Thoughts on Cubs hiring of Carter Hawkins as GM, and the statement from Tom Ricketts to season ticket holders

Carter Hawkins continues a trend of recent hires by the Cubs from outside the organization which have been widely acclaimed throughout the industry. Among those hires: Dan Kantrovitz as VP or Scouting, Justin Stone as the Director of Hitting, and Craig Breslow as Director of Strategic Initiatives (who has since been promoted to Assistant GM/VP of Pitching).

Cleveland’s front office, especially their player development and scouting departments have a glowing reputation, but also a bit of mystery surrounding them. Their results are enviable however, especially on the pitching side (from Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma’s article in The Athletic on the hiring):

It is always difficult to decipher who deserves credit and how much in situations like this. Scouting, player development, game planning, health and fitness, mental skills, and much more all play a role. Heck, luck does too. And no one person is responsible for results (good or bad). A note in favor of Hawkins influence is the fact Cleveland really never missed a beat, even after their front office was raided following their 2016 World Series appearance against the Cubs. Hawkins held a key scouting and player development role before, and even after being promoted to Assistant GM in recent seasons, always kept a hand in the player development side, which continued to produce for their organization in the wake of the changes.

It is expected Hawkins will work closely with VP of Player Development Matt Dorey on the continuing overhaul of the organization which began a couple of seasons ago. I know fans are over-anxious for results in that area, but it is important to keep in mind, the Cubs have been playing catchup, and unfortunately have been forced to cope with a pandemic while trying to implement new ideas. As a big market club with winning records over the previous six seasons, they were also limited in their bonus pools on the draft and international free agency fronts. Change was never going to be accomplished quickly, even under ideal circumstances, and the past two years have been far from that.

As GM, Hawkins will of course have a huge hand in the direction the Cubs take in terms of free agency and trades this offseason as well. A new voice, with new ideas from outside the org, should prove just as imperative there. But so to does the amount of resources available, and with that in mind, let’s turn our attention to the contents of the letter Tom Ricketts sent out to season ticket holders this past week.

In it, Ricketts makes certain financial promises, albeit vague:

Jed and the team are now focused on reloading our roster. We have the resources necessary to compete in 2022 and beyond, and we will use them. We will be active in free agency and continue to make thoughtful decisions to bolster our team this offseason.

This echoes statements made by President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer since the season ended. The Cubs plan to spend, but the claim is always couched by wording like “thoughtful” and “smart.” There is no doubt the team has plenty of payroll flexibility, but there is also no doubt there is little appetite amongst the fanbase for a long rebuild. The expectation has been set by clubs like Boston and New York that turnarounds can and should be quick for big market clubs after falling back to the pack.

Adding $100+M to their currently limited payroll commitments for next season is the bare minimum we should expect. Of course, a hundred million dollars doesn’t necessarily go very far when you need to completely overhaul a bottom five starting rotation, and at least replace a bit of the star power lost from the lineup at the trade deadline.

The Cubs do need to be thoughtful and smart in their moves this offseason. No one wants to see the club throwing money around without caution and end up with a couple of albatross contracts hanging around for the next five to ten years. But the Cubs can also take more financial risk than a smart small market team like the Rays, or even a smart mid market team like Cleveland. One bad deal won’t sink the Cubs the way it could for teams with fewer resources.

Hoyer, Hawkins and the rest of the front office do need to identify bargains on the free agent and trade markets. That means finding undervalued bullpen arms and minor league hitters like they did last offseason. It also means determining which of their prospects in an improving minor league system to hold, and which can be included in deals for proven (and/or undervalued) talent on other clubs.

But they also need to zero in on the proper targets at the top of the free agent market. Hitting on another Jon Lester-like deal for a free agent starter is imperative. Another John Lackey or Jason Hammel rather than an Edwin Jackson would go a very long way as well. While they’re at it, another Ben Zobrist is needed too.

This is going to be one of the more fascinating offseasons for the Cubs in recent memory. I’m glad they acted quickly to secure a new GM with a good reputation to help them set their course through this crucial time. If the right decisions outweigh the bad, the Cubs could rally from the bottom of the standing back into playoff and World Series contention in short order. Last weekend I couldn’t muster much enthusiasm even though I expected the Cubs to make a good hire, and spend some money this winter. Now, with the addition of Hawkins I feel more confidence with the group of decision makers in place, and though they are just words on a page at this point, I feel a bit more secure in the belief that the Ricketts family will give the front office enough resources to help turn this thing around.

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  • Seems Hoyer connects/meshes well with Hawkins. Hopefully they form as good a team as Esptein and Hoyer did. Thoughtful write up Michael.

  • Thanks very much for your input, Michael. I'll be watching closely this offseason!

  • Hi Michael,
    Nice to see your back ! Another great writing ! I'm looking forward to see what the off-season brings for the Cubbies !
    Is there any news on whether the Marquee network will be available to purchase in the CA.-AZ. area without going thru the MLB network ?

  • Thanks Michael. Good to hear your input and opinion of the hiring. Gives me hope that this will work out well.
    I’ve been of the opinion also, that $100M added onto the current salary commitments would be appropriate. I’d even be ok with an extension for Willson being part of that $100M.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    The "extension to Willson" comment shows some of the problems with the regime. Both presidents made a big deal about control, and now Contreras is all that's left. The Cubs got not much for what they sold off last July. Speaking of albatross contracts, there's Heyward. 10 years ago, the whole system was supposed to be "The Cubs Way," but its prospects are now playing for other teams. Someone should have foreseen and prepared for 2022, but didn't. Until Ricketts discloses the baseball operations budget (and he won't), giving people corporate titles isn't going to mean much.

  • In reply to jack:

    The future wasn't foreseen because Theo refused to get rid of his many mistakes and passed on several free agent players who would have kept the Cubs competitive . Theo also raised the payroll so high that the Cubs couldn't sign free agents or trade some of the worthless players he drafted.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Seems easy to blame Theo now that he has flown the coop. The commenters were not posting that way, say, 8 years ago. I remember a group hounding me off here about that time for not kissing Theo's feet.
    In light of it then being said that the purpose of the first "rebuild" was to build "consistent success," it was reasonably foreseeable that with most contracts expiring now, something would have to be done to continue success past 2021. As far as I can tell, the only ways to have done that were to extend some members of the core, or have a sufficient development in the minor leagues that the next Bryant or Baez was ready to step up. Neither happened. That's management's fault. Finally, there essentially is no difference between Theo and Jed.

  • In reply to jack:

    What insight do you have, to say definitively there is ‘essentially no difference between Theo and Jed’? That seems to be a pretty bold leap. Without much to go on.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Au contraire, Whatever distinction there may be between the roles of Pres. of Baseball Ops and GM (i.e. who really is in charge of acquiring and signing talent), according to Baseball Reference "d spent 44 days as co-General Manager of the Boston Red Sox in 2005, during the brief period during which Theo Epstein resigned after being unable to come to contract terms with senior management. He was Assistant General Manager for the Red Sox from 2005-2009, working with Epstein" and then after 2 years in San Diego "n October 26, 2011, with one year remaining on his contract, he was hired by Epstein, who had just been appointed as Chicago Cubs team President to be his General Manager. Together, the pair built the Cubs team that went to the postseason four straight years from 2015 to 2018...." So they have been tied at the hip. If you are saying that Jed has 4 years to show that he's not Theo, he's blown 2021. Maybe everyone in baseball does the same thing (compare the Washington Nationals), but it's not like Ricketts said to pick an up and comer from LA, Tampa, or Milwaukee as the new president.

  • In reply to jack:

    Sorry jack, but your response here means nothing. Just because someone works directly and even successfully with another person- does not mean they necessarily share the same philosophy about getting the job done.
    As I remember, you are a devout White Sox fan, don’t they have a similar site that you can share your misery.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    The great oz has spoken. How dare anyone cross the great cubbustible. Let’s go Brandon

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    The two were together for 16 years, and Theo went to the effort of prying Jed out of SD. Do you really "think" that would have happened if there were deep philosophical differences? For instance Maddon and Theo parted ways when disagreements arose.

    You take the usual refuge of a nonthinking Cub fan by yelling Sox. Speaking of misery, maybe the word didn't get to you that Milwaukee won the NL Central and St. Louis was a wild card. The Cubs were 12 games behindCincinnati--CINCINNATI. And one thing Theo and Jed have in common is that the Sox fleeced them twice, although I don't know if Kimbrell was such a good idea. How's an injured Nick Madrigal doing for you?

  • In reply to jack:

    Theo Epstein is a hack. He left the cupboards bare. He is now on rob man Fred’s committee to further ruin baseball. Pitch clocks and starting runner on second base in extra innings are part of their idiotic changes. Funny how that runner on second base does not apply in the playoffs. Let’s go Brandon.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Interestingly, the man on second does add to the strategy, in the sense of plays at the plate, but I agree it is a gimmick. The pitcher needing to face 3 batters unless it is the end of the inning unless the pitcher starts the next inning rule is so incomprehensible that not even LaRussa understood it, but can be laid at the feet of Maddon going lefty-righty in some innings. I don't think that the manager has to lumber to the mound to make a pitching change.

  • In reply to jack:

    Hey jack, first, there are a lot of things LaRussa doesn’t understand. From when not to drive a car, to maybe learning not to use you new, best reliever as your set up man, just to keep your lesser, overpriced reliever from becoming grumpy.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, you must be living in a bubble ! Saying Theo and Jed are similar is like saying all African Americans look alike . Its ridiculous to make a comment like that. Looking at Theo's history with the Cubs shows that many trades were terrible, bloated contracts handcuffed the Cubs with players that couldn't be unloaded and three players drafted high in the first round that wasted Millions of dollars of the Cubs money. The system was broken and trading popular players at the deadline was a stroke of genius. Theo never would have made that move.Drafting Schwarber 4th overall wasted millions of dollars. The Cubs had no position for him to play. They weren't going to move Rizzo off 1st base, they had two catchers in place, no DH and left poor Schwarber floundering in left field which was embarrassing to the team and fans alike. No other National League team would have drafted Schwarb. and this pick could have easily fallen into the second round. Theo refused to admit or correcting his mistakes ,crippled the ballclub in addition passing on free agents that would have kept the club competitive for years to come. Theo's gone and its time to move on.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    jack also must think his man Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn are one and the same, because they work together for the same team now, for a number of years.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Well, neither has fired the other. At least Pax has fired himself, and Arturas fired Gar and Boylen.

    And besides, you are the last person to surmise what someone else thinks. The BURDEN IS ON YOU to show how the two are different. So far, you have failed.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    But that gets down again to what are the relative roles of the president and GM. For all you know, Jed made those decisions. Either that, or the GM is a meaningless titleholder.

    And "if no other NL team would have drafted Schwarber" why did the Nats pay him $2 million more than his arbitration value? And if dumping the team was a big sign of courage on Jed's part, he was no more courageous than Mike Rizzo or several GMs in Miami. At least the Marlins had the guts to trade the team immediately after winning something, and their fans were smart enough to realize that they were screwed.

  • In reply to jack:

    I'm not going to get into a pissing contest with you. You have proved the adage , you can't argue with an idiot.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Takes one to attempt to know one.

  • In reply to jack:

    Is your last name OFF ?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Let's put it this way. John Arguelo said to treat commenters with respect. Now, is that happening when one guy says he doesn't want a pissing contest and then hurls an insult, and you join in? I'll take johhn57's advice, and also suggest that you two ask your mothers to teach you some manners, It seems like the 2 of you spend too much time watching a team that wears black and silver. You seem obsessed with them.

  • In reply to jack:

    jack, I would have liked to see them get more for the players sold off in July, also. But that’s what happens when you trade players who have only 2 months of control.
    But I disagree with you not valuing Contreras enough to extend him. Amaya seems to be been injured every year. And his offensive numbers haven’t been anything to get excited about. Amaya is the only C close to seeing Chicago, in the system as of now. And all you have to do is check out the catchers of the AL playoff teams, and you’ll see why I’d like to keep Contreras around, with about 4 more years added to his contract.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    My comment wasn't about the merits of Contreras vs. whatever other catching option is available, but, more in line with my most recent comment above, how likely are they to extend him when they weren't willing to extend, for instance, Baez, when they didn't have a better option.

  • In reply to jack:

    They did make an offer to baez but it takes two to sign a contract. They were willing to extend him. Hopefully Willson will agree to a deal if one is offered.

  • In reply to John57:

    It takes 2 to tango, but a consistent record of not signing anyone and a mercenary attitude on both sides indicate that the odds are not good. On the other hand, another team on the same L line has most of its players under mutual contracts.

  • In reply to jack:

    what the sox do with their contracts is irrelevant concerning Willson's contract extension.

  • In reply to John57:

    No it isn't. It shows that some teams and players are willing to come to an agreement. If Contreras is so valuable to the Cubs, why didn't they lock him up 3 years ago? You tell us.

    I bet the reason is that, despite all the analytics showing what each player is worth on the market, the Cubs don't value any of their players.

  • In reply to John57:

    Jack I did not say Contreras is so valuable to the Cubs they can't do without him. I trust Hoyer and the FO to decide his value and make an appropriate offer. It is then up to Willson and his agent to accept or not. Your statement that "the Cubs don't value any of their players"
    is laughable. If you have all the answers why don't you contact Tony LaRussa and tell him how to properly use Kimbrel. Kimbrel is an excellent player if used properly. For proof see how Ross utilized him.

  • In reply to John57:

    john57: If you have all the answers, why don't you go to Joe Ricketts and offer your services, and tell him that his son is messing up.

    You and Brandon don't realize that I am not talking about baseball or in both your and Brandon's case, fantasy baseball, but BUSINESS decisions.

  • In reply to John57:

    Jack: I certainly don't have all the answers. I have said multiple times I trust the Cubs FO and owners to make the best moves. I think they are doing a pretty decent job. You have been have been the know it all telling the Cubs what to do, the white sox fan. Since you are the white sox fan, you should tell the sox what to do because you really don't know much about the Cubs.

  • In reply to John57:

    John,
    Why do you waste your time replying to someone who thinks he knows everything and is just looking for an argument ?

  • In reply to jack:

    jack, I ask you: what’s the difference between extending Contreras who can plays excellent defense and can hit. Or signing a completely useless defensive catcher like Grandal for $18M a year, for 4 years? Of course Grandal would never have gone to your team, if you hadn’t vastly overpaid him.
    Keuchel too.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    As usual, if you had read my comments, you would have comprehended that that's an IRRELEVANT question.

  • In reply to jack:

    I agree that it would be nice to know what the baseball operational budget will be, but I don't know any team that discloses that.

    I don't agree with much else, nor understand your reasoning. The fact that many of the Cubs prospects are now playing for other teams would seem to reflect well upon "the Cubs Way". Before Ricketts bought the team, the Cubs couldn't give away their prospects, and they are now in demand in trades.

    I also disagree with your assessment of the return the Cubs got this July in their trades. The general opinion of most baseball people is that the Cubs did an excellent job of bringing back a good return for players who were going to be free agents in two months.

  • Jed Hoyer is my hero. He didn't allow sentimentality to get in the way of trading Baez, Bryant, and Rizzo. Their offensive production as individuals and as a team became progressively regressive from year to year. Playing at the 8th wonder of the world, heaven on earth, a place called Wrigley, finally caught up with these players.
    I believe Ross had some input in the trading of said players at the deadline. He didn't have be concerned with showing favoritism with his buddies on the team. He would start with a clean slate on what he expects from his new found team, both from a fundamental an development standpoint.
    Yes, Hoyer saw the handwriting on the wall and new the dream was over. He seems to be confident in his position and knows what steps to take to become an elite team again.

  • In reply to Playball:

    Agreed !

  • Michael enjoyed the article.

    I think Jed is ok. He was forced to cut payroll, led to Darvish trade, & Schwarber non-tender. In season none of the players traded were a surprise- 8 pending free agents, & a closer with 1 1/2 years of control.

    Jed & Theo have worked together I hope they are two sides of the same coin. Hoyer, McLeod, Bush, & Greenberg-President, Senior VP, & two assistant GM's all have been with the Cubs since 2012.
    They didn't build a minor league juggernaut.

    Does this front office have the ability to make more good decisions, over bad decisions multiple years in a row? The idea of smart spending, isn't that just avoiding getting into bidding wars for long-term, high priced contracts? Finding bounce back players on short term deals is a lot of luck--Schwarber played very well this year, Pederson played ok.

    Maybe the Cubs have found some secret sauce for finding bullpen arms, & some older AAAA type of hitters?

    Cubs might sign some longer-term, high-priced contracts this off-season. The only way Cubs will do that is by waiting to see which players markets don't develop like they did with Kimbrel, & Darvish.

    Cubs are a huge market, and they most likely will be mid-season sellers again in 2022. Cubs large market advantage they need to use it going forward. Paying players that end up netting longer term players/prospects in mid-season trades, & Cubs might get really lucky and build an unexpected winner.

    As Michael said in his article----Cubs can also take more financial risk than a smart small market team like the Rays, or even a smart mid market team like Cleveland.

    Which is every team in the NL Central, & really AL Central too! I sure hope Jed's Cubs budget is close to the luxury tax limit. Maybe ownership demands most of that money spent on shorter term contracts, I not sure that alone is smart spending, but it sure helps when the players go south.

    Which prospects will Jed be willing to trade this off-season? Will this version of the Cubs front office be able to self-scout the organization that benefits the team more often than not?

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Lots of luck and secret sauce are not ways to build sustained success. I remember some commenters here saying that then 2005 Sox caught "light in a bottle," whatever that meant. Your post generally tells me that management's job is to figure out why the talented core went over the cliff at least before the All Star break. If getting bored at Wrigley was becoming inevitable, maybe Bryant should have been traded 3 years ago, when it became obvious that pitchers were wising up to his launch angle strategy.

  • In reply to jack:

    jack please don’t come here to lecture us about how to build a franchise. Your team has won 80 games, exactly 1 time in the last 10 years. And when was the last time your team won a playoff series? And remember, Rick Hahn grew up a Cub fan, lol.
    Find a Sox site.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Trying to hound me off again? Sorry it didn't work the last time, and you can't do it yourself now.

    Since you know it all, tell us right now when your team will next have a 94 win season or win the division. I'm sure it will be archived here, and we will check back. But you don't have the guts to do that.

    Enjoy catching it all on WGN.

  • In reply to jack:

    The Sox did win one more playoff game than the Cubs this year so you got that going for you.

  • In reply to jack:

    How teams give themselves the best chance for sustained success is do what the Yankees, Dodgers, & Red Sox do. Have large baseball operations, and spend big bucks on everything from scouting, player development, analytics, coaching, payroll, really everything is near top notch.

    Dodgers & Yankees are the two highest revenue teams. Cubs are in the next tier, & they need to use their financial might over the rest of the NL Central. I don't think the best use of the financial might is to sign many free agents to long term high priced contracts. Cubs absolutely can afford a few playoff caliber starting pitchers which should give them a huge advantage in the NL central most seasons.

    Cubs talked about investing to build a foundation that would help maintain success, & like most teams they didn't succeed. A couple of years ago changes started for the Cubs front office, and some more happened in the past year, all fans can hope for is they make the right decisions more often than not.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    That makes sense. Yankees and Dodgers go their money from the TV deals, although the Dodgers one led to the breakup of Time Warner, which guaranteed the money even though it couldn't guarantee carriage on other systems. On the other hand, depending on the terms of the partnership with Sinclair, the Cubs are on the hook on Marquee.

    Crane Kenney said that Ricketts's approach on all the collateral stuff, like the signs, the hotel, buying out the rooftops, etc. was based on Boston. Throw in the debt service on those things and on the Wrigley renovation, one wonders how much money is left for baseball operations. In light of the Bears taking steps too move to a new stadium in Arlington Heights, maybe Ricketts should have taken up Rosemont's offer for a stadium, although it is questionable whether the usual Wrigley fan would go there.

  • fb_avatar

    Obviously I didn't know any of the final 4 candidates but my preference was the man from TB. They run a team with a limited budget yet still find great players in the draft and with IFAs too. I heard that 3 of the 4 teams in the playoffs now have men who at one time worked for TB. That tells me something. I also would have liked a more diverse FO than the Cubs have.
    I am not here but bust Theirs chops--in my opinion he is a big reason we won the WS and had such a great run. Without him I don't see us hiring Joe Maddon, signing Lester and all the rest.
    I truly hope that this works out for the Cubs and we can start praising instead of chirping in the next year or two.

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    I,too, thought the Tampa guy was the route to go, we have had this regime in place for 9 years and the only team that played up to its capabilities was the 16 team. Ever since it has been how much money they were going to get for winning one year, how much money can I squeeze out of this organization if I wait until they come up with the money to sign Bryant to a $300M contract, same with Baez. The problem with that logic was they started to regress and I can't blame the Cubs for waiting, but after two years you could see it wasn't getting any better, so they should have started to make some moves then.
    My problem with Theo and Jed starts with who makes the trades and it all comes down to the GM to make those decisions, I don't believe Jed wasn't in charge of that, especially after 16, Theo was on his emperor parade after that year, making his H of F engagements, I think Jed was in charge and I think he gets a lot of the credit for what transpired after. That is the reason I wasn't impressed naming him president and all his underlings being promoted with him.
    Should have named a new president with the Dodgers and Rays as top teams to choose from, then they bring who they choose to fill the leadership roles. This would have made more sense if we are to trust the organization to start over with a middle of the pack minor league system and money to burn to start over.

  • In reply to tater:

    I like your post here. Especially about the core squeezing every possible dollar from the org. Rizzo as much admitted that, in his back and forth comments with Jed after the purge. Something in his response noting that it would have taken more $$ to move forward with discussions. And yes, none lived up to the standard that they had set. Like spoiled children their play was half hearted, half the time. Other orgs noticed and played lowball on trade talks. All said the right things, but they were steadfast in their greed. Riz and Javy are in The Big Apple where they belong and Bryant happy in the West. Like me, they are watching to see, who are the real champs in 2021.

  • In reply to tater:

    I agree, & also like Tater's post. Jed had a lot to do with building one of the worse minor league systems in baseball, & not properly filling holes in a playoff caliber team.

    I also have zero belief that Hawkins/Cubs will deliver developing high end playoff caliber starters, from pitching development. It is just too hard to do.

    I hope the Cubs just keep developing more arms like Steele, Alzolay, & Thompson. Create some interest that they can fill a role, and pitch some MLB innings. Cubs pitching player development needs to actually be able to fill some bullpen spots, & backend/depth starters.

    This front office is talking a lot about pitching development. You just had a great run by developing hitters. Sure you need to develop pitching too, but player development focus should be on bats.

    By focusing on bats, I mean more early draft picks, and more of the international free agent money needs to be used on position players.

    Cubs have very little in the way of upper level bats in the system, that is because the Cubs have not developed enough hitters to even back fill a few spots on next seasons roster. The Cubs are so lucky Schwindel, Ortega, & Wisdom had breakout seasons. Otherwise more of the media would be asking/writing about the complete lack of hitting prospects in Cubs upper level? That is absolutely because of the decision Jed, & McLeod made with player development/amateur scouting.

    I still think it would benefit Jed, & the Cubs to replace some of their upper level, long time front office employees like McLeod with young, smart baseball people from other organizations. The roster is starting over, clean out the front office a little more too.

  • In reply to tater:

    I agree, & also like Tater's post. Jed had a lot to do with building one of the worse minor league systems in baseball, & not properly filling holes in a playoff caliber team.

    I also have zero belief that Hawkins/Cubs will deliver developing high end playoff caliber starters, from pitching development. It is just too hard to do.

    I hope the Cubs just keep developing more arms like Steele, Alzolay, & Thompson. Create some interest that they can fill a role, and pitch some MLB innings. Cubs pitching player development needs to actually be able to fill some bullpen spots, & backend/depth starters.

    This front office is talking a lot about pitching development. You just had a great run by developing hitters. Sure you need to develop pitching too, but player development focus should be on bats.

    By focusing on bats, I mean more early draft picks, and more of the international free agent money needs to be used on position players.

    Cubs have very little in the way of upper level bats in the system, that is because the Cubs have not developed enough hitters to even back fill a few spots on next seasons roster. The Cubs are so lucky Schwindel, Ortega, & Wisdom had breakout seasons. Otherwise more of the media would be asking/writing about the complete lack of hitting prospects in Cubs upper level? That is absolutely because of the decision Jed, & McLeod made with player development/amateur scouting.

    I still think it would benefit Jed, & the Cubs to replace some of their upper level, long time front office employees like McLeod with young, smart baseball people from other organizations. The roster is starting over, clean out the front office a little more too.

  • Good article and thanks for putting all this information together Michael.

    Here's hoping that Carter Hawkins can bring some similar 'magic' to the Cubs in the next couple of years that he did in building a solid set of pitchers for Cleveland - assuming he had a big hand in what they have been able to do. He's got quite a bit of talent already in the Cubs MiLB system to work from.

    Bring in a good SP on a contract like the one they gave Lester, scout out a big corner OF bat or maybe a SS and move Hoerner into the OF and see if he thrives in a Zobrist-like role. Would Schwarber or maybe Jorge Soler fit on a short-term deal - especially if the NL does finally cave and go to the DH? Soler is a bit of an 'adventure' in the OF defensively and Schwarber has limitations, but with a good mix of contact bats around them - they could do some damage in a lineup that also has Wisdom, Ortega, Schwindel as factors.

    The only thing certain is - in theory - cash shouldn't be a limiting factor this next couple of seasons,.... let's make some magic happen again at Wrigley come 2022 and 2023.

  • I'm not a critic of the current Cubs coaching staff, but I admit I was a bit surprised to hear recent talk in the playoffs about Schwarber's hitting resurgence this year (32 HRs in 400 ABs, .928 OPS). He had his best year with the bat this year, and there was talk that Washington "fixed him" by getting him to focus more on his lower body during his swing.

    He played one year under Ross's staff. It does make me wonder whether leaving the Cubs was actually a good move for his game. It also has me wondering whether it was Dave Martinez, and not Joe Madden, who was the coaching key to 2016.

    I hope Ross and his team do well with next year's team, but I'm not so sure that their work in the last two years was so good for the team overall. Next year (year 3) will provide a better picture.

  • Schwarber had a rough game defensively at first last night. Two errors on routine plays. I know that he is learning first on the fly, but Kyle is not exactly blessed with soft hands. Still, it's good that he has a couple positions that he can fill adequately. Boy, Dusty has that Houston team together. Old school lives.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I'm happy for Dusty. He's a proven winner. This is his fifth team, managed by him, to make the playoffs. That is no coincidence. Yes, talented teams hire him, but only after they've proved dysfunctional with the previous manager (otherwise that manager is not getting canned), and also because they know he can bring the best out of his teams (at least during the season).

    The downside is that it's the f&$king Astros. Everyone hates the Astros, and that won't change for a long time.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Yes, Dusty was well liked in Wrigley too, but left under a cloud. Coming out of the Dodgers org, he carried on with the reputation of abusing starting pitchers, like (Prior&Wood). Anyway, I've been trying to dislike the Astros, but they just so darn good, I'm finding it difficult. My pick to win it all.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Right he rode his starters hard. His managing success never lasted too long either, although he pretty much always had initial success with his teams. He's a pretty old school guy, not many of those left for us old farts to cheer on.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Ha!

  • fb_avatar

    Thinking about the comment someone made on trading for Hosmer of SD, taking this one step further, how about including Hendricks for Hosmer and Gore, apparently Gore is having control problems and the money equals out, we pick up a valuable pitching prospect and actually get rid of 15M in the process.
    I know a lot of you are saying we are paying Hosmer, but we are also picking up a possible TOR pitcher and a starting 1st basemen and still have probably 100M to spend, just a thought.

  • In reply to tater:

    Tater,

    I would think Hendrick's still has enough trade value to get a decent return without taking on a bad contract back.

    Jackie Bradley Jr, CF-media last off-season said Cubs showed interest. Brewer's signed him to a 2 year, $24 million dollar contract. J. Bradley JR. was beyond awful in 2021, Brewer's have paid him $6.5 million this season. He is still owned $17.5 million for one season with a buyout.

    We all know Brewers would love to dump his contract. Do the Cubs want to buy prospects? What would it take from the Brewers to take on Bradley's $12 AAV in 2022 contract which is $17.5 million in real dollars still owed?

    Take on a bad contract, why not buy a super low one year deal?

    M. Ruckers or nothing to Brewers for J. Bradley Jr.- Plus prospects like-
    A, Binelas #17 LH 3B/corner bat 3rd rd pick in 2021 draft.
    J. Chourio #18 CF-International free agent signed in 2021.

    Looks like Jed is cleaning out upper management SVP J. McLeod is now leaving. Cubs could use some more outside thinkers as they rebuild the baseball operation side. Should help the PR department too? New minds/thinking for the next rebuild....

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Hadn’t heard about McLeod. Sure looks like Jed is putting his team in place. Good for him.
    This shows not all members of a front office necessarily have to share the same views, on how to achieve the same goals. Theo just used the strengths of Hoyer and McLeod as building blocks. And although Jed and McLeod worked together for years, obviously Jason wasn’t seen as a good fit, going forward by Jed. Maybe ‘jack’ will also learn something from this, for when he takes over as GM of the Chisox.
    But as far as Hosmer, iIMO I see no reason to go after a 1B, with Frankie around. He earned the spot going into next year. And there will be a good number of FA available to sign, should the DH be adopted in the NL. I wouldn’t trade Hendricks.

  • Well,
    All of you McLeod haters, got your wish, he's gone ! I would like to see Kevin Gausman in a Cubs uniform next season. There are a
    handfull of pitchers available in free agency that would get the Cubs back into contention. I'm sure the front office know who they will target to attempt to sign.
    I still like Chris Taylor regardless of his high strike outs.
    GO CUBS !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I think by now considering Chris Taylor's post season, that the Cubs could do a lot worse than he, but the price is rising.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yes, I agree, but that's the price to do business in MLB.
    The fact that Jed Hoyer is surrounding himself with the best
    in the business regarding the front office is a great sign of better
    thinks coming for the Cubs.
    Nelson Velasquez is still raking in the AZ. league, making a
    bid to play in the outfield next April.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I doubt Velasquez will jump from AA to the majors next April. Also he spent most of the year at A+. That is a huge jump. But we got to protect him though. He is in a good groove and moving up.

  • In reply to John57:

    Valazquez will more than likely be in iowa next year.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I could see that with the experience he is getting the the Fall League. Him and Davis could be in AAA together. Some of the young guys are getting close.

  • In reply to John57:

    There could be a fun bunch of 'kids' come 2022 IMO in Iowa. And a couple of those guys could get a cup of coffee or two in 2022 at Wrigley.

  • In reply to John57:

    There could be a fun bunch of 'kids' come 2022 IMO in Iowa. And a couple of those guys could get a cup of coffee or two in 2022 at Wrigley.

  • In reply to John57:

    John,
    I hope Velazquez and Davis get a long look in spring training next year, Velazquez is raking in the AZ. league and should not go
    unnoticed in the organization. Their age should not be a deterrent
    in calling them up if their ready.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I am sure the Cubs are going to look at them in spring training, then send them to the minors to develop some more. Their age is not important, it is their development.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I think your more likely to see Steven Matz.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Matz would be a great choice !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    For their signings. I see the Schwarber & Seager types along with Wood or Matz and an ace like Scherzer. Why not? If they add a couple of really good relievers they will be in the thick of it.
    With guys waiting their turn in the outfield.

    Can you guess which of all the Cubs that were on the roster in 2021 are up for a silver slugger?

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Wisdom

  • In reply to John57:

    Yes Wisdom was the only one. What would it take to trade for Soler and Pederson? LOL

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    With Davis and Velazquez coming soon we don't need them. Nelson yesterday had a homer and 4 hits total. He still is on fire.

  • In reply to John57:

    John,
    There are several players that made the jump from AA to the majors. Nelson might be ready.
    I don't know why I'm saying this , but I suspect the Cubs aren't sold on Willson Contreras to be their main catcher going forward or
    they would have locked him up way before this upcoming season.

  • In reply to John57:

    Soler and Pederson? Been their, done that. I don't see it. I think that this new front office with additions will be looking for new blood. Not that those two would not contribute as power sources.

  • Ronvet69: I would like to extend Contreras. The Cubs I think would want to do that too. But they want to spend intelligently so they won't spend "stupid" money on Willson. Let's see what Willson is willing to accept. If he does in fact want "stupid" money, then he won't agree to what the Cubs offer and the Cubs will end up trading him. Some team out there will spend "stupid" money. There always is.

  • the cub players had a good day yesterday. good to see 2 SP having a good day.
    Nelson V - 2 hits, 2 BBs .415/.520/.732
    Jensen - 4 IP, 2 hits, 5 SO, 0 R
    Killian - 3 IP, 1 hit, 6 SO, 0 R

  • I was kidding about pederson and soler. My point was that you never know in a given year or playoffs who will show up. That's why I have been pushing for Schwarber he seems to get up.for the moment. If the.price tag/length of contract is too high I would pass.

    I am very excited for this off season. I see 5 or 6 quality guys being signed. Our minors have been replenished and we have 5 or 6 veteran guys (sampson, schwindel, wisdom, ortega, hermosillo & rivas) on the cheap that should contribute in 2022.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I guess that would depend on your definition of what ‘quality’, is. Actually I hate to say it, but I don’t believe the Cubs could convince 5 or 6 quality free agents to sign with them this off season, at least what I would consider to be quality. There is likely to be much competition for those type of players, and I’m sure their preference would be a team that is likely to be in contention from the get-go.
    But 5 or 6 more of players of quality is about the right number. As long at least 2 are SP’s and 2 RP’s, and 1 SS/3B type and maybe a player ready to primarily DH.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but Schwarber has a mutual contract option with the Red Sox for 2022. I Schwarber is very comfortable with the Red Sox and vice versa. I don't see him coming back to the Cubbies.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    He also had a good year. He will not be cheap. Some team will give him "stupid" money.

  • In reply to John57:

    John,
    Unless the Red Sox or Kyle decline there mutual option, I don't think Kyle is going anywhere.
    Look up 2022 MLB free agents by team and you will get an idea of whose available.
    There are a few free agents who were given the qualifying offer last year and cannot be given that offer again. The Cubs may target one of these players. Its a competitive market, so anything can happen. If Kevin Gausman or Steven Matz is available I would love to see them in Wrigley next year.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I think Kyle will decline his option. He can get more than $11M in free agency. He had a breakout season last year. Also, with the NL getting the DH most likely will help him.

  • Went to the Az Fall League game today at Sloan Park. Nelson Velazquez hit a HR in his 3rd AB today. He also got credited for a charity double when the SS lost his infield pop up in the sun.
    A guy that looked absolutely great today was a Yankee LH OF, Elijah Dunham. Even his foul balls were shots. Both Velazquez and Dunham are hitting about .390 with almost matching OPSs around 1200.
    Andy Weber also had a nice game, played 3B. He got 3 hits, one was a double to LC that missed going out by about a foot.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I had a ham sandwich for lunch then took a nap.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Don’t forget your meds. And always tell the nurse, thank you.

  • Regardless of who made the decisions, the front office showed very poor business decisions when they allowed three key players to reach free agency in the same year. One of them, probably Bryant, should have been traded two winters ago, when it became obvious to everyone that he would not extend, but would enter free agency. And either Baez or Rizzo should have been extended the next winter, or one should have been traded at that point.

    Trying to keep the "core" around for one last try is lunacy. Even if they had gone into last season with the best team (on paper) in baseball, the best team on paper seldom wins. There are too many variables in baseball to predict which excellent team will win any 5 or 7 game series, let alone three of them in a row.

  • In reply to OldFan:

    The Cubs started shopping the core after the 2018 season? Media reported other teams thought Cubs were asking for the moon, and then some more in trades for the core when Theo was in charge.

    Maybe the core was overrated? The free agency market will show how the league really value the Cubs former core.

    Cubs need to spend this off-season. The current roster, especially the pitchers looks like a bad expansion team to this fan. Cubs need to add at a minimum two off-season worth of MLB talent to replace players traded, and free agents who walked after the 2020 season.

    Sounds like Cubs want to avoid long-term high price contracts, unless a higher level free agent falls to the end of the off-season with a limited market.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Agree, but I guess anything is possible. Still, to expect any team to go from what looks like an expansion roster to the top of the heap in one off season is probable not realistic. The Cubs need level heads and a methodical approach going forward.

  • Nelson Velazquez just had another good game. 3 for 4 and a BB. His OPS is 1.332 and leading the league. But Andy Weber is doing OK too. His last game was 2 for 4 and a BB to get his line up to .341/.491/.610 and OPS of 1.101 which is 3rd in the league. Question is do we put him on the 40 man roster too? Crazy isn't?

  • In reply to John57:

    That’s a good question John. Weber’s numbers from previous years don’t really stand out. But it could be that his body is beginning to fill out and get stronger. He could become a backup that might be able to fill in at a number of positions around the diamond. With his good showing this fall, I now think that they probably will add him.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I am guessing the Cubs don't protect him. 10 to 12 games in the Fall league probably does not override the last 5 years of results. But all teams are going to have similar problems. And making all decisions harder is the fact that the CBA is unresolved. Who do we want? How much money do we have to spend? How do we build our team? It is going to be a long off season.

  • In reply to John57:

    I'm thinking you are right about Weber. I don't think they need to worry about him getting poached yet, although this fall he's seemed generally hot. He's not played above AA ball yet - has he?

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I hope they do. Especially if Duffy isn’t reupped. There’s some guys that could/should be cut off the 40man. Giambrone,Alcantara, Brothers, just off the top of my head amongst some others.

  • Nice article from BA on Nelson Velazquez today. Nelson's leading the league in 42 total bases. It looks like Nelson has figured out hitting.
    GO CUBS !

  • It appears Greg Brown from the Tampa Bay organization will be the Cubs new hitting coach. It was only a matter of time before some team plucked him from Tampa.
    Nelson Velazquez is still available for the upcoming rule 5 draft. I expect Nelson will be added to the 40 man roster to protect him from going to another team.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I would think adding Velazquez to the 40 man roster would be a no-brainer at this point. But I still think he needs more experience in AAA to see how he handles pitchers who are more polished than the ones in the fall league.

  • Velazquez and Killian were both named players of the week in the AZ. league !
    I would like to see both players called up. Let them learn on the job. Both seem to have the skill-set to make it.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Kilian had another great outing this week, 4 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0R. He sat 94-96 and touched 98 on his fast ball. He could win pitcher of the week again. Great to see because we need pitchers more than hitters. Good for Velazquez that he is doing well but Kilian doing well is HUGE.

  • Braves, World Series Champs! 'Who'd of thunk it'? MLB Karma.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    When Freddy Freeman tucked the final ball into his back pocket, it reminded me of Antony Rizzo's final catch in the 2016 World Series.
    The Cubs will be back !

  • Nick Castellanos has opt out of his contract ! Will the Cubs give up a draft pick to sign Nick ?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    very easy question, NO

  • Here is my wish/hope list:

    1 young & valazques added from rule 5
    2.hermosillo & weick from 60 day
    3.trade heyward & bote
    4 sign chirinos & duffy
    This is where it gets fun:
    5. Sign Seager, Schwarber, Stroman & Syndegaard (if he is unattached) and a couple of solid relievers.

    I know the hardest parts to get done will be Heyward and Seager.

    That would show us the Cubs organization is serious. Dont know what the payroll would be but that team puts us in contention..

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    A good wish-list bleachercreature,

    I think 1, 2 and 4 make absolute sense. I don't see much chance of #3 happening unless they eat pretty much all of Heyward's salary and I don't think Bote brings back anything of value at this point.

    My version of your #5 would be Schwarber or Soler, definitely Stroman, Story instead of Seager (he strikes me as more injury prone than I like), and definitely also a couple of good BP arms.

    Weick and Heuer are a couple of good pieces. Some of the kids have potential as well. However, they are going to need some help next year.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Which Seager? SS from LA or 3B from Seattle? I’m guessing SS?

  • fb_avatar

    My version of this wishful GM would be Soler and/or Schwarbs,Semien, followed by Rodriguez, Matz and Gausman.
    Probably around 90M, still able to pick up Rodan if the years aren't too many....

  • Interesting. Apparently the Cubs claimed Wade Miley off waivers from Cincinnati. Decent LHP who has had some success. He's got a $10 MM contract option, so that's not too expensive either. Not a bad pick-up if he can have a year like last year, or his 2019 season with Houston.

    I guess that fills up one rotation gap at a somewhat reasonable price going into 2022.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Sounds like intelligent spending to me.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Great pickup!

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Great pickup!

  • fb_avatar

    Well the non tendered free agent list is out, highest options being Kershaw,Gausman,Rodon, Gray and Steven Matz, I would love the Cubs to get Matz and Rodon, maybe Gray, but my biggest get would be Rodon, and I know a lot of you are going to say what about his shoulder. My response would be when he pitched this year he was the most dominant pitcher in the league, he was overpowering and had no hit stuff quite a few times, if healthy he is a number one guy.
    I say take a chance and give him a deal to join the Cubs, and I don't think you would have to break the bank to do it, maybe something like 5/100 or 6/120, top starters are worth the risk.
    remember Chris Carpenter with the Blue Jays, had shoulder problems and said he was through, went to the Cards and finished a great career, Wainwright with the Cards, same thing, Roy Halladay with Toronto, went to the Phillies and the rest was history.
    y point is we seem to have some reinforcements coming in the next 3 or 4 years let's start planning on a pitching staff to work with.
    We can easily afford 3 or 4 of these guys, plus Correa, probably 120-130M this year, in two years you can get rid of of 46M with our RFer and Hendricks, plus maybe move Happ and Contrares.

  • In reply to tater:

    My two favorites to sign would be Matz and Gray. Rodon's shoulder issues would scare me off. The white sox declined a $18.4 m one year contract with him. Think about that. Hopefully we get one of the other two.

  • In reply to John57:

    I think so. Shoulders are notoriously chronic injuries. It would be a huge risk. Tater, can the Cubs fill holes and still afford Correa?Finally, I think Contreras might get traded this winter. Jed hasn't had much luck reaching agreement on dollars with extensions. I'd like to hang on to Happ tho. He is due for some more consistent seasons. Hendricks probably stays for now as pitchers are hard to come by.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I am confident Jed will do a good job trying to sign Willson but Willson has to agree too. This offseason has almost no FA catchers. Willson would bring a boatload of prospects IMO. Still I would like to sign him to an extension.

  • In reply to John57:

    If the Cubs were to trade Wilson though, who would they go after as far as an available catcher? As you just pointed out - there are almost no FA catchers, other than serviceable back-up catchers. I would love to see the Cubs bring back Chirinos, but the guy is 37 and isn't a dependable every-day guy at this point. P.J. Higgins?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Very good question. That is why I want to extend him. This might be a case of intelligent spending if we lock up Willson.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Chirinos would work for a one stopgap. Then a defensive stud receiver and one or two to stack in Iowa. If NL has the DH, offense is less important, because there will be no easy outs for pitchers. Look what the Astros were able to do with Martin Maldonado as a receiver. Catchers are even more of a defensive position than ever. Ross can pinch hit for the position with an equally good backup with the game on the line. Catchers are asked to do a lot in the game of baseball, of which, hitting is not the most important.

  • In reply to tater:

    Cubs are doubling down on player development. That’s great, wasn’t that the plan ten years ago? I sure hope the Cubs in three years are able to develop their own drafted/signed amateur players on a regular basis, from a much improved scouting & player development departments. I still think large market Cubs should focus limited amateur resource on position players, power bullpen arms. Developing starting pitchers beyond #5/depth starters should just be a bonus to the organization. Sure seems like Cubs management is banking on becoming above average at player development.

    It is easier to find in affordable veterans hitter, & bullpen arms. Even higher priced hitters/bullpen arms are easier to get on shorter term deals in trades/free agents. Playoff caliber starting pitchers, by that I mean aces, to really good #3 starters. They are the kind of starting pitchers Cubs need to build a foundation so they can spend big/trade a lot for playoff caliber starting pitchers. Cubs can win the central most years without developing ace to #3 types of pitchers because they are the one big market team in the NL central.

    It is hard to see a path for the Cubs becoming a playoff caliber team next season. It would shock me if they did make even a run at making the playoffs in 2022.

    This off-season we will see what Jed means by having money to spend intelligently? I assume that means avoiding all free agents that cost draft picks, and IFA money compensation, plus avoiding bidding wars on high priced long-term contracts.

    My two cents on what I expect to see from the Cubs front this off-season.

    Trade Contreras for prospects, finish selling off the old core.

    Offer Happ arbitration, & then trade him this off-season. Try to package him with some second tier prospects for major league talent coming back to Cubs. Happ is so streaky I just don’t think the Cubs will offer him his 3rd arbitration year next off-season. Get what you can for him now.

    Starting pitching adding Miley to Hendricks is an ok start. Cubs should try to add three more starters.

    Cubs need to try to add a few steady arms who won’t break the bank-pitchers like Gray, Matz, Wood, Kikuchi, &/or Cobb on a multi-year deal. Then I agree with TATER, go after Rodon he is a power arm playoff caliber type of starting pitcher. Rodon history of health breakdowns are scary, White sox didn’t want to risk offering him the chance for him to accept a 1 year at $18.4 million. Yikes! Cubs could try to get creative with a Rodon contract offer. Short term-Two years big bucks with options? Cubs could try again to trade for Glasnow, Cubs need to take risks when trying to find real playoff caliber types of starters.

    Corner power bats, Cubs need to add some. I would like a 3B/1b maybe Moustakas in a trade, plus two new corner OF bats after trading Happ, & Heyward going into spring training should be the 5th outfielder.

    Cubs need to add as much "affordable" talent no matter what position they play outside of 2nd base in trades and free agency.

    I could see the Cubs signing a long-term high price free agent, but only if they fall until the end of the off-season, & the Cubs think they are getting a deal.

    Cubs could be active in trades to clean up the middle of the current roster by dealing a few players like Mills, Thompson types, Bote if possible, & some second tier prospects….. Cubs need to get better at self-scouting their own roster, and use them even in minor trades whenever possible.

    I see no reason why Cubs payroll shouldn’t be more than the starting team payroll in 2021. Really why can’t the Cubs get close to the penalty limit even during a season when they are trying to reload/rebuild?

    I keep hearing intelligent money is available. Does that mean Cubs are going to be extra creative this offseason? I expect another sell-off at the 2022 deadline, but hopefully this off-season Cubs will take a big step forward.

  • fb_avatar

    Highly agree Rodon would be my top pitcher, pitched 132 innings last year and was overpowering, limit his starts to maybe every 5th day or extra rest once a month, work to build up his shoulder systematically,
    maybe add Matz and Gray, work a deal for Glasnow, maybe add a guy like Duffy. would love to add Correa, he said he would love to play here, 10/25M, he's the only one I would give a draft pick up for
    total deal 250M, remember we get rid of Heyward's 22M in two years.
    Instead of using Wilson behind the plate , move him to the outfield,
    sign a backup catcher for Chirinos, trade Happ and Hoerner in a package for some prospects you will be losing for signing Correa, the money you save on Happ and Hoerner use to sign Schwarbs, use him as DH and or outfielder, use Contrares as catcher when using Schwarbs in the field, or rotate the two as DH.

  • In reply to tater:

    Moving Willson to the OF does not utilize his greatest skill which is defensive catcher. He would be a below average OF. Below average OFs are very easy to get. Also we don't have Chirinos right now. He is a free agent and 37 years old. He is a back up not a starting catcher even if we do resign him. I would like the Cubs to extend Willson but he has to want to stay too. It takes two to agree. If Willson does not agree he probably will be traded for prospects.
    I think Correa is the top FA. He will get more than 10 years and 25 M per year. When Jed we will spend intelligently that was code for no huge contracts. Our SS prospects are one of the teams strengths. What are you going to do with Howard, Triantos, Precidio, Made, Hernandez for the next ten years?

  • In reply to John57:

    I think Contreras is back even if there is no extension. Catchers are harder to find then starting pitchers. Any trade would almost need to include a mlb ready catcher as one of the prospects.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John57:

    You can always move Correa to 3rd 3 or 4 years, ss's can play many positions, that is a good problem to have,as far as the contract goes, I think 10 year contracts will be non existent unless you have players such as Accuna,Soto,Vlad, Franco, Ohtani probably others who showed they are young superstars at an early age, they will still command long contracts with guaranteed money, but when you get to 27 - 30 years old you take a look at those contracts for big money, they usually don't support the higher average. Just saying 250M for Correa for security for life would look pretty good and getting to play in Wrigley is a dream of his.

  • In reply to tater:

    He is going to get $300 M. I don't think that would be an intelligent use of resources. Cubs have more pressing needs in the starting rotation. SS is not a long term need. We have enough SS prospects to cover SS, 2B and 3B with some to spare.

  • In reply to John57:

    Agree, but pare the years down to 3-5yrs. at a slightly higher average dollars and one of those top available shortstops would work pretty well.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I think I read that Houston offered Correa 5 years at 30M a year. He turned it down quickly. I cant see any of those SS accepting a 3 to 5 year deal. they want maximum guaranteed money. For Correa 150M was rejected fast.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John57:

    Just look when we had Baez, Torres and Russell as our young core of ss's in 15, plans can change quickly and don't rely on production you may never get, we could easily afford Correa and also still add 3 or 4 more quality starters for 100M, adding that to the 50M we have on the books still keeps us well under the cap with plenty of room to spare.

  • In reply to tater:

    Correa is gong to get around 300M or more. That amount is huge. Plus we lose a very high 2nd round draft pick. Last year we got Triantos with our 2nd round pick. Also we will lose 500K international money to spend. SS is not a long term problem. We have 6 very good SS prospects. Correa is a very good player but we have more pressing needs. Signing him now is not an intelligent efficient use of resources. When the Cubs are close to being WS contenders in 2/3 years, the 30M we are paying Correa could be used for another SP or other need. I don't think the Cubs even try to sign Correa.

  • In reply to tater:

    Highly disagree on Rodon. Strong pass! The last thing the Cubs need is to blow more money on a sore arm pitcher. They have done enough of that. Spend money on one that at least starts out with a healthy arm and takes the ball when it is his turn.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    The White Sox seem to have passed on Rodon too. He is very talented but I would not sign him unless it is a very very reasonable amount. With his agent being BORAS I doubt that happening.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to 44slug:

    I was on board to sign Rodon last year, and was greatly disappointed we didn't, after the year he had I don't understand the urgency not to sign him now, I was shot down last year for Eovoldi also, guys that have big time arms are worth the risk.
    Just look at what pitchers we ended up with, where are our front line no. 1 or 2 starters, we have a 3 or 4 (Hendricks) as our ace, until that changes we are the cubbies.

  • In reply to tater:

    This is the off-season for the Cubs to take chances. Payroll adding short term payroll should be a minor part of the equation for the Cubs. With some of these other teams wanting to dump payroll I sure hope the Cubs trade for some of those players from the Reds, A's & &/or other teams.

    When a rebuilding/reloading large market Cubs are looking to make trades focus on bounce back players like Reds Suarez 3B. You acquire players when the value is lower, I would double down on that philosophy when rebuilding/reloading. Schwarber was a bounce back player last off-season. Sure they might not bounce back, but Cubs can add Suarez 3 year $35 million left on his contract. His AAV is even lower $9.4 million towards the luxury tax limit.

    I sure hope the Cubs get aggressive, creative, & I guess smarter this off-season. In my mind Cubs need to rebuild/reload this bad team, by adding seven or more real major league players this off-season.

    I can't believe Cubs couldn't put together an attractive package built around taking on Reds payroll.

    What would it take to trade for Suarez-3B, & S. Gray-RHSP?

    Could a package like Bote, A. Canario, A. Vizcaino, Alcantara,& C. Clarke plus $2 million interest the Reds at all?

    This is the season to take chances on a few players bouncing back. Get a few steady players like Miley, & S. Gray. A few bounce back players like Suarez. Trade Happ & Contreras, & maybe get lucky and sign a big name free agent who is the last one standing for a discount like Cubs did with Darvish, & Kimbrel.

  • In reply to tater:

    Rodon’s own team didn’t even give him qo. Should be alarms going off on this guy. He is left handed Kerry wood.

  • Wade Miley was a fortunate gift to start the off season. Jed was looking for at least one 5 or6 6 inning veteran pitcher to add. A lefty, who has been a pretty consistent innings eater, makes it one need down and one or two younger veteran starters to go.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    100% agree with you. It was very nice for Miley to fall into our lap for $10M for one year.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    After Miley now add Stroman, Cory Seager, Schwarber and Chapin and let's go!

    On a side note. Remember how Jiminez & Soler were expendable (offense first, right handed outfielders) now our closest rookie outfield prospects are also right handed but strong defensively. I could see Morel and Valazquez as part of trades in 22 for a pennant race (with a future outfield of Davis, Armstrong, Cassie and Canario) those two guys will need to be moved.

  • fb_avatar

    We are starting over this year with hardly any position players to work with and a bunch of retreads to try and build with. We have around 50M in salary to start, easy room to add 100-125 to that if we want.
    The problem starts with the starters, we have none as far as I'm concerned, we have nothing in the minors to add to our starting staff right now, I'm talking pitchers who are dominant in the minors and ready to help the club now, no rose colored glasses needed.
    We need to start with 4 more starters from this group of free agents
    and build up the rotation to where Hendricks is our 4 or 5. Adding Rodon is a risk I'll grant you, but other than Gausman who is going to get 25M per or Stroman(20M), who are you shooting for?
    We have to start somewhere and after those two, I suppose we could take a shot at Verlander for a couple years, we have to give up a draft pick for Thor, I'd rather give that up for a player like Correa who is just 26 years old and has a resume to go with him, even at 30M per we could probably get Verlander for 20M per, Rodon for 10-12 for 4 years, Gray for 10-12 for 4, Desclafani for
    10-12M and Marte for 10-12 for 4 as our lead off and cf'er, right around 100M.
    Still leaves us room to move Contrares and Happ if we want to,maybe pick up some pitching prospects to build with, we don't lose draft capital or picks and fill a lot of holes.

  • In reply to tater:

    I guess we will see what Hoyer and Hawkins have in mind.. I'm a little bottomed out on signing damaged goods. I think the Cubs have done that too much in recent years. Rodon has never pitched much and was unable to take the ball when needed down the stretch, but he does have stuff, so he might be worth the risk.. TJ has a good record after rehab, not so much with shoulders. The Cubs should pay Gausman and Stroman first.

  • In reply to tater:

    To be honest, it bugs me when I see the disrespect some people have for what Kyle Kendricks accomplishes for this franchise, year after year. IMO last year had to be pretty tough on him, seeing the turnover and the quality of play, falling apart. If Hendricks is a 4th starter, you’ll have the best staff in baseball.
    And Starling Marte isn’t coming to the Cubs for $10-12M/year. And trading Contreras creates quite a hole to fill. And another costly one. And these top pitching FA’s aren’t likely to prioritize the Cubs as their primary destination on their wish list.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Marte’s agent is seeking 4 years for 50 million genius. Tell us all in 9 months.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Hey Old7: Guess what! Marte just got $78M for 4 years. I guess I didn’t have to wait 9 months.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Running out of available starting pitchers to sign.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Seager is on his way to texas for 10 years. I would have loved the cubs to get him but not for 10 years. We may get shutout this year. Prices and length of contracts are a little nuts so far.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to cubbustible:

    Marte is looking for 4/50M, that is his ask, not necessarily what he gets. The Cubs in an article this morning came out saying they need to get more power arms in their starters this year, they have to get aggressive before the market gets wild, there are a lot of teams looking for what the Cubs want, I don't want to hear how we could of done something, but someone else beat us to it, we have as much money as anyone, probably more to rebound and get some help, let's be proactive.

  • In reply to tater:

    I think a rotation of stroman, miley, hendricks, alzolay & steele will be a good start. We also have Killian, Marquez, Jensen & Wicks if someone falters. But one more stud starter would make us very strong.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Michael, I have a question for you. Since Bote is out until May can he go on the 60 day DL or does he have to hold a roster spot until the start of spring training?

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I believe the 60 day IL disappears until spring training ends but I don’t know when it starts and don’t know if the new CBA will impact that.

  • I have noted in the past, that the next year Hendricks is not among the leaders at any level, that he has participated, will his first time. I can't say that anymore. He was hit hard. These days umpires are calling the high strike. Kyle's strength is his changeup at the bottom of the zone. It's what allows the rest of his arsenal to work. He no longer gets that call. I don't know where he goes from here. Kyle has always been a top quality teammate.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Lol, I hope to be reminding you about this matter in about 9 months from now. I guess we’ll find out.
    Kimbrel fell apart about a week from when the Cubs traded him. I think in Kyle’s case, it was more from the standpoint of losing focus on a poor team going through a rash of changes. Some people claim the crappy umpiring is part of the ‘human element’ of baseball. I don’t like to hear that either. The ‘human element’ to me, applies only to what the players go through- such as what we are discussing. And I feel it is very real.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I hope that you will be reminding me about this as well.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    So what you are saying is Kyle is not a pro? If you think Kyle lost focus , why would you want him on the team? Then again you are a fool. Please remind me too in about 9 months too. Whatever the heck that means.

  • Hey Cubbies, how about a sign and trade for Marcus Semien !
    Kevin Gausman would look great in Cubby Blue !

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ronvet69:

    They both have qualifying offers, draft pick compensation...

  • In reply to tater:

    Gausman does not have draft pick compensation attached to him.
    He would be a good target for the Cubs.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John57:

    He's also looking for 25-30M per year for 4-6 years, that's a big risk when he's only performed for one full year.

  • In reply to tater:

    Well every guy has his risks. You are advocating signing Rodon. IMO Rodon is much riskier with a bum shoulder.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I have not read any rumors about Marcus Semien but I have about Cory Seager. Signing Seager would surprise me but I would not be upset. Hawkins and Hoyer know what they are doing. I trust them.

  • In reply to John57:

    Well, trust is one thing, and I think Hoyer and Hawkins know as much as any what they are doing. Still, there are so many unknowns with players health, performance, and team chemistry. Getting everything synchronized that leads to a Champion requires more than just a well run org. It always requires always requires a flexible plan to adjust to the unexpected cogs along the way. The fun will be in the journey, win or lose.

  • In reply to John57:

    I have been reading the same rumors about seager and the cubs. Wow would that be fun. He would solidify the center of the diamond and the lineup. If the DH is coming I really love the move. I know the odds of seager signing are slim but I am all in.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    The hot rumors on Correa have him going to Detroit ! Wait and see !
    If the Cubs could bring back Soler as a DH , that would be great ! It looks like he has figured it out at the plate.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Toronto signing Semien and then trading him to the Cubs for a prospect would not cost the Cubs a draft pick. These deals are
    possible.
    If the Cubs could sign Gausman it would have to be an overpay because so many teams are in on him. Three years
    pitching great and then meh !

  • Semien and Soler are right handed hitters. The cubs FO have been saying they need left handed power bats (which they do). That's why I think seager and schwarber make more sense.

    Let's bring some talent in I am ready.

  • Semien and Soler are right handed hitters. The cubs FO have been saying they need left handed power bats (which they do). That's why I think seager and schwarber make more sense.

    Let's bring some talent in I am ready.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I don't think the Cubs can be too picky. They only need a SS, 3B, CF, RF, DH, 3 more starting pitchers, bullpen help, & backup catcher.

    I sure hope the Cubs don't play frugal ball this off-season. Cubs did the sell-off, because they didn't want the core on long-term contracts. I sure hope they spend up to the cap limit. It is time to start reloading with short term contracts up to the penalty limit.

    That is the path Cubs sold after the sell-off..... money available to spend intelligently. Why want to start spending, or make some trades?

  • Actually their first tier need is shortstop, power hitting corner outfielder, high end starting pitcher.. Second tier need is quality starter, top reliever, hit first utility infielder and a backup catcher.

    But the front office has said they need left handed power bats. So I am sure that is where they will target their efforts.

    But when your needs are that many you are right they may have to settle for what they can get.

  • Jed, seems to bringing up risk a lot, when he is speaking. Why is he talking about risk? Isn't the front office job suppose to be able to scout, find talent to build a winner?

    Avoid long-term high priced contracts, build an above average farm system, & try to spend money on players who perform more often than not. Easy to type, but hard to do. All this new coaching is great, but Cubs front office needs to get better at finding talent.

    Jed was GM when this front office talked about the risks involved with amateur prospects. The front office then focused on for years on college arms, without much upside. The philosophy was to keep pitchers healthy, and some would develop. The track record for lower risks talent on the amateur side did not pay off.

    I never understood the this front office on the amateur side they went with, & talked about going with lower risk players. On the major league side some of their big trades, & free agent signings they talked talked a lot about players upside! E. Jackson, J. Heyward, Chatwood, & J. Quintana.

    I never understood signing Heyward for $186 million, and then Theo was talking about how Cubs will tap into his power.

    I sure hope Cubs ownership is ready to spend up to the new luxury tax limit this off-season. 2021 season the luxury tax limit was $210 million, included player benefits, and everyone on the 40 man roster. My two cents even during a reload/rebuild Cubs need to spend.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    They will spend, just not to the level you are hoping for. They are thinking long term. You are thinking short term. They are planning to spend more in later years when there is greater chance of winning WS not in a year that they have too many holes to plug.

  • In reply to John57:

    Forbes estimates Cubs from 2008 to 2019 always ranked between 3rd to 6th in MLB revenue. According to Forbes only 6th once, so a top 5 MLB revenue club. Yet total payroll 2010 to 2019 was 10th in MLB. Cubs revenue in 2019 was estimated at $471 million.

    Cubs absolutely can spend up to the salary cap penalty limit in 2022, & it should have zero impact on future spending.

    What impacts future spending is being locked into long-term high priced contracts. Saving money this year doesn't create a higher cap, more revenue, or a future savings account of money to spend in the future. As long as Cubs stay under the cap they should have money to spend for next season without excuses about saving money to spend more later.

    The Cubs do not have a bunch of MLB ready prospects able to play well on the cheap in 2022. I sure hope the Cubs use their revenue advantage, & fill those spots with real major league players on short term contracts.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I don't have the payroll data you have. I am curious what was the Cubs average payroll the last 5 or 6 years? Those are the years that are most relevant. I would guess the Cubs were in the top 5. I would not call their spending the last 6 years being frugal.

  • In reply to John57:

    My opinion-Cubs hit a high payroll, & then Cub's owners did not want to commit to maintaining a high payroll.

    At the end of 2018 season, Cubs according to Cot's had the 5th highest payroll in MLB at $193 million, Cubs were under the luxury tax penalty in 2018.

    After the 2018 Cubs payroll was going up for 2019 with all the contracts on the books plus arbitration raises. What did the Cubs do? Rangers took Smyly's $7 million contract off of Cubs hands, so they could pick up Hamels $18 million dollar option, & sign Descalso 2 year $5 million. Cubs had lots of contracts expiring after the 2019, & 2020 seasons.

    March of 2019 Tom Ricketts was asked why Cubs didn't spend more that off-season--- Tom's response was something like that is easy to answer we don't have any more to spend.

    After the 2019 season Cubs were going to get under the luxury tax penalty cap for 2020.

    Cubs only paid the competitive luxury tax penalty in 2016, & 2019. After the 2019 season Tom Rickett's made a few comments about how Cubs didn't want to pay the luxury tax penalty.

    Cubs revenue puts them in the range of 3rd to 5th most out of all MLB teams. Cubs ownership's group actions seemed to get real frugal after the 2018 season.

    I'm not a fan of long-term high price contracts. Cubs are the one and only big market team in the mid-west. At least 85% of luxury tax penalty limit should be the starting payroll/player benefits budget for each and every off-season-- at least my two cents.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    You mentioned Cot so I looked it up. Cot's final year end payroll for the Cubs the last five years they have data are: 2020 (5), 2019 (3), 2018 (3), 2018 (6), 2017 (5). So I guess you should be happy their payroll rank was in a range between 3rd and 6th in baseball. They don't look to be cheap or frugal to me. Now I am sure their rank will drop in 2021 because they traded most of the team veterans but I am not upset with their spending. I think when it would be wise/prudent to spend big again, they will. I don't see any history of being cheap. I like their plan of "intelligent" spending.

  • In reply to John57:

    After the 2019 season Cubs had to pay the luxury tax penalty.

    Cubs had $64.3 million dollars worth of contracts expire after 2019 season. Cubs actions showed ownership had zero interest in being over the luxury tax penalty cap for a second year in 2020. Turned out to be lucky they didn't spend, but the 2019 off-season largest free agent signing was I believe Souza for $1 million.

    Cubs had $64 million come off the books after 2019 season, & knew they had another four players at $47 million coming off the books after the 2020. Cubs were third in revenue in 2019 at an estimated $471 million, & Cubs ownership decided not bring any kind of reinforcements/support to help improve their playoff chances during the 2019 off-season.

    I guess can we look at the same information/team, & have different conclusions. That's ok.

    I see zero long-term, or short term benefit if Jed's budget is set well below the current $210 first luxury tax penalty that might change with the new collective bargaining agreement. Especially if most of the money is on short term contracts.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    They need to spend wisely, not just spend. Risk is a big factor even if an org has money to spend. It's like playing poker. The key is patience and to know when to bet, raise, or fold. Spending foolishly hoping to hit on an inside straight can hamstring a franchise for years.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I agree, Cubs need to make good choices when it comes to spending money/acquiring players. That is Jed's job, make the correct choices with the budget given to him. Last time Cubs talked about mitigating risk with amateur pitching, it didn't work out too well.

    If Cubs avoid long-term high price contracts, especially winning bidding battles for players on long-term high priced contracts. That should reduce risk, & help future budgets.

    Cubs have plenty of holes to fill. Cubs could be active now up through the end of spring training trying to make 2022 team better before the season starts.

    My gut is telling me the Cubs are going to continue their frugal ways this off-season. Which would be disappointing to me, hope I'm wrong.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I’m in agreement with how John and slug are viewing this. As John said, they will spend - but not to the level you are wishing for. And as slug mentions, you have to be patient and pick your opportunities.
    You cannot spend up to the limit at this time. You can’t get all of what you need, even IF you were certain- what you need. Every year as the season goes on, certain teams see their chances fading away, and want to shed salary. To take advantage of those situations, you must have salary space.
    I find it a bit funny when last summer I wrote that Ricketts has to spend at least up to the $160M level in 2022 - - and some people were quite critical of that figure. They didn’t even want to go that high. Well now a few of those folks are ready to go all in.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I think they really only need to sign 4 players to be in the playoff hunt in 22
    SS OF Starting pitcher and reliever. I agree that the length and size of the contracts for 22' have to be cautionary. (I still want seager). The shorter deals can be flipped if necessary. So at this point I have no idea what they are gonna do.

    I do know it will be fun to watch the iowa outfield.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I hope you are right.

    I think trying to compete in 2022 will be tough. Cubs have the financial resources to improve the team. I think at a minimum Cubs need to replace Bryant 3b, Baez SS, one more corner power bat to replace either Rizzo/Schwarber, two bullpen arms to replace Chafin/Kimbrel/Tepera, & still need two more starting pitchers to replace Darvish, Quintana, Chatwood, Lester, & Hamels.

    Cubs hopefully can make some trades to fill some holes. Of course new players won't be equal to some of the old guard, but Cubs need to upgrade the current roster with some real MLB starting caliber talent.

    I hope it is fun off-season watching the Cubs/Jed making plenty deals.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I hope you are right.

    I think trying to compete in 2022 will be tough. Cubs have the financial resources to improve the team. I think at a minimum Cubs need to replace Bryant 3b, Baez SS, one more corner power bat to replace either Rizzo/Schwarber, two bullpen arms to replace Chafin/Kimbrel/Tepera, & still need two more starting pitchers to replace Darvish, Quintana, Chatwood, Lester, & Hamels.

    Cubs hopefully can make some trades to fill some holes. Of course new players won't be equal to some of the old guard, but Cubs need to upgrade the current roster with some real MLB starting caliber talent.

    I hope it is fun off-season watching the Cubs/Jed making plenty deals.

  • Cubs added Nelson Velazques and Ethan Roberts to the 40 man list.

  • This evening on the MLB network, is the AZ Fall League championship. Mesa Solar Sox are in it - Velazquez.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Caleb Kilian threw 6 perfect innings with 8 K’s in the AZFall Lge Championship game tonight.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    That was eencouraging. Kid is really put together. Tall, lean and strong with stuff.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Of course I like Nelson Velazquez doing great and winning the AFL MVP but Kilian performing the way he did in the championship game is even BETTER. I know people were saying Kilian is a soft tosser with very good control like Hendricks but I don't agree. Kilian sat 95-96 mph and hit 98 mph a number of times. I don't know but I'm not sure Hendricks ever has hit 98. Now Kilian is still developing so I want him to stay in the minors until they think he is ready. I think he said he is working on a change pitch next. Looks like he could be a TOR guy.

  • In reply to John57:

    I just read an article about Kilian in the final AFL game. He threw 5 different pitches. His fastball speed was above 96.0 mph on 9 pitches. He had to be doing something special to throw a perfect 6 inning, 68 pitches. 18 guys up, 18 guys down

  • In reply to John57:

    He has a four-seam fastball that he can throw between 94-98 and a two-seam cutter in the low 90s. Both of those pitchers he throws with extremely control. He is a strike throwing machine. He was good as a Giants prospect, but lacked off-speed pitches. The Cubs changed the grip (spike) on his curveball and change up (circle). He had a lot of success with the curveball last night, and the change up is still a work in process. I’m super excited he’s a Cub! In those high socks, he looks like Mark Prior.

  • In reply to cubs09:

    I am also super excited the Cubs got him in the KB trade. We have quite a few stud OF prospects and stud SS prospects. We need more SP elite prospects like him.

  • Matz to the Cardinals on a 4 year, $44M contract. I would have thought that amount to be definitely on the low side for a 30 year old, fairly reliable starting pitcher who is coming off a decent season.
    Hopefully this means our FO feels there’s better options that they feel confident about getting into a Cub uniform.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    It could be that Marts just preferred the Cards. They are in better spot to compete immediately for a veteran pitcher.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I wonder if the 4 yrs Matz got was more than most wanted to do. But it looks like the price tag for Stroman, Seager & Schwarber would be around $65 million a year. Definitely doable. Come on cubs let's get busy!

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Actually, if we sign those three, we could call it an off season, and still be somewhat optimistic about 2022.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    They won't go after Seager because they would lose their 2nd round pick next year. But the other two are possibilities.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yeah slug, Matz might have decided on the Cards because of their possibilities for winning sooner rather than later. True.
    Also, most likely the Cubs are in more desperate need for RH starters. Having Miley and Steele ready to compete, and a decent number of young LHers on the doorstep, getting closer to Chicago.

  • Tampa signs Kluber, when Tampa outspends the Cubs in an offseason we all know what kinda budget Hoyer is working with.

  • Tampa signs Kluber, when Tampa outspends the Cubs in an offseason we all know what kinda budget Hoyer is working with.

  • Tampa signs Kluber, when Tampa outspends the Cubs in an offseason we all know what kinda budget Hoyer is working with.

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    I was hoping what the Cubs did spend, would mostly go towards pitchers. Primarily a couple RH starters. One of higher quality and another one that could be a #3 type.
    I guess we’ll see what they have up their sleeves. But I don’t see how they could not have wanted to outbid teams, for Jon Gray or to take a flyer on one year of Kluber (who signed for only $8M).
    I’ll give Jed the benefit of the doubt. But Gray and one year of Kluber would have been a nice start to the offseason. Maybe they have higher expectations for Kilian than earlier thought.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Agree they still need a starting pitcher but they also need a shortstop for 2 or 3 years. Maybe Story is the guy the Cubs will sign? After that they need a left handed power bat and a reliever.

    So far crickets......

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I think that Hoyer/Hawkins are playing it smart. This first round of free agent are getting top dollar and more. The Cubs can do just as good or better being patient. There are numerous pitchers and position players who can be obtained out there. Trading for young pitcher(s) from the A's or Marlins. Davis and Valasques are close for the corner outfield, and only a phone call away come season. Kilian as well. The available players going forward will be cheaper,younger and just as productive.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Totally agree ! A couple of owners never learn their lesson.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Agree with the need for one more SP and a SS. But I’d say also, at least 2 quality relief pitchers. And yes, a quality LH hitter.
    I’m not optimistic all will be accomplished.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I think Killian is up by mid season but they still should have offered Gray 4 years and 60 million. I thought they really were going to try and compete this year but unless they sign a Stroman, or some similar type move, they won’t draw flies. The fan base is to used to winning.

  • Baseball America released its Top Ten Cubs prospects list/review today. It's password protect. Does anyone have any details they can share?

  • In reply to cubs09:

    Its very similar to MLB, except Cubs catching prospect Miguel Amaya needs Tommy John surgery and is not in the top 10.

  • In reply to cubs09:

    Cubs prospects/player development system is underwhelming. BA ranked Cub's group of prospects between 20th to 25th in MLB. Some of the players I read might have a chance BA is already considering them close to be non-prospects like I. Mena.

    I'm still ok with trading for teenagers since teams rarely trade top 100 prospects, or really prospects ranked in the top 7 of most team systems.

    Jed, was right this rebuild will not look like the first rebuild, because teams hold onto young talent like never before.

  • We’ll there goes Contreras. With Gomes signed the only question is where and what’s the return. I’m thinking Yankees.

  • In reply to PhillyCubFan:

    Yes this definitely seems to make it extremely likely Willson will be traded. Ricketts isn’t going to pay $6.5M a year for a backup catcher. Especially with Catcher not being a position of need.
    Along with losing Contreras though, what this also means, is that the Cubs are tanking in 2022 also. Ricketts plan is to be just, ‘competitive enough’ to draw people to Rickettsville.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Definitely agree. I hope they realize they’ll need a reallly good back up catcher. Go mess is only good for about a100 games. He’s not going to catch a 130 like Contreras. I’ll really miss the energy he played with.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    We shall see. This was always going to be a long shot, anyway. The org is picking up the pieces of a strategy that didn't produce a second world championship or predict the Times. I will be singing the anthem at the top of my voice and cheering for whomever wears Cubbie blue.

  • In reply to PhillyCubFan:

    That's a good possibility . The Yankees are not enamored with Gary Sanchez.
    Rumor mill says the Cubbies want a starting pitcher in return.

  • I guess 2022 is a write off. (Sigh)

    If they were going to compete, they would need Willson.

    Hoyer must be livid. I don't think this was what he had in mind when he took over.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    I'm ok trading Contreras for a comparable return of a pitcher(s). I like Willson' s energy and bat, but give me a couple receivers that young pitches love to work with, and I will live with whatever comes with their bats. Let another franchisee overpay. I'm not giving up on 2022, but there is more than one way to skin a cat, 'so to speak'. I like cats, we have three in our family.

  • Well,
    Most of the big boys are off the board, but beware of those long term contracts, they rarely work out. Javy rejected 180M from the Cubs only to take a 40 M cut signing with the Tigers. Scott Boras has got to be the smartest agent out there getting maximum value for his clients, 325 Mil for a S.S. to Texas.
    Marcus Stroman is still out there, hey Jed is there interest in Stroman? Jed, what's your plan ?

  • Is Danny Duffy still hurt ? The Cubs have tried to acquire him before. AT 34 years old he might be good for one year if he is healthy.

  • I was just reading a report that the Cubs have reportedly agreed to a 1-year contract with Clint Frazier, and have agreed to a 2-3 year contract with Yan Gomes.

    Frazier might be interesting, if he can actually stay healthy and on the field. He's not the lefty bat COF we were looking for, but he's got a bit of pop. Gomes is a decent backup to Wilson, assuming that they don't move Wilson and then depend on Gomes.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I can’t see the Cubs paying $6mill for a back up catcher. I think Contreras goes for pitching prospects. The Yankees wouldn’t part with Gil but maybe Wesneski a RHP who hit 99mph and is their 6th rated prospect, or Medina another RHP who hit 103.

  • In reply to PhillyCubFan:

    Contreras front runners would be Yankees, or Mariners?

    Yankees trade would be a pitcher like Wesneski, another young SS like Vargas, & maybe a third player because catcher is a premium position.

    Off-season so far is disappointing for the large market Cubs who said they would be very active, have money, & be very intelligent. I'm not a fan of long term high prices contracts. What are you going to do about the rotation Matz, or Gray might have brought some stability to one rotation spot.

    The 40 man roster, just looks awful. I have zero interest in paying top prices to see a lineup that includes newly Acquired OF Frazier/Rameriz in the lineup. Don't the Cubs have enough late 20's/30 year olds already trying to establish themselves as MLB players?

    Cubs already have 5 players on the 40 man who should not contribute to the MLB team in 2022.

    At least try to get 3 or 5 hitters like Pederson, Soler, &/or Seager 3b types by free agency or trades, before the season starts. Im not smart enough to understand how the Cubs current 40 man roster isn't the absolute worst in mlb at the start of the lockout.

    I sure hope the Cubs sign

  • In reply to Naujack:

    The Cubs passed on the first wave of free agents. It doesn't mean that they won't be signing a few of the next bunch. There are lots of holes to fill. Too many, to overpay for the top guys. Like Martz, those players will prefer to sign with teams closer to a ring than a team that just backed up the truck. It's a process, and one that will be interesting to follow. Patience is more likely to bring results sooner than doing things in a rush or wishful thinking. Contreras probably also prefers free agency, just like the other core players.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I hear what you’re saying slug, but I believe that you are not being very objective about the pace and timing of this rebuild. Agreed, there are a number of holes to fill, so many that if they really were trying to rebuild fairly quickly, they are going about it in a strange way.
    I also am not crazy about overpaying for top guys. But Rome wasn’t built in one offseason.
    A glowing example of this is Jon Gray. You’ll never convince me or others, I believe, that the Cubs couldn’t have and shouldn’t have out bid for his services. He signed only for 4 years at $14M/yr. - - and he signed with the Rangers. Give me a break. Offering him $15 or even $16M a year should easily got the job done.
    That is the price of poker. It’s time to start putting the band back together. That would have been a nice start.
    Ricketts priority is no longer winning !!

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    We have hashed this over before, but color me skeptical, that Ricketts doesn't have winning as a priority. It's good business.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I am with you. Ricketts want to win but they don't want to spend stupid money. You just have to be patient. Whenever they start playing games again, I think the Cub will have a team that is not tanking in last place.

  • In reply to PhillyCubFan:

    I hope you are wrong about Contreras being traded, but I suspect you are not wrong. Either this winter, or before the trade deadline next season, I suspect he's gone unless they can get a club-friendly contract signed before spring training.

    It just kinda sucks seeing the whole 2016 core being moved within a year and a half between trades and no signs like with Schwarber.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I think the Cubs would have signed Contreras a long time ago if they were interested in keeping him.
    Trevor Magill has been picked up by an American League club and thats a good thing he isn't a Cub anymore .

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    rumor has it that Cubs and Stroman are talking about a deal right now. It has my attention. Hopefully it gets done by tonight.

  • Its offical , Stroman is a Cubbie ! Finally !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Well the Cubs picked up two SP, Stroman and Miley, so far this off season. I like it. Go Cubs.

  • In reply to John57:

    Now, that's what I'm taking about!!

  • In reply to 44slug:

    You bet ! Is there room for Rodon ?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    With the right deal. Wouldn't that be something?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    It would have to be very heavy with incentives and low guaranteed money. But I guess it is possible? I don't see this happening though.

  • In reply to John57:

    Agred, but with Miley and Stroman 'in house' it makes Rodon less of a risk.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    If Hawkins and Hoyer think it is a good idea to sign Rodon, then I am fine with it. They have all his pitch/health data which I don't have. I would not mind seeing Steele in the rotation. He is a lefty with very good velocity to balance out the rotation.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    All right, I’m impressed with how this worked out. Especially to get him on a ‘shorter term deal’. Tip of my hat to Jed and Hawkins.
    Now let’s go get a few quality arms for the bullpen and that LH power bat. I’m not a fan of Kyle Seager, but maybe on a one year contract, it might help fill a couple needs.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I'm impressed as well. I don't think that Hoyer and Hawkins are done. We defiantly need left side power and a couple veteran relievers. Correa got a little above his raising with that 'it's my time' thing, and pretty much disappeared afterwards. . Maybe that will work in the Cubs favor. I think Hawkins was a great hire.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Cubs added some real MLB players, amazing how that makes the team look better!

    Stroman $25 million, Miley $10 million, Gomez $6.5 million, & Frazier $1.5 million. $43 million spent so far, solid start. Cubs could easily add another 5 more real MLB players before 2022 season starts.

    My two cents, one of the big benefits of short term contracts for a major market team with huge revenues, gives them flexibility each and every off-season. The way to maximize that flexibility is to get close to the penalty limit even during a reload/rebuild....

    I'm still fine with the Cubs trading Contreras, &/or Happ.

    Good job so far, I still hope Cubs add at least one more starting pitcher. Wish list SP, SS, 3B, Bullpen, & another corner power bat.

    I want the Cubs to spend, but I'm not interested in Correa at the estimated contract years & dollars. I'd prefer A. Simmons SS on a one year deal.

    Go Cubs....

  • In reply to John57:

    With the signing of Stroman, I have to believe they will sign story or correa. Story would probably be closer to the 3 years they would be looking for.

    Even though they have signed all these average outfielders (hermosillo, Frazier ramirez) I have to believe they are going to go after a left handed power bat.

    They have one spot on the 4 man but still need 3 players. Hopefully this lockout will be short!

  • Check out MLB'S websight. they have posted highlights of Marcus Stroman pitching. Its impressive !

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    How about a 1yr contract for Rodon--he can bet on himself just like Stroman did.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    What’s AAV for the one yr deal?

  • Two great articles in the Athletic today about Stroman . I think the rumors about signing SS Corea are all smoke and mirrors, connecting the Cubs to a potential 300 M contract and losing a high 2nd round draft pick makes no sense. Now that rumor about a DH going to the National league, Schwarber or Soler makes sense but Schwarber's stock has risen quite a bit and I hope he doesn't wind up in the National league central. I'm sure the Cubs are exploring the trade market for a player who can help the club.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I agree Correa (length of contract) is unlikely. I do however think Story and Schwarber are real possibilities.

  • Rob, the town clown Manfred has announced the MLB phase of the rule 5 draft has been cancelled. Rob, and the owners keep trying to screw MLB into the ground. Maybe, this time , they will get their wish!

  • Pretty happy with this signing I've been keeping an eye on Stromans market he's just a guy I've liked from afar over the years. He brings a certain confidence, swagger, competitiveness, and love for the game that you can't teach. I was always impressed with how he came back early in September just before the playoffs from that torn ACL with Toronto becoming a key figure in their ALCS run. Unlike say Gausman that just broke out Stromans been a pretty consistent performer, and innings eater throughout his career.

    My feelings are his game isn't reliant on Ks or overpowering hitters. He has good stuff but he's a pitcher that knows how to get you out. He moves the ball around the zone. That's why I feel he has a chance to age fairly well. That being said I do prefer to mitigate long term risk, which is why I'm glad it's a 2-3 year deal for a pitcher on the smaller side (albeit one that has been durable). If it works out we can extend him when he's 33-34, and his market will likely be less lucrative than it is now due to age. If the team doesn't live up to expectations I can see Stroman being a nice trade chip (although Ricketts may have to pay some salary for a better return).

    I do wonder what exactly the Cubs plan is? Stroman by himself isn't getting this team into contention, unless they add some other major pieces. We're not gonna win relying on Wisdom or Schwindel to carry the offense in the middle of the order, and they still have needs everywhere. But personally I like adding nice assets that I believe are going to return the value of their contracts 1st and foremost. I think Stroman will be a nice player for this organization, and a fan favorite.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    They need 2 more middle of the order type bats to be competitive next year.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I love how he sat out the 2020 season. This guy is an anchor. Terrible signing due to the fact this organization can not develop one single pitcher.

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    To your 1st point on Stroman opting out who cares? Why should a baseball related decision be affected by your personal bias against those that just want to ensure the safety of themselves and their families? It's his body his choice. Your 2nd point on the Cubs failures to develop starters is exactly why they needed to add a playoff tested starting pitcher from free agency. With the crazy long term deals handed out already to guys like Matz, Gray, Gausman, Robbie Ray, etc. a 3 year deal is less likely to be a long term albatross. And frankly Stroman has a more accomplished long term track record than most of the pitchers that I just listed. Many of the pitchers on that list either don't have a long term track record of all star caliber production, or only just broke out recently. I prefer consistency in guys we invest in.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    They did what I wanted them to do... get some starting pitching.
    Keep it up.

    I'm not in a big hurry to sign a bunch of bats.
    I'd like to see if these 30 year old rookies are real or flukes first.
    Fill holes, but let's ride this dirt cheap "new core" for now.

    I've never seen so much production all at once from guys that just never got a chance.
    None of them will ever be FAs, either.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    If you add Story and Schwarber to this lineup it has a chance to be really good:
    1 2b Madrigal
    2 RF Hoerner
    3 DH Schwarber
    4 SS Story
    5 C Contreras
    6 LF Happ
    7 1B Schwindel
    8 CF Ortega
    9 3B Wisdom
    That is a solid 1-9

    The 3 worst case scenarios:
    1 Schwindel fails we have Rivas & Young.
    2 Ortega fails we have Hermosillo & Davis.
    3 Wisdom fails then that could be an issue. But Hoerner could play 3rd and Valazquez could play RF.

    So we do have options if those 3 fail.

    But if we dont add players like Story & Schwarber then the lineup isnt near as deep.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Agreed BC. They need more thump in the middle of that order, and I'd also like to add a SS. Nico just hasn't been able to stay healthy. His best position defensively is also 2B, which is likely occupied by Madrigal. I like Nico more as a super utility guy that can play various positions, and still see him getting plenty of ABs. My hope is that Brennen Davis can come up, and immediately give them another power bat. I also feel they need at least one starting pitcher, and more high leverage relievers out of the pen. I can see them making some shrewd smaller market type of additions when it comes to their pen if their payroll flexibility starts to dwindle. The Cubs seem to do a decent job in their pitch lab with relievers in particular. Maybe a Brailyn Marquez can help the pen in the 2nd half of the season after he's built up some innings in the minors. They have a lot of needs that will be hard to address in one off-season.

    PS I'd be good with your idea of adding Story, and a DH type. I don't think it's a good idea to go into the season with Nico as the only SS option. I like the model they've used in the past of having 3 capable middle IF starters when they had Zobtist, Addison Russell, and Javy.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I could see Hoerner being groomed for a Ben Zobrist type role on the team. He could better than adequately play just about every defensive position other than Catcher or maybe 1B. Maybe just plan on moving him around on the field to give some of the other guys breaks and see if he can fill that role and start 100-120 games overall? Worst case scenario he is our regular SS in 2022 if he can stay healthy. That's not terrible either.

    I don't think they need absolutely need a FA SS (although neither Story or Correa would hurt my feelings if signed), but I do agree that they need a power-bat lefty like Schwarber.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Story signing loses a high 2nd round pick so I don't see Cubs wanting him. And I don't think Schwarber wants the Cubs plus a lot of other teams want him. Cubs will not overpay and getting Kyle will require an overpay. I am curious what Hoyer and Haskins have up their sleeves going forward. I don't think we will find out any time soon. Both sides are digging their heels in. This is going to be a long one.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    That lineup, could maybe be productive?

    I think front offices will be talking trades during the lock out.

    Everything Cubs have done the past few seasons, has shown us they want to avoid high dollar, long-term contracts. Plus would the Cubs really give up a draft pick, & International free agent money to sign either Story or Correa to contracts that are 6 to 10 years in length?

    Wisdom, & Ortega are bench players, they should be plan B or C at the start of the season, & not in the starting lineup.

    I think Cubs are likely to trade a few players like Contreras, Happ, &/or Hoerner. MLB might have a flurry of trades depending on the new collective bargaining.

  • Sorry Rob Manfred, after reading some of the player proposals , the players need a good kick in the pants . Pure greed !

  • It was nice to read the Cubs were in on Matz but wouldn't give in on a 4th year.
    Trading for a short gap shortstop is probably what the Cubs are into. The Cubs have two pitchers in their top 10 that are ready for the bigs and may be done in that area. Finding relief pitching is another story.

  • There was an interesting blip on Hermosillo' s short non tender journey from the Cubs 40man roster reported on BN. It's impossible to not pull those 'never give up on the dream' types. I wish him the best and hope that he earns a role in Wrigley.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I thought Hermosillo was fantastic against LH pitchers. He was not good against RHs. And at AAA he had great numbers overall. I would not mind at all the Cubs using him in a platoon situation. It may be interesting how he does if the Cubs give him some serious ABs. He just might be another Wisdom/Schwindel/Ortega. I love stories about a long time average prospect having a break out, especially if they break out while on the Cubs.

  • In reply to John57:

    Me too. Hermosillo seemed a little anxious at the plate against L and RHers. Mostly, he tried to play through an injury before going to il and didn't get many plate appearances. Kind of missed some of a good opportunity to showcase.

  • Quick question. Does Stroman have a draft pick compensation tied to him?

  • In reply to HefCA:

    He doesn't and that was another reason to me that he was preferable to say Jon Gray. Cubs also pursued Matz, who also coincidentally wasn't tied to draft pick compensation. It's especially important in a year like this where the Cubs have a higher draft pick.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Gray did not have draft pick compensation. Seems that you are implying he did. The Cubs preferred Stroman to Gray because Stroman is the better pitcher.

  • In reply to John57:

    I agree Stroman is the better pitcher between the two of them. I wish they’d have gone the extra mile for Gray, though. Gray would have filled the RH starter need for a few more years. It would have allowed Alzolay, Steele and Kilian and maybe Thompson time to show when they are truly ready to stick in Chicago - either working it out, in Iowa or the Wrigley bullpen.
    After all, Miley could always be flipped - and even if not, Miley is only likely to be here for one year. Of course a one year contract for someone like Rodon, would work for me also.

  • Here is my offer to Carlos, 3yrs 110m . Negotiate a couple mutual options at the end, or 4yrs 140m one option year. It would, I believe, make him the highest annual out there and give him time for another. No 10y contracts. Too much risk for our future ability to put together a well rounded team.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Hoyer/Haskins may be thinking the same thing you are. But Scherzer 3 year 130M contract is a little higher AAV.

  • In reply to John57:

    Right, I overlooked Scherzer. Anyway, 10 years is beyond risky, even for high end orgs, in my opinion. I am unable to write it off as the cost of baseball. I'll take my chances with Nico before giving out contracts for more than half a decade. Who knows what could happen with those players.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yeah, it would be absurd for the Cubs to seriously consider giving a 10 year commitment to Correa. I think they learned that lesson from the JHey deal. I’d rather see a one or two year deal with Simmons.
    My guess is that Correa is just using the Cubs, to posture for a bigger payday from NYY.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    You could be right that he’s just using the Cubs to get a bigger deal. But, the Cubs could use an elite caliber SS, especially with their grounder heavy starting pitchers.

    I don’t think it’s absurd to sign an elite SS with his bat to a multi year/mega bucks contract. Especially since it would take him thru only his age 36 season. And probably there would be opt outs on both sides. They can’t count on Hernández, Howard, Made & Preciado. We saw what happened to Aramis Ademan.

  • Stroman was a great signing. I believe the best value out there, but he was never been an ace, and we probably shouldn't expect him to be here. Mets fans thought that he talked too much, but I like him.

  • Does 44slug or one of the main commenters here want to volunteer to create content here? I’m talking just super basic updates on offseason transactions. The main contributors to the site seem to have very specific niches, which is great, but the regular day-to-day is missing. And it’s not that any of us can’t get this information at a number of other sites. It is so we all have a place to discuss it. One of the main strengths of this site has always been having a comments section worth reading. It fostered an amazing community during the last core’s rise through the minors all the way to the title. It was a very unique corner of the internet and I’d love to see it encouraged more.

  • In reply to good4you:

    I'm not sure that I'm the one to do something like that and certainly not right now. My wife and are in the middle of a move. I sold the six acres that I was living on and we are scaling back on the size of house and land as age and health dictate. Not to mention that I'm technologically challenged and so is my devise. What your asking would be great; however, it would be difficult and time consuming. What we do have, by the seat of our pants, Is pretty fun and worthwhile. I would miss it. So Cub fans should join the fun. All, old and new commentators are welcome. Mostly, denizens just keep things respectful and friendly.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Or could they just open threads. So that people could do chat.. I would read what you guys thoughts are. Could this be suggested to whom ever runs the site?

    Bleacher nation is no longer a cubs site. That is where I use to get my cub news from. Since I am not a bear or bulls fan.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Or could they just open threads. So that people could do chat.. I would read what you guys thoughts are. Could this be suggested to whom ever runs the site?

    Bleacher nation is no longer a cubs site. That is where I use to get my cub news from. Since I am not a bear or bulls fan.

  • In reply to good4you:

    I second that notion. The commenters are why I continue to hang on to this sight.

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    I think I'd like them to sign Correa. It's a ton of money, but with no QO involved--he's the best SS out there and is still young (just turned 27) and is on a HOF track. A GG, .366 OBP and will be here when our young talent gets to the bigs. He is worth the money, and right now the Cubs can afford him.
    Trade Happ--he's on a high right now and I just know that he will come down to earth but trade him before he does.
    Sign Rodon--1 hr $8M to see if he's healthy and we are contending for a playoff spot.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Interesting! After all my comments about long term risky contracts, I would be thrilled to have Carlos. Still, I'd be looking at something like five guaranteed years at a slightly higher annual average with mutual options. Perhaps after a long lockout there will be bargains. Cubs will need a left-hand power before they can even think about trading Happ.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I want nothing to do with Correa, & a long-term super high priced contract. The media reported Astros offer to Correa is 5 years $165 million $33 AAV. I have read multiple articles that were not flattering about Correa personality, I'm sure he is harmless. One article called him class A weirdo.

    I see a very good player with some potential flaws, that I found easily, & read for crying out loud. The media is reporting Correa wants one of the largest contracts in MLB history. Is he even worth it? He has been hurt a few times, cheating scandal, personality that might be a little off. I don't think he will get it from the Cubs, but the reported ask is what 10 years $350 million???

    Istill hope the Cubs keep spending on the pitching staff rotation, & bullpen. For position players maybe try to fill a few spots with reasonable shorter term contracts.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I dont love a 10 year commitment but if he continues and stays healthy 30mil year 10 years from now will be cheap.

    If you want to win now you sign him, if you want to wait a couple of years until these shortstops are potentially ready then you try Story for 3-4 years. But Story is not the player Correa is. Either way I think you need 1 of those 2.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Turning this current Cubs team into a solid/good team will be tough. They are trying to get better, but I still expect a mid-season sell-off in 2022.

    My two cents Cubs have question marks at every single position player going into 2022 right now. I have very little confidence in any, & all position players except catcher. Catcher is a strength for 2022, but we all know Contreras is in his last year of control. Cubs still have a lot of money to spend, & this year prove offense can be found. I'm still more concerned about the starting rotation/pitching.

    I will never be a fan of long-term, high priced contracts for free agent position players/hitters. Many teams have proven you can fill position players year to year, Cubs don't need to go to that extreme. Cubs can be a powerhouse without ever signing free agents position players like Harper, Correa, Rendon, &/or other big names bats to contracts longer than 5 years...

    Correa, or Story would make SS a strength for the Cubs in 2022. Getting those guys will cost the Cubs big buck, for a lot of years , plus a second round pick, & some international free agent money.

    I'd rather see the Cubs keep the 2nd round pick, & IFA $..
    Go sign a bat like Schwarber for 3 to 5 years for less money and years. I like it when a bad team takes a chance on bounce back players like Didi Gregorius SS- he was beyond awful this season with the Phillies. He has 1 year left at $14.5 million. I think the Cubs could send A. Mills to Phillies for Gregorius, a prospect, and maybe get the Phillies to kick a million or three. I'm sure Cubs front office has all sorts of really good ideas, that are better than handing out a 10 year $335 million dollar contract to Correa.

    I still expect the Cubs to increase payroll significantly in 2022.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I like the Gregorius idea - at least the idea of it. His defense has been slipping for the last few years as SS, and yes - obviously he was just plain bad in Philly last season overall. But with Hoerner around to cover SS - maybe that idea would work.

    Schwarber is a good fit in many ways, and he's not going to be ungodly expensive.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I definitely want Schwarber back if the nl has the dh.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I didn't like the pointing to his watch thing by Carlos I guess some fans like that kind of stuff. I'm not one of them. Generally, the baseball gods do not either. Weird, I can deal with, if its the harmless kind. I do find it kind of exciting that the Cubs are in on him. I had written Carlos off as too expensive. I could live with a bit of overpay on dollars, but not with years.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I know this means very little, but in fantasy baseball Correa is definitely NOT in the elite class of SS’s. I realize that doesn’t take into account all of defensive metrics. But count me in the camp that feels Correa had a nice playoff run, with some key hits. He is a good player, not anywhere near, a great one - who wants the contract he is pursuing.
    I’d stay away and spend the resources elsewhere.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Correa gives you consistant .275/.350 and 20HR. With 10/20 walk/k rates. Plus elite defense. I will take that. That combination of defense, power, obp and consistency, in my opinion, is better than every other shortstop this year in FA. Only Seager had better overall numbers.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Sorry but I have to disagree. First of all, $30M/yr will likely still not be ‘cheap’ 10 years from now. And it just might be enough to ruin your chances for other needs, in the meantime. And just because his stats are better than many other FA SS this year, doesn’t make him automatically worth $30M a year.
    He’s not even in the top 5 SS in all of baseball. And arguably, maybe not even in the top 10. Seriously, how much difference is there between Correa stats and those of Tim Anderson or Jorge Polanco.
    Personally unless we are talking Juan Soto or Wander Franco - I wouldn’t give 10 years to anyone.

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    I still like him, but what about Rodon? He still has something to prove and for 75% of the season he was a superb pitcher.
    I agree that we need someone (or 2) to add to the content here. I am not criticizing those who do but they have lives outside of Cubs Den and I want to read more here--I really like the back and forth that comes from each contributor and as long as we keep it civil like John wanted we can be the best Cubs site here.

  • This evening I finding myself wondering about the Contreras extend or trade issue. I think that if the Cubs were close on what Willson considers his worth, he would be extended, and Gomes would be a free agent still. Contreras is likely thinking similar to Javy, Kris and Tony. Time to move on and test their market. I'm leaning toward the likely possibility, that Willson Contreras will not be in Wrigley in 2022.

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