When it comes to the house owners of our favourite baseball groups, I feel a variety of us need to have our cake and eat it too — at the very least, in a single particular approach.
On the one hand, we regularly (and rightfully) chide any proprietor that inserts himself into precise baseball operations when they need to be leaving that to the “baseball folks” they’ve employed in the first place. Steve Cohen of the Mets and Mark Lerner of the Nationals, for 2 examples.
On the different hand, I usually hope/need/count on my favourite workforce’s proprietor to step up and throw some additional money on the desk to get one thing accomplished, when it *wants* to get accomplished, even when it is outdoors of their traditional scope of involvement or past the preliminary baseball price range.
Tom Ricketts, proprietor of the Cubs, has usually rested on the former as an excuse not to do the latter. He’s not alone — and that is nonetheless higher than sticking his nostril into baseball operations for each choice — however sooner or later, we’re going to want him to prioritize successful, even when it requires assets that go above and past what’s ostensibly accessible.
Why do I deliver that up? Because of those feedback from the man, himself, shared by way of The Cubs Talk Podcast:
As Gordon Wittenmyer factors out, Ricketts appears to be a bit too snug, a bit too happy with the progress of this rebuild and the path of the franchise. For instance, Ricketts is “tremendous optimistic” about the workforce subsequent season, including that “the reality is, you’ll be able to’t purchase a championship workforce.”
Which, come on. That’s an oversimplification of a much wider level: Sure, perhaps you’ll be able to’t “purchase a championship workforce,” however you’ll be able to actually scale back the danger of one other legitimately BAD workforce with important annual investments in prime quality huge leaguer gamers (to say nothing of funding in the remainder of the group).
To be honest, I do suppose the Cubs/Ricketts have accomplished a great job constructing out higher total infrastructure on the improvement facet of the group, however the cash wants to present up on the huge league facet instantly.
But I simply get an icky feeling, when Ricketts continues to throw the ball in Jed’s courtroom, saying he has a price range and might use it nonetheless he sees match. It’s the cake dilemma. Theoretically, that is the appropriate reply. But in apply, it looks like dodging the query and avoiding the downside.
In any case, give that video a watch, as a result of Kaplan and Wittenmyer get into a great dialog about what the Cubs are anticipated to do that offseason, together with their involvement in the deep finish of free company when it comes to (1) a center infielder and (2) a front-line beginning pitcher.
“I feel they’re going to be in on these guys,” Wittenmyer mentioned, “I anticipate they’re going to be aggressive.”
I hope so!
Aaron Judge to the Mets?
The Mets are nonetheless hanging onto the NL East by a thread (1.0 recreation lead over the Braves), however they seem to be a lock for the postseason it doesn’t matter what at this level. HOWEVER, in the event that they lose the division or merely do not make it deep into October, I can solely think about the drive to spend Steve Cohen goes to really feel this winter. And that drive, it appears, might lengthen to a batter leaving the different facet of New York.
Obviously, we’re approach far off from any type of decision on this entrance, however in addition to the Yankees, the marketplace for Aaron Judge has not likely been explored in any respect this offseason. They did strive to lengthen him in the spring, however he is having one among the finest offensive seasons… ever proper now, and his price ticket has certainly gone up.
For what it is value, David Kaplan has additionally heard that the Mets might come sniffing round Judge’s camp when the offseason hits, so I assume that may very well be a enjoyable story to comply with. The excellent news – such that it was – is that the Cubs are nearly positively NOT going to be concerned in the Judge sweepstakes, so the New York groups can bid themselves up with out an excessive amount of influence on our (hopeful) plans for the winter.
Unpopular Trades Concepts?
There’s an article at The Athletic considering probably unpopular trades that would go down this winter, beginning with Shohei Ohtani, who was dangled a bit this deadline and anticipated to be traded this winter forward of an Angels workforce sale. The Cubs are usually not talked about amongst the “contending groups with well-stocked farm programs” that may very well be : Dodgers, Mariners, Blue Jays, Giants, Cardinals, Yankees, and Orioles, however I would not fear about that proper now.
Not solely is it each (1) an oversight and (2) too early to make such a declaration, there’s additionally this nonsense connected, with which I merely and totally disagree:
If he is traded, the return is anticipated to exceed what the Nationals acquired for Soto, though Soto was beneath workforce management for two-plus years at the time of the deal versus what can be one yr with Ohtani. That’s as a result of Ohtani is 2 gamers in a single. So, I’d argue one yr of Ohtani is equal to two years (roughly) of Soto.
I feel Ohtani is legitimately giving Aaron Judge a run for his cash in the 2022 AL MVP race, however I do not suppose even he, at age 29 with one yr of workforce management, is value greater than a 23-year-old Juan Soto beneath management for two.5 seasons. That’s simply not appropriate.
Also mentioned as potential commerce candidates: Corbin Burners of the Brewers (sure, please), Wander Franco from the Rays (oh?), Ketel Marte of the D-Backs, and Pablo Lopez of the Marlins.
Rosenthal Notes: Trading with the Rays, Ahmed’s Availability, Rangers and Pirates Plans, More
Ken Rosenthal obtained right into a TON of fascinating baseball chatter in his newest at The Athletic, from his guesses at the numerous MLB awards, to the way forward for four-man rotations, and extra. But it is the stray rumor bits that we’ll talk about briefly right here.
- With a weak crop of free agent second basemen, groups anticipated to discover upgrades, like the Mariners and Orioles, could also be compelled into the arms of Tampa Bay: “The Rays, deep in younger center infielders, might emerge as an intriguing commerce companion. ” But groups should not begin licking their lips simply but, as a result of Brandon Lowe and (former Cubs prospect) Isaac Paredes are seemingly staying put. There are different choices, nonetheless, and the Rays are actually all the time keen to get artistic.
- The Cubs are most likely not going to be impacted right here. Aside from the presence of Nick Madrigal, the anticipated pursuit of a prime shortstop ought to transfer Nico Hoerner to second base anyway.
- To that finish, “(Amed) Rosario (of the Guardians) additionally may very well be a commerce candidate, a short-term fallback for groups that fail to land one among the prime shortstops in free company.”
- The Texas Rangers will essentially have to go huge this offseason in the event that they hope to make the most of their surprisingly aggressive path from final winter. And in accordance to Ken Rosenthal, meaning signing as many as THREE beginning pitchers, and that is assuming they re-sign left-hander Martin Perez. The level right here is much less about who or when, however merely that the Rangers might develop into important competitors for the Cubs in the free agent starter market this winter.
- The Pirates are going to be (or … needs to be?) in search of exterior assist at catcher and first base this winter.
Free Agent Catchers
Hey, talking of exterior catchers, Anthony Franco previewed the upcoming free agent catching class, separating the gamers into “Top of the class,” a tier occupied by solely Willson Contreras, regulars, a bigger group with loads of acquainted names like Christian Vazquez, Omar Narvaez, Austin Hedges, Gary Sanchez, Tucker Barnhart, Mike Zunino, and Roberto Perez, plus a “Backups/depth” group.
I nonetheless suppose the most certainly path ahead for the Cubs is (1) extending the qualifying supply to Willson Contreras, (2) anticipating him to reject it, and (3) getting into into 2023 with Yan Gomes and PJ Higgins as the anticipated tandem behind the plate.
However, we won’t rule out Contreras utterly. But even when we do, given Gomes’ age and Higgins’ versatility, we can also’t rule out the pursuit of one other catcher to throw into the combine. Possibly even from the “regulars” group.
Angels Plans (re Ohtani, Trout)
At CBS Sports, RJ Anderson discusses three key questions dealing with the Angels as they head into one other offseason following disappointment.
The first and most essential query, after all, is whether or not or not Arte Moreno will discover a purchaser for the group. But I would like to give attention to query No. 2 about the way forward for Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani:
The Angels had conversations with different groups concerning Ohtani forward of the commerce deadline, however rival entrance places of work had been skeptical that Moreno would log out on a deal. One supply speculated that Moreno might view Ohtani and basic supervisor Perry Minasian as a bundle deal: if Ohtani leaves, both by free company or in a commerce this winter or subsequent deadline, then Minasian is out, too. There’s no purpose to imagine that is the case, but it surely speaks to the conception others have of Moreno.
Nothing too stunning there, and admittedly, I feel the solely factor holding again an Ohtani commerce at this level is proprietor hubris. It’s the proper factor to do for the group. The larger (harder?) query, nonetheless, is what to do about Trout. A whole lot of the similar arguments will be made about buying and selling him, however I simply do not see that occuring. Neither does Anderson: “Even if the Angels do take into consideration shifting Trout, it is arduous to see a deal coming to fruition. It’s almost unattainable to get honest worth on a participant of his caliber, and that is with out introducing his contract (he is owed greater than $296 million by the 2030 season) into the equation.”