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Saturday, July 31, 2021

San Francisco Giants acquire Kris Bryant from Chicago Cubs for two prospects

Kris Bryant was the face of the Chicago Cubs for a long time.

His new bosses in San Francisco were thrilled that joining the Giants meant so much to him, despite the emotions of leaving the only major league team he’s ever known.

Bryant grew up in Las Vegas and loved to watch Giants slugger Barry Bonds—and now the versatile star will get a chance to play not only in the home run king’s former spot in left field, but all over the diamond.

The first-place Giants made a big splash just before the trade deadline Friday by acquiring Bryant from the Cubs for two minor leaguers….


Chicago received right-hander Caleb Kilian and outfielder Alexander Canario in the deal, with the Giants picking up the rest of Bryant’s hefty contract that is paying him $19.5 million this year.

The 29-year-old Bryant, who can become a free agent after this season, was one of the top position players available on the market as the disappointing Cubs sold off several stars. He is batting .267 with 18 home runs and 51 RBI.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 31, 2021 at 01:02 AM | 62 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, giants, kris bryant

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   1. CFiJ Posted: July 31, 2021 at 04:16 AM (#6031882)
Since for some reason the site won't let me post in the Gonfalon Cubs thread, I'll just say this here.
I have been angered, saddened, and disappointed with this franchise in the past. I have never hated it like I do now.

WTAF. A mere five years after a championship team, you gut it of the entirety of the core franchise players? The players we expected to be playing most of their careers in Chicago? Give me an f***ing break. No other team does this. Certainly none of the major market teams. Is this the frickin' "Cubs Way?"

Well then, count me out. The Cubs are dead to me while the current regime is in charge.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: July 31, 2021 at 09:45 AM (#6031895)
I get you. I was a Red Sox fan for almost 50 years, but I haven't watched them once since they dumped Mookie last year.
   3. bfan Posted: July 31, 2021 at 10:28 AM (#6031901)
It is going to be interesting to see what kind of deal Bryant gets after this season. He has been slipping and this season does not mark a huge comeback. Bryant will be a solid starter but 30 years old at the start of his next contract and not a guy you build around.
   4. zenstudent Posted: July 31, 2021 at 10:46 AM (#6031903)
Why be upset? Hoyer is right. Other teams rode-and-died with their cores straight off the cliff. It's better to get out early. If there's criticism to be made, it is that they chose to wait until now to do it rather than start the process a year ago (except with Kimbrel who wouldn't have been worth his weight in gummi animals in a trade).

Hoyer was stuck as the man to commit the massacre because Epstein left when he did. Epstein KNEW this had to happen and he gets to avoid his name being part of it.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 31, 2021 at 11:01 AM (#6031904)
Why be upset? Hoyer is right. Other teams rode-and-died with their cores straight off the cliff. It's better to get out early.

Because most fans root for players they like, not for GMs and ownership groups. If your team made the playoffs with a bunch of guys you'd never heard of before, would you really care? The Tampa Rays experience suggests very few fans do.

Unless you solely root for the laundry, losing your favorite players always hurt badly. And why would anyone really care about a uniform that much to be a rapid fan?
   6. Brian C Posted: July 31, 2021 at 12:33 PM (#6031912)
Why be upset? Hoyer is right. Other teams rode-and-died with their cores straight off the cliff. It's better to get out early. If there's criticism to be made, it is that they chose to wait until now to do it rather than start the process a year ago (except with Kimbrel who wouldn't have been worth his weight in gummi animals in a trade).

Hoyer was stuck as the man to commit the massacre because Epstein left when he did. Epstein KNEW this had to happen and he gets to avoid his name being part of it.

This seems like logic straight out of the Cubs' press office.

For one thing, comparing them to the teams that "rode-and-died with their cores" basically ignores other teams that have been able to reload on the fly and stay competitive without getting to this point. Seems disingenuous to present the cautionary tales as the only alternative while ignoring the more successful teams.

And for another thing ... they've kinda jumped straight off the cliff anyway, haven't they? So they jumped off on purpose, big difference. They still left a big splat at the bottom.
   7. McCoy Posted: July 31, 2021 at 12:35 PM (#6031914)
If you want to be upset be upset that the Cubs refuse to behave like a large market team. Like forever.

   8. McCoy Posted: July 31, 2021 at 12:38 PM (#6031915)
If your teams you get to know the players. If they lose you don't bother. So yes if you win with strangers your fans will take the time to learn about them
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 31, 2021 at 02:01 PM (#6031918)
If your teams you get to know the players. If they lose you don't bother. So yes if you win with strangers your fans will take the time to learn about them

Not if they're constantly rotating. A's and Rays have show that being good with a largely anonymous, rotating, cast doesn't build fan interest.
   10. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 31, 2021 at 02:06 PM (#6031919)
If you want to be upset be upset that the Cubs refuse to behave like a large market team. Like forever.


This is my problem. I think we had all come to terms even before last season that it was looking less likely like this core group had another championship in it. Still, watching it get hacked away like this still hurts, especially because the Central hasn't been some juggernaut where you need to be an elite team to win it. It's been difficult watching a team with the resources of the Cubs behave in a way that is more in line with a smaller market team. Beyond that, being in the same division as an organization (St. Louis) that has found a way to be competitive virtually every season for 20 years makes it more apparent that something is fundamentally wrong in the Cubs organization.

Someone in another thread said that the Cubs' upward trajectory maybe happened a little too quickly and they had to deplete their system to capitalize in the moment. Obviously it worked out. I cannot imagine how much worse this would feel if they'd lost the World Series in 2016. But in a lot of ways, things feel more bleak than they did 10 years ago when they did the great rebuild. At the time, the cupboards were already pretty bare in the way of quality Major League talent. That wasn't the case this time.

I'd already felt my interest in the game waning a bit the last two years. The last 48 hours has worsened that. I almost don't even want to hear about baseball. Scrolling through Instagram this morning, it was almost unbearable to see the barrage of "Thanks for the memories" type of content from the handful of Cubs-related accounts I followed. I'm grateful for those moments, but right now, it's akin to getting dumped. You just don't even want to see, hear or think about that person right now.
   11. Cooper Teenoh Posted: July 31, 2021 at 03:39 PM (#6031928)
Why be upset? Hoyer is right. Other teams rode-and-died with their cores straight off the cliff. It's better to get out early. If there's criticism to be made, it is that they chose to wait until now to do it rather than start the process a year ago (except with Kimbrel who wouldn't have been worth his weight in gummi animals in a trade).


I wasn't thrilled to read Jed's quote that you're referencing, particularly because it was a weird read on what happened with the specific franchises he cited.

The Giants? Well, first of all, they won 3 World Series, so maybe you don't get to compare yourself quite to them. Second, their non-competitive years after that run were exactly 3 (2017-2019) or maybe 4, although they just missed the playoffs last year. Jed's already had a year like that. Third, they are now competing - with three of the core players from that earlier run still intact. They re-built around them, and even have a ready replacement for one of those aging stars who would probably be playing this year if Buster Posey hadn't rebounded. So, not very much like the Cubs' situation at all.

The Tigers? They won their division in 2014, having already moved in 4 starters who were 27 or younger. They took a big step backward in 2015, and were in rebuild mode from that point forward. No one was taking Miggy Cabrera's contract, and their plan failed (prospects who didn't work and imports who weren't enough), so they are still coming out of the wilderness. Substitute "Jason Hayward" for Miggy, and this could look a lot like the Cubs next 5 years.

The Phillies? This is the one team that kept a core of three revered players together for three years after the teams last competitive season. Again, Jason Hayward was gong by the name Ryan Howard back then. Then, their prospects were awful. And their free agents were awful (other than Harper). This is the closest to the path Jed seems to be saying he has avoided - EXCEPT IN THE NEXT BREATH HE SAYS HE IS OPEN TO RE-SIGNING ANY OF THE THREE CORE GUYS HE JUST TRADED. Now, he's probably not being completely truthful, but if he does bring them back, how was his approach different from the Phillies? Only that he stocked up the farm system. Considering that the Cubs haven't been able to develop their own draftees over the past 5 years, is this a good thing?

So no, Jed's comments did not make me more confident that he will bring the next World Series to Chicago.
   12. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: July 31, 2021 at 03:48 PM (#6031929)
This strikes me as one of those moves that would probably make sense in OOTP, but I am not at all sure that I do it in real life if I am running the Cubs. Bryant is still a good player, and it is not like he is ancient or out of shape.
   13. McCoy Posted: July 31, 2021 at 04:55 PM (#6031934)
Really, only Baez getting sent away is meaningful in that you pretty much don't want to sign any of the other guys to large long term contracts.

I don't have faith that any of these guys will will be living up to their contracts in 3 seasons.
   14. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: July 31, 2021 at 07:21 PM (#6031949)
Epstein KNEW this had to happen and he gets to avoid his name being part of it.


He has a knack for this. He jumped ship in Boston right before they tanked, too.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: July 31, 2021 at 08:03 PM (#6031956)
The main problems with the Cubs of the last few years:

1. All that tanking didn't pay such great rewards. Bryant obviously is a huge prize and maybe worth it all on his own but Schwarber and Happ were average players at best.

2. Poor drafting/developing. Zonk has detailed it, not just the lack of 1st round impact after Bryant but that almost no lower-ranked prospects worked out.

3. The 2019-21 Cubs look a lot different with Gleyber and Eloy still around. Of course Chapman was probably necessary to the 2016 title but unfortunately Quintana didn't work out (I thought he would too).

Those and a lack of willingness from ownership to go over the CBT has led to a moridbund team the last few years. The pieces aren't here or near to compete seriously in 2022-23, probably even if ownership was willing to go back to a $210 M payroll and they managed to get things right.

I guess I'm less upset because I've been pointing out this FApocalypse for a few years now and more recently the Darvish trade was a pretty clear signal. (I was surprised they didn't make more offseason moves but they understandably decided to take one last shot at the NLC.) The Cubs were never gonna front up with $80 M a year for these 3 players unless the rest of the team had been reloaded. Not that they can't afford it but they clearly weren't gonna be the Dodgers.

I'm 100% on-board with the idea that a team as rich as the Cubs has no excuse for ever losing 100 games or going through complete teardowns. That's what I said back in 2012 too when most here disagreed. (Granted, that Cubs team didn't have the talent to be attached to.)

All said and done, the Cubs have traded Darvish, Baez, Bryant and Rizzo for a good 2019 international signing pool and a stronger 2020 draft (a first and second rounder). Give or take, that's the standard reward for one year of misery on the field so maybe Jed has given us 2 months of misery to save us from one year of misery (i.e. the Cubs are now where they would have been after an atrocious 2022).

2022 might look even more dismal than 2012 -- Hendricks and Contreras, if they're still around, are clearly the two best players but who's #3? Hoerner? Happ? Wisdon? Brennen Davis? Who are the other 4 in the rotation? How's Edwin Jackson doing in the Olympics?
   16. Walt Davis Posted: July 31, 2021 at 09:43 PM (#6031968)
By the way, of these trades, Bryant is the one I dislike most. The return here is two low-level prospects from the Giants' system. That's true of the other trades as well but I'm willing to cut the FO some slack on a 18-19 year-old -- there's nothing there but scouting and maybe they see some real star potential. But Canario is already 21. He had a fantastic 2019 but has not done well this year in 275 PA at A ball and seems to have already been shifted out of CF. Kilian is already 24 and MLB.com has put him at #16 in the revamped Cubs system -- #16 at 24 is not impressive unless he's the next DeGrom (who was #15 before his debut in 2014 :-). Kilian has at least put up stellar numbers this year in 85 IP ... so I'm not sure why he's all the way down at #16.

Anyway, per MLB, the top return is Crow-Armstrong (Baez) at #6. The top 4 are all in the top 100 so he might be around 150 overall (or he might be #300 overall). Canario (Bryant) and Vizcaino (Rizzo) immediately follow. Next is Alcantara (Rizzo) at 11, then a trio of Preciado, Caissie (both Darvish) and Kilian (Bryant). Deichmann (Chafin) and Santana (Darvish) check in at 20 and 24. I might have missed a lesser name or two. Seven players under 20-yo in the top 20, 4 of them picked up in the last year. Unless they play some extreme service time games, probably half the top 10 will be up "for good" next year and C-A, Canario and maybe Alcantara will be in the top 5. That doesn't mean any of them will be good MLers of course.
   17. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: July 31, 2021 at 10:28 PM (#6031974)
Cubs fans thought they were entitled to a dynasty after 2016 (the Indians should have won that one). Baseball is hard and requires a lot of luck sometimes.
   18. Ken Griffey Junior Bacon Cheeseburger Posted: July 31, 2021 at 10:43 PM (#6031977)
He has a knack for this. He jumped ship in Boston right before they tanked, too.


It was also an old trick of Pat Gillick
   19. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 31, 2021 at 11:08 PM (#6031983)
I'm not too upset about this week's news because the Yu Darvish dump was a clear signal that ownership wasn't going to try to keep the group together. Which is to say I went through my upsetness earlier.

Remember when all the guys came up and people wondered who the Cubs would prioritize to sign a longterm contract to? The answer: none of them! Yeah, that's the must galling thing of all. Oh fine - I guess they could still sign Conteras. But all the others were traded, or (in the case of Schwarber) DFAd. Wow - that's one way to run a railroad.

3. The 2019-21 Cubs look a lot different with Gleyber and Eloy still around. Of course Chapman was probably necessary to the 2016 title but unfortunately Quintana didn't work out (I thought he would too).

I'm not sure Eloy would help the Cubs too much. He can't play defense and he can't stay healthy playing defense. His best angle for an NL team was as a trade chip - it's just the Cubs got for him didn't do as much as they hoped. Heck, in 2019, Eloy was (by WAA) below average despite his bat because his glove was so bad.

In mid-2016, the Cubs had four guys who were all essentially the same player: Eloy, Schwarber, Soler, and Vogelbach. By Opening Day 2021, all are gone. And for the three they traded away, the guys they were traded for were also all gone.
   20. Voodoo Posted: August 01, 2021 at 12:24 AM (#6031987)
(the Indians should have won that one)

LMFAO! Should have? Well, they didn't.

He has a knack for this. He jumped ship in Boston right before they tanked, too.

Right before they won a World Series?

I'm not sure Eloy would help the Cubs too much.

Neither Gleyber nor Eloy were gonna be key contributors to the Cubs' title chances 2016-2021. Quintana was a major disappointment, but he still contributed way more WAR than Eloy would have 2017-20.
   21. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: August 01, 2021 at 07:23 AM (#6031992)
Right before they won a World Series?


Right before they lost 90+ games, but sure. That's the same thing.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: August 01, 2021 at 10:03 AM (#6031996)
Right before they lost 90+ games, but sure. That's the same thing.
Cmon
   23. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: August 01, 2021 at 11:25 AM (#6031999)
Cubs fans thought they were entitled to a dynasty after 2016 (the Indians should have won that one). Baseball is hard and requires a lot of luck sometimes.

Entitled? No, no one said that. Set up for a long run of competitiveness and contenderdom? Yes. But that was completely squandered through mismanaged resources and the FO/development team just suddenly getting terrible at their jobs.

As for should have won, of course not. It's not always the case that the best team during the season wins the title, but the Cubs were the best team and the Indians were banged up that series. The Cubs were lucky that the Indians couldn't finish them off, but the Indians were probably more lucky to be up in the first place (I'm using luck here as a synonym for your "should have").

2022 might look even more dismal than 2012 -- Hendricks and Contreras, if they're still around, are clearly the two best players but who's #3? Hoerner? Happ? Wisdon? Brennen Davis? Who are the other 4 in the rotation? How's Edwin Jackson doing in the Olympics?

Yep...and I really don't trust Hoyer or this FO to be able to rebuild and get the Cubs out of this. Jed's been here this whole time.

Remember when all the guys came up and people wondered who the Cubs would prioritize to sign a longterm contract to? The answer: none of them! Yeah, that's the must galling thing of all. Oh fine - I guess they could still sign Conteras. But all the others were traded, or (in the case of Schwarber) DFAd. Wow - that's one way to run a railroad.

That doesn't even count Russell, who sucked and turned out to be a real piece of ####. I think had they gotten, say, Bryant or Baez signed to an extension way back when, they'd be happy with it. Today, it looks like the next deal either of those guys (or any of that core) will end up looking really bad at the end, but one signed 3/4 years back wouldn't look nearly as bad today.

---

For my mental health, I really hope the Cubs just DFA Heyward or pay down his contract a lot to get rid of him after this season. It's gonna be hard enough watching this team next year, it's gonna be even harder if he's still being run out there regularly next year while everyone else is gone (and I said it in the other thread, but I would not be surprised if either or both of Hendricks and Contreras are traded this offseson).


   24. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 01, 2021 at 02:09 PM (#6032014)
wrong thread
   25. Hank Gillette Posted: August 01, 2021 at 02:38 PM (#6032020)
Not if they're constantly rotating. A's and Rays have show that being good with a largely anonymous, rotating, cast doesn't build fan interest.


Have they shown that or have they shown that Oakland and Tampa Bay are not good locations for baseball franchises?
   26. Hank Gillette Posted: August 01, 2021 at 02:56 PM (#6032025)
By the way, of these trades, Bryant is the one I dislike most. The return here is two low-level prospects from the Giants' system.


What do you think they should have gotten for two months of a 29-year-old player on track for maybe 4 WAR? Bryant’s last great year was 2017. Or was it just the age of the prospects?

I think the Cubs poisoned their relationship with Bryant with the service-time games they played with him. I doubt that they had any chance of keeping him.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 01, 2021 at 03:02 PM (#6032026)
Have they shown that or have they shown that Oakland and Tampa Bay are not good locations for baseball franchises?

Winning's supposed to increase fan support, even if you're in a bad location. I'm not saying they should be drawing three or four million fans, but when you win, attendance should go up. That doesn't seem to happen for either team.

   28. Hank Gillette Posted: August 01, 2021 at 04:15 PM (#6032041)
Winning's supposed to increase fan support, even if you're in a bad location. I'm not saying they should be drawing three or four million fans, but when you win, attendance should go up. That doesn't seem to happen for either team.


Sure, it is supposed to happen that way, but in 1974, while Oakland was winning their third straight World Series, they went from 8th in the league in attendance to 11th in the league in attendance. They were not rotating their cast back then.

Bad locations, bad stadiums, bad fans, cheap owners, threats to move, rotating rosters, take your pick. I don’t see any single choice as a compelling explanation.

   29. Brian C Posted: August 01, 2021 at 05:39 PM (#6032056)
Winning's supposed to increase fan support, even if you're in a bad location. I'm not saying they should be drawing three or four million fans, but when you win, attendance should go up. That doesn't seem to happen for either team.

This isn't even true as far as OAK is concerned. Just eyeballing their attendance at B-Ref, for example, shows that the A's attendance pretty much does rise and fall based on how well they're doing - they most recent hit 2 million fans in 2014 on the heels of first place finishes the prior 2 years, then dropped each of the next three years when they were bad, then rebounded somewhat the next two years when the team posted consecutive 2nd place finishes. Then COVID hit.

Meanwhile, in TB, they had a three-year high water mark in attendance (aside from their initial year) from 2008-2010, coinciding with their ascension as a good team for the first time ever. Definitely fallen off since then with a decline every year from 2012 to 2018 before ticking up very slightly in 2019 (after their first winning season of the previous 5). Would have been interesting to see what would have happened without COVID but we'll never know.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: August 01, 2021 at 05:57 PM (#6032059)
What do you think they should have gotten for two months of a 29-year-old player on track for maybe 4 WAR?

Who knows? But they seem to have gotten more in the Rizzo trade, probably got more in the Baez trade, got more in the Kimbrel trade (unless Madrigal is toast). As I said, it is one thing to trade for another team's #9 prospect when that guy is 18-19; it's something else when he's 21. And of course they could have held him and taken the compensation pick who would probably be the same level of prospect.

In general, even in deadline deals, teams should not trade stars for things like #9, #12, etc. prospects. Break-outs happen of course but generally you'd be lucky to get more than 2 career WAR out of a player like that. A team's #9 prospect is a long way from being a good or even average MLer. Now if that prospect is just 18 then fine, you already knew he was a long way away unless he's FTj or similar (in which case he won't be #9) so you can at least draw some comfort that there's potential there. Not so much if he's 21.

If that's the best deal you can make, you are likely better off keeping the fans happy, holding onto the player for the rest of the season and taking the pick. Now if you're a small market that somehow ended up with a $25 M contract then sure, maybe the salary relief makes a trade the better option but then you probably also get a better compensation pick.

Now I said star. If you want to trade 2 months of a useful sort of player (e.g. somebody like Eduardo Escobar) for some team's #12 prospect then by all means, go for it.

So the Bryant trade annoys me the most because they got older, lower-ranked prospects. Have you looked at Canario's numbers? He's 21, playing at A-ball and hitting 235/325/433 with a 28% K-rate and has 3 times more starts in a corner than in CF. Hard to build 2024 dreams on that.

By the way, Bryant at 3B today, made a nice play then sailed the throw.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: August 01, 2021 at 06:03 PM (#6032060)
To put those Canario numbers in perspective, the San Jose Giants are hitting 270/347/456 as a team. He had the 8th best OPS among their "regulars", 3 of whom are younger than he is. He had excellent numbers at 19 but clearly the time off did not help.
   32. Tom is wrong when he calls you stupid Posted: August 01, 2021 at 06:30 PM (#6032061)
Canario really isn't much of a prospect, he was in the trade almost exclusively because he was on the 40 man roster and didn't deserve to be so.

Killian is very much a prospect, much more so than Canario. Forget the age, he was drafted at 22, has had 4 months as a professional and has pitched exceptionally well at 4 levels in those 4 months, throws high 90's with impossibly good control. Should be in Chicago by the end of the year.
   33. O Tempura, O Morays ('Spos) Posted: August 01, 2021 at 06:42 PM (#6032063)
It was also an old trick of Pat Gillick...


Gord Ash and Mike Sirotka must be the two most hated names for aging Jays fans.
   34. Brian C Posted: August 01, 2021 at 07:16 PM (#6032067)
Killian is very much a prospect, much more so than Canario. Forget the age, he was drafted at 22, has had 4 months as a professional and has pitched exceptionally well at 4 levels in those 4 months, throws high 90's with impossibly good control. Should be in Chicago by the end of the year.

Kilian is the most intriguing guy the Cubs got back of all, IMO. Sure, he's a little older, but 10 K/9 in 100 pro IP against only 1 BB/9?

I don't care how old he is, a guy with that kind of control has a chance to be a good pitcher, and age isn't as determinative for pitchers as it is for position players anyway. And he's been excellent in AA this season too (63 IP).

I'll put it this way - I'd rather run Kilian out there right now than watch Arrieta make another start.
   35. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 01, 2021 at 08:22 PM (#6032078)
Bryant, Rizzo, and Baez all homered in their first game with their new team. Salt on the wound!
   36. Tom is wrong when he calls you stupid Posted: August 02, 2021 at 12:31 AM (#6032118)
People get way t0o caught up in the age of prospects.
You need to look at the age when they were drafted/signed, and where they were in the draft.
Somebody who is drafted at 22 is operating under an entirely different timeline than somebody drafted at 18. Or signed out of Dominican Republic at 15.
And then throw in a year lost to COVID.

It would have been literally impossible for Killian to have advanced any faster than he did.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 02, 2021 at 10:26 AM (#6032153)
This isn't even true as far as OAK is concerned. Just eyeballing their attendance at B-Ref, for example, shows that the A's attendance pretty much does rise and fall based on how well they're doing - they most recent hit 2 million fans in 2014 on the heels of first place finishes the prior 2 years, then dropped each of the next three years when they were bad, then rebounded somewhat the next two years when the team posted consecutive 2nd place finishes. Then COVID hit.

Meanwhile, in TB, they had a three-year high water mark in attendance (aside from their initial year) from 2008-2010, coinciding with their ascension as a good team for the first time ever. Definitely fallen off since then with a decline every year from 2012 to 2018 before ticking up very slightly in 2019 (after their first winning season of the previous 5). Would have been interesting to see what would have happened without COVID but we'll never know.


The rise in attendance dissipates completely as soon as they stumble even a bit. That means the winning is not growing the fan base. That's not what you'd typically expect.
   38. Brian C Posted: August 02, 2021 at 04:16 PM (#6032240)
The rise in attendance dissipates completely as soon as they stumble even a bit. That means the winning is not growing the fan base. That's not what you'd typically expect.

Snapper, as a matter of etiquette, I must remind you that this is a baseball site. Go find a football forum if you want to move the goalposts like this.

(also I don't think your revised claim is even really all that accurate in various respects)
   39. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 02, 2021 at 04:25 PM (#6032246)
Snapper, as a matter of etiquette, I must remind you that this is a baseball site. Go find a football forum if you want to move the goalposts like this.

(also I don't think your revised claim is even really all that accurate in various respects)


That was my original claim.


Not if they're constantly rotating. A's and Rays have show that being good with a largely anonymous, rotating, cast doesn't build fan interest.


The Rays have been quite successful for a dozen years, and their 96 win team in 2019 drew 1.2 million fans, less than they did in their 101 loss 2006 season. All their winning has not built the fan base one iot.
   40. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2021 at 04:31 PM (#6032249)

The Rays have been quite successful for a dozen years, and their 96 win team in 2019 drew 1.2 million fans, less than they did in their 101 loss 2006 season. All their winning has not built the fan base one iot.


That's not quite true. It hasn't built the base of people willing to attend games in baseball's shittiest park. But they do see good gains in TV and radio numbers when they have a winning team.

   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 02, 2021 at 05:09 PM (#6032256)
That's not quite true. It hasn't built the base of people willing to attend games in baseball's shittiest park. But they do see good gains in TV and radio numbers when they have a winning team.


Fair, but do the numbers sustain when they're not good?
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: August 02, 2021 at 05:19 PM (#6032258)
Fair, but do the numbers sustain when they're not good?


From what I recall seeing, they never fall to the bottom the way attendance does. They tend to sit in the middle of the pack, but have climbed into the Top 10 on occasion.

They obviously don't have a great base of fans, but I'd say the attendance figures exaggerate how bad it is.
   43. Howie Menckel Posted: August 02, 2021 at 05:22 PM (#6032259)
fwiw, can't find a reference, but I saw Bryant quoted the other day as being very appreciative of how the Cubs moved their stars to preferred locations - especially Kimbrel, who he said has an ill daughter so it means a lot to him to still be in Chicago for the rest of the season off the trade to the White Sox.

doesn't mean any necessarily come back next year, but apparently bridges were not burned by management.

Bryant wanted the West Coast, and Rizzo is "back home" in a way. while he grew up in Florida, Rizzo's parents both are from Lyndhurst, NJ - in the Meadowlands area and not a tough slog to Yankee Stadium. Rizzo, who has an Italian Ice treat named after him at Lyndhurst Pastry Shop, spent his summers a a kid in Lyndhurst and said he was at the old Stadium to witness David Cone's perfect game.
   44. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: August 02, 2021 at 06:12 PM (#6032281)
Would the Cubs have traded me to the Portland Timbers? Wrong sport, but it's the only team within 200 miles of my parents.
   45. Walt Davis Posted: August 02, 2021 at 07:06 PM (#6032309)
On Kilian ... the numbers are excellent, it's easy to see why the Cubs wanted him and looks excellent as the 2nd piece of the trade. But he was considered something like the Giants' #30 prospect entering the season and MLB still only puts him at #16 on the Cubs, 9 spots lower than Canario. He was only an 8th-round pick. I don't have a clue what the scouts don't like about Kilian but MLB.com again: "if he continues to make the gains the Giants hoped he would, he could develop into a No. 4 starter." (granted, that bit seems to have been written before the season.)

The full list is behind the wall (fair enough) but BA did not list Kilian in Giants top 10 at midseason (Canario was #5 though). Fangraphs appears to put Kilian outside the Cubs' updated top 15. (They also say he doesn't have eye-popping stuff ... which is kinda weird because MLB.com says he pops it up there at 98 sometimes.)

Pitchers generally develop on different timelines so you're correct that his age is less of a concern. But let's not overstate that case either. According to one writeup, he was a 20th round pick after his soph season then an 8th round pick a year later. He was not a guy that teams missed coming out of HS and/or were wowed by how quickly he developed in college at 19-20. And of course like everybody else he missed 2020. So he's still a 24 at AA and considered (by rankers) not to have a good shot at being an impact MLer. The numbers this season are definitely outstanding so who knows -- he might be the next Hendricks or even deGrom for all I know. If I had to guess, I'd agree he's got a better shot than Canario.

So he was not some major prize, he was considered another middling prospect. Chances are good that at least one of the 9(?) prospects the Cubs picked up across the Darvish, Rizzo, Bryant, Baez trades will turn into a darn good player but that's a statement of quantity over quality and the uncertainty of baseball prospects.
   46. Tom is wrong when he calls you stupid Posted: August 02, 2021 at 08:05 PM (#6032341)
Walt, Caleb started out at Texas Tech struggling with his control. And as it improved it was not reflected in his overall numbers, control pitchers have issues in metal bat leagues. In a lot of ways he is the kind of late bloomer you find in 4 year college picks.

As to why he was low rated at the start of the year, he had only thrown 16 innings as a pro before this year and that was a year and a half ago. Now it was a really good 16 innings, but still. And his stuff clearly improved over the layoff, he is one of a number of pitchers who invested time (and money) in one of the numerous hi tech pitching performance companies that work one on one improving mechanics of young pitchers. He went from low 90's to high 90's with a corresponding improvement in his breaking stuff. I think the comments about mediocre stuff are working from preseason reports with just a nod to this years performance.
   47. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 02, 2021 at 08:34 PM (#6032357)
That means the winning is not growing the fan base. That's not what you'd typically expect.


Its exactly what you'd expect for a small market team. We've had this conversation several times already and you simply ignore statements that differ from your preconceived notions.


Look at the 1970s PIT, or CIN. Or KC recently. Or just about any small market team, they will get a one year bump from a pennant run and after that familiarity breeds contempt or something.
   48. McCoy Posted: August 03, 2021 at 05:39 AM (#6032475)
The problem is the assumption of infinite growth and fans becoming 100% loyal and seat buying customers forever after.

That's simply not true. Anywhere.
   49. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 03, 2021 at 08:38 AM (#6032482)
The problem is the assumption of infinite growth and fans becoming 100% loyal and seat buying customers forever after.

That's simply not true. Anywhere.


Right, but we should see some growth (the US economy is growing; especially in Florida and the Bay area), and some loyalty. We see none. I can't believe you guys see no merit in the idea that fans might not like a team with a continually rotating cast of anonymous players as much as they do teams with a somewhat stable core.

I mean, we have several rabid Red Sox fans on this site who've stop watching/attending games because they traded Mookie Betts. They've done that even though the team is good. Why wouldn't you think this phenomena applies to a lot of casual fans?
   50. Ron J Posted: August 03, 2021 at 09:49 AM (#6032491)
#49 My research indicates that perception of a team's quality is roughly twice as important as actual team quality. And the Rays face two issues.

There's reasonably strong evidence that casual fans (and they're what matters when it comes to explaining marginal attendance) associate payroll with team quality. The Rays run on the cheap so that's probably an issue.

There's also moderately strong evidence that casual fans overestimate the negative consequences of moving a player. Replacing a "proven veteran" with "some kid" is always seen as a negative -- even for teams with a proven record of player evaluation and development.

Nobody has anything approaching good models for attendance (because the people who work on these kinds of things care about revenue and franchise valuation) but the Rays attendance doesn't seem particularly surprising to me.
   51. Zach Posted: August 03, 2021 at 05:41 PM (#6032648)
The Royals rode and died with their core.

Aaaand ... I'm kind of ok with it?

Stars for prospects trades have been stingy on the prospect side for years. They weren't going to jump from championship core to newer, younger championship core. It was more like they would have made the jump from a bad team with a couple of quality players to a bad team with a couple more quality players.
   52. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 03, 2021 at 09:29 PM (#6032695)
we should see some growth.... and some loyalty. We see none. I can't believe you guys see no merit in the idea that fans might not like a team with a continually rotating cast of anonymous players as much as they do teams with a somewhat stable core.


Because you fail to acknowledge, let alone address, all the counter examples of small market teams that dont sustain high attendance even when they keep a pennant winning team together.

It clearly contradicts what you are saying and instead of being intellectually honest, you simply ignore that and bluster past it making silly arguments like comparing sports entertainment to the current US economy. Really? That's your argument?

HOW ABOUT ADDRESSING THE REAL EXAMPLES?

The following teams have already been cited above: BAL (late 60s) PIT (70s) CIN (70s). None of them were able to sustain impressive attendance despite impressive on field performances. Basically they got a one year boost in attendance and that was it. Im going from memory on those, you can look them up yourself if you want.

Here are some teams I did look up:

NOTE: all rankings are to divisional rank w/ World series results noted if applicable; all references to attendance rank will be to league

OAK (starting 1970):
RANK: 2nd;1st; 1st/won WS; 1st/Won WS; 1st/Won WS; 1st; 2nd
ATTEND: 9th, 7th, 5th, 8th 11th, 7th, 11th.

So they win a world championship, fans dont really respond to that. They get a modest one year bump for their first WS title, and that was it. This is one of the great teams in history, and its core of Reggie, Bando, Campy, Vida Blue and Catfish was intact throughout.

Keep this pattern in mind it repeats.

KC starting 1976
rank: 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st/Lost WS; 4th, 2nd 2nd
att: 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 6th

This the team that lost three straight ALCS to the Yankees in tragic fashion. Heartbreak kids. If any team had fan loyalty this would be the team. I dunno if the world champion teams few years later had different attendance numbers. But yeah this team had loyalty.

MIL (starting 1980)
rank: 3rd; 1st/3rd (split season); 1st/Lost WS: 5th 7th
att: 5th 10th 4th 2nd 9th

Again, the pennant year didnt really bring fans out, after the pennant they got a one year boost, the team quickly headed downhill and so did attendance

OAK (starting 1990)
rank: 1st/Lost WS, 1st/Won WS; 1st/Lost WS, 4th, 1st; 7th
att: 7th, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 11th.

Again small market team, wins first pennant fans still didnt show up that year. They got a two year boost after the WS win, and then attendance went into steady and rapid decline, despite winning another division two years later which did nothing to reverse that trend.

AZ (starting 2000)
rank: 3rd; 1st Won WS; 1st, 3rd
att: 6th 9th, 2nd, 5th

Again teams win WOrld championship fans dont show. Get a one year boost, probably a lot in terms of real numbers as they jump 7th ranks. But the boost only lasted one year. Hell the championship year less people came out to see them! So I dunno what is driving that, weather?

DET (starting 2010)
rank: 3rd, 1st; 1st/Lost WS; 1st; 1st; 5th
attend: 6th 6th 5th 3rd 4th 5th

So, the pennant didnt even bring people out, they get a very modest one year boost from losing the WS and nothing else despite more success.

KC starting 2015:
rank: 2nd/Lost WS, Won world series, 3rd
att: 11t; 6th, 6th,

So again fans didnt really turn out for the initial run and they got a two year boost. Overall attendance was not impressive despite the boost. Again a small market team with low attendance.

SOME COUNTER EXAMPLES:

The Ryan Howard Phillies: after winning the WS in 2008, attendance went: 2nd, 1st, 1st 1st. They did sustain that with three divisional wins. Are the PHI large or small market team though is my question.

The Joe Carter Blue Jays. This team had a 5 year run of leading the league in attendance starting 1990. Centered on back to back championships. These fans did come out in droves before the world championship and they stayed around for at least few years. But again is this a small or large market team?

OK? So there are some examples. In almost all cases, the fans didnt even show up in droves until the season after the initial pennant. Even then it was mostly a one year boost. Anything longer than that still needs to be fueled by divisional crowns/pennants (see KC 80s; OAK 90s, PHI etc)

Keeping the core intact seems to have no effect on attendance, for small market teams any attendance spike is fleeting. THe only real counter example seems to be the Fred Patek Royals, there must be at least ten examples of small market teams that had attendance drops despite further success.

HOW ABOUT RESPONDING IN AN INTELLECTUALLY HONEST WAY?
   53. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 03, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6032697)
Generally the boost from playoffs/pennant comes the year after, not the year of.
   54. Ron J Posted: August 03, 2021 at 10:02 PM (#6032708)
#53 Correct. I couldn't find anything significant for getting close. Basically from a revenue perspective there were 3 main states. Won World Series, made playoffs, everything else. Each win in the previous season was worth a little, but fans appear to treat all 85 win seasons that didn't make the playoffs as equal. And appear to value winning a weak division with a mediocre record much more than a third place in a strong division.

Also, further to 52 as with a lot of things it's slow to build up long term revenue bonuses and fairly easy to piss them away. From what I could see the Cardinals consistently drew more than you'd expect given the fundamentals (market size and the like) and I think that's because their fans always expect them to contend and they've always been good at sustaining that belief. Mostly writing off the occasional bad year to bad luck from what I can tell.

May have changed. Haven't updated my study in quite some time.
   55. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 03, 2021 at 10:22 PM (#6032714)
From what I could see the Cardinals consistently drew more than you'd expect given the fundamentals (market size and the like) and I think that's because their fans always expect them to contend and they've always been good at sustaining that belief.


Yeah, the Cardinal attendance/performance thing would be really interesting to study for something like this but I deliberately left them out. For one thing it was difficult to decide on which time period to focus on. For another Im not really sure where to place them in terms of small market or large market, so I avoided looking at them.

Further to that, isnt it also a case where the Cards have a market that is larger than it appears on paper because they have that whole mid west with almost no competition? So you might have fans in NB or SD or AR whereas in the crowded east coast your market might stop 150 miles out of Pittsburgh as it runs into TV signals from PHI or CLE or CIN.


SO whatever model your using, e.g. W/L record, metropolitan area etc. might need to be modified to deal with those teams in sparser regions where they can gain more fans futher away.

I was wondering if some of the same effect might have been happening with the KC royals of the Geo Brett/Fred Patek era. They were the one team that definitely seemed to buck the overall trend I see in small market teams. Their attendance always remained good, and they seemed to have real loyalty as the numbers stayed consistently good for longer than usual.
   56. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 03, 2021 at 10:32 PM (#6032715)
Its also interesting to note that the CUbs seemed to have gotten a modest and somewhat sustained attendance boost from the world championship. Attendance was about 2.9M the year before and got to 3.2M in 2016 (the year of the WS) and stayed that way for I think three years. Again they have to be considered a large market team, no doubt.
   57. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 03, 2021 at 10:36 PM (#6032716)
Basically from a revenue perspective there were 3 main states. Won World Series, made playoffs, everything else


You're overlooking: got a new stadium, which clearly seems to have an effect.

Also it doesnt seem like you're factoring when in the winning cycle those events take place. OAK winning another division two years removed from their world series in 1992 had no effect on attendance, at that pt. late in the cycle, fans had already spent their energy.

I think I noticed the same effect in PIT in the 70s, by the time the second WS championship came, their attendance figures were already going down, the initial enthusiasm had burnt out long before.
   58. SoSH U at work Posted: August 03, 2021 at 10:50 PM (#6032721)
Further to that, isnt it also a case where the Cards have a market that is larger than it appears on paper because they have that whole mid west with almost no competition?


They don't have it any longer (sure, its market is still geographically bigger than New York's, but a lot of those people are cows). But they did have it for a long time as for 50-plus years, St. Louis was the market farthest south and west. Couple that with a super strong radio signal for years, and they built a far-flung fanbase over the decades. Since fanhood is often passed down, their effective market remains much larger than what you would expect it to be (they maintain a lot of fans in places where other teams are closer), undoubtedly helped by the fact the Cardinals have been competitive for most of the previous 80 years.

St. Louis is the model market in MLB.
   59. Brian C Posted: August 03, 2021 at 11:14 PM (#6032724)
Speaking of generational fandom, though - the Cubs also had WGN for all those years. I've said this before, but I had a ton of friends growing up in Jacksonville, FL (pre-FL expansion) who were Cubs fans, seemingly just because they were on TV during the day in the summer and no one else ever was (Braves played on TBS at night).

Lots of retired old people at church, too, it seemed, for the exact same reason. People always point to Wrigley as the reason for the Cubs success, and certainly that's a huge factor. But for a long time, they had a market segment cornered that literally no one else had.
   60. Ron J Posted: August 03, 2021 at 11:17 PM (#6032726)
#57 No didn't neglect that. I just worded things badly. I was talking strictly the impact of win states on the next year. I couldn't find anything for close but no cigar (beyond the wins)

Doesn't mean there's nothing. The standard error in my models was around 10 M (modeling attendance is harder because some teams raise prices after a successful season) and small effects can easily be missed. Basically I was at the point where I could explain a little bit more than 90% of the variation in team revenues (and didn't expect to get a whole lot better without access to team books. I mean I have confidence in the revenue estimates in Forbes but they aren't dollar perfect)

I looked at a lot of things and yes, new stadium is a big deal. And it's not a one year thing. The effect lasts a fair length of time.
   61. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 04, 2021 at 10:42 AM (#6032760)
The standard error in my models was around 10 M


what does this mean? Attendance for most parks is 2 or 3M per year. I have no idea then if you're talking about the yearly attendance for all MLB parks, or if "M" means something else.
   62. Ron J Posted: August 04, 2021 at 11:37 AM (#6032776)
#61 Again sloppy writing on my part. I worked with revenue not attendance. It makes more reliable models (because as I mentioned some teams -- the Red Sox for instance -- find it easier to raises prices than to fit loads more fans in when things are going well).

I suspect that if I redid the work to focus on attendance I'd only be able to explain ~85% of the variation in attendance while I'd still be able to explain ~90% of the variation in revenue.

EDIT: Or to put it another way the revenue estimates I can come up with are within $10 M of the Forbes revenue estimatates most of the time.

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