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.


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.


It's back to watching the Cubs just to hear the sound of the typewriter go clickety-clack in the background. 

Oh wait. 

I wonder if Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk are in the market to buy a team. 

They could introduce cyborg players. Cubs already have Rizzo. It's worked out pretty well. A few more would be awesome. 

O&B, the typewriter days, yeah...👍

Cubs are apparently "extensively shopping" Willson Contreras.

Hopefully we can acquire one year of a mediocre starter and some more total lottery tickets for him, too!

*checks 29 team rosters of 18-20 year olds fresh out of dominican ball*

i mean...is hoyer trying to build his legacy by playing the numbers or does he truly believe this is the best path forward for the cubs?  the kids that were picked up in that darvish trade are so far down the pipeline i'm questioning 2022 before 2021 has begun.

without making a single move, this is still the team that won the division last year and went 8 games over .500 while only losing  reliever jeremy jeffress as a talent loss.

jon lester's 3 wins with a 5.16era and 10 innings of jose quintana won't be missed.

He was pretty obviously told "you want the job? Cut payroll for a few years. We'll give you a couple years to get things going in the right direction"

 Of course the subtext was "we don't care about the fans or about winning."

I wouldn't be opposed to getting Quintana for a year if he'd be willing to do so -- maybe he could do well to build up his value and potentially be sufficient to give him a qualifying offer :)

I'm a hater of Marquee Network from the moment they teamed up with Sinclair.

In today's Tribune...Paul Sullivan:

Darvish deal starts undoing of Cubs

...They could stop watching Marquee Sports Network, but would anyone notice? The only thing on these days besides Cubs reruns and Ryan Dempster are shows about betting, surfing, bass fishing and other activities with a limited audience.

On Tuesday morning I turned on Marquee to see if there was any discussion of the Darvish deal. Appropriately, a show called “Follow the Money” was airing. Alas, it had nothing to do with the Cubs.

It seems like eons ago, but it was only last January that Ricketts was booed at the Cubs Convention when he mentioned Marquee, which had yet to come to an agreement with Comcast, the largest local cable provider.

Ricketts appeared quite shocked.

“What do you have against the Marquee Network?” he asked the crowd.

The booing only grew louder.

“Believe me, you won’t be booing (about Marquee) in a year,” he said.

He was partially correct. Almost one year later, they’re booing ownership more than the network. Fortunately for Tom and his brother Todd, who oversaw fundraising for President Donald Trump’s FAILED reelection campaign, the 2021 Cubs Convention has been canceled because of COVID-19, so the siblings won’t be booed in public.

Who would’ve guessed last January that their world would turn upside down, the Cubs’ wheelbarrow would be bare, Wrigley would be fan-free, more than 100 Cubs employees would be laid off, Epstein would resign, announcer Len Kasper would bolt for the White Sox and Darvish would be dumped after a Cy Young Award-caliber season?

Oh, what a year it has been.

But hope springs eternal. There’s always next year, and at least the Cubs have a ready-made slogan for 2021:

“Follow the money.”

Let's Go, Follow the Money.

"Cubs president Jed Hoyer said Wednesday that the rumors about Willson Contreras being shopped are "fictional.""

"Hoyer also told reporters during Wednesday's press conference that he thinks "we're going to have a really competitive team next year""

...awaiting further moves over here, jed...c'mon...

Competitive in what way? Competitive for a top five draft pick?

Last I checked, actual competitive teams have more than 1 proven above average SP

On that topic, I've begun the process of emotionally detaching from Kyle Hendricks.

Add a few scrap heap starters and a bounce back from Javy or Bryant and the team could be competitive versus the NL Central.  Not competitive versus Dodger, Braves, Padres and other elite team but they would have a chance at being the fastest turtle in the NL Central. 

Can someone tell Jed Hoyer to please stop talking.  The  words that come out of his mouth justifying  his dumpster dive trading tactics are an assualt on fans ears..

DJL: The way I read that is with the Pirates in a full rebuild, the Cubs and Reds shedding payroll, and the Brewers and Cards basically staying pat, the N. L. Central is now the weakest division in MLB, maybe like the NFC East. 

Ahhh now I see! First to 75 wins is the victor!

Report that Schwarber gets $10 million from Nats. Good for him, wish him well.  Seems like Jed didn't do a very good job trying to trade him if his free agent value was higher then his expected arbitration salary.

that is a huge wtf fail if it's not incentive driven.  was the desire to cut payroll so high that they didn't want to risk being "stuck" with him?  did they improperly gauge the market (by being off by mulitple millions)?

seeing as the cubs seem to be looking for 12 year olds who won all-star on their little league teams in trade, it's not like they wouldn't be able to find a taker for a long-off "maybe" prospect in return.

I'm always confused by this. They also could have tendered him and then boosted his value by trading him with a million or two in cash considerations. Obviously, that's a million or two more expensive than simply non-tendering--but couldn't you at least get an interesting prospect in return from one of these teams? They obviosuly thought it was worth their return to toss in a few million in the Darvish trade.

The 2021 amount is 7.

The buyout is 3.


The 2021 guaranteed amount is $7 + $3 million mutual option buyout. 10>8.  Most media reports summarizes it as a $10 million deal. 

PHIL: Did the Cubs release Saul Vazquez?

(Not Phil) - Last I saw, he was on the restricted list.

Yeah, to my calculation that suspension should be over by now unless he got caught again...

Thanks Phil!

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  • crunch 3 min 4 sec ago (view)

    while not known as a clubhouse cancer, there's more than a few stories about his "leadership qualities" lacking or otherwise being a bit of a jerk at points in time.  they're mostly rumor, and none of the rumors are awful...

    reminded a bit of this justin wilson/rizzo exchange back in 2018...



  • videographer 36 min 34 sec ago (view)

    /With all the player movement in the last week, I wonder if the Cubs are now 85% compliant for vaccinated players.  We know Sogard and Rizzo were not vaccinated and I can assume the players taking their place of the 40 man roster are vaccinated.  It will be an interesting story going forward when all trade noise settles down.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 31 min ago (view)

    Agreed on every point. I think Jed is trying to create "his" team, a fully separate entity than Theo. Probably targeting 2023 or 2024 to return to actual contention.

    He absolutely shouldn't have aired that out. He ends up looking like the bad guy. This is a good way to burn those bridges. 


  • crunch 3 hours 11 sec ago (view)

    jed shouldn't have aired things out so blatently, even if true.

    "I don't know why guys didn't want to sign. I don't know why guys didn't want to even counteroffer, oftentimes. Every one of these guys would say they wanted to stay in Chicago, 'we wanted to be a Cub,' but then we would sit down and do negotiations, that wasn't how they acted."

    ...dude, no.  keep that to yourself.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 11 min ago (view)

    After the feel-good videos and goodbyes, Jed decided to say the players didn't seem to want to negotiate and place blame at their feet. Rizzo responded today, basically saying "wtf man, shut up, that's a lie."

    I haven't really blamed Jed for much of this as I feel mgmt forced his hand but this... definitely a misstep Jed. And it also makes me wonder, the next core, if they don't want to sign below market extensions, are we gonna see a similar tear down?


  • crunch 20 hours 21 min ago (view)

    yeah.  i think it would have worked better if they weren't local boys.  better sell on having a built in "friend" in a new, far away place.  still not a bad move for an incentive, though...


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 50 min ago (view)

    Was clearly just a signing as an incentive to sign his brother


  • crunch 1 day 12 min ago (view)

    david can go ahead and not sign with the cubs if he wishes.

    there is absolutely nothing about his game that looks like he could even play A-ball.  his low-division college game is weak and his summer league wood bat game is abysmal.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 51 min ago (view)

    Grand Canyon University's pitching staff got a big boost with recent Phoenix Alhambra High School ace Daniel Avitia deciding not to sign with the Chicago Cubs and, instead, honoring his letter of intent to the NCAA Division I school."

    Mostly, they didn't give me the money I wanted," said Avitia, who was asking for $300,000. "The best position for me is to go to GCU and get in the top rounds (after his junior season)." Avitia said that the Cubs wouldn't go any higher than $125,000 in negotiations.


  • Eric S 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Edwin took the L today in team USA's extra inning loss to Japan - should be able to help the Cubs efforts to secure a high draft pick soon. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Even though the MLB Trade Deadline has passed, Cubs minor leaguers with MLB experience like RHSP Joe Biagini, LHRP Tony Cingrani, RHRP Ryan Meisinger, OF Ian Miller, and RHSP Adrian Sampson can still be traded up until one week prior to the scheduled conclusion of the MLB reegular season, and I would expect each of them to get some interest from contending teams prior to the August 31 midnight post-season roster eligibilty deadline.


  • cubbies.4ever 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Still haven't seen/heard if Cubs signed 19th rd Daniel Avitia, the last of the unsigned or declined.


  • crunch 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    imagine he'll go into indie ball somewhere and hope he doesn't end up like matt harrington.


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    So is Kumar going "pro" by taking a KBO contract next season or something like that or does he just work out for a year?  Not sure what the rules are for a player in his situation.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Good. Suck it Mets


  • crunch 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    mets fail to sign k.rocker.

    at the time it was considered a hell of a pick when he fell so far (11th pick).  he was considered a top-5 pick for most of the year, #1 for a chunk of it.  his medicals (elbow) gave the mets pause offering him slot value.  his agent, boras, says he's healthy.

    he will not return to vandy and will go "pro"...he returns to the draft next year and the mets get a compensation 11th pick in round 1 next season.