The latest on the North Siders comes from Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago…
- To this point, the Cubs and Cardinals have shown the most interest in free agent right-hander Jake Arrieta, according to Levine. The Cubs reportedly may be willing to offer a four-year, $110MM contract to the soon-to-be 32-year-old Arrieta, who mostly thrived with the team from 2013-17.
- Elsewhere on the pitching market, the Cubs remain in contact with Yu Darvish and Alex Cobb, per Levine, though he casts doubt on them being the favorites to sign the latter. They’re wary of Cobb’s asking price, which appears to be in the $17MM to $19MM range per annum, Levine relays.
- Along with the previously reported Chris Archer, the Cubs are interested in swinging a trade for Pirates righty Gerrit Cole, Levine writes. This is the first reported connection of the offseason between the Cubs and Cole, who has mostly been linked to the Yankees. Talks between the Yankees and Pirates simmered last month, though, which could pave the way for another team to swoop in and land the 27-year-old. Given that Chicago and Pittsburgh are in the same division, the Cubs are obviously quite familiar with Cole. The Scott Boras client is under control for the next two seasons, and he’ll earn a projected $7.5MM in 2018.
- Looking beyond starting pitching possibilities, Levine doesn’t rule out more additions to the Cubs’ bullpen or position player group. With Wade Davis having signed with the Rockies, the Cubs could be in the market for a closer if they don’t want to turn the ninth-inning reins to either of the just-signed Brandon Morrow–Steve Cishek tandem or another in-house option. But whether the team bids on a top free agent like Greg Holland or Addison Reed could depend on how much spending room it has left after it picks up another starter, per Levine. Further, it’s possible the Cubs could try to trade for Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, who would likely cost them fellow center fielder Albert Almora Jr. in a deal, Levine contends. He also lists free agent center fielder Lorenzo Cain as a name to watch for the Cubs.
Baez, Almora and Monty, plus their pick of a minor league pitcher for Yelich.
What are you nuts ?
I’d love to have Yelich but I wouldn’t trade Baez even up
really? why is that?
Because he’s apparently a gigantic Cubs homer
LOL but that is a bit much. Yeliich and Baez both are controlled through 2022, Yelich has been a 4.5 win player, Baez a 3 win player, Baez a year younger. Yelich is still owed $43mm on his deal; Baez is pre-arb 3 and might project to make ~$20mm before 2022.
all that on the back of a napkin, if you estimate a win at $10mm (as 2017 data shows), Baez could be expected to generate 12 wins worth $120mm over the next four years while getting paid $20mm, a surplus value of $100mm.. Yelich could go 18 wins, worth $180mm, paid $43mm, surplus $140mm.
Cubs would need to offer about four surplus wins in addition to Baez to make it balance. each of Almora or Montgomery is worth much more than that. Baez and prospects would be fair.
I bet you’re a lot of fun at parties.
hey, it’s how baseball works. i doubt Theo is doing body shots off a stripper’s belly when he evaluates trades.
and, um, i, er, have never done that either. for the record.
Just chiming in… That’s probably the type of package it takes to get Yelich, but I don’t think it makes sense for the Cubs to trade Baez. He’s a prime candidate to break out in a big way over the next couple of seasons. He’s a very valuable player for the Cubs and they are better with him than without him. He still has the potential to be a perennial 4-5 win player. I personally don’t see the matchup for a trade.
I understand them not really needing yelish but he’s way way way way way better than Baez and had more control
Baez, who is a starter, beats having depth at OF. Yelich is a good player who is not needed, just wanted, by the Cubs (if you believe the rumors).
Baez actually had comparable numbers this year to yelich.
Baez hit .279 23 home runs and 75 RBI’s
Yelich hit .282 18 home runs and 81 RBI’s
Baez .317 OBP and 103 OPS+
Yelich .369 OBP and 117 OPS+.
This demonstrates why you must look beyond just average, HR, and RBI when comparing players.
Except Baez hit a bomb in game 7 of World Series and cubs won by 1. His defense against giants helped us move on to nlcs in 2016. Not sure yelich playoff stats
And that smallish difference in OBP and OPS+ is canceled out by the fact that Baez plays elite defense at a premium position.
52 points in OBP and 14% in OPS+ are hardly “smallish”. Other stats back this up also. Yelich is a much better player.
The Giants not having a bullpen helped you advance to the NLCS in 2016.
I guess it depends on what Theo and co believe Baez’s potential vs Yelich potential is. Also, With Russell prone to hit the DL from time to time who’s the backup SS if Baez is gone? It just wouldn’t make sense. Almora/Montgomery and some guy would probably be enough for Jeter, who really doesn’t seem to care much about Miami.
Can’t argue with you there Baez hit a bomb at wrigley off cueto to win 1-0.
I so very much dislike the Cubs but seem to me that’s way to much to give. White Sox go get Yelich
Why in the world would the REBUILDING White Sox give up their prospects for Yelich?! The most likely trade candidates are teams that will either compete next year or the year after that, not a team that will compete when his contract is coming to an end…
What? Your crazy!
Ricky D Henry
I wish the cards would still go after yellich
You are crazy to offer all that for Yelich.
No way Cubs put Baez in any deal for Yelich
?….yelich > baez
Their stats last season were pretty similar…except Baez plays elite defense at a premium position.
Oh, come on. Baez has never had even an average offensive season. He’s a great defender and watching him tag is a blast, but he isn’t a star.
In what universe were their stats similar last year? Yelich walks twice as much as Baez does and has net ever K’d At over 21%… sure Baez has a little more power, but he K’s too much and doesn’t walk enough to make up for it… to the dude that said it, if a GM even thought about trading straight up, they’d be laughed out of a job… Yelich is still a fine defender up the middle as well (and if you go by fWAR, Yelich already has 3 seasons worth the amount of career fWAR that Baez has but up to this point
Yelich > Baez. No doubt. But the Cubs are at their best when they’re getting elite defense in the middle of their infield. Trading away Baez takes away a huge strength, and I don’t know if adding Yelich (even though he’s better) is enough of an upgrade to eliminate a strength
The Cubs are at their best when they have a lead off hitter that could get on base. No way they aren’t a better team with Yelich
Baez is the better fit to the Cubs roster, though.
The Cubs actually scored more runs last year with Fowler in St Louis than they did the year before with him.
Baez put up 1.7 oWAR in 450 PA in 2016, and 2.4 oWAR in 508 in 2017. he’s not as valuable as Yelich, but he’s quite a bit better than you’re saying here.
Baez also does add significant value at second base and would probably generate even more value if allowed to play shortstop — whereas Yelich is an MLB-average CF. Baez is also a year younger and gets paid quite a lot less (which matters a lot in baseball).
Yelich > Baez because OBP matters, but Baez and a couple middling prospects would be fair.
Baez actually had comparable numbers this year to yelich.
Baez hit .279 23 home runs and 75 RBI’s
Yelich hit .282 18 home runs and 81 RBI’s
Cherry-picking stats. Walks count, too.
Look at this way. Are you a better team with Yelich in CF and an aging Zobrist at second. Or Almora in CF and Baez at 2b. I think the latter especially when you consider how cost efficient Almora and Baez are …..which is huge if Cubs are planning on jumping in on Darvish this year and/or Harper next year ….and also having to pay other young stars in 3 or 4 years.
So! It was a whole different year
Cubs were 4th in MLB in runs scored last year during a pretty average season at the plate… offense is not their problem. a true lead off hitter is not their problem… in the post-season they were exhausted and it showed. They need pitching. And they need Schwarber to be who they think he is. or close enough to it… or to just hit somewhere around 270-280… their lineup is fine
They offered that for one year of Machado
No they didn’t. Baez was never in Machado discussions, Russell was.
If I’m the Cubs, I’d definitely trade a single mom making 6k/month for Yelich
Idk, tough to find a single mom that makes over 6k a month. Plus I heard she’s left handed
offer Russell, Keep Baez.
Yelich is going to cost a ton to acquire. So you’re not crazy to propose a ton. But I don’t think Baez’s defense alone makes him far too valuable to trade.
I think Baez has a much higher upside than Russell does. More talented defensively……More Pop at the plate……more speed on the bases……More versatility.
You mean like Heyward
You’re all nuts. Baez is super fun to watch, but his best season is average regular, and he won’t get better than that unless he can get the swing and miss under control. He’s a nice enough player, but he is definitely not getting Yelich.
Yeah. Baez has all the flash, but the low walk rate and high strikeout rate are tough to swallow. I’d take Yelich’s consistency any day. As a Cubs fan I hope that Baez’s bat stays solid and he can learn to lay off any outside the zone breaking ball a pitcher throws at him.
It’s possible. Rizzo struggled a lot like Baez is struggling early in his career. Doesn’t REALLY mean anything other than it can be done.
To steep a price
Or not to steep a price. That is the question.
Two steeps a price?
Now that’s funny lol
Cole is overrated. Much rather see Cubs go after Archer. 200 IP/200K guaranteed.
There are no guarantees his elbow will continue to withstand throwing that many sliders. All pitchers have health risks.
Archer is more overrated on my opinion, don’t want him at all
Are you Marlins Man?
Cubs don’t have the right kind of value to offer a complete overhaul team like the Marlins. Most of the cubs surplus talent is in MLB already. Marlins are going to want young minors talent so they can stay bad for a while since drafting in the top 3 for a couple years can sustain a rebuild like the cubs and Astros have shown.
Bahahah what are you smoking? Almora and a couple prospects would be plenty if we took on one of their last couple bigger contracts also
Marlins don’t want to dump salary with Yelich or Realmuto. Hence the high, and staying high, asking price.
Marlins still looking to dump Prado, Ziegler, and Tazawa contracts. All are anchors weighing down the rebuild. All are a waste of money.
If the object was to “Trim The Fat”……those 3 need to Go…..even if they have to pay 50% of the ticket.
How are they weighing down the rebuild? They’re all on short term deals. If anything, Miami should be taking on short term bad deals to add prospects
Trade Russell or Baez , almora and Montgomery for yelich and Castro
Insert Happ instead of Almora and I can take the Marlins having serious interest.
Johnny Superscout will now chime in….
Hahaha here come the armchair GMs!
Still so old! Please get some new material !
“They’re wary of Cobb’s asking price, which appears to be in the $17MM to $19MM range per annum, Levine relays.”
Nice! It’s down from the rumored $20MM per annum, Cobb’s agent was demanding.
Cue Luda’s “How low can you go?” “How low can you go?” 😛
Cubs will get one of those pitchers for sure, they seem to be going after the same players the Cards and Yanks are looking to get. I still think the Yanks would have the best package for Cole, but Darvish and Arreita look to go to the Cards and Cubs.
Pit obviously is looking for a young SS in return for Cole. They were stuck on G. Torres from the Yanks. When they declined, the deal fell apart.
If the Cubs offer either Russell or Baez……the Pirates probably do the deal.
If the Rockies offered Rogers or Story…..
If the Cardinals offer Perez plus a lower pitching prospect….and maybe a lower bat to go with them…..(trading good players within the division sucks….lol)
If teams want Cole, they need to include an MLB-ready SS……a pretty good….and pretty young one……imho
I think they just wanted Torres not necessarily a young SS…if the Pirates want only Perez and a lower prospect for the Cole I would do that in a heartbeat…Perez is still young and in Low A ball…for two years of Cole…Perez still very unproven even if he is highly touted
I guess I thought Perez was older than he is. That probably is light considering…..But I bet they won’t even try
If the Pirates really liked Perez they would’ve (and in reality should have) drafted him instead of taking Will Craig one pick ahead of the Cardinals.
If Woody had gone straight to the police non of this would have happened!!!
I guess I missed the part where the cardinals were interested in Cole
Ricky D Henry
I know the cards still need pitching but I wish they would still go after Yellich
We have enough offense to put the Cards into games but no where near enough pitching to keep us in them. Our rotation is shaky with only one good starter and no closer. Our first priority has to be getting at least one more good starter to replace Lynn and several more good relievers like Holland and Colome or Holland and Hand to replace Nicasio, Rosenthal and the rest of our decimated bullpen.
We also need more reliable 2 way players who can deliver on defense. Oquendo May be a fine defensive coach but he’s not a miracle worker.
Spring training starts in 6 weeks and our F.O. seems happy with who we have now. Waiting until August to fill these needs will cost us another lost year.
Pirates where not really after a SS per se, but an MLB ready infielder 2nd or third. Torres just happened to work at those positions and is one of (if not the best) young talent to fill that position. With tores off the table the pirates moved to Andujar and the yankees apparently don’t want to give him up either (both are in the yankees current plans) and the yankees appear to be stuck on using frazier on headlining the deal and the pirates dont’ have much of a need for him.
Cashman can pound sand.
Jealousy….just pure jealousy mr. cubs fan……
Call me crazy, but I would rather pay 30 yo Cobb 4/$70 than 32 yo Arrieta 4/$110 if I was the Cubs.
Cobb’s injury history has to be the concern there…….
translation, you’re crazy.
With you on that one. I’d be reasonably happy with Cobb at 4/70.
Take the extra $40m and get Kelvin Herrera. Or whatever reliever floats your boat
Herrera isn’t even a free agent.
Greg Holland. Wrong Royal. There are so many of them…
Holland also wasn’t a royal last year.
Herrera probably could be nabbed in a trade, but it’s doubtful the royals will sell low after One rough year. He still throws really hard.
Herrera is a FA next winter
Herrera for Almora? It worked when they robbed the Royals with Davis for Solar!.
Hindsight is 20/20.
At the time, I thought Cubs got ripped off giving up 4 years Soler club control, for 1 year of a Proven Closer who just had to stay healthy, Davis.
Soler was always overrated. Is he even in the bigs? Or guaranteed to be on the 25 man roster in KC next year?
If they lose Hosmer, Moustakas, and Cain there is no way they are competing. Might be able to trade for Herrera cheap. Hard to see him return to a team that will need to rebuild.
Holland was comeback player of the year. The Cards sure need someone like him, Colome, Herrera, Hand in the worst way. We actually need 2 good relievers with one of them being a stud closer. Our BP is a wreck. We also need another reliable starter to replace Lynn and a tired aging Waino.
Without these critical improvements we’re looking at regressing rather than improving. At a 77 win season rather than an 87 win season — and obviously no post season again. Ozuna was a good start but we lost far too many arms last year.
Have to factor in Cobb comes with draft pick penalty and loss of amateur signing $$
Darvish doesn’t so ideally I’d bet Theo would like to pass on Cobb at a big number, let Arrieta go and recoup the pick and associated draft dollars ….and sign Darvish. Only thing holding it up maybe is length of contract.
With Darvish you don’t lose picks or young trade pieces and allows you recoup another pick for Arrieta just as they did with Morrow instead of Davis.
Im shocked the Cardinals are actually looking at Arrieta. I think it’d be a great move if they got him at 4 years. While it is a declining period, he’s still a good pitcher and brings a true veteran presence that won’t be in the rotation after Wainwright leaves.
This is a first all winter. It has me very curious to find out the Cardinals sincerity in it or are they doing gamesmanship and upping his price?
I agree…I think it would be a great pick up by the cards. They can afford it because Wainwright comes off the books after this year…so In essence he improves the rotation for this next year and helps with the young guys coming up
remember the last chub to sign with st louis? dyslexia fowluper was a bust. no they want to sign another washed up chub?
an .850 ops and 122 ops+ is not a bust, sorry
Don’t tell that to fans like slide. I bet he complained about holiday’s contract with cards even in the early years.
He’s probably too young to remember Holliday. Sounds like he’s about 8 years old with all the name-calling.
holliday worked out alot better than jason bay.
He’s not a bust! Fowler had quite a few injuries last year
Jason Bay didn’t play with the Cards!
dude. Fowler is an awesome player, and one of the more clutch Cubs during their championship run. i will go ahead and say it, even thought his board may erupt…Cubs do not win WS without Fowler.
In what way was Fowler an “awesome” player? His defense was ratty – ranking in the bottom 30% of MLB CF’s, his offense was poor most of the season, ending with an anemic 264 BA after batting under his weight most of the season. He only played in 118 games (a dozen of those as a PH}. He’s hurt far too often to be worth his huge contract. I think most Cards fans would prefer to see him still on the Cubs books. I know I sure do.
Yelich would be a huge improvement over Fowler, cost far less and is more durable and his team friendly contract is good through 22.
I’d still rather have Lynn than Arrieta
Not a Fan……..signing an aging, declining SP…..who had a rough track record early on, then found something in Chicago……then seemed to lose it again.
Sounds like a recipe for disaster for the Cardinals
Flags are going off everywhere.
Too Much $$$$$ (I bet he’s hurt for 40% of the next 4 years)
Pay the huge price (in prospects) for Archer……or just ride with the young guns.
Darvish/Arrieta both scare me because of the financial committment
I’d rather pay Cobb….
Or sign Reed and trade for Brad Hand/Alex Colome
Or bring back Jaime as a back-of-the-rotation filler (2/16 proj)….and trade for Hand/Colome
Arrieta’s numbers weren’t that bad for a “down year”. It just looks worse next to how good he has been the 2 years before.
The worry teams have is that he is 32 and lost velocity the last couple years.
Arrieta was born in Farmington, MO
and it’s just a little over an hours drive South of Busch Stadium . That might play into him signing with the Cards!
Or if Waino stays. He’s past his decent years and has been since that torn Achilles. Arrieta, Cole, Samardjia any of which would be important gains.
Alex verdugo/alvarez for yellich. Win win win.
That’s a great tandem to start with……but I bet the marlins would like a lower level bat (maybe a catching prospect) to make the Deal. From what’s being said about their lack of interest in moving him…..they want to be blown away. D.J. Peters would give them a future Power Hitter to help the Fans forget about Stanton…..IF D.J. can fine tune his selection process at the plate……..
lol at people not trading baez straight up for yelich. thats adorable
The Cubs don’t need an outfielder. They already have an excess there. Baez is a really good utility player and is amazing at every infield position. The Cubs would’ve been screwed without Baez last year once they lost Russell due to injury.
Yelich might be better, but he’s not a good fit for the current Cubs roster.
Sure they do. They absolutely need a true CF with high OBP skills that can leadoff and play everyday. None of their current outfielders can do that.
If Harper comes to cubs next year . Hayward moves to center.
Whoever gets Yelich should back off on the “We want you to hit HR’s” approach and let him be the player that he truly is………a High OBP, singles & doubles hitter, with enough speed to steal some bags and take an extra base, and occasional power…….and let him go back to hitting leadoff (or #2). The whole “more power from him” thing changes him and his sweet swing.
Why? The Cubs need Baez more then Yelich
Does anyone know if any teams ever try to overpay but for only like a 1-2 year contract? I know players want as much guaranteed money as possible but they could get their highest total possible if they took like a 1 yr deal and sort of bet on themself. Like lets say a guy will prob get 4 years at 15 mill. Maybe he could settle for 1 year at 20-25mill and if he does well he can get the next 4 years at like 20 mill. Obviously age would play a role in this cuz some guys are like 32 and looking for their last contract. Teams may like this cuz if a guy flops or gets hurt they overpaid 1 year but lose less money in longrun.
The biggest issue with that THIS winter…….is that the 2018-19 Winter FA Class is filled with serious competition that may not allow them to sign a longer contract then either. They’d have to sign a 2-yr pillow contract……..and be 2 yrs older when they re-enter FA. If they are 32 now…………….34 is NOT a good age to hit FA.
The Dodgers did that with Manny. It doesn’t happen often. Players probably just don’t like going out to bid every season.
A possible drawback to that tactic is the luxury tax hit in that scenario. Overpaying for fewer years means a much higher AAV.
Teams would shy away from that kind of deal for anyone with a QO attached. More years also gives family stability and a chance to make up for a down year. On a one year contract, you’d better perform. On a five year, you could suck the whole time and retire.
I called Arrieta going to St. Louis this off-season as far back as December 2015. The Cards were desperately trying to give their money away, but no one would take it (Price, Heyward.) Throw in the money the Cubs threw at Heyward to get him to Chicago, and it was tough to see Arrieta sticking around once he hit free agency.
As for Cain, I predicted the Cubs would sign him. Seemed out of left field – still does – but the Cubs need an on-base guy, and there’s really no opening anywhere in the lineup. The full prediction was actually that the Cubs would sign Cain and then package Almora/Happ for a cost-controlled starting pitcher. I can still see that happening… Those are two guys who I think have more value to other teams than they have to the Cubs. Almora is a plus defender in CF, but Wrigley has the easiest CF in baseball. Happ is a good bat who can play average defense at a number of positions, but even though he’s regressing, the Cubs do still have Zobrist…
I think the cubs could get a better and younger player in yelich for a similar trade (almora, happ, maybe a younger pitching prospect too) and then sign the sp in fa.
Arrieta was born in MO.
The Cubs would have to make an absolutely insane deal to get the Pirates to deal Cole to a division rival. So I really doubt that happens.
I guess? That has never made sense to me. If the Bucs deal Cole, they aren’t really planning on competing in the next two years, and after that he is a free agent anyways. Take the best deal you can get. Who cares if its from the Cubs?
Pittsburgh likely could be looking to deal Cole for the same reason the Cubs should ignore him: Boras.
Yeah, it’s hard to see a Boras client signing a cheap extension only two years out from free agency.
Nobody that close to FA signs a cheap extension, regardless of agent. Whats so wrong with signing him to a fair extension?
Cole has ‘in house’ replacements that ‘might’ do as well as he did last year (though might not be here until super-2 and they have to stay healthy) IF the pirates where to trade with the cubs it would be for young MLB talent that fits current needs.. with the plan of the young pitching being able to carry the load. Its not that they don’t plan on competing if they trade cole. They plan on it, but probably wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t. (IMO if Harrison is traded that’s the sign they don’t plan on competing in ’18 and probably 19)
Really the cubs don’t have much in the way of prospects the team would be interested in for a cole trade (other than throw ins) as the cubs have promoted or traded they’re hire rated ones the past couple years so it would pretty much need to include MLB talent, probably young and controlable. Happ and Baez seem to fit, either one could probably be a big part of a deal.. though i would doubt both.
If the Bucs refuse to deal with the Cubs simply because they’re in the same division, that would be very foolish. You take the best offer, regardless.
Lol that’s why the cubs couldn’t get Chapman back before Yankees. He was on market way before domestic assault allegations. Inter division trades for all stars rarely happen.
If the cubs can trade with White Sox (Quintana) they can trade with anyone. Pirates may charge them extra for being division rival but up to cubs if they want to pay it . Going into season with Chatwood and Montgomery scares me.
Why are the Cubs being so cheap? It’s only money, and believe me, they have LOTS of it. It seems like Ricketts is happy with the one WS title, and if they get another one, fine, but he’s not interested in cutting into the profits to get another one.
Also, be wary of Levine – he’s been known to be wrong a lot on his rumors.
Two words: luxury tax.
Two more words: next off-season.
Two more words: Bryce Harper.
Two more words: arbitration-eligible players.
Has nothing to do with Ricketts being content with only one WS. It has everything to do with him having complete faith in his front office and the FO being aware of all those two words above
You are correct.
Two more words- “spend smart”.
Say those two words around a Pirates fan and they’ll chase you around the office with nerf bats yelling “Nutting you CHEAP SOB!!!” lol
The Ricketts are the best owners in sports. They spend a ton on the team and paid 500 million out of pocket to restore Wrigley Field. They won a championship within 5 years of taking over the team and broke a drought that had lasted for over a century.
I’m pretty sure if Theo wanted more money, Ricketts would hand it over. But it’s about being smart and making the right deals. They have to worry about the penalties from going too far over the luxury cap, and everyone knows they want to sign Harper in 2019. Plus you have Bryant, Rizzo, and Hendricks all expiring in the next few years. Relax.
Theo is a smart man, and the Rickets know it. He always seems to be “moving forward”, but he doesn’t often take “a giant step”. There IS a Plan. Haters will always hate…..(they’ll find something to complain about)
Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Russell and Schwarber are all signed/under Team Control through 2021. Bryant and Rizzo will be Cubs For Life, I’d guess. The others……not so much.
Hendricks is under control through 2020 (but he isn’t in the same tier as the 1st four that I mentioned….so he won’t be as expensive)
Heyward only has a Partial No-Trade Clause in 2019 and 2020…..so look for them to possibly trade him next winter to free up SOME of that contract, and try to sign Harper.
Lots of moving parts, but they seem to move together most of the time. If they whiff on Harper, they’ll be looking for another RF, because Happ isn’t a defensive asset out there, and a Scwarber-Almora-Happ OF would be a defensive disaster. Shouls be interesting, to say the least.
If they whiff on Harper, and then don’t pivot to Machado, my guess is Bryant goes to RF.
Whoever Machado signs with, he’ll sign only to play shortstop….that’s been in countless articles…..you can pivot all you want but he’s apparently not accepting a free agent offer for anything but playing short.
I’d agree if the season started today but there are a lot of big pieces still for sale in free agency. Theo is being smart with ricketts money and length of contracts vs future baby cubs contracts. I feel by spring training everyone will be happy with starter ( darvish arrieta cobb or Lynn ) and reliever (reed or holland) or trade they make for someone.
Just to get a Yelich or archer would cost cubs dearly. I say pay it. For Yelich: Almora, little or hatch or tseng , Russell. They could then try swinging a Montgomery, Azolay or Lange or de la cruz , caratini, and Happ for Archer.
Sign a Addison Reed or holland and call it a wrap.
Tons of money to spend next year too
I like it I like it
the only thing I see though is if one of those players goes down with an injury the cubs have no one to replace them
Yeah, depth didn’t help us last year. Gotta get top talent and hope for health.
If they were smart, they would trade Schwarber
A package for either of those guys is going to need to be headlined by a top 20 prospect and probably another top 50 guy.
Useful spare parts is not going to do it.
naturally, I noticed the archer package was light, but I seriously doubt that the Yelich package was off by much. Look at who Jeter has received for the stud ex-marlins. Yes, other teams could bid more, but do they really? Any team like Braves or Phillies (highly doubt Jeter gift wraps same division) should be out. Leaves teams like Athletics, white Sox, Dodgers, as other teams who could give up more. Dodgers maybe athletics are willing to pay the price.
Yelich doesn’t have a no trade clause
Yelich isn’t owed 300m
Very different assets.
I like Cleveland as a stealth candidate. They could really use an outfielder.
Cleveland is a solid option as well
I also think it’s light, but to discount Happ and Almora as not being top prospects isn’t accurate. They got called up very quickly and they are still very young. Both were top 10 picks and would likely be a top 2 or 3 prospect, if not the number 1, on most teams. They’re both only just 23 years old and still have less than 500 big league ABs.
It’s not light. Archer is overrated. Inconsistent.
Overrated and inconsistent? You need to look again. He’s averaged 204 IPs, 220 SOs, a 3.43 xFIP, and a 108 ERA+,for his career. Any team that wouldn’t love that in their rotation needs a new GM.
Really ? Are you sure your a baseball fan?
Want him, of course. But not at what the Rays are asking. And how are those stats for the past 2 seasons?
Depending on what the rays want, it could be light. If they’re not interested in those players, they’ll never do it. It’s just a suggestion on my part.
After how badly Russell struggled last year I doubt the Marlins want him. They would probably want Almora and Happ plus prospects or Almora plus Baez and prospects. I know you wouldn’t trade Baez straight up for Yelich but reality is he probably needs to be included to get either Yelich or Archer.
I would rather have Baez over Russell. But I also like Baez’s personality fit better too. He’s a “let you know” how good he is player. Addy is really close though.
You don’t trade starters and valuable depth for a luxury.
Furthermore, the Cubs don’t really need to upgrade their position players. If anything, they need to fill in their backup depth. What they need is what they’ve done and are continuing to try to do: upgrade the pitching.
I disagree. You can sacrifice depth, even Theo said it this year himself. Depth can only get you so far, still need top end talent to beat Nats, Dodgers, AL teams this season.
Why this look like the mr krabs meme
In summation the Cubs are in on all the free agents
Not a Cards’ fan by any means, but they deserve some love too
rather sign Cain and trade for cole and Holland or reed for the closer
Forget Yelich. He’s good, but Cubs are fine with the outfield they have. Instead, talk with the Marlins about Brad Ziegler.
Invite the entire Marlins’ FO a Free Lunch Buffet… plus say that “You’ll Pay All Of Ziegler’s Contract”……and you’ll have your deal. Not sure when you’d “run him out there”…..but he throws about 87 now, and gets shelled 1 out of 3 times.
Good Luck With THAT!!!
Levine Ian just throwing crap to the wall and hoping some of it sticks.
There are not any positional needs, and not many upgrades out there over their current positional players, especially available upgrades.
The FO will continue to do their due diligence in FA and potential trades, but the moves have to make sense. I believe the Cubs have checked in on a lot of these guys, but I don’t believe there’s anything serious going on right now in regards to much of what Levine has said.
If I’m a Cubs fan, I want them to trade for another starter rather than sign one.
Their rotation is pretty much set for the next three years with Montgomery offering flexibility in a bullpen role, which makes most of the pitching prospects expendable and on top of that, their entire bench with the exception of Zobrist are just top prospects who are blocked.
Archer for Happ, Alzolay, Caratini and a throw in like Keegan Thompson, and maybe Reed on a 3-year deal worth $36m or so makes the Cubs’ pitching staff historical without adding an albatross in Arrieta, adding an albatross and losing a draft pick in Cobb or paying a kings ransom for a two years of Cole, when you can get four years of Archer.
Let’s just take a step back and look at that
Lester- Signed through ’20 with an option for ’21
Archer- Controllable through ’21 (no brainer options included)
Quintana- Controllable through ’20 (no brainer options included)
Hendricks- Controllable through ’20
Chatwood- Signed through ’20
and if you need reinforcements throughout the season, you got Maples, Underwood, Dario, Mills and Tseng already on the 40 man roster.
I endorse this message as a Cubs fan. However, I’d personally rather see a deal centered around Schwarber. Maybe Schwarber, Alzolay, Caratini, Lange, and a low level upside prospect or two for Archer and Dickerson.
The original proposal wouldn’t get you Archer, and the second proposal is even worse.
meant to include Albertos in that offer as well.
so you are saying the cubs trade schwarber, alzolay, caratini, lange, albertos, and a low level prospect or two for archer and dickerson? that is crazy!
Archer is an innings eater with a decent but not great record. He’s in demand this year because the pool of FA starters is so limited. I remember the Cards great hopes for another innings eater named Leake.
What this guy said
There aren’t any pitching prospects currently blocked because they’re basically not expected to be ready to be in Chicago until most of their current pitchers’ deals are up.
That’s one reason they’re not wanting to give out a long-term deal to a FA pitcher, and are willing to go higher AAV on a shorter contract.
F they were really wanting to trade one of their young position players, they would have done it by now. That was definitely the intention when they stocked up on them, but given how the market swung so drastically—how expensive even mediocre pitching is and how inexpensive power bats are—I’m not sure they’re wanting to cash in their stocks just yet.
I think it’s much more likely that they wait until the summer to make a trade if they end up going the trade route. 1) It allows time for players in the minors to break out. 2) It gives them more time to better identify which players are better positioned to reach their ceiling, especially having the chance to work with new hitting coach Chili Davis. 3) Along with 2, it also gives all of their chips the chance to improve their value to other clubs.
I think this front office is a lot more focused at making a big move next off-season than this one. But if they find themselves very competitive by the all-star break, then they make their move.
What is funny is that Cubs fans think all their proposals will get them Archer…every team in the MLB wants Archer and most teams would easily beat every proposal the cubs throw out there
The Cubs already have Yelich, except he’s named Jason Heyward: can’t-miss, 5-tool, perennial all-star potential but hasn’t actually reached that potential, despite flashes of brilliance. Does Theo want another huge-upside underachiever?
Anyone wanna take a crack at this one?
Sounds like he already has enough crack.
and the Cubs wish he was Yelich! LoL
Yelich isn’t an underachiever by any stretch of the imagination. He’s a star 2 way player who’s as good as Heyward on defense but is far more reliable on offense. Compare their output – especially OBP — and it jumps out at you. Yelich is also cheaper, younger and more durable. He’s also under team control with a team favorable contract through 22.
How’s that deal with Heyward compare with those apples?
Cub Fans Logic
Baez > Yelich
Russell > Machado
Schwarber > Any ace starter on the market
More like Baez’s middle infield defense is a greater need than another outfielder’s defense + Yelich’s bat isn’t a great enough upgrade to lose both Baez’s defense plus an outfield bat. But it’s also that Cubs fan know the extra value that Baez’s intelligence, instincts, defense (including other world tagging skills) and base running bring—things that ignorant fans who just look at stats don’t see, such as taking a step back to allow a line drive to hit the ground when the runner on first stays at first (line out vs double play). You want to know why Baez is given so much value, go watch some highlight videos.
As for Russell vs Machado, I don’t get why it’s so hard to understand the concept of cost-control. Russell has more value for that reason alone. Machado’s Knee problems are scary and he doesn’t have a huge body of work at SS. Machado is a better player, but is not worth giving up Russell when contracts are considered. No brainer.
Not touching the Schwarber one because it’s silly. Unless Schwarber’s off-season body transformation proves fruitful, he’s doing to be a DH sooner rather than later, so of course an ACE has more value than Schwarber.
Thank you Cubbie Steve for setting so many straight.
I don’t think any of those are accurate in my view..you’ve actually seen people say that Schwarber is worth more than an ace pitcher?
Not sure why some people think Baez is so good as to consider him practically untouchable. He’s a below average hitter (88 wRC+) with above average defense, but he’s not close to being an elite defender, at least not at SS. Fangraphs likes Russell’s defense much better. Baez’s defensive metrics are totally dwarfed by a true elite defender, Andrelton Simmons. No matter what stat you look at, dWAR, Rtot, DRS, Rdrs, etc., Baez is far below many other SSs. Not elite.
Go to Fangraphs or BB Ref and see for yourself.
Because he makes flashy tag plays and makes the ladies swoon.
Baez is the kind of player Cubs fans love and most others love to hate.
Most others love to hate him because Cubs fans talk about him like he’s God’s gift to baseball – just like Schwarber. If Cubs fans talked about these guys even somewhat realistically, most people wouldn’t be hating on them anywhere near as much as they currently do.
These guys are NOT stars, and it’s not even close right now. Baez is a flashy defensive player that can’t get on base and can’t lay off an outside breaking ball. If he didn’t swing for the fence every time he picked up a bat, it’d probably help, but it’d also limit his only redeeming quality at the plate.
Personally, I think he has enough natural pop to go yard without swinging out of his shoes every time, but he clearly hasn’t made that change up to this point. If he ever does, he’ll be much better for it IMO. I wouldn’t hold my breath though.
Schwarber and Baez may not be stars yes, but they both came up Big in helping the Cubs Finally win it all. So Some Cubs fans probably value them more because of that.
I have no problem with Cubs fans loving Baez and Schwarber, because of their PS performance. All fans do that with their team’s heroes, But some objectivity is needed in ranking them with other players. They have value, no doubt, just not as much as some Cub fans think.
It’s perfectly fine if some Cubs fans want to overvalue players because of their limited post season performance – I won’t hold it against them.
Just stating my opinion on why other fans seem to “hate” these guys Their value is obviously somewhere in between where most Cubs fans think compared to what other fans think.
But he’s not consistent
Small sample size
over a thousand innings at both second and short along with 1267 Plate appearances is NOT a small sample..
“Small sample size”
Nice try, but, no.
If you watch him every day you would see why
“If you watch him every day you would see why”
It’s no secret that the flashier players will make plays look better than they actually are. One reason why I was a Barry Larkin fan was because of an exchange between him and Ozzie Smith in the dugout of an AS game. Larkin replaced Smith, and made a nice play on a difficult chance that went somewhat unnoticed. When Larkin came off the field Smith congratulated him, but went on to say that Larkin needed to “put his stamp” on it, make it a little flashier so that people would notice. Larkin just said he wasn’t that kind of player, and he just wanted to do his job.
If you want to know how good a defender is compare multiple defensive metrics. Don’t fall for the on-field flash.
I think both the Cubs and Cards will upgrade with starting pitching and both would like a big bat. Free agents can be a quick fix, but they also can be Heyward and Fowler.
Yelich will go to Atlanta, the team with an abundance of pitching prospects The lost player right now is Dan Straily. He’s been more productive and efficient than G. Cole the last two years, he’s much cheaper, and he’s in his prime. I’m feeling Straily to the Phils for Nick Williams. But I’d love to get Happ for Straily.
I’d love to see arrieta back with the cubs. I can’t see it happening. I think they’ll get Alex Cobb for 4/55 with incentives. He’s gonna have to settle for way less than 20mil aav. If he was a boras client ,.boras would demand 23+mil for 6+ years.
0% chance he takes that contract
If you somehow know Jake is offered 4yr 110mil then what is Yu being offered? Jake is not worth more than 4yr 90mil at his age and downward trend in my opinion. Give him 30m in 18 then split the rest of the 60 over the last 3 so they can afford free agents next year. Doubt that gets it done though.
i still can’t believe the yankees turned starlin castro into giancarlo stanton
Stanton himself had a lot to do with them changing places.
Cole to any division team is like playing with a rattlesnake, bite and you have 15 minutes to get the venom out. Prospects from in division means very little. One will want to low ball while the other will want prospect and TV rights
What are the chances the Pirates would trade Gerrit Cole to a division rival team? Although Lance Lynn has a better established track record than Cole.
Sorry to see that apparently another of the few decent starters in this thin FA field is heading somewhere besides St Louis.
It appears that our F.O. is satisfied with a rotation with only one good starter and no closer. Waino hasn’t had a good season since his Achilles injury and we’ve lost our #2 starter in Lynn. Wacha has a long history of shoulder problems. The rest are potentially good contributors but unproven. They tried Lyons as a starter with mixed results. Reyes looked fine but blew out his elbow and needed TJ. Chances are slim that he will come back as a starter this quickly. The remaining starters have all had flashes of glory and agonies of defeat with Weaver being the closest to being reliable and Flaherty being the least ready based on last seasons results.
Maybe they are happy with another 500 season and a 3rd place finish as long as we continue to have sellouts.