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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Starting to think about 2017

I’m not entirely ready to start thinking about next year yet.  I’m still enjoying this year (side note: Friday at 7pm on FS1 is the 2016 Cubs movie that MLB produced).  There hasn’t been a ton of offseason movement or rumors yet, and the Cubs haven’t really done anything of note, unless of course you’re a 40 man roster fanatic.  Seeing that Fangraphs has put out their 2017 projections made me at least put up this post.  If anything major comes up during the winter meetings, I might start a new topic.  But for now, this is as good of a thread to talk about the offseason that we can bring up as things happen.

Without thinking about it too much, the few things that jump out at me in the projections, in no particular order:

1. Candelario, as they pointed out in the article.  From what I’ve read about him, he isn’t seen as a great defender.  He does have multi-position flexibility going for him, but on the wrong end of the spectrum that is pretty solidly covered by the current roster (3b/1b/lf/rf).  A nice benefit is that he’s switch-handed.  He really tore up AAA in limited time: 309PAs, .333/.417/.542, but doesn’t seem to have a place on the current roster.  I also don’t see how a Soler, or even Schwarber, trade even clears enough space for him.  You would think they’d still want to get him regular ABs, so a Coghlan or LaStella role would probably be less than ideal now.  His clearest path right now is as an injury replacement; or perhaps he can big a bigger trade piece than we’ve seen before.
2. Schwarber, as has been talked about here plenty, is a guy most Cubs fans feel, and we get the impression the FO agrees, is likely to exceed his relatively modest projection.  The defense has been talked to death - and I’m firmly in the he can get up to pretty close to averagish in LF for now if left alone and healthy - and the advanced metrics do love him (3rd on the team in wOBA).  I just feel he can cut down on that K rate without giving up too much power, and up that BA (either by getting better against LHP or just being platooned out against them).  Regardless, it’s just fun to think about the lineup with him back full time.
3. Fowler.  That’s still a really good forecast for him, and he’s surely going to be worth whatever contract he gets, at least in the short term.  I still don’t see the Cubs resigning him, but the emotional side would still love to see him back.  If he did come back, and for multiple years, perhaps that allows for a Soler/Almora trade package for that elusive young, cost controlled starter*.
4. Lackey.  I’ll never really like him, although I see his uses.  That he’s still this effective as his age is pretty impressive.  Having him as the 5th starter would be an awesome best-case scenario, pipe-dream.

*In a complete one of his make-believe columns for ESPN, Jim Bowden (I know) said he’d like to see the Cubs/Rays made a deal.  He suggested Happ/Soler/Almora/Edwards for Archer/Kiermaier/Colome.  While I’m not crazy about that exact trade, it’s at least an interesting idea and seem fairly reasonable on paper.  I think how fair depends on how you feel about some of those guys; but it would at least seem to address on paper how each team could be addressing their rosters (and of course, saves the Rays money, though since Archer has such a reasonable deal it’s not *that* much big picture). 


The floor is now open.

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: November 29, 2016 at 01:10 PM | 107 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: December 07, 2016 at 06:48 PM (#5364620)
Soler, Heyward and Contreras all homered in their first MLB plate appearances (am I forgetting anyone else on the 2016 Cubs? Baez homered in his first game, but not his first PA.). Wonder if any team's had three such players before; that seems like a lot.
   102. Ardo Posted: December 07, 2016 at 06:53 PM (#5364623)
Maddon has never been a doctrinaire one-inning guy in the playoffs. In the 2008 ALCS, he let Dan Wheeler get 10 outs in a tied Game 2. Then, in Game 7, he had five pitchers face six batters in the eighth inning.
   103. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: December 07, 2016 at 08:36 PM (#5364691)
How quickly we forget that up until the postseason, Maddon was as rigid a one-inning guy as the rest of them.

He tried using Chapman before the eighth when the Cubs first got him, but Chapman balked because he felt more comfortable in the ninth. Maddon went along with it - until October when each game meant a whole lot more.
   104. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: December 08, 2016 at 04:47 PM (#5365220)
Evan Drellich
Source says Koji Uehara indeed on the brink of signing with the Cubs, although deal may not be final. Reported here:


Thank you, google translate:
Koji Uehara (41) who was a free agent (FA) from the Red Sox turned out to have reached an agreement with the Cubs.

 The annual salary is estimated to be around 4.5 million dollars (about 495 million yen) in a one year contract. Uehara travels to the USA in the near future and is expected to be officially announced through a physical check (physical examination). It is a cavalry where the world series (WS) of the season is controlled, aiming for the world's first since the achievement in Les Army in 13 years.


Last year, he had 47IP in 50g, 133ERA+, 3.51FIP, 12.1k/9, 5.73k/bb, 1.5hr/9.
   105. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 08, 2016 at 04:53 PM (#5365227)
So the conspiracy theorists were right - there IS a secret cavalry controlling the World Series. Although you'd think ARod would have done better.
   106. Andere Richtingen Posted: December 08, 2016 at 05:20 PM (#5365251)
Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat 12m12 minutes ago
No confirmation re reports #Cubs have signed Uehara to one year deal. He would fill wish list for pitcher effective vs LH hitters


In 863 career PAs, LHB have a .555 OPS against Uehara. .603 against righties in a similar number of PAs. But last year he gave up 8 HR in 47 IP, and his FIP spiked.
   107. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: December 08, 2016 at 05:33 PM (#5365260)
Sahadev Sharma ‏@sahadevsharma 15m15 minutes ago Chicago, IL
Random note: If Cubs finalize deal with Uehara, they'll have 3 pitchers on the roster who recorded final out of 3 of the last 4 World Series
Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2

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