Cubs May Try a Little Non-Tenderness
The Cubs have acquired 26-year old 6'4 220 LHRP Conor Lillis-White from the Los Angeles Angels as the PTBNL in last month's Tommy LaStella trade. Lillis-White was "frozen" on the AAA Salt Lake reserve list (he is from Canada, so he can probably handle the cold OK) until the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, so the Cubs and Angels had to wait until the draft was over (and hope that he wasn't selected by another MLB club) before they could complete the deal.
The Angels 2015 32nd round draft pick out of the University of British Columbia in Canada, Lillis-White had a good 2018 season split between the AA Arkansas and AAA Salt Lake bullpens, putting up a 3.50 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP, and 32/98 BB/K in 46 games (72 IP). Besides racking up a ton of strikeouts, CLW also is a ground ball pitcher who doesn't surrender many HR.
Lillis-White projects to be in the AAA Iowa bullpen on 2019 Opening Day, and he could possibly get an NRI to Spring Training with the MLB club.
The Minnesota Twins have signed INF Ronald Torreyes to a 2019 Major League "split" contract ($800K MLB salary with unknown minor league split salary probably in the $300-$400K range).
Torreyes was non-tendered by the Cubs last Friday after being acquired from the Yankees in a trade two days earlier.
Based upon what transpired after the Cubs acquired Torreyes (he was non-tendered and then he signed a Major League contract with another club a week later) reinforces the idea that Torreyes was insurance in case the Cubs decided to non-tender Addison Russell, and then once the Cubs decided to tender Russell a 2019 contract, the Cubs did not want to risk the possibility that they might have to go to arbitration with Torreyes and were only interested in retaining him if he was willing to accept a minor league contract.
The Japan Times is reporting that the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (NPB) have signed RHRP Justin Hancock to a one-year contract ($620K).
Hancock was one of three players non-tendered by the Cubs last Friday.
The Cubs have tendered contracts to 24 of the 27 unsigned players on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), including seven of the eight players who were eligible for salary arbitration and 17 of the 19 who are pre-arbitration (auto-renewal).
The three players who were non-tendered are INF Ronald Torreyes (acquired from the Yankees in a trade on Wednesday), RHP Justin Hancock, and RHP Allen Webster. The Cubs will likely now attempt to sign the three players who were non-tendered to 2019 minor league contracts, preferrably after the Rule 5 Draft. It's possible that the Cubs already have deals in place with one, two, or maybe all three of their non-tendered players. (Last year Taylor Davis was non-tendered and then signed a minor league contract after the Rule 5 Draft). However, a non-tendered player is an unrestricted free-agent and so he can sign a Major League or minor league 2019 contract with any club (including his former club).
Torreyes was eligible for Salary Arbitration as a "Super Two" player, and if you are wondering why the Cubs non-tendered Hancock and Webster (neither of whom were eligible for Salary Arbitration), read the original post below for the explanation(s).
As far as Torreyes being acquired in a trade and then being non-tendered two days later is concerned, it may have been a matter of Torreyes being an insurance policy in case the Cubs decided not to tender a contract to Addison Russell, but once the Cubs decided to tender Russell (the final decision was made apparently within the last 24 hours), Torreyes became expendable (although again, the Cubs probably hope to sign Torreyes to a minor league contract). Also, if Torreyes had been tendered and then went through the arbitration process, his contract could not have included a separate (and significantly lower) minor league "split salary," in the event he spends more time in AAA than he does in MLB in 2019. Now that he has been non-tendered, Torreyes could sign a minor league contract in the $150K range with maybe a $900K MLB salary if at some point he gets added to the MLB 40-man roster, or he could even sign a Major League contract (and go back on the 40) albeit with a minor league split salary in the $150K range. It's the minor league split salary that matters here, because (as things stand now) Torreyes is likely to spend most of the 2019 season as injury-insurance depth at AAA once Russell returns from his suspension.
With three players having been non-tendered, the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 36 (four slots are open).
The Cubs have traded INF Tommy LaStella to the Los Angeles Angels for a PTBNL or cash.
The Cubs acquired LaStella from the Atlanta Braves in November 2014 for RHRP Arodys Vizcaino, and LaStella has served as a back-up 2B-3B and LH pinch-hitter for the Cubs most of the past four seasons. He hit 312/398/416 as a pinch-hitter in 2018 and led MLB in pinch-hits (by far) with a club-record 24 (Chase Utley was second in pinch-hits in MLB with 13). While there is no question LaStella is the best pinch-hitter in MLB, he is a below-average defender at 3B and just average at 2B.
The 29-year old LaStella is eligible for salary arbitration for the second time post-2018 but was not projected to make more than about $1.2M. He has one minor league option left and is under club control through the 2020 season (or through the 2021 season if he spends more than 115 days on Optional Assignment to the minors in 2019).
The Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 39 (one slot is open).
11/28 UPDATE #2:
The Cubs have signed free-agent LHP Kyle Ryan to a 2019 Major League contract and he has been added to their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster)
An extreme ground ball pitcher who throws strikes, the 6'5 215 27-year old lefty pitched for Iowa (the Cubs AAA affiliate) in 2018, and had a very good year (2.86 ERA - 1.00 WHIP - .203 OppBA - 18/61 BB/K in 22 G - 8 GS). He was declared an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA on November 2nd.
Why the Cubs did not just add Ryan to their MLB Reserve List prior to him becoming a minor league FA is unclear, but it may have had something to do with the Cubs somewhat murky 40-man roster situation heading into the 11/20 minor league roster filing deadline (they ultimately needed roster slots for Justin Steele, Ian Clarkin, and Rowan Wick, and potentially could have needed additional slots as well). It's possible that the Cubs made a verbal promise to Ryan that he would be added to the 40 ASAP if he would agree to wait (let's say) a month and not sign elsewhere.
So Ryan does get a slot on the 40 after-all, and he will compete for a spot in the Cubs bullpen in Spring Training. Ryan was a SP/RP "swing-man" at Iowa in 2018, and so he could be a useful piece for the Cubs in 2019.
Ryan was a 12th round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers out of Auburndale HS - Auburndale, FL in 2010, and he has MLB experience (he was a LHP - SWING off-and-on for the Detroit Tigers in 2014-17). He has one minor league option left, so he can safely ride the "Chicago - Des Moines shuttle" in 2019 without the Cubs having to fear that he could be claimed off waivers if they need him to begin next season at Iowa. However, he has been sent outright to the minors previously in his career, so he is an Article XX-D player and has the right to elect free-agency if he were to be outrighted to the minors again.
With Ryan having been added to the MLB Reserve List, the Cubs 40-man roster is now full (pending any moves that might be made prior to Friday's contract tender deadline).
11/28 UPDATE #1:
Ther Cubs have acquired INF Ronald Torreyes from the New York Yankees for a PTBNL or cash. He was Designated for Assignment by NYY on Monday, and likely would have been non-tendered by the Yanks on Friday if he hadn't been traded.
The 5'8 150 Venezuelan was signed by the Cincinnati Reds as a 17-year old IFA out of Venezuela in 2010, and he was an outstanding hitter right from the start (he hit .390 in the VSL in 2010 and .356 as an 18-year old in the MWL in 2011). He was rated the Reds #13 prospect by Baseball America after the 2011 season, before being traded to the Cubs in December 2011 in the deal that sent LHP Sean Marshall to the Reds and LHP Travis Wood and OF Dave Sappelt to the Cubs.
Torreyes spent a year-and-a-half in the Cubs system (Hi-A Daytona in 2012 and AA Tennessee in 2013) before being traded to the Houston Astros in July 2013 for International Signing Bonus Pool space (the Cubs needed some additional ISBP space so that they could sign the #1 and #2 rated 2013-14 ISP J-2 IFA, SS Gleyber Torres and OF Eloy Jimenez).
Torreyes bounced around after being traded, moving from HOU to TOR to LAD to NYY to LAA in cash deals and waiver claims before finally ending up with the Yankees to stay in February 2016. He spent most of the last three seasons as the Yankees' #1 utility infielder.
Although he has a slightly below-average arm, Torreyes is a solid defender at 2B-3B-SS and a high-contact hitter with below-average power and average speed, hitting a combined 281/310/375 in 229 MLB games (615 PA). He figures to provide the Cubs with middle-infield insurance at the beginning of the 2019 season while Addison Russell finishes serving his DV suspension, or he could be a full-season back-up INF option if the Cubs non-tender or trade Russell.
Torreyes is first-time eligible for salary arbitration (as a "Super Two") post-2018, and he has one minor league option left should the Cubs need to send him to the minors at some point in 2019.
With the addition of Torreyes, the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 39 (one slot is open).
11/26 ORIGINAL POST:
If an unsigned player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) is not tendered a 2019 contract by 8 PM (Eastern) on this coming Friday (November 30th), the player will be immediately removed from his club's MLB 40-man roster and he becomes an unrestricted free-agent, free to sign a major league or minor league contract with any club, including the club that non-tendered the player.
NOTE: The MLB contract tender deadline is normally December 2nd, but it is moved up to December 1st if December 2nd falls on a Saturday (as was the case last year), or to November 30th if December 2nd falls on a Sunday (which is the case this year).
A "Non-Tendered" player receives no termination pay, and the player's former club receives no compensation if the player subsequently signs with another club.
Unlike players who receive an Outright Release, a player who is not tendered a contract is not placed on waivers prior to becoming a free-agent.
TENDERING CONTRACTS TO UNSIGNED PLAYERS
Each unsigned player on an MLB 40-man roster who is tendered a contract must be offered at least the MLB minimum salary ($575K in 2019) and (with a couple of exceptions) at least 80% of the player's previous season's salary, and at least 70% of the player's salary from two seasons back.
Some players have a "minor league split" salary in their contract which they are paid if they are sent to the minors. In most cases, a player's minor league "split" salary must be at least 50% of the player's salary (as was actually paid to the player) from the previous season. The one exception is if a free-agent signs a major league contract with a minor league "split" salary, the "50% rule" does not apply.
The minor league "split" minimum salary is $90,400 in 2019, and the minor league "split" minimum salary for players who are on an MLB Reserve List for the first time is $45,300 in 2019.
Performance-incentive bonuses are permitted in Major League contracts, but a bonus cannot be based on batting or pitching skill, or where the club finishes in the standings.
A performance-incentive bonus can, however, be tied to days spent on an MLB Active List during the MLB regular season, and/or Games Played, Games Started, Games Finished, and/or Innings Pitched for pitchers, or Games Played, Games Started, and/or Plate Appearances for position players. Awards such as MVP, Cy Young, Silver Slugger, and/or Gold Glove, and/or being named to an All-Star team, can also be tied to an incentive bonus.
An unsigned player under club control who has accrued at least three but less than six years of MLB Service Time is automatically eligible for salary arbitration.
Also, any unsigned player with at least two years but less than three years of MLB Service Time who accrued at least 86 days of MLB Service Time during the previous season can qualify for salary arbitration as a so-called "Super Two" if the player is among the top 22% in MLB Service Time of players in that group.
NOTE: The "Super Two" cut-off for 2019 (post-2018) is 2+134 MLB Service Time.
UNSIGNED CUBS SALARY ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE PLAYERS: (last updated 11-29-2018)
Javier Baez, INF
Kris Bryant, INF
Carl Edwards Jr, RHP ("Super Two")
Kyle Hendricks, RHP
Mike Montgomery, LHP
Addison Russell, INF
Kyle Schwarber, OF
Ronald Torreyes, INF ("Super Two")
If a club and a player eligible for salary arbitration cannot agree on a contract, the player can request the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to file for salary arbitration. The MLBPA is responsible for delivering all requests for salary arbitration to the MLB Labor Relations Department (MLB LRD) on the Tuesday immediately prior to the Friday that falls during the week January 10-16. Once salary arbitration has been requested, the player submits his desired salary to the MLBPA, the club submits its salary offer to the MLB LRD, and the MLBPA and MLB LRD exchange the two figures on the Friday that falls during the week January 10-16. The MLBPA and MLB LRD then schedule a hearing with a three-person arbitration panel. Hearings are held on various dates during the first three weeks of February.
The club's offer must be at least the MLB minimum salary, and, in most cases, must be at least 80% of the player's previous year's salary and at least 70% of the player's salary from two seasons back. However, if the player received a raise in excess of 50% by a salary arbitration panel the previous season, a 20% maximum salary reduction from the previous season and a 30% maximum salary reduction from two seasons back does not apply, and the club only has to offer at least the MLB minimum salary.
After arbitration has been requested, the player and the club can continue to negotiate back & forth, and the player can withdraw from the process any time up until the hearing. And in fact this frequently happens, as the player and the club will often agree to just "split the difference" (something the panel cannot do). If the matter does go to a hearing, the arbitration panel must choose either the club's offer or the player's figure.
Win or lose, the player is awarded a standard one-year MLB contract with no "minor league split" salary or incentive/performance bonuses. Also, the contract is not guaranteed, so if the player is released during Spring Training, the club would only owe the player 30 days or 45 days salary as termination pay, depending on when the player is released. (A player on an MLB 40-man roster receives 100% of what remains of his salary if he is released during the regular season).
A player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released more than 15 days prior to Opening Day receives 30 days salary as termination pay (paid at the "minor league rate" if the player is signed to a "split contract"), and a player on an MLB Reserve List signed to a non-guaranteed contract who is released 15 or fewer days prior to Opening Day receives 45 days salary as termination pay (all players paid at the "Major League rate").
A player on an MLB Reserve List who is released during the MLB regular season receives 100% of his salary as termination pay (paid at the "minor league rate" for players on Optional Assignment to the minors).
An unsigned player on an MLB Reserve List released during the off-season receives no termination pay.
NOTE: The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) is very sensitive about salary arbitration, so if a player is awarded a contract by an arbitration panel and then is subsequently released by his club prior to or during Spring Training, the MLBPA will almost always file a grievance on behalf of the player, claiming the player was released for economic reasons only (which is not permitted), and asking that the released player receive 100% of his salary as termination pay. In that situation, a club would have to show (by submitting official Spring Training game stats) that the released player was out-performed in Spring Training games by another player (or players) competing for that roster spot.
PRE-ARBITRATION (AUTO RENEWAL) PLAYERS
An unsigned player under club control who does not yet qualify for salary arbitration ultimately has to either accept the club's offer or just not play.
A club will negotiate with the player up to a point, but if the player has not signed a contract for the current season by March 1st, the club has the right to unilaterally dictate the player's salary and renew the player's contract from the previous season (albeit for an amount not less than the MLB minimum salary, and not less than 80% of the player's salary from the previous season and not less than 70% of the player's salary from two season's back).
These players are the ones who have a "minor league split" salary in their contract, which the player is paid if he is sent to the minors. A player's "minor league split" salary must be at least equal to the 2019 MLB "minor league split" minimum salary and must be at least 50% of the player's salary from the previous season.
NOTE: If a free-agent signs a major league contract with a minor league "split" salary, the "50% rule" does not apply.
UNSIGNED CUBS PRE-ARBITRATION (AUTO-RENEWAL) PLAYERS: (last updated 11-26-2018)
Albert Almora, Jr, OF
Adbert Alzolay, RHP
David Bote, INF
Victor Caratini, C
Willson Contreras, C
Taylor Davis, C
Oscar de la Cruz, RHP
Justin Hancock, RHP
Ian Happ, IF-OF
Dillon Maples, RHP
Alec Mills, RHP
James Norwood, RHP
Randy Rosario, LHP
Justin Steele, LHP
Jen-Ho Tseng, RHP
Duane Underwood Jr, RHP
Allen Webster, RHP
Rowan Wick, RHP
Mark Zagunis, OF
PLAYERS WHO COULD BE NON-TENDERED BY CUBS ON FRIDAY:
1. Addison Russell, SS: If the Cubs choose to non-tender Addison Russell on Friday, it won't be because of how he played in 2018. If the Cubs non-tender him it will be because the Ricketts family does not want Russell and his DV suspension associated with the Cubs brand. So far there is no indication of that, but if it is the case, Theo & Jed would know that if they do not non-tender (or trade) Russell by Friday, they will probably be stuck with him going into the 2019 season.
2. Justin Hancock, RHP: The Cubs selected Hancock's contract from AAA Iowa on May 9th and he spent 24 days on the Cubs 25-man roster off-and-on in May and June before being placed on the 10-day DL with a right shoulder inflammation on June 26th. He was transferred to the MLB 60-day DL on July 31st, and remained there for the remainder of the season. Because he spent more than three months on the MLB DL, Hancock accrued 123 days of MLB Service Time in 2018, and so he was paid at the "Major League rate" on those 123 days ($575K MLB minimum salary pro-rated to about $3,000 per day for 123 days, plus an additional $30K in minor league salary when he was not on the Cubs MLB active roster or MLB DL, or approximately $400K total). So Hancock was paid about $400K in 2018, and as a result if he is tendered a 2019 contract on Friday, his minor league split salary would have to be about $200K (50% of what he was actually paid in 2018). And $200K is a lot of money to pay a player who will likely spend much of the 2019 season at AAA, so the Cubs might choose to non-tender Hancock in order to avoid paying him a $200K 2019 minor league split salary. The Cubs also might feel they will probably need his slot on the 40 for a free-agent later in the off-season. Now that doesn't mean the Cubs don't want to retain Hancock, just that they would likely prefer to pay him a more-reasonable 2019 minor league salary (probably about $100K) and remove him from the 40-man roster and get him to the AAA Iowa roster without having to expose him to waivers. Non-tendering him on 11/30 and then re-signing him to a minor league contract after the Rule 5 Draft on December 13th would accomplish both of those objectives. Of course, Hancock would have to go along with the plan, and he could just refuse. Also, because Hancock is an MLB Rule 55 player (he would have been a minor league 6YFA on the 5th day after the final game of the World Series if he had not been on the 40-man roster) he cannot be sent outright to the minors (even if Outright Assignment Waivers are secured) until he signs a 2019 contract, and the Cubs would not be able to automatically renew him until March 1st, and Hancock (or at least Hancock's agent) knows that. So non-tendering him on Friday is the only way to get him off the 40 and keep him in the organization (presuming he agrees to sign a 2019 minor league contract with the Cubs after being non-tendered).
3. Allen Webster, RHP: The Cubs signed Webster to a minor league contract on March 2nd and he spent four months in Mesa rehabbing from a pre-existing right elbow injury. He was moved up to AA Tennessee on 8/9 and then to AAA Iowa on 8/22, and the Cubs selected his contract and elevated him to the MLB 40-man roster on 9/19 after Brandon Morrow was declared out for the season. Unlike the case of Hancock and his 2019 minor league split salary, the issue with Webster is that he is a Draft-Excluded Player so he cannot be sent outright to the minors until 20 days prior to 2019 MLB Opening Day. Also, he is out of minor league options, and so it would be better for the Cubs if he comes to Spring Training on the Iowa roster as an NRI player so that the Cubs would not have to place him on waivers in order to send him to Iowa if he has a strong Cactus League performance but there is no room for him on the Cubs 25-man Opening Day roster. By non-tendering him on Friday and then signing him to a 2019 minor league contract after the Rule 5 Draft, the Cubs could remove him from the 40 and then bring him to Spring Training as an NRI without having to worry about him being out of minor league options. The Cubs could even offer Webster the same money he would have made if he was on the 40 (or maybe even a little bit more) to entice him to go along with the plan, but as is the case with Hancock, the Cubs cannot force Webster to accept the offer.
4. Taylor Davis, C-1B: For the second season in a row the Cubs called-up Taylor Davis from AAA Iowa in September to serve as a third catcher, so once again he is a Draft-Excluded Player (he cannot be sent outright to the minors until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day). Last year the Cubs non-tendered T. Davis on 12/1 and then re-signed him to a minor league contract (with an NRI to Spring Training) after the Rule 5 Draft so that he could be sure to remain in the Cubs organization in 2018 without having to take up a slot on the 40-man roster. So if the Cubs feel they might need his slot on the 40 again during the post-2018 off-season and since he is (once again) a Draft-Excluded Player and thus cannot be sent outright to the minors until mid-March, non-tendering T. Davis on Friday and then re-signing him to a 2019 minor league contract (with an NRI to Spring Training) after the Rule 5 Draft would remove him from the 40 while at the same time keeping him in the organization. But as would be the case with both Hancock and Webster, T. Davis would have to agree to the proposal. Otherwise he could just get non-tendered and sign elsewhere. And while T. Davis agreed to the proposal last year, he might not be as open to the offer two years in a row.
Again, keep in mind that if the Cubs need additional MLB 40-man roster slots during the off-season, Taylor Davis, Allen Webster, and recently-acquired Rowan Wick (and Justin Steele, too) have MLB Rule 6 Draft-Excluded Player status, so they can - NOT - be outrighted to the minors today, tomorrow, or anytime during the off-season (until 20 days prior to 2019 MLB Opening Day), and Justin Hancock, Duane Underwood Jr, Alec Mills, Randy Rosario, and Dillon Maples have MLB Rule 55 status and so they can - NOT - be outrighted until the player signs a 2019 contract (and as auto-renewal players they would not be compelled to sign until March 1st).
However, T. Davis, Webster, Wick, Hancock, Underwood, Mills, Rosario, and Maples - CAN - be non-tendered on 11/30 (and I would expect two or three of them -- especially Hancock and Webster and maybe T. Davis -- to be non-tendered and then possibly/hopefully re-signed to a 2019 minor league contract after the Rule 5 Draft if the player accepts the offer), but they can - NOT - be outrighted to the minors until well into Spring Training.
Otherwise that leaves just Jen-Ho Tseng, Mark Zagunis, and James Norwood as players on the 40 who actually can be outrighted to the minors during the post-2018 off-season (if that were to become necessary in December, January, or February). Outright Assignment Waivers (which are irrevocable) would have to be secured before the player can be sent outright to the minors, however, so the Cubs would be taking a chance that the player could be claimed off waivers (waiver price is $50,000) by another MLB club.
One additional issue regarding Mark Zagunis (and this also would apply to Justin Hancock if he signs a 2019 major league contract without waiting until March 1st) is that a player on an MLB 40-man roster who accrued MLB Service Time the previous season cannot be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers after 11/20 if the player has a pre-existing injury and is not healthy enough to pass a pre-Spring Training physical. Zagunis (and Hancock) finished the 2018 MLB regular season on the Cubs MLB 60-day with "right shoulder inflammation" (so they both accrued MLB Service Time in 2018), and if the injury has not healed the player cannot be outrighted (even if waivers are secured) after 11/20. But if the shoulder problem lingers throughout the off-season, Zagunis (and/or Hancock) could be placed back on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL as early as the first day of Spring Training (the date pitchers & catchers report), which would open up one (or two) additional slots on the 40 at that time (presuming Zagunis and/or Hancock are on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster at the start of Spring Training).
The E-Man 3 hours 11 min ago (view)
Eh - double meh. How about just getting Curtis Granderson and calling it a day?
crunch 3 hours 23 min ago (view)
c.paddack (SD) with a no-hitter through 7, 82 pitches
...and it's gone in the 8th. now i don't have to watch a SD/MIA game anymore.
Eric S 7 hours 13 min ago (view)
Finally, a Yu win at Wrigley as a Cub and a series win against the Reds. Could definitely get used to that!
Eric S 8 hours 4 min ago (view)
JHey!!! Yu’s gotta be the happiest dude in the dugout
Eric S 8 hours 8 min ago (view)
Little surprised Maddon pulled Yu after six innings and only 83 pitches - hopefully just trying to keep him fresh (and no injury concern)
videographer 9 hours 11 min ago (view)
What can you tell us about Alexander Guerra and his performance as of late? 2 - 3HR games in two weeks, 1.200 Slg %. Does he have any kind of value as a prospect?
crunch 9 hours 43 min ago (view)
post all-star break darvish is some good stuff so far, too.
Eric S 10 hours 11 min ago (view)
Home run derby KB is a hell of a lot of fun!!
Eric S 10 hours 45 min ago (view)
I’m trying really hard to reverse jinx it but floundering in a bad way. Seems likely he’ll hit 6 + in a week when the dam finally breaks
Eric S 10 hours 46 min ago (view)
His two strike approach is very commendable on a team with so much swing and miss in it. Hoping he’ll run into an early count fastball soon that exits the park - he’s most certainly due.
First.Pitch.120 10 hours 59 min ago (view)
Fair points... but with this roster, I don't really care about JJ's power. More than enough power up & down lineup. I'm a bit "meh" on speed & SBs, especially in a 4th OF type on a post-season roster. Call it Post-Traumatic-2018-Terrence-Gore-Disorder (PT'18TGD???). If I had to choose between a 4th OF who can pinch run or who can pinch hit, it's my personal preference for the PH. And anybody who disagrees with me is wrong & probably immoral.
VirginiaPhil 12 hours 20 min ago (view)
Jay--an outfielder hitting two home runs in 433 PAs with the Cubs. Hasn't hit more than three in seven years. Sometimes you give up power for speed, but there's no speed, either, at least in the form of SBs.
VirginiaPhil 12 hours 27 min ago (view)
Williams can carry a tune, if I remember correctly.
Dempster was unbelievable the other night, hitting only one note on-key, the second to the last word in the song, "ball." Maybe he can do comedy, but forget about song-and-dance.
crunch 12 hours 54 min ago (view)
almora (really?) / baez / bryant(LF) / rizzo / caratini / heyward / russell(2nd) / bote(3rd) / darvish
First.Pitch.120 13 hours 58 min ago (view)
Jon Jay - Trade Candidate?
I noticed that JJ was back from the IL & having a usual JJ quiet-productive start to his season. I think I love the idea of JJ coming back to the north side. Instantly makes the OF deeper no matter what happens with Happ or Zo. Lefty bat compliments AA in CF & can play good D at all 3 spots. Pretty even career R/L splits. Good career PH numbers if coming off the bench. Known quantity in clubhouse.
The post-seaon roster starts to feel deep & balanced... with 13 position players including a bench of:
Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 35 min ago (view)
He is very streaky, both with his hitting for average and his power. I’m not too worried about it from the Cubs standpoint yet. From my fantasy team standpoint a different matter though.