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One of the things that makes it such a joy to watch the Chicago Cubs’ rebuilding plan unfold is that the team’s approach is completely transparent.
There’s no trickery here, no deceit, no super-secret process that’s inscrutable to everyone outside of the front office.
I don’t simply mean that the Cubs are rebuilding with complete conviction; under the terms of MLB’s collective bargaining agreement, that’s really the only way to go. (1) Nor do I mean that the Cubs are nearly the extremists that the Houston Astros are.
They’re building an offense from within and a pitching staff from spare parts.
This flies in the face of more than a century of conventional baseball wisdom, which states that (1) pitching wins championships, and (2) a team can never have too much pitching.
The Cubs’ approach is completely counterintuitive.
It’s also completely right.
It may be true that it’s difficult to reach the playoffs without an elite pitching staff. (It’s equally hard to reach the playoffs without an elite offense, but never mind.)
It may even be true that good pitching beats good hitting in the playoffs, although the evidence to support that is surprisingly sketchy. But the sport’s pitching obsession has one fatal flaw: Pitchers aren’t reliable.
In 2013, when the Cubs had the no. 2 overall pick, the industry consensus was that the two best players available were Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray, both college pitchers. It’s hard to believe now, but the Cubs’ decision to pick Bryant raised some eyebrows at the time.
The Cubs wagered on the side of history, which has shown that truly elite collegiate hitters — the kind you see once a year in the draft, if that — almost always turn into at least average major league players, usually becoming stars. And sure enough, Bryant has put up video-game numbers all season...
In the 2014 draft, the Cubs picked fourth, and the first three picks were all pitchers. So the Cubs once again
do the cubs have the right manager fostering the right atmosphere for young players?
Or what the Indians did when they spit out Belle, Ramirez, Thome, Baerga etc., made a pitching staff out of Chuck Nagy and duct tape and killed everybody. It's really not at all unconventional.
I'd ask actual Cub's fans how joyful it has been.
The cubs might very well be a fun team to watch next year. Either that or a complete disaster.
What's the line about war? "No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy"?
At minimum you have to think the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Angels and Cubs are going to be looking to add a top SP. Throw in a few other teams (Seattle?, SF?, Texas?) and this bidding could get crazy.
I'm not sure why Rany is pushing this particular line of thought, to be honest, except everyone wants to jump onto the next Moneyball before anyone else does.
Still, I'm pretty tired of the turn-of-the-century trend where certain GMs are the stathead guys and everything they do is right, whereas other GMs are the stathead enemies and everything they do is wrong.
The obvious problem with the article is that no one is 'right' and nothing is 'brilliant' at this point. It's like listening to the Sixers kool-aid drinkers talk about how awesome the Noel/Embid/Saric teams will be.
I agree with this, but I think the bigger thing happening here is just a journalist trying to make his story sound more important than it really is.
I don't see how that matters. The other 4 teams I mentioned have effectively unlimited resources.
Sure, the Cub could get 2 of those pitchers, if they're handing out 8/225 contracts, but are they going to want to do that?
The Ricketts seem waaaaaay cheaper than the other ownership groups involved.
Castro and Rizzo are signed for the next 5 years at no more than $11 mil per. Baez, Bryant, Alcantara, and Soler are under team control for 6 more years. That is incredible cost certainty, one that comes along only very rarely. Due to this unique situation, Rickets can be way cheaper than those other teams, and still outbid them.
How about we wait until half those guys have proven they are cromulent MLB regulars before projecting a massive $/WAR advantage for the Cubs?
In the real world top prospects don't always develop and they sure as hell don't develop at the same rate. Now, the Cubs understand that you want both high end prospects and enough depth in the system to where you can easily miss on a few and still have a talented team, but as of now all this talk about the amazing Cubs future is just premature.
Does the future look promising? Sure. But nothing is promised with so many players yet to establish an MLB baseline.
I guess I'm not expressing myself properly. I'm arguing from a management standpoint.
You're expressing yourself fine but pick two of those guys out of all of them that don't pan out as a median case -- say Soler and Alcantara. Say for the sake of argument those guys are 0-1 WAR players in MLB. Those players aren't that valuable even at league min.
The point is, everyone of the big market teams has money, and the Cubs have probably the cheapest owners.
If they did, and if their prospects actually developed, they'd be looking at a $200M payroll in 4 or 5 years. If they're good, they won't be cheap for long.
Yeah, Russell probably won't be ready to start for the big club at the beginning of next year,
I originally read #62 as suggesting the Cubs acquire a catcher from the Red Sox...
The Cubs are doing well, but the next step is the big one.
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