Goodbye Darvish, belated Goodbye Theo / "Hot" Stove Thread

If the departure of Theo Epstein in mid November was not a clear sign of things to come, today's trade of Yu Darvish certainly heralds the arrival of a rebuilding phase for the Chicago Cubs. It has been widely reported that the Cubs and Padres agreed on a deal sending Darvish and Caratini to sunny San Diego, fomer Brewer Zach Davies to the Cubs rotation, and two pairs of young shortstops and outfielders to Cubs' minor league facilities for years to come.

Davies is coming off of a promising year and the 4 young prospects have some upside. However, as of now many regard this deal as a salary dump for the Ricketts family. Darvish is owed just under $60 million for the 3 years remaining on his contract. That is a signifiant chunk of payroll, but an absolute bargain at his most recent level of performance. For approximately two years, fans and writers have speculated that a partial or full rebuild would begin with the trade of a Cubs star position player: Bryant, Contreras, or Baez. Bryant's health and performance seems to have hampered his trade market, however, and the Cubs have instead tread water the past two seasons. Now, Jed Hoyer's first big move as man at the helm has the team dealing from an area of weakness (the starting rotation) for a package of prospects far from the majors. It is unlikely that this will be the first domino to fall.

So, here's a thread for us all to discuss the so-called "hot" stove--more tepid than ever with the 2021 outlook uncertain for all of MLB. Who will go next? Is Hoyer looking at a full rebuild or some hybrid option? Did David Ross get the rug yanked out from under him? Will the Ricketts family cling to any of the remaining good will from 2016? How many Kyle Hendricks-lites does it take to fill out a starting rotation? Discuss amongst yourselves.


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

Oh wait. 

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

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

O&B, the typewriter days, yeah...👍

Cubs are apparently "extensively shopping" Willson Contreras.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In today's Tribune...Paul Sullivan:

Darvish deal starts undoing of Cubs

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

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

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

Ricketts appeared quite shocked.

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

The booing only grew louder.

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

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

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

Oh, what a year it has been.

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

“Follow the money.”

Let's Go, Follow the Money.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 2021 amount is 7.

The buyout is 3.


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

PHIL: Did the Cubs release Saul Vazquez?

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

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

Thanks Phil!

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  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 30 min ago (view)

    Neither Robert Stock nor Duane Underwood Jr have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted, although both will be minor league 6YFA at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the 2021 World Series if the player is either not added back to the 40 or signs a 2022 minor league successor contract prior to the deadline. 


  • Arizona Phil 4 hours 21 min ago (view)

    Here are some pitching info from today's game for those of you who didn't see it: 

    Adbert Alzolay:
    FB: 93-95 
    CH: 87 
    SL: 84 
    CV: 82 
    COMMENT: Threw mostly FB and looked sharp... thought he might go two IP but it was at least a good start..

    Dan Winkler:
    FB: 91-94
    CV: 83-84
    COMMENT: Lots of FB and he got good results with the limited arsenal he showed today..  

    Jonathan Holder: 
    FB: 91-94 
    CH/CT: 88-89 
    CV: 83 
    COMMENT: Nothing special but got a 1-2-3 inning... 


  • crunch 6 hours 23 min ago (view)

    looked sharp as hell today with a groundout to 1st and a couple Ks.


  • crunch 6 hours 46 min ago (view)

    odd with JD in the booth without len...nice to see the cubs back in action.

    sciambi is a nice replacement.  can't complain.


  • crunch 8 hours 43 sec ago (view)

    maples, the unpolished diamond...maybe he'll figure it out in his 5th year of trying...

    so far he's dollar store discount bin carlos marmol.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 9 hours 9 min ago (view)

    Stock clears waivers, is now NRI. Duane Underwood loses his 40 man spot to Tepera. I find it shocking that he was cut over Maples, but I'm sure Maples gets the boot before Opening Day, too.


  • videographer 11 hours 55 min ago (view)

    Baseball America came out with a list of the top 2021-22 international singing class of 16 year olds and the Cubs were not list with any of the top 20.  I guess Tom Ricketts decided to pass next year on future Latin talent.


  • Rob Richardson 14 hours 54 min ago (view)

    I hear he dogs it, and is a bit of a hot dog.


  • Jackstraw 1 day 37 min ago (view)

    No matter how well he performs this spring, the smart play is still to send him down to Des Moines.  Delay his service clock for a month or six weeks, get seven extra years of team control.


  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    kevin rizzo is in camp with the cubs and is in workouts with the team.

    very tiny guy, no power, but he can run down a ball in the field and he's almost impossible to pitch to.  time to give him a contract and put him in the OF.


  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Marquee has added a tuesday game, so now the first televised cubs game is March 2nd (3pm EST)


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    The DFA of Robert Stock to make room for Kyle Ryan coming off the CoViD-related IL wil need to be followed by removing another player on the 40 to make room for Ryan Tepera. 

    It's possible somebody (like a pitcher) is injured to the extent that he might be placed on the 60-day IL, or else maybe somebody else will go on the CoViD-related IL (which is 40-man roster exempt) in the coming days to make room for Tepera.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed LHSP Ben Holmes (ex-LAD) and RHRP Jose Moreno (ex-NYM) to 2021 minor league contracts. Both were post-2020 minor league 6YFA and neither has been on an MLB 40-man roster.

    Holmes pitched collegiately at Oregon State and has some AAA experience, but Moreno hasn't pitched above Lo-A over the course of seven seasons in the Mets organization.  


  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    side note...k.wong is on 1st putting on one of those "baserunning mitts" (hand protection for sliding) that's extending past the length of his hand/fingers by at least 2-3 inches.

    they're going to have to start regulating this piece of equipment if this keeps up...


  • crunch 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Q with LAA in his debut for them...HBP, a wild pitch, and BB through 7 pitches...then 3 pop-outs to follow.

    blah blah spring training...

    baseball on TV...neat.


  • First.Pitch.120 2 days 10 hours ago (view)

    We just traded for Maddux!!!   ......... nope, the other one.