A few items centering on the Cubs…
- Third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant has frequently come up as a trade candidate this offseason, but president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said Thursday that there is “absolutely” a way he’ll return to the team next year, per Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago. “I don’t think it should be treated as a fait accompli that [a trade is] going to happen,” added Hoyer, who expects Bryant to bounce back to his usual form after a 2020 season in which his production fell flat. The Cubs would be selling low on Bryant in a deal as a result of his adverse year, and his projected $18.6MM arbitration salary for 2021 (his final season of team control) doesn’t do his trade value any favors.
- The Cubs have not had “substantive conversations” regarding a new deal with free-agent left-hander Jon Lester, but neither side has closed the door on staying together, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score writes. Lester established himself as a Cubs icon from 2015-20, but after he struggled last season, the Cubs predictably bought out the soon-to-be 37-year-old for $10MM instead of paying him $25MM. They’re now down to Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks as their only proven starters for next season, though that could change as the offseason progresses.
- First baseman/outfielder Jim Adduci had two stints in the Cubs organization, but it appears his playing career is over, as he’s now moving on to another role in baseball. The Cubs have hired the 35-year-old as their run production coordinator, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets. Adduci, whom the Rangers selected in the 42nd round of the 2003 draft, played from 2013-19 in the bigs and also saw time in the Korea Baseball Organization.
Adducci was drafter by the Marlins not Rangers. Not a bad baseball career for a draft pick in a round that doesn’t even exist anymore.
1 of 2 guys in his round to make the majors and the only one with a positive bwar
Nobody is giving up anything worthwhile for 1 yr of a $19 million Bryant. The issue with waiting to the deadline is that the NL Central is terrible and the Cubs could be in the lead, even though they’ve got no chance of doing well in the Playoffs. So basically there’s no solution.
It’s all a crapshoot once you make the playoffs. Just get 3-4 hot pitchers and one hot hitter and you’re off and running.
Yeah, I know. But this team has proven repeatedly they’re not a good mix for the playoffs. They don’t make enough contract.
Not necessarily. That is a simplistic analysis. Dynasties have happened for good reasons.
I agree it’s possible to keep winning if you draft and develop well. The Dodgers for example have continued to draft well, while winning every yr. That hasn’t been the Cubs for awhile. That’s the whole issue, and it’s gone on too long. Even the teams with tons of money that are successful have a good mix of youth sprinkling in, and the Cubs haven’t had that for awhile.
The Cubs could be in the lead because no Central team is going to be dominant, but I don’t think they have the pitching to last a normal-ish season. Not as of today anyway.
The Reds seem to be taking a step back and will be no threat at all if they trade Gray. The Pirates are dumpster fire. The Brewers are kind of a wild-card to me. Their pitching always seems to outperform expectations, and with Cain coming back the lineup might be better (have to assume Yelich bounces back). The Cardinals won’t be able to score runs but they have the pitching depth to get them into the playoffs, where they’ll get killed by a good team.
No team in the National league Central that gets into the playoffs will make it past the first round. Seem that none of the organizations on the Central care about anything but being a ,500 baseball team in 2021!! Is trait the Cardinals Owners and Front Office has had for the past 7 years. (Win over .500, hope that wins the Crntral Division & be an also tan in the playoffs so it will look descent on a Resume.
“The Cubs have hired the 35-year-old as their run production coordinator,”
What is his job, to tell the team when to score?
They needed someone to tell them that in the playoffs the past few seasons..worth a try!
Sounds like a made up job you give someone so they don’t tell your wife where you were last night.
He’ll probably be an analytical link between the office, coaches and the players.
I wonder if they have a run prevention coordinator too?
Smokin Joe Charboneau
They do. The current pitching coach previously was the run prevention coach. I’m not sure who is in the role currently.
“You think we need to score some runs here, Jim?” (Adduci opens briefcase full of crackers and goes through blank sheets of paper) “Oh, definitely. Two runs would be good. Three would be better”.
I Beg To Differ
“how do we score more runs jim”
*looks at the field*
they need to cross home plate before there are 3 outs -jim
“damn it Jim youre a genuis!”
Superstar Car Wash
I think it’s a requirement in the new edition of the Book of Sabermetrics that they’re all required to abide by its algorithms. Bill James releases it yearly, and I think they have to make up at least one new role per year.
Next year, they will just do it via Mad Libs.
I just applied to an unearned runs coordinator.
Superstar Car Wash
You weren’t even an average ballplayer, so I think you qualify! Keep us posted.
A lot of people are getting hung up on a title. I like that it sounds like they are experimenting and adding potentially outside the box jobs
If they get shut out several games throughout the season, does he get fired for no run production???
he was a fabulous run producer as a player.
Superstar Car Wash
That’s why bad hitters and bad pitchers always get their coaching roles.
“Guys, I have a lot of experience with this. DON’T do what I did! Do the opposite.”
south side hit men
Full disclosure, I’m not a Cubs fan. This isn’t meant to be a trolling question, but Cubs fans, how can you not be up in arms about the team wanting to reduce payroll. I understand flags fly forever, even if it’s just one, but shouldn’t they be trying to add pieces? Put a package together for Lindor. Open up the check book and sign Springer. Reds are selling. Cards and Brewers seem to be on the decline (even though they’ve been playoff constants lately). IDK….I’d be ticked
I have no clue what the cubs are doing. I get that they lost money but so did everyone else. I get they want to be under the luxury tax but they are significantly under right now. I get the team has floundered in the playoffs the last several years but my word the central is ripe for the taking this year. They have two really good pitchers at the top of the rotation that could be very tough in a short series. Either blow it up or get busy putting a team together.
Yeah, they should blow it up. This team could win the crappy NL Central but has no shot in the playoffs. Problem is most of their guys have little to no trade value. Darvish has a partial no trade clause, and he’s block a trade to most interested teams. Hendricks has some value and maybe Contreras but that’s about it..
I think the cubs have tons of guys with trade value. I think the cubs could do very well trading Contreras, Hendricks, Darvish, Báez, Happ, a few young bullpen arms and even someone like rizzo. They have plenty of value players on this roster. I mean this roster has made the playoffs 5 out of 6 years. If they are just going to stand pat they may as well go nuclear on this thing and restart. They havent signed any position players long term and they are heading out the door.
There’s no reason to “blow it up” they’re still contenders. They gotta build around Baez,Contreras and Rizzo. Baez, Rizzo need extensions now. Eztend Contreras next winter. They need a left fielder. And pitching. Wishful thinking but maybe Michael Brantley on a 2 year deal. They’d finally have a lead off man.
Happ should not be traded. That dude is severely underrated. He is their future CF.
Sign Liam Hendriks. They need a closer. A few middle relief pitchers. Maybe Taijuan Walker. Jake Odo4izzi.
Darvish isn’t going anywhere. They just extended Hendricks. Why would they trade either of them? I don’t get why (especially cubs fans) think they should blow it up. They still have a solid team.
Baez should be extended but he could easily get 3 or 4 players. How does a top 10 SS get less than that? He has a lot of value
They built around those guys the last three years. How many post-season wins did that produce in the last three years?
As a Cub fan the writing has been on the wall for awhile that this would be close to the end. They’ve been a top 3 to 5 team in payroll for 5 years now, so it’s tough to complain about money. The issue is they’ve been bad at drafting and developing talent for awhile. Especially pitching. They’ve been horrific at it. They probably have don’t have a lot of prospects the Indians would even want for Lindor. Plus all their foundation bats have regressed. I think they should go full rebuild, even with the NL Central being bad. They’ve got no shot in the playoffs regardless. It’s pretty sad, but is what it is…
You’re right in that they haven’t been great at developing pitching, but pitching definitely isn’t their issue. Their rotation has been Top 5 in the MLB for the past several seasons (just saw a stat about that a couple of weeks ago, not just my opinion)
Right, but bottom line is that they don’t have young talent coming to help on the cheap. Even the Dodgers and Yankees mix young cheap talent with the expensive guys. The Cubs have to outspend their way out of crappy drafting. That never works longterm. Plus Darvish and Hendricks are the only good pitchers this year. They don’t have a deep staff anymore.
Yeah, the problem with not developing pitching prospects, is then, in order to be good, you have to go pay a high price for it, be it in prospects or money..
Then, you’re stuck with a high payroll, and a lack of prospects to help fill holes on your roster..Which, in turn, leads to a lack of overall depth, and that can be very costly if anyone gets hurt.
Also, their problem hasn’t only been not being able to produce starting pitching prospects, but they havent even been able to provide their major league club with adequate nor even effective bullpen arms..
That only compounds your problem, because then you’re stuck having to play Russian roulette signing/trading for relief arms, which are notoriously even MORE difficult to predict..
That one problem, while it might seem small to some, has single-handedly lead to their ultimate downfall as a franchise…
I would expect Hoyer to want to put his stamp on things, and I would be floored if they didn’t tear it all down more or less.
I agree. You could get a Quintana return on the Hendricks contract if you played your hand right like Hahn did
Yeah, I’m sure he does. It’s not going to be easy, as most of their players trade values are at an all time low. They’re just in a bad position, without a lot of options.
My feeling is if you can win the division then win the division. I’ve been a cubs fan for over 4 decades and this has been the best 6 year span in my lifetime maybe ever for the cubs. The playoffs are a crap shoot. The best team doesn’t always win. Obviously they would have to add some players considering they have 2 sp and 2 outfielders right now but they are 40-50 million under the luxury tax and tons of value free agents out there. They don’t have to go sign 8 year deals. Find guys for 1-2 year contracts and construct a better roster. A guy like michael Brantley would help this homerun or bust lineup tremendously.
Normally, I completely agree the playoffs are a crap shoot for sure. But we’ve seen this team a lot in the playoffs recently and they’ve proven that the lineup isn’t a good playoff lineup as they don’t make enough contact. And I feel like they’ve proven it’s not going to work in the playoffs with the makeup of the roster. But yeah, most occasions it’s a crap shoot. Just not with this Cubs team IMO.
You are correct. However, I do not see any anything from the Cubs that shows they are willing to spend money at all.
Smokin Joe Charboneau
Good post CJML, I’m right there with you. The problem, though, isn’t 2021 but 2022. KB, Rizzo and Baez are all on expiring contracts. Either Ricketts opens up his dusty wallet, or those guys will be gone, and the 2022 team would really struggle.
The sad part is they had talent. Imagine how great Eloy would be in a Cubs uniform. Unlike the Gleyber Torres trade it’s hard to justify that move since it didn’t result in anything.
Smokin Joe Charboneau
Since the Quintana trade in July 2017, few of Epstein’s moves have really worked out well. Anyone else notice Candelerio’s season in Detroit, or Hatch’s in Toronto?
I, for one, am looking forward to the Hoyer-led regime. I suspect decision-making will get better.
@ South Side – Estimates are that the average MLB team earn about 40% of their total revenue from ‘game day’ sales. Recently, the Cubs stated that nearly 70% of their revenue is derived from day of game sales (tickets, parking, food, merchandise, etc). If this is remotely true then the Cubs probably lost more money than any other team last year. So I’m guessing that’s why they are looking to reduce their payroll even further.
Don’t they get a portion of those gameday sales from the rooftop seats that were selling across the street in 2020, when everyone else couldn’t allow fans? I know it’s not much, but that’s more than every other team.
Smokin Joe Charboneau
Ricketts owns the rooftops and I believe he does not have to share that revenue with anyone, including the Cubs.
I really don’t feel like a Cub fan anymore. They put together a team that won a WS but have done most of it with players I couldn’t really get behind. They all thought they were much better that they really were. Now the owner has pulled the plug on spending so the only way they can go in down hill. This is what the owner wants so I hope he is happy!
Smokin Joe Charboneau
Go to some Cubs-centric blogs and you’ll find lots of folk up in arms. More so last off-season than this, as some have more important things to worry about this off-season.
I don’t think the current team is very good, so no, I don’t want to see them add a bunch of money and trade the few prospects they have in order to win the central and lose in the 1st round of the playoffs.
As a die hard fan i still understand the need to cut payroll. They’ve been among the top 3 in payroll for a long time and were financially hurt by Covid, after pouring millions into the ballpark. It’s a temporary move, won’t be a full rebuild.
I don’t think the Cubs are going to “reduce” salary the way “experts” think they are.
The Cubs seem to be pretty hell bent on resetting the luxury for 2021, which makes perfect sense. I by no means know anything about the Cubs finances but it’s clear they desire to get below the LT but still want to compete.
The foundation of the Cubs team is still strong, they have two bonafide top of the rotation starters in Darvish and Hendricks. A solid middle of the order typically with Rizzo, Bryant, Baez and Contreras and a budding star in Happ.
The problem with the Cubs is that they have too many guys with high strike out rates. They live and die by OPS and that dynamic had/has to change. Non-tendering Schwarber is a good start which allows them to add a couple players who hit for higher averages and put the ball in play more.
I constantly mention Wong and LaStella, neither will break the bank and both play the kind of baseball the Cubs desperately need. Brantley is another guy that would fit that line up well.
As a Cub fan, my hope is that they strive to stay under the luxury cap but also spend some money to improve the team… Based on my math, after the non-tenders, they should have approx. 45 million to spend and still stay below the luxury tax. That allots them some spending power, not in the Springer/Bauer market but in the Wong/Kim/possibly Tanaka markets. Maybe they drag the waters and shoot for a rebound candidate like Desclafani/Archer/Quintana or maybe bring in a veteran like Happ. They have a lot of options given the uncertainty of the market.
Me personally, the optimist in me, believe that they have one or two key free agents that they are going to target in on and then they will be playing the waiting game, looking to swoop up some players as spring training approaches.
Cubs need to reload the farm. They’ve had a lot of talent produce but it’s ran dry. I’m not saying just blow up the team because they’ve got some pieces. They’re not going to get a haul for Bryant currently. Better off play the season out and hope Kris ups his value at the deadline. If They’re winning then great and if he still produces and they don’t get the results in the W column then you deal him to someone else at the deadline.
Smokin Joe Charboneau
Though Baseball America and others have not yet seemed to notice, the farm system has been greatly improved in the last 12-18 months. They have several interesting pitchers who could contribute in 2021 (Abbott, Marquez, Carraway, Steele), plus a catcher (Amaya) who could see the majors in 2021. For 2022, hitters like Davis and Strumpf could be ready. And the group of players currently in the low minors (Gallardo, Morel, Roederer, plus many others) all look like future major league contributors. Another top prospect will be signing from the DR in a few weeks. I’m not saying this is a top-tier system, but probably just outside the top half of systems, with useful players ready next season.
The farm is actually in pretty good shape. Four top 100 prospects and strong talent in A and AA
The problem has been and remains the stadium renovation. They try to scape the rules in terms of accessibility for wheelchairs or handicap people, got caught and it nearly doubled the total price of the project. More than a bad product on the field, that is why they’ve simply stopped improving the team and prayed year over year the same core would have better results
Smokin Joe Charboneau
While your comment about accessibility is true, I don’t think you can draw a straight line from the renovation cost overruns to the “bad product on the field.” And while the “product on the field” may be disappointing., the results have not been bad.
The Cubs front office could have, and should have done a much better job to keep the team in contention. A front office truly committed to contending would have blown that roster up significantly by now, or added more talent via free agency. The Cubs have done neither, which suggests to me me they’re content with simply being a “competitive” regular season ballclub, whatever that means. It’s really a shame for Cubs fans who’ve remained loyal over the years, especially the discerning Cubs who recognize who mediocre the team has become in just four years since they won a WS.
Smokin Joe Charboneau
As a Cub fan myself (despite my handle on here), I put the blame on the players. Schwarber was supposed to be a star, Addison Russell was supposed to be a star, Almora was suppsoed to be, if not a star, a starting-caliber player. Bryant appeared to be a hall of famer, etc etc etc. Only Baez has exceeded expectation, and he was bad last year too.
And the team still made the playoffs five out of six seasons, with three division championships and a World Series,. The last six years have been the best time to be a Cubs fans since before World War Ii (which was a long time ago for those of you who don’t know when it happened).
I can’t help but wonder how much Theo/Jed had their hands tied on decision making by ownership the last few years. You’re right that it doesn’t seem like a good strategy for them to just continue treading water and praying for a better outcome
You make a great point. My theory on this is Ricketts lost confidence in Theo’s decision making. Most of the trades made by the Cubs brought little to nothing in return. They also spent a lot of money on players who were either mediocre or dealing with serious injuries (hence not ready to play). It’s probably the main reason why he left.
Sign Bryant and pray he rebounds come trade deadline.
With Kyle Schwarber now gone, I could see the Cubs not replacing him outside of the current roster and going with Kris Bryant in LF and David Bote at 3B. Willson Contreras can play some LF too, giving Caratini playing time. It doesn’t seem like the Cubs are going to spend any money, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this is what they do and then fill the bench with minor league contracts.
Trading Bryant would signal a throw away season for the Cubs and I just do not see it. If the Cubs were content on not competing in the division, they would have held onto Schwarber and dealt him mid-season as opposed to clearing his potential salary.
The Cubs now have a little bit of play room to tweak the roster without breaking the bank, i.e. moving Bryant to LF (fills the need for a right handed bat in the outfield who hits lefties well) signing LaStella to play third (fills the need of a contact oriented hitter), sign Wong (improves middle infield defense, provides contact and professional at bats).
Now that Schwarber has been Non-tendered and his salary is a wash, the Cubs can add Wong and LaStella, allowing Hoerner more seasoning in AAA, with a minimal payroll commitment. The Cubs would have roughly 25-30 million still to improve the rotation and the bullpen, again, minimal investment guys (Kintzler, Jeffers, O’day).
Or, the Cubs could be position themselves to make a play on Kim, AAV wise he wouldn’t be a huge investment but they have to meet the posting fee
Smokin Joe Charboneau
I think there is a very good chance come Spring Training there will be a number of useful veterans willing to sign for $2m or less. Which means the team may be able to use Schwarber’s arb salary for as many as four more useful players. T
You’re not winning anything adding the players you mentioned. The Cubs need better/more talent. Baez and Bryant aren’t enough, especially with a depleted pitching rotation, middling offense, and a weak bullpen. They aren’t a playoff team anymore; not even for a wildcard spot, imo.
My thoughts exactly… The Cubs had a couple of glaring needs involving line up balance which Wong and LaStella would address. They already have depth with Bote and Hoerner in the infield and as you mentioned, there will be several veterans looking for work as the offseason starts wrapping up to add additional depth.
Smokin Joe Charboneau
I don’t think the Cubs will spend the money on Wong and LaStella. I think you can get pretty much the same production for less money from guys like Grossman and Profar.
The article claims the Cubs only have two starters, and completely overlook Alzolay and Mills. They could use another starter, but have some options in the minor leagues too.
Right now, I think the team has more talent than any other team in their division. And they’ll probably add more talent than any other division rival before Spring Training.
I don’t know if playing in the NL Central is a blessing or a curse. They appear set to dominate the division yet again in 2021, but are less talented than any team they will play in the postseason.
Unless it was edited, the articles states, “only proven starters”, which I’d say is fair.
I’m going to have to respectfully disagree, especially with Profar.
The biggest issue with the Cubs is getting professional at bats, that is exactly what Wong does. I don’t know if you have ever watched Wong but that guy grinds out at bats, is a real pro at making the productive out and picking up the RBI when the opportunity presents it’s self. He is a prototypical Cardinal hitter in other words.
With Grossman… he is basically a switch hitting version of Kyle Schwarber minus the home runs (low batting average, decent on base) and yes, the Cubs do need more production from the outfield against southpaws which would give Grossman the edge, but they also need a bat that puts the ball in play and doesn’t strike out. Grossman also is a poor defender in LF and the Cubs, at least IMO, cannot suffer that with Happ being average at best in CF.
LaStella is a good fit because they can platoon him with either Hoerner when he gets more seasoning or Bote now and he isn’t going to break the bank. I think neither LaStella or Wong should cost more than 8 million annually and the only thing that is going to get them to that mark is their skill set… teams are realizing more how important contact is as the game continues to adapt against launch angle hitters.
Since day-1, the Cubs have treated Bryant like yesterday’s dead fish. Pay the man. Let him walk and I’ll watch him play LF for the Padres over the next 5-7 years.
Smokin Joe Charboneau
Not exactly true. I heard the team sent KB a nice wedding present ( a toaster than can toad 4 slices of bread at a time), and also provided a $100 savings bond when Baby Bryant was born last off-season.
Which is far more than my employer has provided me…..
Since ‘17, Bryant has done nothing to justify a nine-figure salary, which is what Boras wants for him. Also, he clearly hasn’t gotten over the service time thing. If I’m the Cubs, I’m selling this guy for a few prospects and moving on. Giving guys like Bryant big contracts for marginal performance is usually a huge mistake.
That is a flat out lie, outside of last season, Bryant has been easily been worth 9 figures. 2018, before he injured his shoulder, he was playing at MVP levels and in 2019 he was back up to a .900 OPS.
You’re entitled to your opinion, but his trade value has fallen for a reason. I’m sure some GM might be desperate enough to pay Bryant $25MM+ per longterm, but it won’t be the Cubs.
I strongly doubt the Cubs retain Bryant past this season. It seems like that marriage was never destine to work out but the comment about him not justifying a 100 million salary since 17 was incorrect.
Bryant trade value has declined obviously due to his poor season in 2020, the one less year of control and many teams facing financial struggle. Also, most teams are not in need of a third baseman.
I did a breakdown of teams that teams who could be interested in Kris Bryant and came down to two: the Braves and the Nationals (assuming the Dodgers bring Turner back) Every other team is either set at third base or cannot afford 18.6 million dollars.
I Beg To Differ
I hope cub players tell adduci
“I’m giving er all shes got captain” when asked about scoring runs.
The cubbies will be back in another 100 years….
I think the Cubs bromance with KB is not on good terms and he seems to want to start over or just be somewhere else. This is one of those discussions which you find the place he would like to sign and an organization that is willing to pay market value. ie: Dodgers or Angels maybe Arizona or if he wants to hook up with Harper in Philly.. Dombrowski has been known to gut a farm system, so a Moniak, top 10 pitcher prospect and another in the top 30 with high ceiling should be enough to make that happen.
“…the Blue Jays are in on Kris Bryant…”.