Last season, as most of Major League Baseball moved incontrovertibly towards a high velocity, strikeout-forward approach, the Cubs put together a soft-tossing rotation not at all focused on missing bats. Headlined by Kyle Hendricks and Zach Davies, perhaps the two preeminent control artists in the sport, the Cubs unique approach aimed–quite literally–to induce weak contact rather than avoid it. If success was a long shot, there was at least a strategy, even if their zag to the league’s zig was prompted by need.
Chicago’s pipeline of pitching talent had gone dry. The Jon Lester– Jake Arrieta-Hendricks triumvirate was the engine of the 2015-2017 peak Cubs. When they came to power in 2015, Cubs’ starters finished third overall in the Majors with a 3.36 ERA. They topped the sport by measure of ERA in 2016 with a 2.96 mark. By 2017, they had begun to slip, down to seventh overall with a 4.04 mark.
The magic was gone. As Arrieta’s superhuman years faded into the background, the Cubs let him walk in free agency. They made moves to replace him–trading for Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, and Jose Quintana–some moves came before he left and some came after, but none could stand up to Arrieta in his short, but astronomical peak. Lester began to age, Darvish’s return to frontline status was a slow burn, and the Cubs settled into a groove of good, but unremarkable rotations, finishing 10th overall by ERA in 2018 and 2019.
David Ross’ squad sprinted to a sixth overall finish in 2020 by ERA as Darvish and Hendricks gave them a semblance of the staffs from the peak Cubs. Maybe their success emboldened the front office to give the offensive core one more opportunity to recapture the magic of the 2016 title run. But as we now know, the Cubs were at their best when driven by a top-notch rotation, and in 2021, they were stuck in the slow lane.
Only Hendricks and Davies made all 32 starts, but both posted the worst seasons of their careers as the Cubs lost 91 games. The rotation ranked 26th overall with a 5.27 team ERA, easily the worst performance since the Cubs took off in 2015. A power pitching game isn’t strictly necessary to field a competitive squad, but the Cubs do need something more.
They’ve already made strides, putting together a less gimmicky rotation than last year, scooping Wade Miley off the waiver wire and signing one of the top free agent arms in Marcus Stroman.
On the offensive end, the speculation continues that they might make a bid for Carlos Correa. If not, the Cubs would roll out a starting middle infield of Nico Hoerner and Nick Madrigal. While the young pair is promising, one could also argue that they represent the hitter version of last year’s rotation gambit. While the rest of the baseball world hunts dingers, a Hoerner/Madrigal combo boasts turn-of-the-century talent – and not this century.
Hoerner has hit three home runs in 378 career plate appearances, while Madrigal has two over 324 plate appearances. Steamer suggests a whopping 14 combined home runs between the two of them if given regular playing time. Home runs aren’t everything, so we can check their isolated power: Madrigal owns a .089 ISO and Hoerner a .078 ISO. Where .167 ISO is league-average, Nico and Nick are decidedly punch-less. Granted, neither has played even a full season in the Majors, so their numbers must be taken with a grain of salt, but neither has shown much power in the minor leagues either.
Signing of Correa or Trevor Story changes the calculus, but either way, the Cubs expect Hoerner and Madrigal to be regular cogs in the lineup. There’s upside there for Chicago, but whether it’s enough to charge this new era of Cubs baseball remains to be seen. The Cubs have long had a strikeout problem from a team perspective, and getting 500+ at-bats from Hoerner and Madrigal would definitely see more balls put in play. Neither walks a ton, however, so there’s heavy lifting to do in other parts of the lineup, as well as for manager David Ross in putting together a lineup with two contact-first bats who don’t walk or hit for power. (As a counterpoint, Hoerner posted a 10.0 walk rate in 2021, which is better than the league-average rate of 8.7 percent, and a 9.5 percent walk rate the year before.)
Of course, the Cubs don’t like Madrigal and Hoerner because of what they don’t do.
Both are regarded as strong defenders, making them necessary supports for the new-look rotation. Stroman and Miley finished in the top 10 among qualified pitchers for groundball rate, and though Hendricks’ 43.1 percent groundball rate wasn’t as high as many years, he still finished 20th in the Majors by that metric. Infield defense will have to be a plus for the Cubs new rotation to succeed, and their young, contact-oriented duo will be key.
For that to work, however, their infield duo needs to be on the field, and both have struggled in that regard. More than a lack of power, poor health will doom the potential of the Nico and Nick show.
If they do stay healthy, they are the beginning of a movement underway in Chicago. We can even add first baseman Frank Schwindel to the list of Cubs infielders who excel at making contact. Of course, Patrick Wisdom strikes out enough for the whole infield (40.8 percent strikeout rate over 375 plate appearances in 2021). That certainly helped land the Cubs the highest strikeout rate in baseball last season at 26.7 percent. They finished 27th-ranked in 2020.
Strikeouts are a death knell for an offense, killing momentum and vaporizing the potential favor of BABIP good luck. It’s not “the answer,” but it’s certainly a piece of what could be a winning strategy. Put the ball in play and good things can happen. And believe it or not, the Cubs’ brass still wants good things to happen for this ballclub. The peak era Cubs boasted big-time power, so they could weather higher strikeout rates, but that team is gone, and this team is still forming its identity.
The Cubs tried putting together a pitching staff that didn’t strike anybody out, so it’s only natural that when that failed, they should try an offense that puts the ball in play. After all, they know it works because they’ve seen it work. With Nico and Nick leading the way, if nothing else, these new Cubs should put the ball in play, just to give themselves a chance.
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
Cole Hamels needs to retire.
so out of pocket
Flubs need to get serious about the teams future now.
Flub fans need hope and right now this cub team is
bringing in guys like Stroman.
Jed needs to wake up and listen to the Flub Fans.
Also, another year of David Ross? Come on, this is a joke right?
Ah yes. Cub enlightenment from a Sux fan.
That is a clumsy portmanteau
David Ross is a soild manager, we love him here in Chicago.
Ward8 isn’t a White Sucks fan for life. He is just an ex Cub fan who has a thrauma for something to do with a Cubs player or staff (maybe his wife left him for some Cubs’ dude). He closed himself in his basement watching ilicit material and news regarding the Cubs, and calling himself a White Sucks fan so often until that he finally believed it by himself (patological behavior). Let’s have some love for him until he decides to wake up from that nightmare, which his poor life is.
They need to just release Heyward at this point or package him with Contreas and trade them for a low level prospect
Dodgers send two lotto types and Lux for Hendricks Contreras and Heyward taking all of the contracts off the books. My dodger fan is showing tho…
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
@tstats: I think the Cubs would actually consider that deal. Contreras and Hendrix are good but Contreras is only under contract for 1 more year and Hendrix isn’t quite what he used to be. Hendrix has a good salary but it’s not as cheap as some other guys. It would probably be worth it to get rid of Heyward and add a guy like Lux at the same time. I think Heyward has a no trade clause though. He might agree to go to a team like the Dodgers but you never know.
There is definitely no point in the Cubs releasing Heyward. If you’re gonna pay a guy over $46 million for the next 2 years you might as well keep him on the roster. He’s not good anymore but I wouldn’t say he’s so bad that he shouldn’t even be used as a 4th outfielder.
I never really understood that contract in the first place. I always thought Heyward was incredibly overrated. I knew his year in Saint Louis was an outlier and I don’t even think that season was as good as some people believed. He didn’t hit 30 home runs. He didn’t hit .300. He didn’t steal 30 bases. He didn’t profile well enough defensively to be considered a center fielder. I’m not sure he really contributed as much as WAR suggested that year and I couldn’t figure out why so many people bought into him. He always had back problems and it hampered his ability for years. It’s like the Cubs paid him to be a player he never was in the first place.
And Heyward signed for less with the Cubs than what the Cardinals offered.
And the Cardinals Dodged another bullet with Price!
When you consider the guaranteed money, the time value of money, and the value of the “opt outs,” the Cubs offer was substantially better than the Cards offer. If Heyward turned into Henry Aaron, he would’ve walked; if he underperformed, he’d stay and the Cubs would be stuck with him. The Cardinals didn’t want to take that risk. This isn’t hindsight, it was widely reported at the time.
Spin it any way you want. Here’s the link : https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/12/cardinals-offered-jason-heyward-more-overall-money-than-cubs.html
I agree. That was the most commonly believed “spin” by the masses. I was referring more to how a baseball GM or someone like Scott Boras would look at it.
I’d rather have Lux than any of the players in that proposal. It’s a mystery to me why many of my fellow Dodger fans want to move him.
I don’t but I realllllly like Hendricks
Why? He’s coming off a bad year and is owed $28MM the next two years. The Dodgers can find better than him without surrendering Lux.
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
I agree with Cey Hey. I think Hendrix is worth the money and would be a reliable starter for pretty much any team but he’s not that elite level Cy Young caliber pitcher anymore. I would probably say he’s a #3 starter on most teams. A lot of pitchers are a lot better than Hendrix. Considering his team control, age and salary, Lux probably is the most valuable player in that that deal. Also… What would the Dodgers do with both Contreras and Wil Smith? I guess they could split time at catcher but that seems like a pretty uneconomical use of resources. They would be better off rolling with just one of those guys and getting a good hitter that plays a position other than catcher. Once you consider they have to eat the Heyward contract on top of that I think that trade is actually pretty lopsided against the Dodgers.
Cey, just how long are your Dodgers going to give Lux before you get a bit nervous that he may not be what your all expected to see.
He may end up being great, but so far, what has Lux done in the majors except be “promising”?
Lux has 532 PA’s at the MLB level which is about a full seasons worth. He sports a .233/.314/.368 slashline. I think we can see what he’s going to be. In Lux’ defense not every player can play multiple positions and produce at the plate. The Dodgers started Lux at 5 different positions last year and surprisingly he actually hit his best in LF (though admittedly it was a short sample). Maybe if they give him one set position to focus on they will get they player they hope for instead of the player they’ve gotten
Ƭ̵̬̊ Player Formly Known As MousecopƬ̵̬̊
Hahaha. Hell No! Hard pass all day. They need pitching. Trading away their #2 only hurts them. Trading a top 5 catcher is the last thing they need to do. They just signed Yan Gomes as Contreras’ back up. Miguel Amaya is out for the year. Trading away Willson would be like Trading Eloy Jimenez again. Re-signing him is a major priority since for some reason Jed is done with signing pitchers for the rotation. Which is also dumb
Wish we could have emojis on here. Thanks for the laugh
He’s not done at all, he made his major move. Now the lockout needs to ends so we can get more depth.
Ƭ̵̬̊ Player Formly Known As MousecopƬ̵̬̊
Jed has said he was done focusing on the starting rotation. They need at least one more pitcher.
@ tstats We’ll give the Dodgers a break. Instead of the two lottery tics you mention- replace those with Smith (since your getting Contreras) and the Cubs might do the deal.
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
Dogbone… Are you out of your mind? Gavin Lux may not be great but he has potential and most importantly he’s young and under long term team control for dirt cheap. Lux AND Smith for 1 year of Contreras, a declining Hendrix and a cancerous contract like Heyward? Why would the Dodgers ever do that? The first offer tstats mentioned was already favoring the Cubs enough. The Cubs would jump at the ability to get out of the Heyward contract while giving up no long term contracts and get Lux on top of it. I don’t really even see why the Dodgers would take the first deal without Smith involved. They would be paying Heyward, Price, Bellinger and Bauer over $100 million a year combined. That’s more than twice what some organizations pay their entire team for 4 pretty useless players. Trading Hendrix and one year of Contreras for Lux and $46 million cash is a steal for the Cubs.
Hammer……if you really believe Contreras and Hendricks have only minimal value, I suggest you don’t have a clue. One season doesn’t make a ‘trend’. With all the changes the vets still with the Cubs saw going on around them last year, it had to affect their mindset. You’d make a terrible GM.
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
@dogbone: No one said Contreras and Hendrix have “minimal value.” Getting Gavin Lux and $46 million is anything but minimal. That’s a huge return. Contreras and Hendrix value is not minimal but it is short term. The Cubs aren’t going to win the world series next year and Contreras will be gone after that. They might as well get something to help them in the future. Hendrix will be leaving shortly after Contreras. Dumping Heyward is the equivalent of the Dodgers just dropping $46 million in cash on the Cubs doorstep. Getting Lux on top of that is not “minimal.” It’s a lot. Especially when you consider Contreras and Hendrix likely aren’t going to be part not the Cubs future. Contreras and Hendrix come with salaries too that will help reduce Cubs payroll. Between the 2 of them and Heyward that’s about $80 million the Cubs would save on top of getting Lux. If the Cubs were going to turn around and spend $80 million tomorrow so you think they would want to spend it on 1 year of Contreras and a very short term contract for Hendrix? That’s essentially what they would be doing by turning that trade down. Very short term deals for Contreras and Hendrix are not worth 5 years of Lux plus $80 million cash. Your valuation of Contreras and Hendrix has them worth about $40 million AAV… EACH! On top of giving up on Lux just for the right to pay them that kind of money.
If the Cubs were to try to dump Heyward, (-31.7 million surplus value), they are going to have to send much more than Willy to get Lux.
Not looking at the player positions, or team needs, something like this would have to happen to offset the negative value of JHey. This is strictly surplus value.
Lux (15.5 surplus value)
JHey (-31.7 m SV)
Willy (14 m SV)
Happ (18.2 m SV)
Hoerner (15.5 m SV)
The Cubs would receive 15.5 million in surplus value. The Dodgers would receive 16 million in surplus value.
A Hoerner for Lux trade would be as fair as one can get using SV.
There’s no way in hell Nico gets traded, he’s part of the future.
It’s very unlikely, but I never said he would/should get traded. I’m using his surplus value to demonstrate what kind of return we would have to give them with Heyward thrown in a trade. We can attach any name(s) to this scenerio to make it work. At the end of the day, all of Heyward’s, Willy’s Happ’s, and Hoerner’s surplus value is equal to Lux.
Surplus value means nothing to a big market team, which the Cubs should be.
Ƭ̵̬̊ Player Formly Known As MousecopƬ̵̬̊
Why would the cubs trade pitching when pitching was a major issue last season. Trading Contreras again would be stupid.
The Dodgers aren’t letting Lux go, save for a seriously ridiculous offer. They’ve literally said it out loud.
They aren’t releasing Heyward with two years left on his contract. If nothing else he can be a 4th outfielder/defensive replacement.
That’s a waste then for what you can potentially get for Contreras. Just keep Heyward, their payroll is not that high and his contract is almost up (2023).
Why release Heyward today?
Then they would have to pay him for games that won’t be played.
Walk me through your logic.
0 WAR is better than -2 WAR but I agree don’t release Heyward
It’s sunk cost. He gets paid either way. Doesn’t matter who he plays badly for, the Cubs pay him either way.
The counter argument is that the team won’t contend in the near future, so it’s not like he’s blocking anyone.
That would be stupid. Contreras has value, so why diminish his value by including Heyward? Heyward’s only on the books for two more seasons; that’s not going to substantially handcuff them long term.
Adding Heyward lessens the return for Contreras. It’s a tactic to save money, and nothing else.
The Cubs have tons of payroll flexibility this year and going forward. Zero chance they give up value to trade heyward.
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
@CJML: How much value do you think Hendrix will provide over the next 2 years compared to the $30 million the Cubs could spend on another player to replace him since that is Hendrix salary. What about Contreras at around $8 million but only one year left as a Cub? Do you think Hendrix is so valuable that his performance outplays his salary? If the Cubs trade Hendrix and Contreras they have $38 million to send on other players who they can keep for a lot longer than a year or two. Then they will get Lux on top of that. Gavin Lux and $38 million is worth more than 2 years of Hendrix and 1 year of Contreras. The Cubs should make that move right away. Having the Dodgers take Heyward in top of that is just fleecing them even more. He is owed another $46 million on top of the $38 million making it a total of $84 million. The Cubs can spend that $84 million on better contracts than 2 years of Hendrix and one year of Contreras when they will stand a better chance of winning. Once you throw a high potential young cheap players like Lux into that it is an absolute steal for the Cubs. With or without Heyward. Anyone who would turn that deal down based on the assumption Heyward is somehow not making the return good enough is clueless. Do the Cubs need to shed Heyward’s salary now? No. Should they take this trade? Absolutely. The Dodgers would be stupid to offer Lux and what amounts to $84 million for 2 years of Hendrix and one year of Contreras. This trade will never happen because the Dodgers aren’t that stupid. The idea that the Cubs should turn it down because of Heyward it anyone else involved is ridiculous.
Not that Lux is getting traded, but Kyle and Willy is EXACTLY what it would take to get him. The surplus value is about exactly the same. I’d do it in a heartbeat. Save the money on two guys that will be gone when Lux is still here. Spend that savings on other needs. But I don’t think that the Dodgers have any real interest in moving Lux. Especially on short term guys.
While I think Miley and Stroman are an improvement over Davies and Hendricks (at least based on their performances last year), aren’t they all the same type of pitchers? Not saying that makes them “gimmicky” (and I don’t really agree with that classification anyways), but it seems like they’re going with the same strategy, just with pitchers who performed better as of late.
Same old Cubs.
Who was the last Chicago team to win a World Series?
And boom goes the dynamite! Take that SoxShitty!
the constant CHC-CHW beef on this site is funny, but it gets old.
The Baseball Fan (Doesn’t like the Cubs)
Lol I agree. I love our rivalry tho
World series? What about playoff series?
Play off series? What about a post season game?
Who is likely the next one to win!!
Not the “eschewing” Cubs!
The little brother syndrome is real
@CHIsucks Fan…White Sucks windows is closed without never being opened. By the way Sucks Fan, how did you manage to block me to make replies to your stupid comments in this site?
ChiSoxCity and DumpinDiveing Theo are the reason I can’t stand the White Sox and root againist every chance I get
I love MLBTR so I hate to be critical, but I don’t understand this article. It starts with a theme, then supports it with data that doesn’t really jive with that theme, and ends with an optimistic tone that I feel is only there to placate Cubs fans.
In other words, I don’t get it. As Duffy pointed out, their two new starters are also pitch-to-contact type guys, without big fastballs, so it seems like they haven’t changed their methodology.
Finally, why does this site keep pushing the notion that the Cubs will be realistic contenders for Correa? The only way he signs there is if they offer him the most money/years; and we already know the Cubs only want shorter deals now. No way they get Correa unless the bottom falls out on his market. “Hope” is not a valid strategy.
The problem I see is that Wrigley Field is a hitters ballpark. They need to build a team suited for the park they play half their games in. Having pitchers who throw to contact is fine if they throw ground balls. As to Correa, his market has disappeared. For the Cubs to be a realistic suitor for him, they just have to offer more than the Tigers did, and feel he will provide value for the next 8 years. No one else is offering.
That’s a typical, but often incorrect assumption. When the wind blows in – as it often does – it is NOT a hitter’s ballpark. We tend to remember the crazy windy days when guys are check-swinging balls into the basket, because that makes the highlights. But in truth, that wind is a fickly mistress.
Here’s the wind factor at Wrigley
In from RC 21%
In from CF 19%
Out to CF 13%
In from LC 12%
Right to left 10%
Out to LC 10%
Out to RC 9%
Left to right 5%
Correa’s market absolutely has not disappeared.
Why do “we already know the Cubs only want shorter deals now”? Because this website told you?
Every teams preference is shorter term deals but just because that is your preference doesn’t mean you won’t alter your plans.
I’m sorry but you do not sign Marcus Stroman for 2 years and a 27.5 million AAV to sit on your hands half that contract. And when you look at next years potential free agent list, it’s even less encouraging.
We know that the Cubs were willing to give Baez a 7 year extension, it’s also evident that the Cubs greatly prefer Correa to Baez since they didn’t even entertain the idea of bringing Baez back to Chicago. It’s also already been rumored that the Cubs offered Correa a 7 year deal. The Cubs could be holding and hoping the market for Correa dries up and get him for 8 but something tells me they are not going to be outbid on length.
I personally think Correa signs for 4/180 with a 5th year player option at around 20 million or more due to the remaining teams being unwilling to go 10 years. Re-enters free agency at 32 hoping to score a Semien type contract.
No! Because Jed Hoyer told us. so. We have about 3 years of Ricketts not spending money to go on as further evidence. Look, you can go ahead and believe the Cubs will offer a 10-year, $350MM contract if you want to. I chose to believe in reality.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they did a deal that big. Ricketts spent a ton of money on the team from 2015-18. I just thought it’d be next year when he starts spending big. But next year’s class is weaker so… Who knows?
Next year is a legit class. As of rn you have Trea and Judge. Likely Xander and JDM. Possibly a DeGrom opt out and Bauer maybe who knows with that guy. Maybe Sale opts out. Syndergaard. Belt, JT on club option, eovaldi, AChap, Abreu. Lots of club options though…
As both a Cubs and MLBTR fan, I have to agree with you. This was entertaining, but strange and after I read it I wasn’t sure what they were trying to convey here. I can only see the Cubs pouncing on Correa if his market turns into something like 5/6 for $200M-$220M, but this is the only place to keep referencing a Cubs connection.
What I don’t get is they are acting like the cubs are revolutionaries in pitching to contact…the Cardinals have been doing this for well over a decade, hence why the cardinals focus on defense…and I agree with you drescoo that I think the cubs are real players for Correa…the Cubs would instantly be legit with that signing and they have loaded up on young talent to bring up to support him over his contract
The Cardinal defense was abysmal until about 2-3 years ago.
It hasn’t always been great I agree but the fact is they have always preached to pitch to soft contact since Dave Duncan…you know when they had Rolen, Edmon, Matheny/Molina, Renteria and Pujols
I’ll be surprised if they do it, but multiple sources said the Cubs were a player for Correa. This site didn’t just ‘make it up’.
Coop—my problem with the article is that it seems you need a PhD in nuclear physics to read it. This could have been written in half the time by just taking out the big and “I’m smarter than you” words. This is a baseball rumor site, not a lecture at NASA.
If anyone in the Cubs organization thinks Schwindel and/or Wisdom will come close to last seasons numbers i have two words for you; Bryan LaHair
The Cubs arent winning the WS this year anyways, might as well let them prove they are or arent.
Can I agree with both of you? While I don’t believe those guys (I would also add Ortega to the mix) will prove to be everyday players, (especially Wisdom), why not play them and find out for sure? As DarkSide points out, it’s not as if the Cubs are going anywhere this season anyway…
Yeah, Ortega is in there too. While none of the three is likely to stay something, its great if one can become a good player for the team over a stretch. A lot of success in sports is a factor of just getting a shot. Some guys never get that shot, and some get it and fail, but some really sieze that opportunity and run with it.
I don’t get why people rip on Bryan LaHair. In 2011, which I assume you’re using as the Schwindel/Wisdom basis, he batter .288. The following season. his only full season in MLB, he had 16 HRs and batted .259 (above the median for the NL).
I don’t think Wisdom can sustain it, that was evident in the second half of his games played. Schwindel made adjustments along the way that Wisdom couldn’t, that he might be able to continue to do in 2022.
He fell off a cliff in May ‘12. A hot start padded his stats.
@Rsox I believe the Cubs have extremely low hope, that Wisdom can actually contribute in 2022. However you definitely shouldn’t discount Frank Schwindel. Frankie is legit. Oakland really blew it by not giving him a shot. Frankie would make the Red Sox a better ball club.
While I don’t think Schwindel will reproduce what he did, people are misremembering how “good” LaHair actually was.
LaHair had a very small 69 PA sample size where he had 2 HR, 6 RBI, and a .288/.377/.508 slash line, good for an .885 OPS, which is quite good in a small sample for a replacement player. He followed that up with a 340 PA season where he hit 16 HR, 40 RBI, but only had a slash line of .259/.334/.450, good for a .784 OPS, which is very underwhelming for a power hitting first baseman. People remember him as a short-term world beater because of the surprise factor, but in reality, his numbers really weren’t THAT impressive.
Not really a good comparison to Schwindel’s .342/.389/.613 slash line with 13 HR and 40 RBI.
Actually a very good point… but we can always hope.
“And believe it or not, the Cubs’ brass still wants good things to happen for this ballclub. ”
This statement seems pretty obtuse TC.
Ehhhhh, seems like with this post MLBTR is trying to be Fangraphs again.
I get it, things are slow right now with the lockout. But I like the long-form stories about past transactions that you can’t read anywhere else, instead of another analytical piece.
Not a Cubs fan but I love the idea. See ball hit ball NO strike outs and good defense
An interesting reminder that the Phillies got 4.3 WAR for $75M from Arrieta. What an incredibly interesting career.
Cubs need to add around 30 mil this year to even be pretender worthy.
With 30 mil you are not getting Correa. I don’t believe that he is even necessary right now.
Villar makes more sense. He can take over 3B moving Wisdom over to 1B and Schwindel to DH.
This adds O and improves the D with out going 30M on one guy.
With the left over target a starter. Rodon might be a good pick as he comes in with health and durability concerns which affects term of deal. Cubs are in a good place where a 3 year offer might line up for him to prove his durability concerns.
TC – you are a great writer!
The biggest issue the Cubs had in recent years is lack of contact hitting and too many hot/cold uppercut HR hitters. They’re doing a good job building the team
Not a Sox fan, but man there is t much to honestly get excited about here. Kyle is a fantastic pitcher but looked terrible last year and Miley over preformed (with my Reds) much like half the guys this article seems to think can continue that trend. Realistically I feel the Cubs are barley better than .500 this year.
Perhaps a rye bit below .500
Dumpster Divin Theo
But but Nicky Madrigal is one of the top prospects that the Cubs stole from the White Sox. Perennial all star in the making and likely go down in Cubs lore as an all time great
High praise from you.
Btw why do you still have that username and pic, Theo stepped down in Novmeber 2020.
He was about to change into Dumpster Divin’ Hann. I love the fact that there are only 4 White Sucks fan, which I can name, in MLBTR posts. Real WHITE SOX fans almost never write anything on these pages, because they know about the stupidity these 4 bums always write in here. The reality is that those four bums are frustrated ex Cubs fans. Real White Sox fans feel ashamed because of all that stupidy, hatefulness, cero Baseball I.Q. from these chums. I understand their frustration, which only shows their frustrations towards their life. Let’s show’em a litlle love, come on.
Carlos Correa is way overrated. Hechas more strikes out postseason than rbis. WAR is also overtated and overrated, not considering who is batting before and after him, protecting him. He is not a five tools players and never will, doesn’t have HOF numbers and never will, doesn’t have any 30 homers or 100 rbis season. Also for just for one nice season, pay him $300m is just a fantasy. Knowing his past regular seasons being younger were full of injuries, cheating, talking about Jeter and other players injures without authorization like Alex Bregman, supposedly a broken ribs sumo massage, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if nobody signs him until the last minute and maybe for 1-3 years the most. Pitchers are more important in any team, than a WAR selfish metric and selfie champion in fantasy island.
Nice article. At a time when there’s little to no news, on the baseball front, it’s nice to get some solid insight.
Me hit ball far
I’m a CWS fan but not one who feels he needs to throw stones at Cubs fans. My take on the Cubs is they are geared to start turning the corner in mid 2023 or start of 2024. They can use the Hendricks/Miley/Contreras 2022 performance as deadline trade bait to add to the farm with some additional prospects because if they perform well teams overpay with talent that isn’t necessarily in their top 5 prospects. The comments above on Madrigal are somewhat amusing as their is no question he’s an everyday MLB player, but to me his comparison is David Eckstein and that is good if that’s the type of player your organization wants at 2B. He will be a reliable #2 hitter if you want to go back to non-analytic baseball.
Pitch to contact? When did Terry Ryan become the Cubs GM? ( it didn’t work well for the twins)
Ya know I feel alot of people are looking down on the Cubs, I truly believe they can win a few games this year.
Catcher: Wily is a all-star Catcher who loves the city of Chicago and should not be traded, and should be extended for chance we get. Yan Gomes is also a fairly good backup.
First Base: Frank the Tank was amazing last year, I expect to put up not as good numbers as his short stint last year, but I expect average numbers.
Second Base: Nick Madigral is the future there, I heard White Sox fans praising his talents before he was traded and his stats we’re pretty good.
Short Stop: If Nico is healthy this year he should be able to put up good stats, he’s shown alot of promise and I truly like his talents alot.
Third Base: Wisbomb is the starter here and he performed soild last year, I have alot of hope for what he can fix over this offseason.
Left Field: Ortega turned out to be a very good player last year and I believe he’ll either start or platoon with Michael Hardilmado.
Center Field: I know Happ’s stats looked very rough last year and even I was calling for him to get less playing time, but if you watched the Cubs alot last year Ian really picked up in late augest and all of september, I’m hoping he can contiume to keep mashing the ball.
Right Field: I don’t know here, maybe Davis comes up this year and Ian moves to Right? Maybe Greg Duchman gets another shot here.
Starters:: I have high hopes for a reboud for the rotation this season, The Cubs first have Hendo, Miley, and Stro for their starting 3, if Hendo can regain some of his magic, and Miley and Stro keep pitching well, that’s a top 10, starting 3. Behind them alot of options. If you followed the Cubs last year you see the promise in Adbert Alzolay, I watched alot of his starts late last year and they were either, A. Alzolay pitching a great game but his offense shats the bed and does nothing to help him. or B. Alzolay pitches a good game into the 5 or 6th inning, then makes one bad pitch which costs him the game. He was very unlucky last year. Finally for the 5th spot we have alot of options, we could sign somebody or give that spot to Alec Mills, or Zach Davies.
Bullpen: Your main 2 is Codi Huer, Rowan Wick, But again if you watched the Cubs closely last season, they had a very strong bullpen with Keegan Thompson and Justin Skeele.
My prediction for this season, 76-86