Deadline Day: Bryant headed to SF; Báez and Williams to Mets for Crow-Armstrong; Kimbrel to White Sox for Madrigal, Heuer; Marisnick to SD

Craig Kimbrel (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Bryant on his way to the SF bay

The final big trade went down. The Cubs shipped former MVP Kris Bryant to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for toolsy outfielder Alexander Canario and RHSP Caleb Kilian.

On the surface, this doesn’t appear to be a great haul. Canario has modest numbers as a 21-year old in High-A and while Kilian has fantastic numbers in AA this year, he isn’t highly rated on any major publications. But I’m guessing there is more than meets the eye here.

I can say that Canario has very good bat speed, and like most young guys, making a jump to full season ball after the 2020 layoff can be tough. Looks like he got off to a slow start but has been digging himself out of it lately. I’ve liked the small amount of video I’ve seen of him.

The wildcard appears to Kilian. I’m not familiar with him at all. He’s a little older for AA, but due to 2020 layoff, that isn’t unusual this year. He’s put up fantastic numbers, compiling solid GB and K rates, while posting a tiny walk rate (96 K, 9 BB in 84.2 IP). I’ve also seen reports he’s a velocity popup guy who went from being low-90s in 2019 all the way up to touching 95+ in 2021.

I’ll need to watch a bunch of video on him tomorrow, but I suspect he is a bigger piece in the Cubs’ eye than you might expect from reading online scouting reports.

Kimbrel to Southside

The Cubs pulled off their first big blockbuster of the day. Craig Kimbrel is arguably their biggest trade chip of the deadline, and they have now cashed him in prior to the deadline. The best closer in baseball returned a pair of young MLB players, both in their pre-arbitration years (assets that are in higher demand now than they have ever been).

The big name among the two is former 4th overall pick 2B Nick Madrigal. Out for the season with a torn hamstring which required surgery in June, Madrigal is perhaps the elite young contact hitter in baseball. For those screaming for the Cubs to find a top of the order player who puts the ball in play, the Cubs now have another option for the future outside of Nico Hoerner. He put up phenomenal numbers at Oregon State, and then since finding his groove in AA back in 2019 his numbers have looked:

  • 2019 AA: 42 G, 2.8 K%, .341/.400/.451
  • 2019 AAA: 29 G, 3.7 K%, .331/.398/.424
  • 2020 MLB: 29 G, 6.4 K%, .340/.376/.369
  • 2021 MLB: 54 G, 7.9 K%, .305/.349/.425

Madrigal will turn 25 next spring, with one year of pre-arbitration in 2022, and then provides four arbitration seasons before becoming a free agent prior to the 2027 season.

His ability at 2B is nothing special, but is not considered a liability. Madrigal is strictly a 2B, but given Hoerner’s versatility to play SS and potential other positions, this provides the Cubs with coverage in case Javier Báez is traded or leaves via free agency.

Codi Heuer adds to the Cubs stable of hard throwing relievers. He averages around 97 mph on his fastball, and compliments it with a high-80s change and slider. After recording a 1.52 ERA in the shortened 2020 season for the White Sox, he’s fallen off a bit this year, with a 5.12 ERA, but he’s been a little unlucky giving up home runs this year (where as he was a bit fortunate in 2020). His true talent likely lands somewhere in the middle and he should give the Cubs a solid setup option in the coming years. Heuer also has one year remaining before arbitration, but he will reach free agency one year before Madrigal.

Javy (and Williams) headed to Mets for Crow-Armstrong

You can check out what I thought of Pete Crow-Armstrong last year in my 2020 draft preview.

I should clarify, his labrum injury was suffered on his non-throwing shoulder.

Marisnick to San Diego

Cubs made a minor trade as well, sending backup outfielder Jack Marisnick to the Padres in exchange for former top 100 prospect Anderson Espinoza. Back in 2015-16 Espinoza was a big time starting pitcher prospect. Two Tommy John surgeries caused him to miss all of 2017, 2018, and 2019. He of course did not pitch in 2020 either. The 23-year old has returned to the mound this season in High-A. His numbers don’t look great, but given the long layoff for him maybe the Cubs are hoping part of this is rust. I assume he can’t be considered anything but a lottery ticket at this point, but hey, this is Jake Marisnick trade, that’s kind of what you expect.

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  • I can’t imagine a scenario where Nico is the starting SS for the Cubs, next year.

  • Who would have thought that Bryant would be the last one of that old core to go? Obviously Madrigal has no actual value for the rest of 2021 with the injury recovery, but that's a pick I definitely like offensively. Sounds like a good yield for the future against Kimbrel's value, and they got a workable RP that they can use this year. I like this deal.

    Any indication who they are getting in return from Baez & Williams? Thank you for the many highlights Sir El Mago and good luck in NYC the rest of this season.

    For the time being that does likely make Hoerner the SS for the rest of this year and going into next year,... and probably puts Bote as the go-to 2B for the rest of this season. Here's hoping those two can get and stay healthy.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Hoerner on IL and if it’s oblique strain he’s out until September.

  • In reply to stix:

    Good point,... I guess we live with Bote and Alcantara for the time being then,... That's going to be a bit of a black hole offensively unless they can get on track. Alcantara is hitting about 0.170 and Bote is hitting like 0.210. Yuck!

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    All the people clamoring the last 2 years to trade KB so quickly and saying Bote will fill in for him just fine are in for a rude awakening.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I don't think it's a good return at all. Look what the Cubs gave up for 2 months of Aroldis Chapman, compared to the fact that Kimbrel has an option the Sox can pick up for next season. Not to mention that Kimbrel's skills as a closer are on a whole other level than what Chapman provided for the Cubs. So we got a good high contact/low slug 2nd baseman with 5 more years of control. The pitcher is nothing special either. Also, sure hope Madrigal will at least be the same player post-injury as he was before, but that remains to be seen.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Sounds like the Ricketts didn't pick up any of the money left owed to Kimbrel. This is what's so frustrating about this ownership. Like Yu Darvish Kimbrel was our best chance to land multiple 50+ FV type prospects, and they settle on a lesser return in part to clear another big salary. I give a lot of credit to the Sox Madrigal is the guy I would've looked to sell high on, because his lack of power limits his overall upside. Terrible fit with Nico cubs are going from one extreme to the other trying to add contact bats.

    If I'm dealing with the Sox I wouldn't be so nice with negotiations the same way they did to us with Sale (asked for Bryant and Contreras LOL) and Quintana. The price should've started with one of Vaughn, Kopech, Luis Robert, or at worst Crochet. Otherwise just settle for a package of higher upside prospects that may not necessarily help you right now. How do we not get Sox top pitching prospect Jared Kelly he isn't even top 100 on fangraphs? Cubs likely won't be ready to win next year anyways we can wait a year or 2 for higher upside prospects to develop. This trade pretty much ruins the deadline for me. I liked the Rizzo trade, but we just got hosed by the Sox while essentially greatly improving their WS odds.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yeah they definitely should've gotten more for Kimbrel. Maybe they'll make up for that in their return from the Giants for KB, but I doubt it. I don't even care that it's the White Sox, just that they are getting hosed again. Kimbrel was worth a player with a higher pedigree than Gleyber Torres's reputation had him at in 2016.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Also, yeah, I'm optimistic on the Rizzo trade. And especially hoping that when Rizzo realizes his value isn't as strong in the offseason, maybe he ends up back in Chicago.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    You do know that Sale went to the Red Sox not the Cubs right?

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    That’s who the Sox asked for at the time after Bryant won MVP. In other words the Sox don’t deal with the cubs in good faith, while the cubs just made 2 very team friendly deals from the Sox perspective.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Amen kkhiavi. Completely how I feel about dealing with the White Sox. Either Hoyer doesn’t get it, or Ricketts once again ties up Hoyer hands - in order to save money.
    Honestly I don’t know how many more examples people need to see, to become aware of how bad Ricketts has become for this franchise.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    The 4 Yu prospects are actually looking really good, just far off; prayerfully not TOO far off.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    kkhiavi - Chapman in 2016 and Kimbrel now were very similar in performance. People are sleeping on Madrigal. Look how Gleybar has turned out. He can't play SS and Yankees were forced to keep him there. Madrigal has the hit tool we desperately need and Heuer is a 7th/8th inning guy.

    Rickets picked up money in other trades so its not like they went cheap.

    You want to blame someone? Blame Theo. This was his doing by developing no one after 2016.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Theo's complacency is saddening/maddening, basically treating it like a pump'n'dump.......

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    How do you figure? Chapman ERA 2.00, 44k, 8BB, 0.894 WHIP
    Kimbrel 0.49 ERA, 64K, 13BB, 0.709 WHIP.

    Both those are their stats leading up to the trade. Also, Kimbrel pitched 5 more innings.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I said very similar. Kimbrel with a slight edge.

    I would also say that Madrigal is a better return than Torres right now as Gleybar has struggled quite a bit.

    I think these were similar trades and I am happy with the return.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Gleyber lost his power the last two years. I think in 2019 Gleyber got more HR than Madrigal gets in his career. Hopefully Madrigal can be a .280+ b/a on a yearly basis. Madrigal should be a better fielder but he made his share of dumb fielding plays this year. Chapman was a 2 month rental Kimbrel has a full yr option available beyond his 2months.. Cubs should have gotten more.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    See what stix said about 2 month rental compared to the extra year for Kimbrel. As far as Madrigal and Gleyber. Gleyber was a very highly regarded prospect with a higher ceiling than Madrigal. I'd rather we got a much higher regarded prospect who will have 7 years of control when he enters the big leagues rather than the 5 left on Madrigal. The advantage Madrigal has in contact ability over Torres is sacrificed in the extra power that Torres offers. Neither are great defenders. Although back then Gleyber was supposed to be pretty slick with the glove and that didn't develop further. So Torres didn't reach his potential, while we see exactly what Madrigal's potential already is. There are a lot of decent young players that break into the league and have 3 to 5 good years and then their career hits a downslide. Maybe that's Gleyber Torres. That might even be the case with Madrigal. Which if so, then we only have 2 to 3 good years of him anyway, for giving up Kimbrel. That's a really bad return. Hopefully Madrigal's game gets better, but I'm not gonna count on it, although he's decent for what he is, but that's not what you get for the best closer in the game with a .50 ERA. As far as the slight edge you say that goes to Kimbrel over Chapman. the 0.49 compared to 2.00 is a huge results based difference. I take Kimbrel 100 times over 100 between those 2.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Gleyber Torres wasnt a proven big leaguer when the cubs traded him Madrigal is.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    In fact Gleybor Torres was hitting .270 in high A ball.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Apples to oranges. Cash man had Theo over Jim hendry’s barrel. Cubs needed lights out closer to end 108 year drought and cashman knew it. Hence Theo had to sweeten the pot. Rest was history.

  • Maybe the Cubs are planing on keeping Bryant ? It wouldn't be the worse thing in the world.
    I think the Yankees overpaid for Rizzo to keep him from going to Boston.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I would only keep Bryant if he has already agreed to an extension. If not, why would you not take advantage of the market. You can still bring him back next year as a free agent.

  • In reply to WFNCCubsfan:

    Agreed ! This rebuild is exactly what the Cubs needed ! Hoyer did
    very well in trading !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Other than the WS trade the cubs didn’t get anyone in the top 100 prospects. Should have done better but I guess reputations and possibilities for two months isn’t worth much.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I doubt it. It is common for trades to get "reported" after the deadline passes. I think he's gone. I am as big of a Bryant supporter as there is, but holding onto him is a complete waste. The Cubs aren't going to the playoffs this year and Bryant will most likely be a FA at the end of the year (assuming he doesn't sign an extension before the season ends, but I think that's a fair bet). If I remember right if he signs a FA contract the Cubs get a 2nd or 3rd round pick (I don't know the CBA that well anymore). As long as you get someone of that caliber you make the deal, lose some games, and get a better 1st round pick.

  • Exactly. Get something for Bryant. If they don’t trade him and there is no extension then this makes no sense.

  • Nick Madrigal. Not bad at all.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Do you think Nick Madrigal would've been a good player for the Yankees to get as the main piece of the trade, hypothetically, for Aroldis Chapman, instead of Gleyber Torres? I kinda think we got fleeced from our best trade-piece, and by the f'n White Sox, again!

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Nick got hurt after 54 games this year. He already had 1.4 WAR. Project that over 162 games he would have been a 4.2 WAR player this year. I am happy with the return. The Cubs need some high on base average guys and some power guys. You do best when you have both. Nick could be the new "Fowler" for the next run.

  • In reply to John57:

    John, not to slam either Nico or Madrigal, but how do you see them in the lineup together next year. I don’t think either is a MLB SS.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I think Nico could be the next Zobrist and play all over. I see the next long term SS coming from Howard/Hernandez/Preciado/Made. Maybe when the DH becomes universal, one of them could play there. Who knows. Jed/Ross will figure it out.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Yeah, I was looking at all the power hitting outfielders in the White Sox top 30 prospects; really shocked 1 wasn't thrown in there, although Madrigal is a contact machine, if they ban the shift, he may God-willing hit .400............between the Mets only giving us 1 prospect, and the seemingly not a high return for Kimbrel, could there be a prospect or 2 that are involved, but haven't been sussed out yet?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    the white sox have power hitting outfielders? Who? their farm system is crap right now.

  • In reply to John57:

    Cespedes and Adolfo I think are who I remember looking at?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Adolfo was IFA when we signed Eloy. He is listed as a DH and does not seem to be developing. Cespedes not well thought of by Fangraphs either. I would guess Hoyer did not want either of these two.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Since Madrigal was a 19 year old, presumably just starting out at Oregon State I doubt that the Yankees would have taken him. Especially since the Cubs didn't have any "rights" to him.

    All kidding aside, I think you have a sense that the Torres-for-Chapman deal "established the market" for prospect quality for dominant closer.

    The fact is only a couple of guys in MLB's Top-100 were traded yesterday. Other than the Blue Jays I don't think ANY team's #1 prospect was traded. The market has changed. It used to be that teams would willingly part with top-tier guys. And history has been mixed. For every Smoltz that "worked out" for their new team, there are examples of highly regarded prospects who flamed out within a couple years. Now teams hold onto their top prospects. And don't trade them for a rental or a single year of additional team control.

    The Torres for Chapman deal was an outlier. Even THAT trade deadline for the YANKEES. Remember what it took to get Andrew Miller? Quite a bit less than the Cubs gave up for Chapman. And Miller wasn't a "surprise" success for Cleveland. If you believed that was the "market value" for a closer you were destined to be sorely disappointed in what the Cubs got in exchange for Kimbrel.

  • If they extended Bryant and Contreras and signed 2 or 3 free agents this off-season then I’m ok with this retool but if not this is a full rebuild and I don’t see anything worth watching till 24 or 25. I can’t go though this again.

  • In reply to PhillyCubFan:

    It really should be a quicker rebuild. The offense has been overhauled, which it had to be. The pitching is mostly staying in tact. If it were a full rebuild, hendricks (and maybe davies) would've been traded.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    What starters are staying in tact?

    As far as I can account, there's no reason we shouldn't have anyone but Hendricks and Alzolay in our starting rotation next year from our current staff. Are you counting on Mills? And them bringing back Arrieta?

    Who's part of our overhauled offense for 2022?

    The 3 best relief pitchers we have are gone. So 3 lesser guys are filling their spots and then guys that don't even deserve to be MLB'ers are gonna replace the middle innings guy who get to work in the late innings. Yikes!!!

    This team might challenge the Diamondbacks for worst in the league next year.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I hate to break it to you, Cubber, but WITH their 3 best relief pitchers they were a sub-.500 team. How exciting is it to watch them knowing we have 3 great relier pitchers that can come in on the off-chance we have a lead late in the game?

    Your criticism that the Cubs pitching staff isn't something that impressive beyond Hendricks and Alzolay is fair. Arrieta is what he is at this point in his life (Remember when we blissfully talked about "Jake Day" in 2015?). Mills is a BOR starter/mop-up guy. I agree.

    But this team was not going to go to the playoffs this year. That being the case, and since they were almost all going to be eligible for FA at the end of the year I think that the Cubs got what they could for these guys. Could they have "gotten more" for them? Possibly. But I think it is equally likely that these were the best offers that they had for them and the FO simply took what they could get.

  • fb_avatar

    I don't know. We gave up Torres and change for Chapman for 2 months and that was worth it. We got Q for Jimenez and Cease although Q did have 3 years left on his contract. Madrigal is really good when healthy but how do we know his health for next year. I don't know Heuer.
    I hear Javy is gone for Pete Crow-Armstrong. He could be a very good player and a leadoff man too (as well as Madrigal.)
    I think Jed is trading everyone and will lose the rest of the year to get a top 5 pick.

  • Bryant to Giants... accidentally put that in the wrong thread.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Wow,... just wow,... it's definitely a teardown now if they aren't keeping Bryant. I hope they get a solid return for him - maybe a functional SS thrown into the deal,... I don't like the idea of depending on Alcantara for the next few months,... not one bit.

    Any idea who they are getting in return?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Nothing was posted yet...

    However, I will reiterate my thoughts over the last 3 years. Had we moved all these guys in 2019 like I really wanted, just think how much better returns we would've gotten back then, and that this team would be on the verge of being ready to compete legitimately again. And how many playoff games did we win by not doing that? Oh that's right... ZERO!!!!

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Hindsight is 20/20, but I can't argue your point; they knew they weren't going to resign all of them, trading at least 1 seemed to be prundent at the juncture.......

  • Bart and Wade rumored to be players rec’d in Giants trade

  • In reply to stix:

    Definitely bad rumor Canario and Killian instead.

  • In reply to stix:

    There was a Bart rumor running a few days ago in a trade for Bryant, but I had read that the Giants decided to pull back on that idea.

  • Can we field a team tonight or will we have to forfeit.

  • In reply to Iowaboy:

    Nationals have the same issue with everyone they traded as well.maybe they can get the congressional baseball game to substitute.!!!

  • In reply to stix:

    Or maybe just cancel it due to mutual indifference. We can’t even borrow a player from them since they are racing us to the bottom.

  • That’s all we got for Bryant their #13 and another unranked prospect on fangraphs. I’m sure this returns a bit better than it looks on the surface, but what a depressing deadline. The only good deals were for rizzo and javy the 2 guys the cubs held a firm hard line with.

  • Nope, Bryant to S.F. two top 30 prospects coming back !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I wonder if Bryant's "Linger in The Dugout With the Feels" may have dropped his value a little, teams are maybe expecting him pull a Chapman that just re-sign with us?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Those are top 30 in the SF organization and not MLB. So they got two top 900 MLB prospects from the SF. If one of them was at least in the SF top 10, that would translate to a top 300 MLB prospect. Doesn't really excite me.

  • How quick can the Cubs get replacement players from Iowa ?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I was wondering that too. Do they have a charter set up in Des Moines? Say, "We won't need any starting pitchers. But we might need up to 2 infielders since we will likely be trading Bryant and POSSIBLY Baez. Maybe throw in a couple BP guys so we have someone to put in Kimbrel's roster spot and maybe someone else. And a back-up catcher. We may not need them, but I want guys nearby,

  • Heyward RF
    Happ CF
    Rivas LF (in AAA and Mike has written about how well he has done)
    Duffy 3B
    Alcatarra SS
    Bote 2B
    Wisdon 1B
    Willy C

    Nico at SS/2B when he returns

    That's it for the rest of the year.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Rivas to 1B, Wisdom to 3B, Duffy to LF?

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Wisdom batting seventh ? Really ?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I did it by position, not batting order.

  • Hypothetical starting lineup:
    1. Ortega - LF
    2. Bote -3B
    3. Contreras -C
    4 Wisdom -1B
    5. Happ - CF
    6. Duffy - 2B
    7. Heyward - RF
    8. Alcantara - SS
    9.TBD

    The amazing part of the sell off is that Heyward is still hitting in the 7th spot. What could go wrong?

  • In reply to WFNCCubsfan:

    Yeah,... obviously Williams ain't starting tonight,...

  • In reply to WFNCCubsfan:

    Don't worry, J-Hey will figure out how to hit into a double play !

  • Cubs acquire Anderson Espinoza , pitcher from the Padres for Jake Marisneck !
    Sounds like a good trade to me !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Espinoza appears to be a high ceiling, probably RP, a good fastball and decent curve and change, but with some significant injury history and durability issues. He's only 23 though.

  • Heyward - $22MM
    Kyle - $14MM
    Willy - $10MM (est)
    Happ - $5 MM (est)
    Bote - $3MM (est)

    Total - $54 Million

    These are the biggest salaries on the books for next season. One could argue the Cubs have $100 Million to spend this offseason with a very good farm system behind them.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Good point Irwin - that's some significant FA cash breathing room.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Perhaps JHey's value will now be to be "the pro" for all of the young guys to learn how to carry themselves the next 2 years.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Sure won’t teach them how to hit. I think they should DFA him and get someone else MLB experience. Cubs aren’t winning much next year and don’t need Heyward to be the pro to look up to.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    I don't think the team that's been crying "poor" for the last year and a half will be dumping $100M into a team this offseason right before there's likely to be a strike. They're probably punting the 2022 season already so they can get more high draft picks in the following draft too. Another reason why the return of Madrigal seems like a waste.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Let me add, I hope I'm wrong about punting for the 2022 season, but I kinda see the writing on the wall...

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    They aren't "punting" for 2022 that's why they received guys like Madrigal.

    The rest of 2021 will give us a chance to see what Steele, Alzolay, Thompson, Rodriguez, Vargas, Schwindel, Alcantera, Wisdom and maybe a taste of Marquez, Brennan Davis, Leeper, Young and Morel are all about. Then you spend all the offseason money accordingly. I am excited except for kimbrel these guys were all gonna be gone anyway.

    Ideally this off season they sign a closer, a couple relievers, a high end starter, rizzo(3 year deal) and an outfielder that should eat up that 100million they have to spend.

    Of course if the lockdowns happen again there wont be any spending spree.

    It would be interesting to see what madrigal, hoerner, rizzo? and contreras could do at the top of the order. If your next 4 are Happ, Wisdom Davis and a good hitting outfielder this will be a solid lineup.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    A lot has to go right with what you post. That is rainbows and unicorns, IMO. The 2022 season will somewhat remind us of 2014–there will probably be more focus on the minors wanting to see who is developing to get to Chicago quickly. As we just found out it is never a good idea to have everyone expiring at the same time. It could be 3 years until that money just saved us full invested back into the product.

    It may not be a full punt, but looks like a pooch kick at a minimum to me.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    No rainbows or unicorns here. You see what you have and then you get free agents accordingly.

    They are going to add 5-7 free agents this off season. What level of FA will be determined by what the rest of 21 shows us. But I believe Hoyer when he says this will not be a tear down. I dont think anyone has the patience for that.

    I sure hope I am not wrong.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Is Happ under contract? Can he be released ? Well overall, Jed Hoyer did pretty good for trading rentals. The Cubs finally got guys
    who can steal bases , who can hit to advance runners, and some
    who can really play decent defense.
    With a lot of money coming off the books, I hope the Ricketts family with sign a top drawer pitcher this off season. Sorry Irwin,
    I feel the Cubs could have done better in the Kimbrel deal. Maybe a front line pitcher wasn't available so thats water over the dam.

  • I am just sick over what we got for Bryant. What a terrible haul. I cannot believe that was the best deal we could have received for him. The #9 Giants prospect? Not even in the Top 100 guy -- think about that. We didn't even get a "Miguel Amaya" for Kris Bryant!!!!!!!!! WTF!!!!!

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Don't say they didn't get anything. The giants are picking up the remainder of Kris Bryant's $19.5 million salary, and the sox are picking up the rest of Kimbrel's salary. That's a nice chunk of change for the Ricketts to pocket on the side, and I'm sure they'll put that money back into the teams payroll (sarcasm alert).

    Kimbrel and Bryant were the cubs 2 best trade chips to reinfuse their farm system, and to essentially value a salary dump over getting higher impact prospects is disappointing to say the least. I view this is an overall pretty disappointing deadline for the cubs, and that's coming from a guy that wanted to sell everyone to reinfuse the farm system. I like the Rizzo, Baez, and to lesser extents the Marisnick and Chafin trades. But boy on paper the returns for KB and Kimbrel seem disappointing, and I watch plenty of Sox games. Nick Madrigal is exactly who I would've been looking to sell high on from the Sox perspective. High floor limited upside young player. My price would've started with Vaughn, Kopech, Robert, or Crochet the guys with real upside if I'm dealing with the Sox. Some of the sox young pitchers like top prospect Jared Kelly or Crochet should've been included if they're just getting Madrigal back.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    You have hatred for the Ricketts family like many, but your first paragraph is actually spot on. I do believe they will infuse that cash savings and spend this winter as they have a ton of space and will have the cash to do so.

    Ricketts have spent a ton the last 6 years. No reason to believe they won't continue to do so.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I'm in no way defending Ricketts, but some teams will throw better value to you if you throw money at them; some just tell you that the money won't get you anything they aren't already offering............

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    kkhiavi, I think your takes are generally on-base, but I’m not sure the return for Bryant is light. I know absolutely nothing about this pitcher Kilian, but I can get behind an AA pitcher with 1K/IP and an 8:1 K:BB ratio. It seems Hendricks-esque.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    I admittedly only know so much on the giants prospects, and I like that Kilian is putting up good numbers. But from what I understand he has BOR upside, and Hendricks is an exception to the rule type of player. I just felt for sure they'd get a top 100 prospect for KB, or at least one of their top 5-6 prospects. To go from thinking we'd get Joey Bart to what the cubs received was underwhelming to say the least. For me the Kimbrel and Bryant deals were the main ones that mattered to me, because those guys were supposed to bring the biggest return. I don't think a single player they received has the upside of a KB, Rizzo, Willson, or Baez. I did like the deals for baez and rizzo, who the cubs smartly acted like they weren't trading. Hopefully I'm wrong and the guys they got for KB are being undervalued by various prospect sites.

    I just think back to the last rebuild and the cubs got a lot more for Ryan Dempster, Andrew Cashner, Scott Feldman, and Jeff Samardzija than what they got this deadline. Now cashner did have value as a young, cost controlled young talent. But I'd argue that this group of players that they traded in the past were a lot less valuable than Darvish, Kimbrel, KB, Rizzo, Javy, and our 2 setup men. To not even get a top 75 prospect besides Madrigal (who will probably be playing on a bad team next year) is underwhelming to me, and what it comes down to is perhaps not getting the greatest return on their 2 best trade chips in Kimbrel and KB. I hope I'm wrong I liked Kyle Hendricks when we traded for him, due to his impressive minor league stats. But I don't think anyone thought he'd grow into a TOR starter. Hopefully Jed has more vision than I'm giving him credit for. I like that he at least went all in on selling.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Well, if I go by the ESPN top 100 (from the beginning of the year), the following prospects were traded (I do not promise this is a complete list):

    36 Josiah Grey
    38 Austin Martin
    42 Madigral
    44 Stephan Howard
    74 Keibert Ruiz
    90 Simeon Woods Richardson

    All of these prospects were traded for non-rental pitchers. The only exception is the Scherzer/Turner deal. Based on this, it seems to me that the market for rental position players was simply not the same as for pitchers. Even the last rebuild you mention included only dealing away pitchers.

    It seems that Jed preferred to trade for multiple, lower-rated upside prospects than for fewer higher-rated prospects. Maybe that is a risk mitigation move. Maybe it is also with an eye to flipping some of these prospects later on. I understand that you and others feel underwhelmed, but my first take is that Jed did pretty well given the state of the market.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Ricketts unwilling to pay any of contract. Their too cheap to even rebuild now.

  • In reply to good4you:

    Think about how the Marlins did it. Ate Marte’s contract and in exchange they got Jesus Luzardo.

    Chess to our checkers.

  • In reply to good4you:

    You are assuming that throwing cash into deals for better prospects was an option for every trading partner. Some teams are up against the pseudocap or have more limited budgets (cf NYY and OAK) where money is important. Some teams are far enough under the pseudocap or just don’t give a damn, and would rather keep the better prospects than get the cash (cf, SFG, NYM, LAD).

    The Cubs gladly gave NYY cash in the Rizzo deal because NYY did not want to go over the pseudocap. I’m confident that the Cubs would have done the same in the other deals if it was an option.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Sure, so was that the case with Darvish too?

    I understand your point and we’ll probably never know if that was the case with the Giants. But I still think offloading salary was part of the appeal otherwise they would have continued to negotiate with a small market team like the Rays. It’s still prioritizing their self imposed monetary goals over putting the best team on the field.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    The Cubs paid Rizzo's contract because they received better prospects in the trade. These prospects may or may not work
    out but it appears to me N.Y. overpaid for Rizzo to keep him
    from going to Boston.

  • In reply to good4you:

    Not true, the Ricketts family are paying A. Rizzo's contract the rest of the year.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Case & point, they could have spent money and improved the team but instead they got a bunk return for the best position player on the team (their second overall draft pick, ROY, MVP) b/c they opted to unload payroll instead of replenishing pieces for the future. That’s a huge opportunity cost and not one they get another chance at.

    I want to see the Cubs as a publicly owned team like (dare I say) the Packers. No more lousy owners who are more concerned about their financial growth than putting a competitive team on the field. Imagine if all of the team’s earning simply went back into the team. With the size of the Cubs fan base they would be a perennial contender. And as a fan isn’t that what we all want?

  • Fan of the fire sale! Bryant return a little light, Davies not being dealt, not throwing more cash into trades, three minor issues. Sell off should have started once Theo said offense was broken, & maybe done over multiple seasons.

    Jed made the trades. Cubs payroll for the 2022 season how close to the luxury tax limit will owners allow?

    Cubs could reloaded quickly with spending, & some luck.

    One things this week proved to me, front office has zero interest in being loveable losers.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    "One things this week proved to me, front office has zero interest in being loveable losers."

    Wow. You just nailed it! I love all those guys we traded away especially the Big 3. 2016 was so special and engrained in my heart and mind. But they have done little over the past 5 years and so they had to go.

    Easily could have been kept to fill 35,000 seats and win 75-85 games every year, but they chose to tear it down.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Absolutely, the Cubs were stale and changes had to be made. I had hope they would have hung on to Bryant but they made a great decision to be competitive in the near future. Top 30, and the farm system got a boost.
    I would like to see the top 30 once its adjusted to add
    the 21 draft picks.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Irwin, the Cubs will continue to draw good crowds - while playing.500 ball. That IS ALL Ricketts cares about. That is so he can get a good return on investment. That in a nutshell, is the Ricketts family’s goal.
    They got their championship, all that remains now, is making money.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    You are a broken record! Your continued rant on Ricketts and everything negative, that happens to the Cubs, is about the owner making money tells us more about some issue you have than it does about the owners.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    So Tom ricketts pours 400 million of his own money into wrigley field renovations, owns many if not all of rooftops, has a hotel but you think he is laying down. Laughable. He sees a bad product and has launched a plan to fix it. I don’t know if you watch games but I see a lot less butts in seats. And I’m not talking cheap nosebleeds. Your hatred of ricketts is clearly clouding your thinking. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing cubs fans like you going off on the returns of cubs players who simply aren’t any good. Hoyer got a great haul of young, hungry prospects. Only time will tell, but I love this tear down of overpaid unproducing cubs players.

  • Now do we push prospects up to get experience by fire or fill in with journeymen to avoid wrecking the prospects by elevating them too soon?

  • Have we started moving people up the chain in the minors already? I just noticed that Zinn was on Tennessee's roster............

  • Did the Cubs call up Alfonso Rivas ? I was hoping he would be manning 1st base tonight.
    Sad to see how hard Ross took losing his friends.
    Arrieta looks spent , doesn't look to be fooling anybody.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I was waiting for Rivas as well, prayerfully they're waiting until they make more moves for some reason? God-willing Arrieta is just a stopgap until Thompson gets stretched out, and they add Steele to make a 6 man rotation.......

  • Awesome job jed hoyer! Shipped out all high salary underperforming players(except jhey, but maybe they will dfa him wit all money saved. This is jed’s team now after ridding cubs of almost everything Theo Epstein. Love the prospects as prospective trading chips . Few good drafts and free agent signings and this team will be back to the playoffs in no time.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Amen!

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    How many years to playoffs? 5 is my best uses. Most of the trades were for 19 and 20 yr olds. What free agent wants to play for a rebuilding team? I guess money talks but if the money is equal no one is signing as FA with the cubs for three yrs or more.

  • I think it is going to be interesting to watch this mix of journeyman and young guys. I don't know that they will win much.

  • So I just checked the Cubs top 30 prospects, and non of the guys they've gotten in the last couple days even breaks into their top 5. Are the Cubs top 5 of Brailyn Marquez, Brennen Davis, Miguel Amaya, Christian Hernandez, and Ed Howard all really that good? I don't remember us having a highly thought of farm system as of late, but I do know they at least had their top guys developing well recently.

    So my question is, how is it that we just traded away a bunch of guys who've proven themselves and all contributed to a championship team, yet we didn't even upgrade the top of our farm system?

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    This is a fair question. However I am not fan of Amaya or Howard. I think they are being counted of for pedigree or tools and not performance.

    Alcantara is a nice gem. And Peter Crow-Anderson has a good bat. But none of the guys are near a Caissie or Preciado who came over for Yu. I really felt like we would get higher touted prospects. Time will tell.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Yeah I am interested in PCA for sure, and Alcantara is the guy they got for Rizzo right? He's an interesting prospect too. But we know all of the the top 5 won't pan out and the likeliness gets worse as you go deeper, so it's nice we've beefed up our system, but I wonder how much we added as far as pure top of the barrel talent? Doesn't seem like we did any of that. As much as I complain about Javy's poor strike zone judgment and wanting to swing at everything within 3 feet of the zone, he's got much higher odds of developing his game further than I think any of the other position players we've added in the last couple days. And KB was already better than that too.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Don't forget about Hernandez, he looks like a mini A-Rod; God-willing he can get anywhere close to that............

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I didn’t. I believe in him, Davis, and Marquez.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    My bad, didn't see that.......

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I think Fangraphs now has Kevin Alcantara as Cubs No. 2 prospect, after Brennen Davis, and slightly ahead of Preciado. (I think they have Davis with an overall prospect rank of No. 17, Alcantara as No. 120, and Preciado as No. 123.) Fangraphs also has Crow-Armstrong as Cubs No. 7 prospect and Alexander Vizcaino as No. 12. I don't think they updated the pages for Alexander Canario and Caleb Killian yet (still shows them as Giants), so not sure where they slot in for Cubs.

  • Its a small sample size , but Manny Rodriquez could be the new Cubs closer !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Amen!

  • Serious question. What's the over/under for wins on the Cubs season now? Currently 50-55 with 57 games remaining. Can we even win 20 to get to 70 wins? Over under set at 69.5, what are you taking?

    I'm thinking under...

  • Grant Brisbee, Giants beat reporter at the Athletic, thinks highly of the two prospects they gave up for Bryant:

    “ And to be very clear, this is a short-term fix that cost an awful lot. Alexander Canario has so much promise and so many tools that the Giants added him to the 40-man roster this offseason. They didn’t do it because he had a shot to make the majors in 2021; they did it because he was so tooled up they were scared a lousy team would stash him on their 26-man roster all year just to get him in the organization. Caleb Kilian started the season as a midround college draftee with hardly any professional experience, but he morphed into one of the best pitching prospects in the system. He’s a fast mover who could be in the majors by next season.@

  • In reply to cubs09:

    It’s just hard to get excited about a guy who’s best trait is command. He doesn’t possess any plus pitches so does he succeed at higher levels? I cringe at the Hendricks comps for everyone who can’t throw 90. There is only 1 of those guys in the big leagues today who is successful and it is Kyle.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    More Brisbee: “ And if you're a Cubs fan, don't worry about that No. 30 ranking. He's shot way up since then.”

    Anyway, the Cubs have a number of very high upside outfielders now. Granted, they’re all on rookie ball or low A (expect Davis).

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Killian has a mid 90's fastball with elite command.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Sits 90-95. Graded as a 55. That is not a top fastball. Huge difference from occasionally hitting 95 versus working there.

    Maybe he will surprise us. I love the elite BB rates.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Actually I read he sits mid 90's hits 98 and has elite control. But Pitchers are always a gamble.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    If you read his bio on the Cubs prospect page, it says he sat 90-95 in college. Coming back this year he is topping out at 98. Maybe that is close to a top fastball.

  • Fangraphs has Alcantara as Cubs No 2 now (120 overall), after Davis (17 overall) and just ahead of Preciado (123 overall). Fangraphs has Crow-Armstrong as Cubs No 7 and Vizcaino as Cubs No 12. Pages for Canario and Killian not updated yet, still showing as Giants.

    Apologize if this appeared twice, Long-time lurker, first time poster, and had technical problem trying to make first comment.

  • Strictly by the numbers, Caleb was the best starter in the Giants’ system. He might even hit the majors next season. His numbers are eye popping:

    His current Double-A Northeast ranks:
    1.14 BB/9 (1st)
    3.3 BB% (1st)
    8.00 K/BB (1st)
    0.29 HR/9 (1st)
    1.70 GB/FB (1st)
    2.38 FIP (2nd)
    2.43 ERA (2nd)
    0.94 WHIP (2nd)
    .221 BAA (4th)

    11 G, 64 K, 8 BB at AA

  • In reply to cubs09:

    Thanks for doing the research cubs 09 I know living in the Bay Area gives you a unique perspective on the giants organization. After doing some research I feel a little better getting 2 guys that are top 16 in the cubs system, but I can’t say I’m in love with the Bryant return at the same time. The Kimbrel trade probably has to be my least favorite trade that was made today, as I don’t think Madrigal has a ton of upside for one of the best assets on the trade market.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yeah Madrigal does not have much upside. He is already very good. He had 1.4 WAR this year before getting hurt. Extrapolating that to a full year is 4.2 WAR. How many of our guys are giving us 4.2 WAR this year? Give me a bunch of these trades and I will be very happy.

  • In reply to John57:

    I'm aware of that I read your post on Nicks WAR pace earlier. The thing is he went on a hot streak against bad teams like the Tigers the final week or 2 before his injury, which made his batting line look a little stronger than it had been kits of the year. Fangraphs projects him as about a 2.5 WAR player throughout the duration of his contract. I hope you're right that he's a 4 WAR player, but he has a ton of burden to consistently hit .300+ to get there. He's a decent player, but do you see him even breaking 10+ HRs or even 65-70+ RBIs? I can't even confidently say I ever see Nick even breaking 60 RBIs. And then add to the fact that he moves Nico off of his best position at 2B, and then you factor in that we now have 2 similar singles hitters that give you little to no power. Madrigal also has had 3 serious injuries in 4 years. That may not be by accident as he is an undersized player when compared with the bigger guys on the last cubs core.

    Aside from being a bad fit to play with Nico he's also a bad fit when you think about the cubs timeline of contention. Most of their top prospects now are at least 2-3 years away from the majors, aside from Brennen Davis. With only about $50 million committed to next years payroll I guess the Ricketts could spend $100 million to improve the team. But will they? I have my doubts and as of now don't feel optimistic that they're contenders in 2022. If that's the case then bringing in an immediate contributor doesn't make a ton of sense. This team doesn't seem poised to win next year anyways. Wouldn't a higher upside prospect that better fits the new cubs timeline make more sense? The cubs would own that players rights much longer than they have Madrigal under contract. The realities are it doesn't make sense to hold a complete fire sale of their best players, if they were looking to trade their best trade chip for a 2B that helps you right now.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Nick batted over .300 last year and this year. I see him as a high batting average lead off hitter. The number of HRs or RBI for the lead off hitter don't seem that important. His main job will be to get on base and not clog the base paths. Hopefully he is able to stay healthy. I see Nico as more than a singles hitter. He seems quite strong. Hopefully he can stay healthy too. Who knows maybe we will need both of them to play 2B if they keep getting hurt.

  • In reply to John57:

    I'd add the biggest issue is getting him as a stand alone piece for our best trade chip. If they got say top Sox pitching prospect Jared Kelly to go with him, then I'd actually like the trade. Kelly isn't even top 100 on Fangraphs, so it's not unreasonable. But Cody Heuer is a strong middle relieve to a 7th inning guy at best. He's not a guy I'd trust pitching in high leverage situations in a playoff game. Kimbrel was the Sox #1 target, and I wouldn't have been so reasonable with them. I think the Sox gave up the exact guy they wanted to trade. They know that you can find 2.5 WAR 2B at a reasonable price on the free agent market.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Hoyer said he targeted guys he wanted and got them so Nick was the guy he wanted too.

  • fb_avatar

    I was just looking at our updated top 30 prospects list. As of today, after the trade deadline, we have 8 new players (including the Yu trade) in our top 20. That either speaks to our weak system or the quality of the players we got back. btw, in our top 10 we now have Pete C-A as #6, Canario is #7, Vizcaino is #8 and Alcantara is #11. Not bad for half a season of rentals.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Keith Law today listed Canario and Alcantara as the two prospects they got this week with All Star potential. Maybe Owen Caissie could be added to that list? Definitely all likely to be top 100 prospects.

  • In reply to cubs09:

    Time will tell. Sandberg was a 'throw in'.

  • In reply to cubs09:

    Caissie did not come this week so K. Law did not include him. I think Caissie and Preciado both have All Star potential from the Darvish trade.

  • Yesterday’s sell-off returns is just modern baseball trades. Teams want to hold onto starting pitching prospects, & top prospects.

    Cubs built minor league depth, while turning the page on the World Series core.

    I looked at Cubs 40 man roster today really looks different, & not many building blocks.

    Mid-level free agents have been squeezed by modern front offices. Cubs massive payroll flexibility, & large free agent class. I really could see the Cubs loading up on mid-level corner bats, & pitching this off-season.

    High end free agents, I think Cubs will wait on to try to find value deals like Kimbrel, & Darvish received if they sign any high end free agents.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Makes sense. It is a little troubling that all of the homerun guys are gone, Schwarber, Peterson, Rizzo, Bryant, and Baez.

  • Check out a write up by AL Yellen of Bleed Cubbie Blue. Good perspective on what Cub fans just witnessed at the trading deadline. Reads like something Cubs Den founder John might have written.

  • After time to think about the past week, it is just bittersweet. I have been a Cubs fan ever since I can remember. I don’t recall when I found this site. However, this site played a part in my enjoyment of 2016. John and all of the contributors provided so much insight and perspective to the signings, IFA, draft and trades that it made the WS title seem inevitable—first time I felt that way as a Cubs fan.

    I am a little disappointed in the haul this week. Time to look forward though. Looking back, I am not sure many knew at the time Scott Feldman would lead to Jake Arrieta/Pedro Strop, Hammel bringing Addison Russell, Dempster leading to Hendricks, Garza for Edwards and Ramirez/Olt, Valbuena for Fowler, Vizcaino for LaStella, Godley for Montero, Marshall for Travis Wood. All of those moves brought guys who made that 2016 team possible.

    I am looks forward to following the minor leagues again. Caissie, Brennan Davis, Preciado, Hernandez, Amaya, Howard, etc. may be the next core.

    I can only think of Lester, Heyward being large contracts. Zobrist was modest in my opinion. Lackey and Hammel was important too.

    I would like for Rizzo to re-sign this year. Hendricks, Alzolay, Keegan, Steele, Madrigal, Contreras, Bote, Wisdom, Happ, and Hoerner give some pieces to grow into the next postseason team—even if they are bridges or stop gaps.

    Maybe Hendricks and Contreras bring in the next core big prospect.

    Anyway, going through the rebuild brought me here, and I am looking forward to what the next few years bring.

  • This maybe unicorns and rainbows but..........
    What if Steele and Thompson are as good as starters as they are in relief. What if Alzolay never throws another slider to a lefty.
    What if Manny Rodriquez is as good as he looked the other night?
    What if this scrappy bunch of hitters can scratch out 3 or 4 runs per night?

    Then theyy will be better than this team was before the trade deadline. Remember before the deadline this was a 78-84 team..

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Remember these cubs, with their stars, were 20-32 in june and july.

  • The one trade that I fear fans will regret the most is Javier Baez. Since his benching with the game in progress, Javy was exhibiting an approach at the plate appropriate for game situations and he was racking up big hits. It might go down as his wakeup call. He is so gifted that he could have a couple or so mvp type years ahead. It doesn't mean that he would have signed here, because El Mago loves the media and New York puts him in the hub. He might take his phone out to the infield to watch replays only he can invent. I look for a Mets/Yanks bidding war this winter. I included some highpervelly for effect.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    If Javy finds him self in the last couple months in New York or hear in chicago what is the difference? There would be a bidding war either way. Regardless, the trade would have happened. So I dont get the regret.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Agree! Maybe regret is the wrong word. Just disappointed that he would have moved on.

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