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Thread: 2020 Chicago Cubs Thread 60 Games Here We Go

  1. #5421

  2. #5422
    There is nothing impressive about the trade. Cubs gave up more than they got in return. If one or more of the Padre prospects become good major league ball players it evens out. The only immediate positive spin is that the club has reduced the payroll by $30 million since the end of the season. If they unload Bryant that figure is $50 million. How they spend that money will determine how competitive the Cubs will be.

  3. #5423
    Dickie Hemric
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    Only somewhat positive Cubs news so far - they got Jon Sciambi to replace Len in the booth. Will miss Len, but Boog is pretty good.

  4. #5424
    Dickie Hemric
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    The NL Central is garbage, so the Cubs might still have a fighting chance at winning it. Besides that, this feels like a full on rebuild - not sure why they would not just do it. The starting staff right now is Hendricks, Davies, Alzolay, Mills and ?. Mills and Alzolay combined have less than 200 MLB innings, so Cubs likely still need 2 more SPs, unless they are banking on Shelby Miller, which, lets hope not or Tyson Miller, which, would love for him to work out but he's pitched in 5 MLB innings so far.

    Lester, Q and Chatwood all signed within 24 hours of each other, so no reunions there. 2021 payroll appears to be around $126 million right now and they only have 3 locked in commitments for 2022 in Hendricks ($14 mil), JHey ($24 mil) and Bote ($2.5 mil). There is a ton of room to resign Contreras, Baez and Rizzo, if they want - to bridge the gap until the next wave of whatever comes in 4 years with all these sub-20 year olds they traded for. As a big market team in a down division, I would think they would spend on some short term investments, they are sitting outside the top 10 in payroll right now in the 2nd or 3rd biggest US market. Maybe that is their plan, wait to see where everything falls, and try to grab some guys on higher AAV for a 1 year deal - Turner, Semien, Didi could all fill some holes in the infield, Profar, Peterson, Puig or JBJ in the outfield. Really, if they just keep everyone, grab an upgraded OF & MIF and a #3 pitcher - they have a shot at .500 ball, which might win the league.

    Right now they only have 12 non-pitchers signed, and 5 of them are questionable to make the team or at least the majors - Contreras, Riz, Baez, Bryant, Happ, Jhey and Bote locked in, assuming no trades. Duffy has an MLB deal at $1 million, but we'll see where that goes. Vargas, Shrock, Ervin and Nico are all pre-arb with options. Still need a backup catcher, there isnt anything decent close - they signed a guy from the Nats AAA team, but lets hope thats not the solution. Need an everyday 2B assuming you let Nico start out in the minors. Need an everyday 3B OR LF OR CF - with Bryant being able to play all, could easily sign a 3B, move KB to LF. Need at least 1 more backup OF. Need 1 middle of the rotation SP and 1 swing/#5 SP. Need 2 RPs - even assuming Holder and Morgan pan out, not sure we can count on Underwood, Wieck or Ryan to make it. A lot left to fill out to be "competitive" - hoping Jed has a plan. If he is trading Bryant or Willy or Kimbrel or anyone else, likely needs at least a few warm MLB bodies to replace them - and losing any 1 of those 3 doesnt necessarily hurt their division chances this year (Willy probably the biggest loss). Losing all 3 probably does, though.

  5. #5425
    Dickie Hemric
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    The other issue with lineup, is the Cubs likely top 3 pitchers for this year average fastball velocity is:

    Hendricks - 87.4 (390 out of 418)
    Davies - 88.4 (390 out of 418)
    Mills - 89.8 (362 out of 418)

    I know its possible to win with good stuff and not velocity, but would be nice to have some (Alzolay is 94.5). Of the 399 pitchers that threw at least 250 4-seamers last year, Mills velocity ranked 362 and Hendricks 390. Davies throws a sinker, his velo was 261 out of 280 qualified pitchers.

  6. #5426
    It does feel like a rebuild. It appears the front office is waiting until the probability of full, normal major league season is determined. Given the covid numbers, this season could be shortened and without fans in attendance. With the large quantity of free agents available, signing one year deals for reduced money late in spring training is a distinct possibility.

    Worst case, Nico plays 2B, Bote plays 3B and Bryant plays LF. Could also see Nico in OF, Bote at 2B and Bryant at third. Sign free agents to fill in the bench. Get lucky and sign a couple starters for low money. If the big boys start hot their trade value will increase.

    Who knows? My guess is that covid (and money) is the primary concern. Keep costs low to minimize loss.

  7. #5427
    Dickie Hemric
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    COVID is definitely the problem, but its an excuse for a team that likely was still making money off its new tv station - I would hope.

    I'm not sure Bote as a starter is a good thing, but might end up being the case. Cubs signed Austin Romine as the backup catcher for 1/$1.5 - and he wouldnt be the absolute worst starter if willy is moved. The catcher market is interesting and I dont think anything happens with contreras until the Realmuto signing happens - I havent been following along, but looks like its between the Phils and Braves. Whoever loses may kick the tires - the Braves have some things the Cubs want, the Phils system is kinda weak, but they have a few young MLB players - would assume Bohm is untouchable.

  8. #5428
    Dickie Hemric
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    Cubs are signing Joc Pederson in a move that makes almost no sense unless it is for super cheap.

  9. #5429
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    Rosenthal over at The Athletic reported late last night that the Cards are deep in talks with the Rockies about Nolan Arenado. Cards also re-signed Wainwright to a one-year contract, so they might finally be making their moves.

  10. #5430
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    Joc is 1/$7 - a couple mil less than Schwarbs. He is better defensively, and doesn't strike out as much - but Joc is a non-starter against lefties. Is Joc an upgrade? Maybe his positional flexibility outweighed him being a strict platoon player. Dunno, either way it fills the OF gap. Now, after signing Kohl Stewart, we still need at least 1 more starter and an 2B, likely.

    Saw there is interest in bringing back Jake - would be great from a feels angle, but not sure he has much left, and it seems like that's what the Cubs thought about Lester.

  11. #5431
    Dickie Hemric
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    Cubs beat reporters are saying Jed/front office convinced Ricketts that the NL Central is winnable, so they are opening up the payroll a bit - which is where this signing came from. If they still have more, the ideal last 2 spots on the roster, from my point of view, would be Kolten Wong to play 2B and James Paxton. My guess is that would be at least $20 million total for both, which may be too high. If they can only afford one more higher end short term contract, Wong would really help to anchor the defense and provide a contact bat in the lineup - the last SP spot could easily be another reclamation, though, Rodon, Teheran, Walker or reunion with Jake, Archer or Shark at a much smaller guarantee.

    If they dont have anymore money, would still expect to see a MIF and SP for the last two spots on the 40 man - Kip is still out there, or Schoop maybe too, but he also might be too much.

  12. #5432
    What is the payroll expected to top out at?

  13. #5433
    Pederson deal is a surprise. A better defender than Schwarber but a similar bat.

    The idea of competing for the NL Central suggests that the market for the big boys is missing at present. Roll the dice for 2021. If any of (or all) of the impending free agents start hot and draw interest then reconsider. Strange off season.

    If healthy, Alzolay needs a full shot as a starter. He has the stuff so go all in with him.

  14. #5434
    Dickie Hemric
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    Low cost started the Cubs sign is Trevor Williams from the Pirates on a major league deal. Its whatever.

    The Cubs now have 23 Pitchers on their 40 man, 5 of which are left handed and only 1 that is a potential starter in Marquez, who won't likely be in Chicago this year. The rotation will be all righties anyway you look at it - Hendricks, Davies and now Williams all righties - Alzolay, Mills, Miller and Stewart also righties.

    Oh well, at least Joc Pederson has a better career OPS outside of Coors Field than Nolan Arenado.

  15. #5435
    Dickie Hemric
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeacWatcher View Post
    What is the payroll expected to top out at?
    Who even knows. Cubs are sitting with the 12 biggest payroll right now and only have 3 players under contract for 2022 - both of which are really bad for a team that has consistently been in the top 5 for the last 7 years and are in the 3rd largest market in the USA and a team with their own TV network.

    Gotta assume with the flexibility they will extend someone from this core at some point to help bridge a gap until the next round of prospects up - Riz, Baez, Willy - even KB is a possibility. Hopefully.

  16. #5436
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    Reunion with Arrieta sounds out. Cubs were at his session, supposedly he looks good - but wants $8-$10 million/year, not sure who is giving that to him. If his price drops, could see the Cubs jumping at like $3 million - but he would have his choice of teams at that amount.

  17. #5437
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaDeacs View Post
    Cubs beat reporters are saying Jed/front office convinced Ricketts that the NL Central is winnable, so they are opening up the payroll a bit - which is where this signing came from. If they still have more, the ideal last 2 spots on the roster, from my point of view, would be Kolten Wong to play 2B and James Paxton. My guess is that would be at least $20 million total for both, which may be too high. If they can only afford one more higher end short term contract, Wong would really help to anchor the defense and provide a contact bat in the lineup - the last SP spot could easily be another reclamation, though, Rodon, Teheran, Walker or reunion with Jake, Archer or Shark at a much smaller guarantee.

    If they dont have anymore money, would still expect to see a MIF and SP for the last two spots on the 40 man - Kip is still out there, or Schoop maybe too, but he also might be too much.
    Wong goes to the Brewers on a 2/$18 - definitely out of the Cubs range. Cubs just resigned Andrew Chafin, the LRP they got from the Dbacks last year to a 1/$2 with a team option at $3.5 for the second year. This also fills the 40 man roster - anything else would need to make some cuts. I still think they are looking for a bargain SP and 2B - and if so, would assume some fringe guys like Shrock or Vargas or one of the lesser RPs to get DFA'd. Schoop or Villar are still 2B possibilities and might take a lower deal to get on a roster before camps starts. Ton of low cost starters still abound too.

  18. #5438
    The Pumpfaker
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    NBC Chicago: Fans in Stands Still Months Away

    The question was asked of Dr. Allison Arwady, director of the Chicago Department of Public Health, and most likely was referencing the Blackhawks and Bulls, who are in the middle of their respective seasons, but it certainly impacts the Cubs and White Sox as well.

  19. #5439
    Dickie Hemric
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    Quote Originally Posted by w84it View Post
    NBC Chicago: Fans in Stands Still Months Away

    The question was asked of Dr. Allison Arwady, director of the Chicago Department of Public Health, and most likely was referencing the Blackhawks and Bulls, who are in the middle of their respective seasons, but it certainly impacts the Cubs and White Sox as well.
    There is talk of allowing smaller crowds into Wrigley this year. The Ricketts are basing their whole strategy on there not being any fans, which could be a net positive if they are competitive at the deadline and there is 25%-50% capacity by July, but not sure that's a real possibility.

    Cubs sign Jake Marisnick as their 4th OF to a $1 million with a second year option at $4 million, which I doubt will even be a real option. Major league contract though, which is nice, and Marisnick is basically an exact replacement of Almora, with (hopefully) a slightly better bat against lefties. He brings amazing defense in all 3 positions and some more speed on the base paths.

    Jed said yesterday he is wanting to add to the SP depth, and there is still a lot out there. With Hendricks, Davies, Williams locked in and Mills and Alzolay as the likely 4th/5th now - that only leaves Shelby Miller or Tyson Miller as depth options. Still a bunch of reclamation style pitchers out there that are asking for too much that might fall into the Cubs lap if the ask comes down - Taijuan Walker, Jake, Shark, Mike Leake, Gio Gonzales or Rick Porcello. Would love James Paxton, but I think he still gets a big 1 year deal or smaller multi-year from someone in the next week.

  20. #5440
    Dickie Hemric
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    Forgot to add, the Cubs were already at the 40 man limit, so Marisnick means another cut. Guessing it will be the new MIF they signed, Alcantara, which was a baffling pickup (glove only MIF that has never been an offensive threat at any point in his career) - or one of the RP question marks like Fenter, Holder, Norwood or Stock.

    This also almost assuredly takes them out of the running Jackie Bradley Jr - I still had a thought they were going to add JBJ, transition Happ back to 2B and LF platoon against lefties, but guessing JBJ wants big money. That would have solved the 2B and 4th OF solution in 1 signing, but Jed's comments also look like they aren't going to be doing much at 2B, he said he wants someone to go take the position among Nico, Bote and Vargas - but not sure Nico is ready, and the other two options are not optimal. A reunion with Kip is possible on a similar deal from last year - or even Joe Panik who has been linked to the Cubs on and off for like 5 years now, but I think he might be done and not necessarily an upgrade.

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