Chicago Cubs 2020 Season

Brewers don't cheat by stealing signs, they use the old metrodome trick of blasting the A/C out during the Brewer's at bats and in during the road teams at bats 🌬

There's more smoke around the Brewers than that. There was a story that came out right around when the Astros story broke with an anonymous survey among players that cited the Brewers along with the Astros and Rangers as the team most players suspected of sign stealing. There was also a story that after getting shelled in the first series in Milwaukee (25 earned runs in 25 innings), the Cubs switched to giving multiple signs to pitchers even when there was no runner on base and they gave up significantly fewer runs in Milwaukee going forward.

I fully admit that my irrational hatred of the Brewers that we established upthread could be clouding my perception here.
 
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I believe the Cubs and Bryant have a rift with the way holding him out cost a year of larger salary and they didn't negotiate a contract so the only hold up is how long the team he moves on to is in control of Bryant and what he is worth in trade. It seems there is no way Bryant will be around longer than 2 years max and Cubs are trying to maximize the return. Is this fair assesment? He gone?
 
I believe the Cubs and Bryant have a rift with the way holding him out cost a year of larger salary and they didn't negotiate a contract so the only hold up is how long the team he moves on to is in control of Bryant and what he is worth in trade. It seems there is no way Bryant will be around longer than 2 years max and Cubs are trying to maximize the return. Is this fair assesment? He gone?
Bryant says he wants to be a Cub for life.

The Cubs are in a self-created bind because they declared that they won’t go over the luxury tax, which means that they can’t add salary this year and probably have to shed salary next year.

Of the Cubs players that make a significant amount of money, Bryant is easily the most desirable to other teams. However, as it stands right now, it doesn’t sound like anyone is anywhere close to meeting the Cubs’ high asking price for Bryant and the Cubs don’t have any particular reason to reduce the asking price.

Which means Bryant is probably going to start the season with the Cubs and assuming they stay in the divisional race - and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t - stay a Cub through the end of the season.
 
Bryant says he wants to be a Cub for life.
Bill Self said he was happy to be at Illinois like a day before he took the KU job. There are way too many instances of players/coaches/who ever saying they want to stay where they are.

Now, you can probably point to money being the deciding factor in like 95% of those people leaving, but the fact is Bryant saying that saves face and that's about it.

I'd wager a lot of money he wont be a Cub when the 2022 season starts, one way or another.
 
Bill Self said he was happy to be at Illinois like a day before he took the KU job. There are way too many instances of players/coaches/who ever saying they want to stay where they are.

Now, you can probably point to money being the deciding factor in like 95% of those people leaving, but the fact is Bryant saying that saves face and that's about it.

I'd wager a lot of money he wont be a Cub when the 2022 season starts, one way or another.
There is very little evidence that Kris Bryant wants to leave the Cubs. There’s the grievance that the MLBPA filed on his behalf 5 years ago and that’s it. The only public statement he’s made is that he wants to be a Cub. Where he plays after becoming a free agent will come down to money, but there’s no evidence that if the Cubs field a competitive offer he wouldn’t come back to the Cubs.

I think the issues are all on the Cubs side of the equation and I think they’d choose to keep him if they thought they could afford to keep him. Right now it seems like they’ve made the (utterly, completely, stupidly ludicrous) decision that they can’t afford to keep him.

So right now it looks like they’re going to try to trade him. Trying to find recent trades of comparable players with 2 years left of team control, the best comp I could find was Marcell Ozuna. The Cards gave up two top 100 prospects and a couple more legitimate prospects to get Ozuna. The Cubs will be looking for something significantly more than that.
 
I should add, look at the rumored asking price the Rockies are looking for from Arenado in the Cardinals rumors. The Cubs should get something similar for Bryant. Arenado is probably the better player (especially defensively), but there’s some uncertainty with the Coors factor. Arenado is the far more expensive player for the first two years. And there’s the added risk if he gets hurt or massively underperforms, that he doesn’t opt out from his contract and you’re saddled with 4 years of $30MM+ for an aging, unproductive player.

In other words, Bryant is a much less risky trade target even if he has a slightly lower ceiling.

The point is there’s a fairly limited number of teams that a) have the prospects to meet the Cubs asking price, b) are in a win-now mode where they’d trade prospects for two years of a player, c) have a place to play Bryant, and d) aren’t in the Cubs’ division.

Three of Dodgers, Nats, Braves and Yankees. assuming one of these teams will eliminate themselves by signing Josh Donaldson, and that’s about it unless the Rays wanted to do something completely un-Rays-like.
 
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The stove is hot!

 
If we ignore what they say and look at what they do... the Cubs appear to be coming back with basically the same team minus Hamels and a half year of Castellanos, and with a couple additions at the margins in Jeffress, Souza and possibly Ginnett. They are also bringing back the vast majority of the coaching staff minus one big name.

Pretty loud indication of where upper management thinks things went wrong last year.
 
Oswego, IL
If we ignore what they say and look at what they do... the Cubs appear to be coming back with basically the same team minus Hamels and a half year of Castellanos, and with a couple additions at the margins in Jeffress, Souza and possibly Ginnett. They are also bringing back the vast majority of the coaching staff minus one big name.

Pretty loud indication of where upper management thinks things went wrong last year.

I think upper management is delusional at this point.
 
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Bryant loses his greivance, wont be a free agent till after the 2021 season.

Change for the sake of change is dumb, but if the Cubs want to play the financially hamstrung organization card, then trading Bryant for younger, controllable pieces doesn't totally rip me to shreds.
 
Houston, Texas
Change for the sake of change is dumb, but if the Cubs want to play the financially hamstrung organization card, then trading Bryant for younger, controllable pieces doesn't totally rip me to shreds.

Heard rumors of a Bryant for Arenado swap this morning, with Colorado taking on some of Arenado's salary. First I heard of it.

Not sure I am down with trading Bryant. It would have to be a "knock your socks off deal" and I am not sure there are any out there. I think if they trade him, it will end up bad. Just a gut feeling.
 
Heard rumors of a Bryant for Arenado swap this morning, with Colorado taking on some of Arenado's salary. First I heard of it.

Not sure I am down with trading Bryant. It would have to be a "knock your socks off deal" and I am not sure there are any out there. I think if they trade him, it will end up bad. Just a gut feeling.
I'd be interested in an Arenado deal if they eat a decent chunk of his salary (which wont happen enough to make a straight one and one trade make sense). He's essentially the same offensive player Bryant is in terms of ERA+ (though I'd give Bryant the edge), but a plus plus defender. A yearish older, but we get 7 years of him, opposed to 2 out of Bryant. Maybe if we could shed more salary, I'd entertain it, but that Arenado contract is gonna start looking real bad if his production doesn't keep up into his mid 30s.

In terms of a Bryant deal for anyone else, I think you have to base what you're giving up over the next two years; highly doubt we see Bryant in a Cubs jersey come 2022. If you can get controllable, high ceilling pieces that will contribute for the next 4-5 years, I think you take that.

In any case, I'd still like to see Contreras traded first out of all of the big names. His value is as high as it'll ever be, Caratini is a much better catcher (and a ready replacement), and there's some decent catcher prospects in the farm system.

If we don't move any bigger names, I still think this team can win the division.
 
I'd be interested in an Arenado deal if they eat a decent chunk of his salary (which wont happen enough to make a straight one and one trade make sense). He's essentially the same offensive player Bryant is in terms of ERA+ (though I'd give Bryant the edge), but a plus plus defender. A yearish older, but we get 7 years of him, opposed to 2 out of Bryant. Maybe if we could shed more salary, I'd entertain it, but that Arenado contract is gonna start looking real bad if his production doesn't keep up into his mid 30s.

In terms of a Bryant deal for anyone else, I think you have to base what you're giving up over the next two years; highly doubt we see Bryant in a Cubs jersey come 2022. If you can get controllable, high ceilling pieces that will contribute for the next 4-5 years, I think you take that.

In any case, I'd still like to see Contreras traded first out of all of the big names. His value is as high as it'll ever be, Caratini is a much better catcher (and a ready replacement), and there's some decent catcher prospects in the farm system.

If we don't move any bigger names, I still think this team can win the division.

The Cubs whole goal this off season was to get under the Luxury Tax (as misguided as that is, but still), so I really don't see any realistic way a Bryant - Arenado 1 for 1 swap would work. Not sure why the Rockies would trade for a 2 year guy when they won 71 games last year and don't project any better this year, and since Fangraph's has the Cubs at $215MM right now, the Rockies would have to hold back something like $25MM to $30MM on Arenado's contract for basically no benefit to them. If the Rockies were willing to hold back that kind of salary, they would have traded Arenado for a good prospect package months ago.

And again, since getting under the Luxury Tax is the goal, just trading Contreras doesn't work either. He only makes $4MM and they're $7MM+ over the cap, and it's not like you can get $1 under the cap in February and be good, you need some breathing room for bonuses/ performance goals/ guys brought up from the minors, etc.

Trading Bryant is basically their only realistic option to get under the luxury tax (if they could dumb Chapman or Heyward they would have done so by now), and basically any Bryant trade makes them worse in 2020 and 2021, when they're still currently good enough to win the division.
 
Houston, Texas
I'd be interested in an Arenado deal if they eat a decent chunk of his salary (which wont happen enough to make a straight one and one trade make sense). He's essentially the same offensive player Bryant is in terms of ERA+ (though I'd give Bryant the edge), but a plus plus defender. A yearish older, but we get 7 years of him, opposed to 2 out of Bryant. Maybe if we could shed more salary, I'd entertain it, but that Arenado contract is gonna start looking real bad if his production doesn't keep up into his mid 30s.

In terms of a Bryant deal for anyone else, I think you have to base what you're giving up over the next two years; highly doubt we see Bryant in a Cubs jersey come 2022. If you can get controllable, high ceilling pieces that will contribute for the next 4-5 years, I think you take that.

In any case, I'd still like to see Contreras traded first out of all of the big names. His value is as high as it'll ever be, Caratini is a much better catcher (and a ready replacement), and there's some decent catcher prospects in the farm system.

If we don't move any bigger names, I still think this team can win the division.

What's interesting about Arenado's deal is that it's a two year deal with 5 years of player options. So really, it would be a swap of players with two years of control. Maybe Arenado waives the 5 years of opt outs for a bit more cash, dunno. What I read is that Colorado may pay 8M of the salary. One thing I like about Bryant is his ability to play multiple positions whereas Arenado, the gold standard when it comes to playing defense at third base, only plays there.

I agree with Tisdale, if this whole exercise of the offseason is to get under the luxury tax limit, adding Arenado doesn't solve the problem. Moving someone like Heyward (Giants, maybe?) would most definitely help. But then, the Cubs would probably have to eat part of it to move him.

I think nothing will happen with this 1 for 1 trade. EDIT: But it's fun to talk about.
 
Bryant for Arenado would make some sort of sense IF Arenado didn’t have that opt out after two years and IF the media reports that the Cubs are desperate to get below the luxury tax are inaccurate or exaggerated.

The Cubs would get long-term elite production at 3B and the Rockies would get a player that is much easier to flip for prospects. Bryant will be easier to trade for the Rockies because they won’t be asking for ML-ready prospects back.

But as it is, the Cubs would have to get a whole heck of a bunch of money from Colorado (Bryant will make about half of what Arenado does) and/or some pretty nice prospects for this to work for the Cubs. Colorado - probably justifiably -believes they can get a better deal for Arenado than that.