Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

59 players are at MLB Spring Training 

40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full) 
19 players are MLB Spring Training NON-ROSTER INVITEES (NRI) 

Last updated 2-6-2024
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 22
Yency Almonte
Adbert Alzolay 
Michael Arias
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge
* Bailey Horn
* Shota Imanaga
Caleb Kilian
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Julian Merryweather
Hector Neris 
Daniel Palencia
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski 
* Jordan Wicks

NRI PITCHERS: 11 
Colten Brewer 
Chris Clarke 
Carl Edwards Jr 
* Edwin Escobar 
* Richard Lovelady 
Sam McWilliams 
* Thomas Pannone 
Ethan Roberts 
Cam Sanders 
Riley Thompson 
* Brad Wieck 

CATCHERS: 2
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

NRI CATCHERS: 4  
Jorge Alfaro 
Pablo Aliendo
Joe Hudson 
* Bryce Windham

INFIELDERS: 9
* Michael Busch 
Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Matt Mervis
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Luis Vazquez
Patrick Wisdom

NRI INFIELDERS: 3 
David Bote 
Matt Shaw 
Chase Strumpf 

OUTFIELDERS: 7
Kevin Alcantara
Alexander Canario
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman 

NRI OUTFIELDERS: 1 
* Owen Caissie  
 



Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

2023-2024 Offseason Update Thread

December 16, 2023: The first six weeks of the offseason have yielded little action by the Cubs' front office. Two rumored targets, free agent Shohei Ohtani and former Rays starting Pitcher Tyler Glasnow, have found their way to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jeimer Candelario, who could have been a versatile contributor for the Cubs, has landed in the crowded Reds infield instead. Let's take a look at the options that remain.

Early reports suggested the Cubs would be in on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but all has been quiet on that front lately. Cody Bellinger might now be at the top of the Cubs' priorities. Matt Chapman could pile onto the Cubs defensive strengths if added at third. A reunion with Marcus Stroman would not be out of the question. Josh Hader remains a potential splash for the bullpen as well. And there is always the potential for a surprise trade to fill needs on the corner infield spots, in the starting rotation, or even center field where Pete Crow-Armstrong has appeared not yet ready.

Meanwhile, the Cubs avoided arbitration with Patrick Wisdom and Christopher Morel continues to get third base playing time with the Aguilas Cibaenas. Jorge Alfaro has also been invited to Spring Training and will add to the catching depth.

 




Join us in the comments to discuss any news as it develops.

Comments

j.steele gets 1.67m from the 50m "pre-arbitration bonus pool"

the new CBA puts 50m aside from central revenues to give out loot in tiers (with qualifier bonus like ROY) to a pool of 100 pre-arb players (based on the MLB/MLBPA definition of WAR).

!!!! CUBS SIGN TOM PANNONE to a minor league deal with spring invite !!!!

start printing those world series tickets.

On Chicago radio recently Boras said the Cubs are simply cheap. They won't sign players at market value.
Of course, Boras inflates that market value, so there's some garbage involved in this quote, but it shows the perception of Jed. He won't spend on veterans. He wants guys at discounts.
Just after Boras left the radio segment, a caller to the show asked if that's how Jed is going to do it, then let's give the prospects a real chance.
He said put Suzuki in RF, PCA in CF, Canario in LF, Happ at 1B, Nico and Dansby up the middle and Morel at 3B with Mervis and Wisdom at DH. Gomes and Amaya at C.
Don't sign "hope they return to form" FA vets and hope you play 500 ball.
Just go young.
Happ has played 1B throughout his life. He knows how to do it.
If Mervis flops as the LH DH, then you have Caissie waiting at Iowa.
If Morel flops at 3B then you have Murray and Slaughter waiting in Iowa.
Play the young guys.
Jed, just tell the fans you're doing this.

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

"On Chicago radio recently Boras said the Cubs are simply cheap. They won't sign players at market value."

the thing that drives me crazy is FA signings are very rarely about getting a good deal.  that's just the way it is.  you overpay and/or sign for years longer than would be ideal.

the cubs are constantly out there doing things like throwing $20m at 2-3 guys on a gamble rather than 1 guy with a track record.  those lotto tickets come at the expense of roster space and time invested to figure out who's going to cash in the gamble.  limited gambles are worth it, but when you're eating 5+ roster spaces seeing who's going to make it to mid-season there's opportunities lost.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Theo overpaid for guys once he saw his drafted/traded talent as legit
He paid Lester, Zobrist, Heyward and Lackey. He traded for several more after 2016
Dexter was the all important low budget signing. Dexter wanted to win, thank you sir!

Jed paid for Seiya but 17mil per yr isn't a lot.
He gave Stroman good money but that was when we weren't going to win, and decided not extend him.
He paid for Dansby but that was the fourth lowest SS deal that cycle. 
He gave fairly conservative extensions to Nico and Happ
He paid Taillon but once again 17mil per yr isn't a lot

He's ultra conservative and we have an ultra "okay/solid" talent level.

So, Jed needs to let these young guys play, so he can figure out if it's worth overpaying for those couple/three big money guys

All we can hope for this offseason is for Jed to pay for one SP (cash or trade) and one or two RPs

If the Cubs sign anyone, go get Hader. He's an All-Star arm.
He can help Alzolay in the 8th and 9th innings.
Merryweather, Hader and Alzolay would be pretty solid to finish games
And I hope Luke Little earns his way into that grouping this year.

But I don't know which SP Jed can get. Maybe Imanaga or Bieber.

A rotation of Steele, Taillon, Hendricks, Assad, Imanaga/Bieber with Wicks, Brown and Horton in Iowa wouldn't be too bad. We just aren't getting that high velo/strikeout guy we all wanted.

 

for all the jokes/hate/etc i'm throwing at the team right now, i'm mainly holding back and seeing what they're actually going to do.

as much $$ as they have, they also have excess talent.  options are rather wide.

i'll reserve judgement on the off-season until it looks like the cooking is over and the meal is making it's way to the table.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

What I find the most frustrating is the people who say we shouldn’t use the money we have to sign expensive free agents because of the farm system.

Having a highly thought of farm system is great, but something that seems to get glossed over is how absurdly lucky you have to be to win with primarily your farm system. For that amazing 2015-2017 run, KB Rizzo Russell Schwarber Javy Willson Hendricks all needed to be at or near peak simultaneously. And they did! To do so, KB peaked early, javy just started to show some excellent MLB play, Willson was good immediately, Russell hadn’t yet turned into a pumpkin, Rizzo and Hendricks needed to remain their steady selves, and Schwarber needed to go nuts to get back in the postseason and then miraculously hit as well as he did. To say nothing of that coinciding with Arrieta’s meteoric rise and not its fall. PLUS they STILL needed to sign Lester to a big contract, overpay for Lackey, Dexter needed his market to not materialize, etc etc etc.

That’s an incredible amount of luck. And if you’re counting on even more luck with just your farm system than that to be what turns this team into a contender…. I wish we could all be so hopeful.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

You can say the same thing about any team that wins the World Series. Look at the Rangers this year and their contribution from Evan Carter down the stretch. But nobody is saying the Cubs should only build through the farm. In fact, they are currently built through a mixture of FA signing, trades, and the farm. Sure you need to spend money, but it is also good to have a steady supply of young, controlled talent to support a longer period of contention. It’s not an either/or so much as a both/and. 

[ ]

In reply to by bradsbeard

I agree with all of this. The farm needs to be at minimum supplying depth for the season and trade fodder for MLB needs.

I don’t really know of anyone on this site railing on and on about how the Cubs should be all in solely on prospects, but there’s a not that small subset of fans I’ve seen in other blogs saying that.

"ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto is likely to begin discussing specific contractual terms with teams this week."

it's worth mentioning that he met with many teams, but not the cubs.

didn't realize ed howard was playing winter ball in austraillia.  spoiler: he's still terrible.

.167/.205/.191 in 44 PA...6 singles, 1 double...2bb, 9k...3 errors in the field at SS/2nd.

I'll go ahead and voice the other side. I'm THRILLED that the Cubs aren't overspending on free agents this offseason and last. That Heyward contract was incredibly annoying to have to deal with for 8 years. 

  • I'm okay with overspending on a guy who is our last piece of the puzzle. 
  • I'm okay with overspending with a short term with someone who plays a position up the middle or brings veteran leadership qualities in addition to offense/defense/pitching. 
  • I'm okay going longer-term with someone who takes a little less money in exchange for security, assuming we don't give him a no trade clause.

I'm not okay with albatross contracts that everyone criticizes the Cubs for dishing out to washed up players in a couple years. 

Looking at Bellinger - I would love to sign him, BUT his three years before this one were TONS worse than Heyward's worst three years with the Cubs and I don't want to have to deal with that if he reverts! If the Cubs sign him to an 8-year, $200 million contract, what's stopping him from reverting? He will have been paid. Personal drive is one thing, but he's shown that he can go three straight seasons without being able to fix his problems.

There's no way I know how to truly value Ohtani because of all the money he would have made the Cubs internationally, etc. but paying him $50-70 million a year into his late 30's? I would never have thought that was a good idea.

Yamamoto might be the next best ace, but he's never pitched in the majors and he could destroy his arm next year. $300 million for a relative unknown? That's too risky for me. The Cubs can spend much less to get equal production, they just might need to trade for it until players want to sign in Chicago as free agents again.

So many intangibles to consider, but I prefer the Cubs draft, sign and develop as much talent as possible (which they're doing). Trade away players who you don't envision being the answer for one reason or another for talent that's getting expensive (arbitration years) for teams like Miami, Tampa Bay, or Oakland or whatever, let them play a year in Chicago and then sign them long-term if they're not Boras clients!

A 3-5 year extension with Jesus Luzardo for $25 million per year is a lot less risky and offers nearly the same benefits as some of those riskier deals. Players are best between the ages of 25-32 or so. Sign free agents and arbitration guys for their peak years but avoid years after that whenever possible! If we can't ever get that true ACE of the pitching staff, then get the best five starters you can and put some money and talent in the bullpen. If your offense is strong enough, an ace shouldn't be a requirement.

Anyway, I know it's not a popular opinion, but I've been thankful to see all of the high priced free agents sign elsewhere. I know the Cubs will spend money eventually. I want them to get the best bang for their buck and I don't want to see them bend to the opinions of agents, media or fans. So I'll patiently await developments and hope for many winning seasons ahead! :)

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Years everyone!

[ ]

In reply to by Wrigley Rat

2023 bellinger had a rather odd amount of doubles and homers for a guy who hit a lot of stuff softly (for a power hitter).  his launch angles were not notable for a power hitter, too.

i got 0 issue with the cubs not giving ohtani a zillion dollars to be a DH and hope he's still pitching well in his mid-late 30s, if at all.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

I’m fine not spending high on Bellinger, I’m not sure I fully trust the results last year. And I’m fine not paying Ohtani that level of money, too.  I get that Jed either himself or through instructions from Ricketts is highly risk averse, but I’m with you on an earlier point you made. Throwing 20-30 mil at 3-4 guys (Simmons, Mancini, Barnhart, Miley, etc) and seeing if any of them have anything left in the tank has not proven itself to be a good use of money. Use that on one guy who is more of a sure thing.

Another thing to keep in mind, the CBA is designed around the supposition a team with resources at the Cubs level will use those resources accordingly. That’s why they’re a tax payer and don’t receive the benefit lower market clubs do. By not spending, they’re putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
 

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

This is where I'm at with Jed
He won't go overboard to get the Superstar
And he won't just play the Prospects
He's straddling the gray area like a conservative savant.
He's afraid of making long term mistakes
And his team is right in the middle/gray area he lives in. Stuck around 500 ball.
He didn't trade for any names and try to sign them long term
He didn't sign anyone long term (assuming he doesn't get Belli or Yamamoto)
He's sniffing around the Guardians but will be overpay for mid 20 yr old proven bats and arms ?
He seems hesitant to do that as well
So, he appears to be cemented in neutral with the 3rd largest market team in baseball and a massive fan base and revenue stream.
Paralysis by Over-Analysis?
Hey, Jed, that's our job as fans!!!!

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

Jed likely has a budget, as Theo did. With Tom Ricketts in charge, it's likely a "West Ham United" budget, as opposed to a Chelsea or Manchester United budget. Not as fun to cook with as a Tottenham budget, but far better than Crystal Palace or Luton Town.

 

Probably has ~$60 million to add in payroll until the deadline.

[ ]

In reply to by tim815

the ricketts are once again avoiding the Cubs Convention.  take the news of that as you will...

tom was especially all about being front and center, signing autographs, taking photos, etc...until they quit spending on the team while at the same time spending 10s of million on monetizing all the properties outside the park they owned...and creating ventures such as their own media outlet and partnerships with gambling outfits and etc...

it's a kick in the teeth seeing the extreme amount of monetization that exists solely because of the people's love of the product on the field...and the product on the field being "good enough" with competitiveness as a goal rather than trying to take advantage of a consistently weak NL Central.

the cubs have 1 tool no other NL Central team has, money because of the earning potential based on the ownership's possession of properties and services surrounding the park.

The Cubs are hardly cemented into neutral.  They have developed an outstanding farm system that will be providing the MLB team with good players for years to come.  Trading them away before they have time to develop negates the purpose of their investments.  Discarding a 5 year plan just as it is about to come to fruition, just to return to previous failed methods is hardly the way to succeed.

[ ]

In reply to by Bill

It’s also not a great way to succeed by hoarding all these prospects and NOT trading any of them. They’re not all going to be stars. Their best years have a good chance to not occur simultaneously. Even if a lot of them do hit, there are only so many roster spots at the MLB level. What needs to be done is an extreme look at self-scouting. Determine the ones you think are most likely to succeed in your system. Hold them. The depth pieces, the ones that don’t quite seem to fit, the ones you think after the self scouting seem unlikeliest to develop fully in your system, trade. Make use of that depth. Some of these guys are at their absolute peak value right now. Don’t hold them too long. Self scout and figure out who must stay, who you’d prefer stay, and who you think you can do without.

[ ]

In reply to by Bill

Jed has done those things, you're right.
Then play those prospects. He's stuck in average baseball in the MLB. His MiLB has been great. But those MiLB guys need to play in MLB or be traded for MLB talent.
The goal is win in MLB. And then have a continuously strong farm due to great scouting in later 1st, 2nd and 3rd rounds and development (not drafting in top 10 due to losing).
The LAD is the only team that honestly does both.
Even the Astros appear to be running low a little here.
Just play the young guys.
I just want to know what Jed's method is? 
It's not spend big
But it's not trade big
It's not play all the young guys at once and give them a chance to fail and learn.
So, we're going to hang around 500 and see if anyone becomes 2015 Kris Bryant?
Just feels flimsy and unsure to me.
Chicago shouldn't have to rely on wishful thinking

padres snag yuki matsui (28y lefty closer).  got him for 4/21m...nice gamble.

dude is altuve-level short, and also altuve-level effective.  height really drives front offices crazy and they shy away from short dudes.  if matsui was 6'+ rather than 5'8" he would probably attract more interest and probably a bigger paycheck.

I have enjoyed reading the well thought out comments about Jed Hoyer and the stagnant off-season.  We have to remember, it is still early and little has been accomplished with signing free agents and making trades from most MLB teams.  For all we know, Jed has made multiple trade offers to multiple teams, but those teams are asking for top talent in return for mid-level players. The asking price usually comes down in January.  Reports indicate Hoyer offered Ohtani a $500 million contract, an amount predicted before Ohtani hit the market.  We know now, Ohtani dreamed of playing for the Dodgers since childhood and was going nowhere else.

 This week, Scott Boras called the Cubs cheap in an attempt to start the market for his contract demands.  I see this as a desperate attempt to fulfill his reputation to his clients.  Clearly, teams identified as interested in Bellinger have questions about long-term results at an all-star level for a huge contract.  Some of those teams have gone in a different direction.  I think it is between the Cubs and Blue Jays.  If the Blue Jays meet Boras' demands, I think they will end up regretting the contract.

Finally, social media, fan websites and established media reporters all need daily content to generate traffic and revenue.  Regurgitating the same old narrative spun differently is not worth getting worked up about.  "The Cubs as cheap-skates" is click bait banter for headline hunting media.  Eventually, the dam will break and movement will commence.  By February, we will say it was a great off-season or something else.   I am certain the Cubs will be competitive in 2024 and the foreseeable future.  Odds are, they will be playoff bound for the next 5 years and once in the playoffs, anything can happen.

[ ]

In reply to by videographer

There is no reason to think Jed will do nothing this winter. Obviously most of the available FA are still out there, and there are trade targets available as well. The main reasons for the slower market are Ohtani, Yamamoto, and most of the significant FA bats being represented by Boras. It’s just gonna take some time for deals to come together I think. 

[ ]

In reply to by bradsbeard

the big guy (ohtani) is gone, they supposedly weren't even in the market for candelario...so far that's the major pieces that could fit with the cubs off the board.

unfortunately, it seems they're not in the market for yamamoto.

it seems they want to address part of the holes (1st, CF, top-SP, top-RP...maybe 3rd) through trade and that may take a while if the cubs are in the market for high-end trade targets.

Hi all! This is my first post on here and I want to apologize because this is going to be a lengthy post but, I’ve followed this site for quite some time now. It’s one of my favorites! I’m a die hard cubs fan but, I also just love the game of baseball.


The single most disappointing thing for me this off-season is, the fact we aren’t going after Yamamoto. It pisses me off more then anything else. I knew Ohtani was a pipe dream. Plus, I had serious doubts we would be able to put a consistent winner on the field with one guy making 60+ million a year. Then all the deferrals happened lol.


How often do 25 yr old top of the rotation starters become available? Rarely! How often do they become available for just money? Practically never! The biggest arguments I have seen for covering the front offices failures to even be in on Yamamoto is, he hasn’t thrown a pitch in the mlb yet and/or it’s to “risky” to pay 300 mil for him.


The guy has won 3 straight MVPs in Japan and had a 1.1 ERA this year.  He hasn’t had an ERA over 2 since 2020. Even then it was 2.2! I’ve read all the scouting reports and what players from here that are playing over there all say basically the same thing! He’s a legitimate 1 or 2 over here.


People keep saying it’s “risky” but, every free agent comes with risk, no matter who it is! Sometimes the players reward outweighs the risk and to me he is one of those players.


I keep seeing we need to spend “intelligently” or “wisely”. I’d argue the wisest and most intelligent thing you could do in this off-season, where it’s a lighter class to begin with,  is sign a 25 yr old top of the rotation starter for just money. If this was a guy that had been pitching over here his whole career he’d probably be getting a hell of a lot more then what he’s going to get now.


Not to mention we were spending “wisely” last year when we signed Taillon for MORE money then it cost to get Senga (AAV purposes). We spent “intelligently” on Mancini, Barnhart, Boxberger and Fulmer, which also cost more than it would have to sign Senga or JD Martinez or Justin Turner.


Would you rather have had one of those guys last year or one of the aforementioned players? Just the one, right? Quantity isn’t always better than quality. I really think we missed the boat on Yamamoto.


Just a quick bit on Bellinger. I like him and I think he’s a good player but, his peripherals are hard to ignore. Bottom 10% in baseball in hard hit rate. Lowest hard hit % of his career (aided by his lowest k% no doubt). His expected stats suggest he was one of the 5 luckiest hitters in baseball.


Actually BA .307, expected BA .270

Actually SLUG .525, expected slug .437

All those things point to major regression. Maybe not next year but, coming off the prior 3 seasons and everything else, I wouldn’t pay him anywhere near 200 million.


Plus a lot of his value comes from him being able to play center field adequately but, if we have our CF of the future (PCA), you relegate him to 1B? And pay him 200 million as a 1B? It’s a hard pass for me. Again, I think he’s a good player but, I’d lean towards this year was an outlier.


Happy to be apart of this community and to be able to share my thoughts with you guys! Happy Holidays and GCG!!!

[ ]

In reply to by Edwards23

welcome and agreed.

there's more than a few teams over many years that would trade top prospects to get a guy like yamamoto -and- pay him big with a contract extension.

besides, this team has money and a huge revenue stream beyond ticket sales.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Or as he once famously said, "The only thing better than sex is hitting a home run onto Waveland Avenue." He also played the "Star Bangled Banner" on his trumpet before a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, caught a pop up for the last out of the Milt Pappas no-hitter, and then jammed with Judy Roberts on Rush Street that night. 

cubs sign joe hudson (C) to a minor league deal...he should be a good veteran presence in AAA.

he is of no interest to the MLB club, even as an injury replacement.

the game has some new 2024 rules in the never-ending effort to get a MLB game down to 30 minutes or less.  the more significant ones...

18 seconds rather than 20 seconds between pitches with runners on base

pitcher that warms up at the beginning of an inning must throw to at least 1 batter, ending the occasionally-abused extra time to warm up another pitcher

the runner's lane is widened over the foul line and up to the infield grass, which should have happened many years and injuries ago

kinda crazy how little the mets and yanks have done so far this offseason in the FA market  .you know they're going to spend...and the cubs will have to compete for FA scraps with them.  boston and the bjays also have a lot of unspent budget.

yanks have at least made a major trade (soto).

so far the cubs have overpaid a manager...

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Soto is an offseason making move. The Yankees do need more pitching, though. There are a good number of much less interesting free agents lleft. I'm sure the NY teams will gobble up a few.

I know it’s still early in the off-season and there’s a lot of FA left. I went into the off-season optimistic and thought we could make moves to really improve the team in the short term and long term. 

I’m just not really seeing it anymore barring some really big trade (which could still happen). I would rather play our young guys and find out what we have in them as opposed to going into next season with the same team or a similar one to last year. 

Give everyday at bats to Morel at 3B with the understanding there’s going to be growing pains but it’s necessary for development. Play Canario, Mervis, PCA (when he’s ready, still think he could benefit from more time in triple a). Play Amaya more. Let the young guys pitch. 

Obviously fill out the bullpen with some one yr guys like we have been doing. I’d like Imanaga for the rotation if the price isn’t too steep but seems he’s going to get close to or over 100 million. If we’re in it at the deadline, great but if it’s the same stuff as last year or we’re even further out, sell off some pieces and keep building the farm up. 

Next years free agent class is a little better than this years. Maybe another year removed from that Heyward contract, Jed can finally get over it and been in on someone like Soto lol (if he doesn’t sign extension by then). Happy Holidays to everyone!

[ ]

In reply to by Edwards23

if they don't add a legit 25+ HR power hitter somewhere in the lineup, a legit SP on par or better than stroman, and a quality 8th/9th inning arm to compliment alzolay...i consider this off-season a failure and a disservice to fans.

they got a bit over 2 months to get it sorted out...

the cubs are rich and strong enough to do a "thome/howard" situation like philly years ago...if they have a young gun emerge who can make a vet they signed expendable, trade him and suck up the "insurance" cost it took to make the team competitive in the meantime. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Phil,

Do you think lineup decisions lIke this and not playing Canario, et al, was a factor in Ross being let go?

Or was Counsel just to good for Jed to pass up?

2nd question: do you feel Counsel is more likely to play the Canarios, Caissies, PCA, etc if they're on the roster?

[ ]

In reply to by George Altman

GEORGE A: I suspect there was some degree of disconnect between Ross and the analytics department. I don't mean hostility or anything like that, and not enough to motivate Hoyer to fire Ross after the Cubs missed the playoffs, but enough whereby when Counsell did not immediately sign with the Mets, he was just too perfect of a fit not to pursue him.  

From what I have heard about him, Counsell is an expert in analytics. He knows exactly what he wants and what to ask for and how to use it without any prompting, and how to integrate information into tactics and strategy. He is truly a 21st century manager, whereas Ross is more of an old school "players manager."

As to whether Counsell would be more likely to play younger players than Ross was, I would say he will as long as there is a logical reason to do it. I doubt that Counsell would automatically give preference to a veteran guy over a rookie just because he's a veteran player or because the player has a guaranteed contract, and I suspect Counsell made that clear to Hoyer and Hoyer accepted that condition before he offered Counsell the job. 

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

I see your point in it being a disservice to the fans if they don’t add that. But if they do add a power hitter, a starter (like Stroman), and a couple bullpen pieces, are they really that much better then last year? 

It just feels redundant. Pretty much bringing back the same team. I’d rather play young guys and see what you got. Like AZ Phil said, we had Velazquez sitting there not playing (like Canario did all September) and we traded him for a run of the mill middle reliever. 

Let Canario get everyday at bats. Same with Mervis. See what you have in them. I definitely agree on the starting pitcher. Sign a guy to slot in behind Steele in the rotation. 

I’m not a big fan of paying relievers. The one and 2 yr contracts are fine but, they’re too volatile year to year for me to put a bunch of money into the bullpen. Sure, take some fliers on a couple guys. 

Plus, we have quite a few reliever types that are fairly close to being ready for a call up or have already been called up. See what you have in those guys. Just my opinion.

[ ]

In reply to by Edwards23

getting to the playoffs matters more than being the best team in the playoffs (imo).  but yeah, what i described pretty much is what we had last season.  i just hope we get better options for 1st and the madrigal/masterboney fight for ABs consolidates into less overall for both.

a real 1st base option rather than the mess they had all season in 2023, a couple more wins...playoffs.

i could live with the pen as-is, but it would be nice to have someone on alzolay's level.

overall, given that they don't seem to want to splash...getting the team into 2023 shape is a bare minimum floor that i would consider acceptable and not piss me off.  i'd like more, but i'll believe there will be "more" when it actually happens.

They do like to have some sort of splash for the annual Cubs convention (most years). Swanson signed 12-21-22, so there is that.

White Sox want Horton in a Cease deal.

No thanks

TOR just signed Kiermaier back

Doesn't stop them from adding Belli, but 10.5 mil seems like a lot for a 4th OF  

The Cubs' lack of any MLB roster action whatsoever is starting to become bizarre.  

What's Hoyer's plan?  Just roll out the current squad, fill in all the holes with young guys and expect Counsell to wave a bunch of wins out of thin air with a Harry Potter wand?  After making a run for the playoffs last year, losing Bellinger and Stroman and not replacing them would be a step back and a big disappointment.

The off season has a long way to go yet.  Hoskins is still a free agent, as well as Bellinger and numerous others.  Just because we don't know his plan doesn't mean that he has no plan.  Many of his moves have come completely out of the blue.

Former Cub 2015, 3rd round draft choice, lefty Bryan Hudson, has been DFA by the Dodgers. I’d like to see him back with the Cubs. Big guy with a big curve. He seems to be a roster casualty of the Yamamoto signing.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

As an MLB Rule 9 player, Bryan Hudson would have to sign a 2024 contract prior to being outrighted to the minors. He can be placed on Outright Assignment Waivers (and get claimed) without having signed a 2024 contract, but he can't be outrighted until he signs the contract. 

Knowing that, most agents advise their Rule 9 clients not to sign a contract for the next season until the player reports to Spring Training in February. 

So if a Rule 9 player has not signed a contract and then he is Designated for Assignment and is not traded within seven days, and if he still declines to sign a contract after he is not claimed off waivers, the club would have no alternative but to release the player. 

The one way a club can deal with this issue is to offer the player a significant minor league split salary (well above the $120K minor league split minimum) plus an NRI to MLB Spring Training, so that he will be OK accepting an outright assignment and will agree to sign a contract prior to arriving for Spring Training (but again, that is only if he is not traded or claimed off waivers AND the club does not want to release the player). But the player doesn't have to accept the offer. 

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

One other thing to keep in mind is that the MLB office is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays during the off- season but the office is also closed the week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day, so if a player is Designated for Assignment and/or placed on waivers prior to Christmas Day or during the week between Christmas Day and New Year's Day, the normal seven-day DFA period and the normal 47-hour waiver claiming period is extended past New Year's Day. This also applies to other MLB roster activity like trades and free-agent signings that require approval of the MLB Commissioner. It all gets postponed until after New Year's Day, although clubs can announce roster moves unofficially during this period. 

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

The MLB office re-opens today after being closed for ten days over the holidays. So the waiver machine starts up and the DFA clock is running again. 

Any player placed on waivers on Thursday 12/21 will clear today (Tuesday 1/2), and any player placed on waivers on Friday 12/22 will clear tomorrow (1/3). 

Any player who was Designated for Assignment prior to 12/29 who was not placed on waivers prior to the holidays must be placed on either Outright Assignment Waivers or Unconditional Release Waivers at 2 PM Eastern today if the player is not traded prior to that time. 

So there should be some MLB trades and/or waiver claims today, and then more waiver claims, Outright Assignments, and/or unconditional releases over the next couple of days. FWIW ex-Cubs Ryan Jensen and Bryan Hudson are still out in the DFA ether. 

The Cubs have three slots open on their MLB 40-man roster. 

"Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports free agent left-hander Blake Snell is drawing interest from the Angels, Giants, Phillies and Red Sox."

i'm not at all interested in snell...but the cubs are either leading one of the most leak-free front office operations ever or they're not going to be seriously linked to any of the bigger names out there (so far).

the cubs-targeting rumors seems to have peaked in october.

So Jed is either going young and signing no one.

Or

He's just waiting out Imanaga, Snell, Hader, Hoskins, Chapman, Belli, the Guardians and/or the Mariners.

I don't see a trade coming though.

Jed didn't deal our prospect depth for major/immediate impact guys/stars.

I don't see him dealing any top 10 guys now.

I hope he has a plan to go with if he signs none of those guys. A true play the young guys plan. If it isn't his main goal, he needs to be ready for it. You can't just trust Boras and those guys to pick Wrigley unless your money offer is the best. 

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In reply to by Childersb3

at this point it seems a trade is the only way to make an impact on the club greater than what was here last season as it's currently constructed...or a gamble on someone like r.hoskins paying off.

the most probable "straight out of spring" guys did not have a good 2023, PCA and mervis.

jordan wicks is probably ready if they're willing to let him have it...

cade horton, kevin alcantara, alexander canario, matt shaw, and ben brown will probably see some 2024 action, but i dunno if anyone sees them breaking with the team out of spring training (though possible).

There is a reasonable possibility that PCA could make an impact on the team as early as next year.  Judging him by 14 at bats in September may not be conclusive.  And bringing up a pitcher like Horton in June or July could have a  strong impact if he performs well, which I believe is a better likelihood that PCA.

But moves, especially trades can and usually do have an impact on more than one year.  Improving a little bit next year at the expense of suffering in future years is not necessarily a smart decision.

[ ]

In reply to by Bill

it's not the 19 PA that bothers me as much as how over-matched he looked in that very short sample size.

he also blew some plays in CF being overly aggressive though he had no errors to show for it.  overall i'm not worried about his D...for obvious reasons.  he's got a great glove and gets great reads on the ball, but he needs to realize he's not covering the entire OF and not every runner in motion is a target for a gamble on an exceptionally high risk throw.  

he's the type of talent you make room for, to give a chance to thrive...and he's pretty much "done" with AAA.  he may slot in, but i hope they have good 3rd/DH/1st options to help ease the gamble.

PCA  made a lot of rookie mistakes.  Not surprising since he is a rookie.  If we can not live with rookie mistakes, we might as well close up the farm system, because all rookies make them, hence the term rookie mistakes.

If we can not live with rookie mistakes, we might as well get rid of the farm system.

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In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

imagine what this team could do by not wasting loot on a minor league system.

the owners could build another hotel beside the park, the Draft Kings betting palace could be joined by Caesars Sportsbook, and hell...I think we could fit another jumbo electronic ad scoreboard in the park somewhere.  only 1 sports network station?  why not 2?

let the fools out there look for the next dwight smith and corey patterson.  let the cubs concentrate on innovating the rooftop bleachers they own...they only own 11 of them, and it could be 12 or even 13 if fans dare to dream big.

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In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

quite seriously, i wonder if there's another team anywhere in MLB (even in LA or NYC) that is as heavily monetized by the owners of the team as much as the cubs.

they have an insane amount of direct revenue streams as well as owning a ton of properties immediately surrounding the park and inside the park, itself.

it's not like i'm expecting them to put together a team to pay a $100m luxury tax penalty like the mets, but sometimes you'd think this team was in a leased park in a medium sized media market.

If you describe their club revenues as an insane amount of direct revenue streeams, how do you descrive the teams that have more than a hundred million dollars more in direct revenue streams?

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In reply to by Bill

not everything the team ownership controls is revenue for the club/team.

the owners control a lot of stuff surrounding the product on the field that the team sees nothing from.  none of this stuff would be worth as much if the cubs didn't happen to play baseball there, though.

also, i know valuation doesn't mean cash flow, but this team that was bought for a bit under 900 million is currently valued over 4 billion.

this team's purchase has been a very successful endeavor for the owners and asking for a little bit more investment into the product on the field isn't a huge ask.

Anyone, including you and I, could have purchased the properties around Wrigley Field as an investment.  If we had, I, for one, would have seen no reason to give that money to the Cubs team.  It would have been our investment and our money.  Why should it be different for someone else.

And if I remember correctly, in addition to the money they paid for the team, they also spent hundreds of millions of dollars rehabing a 100 year old building, including digging out a large underground excavation that they turned into one of the best club houses in baseball, at the cost of several hundred million dollars.  And on top of it all, they brought the fans the first championship they had seen in a hundred years.  I would rate the current administration one of the best in all baseball, given the constraints of their ancient building that allows for relatively little luxury box income, limited capacity, zero parking income, restrictions on night games, etc. that do not plague most other large market teams.  To criticize them because they don't spend enough personal money on the team seems rather unrealistic.

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In reply to by Bill

the at-moment billionaires mean nothing to me, especially when they've realized (on paper) a greater than 5x return on their 14 year old investment while turning wrigley into a large digital billboard with a sports book attached to it.  this is before all the park-adjacent stuff is taken into consideration which is additionally monetized by the team that plays in the park around it.

i will not lose any sleep about wanting the ricketts to put another 20m+ a year into the team.

i will not tire of saying "wtf?" when this team decides to do multi-season "punt" years to rebuild as if they're the brewers or marlins.

when the cubs decided to co-form a sports network and take games off the local air, chicago-area fans weren't exactly feeling great about that decision, and they didn't decide it's ultimately cool cuz they can't get revenue from somewhere else.

i don't think the cubs are being excessively cheap, but i think the cubs could be doing more.  i'm not advocating doing things crazy with money like the mets, though some wish they would.

consumers of a product cannot depend on the owners being benevolent benefactors of the product they own and we consume.

Absolutely.  We as consumers get to decide whether or not the providers have given us a product worth buying.  If it is not, we will stop buying that product and the providers will go out of business, or change the product to make it worth consuming.

CUBS SIGN...jason kanzler to be director of player development.  he's been a coach for the astros the past 3 seasons.

happy new year.

only 4 teams (cubs, yanks, marlins, rockies) haven't signed a player yet.  the yanks pulled off a juan soto trade, though.

[ ]

In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

rockies - c.quantrill
marlins - c.bethancourt + v.brujan
yankees - j.soto + a.verdugo

the cubs have given 8m/yr to a manager for some reason...they're the only team to have nothing but pencil pushers and minor league deals to show for the off-season.

we all know things are coming...most likely a trade...some signings of the scraps that are left...just over here waiting.

Cubs sign...Colton Brewer. His career ERA was virtually 5.00 with the Red Sox. Cubs fans rejoice as the offseason is saved.

The Cubs a have signed several of these types each of the past 3 years, and have usually had good results.  Even last year, Marryweather was excellent, and a couple of them were doing quite well until injuries interferred.

I Wonder what the Cubs views are on Little, Palencia and Cuas.  They had a fair amount of success, but it is hard to get a feel on if they feel any or all are expected to be MLB ready next year.

[ ]

In reply to by Bill

palencia and merryweather are their high velocity guys.  whether palencia is ready to join merryweather, i imagine they want him in the bigs even if borderline ready.

the high-90s guys aren't as special as they once were, but as long as they're throwing strikes most teams seem to like to have at least a couple of them around.

with the flaherty signing, the cubs sent a press release out yesterday announcing the coaching staff.

willie harris and mike nappoli remain on the staff (3rd and 1st base coaches).

Bryan Hudson goes to the Brewers. No word on Ryan Jensen yet but expected later today. D’Oh.

So, Spotrac wwebsite says the Cubs are ~53mil below the 237mil first tax limit.

Say the save 5 to 8 mil for potential trade deadline acquisitions.

Call it 45mil in usable space.

We need a LH bat for sure. Definitely could use a RP or two. Most folks say we need another SP. All of that doesn't include a 3B.

How do use that 45mil?

Belli would take 25-30mil.

Hoskins or Chapman cost 15-20mil.

Imanaga gets 18 to 22mil.

So, we can maybe get two of those guys. Or get one of them and trade for another guy.

Then squeeze a RP in there.

Jed, just get it done, please.

I wouldn't have given Hendricks the 16mil, but he gives us some innings.

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Jordan Montgomery is the same age Jon Lester was when he signed with the Cubs and Montgomery is a very similar type pitcher, so signing Montgomery and re-signing Bellinger would be my two highest priorities (and probably even my only two priorities) if I was in a position to do something about it, now that Yamamoto is off the board. 

Otherwise I would just play with the team that's there and wait for the young guys to develop, hopefully sooner rather than later. 

The problem with signing MLB relievers is that the Cubs already have at least three RP (Alzolay, Merryweather, and Leiter) who can't be optioned to the minors, or four if Smyly works out of the pen, and signing two Fulmer / Boxberger types just further exacerbates the problem.

With the innate volatility of a bullpen from season to season and sometimes even from month to month, fungibility matters. It is not good to get too locked in. Just cast a wide net, keep an open mind, and see what happens. 

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

Since it is fairly obvious that nobody is willing to pay the Bellinger "retail price" established by Boras (probably something like 8 / 240), the eventual Spring Training "discount price" will probably be a much lower AAV for as many years as Boras can get but with a player opt-out after the first season. 

Keep in mind that Bellinger declined a 2024 $25M mutual option that the Cubs accepted, so if the hesitancy clubs have with signing Bellinger is that clubs aren't sure if 2023 was just an outlier, a contract with an AAV higher than $25M but lower than $30M for at least five years but with a player opt-out after the first season and maybe after the second season, too, might be the price, so that if Bellinger repeats 2023 in 2024 he can be a free-agent again post-2024 but without a QO around his neck. Also, the FA market for Bellinger might be better post-2024 than it is now, especially if there is no QO.

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Rhys Hoskins is a butcher at 1st base (as bad or even worse than Mancini), so if the Cubs sign Hoskins it better be as a DH (only). Personally I hope the Cubs stay away from Hoskins even if they can't sign Bellinger, but if they absolutely positively believe they must sign somebody and they decide that somebody is Hoskins, it better be as a DH, and for only one year. 

If the Cubs can't find a DH from within their own system by 2025 (Shaw, Caissie, Ballesteros, Canario, Alcantara, Mervis, McGeary, or Kalmer) their farm system isn't as good as it is currently being rated. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

It really looks like Boras wants to hit that $200M+ contract value. I get the negotiation gamesmanship that Jed is playing, but again I ask - if Bellinger isn't in this lineup this year, who hits 25-35 HRs from the left side? Who at AAA/AA? What LH bats can they sign or trade for?

 

I'm not crazy about an opt out after Year 1, but maybe Caissie or Ballesteros will be ready next Spring to fill that void.

 

So, if a $25M QA didn't work for Bellinger, it's hard to see how a multi-year deal with a yearly AAV not at $28-30M works for Boras. Unless, Jed front loads year 1.

 

It's not my money, but hard to see how a 7/$200-205M wouldn't be a fair compromise. 

[ ]

In reply to by George Altman

i have legit, real pause about bellinger's results last year vs. how soft a lot of the balls he hit were.  add in the low launch angle concerns and that's more pause.

well, the pause is really how much $$ he's going to demand and how many years of it moreso than him delivering less of a performance than last season.  overpaying with concerns about over-performing the year before is one thing, over-paying for 7-10 years is another.

results are results, though.  how much is bucking the median of what is considered good exit speed + launch angle?  is he due for a regression?

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

Cody Bellinger hit an astounding 337/388/596 with 10 HR and 11 doubles and only 29 K in 183 PA vs LHP and 279/313/411 with six HR and 87 K in 284 PA when hitting with two strikes in 2023, which are absolutely extraordinary numbers. 

To do this, Bellinger had to alter his swing a bit when hitting against LHP and take a "two-strike approach" when hitting with two strikes, both of which negatively impacted his overall average exit velo and hard hit rate. 

If anything, I would say Bellinger's offensive performance in 2023 was actually even more impressive than it was in his MVP season.

Even with a career-low exit velo and hard hit rate in 2023, Bellinger still somehow managed to hit 26 HR and 29 doubles with a career-low K-rate. 

Anyone who thinks Bellinger's 2023 season was a mirage wasn't watching the games. There is a reason why Bellinger finished in the top 10 in MVP voting and won the N. L. Comeback Player of the Year Award. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

for me a chunk of it is i don't view him as a selective hitter with strong contact skills, though his less K's and higher average from last season says I should reconsider and take it more seriously.

it's been confusing seeing him being 3 different hitters since his "peak", his failure trying to replicate that power peak, and his adjustment to prioritizing getting on base over power.

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

I just agree to disagree on Bellinger. We’ve seen what his low is (I know he battled injuries) but it was really bad. He adjusted his approach yes but, can we really expect him to hit .337 vs left handed pitching again? Or hit extremely above average with 2 strikes? I’d bet he falls back down towards league average in those areas and in turn is much closer to his expected stats then what he did last year. Those things and his injury history are why I would not give him anywhere near 200 million and I wouldn’t want him on a long term deal. He’s a good player. I just don’t think he’s worth that much. Especially to us when a lot of his value is his defensive versatility. PCA is still considered the CF of the future and rightfully so. So that puts Bellinger at 1B. Say he does drop back down to normal and is closer to what his suggested stats are. Do you really want to pay a guy that much to play 1B and provide 108-110 WRC+? Just my opinion but I would pass on him if him and boras are holding out for that big of a contract. If we could get him on a 3-5 yr deal with some opt outs, Sure. Just nowhere near 200 million.

[ ]

In reply to by Edwards23

That is my view entirely.  When Bellinger was bad, he was horrible.  Not for 1 year, but 3.   He then came back with a year that was excellent, but may not be replicatible.

 

I have no problem with giving him a one year, 30 million contract, and perhaps might go two years at that price.  But nothing longer at anywhere near that number, without mutual opt ins for both sides.  With Crow-Armstrong near, and the Jaguar close behind him, Bellinger's future with the Cubs is at first base, not center field.  And although defense is important at first, as well as center, their relative value is not even close.  No team plays a poor hitting, good fielding player at first base.  If Bellinger reverts to his offensive performance of 2000 - 2022, he will be an albatross.

[ ]

In reply to by Edwards23

I'm still waiting to hear from anyone which LH middle of the lineup HR hitter is here in 2024 if it isn't Bellinger. Who?

 

P.S. Why do fans care what he or anyone's salary is? Why do you care about a billionaire's bank account? Whether he's on the payroll or not, the cost of going to Wrigley isn't decreasing. 

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In reply to by George Altman

Umm we care because the contract could become an albatross and hinder future spending for the team. Kinda like the Jason Heyward contract did. And ever since the Heyward contract the front office has seemed reluctant to play at the top end of the market, especially since Hoyer took over, so if they sign Bellinger and he busts what do you think that is going to do? Probably make him even more reluctant to go after the big name players, right? I’m for taking risks and trust me, I have thought the front office has been to risk averse the last 5+ years. Just my opinion but I don’t think their risk should be paying a guy that not even 2 years ago was basically unplayable and it wasn’t just for a couple weeks or a couple months. It was 2 years he was terrible. On top of all the other stuff (shoddy batted ball data, injury history, fit on the team in the future etc). I think he’s a good player and I don’t think he’ll revert back to being that bad again. But I could also say the odds of him repeating hitting .340 vs lefties and hitting .280 with 2 strikes, aren’t very good lol. Most likely outcome is he falls back closer to league average in those areas which league average hitting with 2 strikes is like .180. So to think he can keep that up, isn’t being realistic. Hell there’s only one player who has ever had over a .265 batting average for their career with 2 strikes. If they can get him on a shorter term deal, sure, take the risk. I just don’t think he’s going to be worth the 200 million or 7-8 years they are seeking and I don’t want that contract to deter us from spending on other players in the future because of payroll issues or reluctance. As far as other LH options, there isn’t many on the free agent market and the trade options aren’t going to blow anyone’s socks off. Jorge Polanco is an interesting trade candidate but, he comes with his own injury risk and doesn’t really fit our roster construction at the moment. He’s on a relatively cheap deal for this year and has a cheap team option next year. Max Kepler, Luis Rengifo, players like that are probably what you’re looking at in a trade. Not great options, I know but there’s ways to get creative about it. Maybe this just isn’t the off-season we get that left handed power bat and that’s fine. At this point, I would rather see them go into next year with the plan to play the young guys and let them develop. See who sticks and who doesn’t then sort it out from there. There’s a big lefty bat going to be available next year and I pray that we don’t just “kick the tires” going after him. Do whatever it takes to bring him to Chicago. 

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In reply to by Edwards23

I couldn't disagree more strongly. The Cubs have enough film to evaluate if Bellinger has 'figured it out'.

 

If so, you make the deal. FA is and always will be a risk. They could (probably won't) sign Soto next year for 12/$500 & he blows his knee out and is never the same. Same 'potential' result you're worrying about signing Bellinger in my book.

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In reply to by George Altman

Belli might be worth 7/8 yrs for 200+mil, but if the 30 MLB team market doesn't offer that, than he isn't worth it.

Jed didn't like how Stro went public with their negotiations. Now Boras calls him/Cubs cheap. But Belli's market hasn't grown since Boras said that. It's shrunk. 

I'd sign him for 25mil per year as a 1B. No issues for me there. But it aappears Belli/Boras want CF.

Side note: I'm okay if Leiter isn't in our pen next year. He lost the splitter and LH splits. He had his nice stretch as a random success bullpen guy. Time to find the next Leiter. 

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In reply to by Childersb3

If the Cubs are somehow able to sign both Cody Bellinger and Jordan Montgomery and the combined AAV exceeds $50M, and presuming the Cubs have set an arbitrary self-imposed payroll budget limit at the 2024 CBT threshold, and with the Cubs presently being about $50M under the 2024 CBT threshold, the Cubs can always just trade Kyle Hendricks if they need additional 2024 payroll AAV space. 

$16M for one year of Hendricks is very reasonable. If it becomes necessary, the Cubs should be able to trade Hendricks somewhere without having to pay any part of his salary, although they won't get much back in return other than the $16M savings in 2024 AAV.

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Jordan Montgomery may the same age Jon Lester was when he signed with the Cubs, and he may be a similar type pitcher, but his performance to this point is light years away from Lester at that point.  You don't mention a possible contract cost for Jordan, but it should not be anywhere near the salary and length that Lester got, even considering the inflation of salaries since then.

[ ]

In reply to by Bill

You cannot count on these prospects. Not all of them will figure it out, for a variety of reasons. Two years ago it was all about not blocking Caleb Kilian and Brennen Davis, they were at AAA, would be here soon, and were can’t miss. Davis’ body gave out on him, and Kilian can’t seem to get his head on right.

I’m not advocating go out there and sign everyone. But if you’re going to get anyone of note, you need to bite the bullet sometimes. And with prospects you need to self scout enough to understand the guys you want to take a shot on and the ones you think either won’t make it or don’t fit what you’re building and trade from that group while their value is highest. Don’t let them turn into Davis/ Kilian/ Vitters/ Brett Jackson and so on. They’re much more likely to not meet expectations than to exceed them. Even your point with Cease, there’s no guarantee he would have been the same pitcher he is with the Sox that he would have been had he stayed with the Cubs. We shouldn’t empty out the farm system, but all this depth we keep hearing about SHOULD be used to acquire good, proven MLB players. It’s what successful teams with prospects and big budgets do. Not even talking about the LAs of the world, but Atlanta or Houston.

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In reply to by Dolorous Jon Lester

There are no guarantees that specific prospects will succeed, (Davis and Kilian show that) just as there are no guarantees that a specific free agent will succeed (Heyward and Soriano show that).  But there are probabilities to be considered.  A 10 year contract for any free agent, regardless of current age, is extremely likely to be an extreme burden in the last 3 or 4 years of it's term, as it was for Heyward and Soriano.  An owner's job, for the good of the fans, as well as himself, is to consider the long term as well as the short term.

And you are right.  There is no guarantee that Cease would have been the same pitcher with the Cubs as he has with the White Sox.  He could have been worse.  Of course, he could have been better also.

[ ]

In reply to by Bill

If you want to talk probabilities, it’s a hell of a lot more likely a free agent who can command a 10 year deal provides more to a team than a prospect does over that same time frame. If you get 6-7 good to great years on a 10 year deal, you’ve absolutely nailed that deal. The probability of that type of free agent turning into a pumpkin in years 1-3 is possible but much lower than the unknown of a prospect coming up and turning themself into a free agent who can eventually command that ten year deal of your own.

with absolutely no strong rumors or facts to work with on this opinion...

i'm in the camp that thinks the key cubs off-season move(s) with be via the trade market.  given his D, i think they're willing to go with PCA in CF and attempt to live with the bat if it doesn't immediately show up.  PCA and horton i'm assuming are the strong "off the table" talent in any trade scenario.

1st and SP are needs...maybe a RP...maybe a 3rd (i think morel will get 3rd, but not full-time)...maybe CF and giving PCA a little more time.

No Hoskins is good with me

I wanted Hader, but won't happen

Montgomery works

Bellinger works

Trade for a Closer/RP to help Alzolay.

Let Morel have a legit chance at 3B

If he fails, and Jed doesn't want Nico to move to 3B and Morel to 2B, then you still have Wisdom and Madrigal for 3B with Murray and Shaw coming up from Iowa. Morel goes to DH and OF platoon. 

One last note: anyone agree that Owen Caissie's 2023 season in AA at 20-21 yrs old is being at least somewhat under appreciated? 289ave with 399obp and 519 slug, 22HR & 84RBI. 6-3 LH slugger. 

I bet Montgomery won't be signing before Imanaga's deadline on Jan 11th. Doesn't matter if Imanaga gets paid or not, Montgomery's price tag goes up for sure. Imanaga either sets the market or Montgomery becomes the last LH starter available.

It feels like Jed wants to crush every trade and outsmart every agent. You can play the game that way but it makes it very hard to do business.

thursday is the deadline for imanaga to agree to a deal with a US club.

i assume if the cubs don't land this one they'll be moving on a pitcher while the teams that are finalists (cubs, rsox, angels, giants) are thrown back into the market.  there's also other teams looking to add a high-end pitching option (like the yankees...linked to stroman, fwiw).

it would be nice to hear something legit, even better to see some contracts being signed or trade being made.

Jim Bowden from CBS Sports says Jed made ssignificant offers to Montgomery, Belli, Chapman and Hoskins.

Radio reports say Jed and Boras have had several phone calls regarding Belli. Jed offered severely front loaded contract with opt outs. Boras can't say absolutely not since Belli doesn't have serious options.

Same radio report says Hader market is falling back to Jed's level. 4yrs for 60mil is what Jed likes for Hader.

You have to think Texas signs at least one of Montgomery or Hader at the least.

Yankees lIke Stroman.

Maybe Cubs Convention will force Jed to make a real move.

[ ]

In reply to by Childersb3

Besides his age (31 in 2024), hip surgery in 2020 after-which his SLG went down almost .100 2021-23, and a Patrick Wisdom-like year at the plate in 2023 after the month of April that was nothing short of horrendous in August and September, Matt Chapman would also cost the signing club a draft pick. 

Chapman should have taken the QO from Toronto and tried his luck at free agency post-2024 when signing him won't cost a draft pick. 

It is discouraging to read that the Cubs actually made Chapman an offer, because that means they might actually sign him (and lose a draft pick if they do).  

No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

I've been on the record for a while to give 3B to Morel and let him learn. Or move Nico to 3B, maybe. I'd rather have Morel there. 

I'd like Belli at 1B if PCA earns CF.

Not sure about Hoskins. Canario can maybe do RH DH duties. But Hoskins is maybe a 1 yr prove it deal guy.

I'm all for Montgomery and Hader. Brasier and Stephenson in the pen are good with me. Even Aroldis Chapman and/or Jordan Hicks work for me.

Radio show also said Jed offered Assad, Alcantara, Triantos and McGeary for Cease.

Cease is good. He's had one great year. He makes his 32-33 starts every year. But his WHIP is higher than ideal. Seems a little boom or bust.

I like Assad. Let him pitch.

I'm all about the ONKC-PCA-JAGUAR outfield. 

If we don't have a no doubt playoff hitting lineup, then we don't need to trade top prospects for arms.

If we had signed/traded for Soto, Ohtani, Yamamoto, etc. then going after Cease makes sense.

 

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In reply to by Childersb3

A few things about Dylan Cease:

  1. Just like Corbin Burnes, Dylan Cease is a Boras client so forget signing him to a Tyler Glasnow type contract extension after he is acquired in a trade unless the club is prepared to pay "full retail" (at least Gerritt Cole or Yamamoto money, something like 10 / 350). 
  2. Unlike Burnes (who is under control for just 2024), Cease is under control for two seasons, so if the team that acquires him is a legit contender, that means you get him for two post-seasons instead of just one, presuming Cease stays healthy over the next two seasons.
  3. If it turns out the team that acquires Cease is not a contender at the trade deadline or if things change after the 2024 season, Cease could probably be flipped for a similar package of prospects, just like Juan Soto was, presuming Cease is healthy. 
  4. If Cease does help lead his new team to the promised land in 2024 and/or 2025 and then leaves as a free-agent post-2025, the club will at least get a comp draft pick back for him if he signs elsewhere. 
  5. Cease is projected to make somewhere in the vicinity of $8M via arbitration in 2024 (although I suspect is will end up being more like $12M), which would be a lot cheaper both in terms of actual dollars and in AAV than signing a free-agent like Montgomery or Snell, but obviously Cease would be very costly in terms of prospect capital. 

Recent comments

  • crunch (view)

    only 2 "pitchcom broke, yo" delays in the game so far...

  • crunch (view)

    kilian out here throwing 98mph in february.

  • Childersb3 (view)

    While we're all speaking about Morel's 3B defense being good enough, his swing has gotten better.

    You could see it a little last fall. He didn't drop his hands behind his body as much (barred arm). But in videos from his Winter ball and this Feb in AZ you can tell he's keeping his hands tighter to his body. He's just stronger and able to have a tighter swing now. He'll be even quicker to the ball this way.

    Fun times.  

  • Cubster (view)

    Cubs vs Sox.

    Dodgers hold my beer. 6 run first including Morel 2 run HR.

  • crunch (view)

    PCA has blue hair...with a buzz cut...odd combo.  he's 2 dozen face tattoos away from being a mumble rapper.

  • crunch (view)

    these uniforms are hot garbage.  everything Fanatics touches turns to...well, hot garbage.

  • crunch (view)

    ...and then a homer.

  • JoePepitone (view)

    And right away, the first ball put in play goes to Morel at 3rd, who fields the grounder to his left and pegs out the runner on a good throw to first.

  • CTSteve (view)

    Baseball!

    Just stick it in my veins...

  • crunch (view)

    morel at 3rd, shaw at 2nd...wicks starting.