absolute steal that some do.  It is a good trade for both teams — a pattern that seems to follow the Braves.  You could argue that with Simmons being a unique player who is young and signed to a reasonable contract, the Braves could have held out for more and waited for some team to overpay.  Maybe, but that isn’t how the Braves seem to operate.  They look for an equal value exchange to reshape their  team and when they get it, they pull the trigger.  Furthermore, we don’t know how much they value Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis.  It may be higher than many prospect experts do.  They may also highly value their current top SS prospect Ozhaino Albies, who should be a better hitter than Simmons though, of course, he won’t provide the same kind of defense.

All that aside, it is still a curious deal from the Angels side because Newcomb was their only prospect who projects as an above average player. — perhaps their only starter at any position.  Chris Ellis may have been underrated in the sense that he has the size and stuff to stick as a starter.  The pitching prospects the Angels have now — including top prospect Victor Alcantara – don’t have that same ceiling.  Alcantara projects as a reliever to me.

So what you have with the Angels is a team that has basically emptied out their farm system to try to extend their window 2 or 3 more years.  In some ways they are similar to where the Braves were a few years ago.  It will be interesting to see if they take the same rebuilding path if they don’t succeed with this group — but with win-now manager Mike Scioscia wielding a lot of power in that organization,  that seems unlikely.  That a new GM just came in and immediately made a deal oriented toward the present at the expense of what was already a cloudy future is telling.  The Angels are going to have to roll with what they have and worry about the future when they get there.

The Red Sox are more similar to the Cubs in terms of where their farm system stands and despite a poor 2015 season, they’re in an AL East that no longer fields a dominant team.  There is no team in that division that has a stranglehold on that division for the present or future, so the Red Sox likely feel they have as good a chance at winning in 2016 and beyond as anyone.

To their credit, they dealt from depth.  Manuel Margot is a CFer and the Red Sox have Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. who have already seen MLB time at the position.  SS Javier Guerra is an intriguing raw talent at SS, but Xander Bogaerts currently at the position and defensively oriented Deven Marrero as their 7th ranked prospect.  Carlos Asuaje is a middle infielder who is even further down the chart.   LHP Logan Allen is a sleeper who is a potential MLB starter, but the Red Sox have a young staff where the oldest SP is Clay Buchholz at 30 years old.   More to the point, Allen is behind Eduardo Rodriguez. Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, and Trey Ball ahead of him on the depth chart when it comes to young LH starters.  I don’t necessarily have an issue  with the players they traded, at least from a depth standpoint.

What I have an issue with is that they traded that depth for a closer.  It wasn’t their most pressing need.  The Red Sox staff is young, but it is essentially a staff of mid-rotation or below starters.  They could have used their prospects to acquire an impact starter instead.  Now they’ve narrowed their options and will have to do that through free agency or by further depleting what is still a strong farm system….for now.  They’ve indicated that they will look to free agency.

That certainly affects the Cubs who are looking to free agency themselves in addition to trade.  The Red Sox have deep pockets and have put themselves in a position  where they will almost certainly ,need to buy that starting pitcher.  And unlike last year, they’ll likely be looking to get a top of the rotation arm.

It speaks to the difficult balance of maintaining baseball currency while meeting short term needs — and that you have to be careful how you allocate those limited resources.  The Angels spent their remaining prospect currency on a very good player — but he is just one player on a team that would seem to need more.  I’ve never been a fan of thinking that a team — any  team — is one player away from a title because there are too many variables surrounding a 162 game season.  It can be a mistake to assume a roster will remain healthy and productive, and that an acquired player will be a pure net gain for the team as a whole.  Meanwhile, the Red Sox had a lot more to deal and could withstand a hit to their farm system, but they shipped a good portion of their depth — and greater overall value than the Angels — for what some might consider a luxury, a part-time player who plays a very specific role.

Time will tell if the moves were worth it.  Time will also give us a better understanding of the ripple effects caused by the moves, both in terms of their ability to acquire talent in the future as well as the potential cost of depleted depth.  Both teams are taking a gamble and giving up a part of their future with the assumption that the players they respectively acquired will be the missing piece in the short term.  If it works, then it certainly will have been worth the cost.

Closer to home, I don’t see the Cubs acting similarly.  I think they’re willing to trade prospects — but  unlike the Angels, they will trade from depth and, unlike the Red Sox, they will use that depth for a cost-controlled player that has a chance to make an impact everyday — or at least every 5th day — as a starter.  Whether or not that is possible is up in the air.  The market may not be there for that kind of move.  But if it isn’t, I don’t expect the Cubs to force any particular deal and let the market dictate the cost.  They’ll look for a different path to get to the same destination.  That is what I mean when I say the Cubs may need to be creative to fill their needs this offseason.  Because of that, this is going to be a difficult offseason to forecast, but we can be sure the Cubs will explore every avenue, from David Price and on down the line.  They’ll do what makes sense with respect to their own process, not necessarily that of the Angels, Red Sox, or any other organization

 

 

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  • Parra,Heyward,Zobrist. Miller and quality reliever.

  • In reply to HCG86:

    Did you enter the FA/trade contest from a few posts ago?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    No, John, I missed that post.

  • I don't necessarily like that trade from the Red Sox perspective, I think they gave up a lot for Kimbrel which will reduce their flexibility a little down the line. (Teams like the Red Sox always seem to recover quickly from this type of deal)

    But where I would like to see the Cubs emulate that move is by trading guys who aren't impact players from the ML roster now. In other words, I don't want to trade Soler for a starter; which seems like a lateral move. I'd rather trade prospect depth and overwhelm someone with Baez, McKinney/Almora and, if necessary, Torres.

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    I don't like it at all from the Red Sox side. The Braves-Angels deal was closer to equal value .

    Trading a starter for a starter isn't a lateral move if you have the depth to replace that player right away.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, Kimbrel iosnt going to haver many leads to hold with there current starting staff. Frankly, the Bosox need 2 decent SPs , most of there current staff are 3-5 type startes, and Bucholtz cant stay healthy for an entire year..

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    Also, it's not about whether they will eventually recover from prospect loss, of course they will. It is about using that depth, overusing it -- to get what many consider a luxury more than a need. That hampers what they're able to do for this offseason and season. They are not going to recoup that kind of value quickly enough for that.

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    In reply to TheMightyGin:

    It all comes down to the fact that the Redsox are really putting a premium on having a lock down bullpen. With how many late leads they blew last year along w such a young staff ( still w any TOR arms), I can see why they did it.

    So shortening the games to perhaps 6-7 inning games ( which is pretty much the max most of their starters can be depended on anyway) is the route they are going. Seems to have worked pretty well for KC, even though the redsox are still an arm or 2 Away from a royals shutdown pen, but they are closer then they were a few days ago.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I feel like this was Donbrowski's problem in Detroit with bullpen construction. He places a premium on the 9th inning but then tries to fill in 7th and 8th with guys not capable of doing the job.

    Terrible move by Dombrowski - if he keeps this up, Boston will eventually suffer the same fate that Detroit suffered last year - bloated payroll and a last place team.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    This is vintage Dombrowski. Trade farm talent, b/c he doesn't know what it is, and try to plug major league holes with the biggest name available. His biggest strengths are knowing when to join an org and when to move on. Every GM should be all over him b/c he LOVES to trade away prospects. Bargains are to be had with Boston's current prospect depth. And you said it right John. " for now"

  • What the chances of trading 1 top prospects with a few non-top
    prospects to make a better deal or 2 deal the second one just
    with non-top prospects

  • John, I wanted to discuss a crosstown trade match and get your feedback along with how or why I think it works for both.

    White Sox get- Baez, Montero, Hammel
    Cubs get- Eaton, Cabrera, Quintana

    For the Sox, they get a stud short stop, whom I hate to lose, but I don't think he will ever develop the "controlled strike zone" the FO likes.
    Montero would be a huge upgrade behind the plate, he fills a need of a left handed hitter, and he could hit towards the middle of their lineup.
    Hammel, isn't exactly a throw in, but he still has an unreached ceiling in my opinion.

    For the cubs they get a catalyst at the top of the lineup, a scrappy, good hitter, that I see improving more each year for the next few years.
    Cabrera would be an upgrade in left over Coghlan and a really good #2 hitter that switch hits as an added bonus.
    Quintana fills 1 of 2 spots in the rotation, on a cheap deal so they can better afford a more likely deal of say a Zimmerman. Arrieta, Lester, Zimmerman, Quintana, Hendricks. Really good.

    Subsequent move is Schrawber moving behind the plate.

  • In reply to jojo67:

    Not sure why the White Sox would do that deal, to be honest.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Isn't Chris Sale on the trade market? What prospects you think it would cost Cubs.

  • In reply to brandenburden:

    I'd be shocked if he was available

  • In reply to brandenburden:

    I don't think they'll even listen on Sale, frankly I think it would be difficult to get them to listen. They seem to think they're a couple players away from contending and can build around pitching.

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    In reply to TC154:

    they always think they're a couple of players from contending. I was astounded they didn't trade Samardzija at the deadline last year, all because they had a decent 2 week run in July. It's like their FO either has mass psychosis, or they're putting up the appearance of
    near-contention to keep the old man happy.

    But honestly, what the Sox are doing - randomly mixing and matching every off season in hopes of hitting the right combo - is what the cubs have done from the late 80's to 2010. Every now and then you hit on a number so you think your system works, but you don't have any comprehensive plan for success. I criticize Theo and Jed for some boneheaded moves, but overall I'm in awe that the baseball gods dropped this FO in our laps - FINALLY.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Probably the biggest problem is that thinking that a washed up NL left handed hitter named Adam is the answer at DH.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Sox immediately need a SS and probably need a catcher. But maybe your take is if they are going to tank, they don't/

  • The Angels just gave up their only good prospect for a guy who will hit 8th or 9th in their lineup.

  • In reply to TD40:

    Agreed.

  • In reply to TD40:

    Maybe TD, but Andrelton Simmons is the modern day equivalent of Ozzie Smith and Omar Vizquel , and look what happened for the teams they got traded to. Immediately made them better for a 4-5 yr period. Simmons is a once in a decade SS with the glove, he likely will save 20runs per year just with his glove alone.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    No question. Considering their closing window Simmons just improved that team in a huge way. Simmons is a special player. I wouldn't worry about the bat.

  • John, in your article you referenced BOS's mid to back of rotation depth. Though we don't match up well head-to-head with them, I'd be interested in discussing Miley, Porcello, Bucholz, or even Owens. Obviously , that wouldn't be our marquee SP pickup but there is something there, IMO. They're not going to have near enough spots for all of their viable SP candidates. I'd love Rodriguez but sure they won't move him.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I think the Cubs are probably looking for younger and inexpensive -- but with some MLB track record --when it comes to trade options. That is, if they have a choice.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I hear you but if we could somehow unload some salary in deal it might make some sense. Miley is under a reasonable deal if memory serves correct.

  • Would have to involve 3rd team- SD or CLE. Perhaps get Bradley or , dare I suggest, Dustin P involved ??

  • Braves look like a good trade match. Shelby Miller, Julio Teheran, Cameron Maybin all make sense. Also any truth to rumors that CLE doesn't want to trade any of their young SP?

  • In reply to Chicago Cubs Fan 24:

    I'm sure the Indians would move them, but I am sure the price is steep and that has caused teams to walk away, so the Indians will frame it as they don't want to trade them -- but what they probably mean is that nobody is offering what it will take to get those players.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Any chance Cubs could get both Miller and Teheran in a deal if they take on some salary from bourn or swisher contract? What would cost be looking like in your opinion?

  • In reply to Chicago Cubs Fan 24:

    I think they will only get one or the other if they make that kind of trade.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Ok would u prefer Miller or Teheran? I really like Miller and think Bosio can help him take it to the next level

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    Teams focused on going for it in 2016 and looking to fill a need are likely confronted with two choices: overpay for a free agent or overpay in prospects. Since only one team will win the World Series, it could be argued that by definition all but one team was wrong. The Cubs may opt for a third route, signing lesser free agents like Shark and Lackey. They may look like geniuses, but if they lose in the playoffs to the Giants, let's say, who signed Price, fans will be disgruntled. Conversely, if the Giants sign Price and he doesn't live up to the salary, they won't look smart. I'm not advocating a particular approach, but I am not quick to criticize teams that's push their chips forward and go for the brass ring.

  • In reply to Cubs Win 009:

    Very rarely does a closer mean the difference or one player at all.

    And the teams who most often win rings -- teams like the Cards, Giants, Red Sox, Royals -- or the Astros and Pirates are beginning to do-- are teams who did it by giving themselves multiple chances to win, not by going for it all in one offseason by funneling their investment into one player. History has shown that teams to do that fail more often than not and unlike the aforementioned teams, they then have to spend time, sometimes years, picking up the pieces. Let other teams fall for that trap.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    All four of those teams did trade a top prospect at one point. Wheeler for Beltran. Miller for Heyward. Myers for Sheilds. Rameriz for...I forget his name. They gave up years of control. By definition, only the Rameriz trade worked, the others didn't lead to a title. I'm curious what the Cubs do.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree with what you are saying in general. But Boston has a ton of depth and essentially traded surplus players to fill a major need with 3 more years of control. So I get it from their side.

  • Javier Baez was not drafted or signed by this FO. And he is currently blocked at 2B, 3B and SS, so he is depth. So, why don't Jed and Theo make a bold move and deal him?

  • In reply to hoopscubs:

    #1 -- It's November 14th
    #2 -- Who is to say Baez is the one who gets traded? And...
    #3 -- If he is not traded, it could easily open up a place for him to start.

    The situation is not so rigid as your comment seems to imply. It is a very fluid one where the Cubs could go any number of directions.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Not only that, but teams have to have depth. Having quality depth is critical for playoff teams. Injuries happen. Guys slump. Having a guy with Javy's talent as a ready made starting option at multiple positions is a huge plus. Not to mention that he's under team control for years. Why move him? Unless you fill in a huge hole (#3 SP and/or CF).

  • In reply to hoopscubs:

    I think comments regarding that fact that Baez was not originally acquired by this front office are overstated. If Baez is moved it is because they felt it was in the best interests of the organization and that they could get the most value for him. It will have nothing to do with which administration he was drafted by.

  • In reply to hoopscubs:

    I think it will be tough to move Baez for this reason: The Cubs are going to want value for his ceiling which is high as the sky. He has a ways to go to get there. Another team, at this point, is unlikely to give the Cubs that kind of value. The FO might be better off starting him next year and see if he improves. If he does, then his value would go up. And then they can either keep him or trade him for a starter.

  • In reply to TD40:

    Baez was not acquired by this front office, but has been developed by it.

  • In reply to TD40:

    Baez clearly did improve in 2015 with the bat (albeit small sample size). He is a player that can play a lot of different positions. He has value for this team even if he does not play every day. Also, injuries can and do happen.

  • In reply to TD40:

    Sorry, that comment was for hoopscubs. To yours, I'd just add that Baez might benefit still, from soft landing role that he played in September and October.

  • In reply to hoopscubs:

    And if Baez plays anywhere near the level we hope to see him at, I don't see where he'd be blocked by anyone.

  • In reply to hoopscubs:

    He isn't depth if they move him to center field. For that matter, he isn't depth if he replaces Castro at second base, not an impossible thing even if they do not trade Castro.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Not sure Baez showed that much improvement in 2015. Maddon spotted him against #3-5 or lower starters as he didn't want to expose him to pitchers Maddon felt he couldn't handle.

    Javy also did not have the explosive bat (when he hit the ball) in 2015 that he did in 2014 or in the minors. He's still a work in process and unless someone gets hurt in ST he needs to play regularly and might benefit from another month or two at Iowa to see if he can continue to adapt to his new approach.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Or if he plays 3B and Bryant plays the OF...

    Personally think they might use Baez in a Zobrist role if his bat can be fairly consist...

  • Theo does not have to sign a big high priced FA or trade away a
    top prospect unless its right for our long term plans. The days
    of pleasing the fans and the media are over

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Agreed. As the baseball saying goes, "Those who listen too much to the fans will someday be sitting with them"

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I think that is the way he has always operated. Clearly, in his role, he should be looking at what is in the Cub's best interest both short term and long term. He signed Lester last year to a mega contract not for the fans, but because he thought it was the right move.

    Are you talking about the Hendry regime?

  • I think the key thing to remember about Baez when discussing trade possibilities is that without nearing his ceiling, he can be an impact defender @ SS who hits 25 bombs with ~300OBP( 3 WARish) for 5 more cost-controlled yrs. If trade mkt doesn't reflect that, he ain't going anywhere.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I agree and pretty much keep beating the same drum. Far too much focus on his K rate and whether or not he hits 40 bombs yearly. He is a tremendous baseball player without reaching his ungodly ceiling.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    For some reason, most people can't internalize idea of Javy ending up anywhere but boom or bust. Several points in between are chock full of friggin' value.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    That has been my argument for years. People always called him a high ceiling, low floor prospect and in my opinion he has always been a high floor guy. He brings so much beyond his bat.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    would love to see him being worked out privately in CF this winter. Would solve a lot of problems, and allow the winter to be all about pitching.

  • I don't think the Boston trade was as bad as you make it out to be. They blew 21 save opportunities last year. The prospects they traded were blocked by really good young players. Sure, they could have waited to try and trade those players for a starter but the GM was quoted as saying they asked around to see what people wanted. Kimbrel is signed for 3 more years so it's not like he's a rental.

    Over the years, how many times have we seen the Cubs hold prospects too long, only to trade them when they have little to no value? Pie, Patterson, etc.

    Where and when do you see guys like Volgebach and Candelario ever contributing to the major league team? We can win it all now. I'm willing to give up a little bit of upside trade value to get a useful player now.

    Let's remember, every three years the Cubs have the financial resources to restock the farm through the international draft.

  • In reply to berber31:

    I think that is exactly what Boston has done. They have a great farm system because they sign a ton of international players, get compensation picks when free agents leave, then sign new free agents. They have a nice payroll to work with. A team like this has a lot of options. Yoan Moncada cost them nothing but money. It makes me feel good the KC Royals won the world series last year because they are clearly at a disadvantage on a yearly basis to the other teams with more resources.

  • In reply to MoneyBall:

    I agree with you Moneyball. Always nice to see the little guys win one.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to berber31:

    Exactly. Redsox identified a weakness in their club from last year, and immediately rectified it. They blow half that many games next year and add a TOR starter, and they are fighting for a playoff spot in a very winnable division as John so eloquently stated.

    The trades that hurt the least are the ones that come from a position of depth, ( all players are from the minor leagues and most likely none will be in the show next year, 100% if they stayed in Boston) and that is basically what this trade was.

    Your not going to acquire a top end closer for 3 years w out giving up some good players. Sometimes both teams can address each other's needs. This is a case where it was a win win for both teams.

    Let's hope the Cubs can find a way to address some serious needs by trading blocked players not named Javier Baez or Starlin Castro.

  • In reply to berber31:

    I get sick of the whole Pie & Patterson argument. There's just no justification for blaming it on the kids or spouting out a foundationless meme. The old regime did not develop prospects. Teams that can't develop prospects have to trade them for fully mature MLB players. Dombrowski is good at that. He's been blessed to be at teams that have big payrolls. Until the final years of the Hendry regime, Hendry didn't have the financial might not the ability to develop his players.

    Could it still be on the players? Sure, but we'll never know. Regardless, this FO not only has the track record and plan for developing, but they've identified and seek mental and emotional traits likely to lead their players to success. There's a reason Cherrington never made this trade and it only came after he was gone...

    All that to say there isn't really a fear of prospects fizzling out. And especially not anymore fear than the opposite: that we trade a Dontrell Willis before he has a great season or two, or trading Lou Brock, or trading Josh Donaldson, or trading DJ LeMahiue etc.

    At the end of the day, the big issue is this: you seem to be advocating trading players before they're exposed as pseudo-prospects as opposed to trading legit prospects in great value, common sense deals. One trades a player out of fear his market will crash, the other values the player and only traded him when the right value is received in return. One is dictated by fear (emotive), the other logic (intellectual)...

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    You are absolutely right, our FO has been on the money in player development thus far. One could argue those succeeding most were all first rounders and thus the real FO talent is finding talent that doesn't need much development. But I'm willing to admit I love this front office and was happy we finally had a FO that was willing to start over.

    The problem is all the development has been with hitters. We don't need 3 shortstops and 5 corner outfielders. We need two more legit starting pitchers. I'm not sure Pierce Johnson is the answer either. It doesn't look like there are any other major league ready prospects either. So, let's trade from a position of strength and get some rotation help now. We are really good.

  • Proving your thesis that the Cubs won't do it this way:
    "What I have an issue with is that they traded that depth for a closer. It wasn't their most pressing need."
    "It speaks to the difficult balance of maintaining baseball currency while meeting short term needs -- and that you have to be careful how you allocate those limited resources."

    Yet some poster said yesterday that trading for Chapman for one year would somehow be worth it. Not to this FO.

  • I know that the FOs goal is to put the best team in the field for next year, but if DD is going to sell the farm for pennies on the dollar, Theo needs to have a conversation with him IMO.

  • In reply to JasonB:

    What do we have that they need?

  • In reply to MoneyBall:

    Good question - I guess you can always sell power to a guy like DD and he'll always place premium of that over defense. Tricky part is that you don't want to sell current assets for future assets when you want to win now. Like I said initially, just seems like a shame to not try to take advantage of a GM when he's making foolish decisions. Maybe there isn't a deal to be had

  • In reply to JasonB:

    Dombrowski doesn't develop. He only buys finished products. Cubs don't really have those guys.

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    The most dominant bullpen in baseball this season was the Royals. Wade Davis the best pitcher in that pen was a throw in part of the Shields-Will Meyers trade. A starter converted to the pen. It's never a good idea to invest heavily in a closer, even a great one. The Red Sox went the trade route before to acquire Mark Melancon. Who promptly flopped and was traded to the Pirates and is lights out. It is way too hard to count on closers. Maybe Chapman is an exception but even he couldn't help the Reds.

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    I have heard some mention that perhaps Baez could play center? Just how likely is that? How do you feel he would do there? If he can fill that spot, that still leaves who bats lead off? And what position does that leave open for them to use for this lead off person?

  • In reply to Daniel Stone:

    Short answer they don't have one, that is a position or true leadoff.

  • In reply to Daniel Stone:

    Or Bryant in center, Baez at 3rd.

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    Don't really care who bats lead off, some one will take the job and run with it, it is not really a rallying point to have a LOM if your team scores a lot of runs, the only time a lead off man bats usually is the 1st inning, I think people put way too much emphasis on this to begin with, just the same who bats 9th, 1st only counts one time a game..

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    OBP is a lot more important to the cubs and they have plenty of good hitters to choose from......

  • Is anyone else terrified by the fact that Addison Russell has lost a big portion of his age 20 and 21 seasons to leg injuries? Everyone is worried about Soler being injury prone, but Russell is presenting a big risk. Keeping Baez around might make a lot of sense.

  • Cubs send baez,soler,hammels,castro and montero to white sox for sale ,eaton and flowers .
    Cubs use savings and budget surplus to get zorbist and heyward to bat 1 and 2 in the order.
    Thoughts?

  • Sale isn't for sale. And too many moving parts for a 97 win Cub team that just needs a few pieces.

    I believe a great deal is Quintana for Baez and some of the blocked prospects like Vogelbach and Villanueva. And if the White Sox want a pitcher offer up Carl Edwards.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    I don't think the Sox will give up Quintana easily. And I don't think the Cubs will give up Baez easily. Those two teams probably won't trade with each other. I think the Cubs and Atlanta are better trading partners.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    That's not good enough for Quintana. Looks to the Cole Hamels deal for what it would take.

  • Good article John. I'm with you in thinking Dombrowski went way overboard by dealing prospect currency for a reliever, but after looking at the projections of where the Boston bullpen was at for 2016 I can understand it. The thing is that the Red Sox are now going to have to spend high $$ on FA starters with an already bloated payroll. The Cubs are in much better shape with the flexibility of young controlled high impact talent other teams are now dreaming about.

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    Baez is our best defensive 3rd and 2nd baseman, instead of trying him at CF I would rather see KB play there. That would strengthen our infield defense and I'm guessing that KB would play at least as good as Fowler, and I don't think he played that bad.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I'm guessing CF may be the only consist starting spot in the OF, and with exception of 1B, the IF as well. I can see Baez, Bryant and Schwarber getting plenty of time in the OF. So I'd assume that they probably want a regular starter in CF...plus they whole speedy/OBP/change of pace(approach) lead off hitter

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