Recent comments

  • Gordon Wittenmyer‏ @GDubCub

    Bryant is not being shopped. Cubs doing nothing more than operating under longstanding policy of listening with a "no untouchables" policy. No different than any other year. Would take a shocking haul/scenario for team to consider moving him.

    crunch 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • That does not get published if there isn't something to it.  Doesn't mean he will be traded or it is even a serious exploration, but there is some specific reason that was leaked and confirmed from multiple sources and I find it incredibly doubtful Buster just made that up.

     

    blockhead25 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • Cubster 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • Buster is an idiot on this.

    Hagsag 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • For whom, Mike Trout?

    Charlie 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • I don't feel exactly on my moral high horse about this. I don't have a great idea about how to address domestic violence in baseball (or other high profile athletics) in a way that will actually protect the people most vulnerable and decrease abuse. But I think recognizing players as humans and not merely as commodities would be a part of any adequate solution.

    But the front office will almost certainly end up doing something that attempts to extract some sort of baseball/financial value, and I'll continue to think/feel that it is gross to a greater or lesser degree. And that will include wondering how baseball could treat its players/prospects differently such that they would be less likely to abuse partners.

    Charlie 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • Buster Olney reporting Cubs open to trading Bryant which is a terrible idea imo

    waveland 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • So true Crunch.

    Hagsag 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • ugg...corey black back.

    i was hoping his never-ending victim complex would finally get out of the system.

    when he's not talking crap and laughing about it, he's climbing up on the cross to complain (or outright rage) about the need for civility when people are talking crap to him and laughing about it.  it's a special kind of delusion shared by too many on the planet.

    crunch 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • Usually when I get on my moral high horse, it concerns someone older than Russell, who was an MLB all-star at 22 and was probably quite full of himself. Usually these guys figure out what is at stake for them financially and start to accelerate the maturation process. I look at him the way I assume the Cubs do, as a commodity.

    VirginiaPhil 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • baez, silver slugger, 2nd base

    crunch 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • I’ll Is there a possibility of rehabilitating Addy’s reputation?  What if he completes his counseling, makes a plausible apology and a sizable donation to a women’s charity?

    Craig A. 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • It's more like divorcing your spouse because he/she was abusive. To be fair, neither analogy applies well. But a player is a human and not just a material object (like a ring) with financial value; their behavior and their ethics matter. Of course, the front office will probably feel some obligation to what is "best for the team" in a financial sense and in terms of talent. And whether the player is on their team or not doesn't change what they have done and may have little effect on what they will do in the future. But trying to maximize the value of a player while distancing yourself from them because they have abused another person feels extremely morally compromised. It's not quite the same as the Astros trading for Roberto Osuna this year, for which they received some due criticism, but it is a lot like the Blue Jays trading away Osuna (and few people had anything to say about that).

    Also, engagement/wedding rings never recoup their orginal retail value. That shit's a scam. :P

    Charlie 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • If I were a GM and I were considering cutting or trading a player because of their history of domestic abuse, I wouldn't notify their agent ahead of time. So why ask Boras about this?

    Charlie 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • All things being equal--which, I'll admit, they're usually not with Russell--he's worth a frontline pitcher in a trade. He was a real catch when the Cubs traded for him out of double-A.  The pitcher they sent to Oakland has earned 122 starts since that trade.

    VirginiaPhil 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • "Asked whether Addison Russell will remain a member of the Cubs in 2019, agent Scott Boras said, "I have no expectation otherwise and I have not been told anything otherwise."

    Boras noted that he's been in communication with the Cubs' decision-makers and that they're all "directly involved" with Russell while he undergoes therapy."

    okay, whatever.  if he does make it back maybe cubs fans can be classy and not give him a standing-O for whatever reason people keep giving guys like this standing-O's after crap like this.

    i wouldn't complain to see him go, but i don't think he crossed over into the "don't deserve to play the game" territory even if he's in "shitty human being" territory.

    crunch 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • "I doubt Addison Russell will be back."  It's like throwing your wedding ring in the trash because he/she was unfaithful. Sell it!--and if it's been devalued, you have to wait.

    VirginiaPhil 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • Phil, that's my fear.  Offense was the real problem in 2018. Minor moves means counting on Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Schwarber and Contreras to mash.  Then Almora, Heyward to put up .780-.800 OPS.  Kind of optimistic for my money.

    George Altman 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • "Christian Yelich, Javier Baez and Nolan Arenado were announced Monday as finalists for the 2018 National League MVP award."

    crunch 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • Wilbur Wood making a comeback too.

    So is Mr. Ed...”Wilburrrr”

    Leo Durocher will not make a comeback.

    https://youtu.be/AVm-HwAkVp8

    Cubster 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • I am a Lowrie man too.

    Hagsag 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • And SS depth... 

    I may be alone on this, but I think that Jed Lowrie makes tons of sense for the roster.  JL can play an above agerage 2B, the L/R splits aren't scary, and he can play SS.  

    Recent posturing aside, I doubt Addison Russell will be back.  They have to do something to add SS depth to the roster, and not just emergency depth at AAA.  It isn't reasonable to expect Javy to play all 9 innings of 162 games. 

    First.Pitch.120 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • GEORGE A: I think the Cubs will generally try and address needs by making trades and signing free-agents to minor league contracts rather than by signing free-agents to MLB contracts, but if they do sign an MLB FA or two, I would say the most likely would be a LHRP (like Zach Britton) and a veteran back-up catcher (like Martin Maldonado). I don't see the Cubs pursuing Harper or Machado.  

    Arizona Phil 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • "According to Jon Heyman of FanCred Sports, Bartolo Colon intends to continue his playing career in 2019."

    nice.  woo, old guy players.

    he's 46 years old next may.  some question whether he's actually a bit older.

    crunch 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • Perhaps non-tendered.

    tim815 3 months 2 weeks ago
  • rizzo and freeman both win NL GG for 1st.

    dj lemahieu wins for 2nd, n.markakis wins for RF

    crunch 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • Phil,  I  say re-sign Chavez and go all in on Harper. Then call it an off season .

    George Altman 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • countdown until a.russell is cut or traded...

    crunch 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • With all of the Premium Season Ticket locations going online 2019, and the new broadcast deals on the horizon, this team is printing money. They can afford the penalties. Its, do they want to take the hit while they dont have a trade partner yet for Chatwalk, Heyward, Schwarbs, Russell, etc. 

    The E-Man 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • With the Cubs having apparently exceeded the 2019 CBT ("luxury tax") threshold of $206M by about $15M by virtue of picking up the Cole Hamels option on Friday, here are the potential penalties the Cubs would face in 2019 and into 2020 if their payroll remains above the CBT threshold in 2019:  

    Because they did not exceed the CBT threshold in 2018, the Cubs will pay a 20% tax on any amount over the $206M CBT threshold they spend in 2019 (it would have been a 30% tax if they had exceeded the CBT threshold in both 2018 and 2019 and it would have been a 50% tax if they had exceded the CBT threshold in 2017, 2018, and 2019). If they exceed the 2019 CBT threshold by more than 20% (in other words $226M+) they would pay an additional surcharge of 12% on the amount spent in excess of $20M over the threshold. And if they exceed the 2019 CBT threshold by more than $40M ($246M+) they would pay an additional surcharge of 42% on the amount spent in excess of $40M over the threshold (the additional surcharge would have been 45% over $246M+ if they had paid a CBT tax in both 2018 and 2019). 

    Also, if the Cubs pay any CBT in 2019, they will have their compensation for losing a post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agent who is extended a Qualifying Offer reduced from a draft pick after the 2nd round in the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft to a draft pick after the 4th round. Also, if the Cubs sign an Article XX-B Qualified Player after the 2019 season they will have to surrender their second and fifth highest draft picks in the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft and would have $1M subtracted from their 2020-21 International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) instead of losing only their second-highest draft pick and having their 2020-21 ISBP reduced by $500K (the latter being the case if they do not exceed the CBT threshold in 2019).

    Also, if the Cubs were to exceed the 2019 CBT by more than $40M ($246M+), they would have their first pick in the 2020 First-Year Player Draft moved-down ten slots (the Cubs second overall pick would be moved-down ten slots if their 1st pick is one of the first six overall picks in the draft).  

    So the bottom line is, if the Cubs stay aboutt $15M over the CBT threshold in 2019 they would pay a $3M tax (plus the aforementioned draft pick compensation and ISBP penalties if they sign an Article XX-B QO post-2019). And if they are $40M over the 2019 CBT threshold but don't exceed $40M over, the tax would be $10.5M (plus the same draft pick compenstion and ISBP penaties they receive if they are $15M over). Which means if the Cubs were to sign a free-agent to a contract with an AAV of $25M they would have to pay a tax of $10.5M post-2019 (they are already on the hook for $3M anyway), but with $50M+ in payroll coming off the books post-2019 (Hamels, Zobrist, Cishek, Strop, Kintzler, and Duensing, and posibly Morrow and/or Quintana).  

    Arizona Phil 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • last season's market surprised everyone, especially player agents.

    it was a perfect storm of teams not budging, big money teams mostly set, a few tanking teams not looking to invest as well as trading away talent...it all got real cold, really quickly.  you'd swear there was collusion going on, but it seems no one could even find a trace of it going on.

    i wonder what would have happened if the cubs waited another 4+ weeks before looking a "chatwood type" because that contract was overpaid before spring training even began.

    crunch 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • to put the c.hamels $20m deal in perspective outside of the $7m+incentives the cubs "saved" by dealing d.smyly...

    h.ryu's great showing late season (except some bad playoffs pitching) beat out years of injuries for a $17.9m QO from the dodgers...

    d.keuchel's "not bad" 3.74era/1.31whip showing has the astros hoping he can regain his past with a QO...

    p.corbin's first good season since 2013 (it was a great 2018) got him a QO...

    there's more factors at play than just the money for all of these players for a variety of reasons, but at face value all of these guys are worth 1yr deals to their front offices for 18-20m.

    crunch 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • CRUNCH: After what happened with the bear free-agent market last off-season, it will be interesting to see if a Qualifying Offer of one year guaranteed at $17.9M suddenly becomes a bit more enticing. 

    Arizona Phil 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • cubbies.4ever: Addison Russell's suspension is without pay and a suspended player on the Restricted List can be traded, so I doubt that the PTBNL going to Texas is Russell.   

    The most-likely explanation for the "double-PTBNL" is that one or perhaps both of the PTBNL are Rule 5 Draft eligible and the Cubs and Rangers do not want to add the player(s) to their 40-man roster, so they will wait to announce the PTBNL until after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft, presuming the PTBNL is not selected in the draft by a third club. If the PTBNL is selected in the Rule 5 Draft by a third club, that PTBNL would be replaced by either a different player or by a cash payment (normally $50,000). If both PTBNL are Rule 5 Draft-eligible and both players are selected in the Rule 5 Draft by other clubs, the cash substitutions for the two PTBNL could just cancel each other out.  

    Or, it could be that one of the PTBNL is already on the Cubs or Rangers 40-man roster, but the other team (probably the Cubs) doesn't want to add the player to its own 40-man roster at this time because it wants to keep the slot open for a free agent signing, and if the Cubs find they just don't have room to add the PTBNL to the 40 at all, then the double-PTBNL will just cancel each other out.    

    Another less-likely (but plausible) explanation is that the double-PTBNL has something to do with doubts about Drew Smyly's health, and if he doesn't pass his Spring Training physical and/or can't pitch in Cactus League games it could be the Rangers will receive a different pitcher from the Cubs who is making a similar salary as Smyly (that would be one PTBNL), and if that happens, the Cubs would maybe get Smyly back (who would then be the other PTBNL). If Smyly is fit to pitch the two PTBNL would then turn to cash (presumably $50,000) and would cancel each other out. 

    What's different about a PTBNL being involved in an off-season trade is that if a trade is made during the MLB regular season, a PTBNL cannot be on an MLB 25-man roster from the time the trade is made until the PTBNL is announced. That is not a problem during the off-season, as long as the PTBNL is named before MLB Opening Day. So one or both of the PTBNL could be players who were on an MLB 25-man roster during this past MLB regular season. 

    Bottom line is, a "double-PTBNL" is very unusual. It would tend to indicate that there are actually players to be exchanged, not a player or cash. 

    Also, clubs have up to six months to name a PTBNL, so it could be completed as late as May 1st (although it is unlikely to drag out that long). 

    Arizona Phil 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • AZ PHIL: Regarding the Smyly deal do you think that the PTBNL to TEX could be Addison Russell, but the Rangers want the Cubs to eat his salary while he remains suspended, then once reinstated traded to TEX or is that too unlikely?

    cubbies.4ever 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • So basically you're saying Taylor Davis (outside the arm) is a poor man's David Ross.  Which is never a bad thing.  But can he be a relief pitcher?

    cubbies.4ever 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • he's also prone to getting angry and expressing it on social media...along with being very defensive about it.  strong will and determination shapes people's attitudes in different ways, i guess.

    he also had elbow spurs cleaned out a couple weeks ago, so he's had fresh surgery on top of his past stuff.  this point is most likely a bigger issue than the 1st one.

    crunch 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • vosler can play 3rd/1st good enough to be an interesting bench option (especially with line drive power) for an AL or NL team.  i imagine his name would be kicked around a lot of front offices.

    crunch 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • Lovin’ UMich putting a beating on the Boy-Rape School! Go Blue, baby!

    The E-Man 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • Wow PHIL! Do your fingers hurt? Thank you!

    The E-Man 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • E-MAN: There's really nobody on the Cubs minor league FA list who would profile as a Marwin Gonzalez-type, but if you look at the Cubs minor leaguers eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, 2018 Cubs Minor League Player of the Year Jason Vosler would probably be the closest comp, at least as far as being able to play all four infield positions (although SS would be strictly "In Case of Emeregncy Only"). But Vosler can play 3B-1B and I've seen him at 2B in Minor League Camp and he can play the position (at least passably), and at some point in 2019 Vosler will probably get some reps in the corner OF spots  as well, and if he can handle that (and he probably can) that would increase his value on a Joe Maddon team. 

    Arizona Phil 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • The Brewers have hired Andy Haines as hitting coach.  

    QuietMan 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • It's in the news today that NHL players have voted the Blackhawks as having the best "sweater" in the NHL. At least Hawk fans will have laundry to root for this year and in the next several.

    Interesting, though, how iconic these Chicago uniforms seem to be. Personally, as a kid on the South Side I thought the Sox had the coolest duds in the world: black and white, pinstriped, that great three-letter logo with no final "s" necessary. If Banks had been modeling the jersey instead of Fox and Aparicio, I'd be reading a different baseball blog.

    VirginiaPhil 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • Black had TJS in 2016 and had a new injury shortly after getting back into game action in Rookie ball this season. Hasn’t really been on the field the last two seasons. 

    bradsbeard 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • AZ PHIL: What is the deal with Corey BlacK? Why can’t he crack the majors? Also, do you see the next Marwin Gonzalez in this list?

    The E-Man 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • 1B-OF Yasiel Balaguert (eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league 6YFA) signed a 2019 minor league successor contract just prior to the 5 PM (Eastern) deadline on Friday, so a total of 17 Cubs minor leaguers were declared free-agents. 

    Arizona Phil 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • cubbies.4ever: P.J. Higgins has struggled in the AFL, Jhonny Pereda has not played above Hi-A, Ian Rice is a bat-first guy who needs to work on his defense, and Miguel Amaya is at least two years away, so I guess Taylor Davis is the Cubs #3 catcher going into the off-season. 

    Actually I thought if the Cubs put him on waivers that T. Davis would have been claimed. He is a high-contact hitter who takes walks, and while he has a controlled swing without much loft, he has a short-stroke and makes hard contact. I think he would make a really good pinch-hitter.

    The question about T. Davis is more about his defense. He isn't especially athletic and he's kind of a stiff receiver with a below-average arm, but for some reason pitchers (especially the younger pitchers) seem to like throwing to him because he keeps everybody loose. And of course he can play 1B and 3B, too, so there is some versatility there. And his managers like him because he is like a coach/mentor/Father Confessor on the field. He's a real-life Crash Davis.  

    Arizona Phil 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • Not surprising about Freeman, Gore I thought was a toss up if he'd be outrighted, but not Taylor Davis.  Are they just going to settle as Taylor Davis being their 3rd catcher who plays at Iowa?  What does that say about the chances of any of those other rule 5 eligible catchers that are on the bubble to get added to 40.  Given April 1st is still a long time away.

    cubbies.4ever 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • lester/hendricks/hamels/darvish/q (in no set-in-stone order)

    montgomery/chatwood backing things up as long men.

    even though there's no solid ace, the 1-5 are all solid upper-end rotation guys and that's a nice trade-off...unless you end up in a 1-game wildcard playoff.

    crunch 3 months 3 weeks ago
  • So the Cubs get a PTBNL and the Rangers get a PTBNL in the Smyly deal (hopefully the PTBNL is not the same player as the other PTBNL). 

    Arizona Phil 3 months 3 weeks ago

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