Chicago Cubs 2021 season

#1      
I think with Theo stepping down we can close the books on 2020 and start a 2021 thread.

It sounds as if the Cubs want to reshuffle the lineup and slash payroll. So, my fairly grim predictions for this offseason...

1. The Cubs trade Bryant for a cheaper bad contract. Maybe Inciarte from the Braves and get a non-prospect or two to go with him.

2. The Cubs trade Contreras for a couple actual prospects, neither of whom are MLB ready.

3. The Cubs non-tender Schwarber.

4. The Cubs go on a dumpster diving free agent “spree,” signing some veterans to cheap one or two year contracts - a couple starting pitchers - maybe Archer and Desclafini, high upside guys with questions, to put it lightly; a formerly high leverage reliever coming off a bad year, trying to catch Jeffress-style lightning in a bottle again - someone like Melancon; a cheap all-glove/light bat infielder - Caesar Hernandez?; a 3rd/4th OF who can play CF - Jackie Bradley Jr.; a league minimum level back up catcher - Sandy Leon.

Going by BR’s arb estimates and MLB trade rumors free agent salary predictions, that roster would have a payroll of roughly $135MM, about $60MM less than last year. The team would likely hit worse than the current roster is predicted to, but not worse than last year’s team did, particularly if you get any bounce back from Rizzo and Baez. It would be a better defensive team and a deeper pitching staff.

Not a great team by any stretch, but probably still the favorite to win a mediocre/bad NL Central.
 
#2      
South Carolina
From my lifetime, the upcoming off-season reminds me of the Cubs in the early 70's dismantling the lovable '69 team. It was a major explosion:

Jenkins - Texas
Santo - White Sox
Williams - Oakland
Holtzman - Oakland
Kessinger - Cardinals
Beckert - San Diego
Hundley - Minnesota

As such, I'm going to be bold and go with the dumpster fire route. However, I think Hoyer is getting a ton of prospects back in return -- and/or some players with excellent major league experience. I think the big 5 --- Contreras, Darvish, Bryant, Schwarber and Rizzo --- are all going to be discussed in trade scenarios and I'd be content if 4 of the 5 were gone (I prefer to keep Rizzo for the club house).

The Braves, Dodgers, Nationals and Mets all seem to be good 3rd base trade partners, so I'll start there. Maybe even the Yankees?

OPTIONS: --- (BRAVES: Kyle Wright, Touki Toussaint, Austin Riley and even Ender Inciarte; DODGERs; Gavin Lux, Josiah Gray, Kody Hoese, Kiebert Ruiz, Brusdar Graterol; METS: Dom Smith, Andres Giminez, Amed Rosario, JD Davis, Francisco Alvarez, David Peterson; NATIONALS: Carter Kieboom, Victor Robles).

Could be really exciting! I really like the Mets and Dodgers as potential partners.
 
#3      
Houston, Texas
Those two Washington guys are no longer prospects. They are guys you’d hope fulfill their once promising potential. I would hope they would get more than that for Bryant.
 
#4      
Geneseo, IL
Hard to see how this isn't a liquidate most of your assets and start a major rebuild type of project. I think Contreras is still worth holding on to. I know he still has to improve his defense and framing but you just don't get that type of offensive punch at that position very often.
 
#5      
Hard to see how this isn't a liquidate most of your assets and start a major rebuild type of project. I think Contreras is still worth holding on to. I know he still has to improve his defense and framing but you just don't get that type of offensive punch at that position very often.
His framing went from one of the worst in the league, to one of the best last season. His offense is what hurt him last year. If he can put it all together, he'd easily be the best catcher in the league.

Out of everyone, including Javy, he's the one I'd like to see stick around. Mainly because we wont get enough for him right now, IMO.
 
#6      
Appreciate you starting this thread, /u/champaignchris!

Regarding the roster, I'm in agreement with the consensus thus far in that we'll see a fair amount of turnover to signal the shifting of an era. I'm hopeful for a Baez bounce-back season, along with seeing what year #2 of Nico Hoerner looks like. I like the idea of taking a reunion flyer with Chris Archer, along with adding some depth to the bullpen.

Leaguewide I'll be interested in seeing how spring training and the MLB season is handled within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was hoping to cross off a handful of unvisited ballparks this summer (Minnesota, Chicago's South Side, St. Louis, Colorado), but barring mass distribution of a vaccine, I'm less optimistic we'll see stadiums at capacity next season.
 
#10      
Houston, Texas
Anyone from the non-tender list the Cubs should target? Rodon? Dahl?

Bueller?
 
#12      
Anyone from the non-tender list the Cubs should target? Rodon? Dahl?

Bueller?
If the Dodgers were to non-tender Walker Buehler, I'm sure the Cubs would be all in on him.

But seriously, the Cubs have already picked up Robert Stock, reliever from the Red Sox. Not sure why they think he'll be better than Ryan Tepera, but whatever... bottom of the bullpen guys either way.

For other relievers, Archie Bradley (righty), AJ Cole (righty) and Alex Claudio (lefty) have had their moments.

I could see them in on a young starter/swing man like Stanek or Urena from the Marlins or Rodon from the White Sox (health depending). Matt Andriese is neither particularly young nor good, but might be able to eat some innings.

Brian Goodwin wouldn't be an awful 5th outfielder.

Hanser Alberto could give some infield depth.

You mentioned David Dahl who could be a more contact, less power, and amazingly worse defender Schwarber replacement.
 
#15      
Not me. Seems like a demotion to go from TV to radio
Yeah. I’m not sure what the real story is. Maybe Marquee wanted to go with Chris Myers because he was perceived as a bigger name nationally and they thought that would help them expand their market?

It’s strange. Casper is straight up one of the best in the game. I hope Sox fans appreciate him as much as us Cubs fans did. He was such a breath of fresh air when he first came in.

Fortunately, the Cubs still have arguably the best radio announcer in the sport with Pat Hughes. I’ll probably be catching more games that way.
 
#16      
Chicago
Yeah. I’m not sure what the real story is. Maybe Marquee wanted to go with Chris Myers because he was perceived as a bigger name nationally and they thought that would help them expand their market?

It’s strange. Casper is straight up one of the best in the game. I hope Sox fans appreciate him as much as us Cubs fans did. He was such a breath of fresh air when he first came in.

Fortunately, the Cubs still have arguably the best radio announcer in the sport with Pat Hughes. I’ll probably be catching more games that way.

Also don't know what the real story is. I could see it as Kasper being fed up with the Ricketts and Marquee and deciding he just wanted to leave, but not wanting to really move away so he took a radio job with the Sox.

Either way, this really bums me out as I grew up watching Len on WGN.
 
#18      
Houston, Texas
Yeah. I’m not sure what the real story is. Maybe Marquee wanted to go with Chris Myers because he was perceived as a bigger name nationally and they thought that would help them expand their market?

It’s strange. Casper is straight up one of the best in the game. I hope Sox fans appreciate him as much as us Cubs fans did. He was such a breath of fresh air when he first came in.

Fortunately, the Cubs still have arguably the best radio announcer in the sport with Pat Hughes. I’ll probably be catching more games that way.
per Bruce Levine: The fundamental mistake @WatchMarquee makes is wanting a "national feel" on its broadcasts. #Cubs fans love their local feel and always have. goes along with what was reported on SiriusXM on the MLB channel.
 
#19      
Houston, Texas
Yeah. I’m not sure what the real story is. Maybe Marquee wanted to go with Chris Myers because he was perceived as a bigger name nationally and they thought that would help them expand their market?

It’s strange. Casper is straight up one of the best in the game. I hope Sox fans appreciate him as much as us Cubs fans did. He was such a breath of fresh air when he first came in.

Fortunately, the Cubs still have arguably the best radio announcer in the sport with Pat Hughes. I’ll probably be catching more games that way.
Sox fans don’t like the hire, at least the ones I have seen today. They think he, along with Benetti, are milktoast. No fire, kiss the teams butt. Sounds like they still miss Ken Harrelson.
 
#21      
Sox fans don’t like the hire, at least the ones I have seen today. They think he, along with Benetti, are milktoast. No fire, kiss the teams butt. Sounds like they still miss Ken Harrelson.

Any Sox fans who seriously feel this way about Kasper and Benetti are foolish as hell. Sox fans should be grateful to have two announcers as good as those two. Heck, as a Cardinals fan, I'd take both over what we have to deal with on both the TV and radio side. Told a co-worker of mine today that if the Cardinals got rid of Shannon tomorrow, I wouldn't be opposed to it though I know some among the Cardinals fan base who would.
 
#23      
It doesn't appear much of anything is gonna happen this offseason. Too much uncertainty. Maybe things will pick up later in January. Hoping Bryant will get traded for a couple nice prospects. Just never been a big fan of his. Trade him to Yanks for DJ and a young pitcher.