In his latest notes column, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports argues that the Reds have fared better in some recent trades than had been expected at the time. Indeed, the club is receiving significant contributions from a variety of position players who were added in relatively unheralded swaps, including Eugenio Suarez, Scott Schebler, Adam Duvall, and Jose Peraza.
Here’s more from the NL Central:
- It came as something of a surprise when lefty Brett Cecil landed four years from the Cardinals, but Rosenthal says other organizations were also willing to do four-year deals for the 30-year-old reliever. The Cubs and Mariners had such offers on the table, though both are said to have underbid St. Louis. As Rosenthal notes, the scuffling Cecil has shown at least some signs recently of emerging from his malaise.
- Everyone is wondering why the Cubs have failed to break out from their sluggish start, and Dave Cameron of Fangraphs has a look under the hood. The issues aren’t isolated, he finds. Fairly widespread performance dips at the plate, in the field, and on the mound have resulted in a sub-.500 record that is largely deserved based on what the team has done. Though it remains reasonable to expect Chicago to improve its play, Cameron writes, the projections no longer view the current roster as a unique force.
- Clearly, Jake Arrieta isn’t the only Cubs player who is struggling through the first two months of the season, but he’s perhaps the most prominent. With free agency on the horizon, the stakes are particularly high. His agent, Scott Boras, still thinks that Arrieta’s overall body of work compares favorably to a pair of pitchers (David Price and Max Scherzer) who landed over $200MM in free agency, as Jon Heyman of Fan Rag writes. Though Boras argues that Arrieta’s recent struggles and declining velocity shouldn’t outweigh his lofty established ceiling and big-game performances, teams weighing massive investments will surely be taking a close look at Arrieta’s work over the first two months and the rest of the current season.