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Monday, August 02, 2021

Chicago Cubs’ Jed Hoyer says inability to sign stars to long-term deals ‘greatest source of frustration’

Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer says his ‘greatest source of frustration’ was the team’s inability to sign any of their stars to long term contracts before trading them last Friday.

Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez were the talk of the baseball world last week as all three were moved within a span of 24 hours before MLB’s trade deadline. After years of conversations with the trio—attempting to sign them to long term contracts—Hoyer finally gave up and moved on.

“That will probably be my greatest source of frustration from this era,” Hoyer said on ESPN 1000 radio in Chicago Monday morning. “I put my head on the pillow every night knowing we put our best foot forward. The extensions we offered these guys will hold up exceptionally well…against the open market. I don’t know why guys didn’t want to sign. I don’t know why guys didn’t want to even counteroffer, often times.”

There isn’t a one size fits all answer to why each is no longer a Cub. Baez was negotiating with the team in the spring of 2020 but the pandemic shut those talks down.

“We counteroffered then the pandemic hit,” Baez’ agent Nick Chanock said Monday.

Hoyer never indicated that all three refused to counteroffer, only that some didn’t. After suffering huge financial losses in 2020, the team wasn’t ready to spark up talks again with Baez considering he had a terrible season. The Cubs never made an offer to Baez again as the trade deadline approached, according to sources familiar with the situation.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2021 at 05:00 PM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Walt Davis Posted: August 02, 2021 at 06:04 PM (#6032274)
Without info on when the offers were made, the amount/years, there's nothing to evaluate. Sounds like the Cubs backed out on Baez, not Baez backing out on them. Bryant has already tried to shoot down one rumor about an offer to him.

But I wouldn't be surprised if Hoyer is at least technically right that whatever offers the Cubs made will look at least reasonable compared with whatever these guys end up with. All teams are still recovering from 2020's revenue hit and this year can't have been particularly good for them either. So maybe they'd have gotten more in the non-covid universe, I don't think anybody's gonna back up the extra large money truck for any of these three now. Their contract situations are different but Yelich is the same age as Bryant and his long-term deal is 7/$189 at this point and the Brewers would probably like to get out from under it.

Alas, that makes it more frustrating. Bryant really does seem like a great kid and he's a solid player; Baez is a joy on the field; Rizzo is the unflappable balance to Javy. When they sign reasonable deals, Jed's just back on the hook again -- what do any of us care even if he can legitimately say "see, my offer was close to that, I did my job right"?
   2. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: August 02, 2021 at 06:06 PM (#6032275)
I dunno, this looks like classic CYA crap to me. "But our offers were good!" If they were that good, and Chicago was a good place to play, not everybody would be turning them down.
   3. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 02, 2021 at 07:17 PM (#6032316)
Sounds like the Cubs backed out on Baez, not Baez backing out on them.


I mentioned it in the other thread, but as dynamic as Baez is, a long-term contract with him makes me apprehensive. I don't have to squint hard to see his offensive game deteriorating quickly. Maybe I'm just still shell-shocked from Alfonso Soriano.

With Bryant, wasn't it pretty much always assumed that he was probably gone when the time came for him to get paid? The AAA "seasoning" and all that making it unlikely that the Cubs weren't going to have to pay through the nose to keep him.

I said it elsewhere, but beyond the emotional aspect of watching the 2016 offensive core get dealt away within 24 hours, what made last weekend so tough was knowing that the Cubs have done a poor job player developing and preparing for this day.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2021 at 09:33 PM (#6032389)
There is no reason a team like the Cubs can't keep Bryant.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: August 02, 2021 at 09:59 PM (#6032405)
#3 and a bit #2: I don't expect Javy's bat to age well but I think the glove will be fine. I wouldn't offer him 8/$200 or whatever because he's not really a superstar. But signing him on for 4 years as a 3-4 WAR player seems fine. Further on Baez, and this was true of Bryant too, I can get that the Cubs would be freaked about 2020. It wasn't a full season but it wasn't nothing and both guys stunk really bad. Take into account Javy's bat crater potential and Bryant's frequent minor injuries and 2020 looked a lot like the beginning of the end. So even if the Cubs ever made a serious offer to Baez or Bryant in spring 2020, I wouldn't be surprised if they panicked.

Anyway, Baez's agent seems to confirm that the Cubs' offer to Baez in spring 2020 was at least "legit" in that it was close enought to justify a counter-offer. Sure for all we knoe they were $100 M apart but presumably he might have mentioned he didn't take the Cubs' original offer too seriously before countering.

And of course on Rizzo, he's turning 32 and objectively you don't want to offer anything too grandiose. Objectively, the Cubs deciding not to resign these guys is reasonable. Whether they got enough in trade or should have held onto the comp pick (and the fans) is the main question about the trades. As #3 notes, the big issue is that everybody knew they were hitting FA together years ago and the Cubs did very little to prep for this day. (EDIT: whidh means it looks more and more like this was the main plan all along.)

But yes, the Cubs can afford anybody they want. It's unlikely the Ricketts want that much.
   6. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 02, 2021 at 10:43 PM (#6032441)
WalksClogTheBases, I share your concern about Javy's offensive game. He has a 9 to 1 K to BB ratio right now. His career is 6 to 1. 23 HR to 9 doubles. Leads the league in whiffs. He could turn into a pumpkin this year. But I still love El Mago.

Going player by player, I can see why the Cubs didn't sign any of them long term. But it is still painful.

I believe Jed when he says they made offers. They probably made soft offers when the players were near the height of their expected earning powers, so the players demurred. Then their future prospects started dimming, and the Cubs were no longer interested.

   7. Brian C Posted: August 03, 2021 at 12:44 AM (#6032459)
Here's a question I've been thinking about w/r/t Rizzo especially - is there any study out there that correlates higher velocity by pitchers with declines by batters at a younger age? It seems like 32 might be relatively older than it used to be for a batter ... tough to catch up to so many guys throwing 98mph compared to days gone by when a guy throwing 92-93mph was considered to have a strong fastball.
   8. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 03, 2021 at 01:01 AM (#6032463)
He could turn into a pumpkin this year. But I still love El Mago.


Day-to-day, he was probably the most fun to watch on the field. But he was usually one of the last guys I wanted to see up in big spots. I have no stats to back that up, but he often just seemed like the kind who expanded his strike zone in big situations. Obviously he's a good enough hitter that he'd still come through sometimes despite the expanded zone. But Rizzo was the guy I usually liked to see up there, even though he's probably the best bet to put up the weakest offensive numbers of the three going forward.
   9. Ron J Posted: August 03, 2021 at 01:14 AM (#6032465)
#7 That's implicit is things like ZiPS. Mind you I don't know the answer and I suspect that if Szym happened to be lurking he'd say it's too early to tell -- insufficient data (even a few years of data is pretty noisy).

And 2020 isn't going to help in terms of figuring that kind of stuff out.

I know when I ran a study on year to year variation of stats I didn't see a noticeable group decline until the late 30s -- among those playing regularly.

What I saw was that a certain percentage every year (starting in the very late 20s to early 30s) just lost regular status (some out of the league some just losing playing time). I suspect we'd see a slight increase in the number of 32 year olds who lose their status as regulars as teams are increasingly more reluctant to pay for marginal aging free agents.

   10. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: August 03, 2021 at 02:09 AM (#6032469)
I can see trading Rizzo. In spite of their flaws, I would have a harder time with losing Baez and Bryant if I were a Cubs fan.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: August 03, 2021 at 03:09 AM (#6032472)
#10... I think we're mainly there with you but that's part of it. If they'd extended Baez and Bryant, it's easier to let your objective brain take over and say "OK, I can see you don't want to spend big money on the aging 1B after spending gazillions..." Instead we're in "not even Rizzo?" land.

All three guys were just a joy to watch really. Who knows what awful revelations await but all three guys were just smiling all the time, professional all the time. Amir Garrett aside, Javy's always fooling around with guys on other teams. Rizzo seems popular with anybody who reaches 1B. Bryant seemed to be in tears in the dugout when he got the news and who can forget that spring training clip with the little kid screaming out "I love you Kris Bryant." (That was before the Cubs brought him up.) Javy of course hustles his butt off, Bryant always put in full effort around the bases ... and Rizzo would have a good chuckle about it as he wisely stopped at second. Javy's my personal favorite but that's because of all the insane things he does that seem to work, just stuff I've never seen. But loved all three, can't think of a single negative thing to say about any of them (except Javy's strike zone) and would have been happy keeping any of them.
   12. Rally Posted: August 03, 2021 at 07:54 AM (#6032477)
I wonder if they burned some bridges long ago. Bryant never made an issue of it in the media, but he did file a grievance, which he lost. Maybe early on he just decided no matter what, he was going to get to free agency.

Cubs: Hey Kris, we’d love to offer you a contract extension. Consider this one.

Kris: I’ll think about it later, but right now I need to go work on my defense.
   13. Charles S. is not doing chainsaw bears any more Posted: August 03, 2021 at 10:03 AM (#6032495)
With Bryant, wasn't it pretty much always assumed that he was probably gone when the time came for him to get paid? The AAA "seasoning" and all that making it unlikely that the Cubs weren't going to have to pay through the nose to keep him.


Ironically that extra "seasoning" turned out to be the best thing to happen to Bryant. He's going to get way more money this off-season than he would have coming off that dreadful partial season with every team crying poverty because of the pandemic.
   14. Rally Posted: August 03, 2021 at 10:09 AM (#6032497)
I’m sure he would have taken a 1 year deal to rebuild his value, making similar money to what the Cubs paid him this year. Like Marcus Semien did. Don’t think there’s much chance he signs a cheap multiyear deal.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 03, 2021 at 10:28 AM (#6032500)
@PWSullivan

Rizzo to @thekapman on Hoyer comment on making fair offers to Cubs players: “There’s a common denominator that no one signed.” The breakup is getting ugly.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: August 03, 2021 at 10:31 AM (#6032501)
Hoyer said "...I don’t know why guys didn’t want to even counteroffer, often times.”

This does not reflect well on him and the organization. They should figure out the answer and consider that it just might not be all about the money.
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 03, 2021 at 11:20 AM (#6032508)
And the "often times" makes it sound like either one or two of these guys DID counteroffer, and the Cubs weren't interested, or they didn't even make an initial offer to one or two of them.
   18. Hank White Posted: August 03, 2021 at 03:31 PM (#6032585)
1. Something has been wrong with the offense the last several years, and these guys were the core of that offense.
2. I'd be willing to bet that none of them will be worth the contract they sign in the offseason.
3. Based on the above, it seems reasonable to trade them for prospects to accelerate a rebuild.
4. It still sucks and I'm bummed as down on management/ownership as I ever have been.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: August 03, 2021 at 06:08 PM (#6032657)
#12: It's certainly quite possible. But if they did, Bryant never showed it on the field or in the media that I'm aware of. He's always played wherever the Cubs asked him to play and in his walk year was spending far more time in the OF than at 3B. They held back the grievance a few years before finally pushing it to a hearing, maybe waiting for the Cubs to step forward with an extension that made it right. But he is a Boras client and they don't often sign extensions so it's quite possible he was never gonna sign.

1. Something has been wrong with the offense the last several years, and these guys were the core of that offense.

Which suggests we might want to look at how good the periphery was. In terms of strictly offense, I put my main "I thought it would be better than this" blame on the lack of development of Schwarber as a hitter. I expected him to settle in as a 125 OPS+ hitter at a minimum. In a sense, the fact that a 105 OPS+ SS with no plate discipline is part of your core is an issue but that's more on management than Javy. (Note, Schwarber outhit him most years, so did Contreras so I'm not sure Javy really was part of the "core".

Mainly it was a team that had a big hole at 2B post-Zo, had a big offensive hole in RF and couldn't find a consistently workable combination of bat and glove in CF. Those sorts of holes don't damn a team but they don't help.
   20. Brian C Posted: August 03, 2021 at 07:01 PM (#6032662)
(Note, Schwarber outhit him most years, so did Contreras so I'm not sure Javy really was part of the "core".

Well, I mean you obviously understand that Baez added great defense and baserunning that meant his overall efforts far outweighed the rather marginal advantage Schwarbs had at the plate.

Per B-R - WAR per 162 games, career:

Bryant: 5.4
Contreras: 4.5
Baez: 4.4
Rizzo: 4.4
Schwarber 2.1

Definitely one of those things does not look like the others in terms of "core" players.
   21. Voodoo Posted: August 03, 2021 at 09:17 PM (#6032691)
Well, I mean you obviously understand that Baez added great defense and baserunning that meant his overall efforts far outweighed the rather marginal advantage Schwarbs had at the plate.

Per B-R - WAR per 162 games, career:

Bryant: 5.4
Contreras: 4.5
Baez: 4.4
Rizzo: 4.4
Schwarber 2.1


Addison Russell: 3.0

Definitely, circa off-season 2016, Baez was considered less "core" than all six of the above players, and he was still used as a utility guy in 2017, but he broke out in 2018 in what will probably always be his career year at the plate (OPS+ 129).

A not much talked about factor of the once-thought-to-be-impending Cubs dynasty is the rapid fall from grace of Russell, who I guess was never that good in retrospect other than the glove, but you couldn't have told me in 2016/17 that he wasn't gonna become a superstar. Instead he proved to be a piece of #### and also not very good at baseball, two facts I always thought were related; looking back you could tell that AR wasn't there mentally.

If anyone cares, Russell is putting up a 317/404/490 line for the Acereros de Monclova in the Mexican League. Which is a big jump from the 254/317/336 slash he put up for the Kiwoom Heroes in the Korean League last year.
   22. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 03, 2021 at 10:18 PM (#6032711)
is there any study out there that correlates higher velocity by pitchers with declines by batters at a younger age? It seems like 32 might be relatively older than it used to be for a batter ... tough to catch up to so many guys throwing 98mph compared to days gone by when a guy throwing 92-93mph was considered to have a strong fastball.


I think on its face its an interesting question. As one might imagine its a different environment w/ all the Ks, and so maybe that impacts players and how they age in a different way.

BUt on second thought, I think its the more things change the more they remain the same. By that I mean: the counter response to all the Ks, is more power, more HRs. Right? That is what batters do nowadays: they swing for the fences. So that's a function of strength and it seems well established that strength is one of the last things to go. Maybe the last thing. So I dont think we will discover anything of value if we study that idea. You'd find that older players are K'ing out more, but they still have power, so the pitcher/batter balance remains in equilibrium for these players.

It is an interesting idea though.
   23. Brian C Posted: August 03, 2021 at 11:35 PM (#6032728)
So that's a function of strength and it seems well established that strength is one of the last things to go. Maybe the last thing. So I dont think we will discover anything of value if we study that idea. You'd find that older players are K'ing out more, but they still have power, so the pitcher/batter balance remains in equilibrium for these players.

I don't really follow you here. You're making a case for *general* pitcher/batter equivalence here but then it seems to me like you're conflating that with the more specific question of older hitters. But that doesn't follow to me.

Sure, strength as such fades less quickly - but bat speed seems like one of the first things to go. It's not obvious to me that those two things remain in equilibrium, and in fact the very idea seems counterintuitive. Players don't meaningfully add strength as they get older, it seems to me. So if bat speed fades but strength stays ~equal, then overall production is going to go down. And of course, this is basically how decline inevitably manifests itself for aging hitters.

But in a world dominated by high-velocity pitchers, that lessening bat speed is going to be more pronounced of a disadvantage than it was previously. So it seems like a 32yo hitter would be perhaps more equivalent to a 34yo hitter 15-20 years ago. I'm just spitballing the exact numbers, of course, but the hypothesis seems sound to me.
Instead he proved to be a piece of #### and also not very good at baseball, two facts I always thought were related; looking back you could tell that AR wasn't there mentally.

This seems a bit simple-minded. Russell, whatever his personal faults, wasn't bad at baseball. He was a fairly poor hitter, but as you point out yourself, he still managed a career rate of 3 WAR/162, which is kinda good considering his extremely poor hitting over his last two years.

Anyway, he was a really fantastic defender, and I don't see how "you could tell that he wasn't there mentally" given his excellent play in the field. Did his poor character only affect him at the plate? Seems implausible to me. He was just a poor hitter who failed to make adjustments at the plate as the league adjusted to him - it happens all the time to players who are perfectly good people, too.
   24. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: August 04, 2021 at 12:09 AM (#6032731)
Here's a question I've been thinking about w/r/t Rizzo especially - is there any study out there that correlates higher velocity by pitchers with declines by batters at a younger age? It seems like 32 might be relatively older than it used to be for a batter ... tough to catch up to so many guys throwing 98mph compared to days gone by when a guy throwing 92-93mph was considered to have a strong fastball.


Remember, today's 98 is yesterday's 93 or 94 or so, they changed where they take the velocity of the pitch (out of the hand vs over the plate).

Not to say guys aren't throwing harder, just that it's "exaggerated" from where it once was ...
   25. Brian C Posted: August 04, 2021 at 12:35 AM (#6032734)
That's true and a good point, although as far as I can tell, there's also way more guys that are throwing that hard.
   26. Voodoo Posted: August 04, 2021 at 12:48 AM (#6032735)
This seems a bit simple-minded. Russell, whatever his personal faults, wasn't bad at baseball. He was a fairly poor hitter, but as you point out yourself, he still managed a career rate of 3 WAR/162, which is kinda good considering his extremely poor hitting over his last two years.

Anyway, he was a really fantastic defender, and I don't see how "you could tell that he wasn't there mentally" given his excellent play in the field. Did his poor character only affect him at the plate? Seems implausible to me. He was just a poor hitter who failed to make adjustments at the plate as the league adjusted to him - it happens all the time to players who are perfectly good people, too.


I'm absolutely just speculating here and I don't want to suggest otherwise, but looking back at the interviews he did - he had a tough time looking into the camera, didn't quite seem there. He was my declared "favorite player" from the 15-17 teams and I went through a a deep dive into the sordid details of his relationships that lead to his downfall, and I'd them describe as far more psychological than the physical incidents that were most prominent in the media. And the thing with Addison is that the bad press (well-deserved) wasn't what drove him out of MLB, but he just absolutely cratered as player as they were emerging. He certainly wasn't the first and won't be the last to get called out for his atrocious off-the-field behavior, but it did seem like it impacted him more than others. It's very strange, when you think about it, that he isn't even a thing anymore in MLB terms, given his tremendous glove. You would have thought that even if he didn't advance one iota with the bat that he would still be a MLB utility infielder guy.
   27. Rally Posted: August 04, 2021 at 07:33 AM (#6032737)
Looking at the stats for Russell, I don't see a cratering. Not even much of a change. In his rookie season he had a .307 OBP and .389 SLG. In his last season, 2019, he was 308/391. His defense as a rookie was +12, in 2019 it was +5, in half the playing time. His OBP over 5 years ranged from 304 to 321. His slugging in 4 out of 5 years ranged from 389 to 418, though he did drop to only 340 in 2018.

That's a very consistent player with no apparent changes. At 21 he was a slightly below average hitter, a good fielder, and presumably a decent human being. He didn't get better or worse on the field, though his OPS+ dropped a bit as he didn't keep pace with the juiced ball that let others increase their HR totals. After the Cubs cut him no other team in the US gave him a chance. Why? likely reasons being 1) at 21 they thought he had a lot of improvement ahead of him, at 26 they didn't think so and 2) nobody thought he was worth the baggage.
   28. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 05, 2021 at 10:23 AM (#6032950)
El Mago scores a run for the Mets

and later hits an opposite field home run.
   29. The Honorable Ardo Posted: August 05, 2021 at 04:04 PM (#6033019)
I understand trading Bryzzo (not least b/c there's zero chance Bryant wants to remain in the Cubs organization). But, for the love of God, why couldn't they have overpaid Javy Baez?

Now I have zero reason to watch, or care about, this team.
   30. dejarouehg Posted: August 05, 2021 at 04:19 PM (#6033024)
But, for the love of God, why couldn't they have overpaid Javy Baez?


Why would you do that? At some point, you either make an adjustment not to be an all or nothing hitter or you don't. You really want to overpay for a player who keeps regressing?
   31. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 05, 2021 at 10:42 PM (#6033093)
Why do that? Because the choice is having Baez or helping Ricketts finance an in-stadium sportsbook. I'd rather have Baez.


   32. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 06, 2021 at 12:07 AM (#6033107)
I'm sure Baez' next contract is going to be an overpay. I'm also sure that he'll put up more WAR over the next five years than whatever collection of rummies the Cubs put at shortstop.
   33. Howie Menckel Posted: August 06, 2021 at 01:45 AM (#6033116)
Javy with the platinum sombrero for the Mets tonight and the last whiff is with the game on the line.

great baserunning, defense, clutch HR, big misses in big spots, chirping at the opposing team for no apparent reason - Mets fans already have had most of the Javy Experience in just one week.

and if they keep losing, he'll add other experiences that Lindor can explain to him.....
   34. bunyon Posted: August 06, 2021 at 03:17 AM (#6033122)
A rich team interested in winning should rather overpay for 6 WAR than get a good deal on 2.

Yes, all the guys the Cubs shipped off will be overpaid in their next contract. But if the savings (or house share as it seems it’ll be) doesn’t go toward players as good as they are, Cubs fans have every right to be pissed.
   35. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 06, 2021 at 09:13 AM (#6033140)
Why would you do that? At some point, you either make an adjustment not to be an all or nothing hitter or you don't. You really want to overpay for a player who keeps regressing?

I'm pretty skeptical that the Cubs are otherwise going to be giving that money to anybody at all.
   36. dejarouehg Posted: August 06, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6033143)
I'm pretty skeptical that the Cubs are otherwise going to be giving that money to anybody at all.


I'm not sure why you're skeptical. There's no chance that they will be giving the money away.

Yes, all the guys the Cubs shipped off will be overpaid in their next contract.


That, of course, depends upon what you think their market value is. I wouldn't be surprised if Cohen overpays for Baez. Anyone else would surprise me.

Why do that? Because the choice is having Baez or helping Ricketts finance an in-stadium sportsbook. I'd rather have Baez.


I would as well - if only that were the absolute choice.

For those of you who are upset by the sell-off, have you not been watching a team that was going nowhere?

IS it going to suck for several years? Probably. Is it likely more than one of the players they received outside of Madrigal will make a big impact? No. (I'm also not enamored of Madrigal, but maybe I'm just wrong on that.)

Rebuilding blows but it's a necessary evil.

I try to focus on looking forward to seeing (hopefully!!!!) the Brennen Davis' of the future with fingers crossed that one of these lottery tickets they got back in the trades hits.

   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 06, 2021 at 09:28 AM (#6033149)
For those of you who are upset by the sell-off, have you not been watching a team that was going nowhere?

"Going nowhere" was playing .550 ball and making the playoffs several times. That's a lot better than playing sub-.400 ball for 3-5 years while Ricketts pays down his debt.

IS it going to suck for several years? Probably. Is it likely more than one of the players they received outside of Madrigal will make a big impact? No.

Rebuilding blows but it's a necessary evil.


If they haven't fixed the drafting and development process (have any major changes been made?), "rebuilding" will just be sucking, with no light at the end of the tunnel.
   38. stanmvp48 Posted: August 06, 2021 at 10:24 AM (#6033172)
Saw them in person yesterday. Ian Happ batting third. Arrieta can no longer pitch. Fielding sucked. That guy playing shortstop has about as much chance of hitting major league pitching as I do.
   39. dejarouehg Posted: August 06, 2021 at 02:36 PM (#6033236)
Saw them in person yesterday. Ian Happ batting third. Arrieta can no longer pitch. Fielding sucked. That guy playing shortstop has about as much chance of hitting major league pitching as I do.
Today's line-up is definitely depressing. Still, I'm in favor of the teardown/re-build.
   40. dejarouehg Posted: August 06, 2021 at 02:43 PM (#6033238)
If they haven't fixed the drafting and development process (have any major changes been made?), "rebuilding" will just be sucking, with no light at the end of the tunnel.


It's hard to trash Theo, but clearly his drafting/free agent selection, overall, leaves something to be desired. If you assign that same blame to Jed, which of course presupposes that he had that level of authority/influence, then you are perfectly justified in your thinking. I don't. Time will tell; I choose to believe in Jed.

"Going nowhere" was playing .550 ball and making the playoffs several times. That's a lot better than playing sub-.400 ball for 3-5 years while Ricketts pays down his debt.


I don't blame ownership for looking to pay down their debt. They did what they had to do to provide a championship and I am appreciative of that. I choose not to act like the Yankees fan who believe that this is their birthright. I may feel differently if the Cubs turn into the Pirates but if the Cubs gradually improve, I will enjoy the process.

As much as I loved watching KB, Riz and Baez the past few years, the team was stale and I don't think there was any chance that they were a real threat to compete going forward, and irrationally or not, I place that blame squarely on Theo - even though I have to give him all due credit for the WS.

The organization never recovered from the Quintana trade and has had the albatross of the Heyward signing around its neck.
   41. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 06, 2021 at 02:53 PM (#6033239)
Rebuilding blows but it's a necessary evil.


It's really not. The bill of goods that Ricketts and Theo sold was the idea of making the Cubs a permanent contender - a'la the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox; hell, the Cardinals basically qualify.

Given the rules surrounding free agency, building a "permanent contender" requires either building a minor-league system that regularly churns out above-average major-leaguers or a willingness to pay market rates to your players when they reach free agency.

The Cubs have failed at the first and are refusing to do the second. This is a choice and one that should be rightly criticized by Cubs fans (and, honestly, by baseball fans in general).

If you want to acquire teenage prospects, it's really not necessary to trade away the Cy Young runner-up for them. You can go down to Latin America and sign them for nothing but money.
   42. dejarouehg Posted: August 06, 2021 at 03:28 PM (#6033253)
The bill of goods that Ricketts and Theo sold was the idea of making the Cubs a permanent contender
Your absolutely correct about this - there was a bait and switch. At least we got a WS title out of it.

You want the Ricketts family to be willing to swallow stupid financial decisions like Jason Heyward, Tyler Chatwood, Morrow, most of Kimbrel without any consequences. I don't blame them for not doing so.

Clearly, the Yankees, Dodgers and Red Sox are more willing to do so but I don't enjoy the outright attempt to buy championships. (Even Yankees fans I know felt a certain emptiness to the 2009 WS title.) Doing it more organically, or even through trades is more enjoyable.



   43. dejarouehg Posted: August 06, 2021 at 03:33 PM (#6033255)
a willingness to pay market rates to your players when they reach free agency.
you can't say they did or didn't make offers that qualify as market rates. None of us knows. They reportedly offered KB $250M, JB $180M and AR $70M. (8, 8 and 5 years respectfully, I think?????) It this is true, I'll bet that KB is reasonably over market, JB is dramatically over market (absent Steve Cohen losing his mind), and Rizzo probably about market.

This is all to be determined, if and when the 2022 season ever starts.

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