Chicago Cubs 2019 Season

near Ogden & Rt 83
best wishes on the dissertation, Ian.
I have a son, my youngest , also named Ian, and he's finishing up his thesis, as he defends it in late March. He's in a STEM masters program and is currently job interviewing also. No classes for him anymore, just thesis stuff right now.

the 2015 club was such a fun one to watch. It was totally unexpected, and that made it all so much more "special". I understand your affinity for it.
 
Likes: IanKEvans2
best wishes on the dissertation, Ian.
I have a son, my youngest , also named Ian, and he's finishing up his thesis, as he defends it in late March. He's in a STEM masters program and is currently job interviewing also. No classes for him anymore, just thesis stuff right now.

the 2015 club was such a fun one to watch. It was totally unexpected, and that made it all so much more "special". I understand your affinity for it.
Thank you very much! And I'll send the same regards to him! I imagine you and your son can picture the feeling of a weight being lifted following a successful defense and job search. :) I'm hoping to defend late-April and will finish my pre-doctoral internship at the end of June. Envisioning life after school really keeps me motivated!

Watching that team felt to me like watching a group of kids just playing a game they loved. The next year was obviously incredible, but something just felt different.

How can you not be romantic about baseball?
 
I don’t think this guy actually has sources. He throws stuff at the wall and sees what sticks. I’ve yet to see any of his predictions come true.

That said, Harper’s still not signed. He’s not going to get what he wanted at the start of the offseason. I think Harper and teams that had previously been eliminated are circling back around to one another.

And it’s always been the case that Harper would be signing a de facto three year contract. No matter where he signs, for how long, or for how much, there will be a player option after three or four years. That’s just the way top-level baseball contracts work these days. See Jason Heyward’s and Yu Darvish’s contracts as examples.
 
near Ogden & Rt 83
I don't think the Cubs end up getting him, BUT if he and Boras figure they can strike it rich on a 3-4 year deal, say at $35M per, then the Cubs are certainly in play as Harper wants a ring, and the Cubs are as likely , or more likely , to get one with him as any team in the league.

It should be interesting to see how this plays out in the next two weeks. It would be awesome to see the Sox bet Machado and the Cubs get Harper


I heard Len Kasper on the radio yesterday. He fully believes the NL will adopt the DH in the next CBA, along with some new reduced pitching mound visit limits and possible pitch clock. Pitch clock has been tested in a couple minor leagues and it has worked. I have stated this before, Cubs aren't trading Schwarber because they fully believe he can be their DH for the next 5-6 years .

As much as I will miss the NL style of pitching strategy, people pay to see the long ball, not double switches, or pitchers whiffing.
 
I don't think the Cubs end up getting him, BUT if he and Boras figure they can strike it rich on a 3-4 year deal, say at $35M per, then the Cubs are certainly in play as Harper wants a ring, and the Cubs are as likely , or more likely , to get one with him as any team in the league.

It should be interesting to see how this plays out in the next two weeks. It would be awesome to see the Sox bet Machado and the Cubs get Harper


I heard Len Kasper on the radio yesterday. He fully believes the NL will adopt the DH in the next CBA, along with some new reduced pitching mound visit limits and possible pitch clock. Pitch clock has been tested in a couple minor leagues and it has worked. I have stated this before, Cubs aren't trading Schwarber because they fully believe he can be their DH for the next 5-6 years .

As much as I will miss the NL style of pitching strategy, people pay to see the long ball, not double switches, or pitchers whiffing.
The Cubs bowed out of the Harper race because they seem not to want to blow past the luxury tax in the next 3 years. It was never about the length, it was about his AAV over the next few seasons when the Cubs are pushing against the luxury tax and will need to spend money on pitching.

And Charles the cat has no idea what he’s talking about. Unsourced raw meat tweet for the loyal Cub masses.
 
near Ogden & Rt 83
I'm fully aware of all the issues regarding the Cubs and Harper.

tifwiw, I don't think the Cubs will get him, that said, there is fresh chatter in other Cubs blogs today about old talk heating up between the Cubs and Giants about Heyward.

my advice to Cards fans is this. Don't spend your time reading Cub fan boards and get worked up enough to post , as I doubt many Cub fans read Cards fan boards- at least I don't. But if you think Theo has stopped making phone calls and stopped taking calls and is 100% all in on going into the season with the guys on the roster as of today, then you just haven't learned anything about him yet.

IF, and that's a big IF, Harper is in play for a 2 or 3 year deal, then I do think the Cubs are one of 2-3 teams that could get him. I don't think we will, though
 
I'm fully aware of all the issues regarding the Cubs and Harper.

tifwiw, I don't think the Cubs will get him, that said, there is fresh chatter in other Cubs blogs today about old talk heating up between the Cubs and Giants about Heyward.

my advice to Cards fans is this. Don't spend your time reading Cub fan boards and get worked up enough to post , as I doubt many Cub fans read Cards fan boards- at least I don't. But if you think Theo has stopped making phone calls and stopped taking calls and is 100% all in on going into the season with the guys on the roster as of today, then you just haven't learned anything about him yet.

IF, and that's a big IF, Harper is in play for a 2 or 3 year deal, then I do think the Cubs are one of 2-3 teams that could get him. I don't think we will, though
Thanks for quick advice on what posts go where and how to spend my internetz time.

I pretty rationally explained how the Cubs won't be able to afford Harper due to their self imposed cap of the luxury tax. Him signing a 2-3 year deal doesn't really change that. And if he actually is open to signing a 2-3 year deal, then I'm pretty sure at least 10 more teams are going to jump in with offers because that's much more attractive to a lot of teams. We've seen no actual indication that he's not going to take the top $ offer, so not sure why the Cubs would have a leg up on anyone, especially with their self imposed cap of the luxury tax.
 
Houston, Texas
I'm fully aware of all the issues regarding the Cubs and Harper.

tifwiw, I don't think the Cubs will get him, that said, there is fresh chatter in other Cubs blogs today about old talk heating up between the Cubs and Giants about Heyward.
Why wouldn't the Giants just sign Harper instead? I guess unless he doesn't want to play there, but I read today they are meeting with Harper.
 
I wondered why he wouldn't do just that. EDIT: Not necessarily sign with the Cubs but when the long terms deals weren't coming, sign a 3 year deal and rake in the cash again when he's 27 or 28.
3 year deal (or opt out) takes him through the current CBA and gets another shot at free agency with a new CBA. I would almost guarantee any deal he ends up signing includes a 3 year opt out.
 
The Cubs don’t have any self-imposed restrictions about the luxury tax. They wouldn’t have picked up Hamels’ option if that were the case. They’re already over the tax this year.

They have $60M coming off the books after this season (assuming they don’t pick up Morrow’s option, but do pick up Rizzo’s and Quintana’s). They have even more than that coming off the books after 2020.

They could sign Harper and then be back under the tax for the 2020 season if that’s what they wanted to do.
 
The Cubs don’t have any self-imposed restrictions about the luxury tax. They wouldn’t have picked up Hamels’ option if that were the case. They’re already over the tax this year.

They have $60M coming off the books after this season (assuming they don’t pick up Morrow’s option, but do pick up Rizzo’s and Quintana’s). They have even more than that coming off the books after 2020.

They could sign Harper and then be back under the tax for the 2020 season if that’s what they wanted to do.
They're over the 1st luxury tax barrier, but not the additional 2nd barrier for this year (and Harper could possibly put them over the 3rd barrier $40MM over, which is a 42.5% tax). And they have $60MM coming off the roster that will be half eaten up by arb raises and the other half filling an empty rotation spot and a half empty bullpen, Harper or not. There's no likely of scenario where they sign Harper and stay under the threshold for any of the next 3 years. They probably have the revenue to do that (where I'm bringing in the "self imposed" part), but all the public comments point to them not wanting to do that and Boston is the only team who has.
 
Isn't this whole situation with Machado and Harper just a continuation of what we have seen in the free agent market the last couple of years? Last year the big story was front offices finally acknowledging the metrics of the decreasing value of starting pitchers and surprised everybody by not chasing the big names. Contracts were for less cash and for fewer years and many cried "collusion!" And it has been a theme over the past few years that some of these big offensive names aren't going to be paid for what they have done in the past but for what they are projected to do in the future to avoid disasters like the Pujols signing by the Angels. Owners in general aren't burning cash in the fireplace anymore.
 
Baseball Reference estimates the Cubs payroll at about $171M in 2020 including arb raises and assuming Rizzo and Quintana are picked up but Morrow is not.

The first luxury tax threshold for 2020 will be $209M. That’s about $38M to play with without going over the tax. And we know the Cubs don’t limit themselves to being under the tax because they aren’t under the tax this year.

I’m not saying the Cubs are going to sign Harper. I’m just saying that if they wanted to take a big tax hit this year, they could be under the tax next year and going forward. (And worrying about the tax after 2021 is senseless anyway since there will be a new CBA and the rules could be completely different.) Publicly they’ve said they are not willing to do this. And I’m about 50/50 on whether they’re being honest or just laying in the weeds.
 
Baseball Reference estimates the Cubs payroll at about $171M in 2020 including arb raises and assuming Rizzo and Quintana are picked up but Morrow is not.

The first luxury tax threshold for 2020 will be $209M. That’s about $38M to play with without going over the tax. And we know the Cubs don’t limit themselves to being under the tax because they aren’t under the tax this year.

I’m not saying the Cubs are going to sign Harper. I’m just saying that if they wanted to take a big tax hit this year, they could be under the tax next year and going forward. (And worrying about the tax after 2021 is senseless anyway since there will be a new CBA and the rules could be completely different.) Publicly they’ve said they are not willing to do this. And I’m about 50/50 on whether they’re being honest or just laying in the weeds.
Well yea without signing Harper they'll definitely get under the tax in 2021 if not next year. But with Harper, there's no realistic way to get under the tax (while staying competitive) without incurring the hefty 3 years in a row penalty. He eats up pretty much all of that $38MM next year and they'll still have an empty rotation spot and half a bullpen. Which was my whole point, I don't think the Ricketts are the ownership group to just accept the 3 year penalty; no other team than Boston has done that and Boston is kind of unique.
 
Houston, Texas
Which is why SF is linked to Heyward. Clearing half his salary definitely helps the Cubs. Of course, a team would rather have Harper than Heyward but if Harper doesn’t want to play there...

Let the record show that I think Heyward stays with the Cubs.
 
Trying to do their version of the Dodgers’ Spectrum SportsNet LA.
The question is whether the Cubs are taking their money in the form of an up-front sale of their TV rights to the new network (which is what the Dodgers did), or if they're taking an equity stake in the new network and collecting their money that way, through the cable rights fees and ad revenue itself.

The former provides stability and long-term cost certainty. The latter potentially has higher upside, but also more risk and will take longer to get the revenues flowing as there will definitely be a standoff between the cable companies and the new network.
 
near Ogden & Rt 83
If the Ricketts' believe in their brand, and are committed to holding the team long term , then they would be fools to not take an equity stake . I will wager decent money the Blackhawks end up getting into bed with the Cubs on this , if it is indeed an equity deal.
If all they wanted to do was sell the rights, then they really could have negotiated a better deal with Comcast and WGN.

selling the parking meters, tollways and other revenue producing assets doesn't usually work out well in the long term.
 
I will wager decent money the Blackhawks end up getting into bed with the Cubs on this
The Blackhawks have already committed to NBC Sports Chicago. The Cubs are going completely alone in a very, very difficult and declining marketplace.

The Cubs brand is great, the demand to watch the games is great, but the massive dollar figures for these cable deals are fundamentally built around stealing from people with no interest in your product, and that racket is in free-fall.