The Rockies are coming off their second consecutive losing season and fourth-place finish in the NL West, but the team’s struggles probably aren’t going to lead to a front office change in the near future, in the opinion of Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Saunders would be “surprised” but not “shocked” if GM Jeff Bridich was fired, though Saunders figures Bridich’s job is safe since owner Dick Monfort is known to be very loyal to employees, plus the Rockies reached the postseason in both 2017 and 2018. Assuming Bridich stays, he’ll face an intriguing offseason, as the Rockies have several big contracts coming off the books but also a lot of roster holes to fill, as well as lingering questions about extension talks with Trevor Story and whether or not Nolan Arenado could be traded.
Some more items from around the National League…
- The Giants will look to add relief pitching this winter, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be looking for a closer. “There’s no organizational philosophy for or against a closer. If it works out that way, evolves that way, it makes a lot of sense,” president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea and other media. “But we don’t go into this offseason saying that’s got to be a priority on our shopping list, to go out and get a closer, because we think it could work if we have the right group of relievers and the right level of depth in the bullpen.” Rather than acquire a closer, Shea wonders if the team could develop a steady ninth-inning arm from within, citing Reyes Moronta, Shaun Anderson, Jarlin Garcia and Camilo Doval as potential closer candidates.
- Now that the Cubs’ season is over, Javier Baez reiterated his desire to remain in Wrigleyville, telling NBC Sports Chicago’s Tim Stebbins and other reporters that “hopefully I stay here my whole career.” That said, Baez also noted that “anything can happen….We’ll see what happens and hopefully I’ll stay here.” Baez, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, and Anthony Rizzo (whose 2021 option is likely to be exercised) are all scheduled to hit free agency after the 2021 season, leading to speculation about which members of the quartet could be extended or traded. The majority of the Baez-related speculation has been focused on the possibility of an extension, though negotiations last offseason didn’t produce a new deal. Of course, it’s worth noting that the Cubs’ interest in a long-term commitment may have changed in the wake of a very rough offensive season for Baez, who hit only .203/.238/.360 over 235 plate appearances.
The question is does Epstein have the nerve or the authority to make any major changes? He’s threatened to the past 2 offseasons and done next to nothing.
But his problem is exacerbated by the fact that none of his stars had a great season, so their trade value will be even less.
I mean, they can’t really do anything. Not much in the farm to trade and the Ricketts are always crying poor. The only option is to trade from the big league roster
Exactly! Trade from the big league roster. They’d be selling low, but at least 2 of Baez, Bryant, Contreras, Rizzo and Schwarber need to go.
Problem is that clarity is needed on whether or not the NL DH is here to stay. If it is, keep rizzo, baez and schwarber and trade Bryant and Contreras. If NL DH doesn’t stick, they should get rid of schwarber as his value is still high and then trade Bryant as well. See if you get enough from those 2 to retool and evaluate if you need Contreras over next season. If not, trade him next offseason and hand catching over full time to caratini.
Schwarber should be non tendered
Kyle’s trade value is low. He hit .188 and he’ll be making around $10 million. Bryant has little trade value too, as he’ll be making over $20 million.
One or both may end up non-tendered or receive a shockingly low (to Cubs fans) return.
They all need to go!
Cubs are now the Royals but with no talent and no future!!!
Caritini can being a lot and keep Contreras he’s the best catcher in all of baseball
Cubs in STL
There is no scenario where trading Contreras is a good idea. He’s under control for two more years and Caratini is not the hitter people acted like he was, which showed up big time this year. Why Ross kept putting him out there as a DH of all things is beyond me. It’s my biggest complaint about him early on, that and not getting Nico in there more so we could see if he can take over 2nd. Schwarber might have to just not be offered a contract. He has power but the .225 batting average is just brutal. Personally I’d try and keep Rizzo if he will sign a 3 or 4 year deal, Javy depending on what he is asking for (this year was scary offensively), and Willson. Tbh though Willson might be the best all around player out of all of them going forward which is a scary thought.
Cubs in STL
100% agree Caratini is the guy to gauge the value on, not Willson. Amaya will be up in a couple of years and Caratini just isnt that great
I think you mean at least two of Baez,Bryant,Contreras, Rizzo, and Schwarber need to be extended. Trading any of them is a complete rebuild.
Also trading Contreras is dumb too. Trading the 2nd best catcher in baseball would not be the best thing they could do. 1
this is true It’s hard to get Two great catchers Contreras is the best in the league but Careitinj is good and can have a nice return or a good relief pitcher
Chief Two Hands
Rhymes with Ricketts
Baez has a major hole in his swing and its painfully obvious except to the few that are obsessed with marketing him. What a great season for your MLB the Show cover athlete…. whoever made that decision should stop watching baseball.
His problem is that he doesn’t walk. His OBP numbers are barley palpable and when he regresses with age, and that average drops his OBP will fall below normal. He hits just fine, but strikes out to often to sustain a long career once his reaction time slows, and he ages more.
Tim Anderson doesn’t walk much either but his game plays. Not all about walks. Baez has zero clutch. He is awful with RISP in late innings. He offers nothing if not hitting bombs. It’s not like he can move a runner over either. Just nothing else in his offensive tool box. He is very limited.
I didn’t think Anderson’s high average was sustainable or the type of hitter he really is, but maybe it is.
The obvious problem with guys like Anderson and Baez, is if they don’t maintain a decent to good average (more so in Anderson’s case since he has less power than Baez), their batting lines will look bad since they don’t walk.
If Anderson’s average were to fall to 280, his on base would be about 315, and his slugging probably around 450-470. Anderson needs to hit around 310 to be a good hitter. If he falls down to around 280, he’s league average.
Is Anderson going to hit 320 every year? His power has improved some, but his ISO was ranked 62nd, between Ryan McMahon and Xander Bogaerts. At this point, it’s doubtful he’ll really improve on his ability to draw walks, but maybe his power will continue to improve.
I’m just wary of guys whose offensive worth is so heavily dependent on their batting average, unless they have the history of multiple seasons that shows they do have the ability to consistently hit at a high average.
Two years ago Baez almost won the MVP, barely beaten by Yelich.
Three years ago Votto almost won the MVP, barely beaten by Stanton.
Barely beaten lmfao lol it wasn’t even close.
302.0 to 300.0
I hope you can laugh at yourself.
Might been a fluke year but Bryant all I remembered was his walk toward the dugout after he struck out trade him to Phillie to be with Harper both might get better
Tim Anderson isn’t a top 10 SS. Baez is easily top 5
Phillies have a worse farm than the Cubs. That would be as bad as Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease for jose Quintana.
A lot of Baez’s value comes from his outstanding defense. When you look at it, his 2018 season, offensive wise, was good, but not great. .881 OPS, 126 OPS+ are good, but far from elite like his glove is.
If the Mets offered Ahmed Rosario for Baez, who hangs up first?
One year wonder Cubs don’t except the call period . But trade Bryant for Cleveland SS and Baez moves to 3B that’s Defense for real and hustle plus leadership. Break out year keep the DH it made the game fun again.
They just drafted Ed Howard. A very promising SS. He’s 4 maybe 4 years away but trading for A SS is dumb
Who would you have picked for the cover? Much like a madden, the cover athlete more often than not has a disappointing year. So many captain hindsights on this site.
That being said, I’m a cubs fan and have not believed in Baez even during his near mvp season. Really hope the cubs don’t sign him. As soon as he loses a little bat speed he is going to be a K machine ( even more than now ) that only offers defense
I think he’s speaking more to the “obsessed with marketing him” when talking about the cover. Baez will make a nice swipe tag on a steal that the majority of SS’s can make, maybe not with the flair of Baez (because flair is what Baez cares about most), but can still make the play. But the MLB, or whoever else, will share the clip and be like “El Mago!” like he just did something that no one else can do. He’s just constantly hyped up whenever he does something halfway decent.
Just like Yadier. I remember seeing the MLB Facebook page reshare Yadier throwing a guy out at second and the caption being like “only Yadier” or “doing Yadier things” . But the throw was on the other side of the base, it was a bad throw, the play shouldn’t have even been shared.
There’s a lot of great players making great plays everyday, we can dispense with the fake hype crap.
Theo is just going to live off 2016 until his next gig elsewhere. He likes to say the “offense is broken” and then DO NOTHING. He keeps bringing the same broken pieces back. Coasting off 2016, obviously.
Baez is basically Shawon Dunston with more power.
Very solid company up to this point of his career. Only difference is that Baez can stay healthy. If my memory is right, Shawon missed a lot of games.
From the minimal amount of at bats I watvhed this year, Baez seemed to have more problems catching up to 90 plus fastballs. He will always have a subpar OBP as he never learned the strike zone. The risk going forward is whether 2020 reflects a drop in his bat speed or if the unique circumstances of this season are a one off. Truthfully, I have been a big fan of his since his minor league days, however he will most likely not be an offensive force.
No he’s not. He’s one of the best SS in the game. Not many are on his level. He feeds off the crowd. So that’s why he struggled this year. When we can go to games next year. He’ll be just fine
Doval has not played in the high minors yet. no way he starts the year as the closer, ie he even makes the team.
For sure. But I think the point is that they feel they may have enough talent they can develop from within to warrant spending money elsewhere.
Fans fall in love with their players. Owners have to be more ruthless otherwise the franchise declines along with the players. Rickets being a fan is killing the franchise. He is in love with 2016 and just can’t let go!!! Playoff wins on the north side are becoming something only available…..on a DVD.
In fairness before 2016, Cubs World Series wins were only available on newsreels. You can’t really blame them for still being a bit giddy about 2016.
The Ricketts are hardly fans. Seeing one game in 1984 doesn’t make you a fan. Going to DePaul doesn’t either. They don’t care about the team. They just spent 100 mil on a partnership with draft kings. They news to use that 100mil to improve the team. They refuse to do that. Otherwise they would’ve extended at least 2 of their core.
I’d go with Moronta if I’m the Giants FO. If he was healthy this year, the Giants are probably a playoff team. Maybe only by a game, but I do think they would have made the postseason.
If he had been healthy and closing out games they COULD have won at least 6 more games that the bullpen blew 8 inning or later.
I don’t know, guys. Moronta can throw hard, but he’s always looked really wild to me, and you don’t want a closer to be issuing free passes when the team needs him to shut things down.
Agreed. I like Moronta as a guy to bring in for strikeout situations, not as a closer. He seems to be very clutch when put into tough situations. I think if Kapler used Rogers less often (he was used more than any other reliever in the Giants bullpen) Rogers would make a good closer.
Moronta? Moronta had shoulder surgery. ( Labrum) . Shoulders injuries are the kiss of death for pitchers. They do not come back the same. There is no guarantee that Moronta will ever pitch at a high enough level to get outs at the MLB Level.
No doubt the Giants would have made the postseason with just one more right handed reliever, if Moronta was healthy. Or even if they played to win the entire year. I get that it was a developmont year, but we had Watson available for those saves and would have won at least 4 more games if we were 100% trying to win this year. This is what happens when you try out 17 different guys in the bullpen. Building for the future while also not trading away their future at the deadline. I get it. Now next year they are going to transition to a team more focused on winning every game instead of doing a roster churn. Will be an above .500 team next year and beyond.
I go with no one, I feel like the team needs to solidly embrace the closer by committee and not expect someone to step up when put in the role, if someone emerges, good, if not mix and match as you can
Rockies are a poverty franchise
The Rockies can’t compete with big market franchises like the Yankees, but they are hardly “a poverty franchise.”
They’re the definition of poverty. They’re fine with mediocrity
I don’t think the Rockies will ever compete with the dodgers or giants much…yea the giants are bad now but they won’t be for long…they have too much money
Do you mean a poor franchise? Like cash poor or has poor luck?
I think I get your point, you’re just not using “poverty” right
Report: Theo Epstein to meet with Tom Ricketts to discuss future
My guess is that Theo resigns. He is well aware that the Ricketts family is going ask to lop upwards of $100M off the payroll somehow and it’s just not plausible .
I think what many fail to realize is that the family put almost $900M of their own money—-no city money, no taxpayers dollars into the renovation in and around the park and vowed that the profits from that would go back into the ball club. Well, guess what—all teams took a bath with no fans in the stands, but nobody took it as hard as the Cubs whose income outside the park (they own just about everything) collapsed this season. And when there’s no money to give to the team from that side of the fence, guess what’s going to suffer???
I can see Theo stepping away (he’s not going past his ten years anyway) and handing it off to Jed for a rebuild. With the state of the division and having to keep Darvish and Hendricks–the Cubs won’t be too far behind any of the other teams if there is a reset (Bauer won’t stay in Cincy—someone will pay him).
Just a hunch—but Theo resigning is my guess for the big baseball news before the World Series.
I can see all that happening Mike. It is certainly plausible.
I’d trade Krissy for a pair of tweezers and a cheap tie.
You gotta get at least two prospects for KB. anything less is dumb. He wants to stay in Chicago so try to extend him before 2021 is over. Rizzo and Baez are a major priority.
I believe Willson Contreras played his last game for the Cubs. Coming off another solid season and with two years left of control, he’s really the only player they have with any true trade value.
Highly doubt it. They would be abmajor haul for him at worst 4 for 1. And 2 of them need to be high end prospects. One needs to be ML ready SP pitcher.
wild bill tetley
Cubs are primed for a reset. Blow it up, rebuild.
Blue Jays should kick the tires on Arenado.
I’m guessing Kyle is either traded or non-tendered. Bryant might be in the same boat. Neither will bring back much because their arb salaries are too high and it will just be for one year. It will free up $25 million
Baez and Rizzo at least offer Gold Glove caliber defense. Contreras has value but I’d rather they keep him.
Cubs fans seem to overvalue Schwarber in the marketplace. Yes he can hit for power, but that’s about all he does ‘well’. He’d be a good bench piece for a contending club: someone who could spot start for 60-80 games and provide a good bench bat with pinch hit HR power. He’s proven that he’s not a player you can build your team around, so if the Cubs look to trade him this offseason, I wouldn’t expect to get much value in return. They could probably get a decent, veteran bullpen arm and a young minor league lottery ticket, or they could trade him for another MLB outfield who has less power but is a solid player and has not yet qualified for arbitration (basically a Schwarber salary dump). Either option would be much better than a straight DFA this offseason.
Given how much Bellinger, Yelich, Suarez, JDM and other offensive giants struggled at the plate this year, the Cubs should not even consider giving up on Baez yet. Sure, he doesn’t walk enough but he has premium power for the SS position, plays above average defense and has shown (pre-2020) that he can hit for average too. If they are serious about keeping him, now is the time you lock him up on a long-term contract. They should offer him Xander Bogarts money (6/120) to start and maybe go to 6/140 but they shouldn’t go much higher than that.
They should obviously pick up Rizzo’s very affordable contract and see what value there is for KB in the marketplace. KB had a brutal 2020 but there are teams who are still enamored by him so even though he has one year left, the Cubs should still be able to get a solid return for him…an Alex Verdugo type of player would be a nice return for KB (Verdugo is just a skills comp; Boston is not trading him).
People undervalue Schwarber on defense. They are still judging him from the 2015 nlcs and his 2 erros. He has 13 career errors yet he’s a liability in the outfield.
Cubs should take advantage of a down season by Baez to BUY LOW. In other words, extend him now for a discount as compared to if he had an above average season his agent would be asking for more.
No one can take a lot out of 2020 as far as I am concerned, an abbreviated season, not knowing whether in fact it would go ahead, limited spring training. 2021 will be when we will see what players can do with a full spring training under their belts. It’s difficult to make judgement calls on players based on this season given the factors that may have impacted players.