Cubs vs. Cardinals: Series Thread (Games 153-156)

It's here, the Cubs vs. Cards series we've been waiting for. The Cubs feel to three games behind the Cardinals, remained in a tie with the Brewers for the second Wild Card spot, and fell behind the Nationals by 1.5 for the top Wild Card spot. That means, it would take a Cubs sweep of the four-game set to jump over the Cardinals in the division this weekend, right where you would want to be so that you don't have to end the season needing a sweep of the Cards on the road. The Cubs will have to continue to do their most important work without Javy, Rizzo, or even the backup Russell. In the meantime, they will continue to rely on mid-season additions (Castellanos), recent reactivations (Contreras, Zobrist), and 2019 newbies (Hoerner, Kyle Ryan, Rowan Wick, etc.). See below for how this hodge-podge will match up with the Cards.

Game 153, Thursday, September 19, 6:15pmCDT
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (11-9, 3.26 ERA)
STL: RHP Jack Flaherty (10-8, 3.05 ERA)

This may be the biggest match-up. Will we stay invested, or hedge our emotional bets? That could depend on whether the Cubs can win this opening game. The Cubs send their best starting pitcher to face the Card's best. Hendricks has been strong in his last three starts, allowing a single earn run in each and going into the sixth as well. He's 3-0 in three starts against the Cards this year, one at home and two on the road. He has allowed one earned run in 23 innings pitched, with the first game being his 4-hit complete game shutout in St. Louis. Who else would you want starting against Flaherty? Ozuna is 12-29 with two homeruns off of him.

Something seems to have clicked for Flaherty in the second half, and he's been arguably the best pitcher in the league since then. His ERA is only 1.05 since then and he's stuck out 11.52 per nine innings. He took a loss to the Brewers in his last start, allowing three earned runs in six innings despite striking out ten. He's 1-1 in four starts against the Cubs this year, allowing nine earned runs in 21.2 innings. He'll be fortunate to miss Rizzo, who has done the vast majority of the Cubs' damage against him, going 8-15 with two homeruns.

Game 154, Friday, September 20, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP José Quintana (13-8, 4.37 ERA)
STL: RHP Michael Wacha (6-7, 4.76 ERA)

Quintana has been pulled early in each of his last starts, so he should be well rested? It's been a rough three-game stretch in which he has allowed thirteen earned runs in only 10.1 innings. In that time, he's benefitted from some offensive and bullpen rescues, going 1-0. It's time to pay back that favor. Cardinals hitters have, however, very much enjoyed their time against Q; they have a collective OPS of .931 in 152 at-bats. Goldschmidts stands out in particular at 8-13 with three homeruns. If he's not making his pitches, Q may find himself getting the quick hook for a third start in a row.

Michael Wacha has been terrible this year, but he's been a little sharper lately. He held Milwaukee scoreless in five innings last time out, and has allowed only nine earned runs in his last 31.2 innings over seven starts. The Cubs have collectively accrued a 1.011(!) OPS against Wacha over 218 at-bats. Bryant is 11-35 with three homeruns.

Game 155, Saturday, September 21, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (7-7, 3.96 ERA)
STL: RHP Dakota Hudson (16-7, 3.35 ERA)

Hamels looked like the Cubs best starter for quite a while, but he's long since come back to earth. He exited his last start in the fourth having allowed only two earned runs but also having walked five batters. Control has very much been the issue, as he's walked fourteen batters over his last seventeen innings. Good news? The strikeouts are still there. The Cards have generally not been able to figure him out, flailing their collective way to a .541 OPS in 179 at-bats. Matt Carpenter and Marcel Ozuna are just barely propping those numbers up, 5-15 and 9-38 (with a homerun) respectively.

After pitching a handful of innings out of the MLB bullpen last year, Dakota Hudson has been treated to 16 wins as a starter in 2019. He relies extensively on ground balls to keep the old ERA down, as he doesn't strike out many and walks over four per nine innings. He's missed the Cubs so far, making this his first exposure to them as a starter. Last time out he defeated the Nationals, allowing two earned runs in seven innings. Lucroy is 2-3 off of him.

Game 156, Sunday, September 22, 1:20pmCDT
CHC: RHP Yu Darvish (6-7, 4.02 ERA)
STL: RHP Miles Mikolas (9-14, 4.29 ERA)

Darvish's last start was extremely weird making it somehow typical for Yu in 2019 as well. He struck out 13, including 8 in a row at one point, but lost the game anyway, allowing four earned runs including a homerun in seven innings. Before that, he struck out 14 and earned a win in San Diego. Keep the Ks coming, but let's forego the dingers. The Cards haven't seen too much of him. Ozuna is 4-10 and Jose Martinez is 3-5 with a homerun.

Mikolas has been consistently OK throughout the year, and that's been his story of late as well. He's 2-1 in his last five starts, allowing 11 earned runs in 28 innings. He's 0-2 against the Cubs in three starts this year, but he's allowed only four earned run in those 16.2 innings. Cubs lefties have mostly fared better against him, including back-ups Caratini and Happ. Schwarber, 1-12 with four strikeouts, is an exception.

Let's go, Cubs!


zobrist / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / caratini / heyward / hoe / hendricks

this lineup seems to be a popular thing.

Dang, I miss Javy and Rizz.

well, rizzo's back and leading off so hurrah.

very late add.

rizzo / cast / bryant / schwarb / zobrist / contreras / hey / hoe / hen

The Hey, Hoe, Hen alignment...

rizzo HR!

wow.  woo.

1- kimbrel activated

2- ham (shoulder fatigue) won't make his next start, a.mills to take his slot

3- baez cleared for light activity, hitting off tee, etc

At this point, I’m just hoping we do enough to play spoiler and force St Louis to play in the wild card game. Cause we’re toast

it would sting to not at least get one of the wild card slots.   ow.

Compare/contrast the 2016 and 2019 Cubs starting rotations (not to mention team defense as well).  The window was probably already shut this year but for how mediocre the division as a whole was - until St Louis broke away late. 

Seems like the rotation is just too old, especially with a bullpen this flimsy backing them up.


damn.  this team is killing me.

BAEZ PINCH running...


Solid contact by Nico there too



That’s now 7 homers allowed in 19.2 innings pitched by Kimbrel - woof

Send back to manufacturer and ask for a replacement.

Conversely, Padres closer Kirby Yates has allowed only two HR with a .184 OppBA and 13/100 BB/K in 59.2 IP and  Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez (now on Restricted List) has allowed just five HR with a .197 OppBA and 13/90 BB/K in 60.0 IP.  

Wash. Rinse. Repeat

again, bote REALLY needs to quit trying to duck under pitches up and inside.  move out of the way, dude.  backwards is an option.  that is a weird quirk he has going on.

cubs are out of a playoff slot (1st place or wild card slot) for the 1st time since april.

crushing defeat after a hell of a 9th inning comeback.

I’ve been thinking on this. And there have been so many crushing defeats it seems. And not a whole lot of really uplifting wins. I think it’s a factor of this team doesn’t come from behind a lot (winning last night would have been an amazing win) and seems to blow late leads or allow this type of loss. Last night was more evidence that this team just can’t finish anything.

I did feel changes were needed last offseason but I can see why they didn’t happen. They MUST make changes this offseason because the formula just isn’t working. Blown leads, inability for consistent offense, odd managerial choices.

This isn’t the 2016 or 2017 team of “no lead against the Cubs is safe” it’s more a “most leads the Cubs have aren’t safe” team. And it’s put us in the worst possible place in baseball currently: a good team that isn’t a contender.

kintzler available out of the pen again...welcome back

rizzo / cast / bryant / schwarb / contreras / bote (2nd) / heyward / hoe / mills

If he makes four more appearances prior to the conclusion of the MLB regular season, David Phelps' 2020 club option salary escalates from $3M to $5M (plus up to $3.25M in performance bonuses). 

Trades involving players on minor league reserve lists are prohibited beginning at 12 PM (Eastern) on the 7th day prior to the originally-scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season through the last day of the MLB regular season (including a day in which a Game #163 and Game #164 tie-breaker game is played or a day in which a re-scheduled game is played after the originally-scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season).  

So while players on MLB reserve lists (40-man rosters) and players on minor league reserve lists who were outrighted to the minors could not be traded after 4 PM Eastern on 7/31, beginning at 12 PM (Eastern) this coming Sunday, - ALL - trades (even trades involving minor league players) are prohibited until after the conclusion of the MLB regular season.  

Players on MLB 40-man rosters can still be claimed off Outright Assignment Waivers and Outright Release Waivers throughout the last week of the MLB regular season, however.   

I hate Tommy Edman, and those of his ilk. The pissbirds are masters of getting a few good years out of middling prospect types like him. DeJong, Jon Jay, Matt Adams, Tommy Pham, Allen Craig, Matt Carpenter... the list goes on and on.

6 innings, 5 pitchers used...and the cubs are down by 1 to show for it.

And nine hits ... with one run to show for it

Another game, another set of golden opportunities to add on to a lead wasted.


Welp. I guess I will continue to pay attention to the Wild Card race? Dropping the Michael Wacha game is bad.

i'll be over here watching Corner Gas DVDs waiting for 2020.

p.alonso (NYM) gets #50...not bad for a rookie.

also, MIL wins because of course why not.

cubs are 2 games behind in the WC standings for the 2nd slot...5 games behind STL in the central.

Cubs were 1 for 9 with RISP.

Neither of the Cards who scored had to take the bat off of their shoulder.

With the game on the line, Joe sends up Tony Kemp.

2019 season in microcosm.

Justin Grimm must have forwarded his Maddon blackmail material to Tony Kemp.

I just think Kemp has a Sharpie, and access to Joe's magic pocket card.

"Oh look, Kemp is hitting .438 in this situation.  TK, grab a bat".

Four double plays, too. Ugh.

Cubs pinch-hitters (so far) in 2019 (top ten sorted by PA): 

Tony Kemp: 267/389/433 with 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 HBP, 4/7 BB/K (36 PA combined HOU/CHC)
Daniel Descalso: 067/147/067 with 1 RBI, 1 SF, 1 SH, 3/11 BB/K (35 PA) 
David Bote: 318/423/455 with 3 2B, 4 RBI, 4/7 BB/K (26 PA) 
Victor Caratini: 421/522/789 with 1 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1 HBP, 3/5 BB/K (23 PA) 
Mark Zagunis: 176/333/176 with 3 RBI, 4/12 BB/K (21 PA) 
Albert Almora: 111/200/278 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 HBP, 1/4 BB/K (20 PA)
Ian Happ: 333/389/600 with 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SF, 2/6 BB/K (16 PA)
Kyle Schwarber: 000/143/000 with 2/5 BB/K (14 PA) 
Addison Russell: 167/250/167 with 1 RBI, 1 SF, 1/1 BB/K (7 PA)
Robel Garcia: 000/000/000 with 5 K (7 PA) 

So Daniel Descalso is probably the one with the blackmail material.

Tommy LaStella (as PH in 2018) hit 312/396/416 with 5 2B, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 2 HBP, 9/13 BB/K (79 PA) and it was one of the best PH performances in Cubs history, but if you pro-rate Victor Caratini's work so far as a PH in 2019 it is even better than LaStella in 2018 (except Caratini has struck out at a slightly higher rate than LaStella) and Bote's work as a PH in 2019 has been very good, too (although Bote has struck out at a higher rate than both Caratini and LaStella). 

But even with Caratini and Bote doing very well as pinch-hitters in 2019, if you want to look for reasons why the 2019 Cubs have had difficulty coming back late in games, essentially exchanging Tommy LaStella for Daniel Descalso is one of the reasons.  

Updated 2019 Cubs PH numbers (sorted by PA): 

Tony Kemp: 290/405/518 with 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 HBP, 4/7 BB/K (37 PA combined HOU/CHC)
Daniel Descalso: 067/147/067 with 1 RBI, 1 SF, 1 SH, 3/11 BB/K (35 PA) 
David Bote: 318/423/455 with 3 2B, 4 RBI, 4/7 BB/K (26 PA) 
Victor Caratini: 421/522/789 with 1 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1 HBP, 3/5 BB/K (23 PA) 
Mark Zagunis: 176/333/176 with 3 RBI, 4/12 BB/K (21 PA) 
Albert Almora: 111/200/278 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 HBP, 1/4 BB/K (20 PA)
Ian Happ: 375/421/813 with 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SF, 2/6 BB/K (17 PA)
Kyle Schwarber: 000/143/000 with 2/5 BB/K (14 PA) 
Robel Garcia: 000/000/000 with 6 K (8 PA) 
Addison Russell: 167/250/167 with 1 RBI, 1 SF, 1/1 BB/K (7 PA)

Wind howling out at the start of game 3, and the Cards have a pretty good groundball pitcher on the mound whom the Cubs have not seen this season. Get psyched.

can we quit having schwarber steal bases?

...especially against f'n y.molina...

ham's shoulder fatigue is evidently still a factor and there's no timetable for his return.  he's not even throwing on the side.

those last 3 cruddy starts might be the last we've seen of him in a cubs uniform.


woo, cubs take a 1 run lead.

sigh.  nevermind that lead.


cubs lead on a hell of a second chance...from swinging strikeout to balk + retry on the AB turning into a 2r HR.


DFA Kimbrel...the 1st f'n pitch.  1 pitch.  tie game.

2nd pitch...also lead.

7 pitches...2HR and a walk.

Cubbery! This game is like the entire season, complete roller coaster.  As soon as you think things are going well, the baseball gods smite you.  Calling it, in bottom of 9th, Cubs will get a couple of guys on and then take a 3rd strike looking.

how quickly these leads evaporate get to me.  it's deflating.

The patented Cub Tease Rally

baez pinch hitting.  okay, then.

baez K's on 3 pitches.

cubs lose their 5th in a row.  brews play a night game.


who's gonna manage the cubs next year?  =p

barring a miracle over the next week i dunno if he's gonna make it to 2020.  replacing the manager is generally the go-to for a team looking to make a "major change" without actually spending much money.  i dunno if maddon can survive this collapse even if he doesn't shoulder much blame.

I'm gonna say Mike Borzello will be managing the Cubs in 2020, and Mark Loretta will get the SD job. 

And the MLB clubs that would probably have the highest degree of interest in Maddon for 2020 would be the Mets, Phillies, Angels, Pirates, White Sox, and Rockies (probably in that order).

Maddon shoulders plenty of blame. I’m not saying blame shouldn’t be anywhere else (cough pitching development) but Maddons style of managing is designed to keep a team loose. This team has been a little too loose since 2017. To say nothing of the puzzling bullpen management, excessive trust game to game and year to year, and other issues. Joe was the perfect guy to get this team the first title. He was never going to get us a second.

along with that, i'm not sure how maddon will adapt to not being able to use 6-15 pitchers in a 9 inning game once that's history.  it seems to be hard-wired into his managing DNA.  it's a bit of an exageration to say he wouldn't adapt, but his extremely "hands on" bullpen management seems to be one of his things.

I think what we saw with Joe Maddon and the Cubs players in 2019 is what happens when an audience has seen a comedian one too many times and the same old jokes that used to be hilarious just aren't funny anymore. Joe needs to find a new audience. 

Great article in the Sunday Sun Times by Gordan W. on who is to blame for this only above average team.

I think he made a few good points but was misguided in laying next to no blame on Maddon. He’s made many questionable decisions and plenty of those decisions have cost the team games.

Gordo was correct in laying blame on ownership. They hamstrung the front office. I have a hard time believing all they would have added was Descalso and Brach if they could have. Every time they had more money become available they added.

The front office has had two failings: player development and some bad FA signings. They seem to be reshuffling player development and amateur scouting, which is a good idea. FA signings by design are risky but they’ve had some success too. I find it strange that Gordo singles out Darvish and Chatwood considering Yu has been at worst our 2nd best starter this year (at least for The last few months) and Chatwood has actually been quite solid out of the pen (granted he’s getting too much money).

TLDR: Some good points but to me, the FO is the least to blame of the 3 facets (FO, on field mgmt/ players, and ownership).

Can we go back and swap Kimbrel for Keuchel?

Kimbrel has until October 31st to designate the eight MLB clubs to which he will not accept a trade, and then it will be up to the Cubs to find a taker (and good luck with that). 

I despised that pterodactyl clown on the ass sox last year. Now that's he's made it his miss to put the Cubs in a death spin... Just drop him off somewhere far away. 

Criaig Kimbrel has allowed nine HR in 22.2 IP, and Rowan Wick is the only pitcher who has thrown as many as 33 IP in MLB in 2019 who has yet to allow a HR. 

a loss is a loss, and there's more than a few of them with various people at fault...but kimbrel giving the cubs 4 losses in 22.2ip when given a lead to work with is some kind of special for a guy getting $16m a year to throw 60-70 innings.

brewers win.

14 wins in their last 16 games.

What a millstone Yelich must have been!

cards have caught one hell of a case of cubbery in the bottom 1st.

3 miscues, 1 cubs run.

...and k.bryant screws his leg/knee/ankle reaching trying to beat out a single...which he didn't.

he's being helped off the field.  neat.

i.happ playing 3rd because whatever.

Anybody else getting the feeling Yu might opt out?

Words I’d never thought I’d say. I’m even more surprised that I’d rather he not opt out!

that would make the offseason interesting if he did.

no ham, no darvish, lester pitching like a middle/end rotation guy...

Q and hendricks locked in with lester...graveman + a.mills + chatwood could compete to slot in, but it's highly unlikely they're the full answer for both slots...

We’d be in deep, deep trouble if that’s the starting 5 next March. I’d think only one of those 3 start the year in the rotation. Trades or maybe FA signings will fill out rotation.

you'd assume they have to bring in an ace of some sorts because none of those 6 are any better than a 2-3 slot rotation type as we know them now.

well, to be fair hendricks is an ace on paper, but even if he keeps doing what he's doing for another decade i dunno if i would ever feel comfortable calling the dude throwing 86mph an ace.  he's earned ace status, though.  meh, semantics...and prejustice against soft tossers...

Even if we allow Hendricks to be called the ace, Lester is a 4. The others are 5s. That’s not a rotation that leads anyone to the postseason.

DJL: I mentioned here last week that if Yu Darvish (and/or his agent) thinks he can get something north of 4/$81M (what is left of his Cubs contract 2020-23) that he will opt-out post 2019, since this will be his only opportunity to opt-out prior to becoming a FA again (at age 37) post-2023. 

As for where he might get that, I would say it could be the Angels, since they have only $121M commited in AAV going into 2020 and they desperately need two top-tier SP (like maybe Darvish & Cole or Darvish & Strasburg?). 

I actually would be surprised if Darvish doesn't opt-out. 

And if Darvish does indeed opt-out, the Cubs really need to seriously consider re-signing Nicholas Castellanos (even if it's a bit of an overpay) and then trade Kris Bryant for a couple of young SP.

Any team acquiring Bryant would know that it's strictly a two-year "rental" because Bryant is a Boras client and so he will not sign an extention before becoming a FA post-2021, so the Cubs will get something less than maximum value for Bryant.

That said, a club that might be very interested in Bryant (even if it's just for two years) is the Padres. They can play him in a corner OF spot, and the Padres have a stable of really good young pitchers (some already in the bigs and others close to being MLB-ready) and could afford to trade a couple of them and then get a draft pick post-2021 after extending Bryant a QO when he hits free-agency.

The Padres had no qualms about including LHSP prospect Logan Allen in the Trevor Bauer/Taylor Trammell/Franmil Reyes three-team deal involving SD-CIN-CLE at the trade deadline, so it's not like they are averse to moving young SP. RHSP Dinelson Lamet might be one possible SP target for the Cubs (he will be arbitration-eligible as a "Super Two" post-2019, making it more-likely that he would be available).    

CF Manuel Margot (also first-time arbitration-eligible) could be included in the package coming back to the Cubs, and the Cubs could also take back the Wil Myers contract as part of the deal. Myers is overpaid for what he is (3/$61M left through 2022) and the Padres would have no use for him if they were to acquire Bryant, but he can provide depth at the four corners (1B-3B-LF-RF) and some RH-hitting HR power, he is a good baserunner, and he could even be the emergency #3 catcher. 

As for which other MLB clubs might have interest in Bryant, I would think the Phillies, Mets, Indians, and Astros would be VERY interested, and so would the Nationals if they can't re-sign Anthony Rendon, and maybe even the White Sox if they want to make a splash to help finish their rebuild, but I doubt that any of those clubs would be willing to include the type of young players (especially young SP) the Cubs would probably want back for Bryant (although it would be a much different matter if the Sox would be willing to include RHSP Dylan Cease and CF Luis Robert or if the Phillies would be willing to deal 3B Alec Bohm and RHSP Spencer Howard).  

How would the Cubs handle 3b position if Bryant is traded for young arms?  Would Cubs use the Darvish/Bryant money and go after Rendon?

SW75: I don't think the Cubs would replace Kris Bryant by signing a FA like Anthony Rendon. I suspect the Cubs are more-likely to go with a younger player at 3B, with possibly David Bote playing there temporarily until a more-permanent 3B is developed. I do believe the Cubs would be interested in signing Nicholas Castellanos to a long-term deal, however, especially as part of a larger plan to move Bryant in a trade.  

Last week when I talked about the possibility that the Cubs would shop Bryant post-2019, I mentioned that the Reds are the type of "no rebuild while Joey Votto Is still here" operation that might be interested in acquiring players like Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ. Schwarber is a native of the Cincinnati area and would probably hit 50 HR playing 81 games in that ball park and Happ was a college All-American at the U. of Cincinnati and hits like Rogers Hornsby in GABP. And the Reds have two former 1st round draft picks whose natural position is 3B (Nick Senzel and Jonathan India), but both are blocked at that position by Eugenio Suarez, which necessitated moving Senzel to CF in 2019 (even though he is an above-average defensive third baseman).

However, Senzel just had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder so his future is a bit murky at the moment, and India is currently playing in the AFL and therefore should be ready for AA in 2020, meaning he is probably two years away from MLB. But Senzel and India are the type of players the Cubs will probably look to acquire for a Schwarber/Happ package (or even separately). The Reds also have younger MLB bullpen arms that the Cubs might target (especially LHRP Amir Garrett and RHRP Robert Stephenson) which would mean the Cubs don't need to waste payroll on the Cisheks, Strops, or Kintzlers of the baseball world.   

The problem with the Cubs right now is that when the Ricketts family bought the team from Sam Zell and then after Ricketts hired Epstein/Hoyer and they did a to-the-ground tear-down/rebuild, the idea was to win a World Series while having continued and sustained success without the need for another tear-down/rebuild. But in the process of winning the World Series in 2016 and then trying to stay in contention (at all costs) post-2016, the Cubs essentially junked the sustained success plan by trading away what was expected to be the next gen of Cubs stars (Gleyber Torres, Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Isaac Paredes, etc) to acquire pieces that would help sustain only short-term success (effectively through 2020 or maybe 2021 and then the window slams shut). 

So the Cubs really need to change their approach ASAP and try to acquire younger players (at least one legit starting pitcher, a couple of relievers, maybe a CF who can hit lead-off, and a third-baseman) for the few trade chips they do have (mainly Bryant, but also Schwarber and maybe Happ) this coming off-season that would open the contention window a bit wider and hopefully help extend the path of success beyond 2021. 

Any truth to the rumor of Jed Hoyer to the Red Sox?

Maybe a team like ATL, too? They’ll be losing Donaldson, have an army of controllable young pitchers, some of whom have already gotten to MLB with varying degrees of success, and a good young 3B to maybe trade in Austin Riley. Maybe him and Fried? Or Bryse Wilson or Kyle Wright? Something like that?

why is darvish still pitching...

I liked the idea if not the result.

...and the cardinals have the lead.


Another Joe Maddon baffling decision. I wonder if Wittenmyer will say it was Theos fault.

Edit: to stem the tide, he goes with Pedro Strop. Gotta give Pedro the chance to work his way back into postseason favor!

Do you know who was available to pitch in relief?

Down three in WC with 6 to play, if the answer isn’t “everyone” you’re doing it wrong.

cubs lose their 6th in a row, 5 in a row by 1 run.

MIL won and has a 4 game lead for the 2nd WC slot.

xrays negative on bryant's ankle.

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 41 min 27 sec 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 9 hours 33 min ago (view)

    Owners' stooge Bobby Manfred coming out swinging at the players with his statement about the owners instituting a lockout.


  • Arizona Phil 14 hours 57 min 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 19 hours 48 min 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 20 hours 35 sec ago (view)

    Stroman, a pleasant surprise.  Good to know we aren't completely punting until 2025.



  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 27 min ago (view)

    CRUNCH: Clint Frazier's 2022 base salary is only $1.5M and he has a minor league option available, so I think it's more likely than not that he opens 2022 at AAA. 

    On the other hand, Harold Ramirez is out of minor league options, and it is unknown at this point what he will get in 2022 as a "super two." 


  • crunch 20 hours 53 min ago (view)

    until clint fraizer came on board i wouldn't have counted bryant out.

    OF is kinda crowded right now, though there's no stars in the mix.  fraizer - happ - ortega - heyward - h.ramirez leading the group...  even if he split time between OF/3rd with wisdom that just makes it more crowded, plus the team allegedly wants hoerner to prepare to be used as a super-utility guy.


  • George Altman 21 hours 13 min ago (view)

    Ok, if Cubs are going there....I want Correa and Bryant. Unless this is just about selling tickets.


  • crunch 21 hours 17 min ago (view)



  • crunch 22 hours 16 min ago (view)

    stroman / hendricks / miley / alzolay - mills - thompson - steele do bats.


  • Wrigley Rat 22 hours 23 min ago (view)

    You beat me to it! :)


  • azbobbop 22 hours 24 min ago (view)

    Marcus Stroman to the...wait for it...the CUBS! What a nice surprise!


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    With Jason Adam and Michael Hermosillo having been non-tendered, the only 2021 Rule 5 Draft-Excluded Players remaining on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster are Scott Effross, Alfonso Rivas, Ethan Roberts, and Nelson Velazquez. Draft-Excluded players cannot be outrighted to the minors until 20 days prior to MLB Opening Day, so Effross, Rivas, Roberts, and Velazquez are the only players on the 40 with off-season roster-removal restrictions.  


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Sad but true.  According to my back of the napkin numbers the Cubs have aroumd $100MM in payroll space to match last seasons but they're shopping in the non-tendereds ailse.  At the same time they talk of being "competitive".  The cognitive dissonance is overwhelming. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    I suspect Jason Adam and Michael Hermosillo will re-sign with the Cubs on minor league deals with NRIs to 2022 MLB Spring Training, possibly as early as tomorrow. 


  • crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    MIN claimed t.megill from CHC and then non-tendered him.

    CHC non-tender jason adam and mike hermosillo