Edit: 2021 Opening Series Thread + Goodbye Darvish, belated Goodbye Theo / "Hot" Stove Thread
I'm taking a roundabout approach on this one, editing an old thread since I am currently unable to add a new story to the site. Here is your belated post for the 2021 opening series.
The Cubs lost a battle of the bullpens in game 1, with each team's starting pitcher going only 3 innings. The Pirates bullpen essentially shut down the Cubs' offense for the remaining 6 innings and the Cubs collected only 2 hits in the game. Meanwhile, Cubs pitchers allowed 11 walks and a HBP.
The cold temperatures we saw in game 1 have given way to unseasonably not horrible weather for the remainder of the series. Highs in the 60s and the wind blowing out to RF greet ballplayers and fans for game 2. Jake Arrieta makes his season debut in his return to the Cubs, going up against briefly-a-Cub lefty Brett Anderson. The heavily used bullpens both got a day of rest between games 1 and 2, so presumably everyone is available.
Game 3 will be a Sunday matinee between hard-throwing Pirates righty Mitch Keller and the new addition and Kyle Hendricks impersonator, Zach Davies.
The Cubs will continue their homestand with a series against the Brewers beginning on Monday, April 5, at 6:40 pm central, the first night game of the season.
[END GAMEDAY POST! OLD POST BELOW.]
If the departure of Theo Epstein in mid November was not a clear sign of things to come, today's trade of Yu Darvish certainly heralds the arrival of a rebuilding phase for the Chicago Cubs. It has been widely reported that the Cubs and Padres agreed on a deal sending Darvish and Caratini to sunny San Diego, former Brewer Zach Davies to the Cubs rotation, and two pairs of young shortstops and outfielders to Cubs' minor league facilities for years to come.
Davies is coming off of a promising year and the 4 young prospects have some upside. However, as of now many regard this deal as a salary dump for the Ricketts family. Darvish is owed just under $60 million for the 3 years remaining on his contract. That is a significant chunk of payroll, but an absolute bargain at his most recent level of performance. For approximately two years, fans and writers have speculated that a partial or full rebuild would begin with the trade of a Cubs star position player: Bryant, Contreras, or Baez. Bryant's health and performance seems to have hampered his trade market, however, and the Cubs have instead tread water the past two seasons. Now, Jed Hoyer's first big move as man at the helm has the team dealing from an area of weakness (the starting rotation) for a package of prospects far from the majors. It is unlikely that this will be the first domino to fall.
So, here's a thread for us all to discuss the so-called "hot" stove--more tepid than ever with the 2021 outlook uncertain for all of MLB. Who will go next? Is Hoyer looking at a full rebuild or some hybrid option? Did David Ross get the rug yanked out from under him? Will the Ricketts family cling to any of the remaining good will from 2016? How many Kyle Hendricks-lites does it take to fill out a starting rotation? Discuss amongst ourselves.
Hagsag 13 hours 38 min ago (view)
Phil, is the 3 weeks camp going on now?
Arizona Phil 15 hours 49 min ago (view)
The Cubs have signed free-agent LHP Stephen Gonsalves to a 2022 minor league contract.
If he were to be added to the MLB 40-man roster at some point in 2022, he has no minor league options left and he has Article XX-D rights (he can elect free-agency if outrighted).
So 78 Cubs minor leaguers are now eligible for selection in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft.
Also, the Cubs off-season minor league Domestic Reserve List now stands at 173 (17 slots are open).
Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
jdrnym: That's correct.
Under the new rules, the 38-man AAA reserve list is now only used beginning on the date reserve lists are filed in November and extending up through the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft. Then after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, everybody goes back into the off-season 190-man Domestic Reserve List hopper.
jdrnym 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
Phil, can you settle a Twitter discussion? A team can only select players in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft until its 38-man Triple-A reserve list is full, correct? Don't believe this changed with the latest Major League Rules that introduced the Domestic Reserve List and eliminated individual level reserve lists during the offseason.
crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
"Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston reports that Carlos Correa's agent has been contacted by the Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs and Braves.
It's not clear when the contact took place or what level of interest each club has."
...with the yanks and dodgers both with piles of cash and a bit of need, i wouldn't get too stoked...but at least there seems to be some interest in what his market is.
Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
Stroman's salary escalators apply to 2024, so if Stroman reaches 160 IP in either 2022 or 2023 (but not both) it adds $2M to his 2024 salary, and if he reaches 160 IP in both 2022 and 2023 it would add $4M to his to 2024 salary.
So he gets $25M in both 2022 and 2023 (that's locked-in), and then either $21M, $23M , or $25M in 2024, depending upon whether he reaches his salary escalators in 2022 and/or 2023.
Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
W-RAT: I should also mention that the Cubs cannot outright David Bote while he is injured or rehabbing from an injury, except during a window starting on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up until the day that off-season reserve lists must be filed (normaly 11/20, but it was 11/19 in 2021 because 11/20 fell on a Saturday, and it will be 11/18 in 2022 because 11/20 will fall on a Sunday).
Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
W-RAT: The Cubs can outright David Bote (if he is not claimed off waivers) once the transaction freeze is lifted. That's not a problem.
If he is outrighted and then elects free-agency, he would forfeit what remains of his contract - AS LONG AS - the contract is not fully guaranteed.
If the contract is fully guaranteed he would likely elect free-agency and the Cubs would be on the hook for what remains of his salary, offset by the MLB minimum salary if he were to sign an MLB deal with another club.
crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
kristin call has been named GM of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. she's been the assistant/associate GM for a few years and was formally a marketing director for the team.
she's been involved in baseball for a living for 16+ years.
Wrigley Rat 2 days 4 hours ago (view)
Hey Phil - Could David Bote be outrighted at any point before the start of the season (obviously not now while players are being locked out). I wonder because if someone claimed him, oh well. If he elected free agency, wouldn't that void his contract? These are the thoughts going through my head as I look to open up another 40-man spot, and Bote will be out until at least May.
I've read your 40-man tag for him, but I'm not quite smart enough to figure this out! :) Thanks!
crunch 2 days 10 hours ago (view)
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Marcus Stroman signed a three-year, $71 million contract with the Chicago Cubs that includes an opt out after the second season, sources tell ESPN. He’ll make $25 million in 2022, $25 million in 2023 and $21 million in 2024. It includes $2M escalators for 160 IP in ‘22 and ‘23.
Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have re-signed RHRP Jonathan Holder and C-INF P.J. Higgins to 2022 minor league contracts, presumably with an NRI to MLB Spring Training.
They will be Rule 5 Draft-eligible, if and when there is a Rule 5 Draft.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 22 hours ago (view)
Owners' stooge Bobby Manfred coming out swinging at the players with his statement about the owners instituting a lockout.
Arizona Phil 3 days 3 hours ago (view)
The Cubs re-signed OF Michael Hermosillo to a 2022 Major League contract just prior to the midnight Wednesday MLB transaction freeze.
Hermosillo was non-tendered on Tuesday because he was a Rule 5 Draft-Excluded Player, and if he had remained on the 40 the Cubs would not have been able to outright him to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to MLB opening Day.
crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)
we shouldn't, especially with how much payroll room for 2024+ this top-costing-for-fans team with a heavily monitized ballpark in a major media market has.
backloaded contracts aren't exactly groundbreaking new things...neither are cheap-ass owners. i don't expect them to compete every year, but i expect them to try after a punt season where they traded away the core. NYY, NYM, LAD, LAA, BOS, etc. don't seem to have trouble doing this even if it means throwing a bit of money around...
Sonicwind75 3 days 8 hours ago (view)
Stroman, a pleasant surprise. Good to know we aren't completely punting until 2025.