Chicago Cubs 2021 season

#577      
We can blame Theo. He allowed this train wreck to happen with Q trade, signing Darvish for way too much money. Theo did not care since he was not here for the long run and let this mess grow.
I also blame Theo for ending decades upon decades of futility. Now many Cubs fans think a first round exit in the playoffs is a "train wreck" (result of his last year in charge)
 
#578      
Forgottonia
I also blame Theo for ending decades upon decades of futility. Now many Cubs fans think a first round exit in the playoffs is a "train wreck" (result of his last year in charge)
I admit I’m guilty of this and train wreck is not the correct term, but since 16 it’s been so disappointing to watch this team underperform their overall talent.
 
#579      
I admit I’m guilty of this and train wreck is not the correct term, but since 16 it’s been so disappointing to watch this team underperform their overall talent.
Totally agree. I'm ready to blow it up. To me this is on the players. Most of them have regressed. I'm confident they aren't being coached to "swing as hard as you can at anything close", but I could be wrong...

The FO has made a couple moves they wish they had back. (Heyward signing, Quintana trade in particular) This collection of talent should have been really good regardless. At times it has, but this roster should NEVER lose 10 games in a row. To me, that's just a symptom of an IDGAF attitude.
 
#580      
The FO has made a couple moves they wish they had back. (Heyward signing, Quintana trade in particular) This collection of talent should have been really good regardless. At times it has, but this roster should NEVER lose 10 games in a row. To me, that's just a symptom of an IDGAF attitude.
They might want those decisions back with hindsight being 20/20, but they were not bad moves on their face when they made the transactions.

Heyward before the Cubs: 835 games, 97 HR, 352 RBI, .268/.353/.431, 114 OPS+
Heyward with the Cubs: 663 games, 59 HR, 268 RBI, .248/.328/.383, 88 OPS+

There's just no reason to have thought that at 26 years old, Heyward's numbers would crash so markedly. Especially his power numbers.

Similarly...

Quintana before the Cubs: 1055.1 innings, 3.51 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 115 ERA+, 1.25 WHIP, 8.8 H9, .8 HR9, 2.4 BB9
Quintana with the Cubs: 439.2 innings, 4.24 ERA, 3.93 FIP, 101 ERA+, 1.30 WHIP, 8.9 H9, 1.1 HR9, 2.8 BB9

Again, just no reason why a 28 year old pitcher would get just a little worse at every little thing and go from being a very good starter to a merely average starter. He went from his ERA being bang on his FIP with the Sox to consistently underperforming his FIP with the Cubs despite the Cubs consistently having one of the best defensive infields in the game his entire time with the team.

If those 2 guys just merely reproduce their career numbers with the Cubs from 2017 to 2020, those transactions aren't considered failures and the Cubs probably add another division title in 2018 and playoff appearance in 2019. And you wonder about the downstream effects on this particularly with Quintana... If he's the player the Cubs thought he'd be, do they spend that much money on Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish? Would they have then been able to spend that money on other areas?

I don't know how much of this was on the individual players and how much this was on the Cubs' development at the Major League level. We have seen a lot of the Cubs' home grown guys seem to stagnate over the same age range.

Personally, I think the biggest miss with the Cubs front office over this time period has been the inability to ever replace Dexter Fowler in Center. They spent three years trying to hand the position to Almora and he could simply not take it. Happ looked like he might be able to hold it down last year, and he's been simply awful this year. Brennan Davis can't make it to the Bigs soon enough.

On top of that, you have the implosion of Addison Russell as both a baseball player and a human being. He and Baez were supposed to phase into full time as Zobrist got older. Russell is no longer with the team. Baez has been inconsistent. Bote isn't good enough. Hoerner might be the answer when he's healthy. But still, middle infield was supposed to be a position of depth, but has been a persistent problem for the last five years.
 
#581      
They might want those decisions back with hindsight being 20/20, but they were not bad moves on their face when they made the transactions.

Heyward before the Cubs: 835 games, 97 HR, 352 RBI, .268/.353/.431, 114 OPS+
Heyward with the Cubs: 663 games, 59 HR, 268 RBI, .248/.328/.383, 88 OPS+

There's just no reason to have thought that at 26 years old, Heyward's numbers would crash so markedly. Especially his power numbers.

Similarly...

Quintana before the Cubs: 1055.1 innings, 3.51 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 115 ERA+, 1.25 WHIP, 8.8 H9, .8 HR9, 2.4 BB9
Quintana with the Cubs: 439.2 innings, 4.24 ERA, 3.93 FIP, 101 ERA+, 1.30 WHIP, 8.9 H9, 1.1 HR9, 2.8 BB9

Again, just no reason why a 28 year old pitcher would get just a little worse at every little thing and go from being a very good starter to a merely average starter. He went from his ERA being bang on his FIP with the Sox to consistently underperforming his FIP with the Cubs despite the Cubs consistently having one of the best defensive infields in the game his entire time with the team.

If those 2 guys just merely reproduce their career numbers with the Cubs from 2017 to 2020, those transactions aren't considered failures and the Cubs probably add another division title in 2018 and playoff appearance in 2019. And you wonder about the downstream effects on this particularly with Quintana... If he's the player the Cubs thought he'd be, do they spend that much money on Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish? Would they have then been able to spend that money on other areas?

I don't know how much of this was on the individual players and how much this was on the Cubs' development at the Major League level. We have seen a lot of the Cubs' home grown guys seem to stagnate over the same age range.

Personally, I think the biggest miss with the Cubs front office over this time period has been the inability to ever replace Dexter Fowler in Center. They spent three years trying to hand the position to Almora and he could simply not take it. Happ looked like he might be able to hold it down last year, and he's been simply awful this year. Brennan Davis can't make it to the Bigs soon enough.

On top of that, you have the implosion of Addison Russell as both a baseball player and a human being. He and Baez were supposed to phase into full time as Zobrist got older. Russell is no longer with the team. Baez has been inconsistent. Bote isn't good enough. Hoerner might be the answer when he's healthy. But still, middle infield was supposed to be a position of depth, but has been a persistent problem for the last five years.
I defended those moves at the time to anyone who would listen. I remember JHey hitting a homer against the Cubs in his 1st MLB at bat. I was sure that beast would be murdering baseballs for the next 15 years. I don't think anyone looking at his hulking frame would think "singles hitter".
Q was one of the great bargains in MLB with the White Sox. Quality #2-3 pitcher with a really friendly contract. He wasn't terrible, but he pitched more like a 4-5, which kind of negated the value of his contract.
Ian Happ is an enigma... One year he looks like a star and the next year he looks like a bum.
Addison Russell turned out to be a POS. He's playing in the Mexican league right now. (Who saw that coming?)
Zobrist's personal life turned into a plot no soap opera would consider realistic.
Hoerner shows flashes, then pulls a muscle.

It's almost like we are cursed. lol
 
#582      
The Insider's Insider
Ubben Laundry Room
Totally agree. I'm ready to blow it up. To me this is on the players. Most of them have regressed. I'm confident they aren't being coached to "swing as hard as you can at anything close", but I could be wrong...

The FO has made a couple moves they wish they had back. (Heyward signing, Quintana trade in particular) This collection of talent should have been really good regardless. At times it has, but this roster should NEVER lose 10 games in a row. To me, that's just a symptom of an IDGAF attitude.
that IDGAF attitude is extremely apparent when you watch this team. I have been to 4 games this summer and it looks like they don't have any intention of hitting the ball. I mean I understand it is the best pitching in the world, but unless these guys get a hit their first at-bats, they look like upset middle schoolers at the plate. Then once they try and turn it on in the 7th its usually too late, unless we play the STL deadbirds and it turns into a circus.

Sell now and hold. Let go back to the late 2000's when making the Wild Card was the dream and depression was expected.
 
#583      
Duffy off the IL, Sogard DFA’d.

Thank goodness. One of the four (!!!) players on the Cubs with over 150 plate appearances and an OPS+ under 75 will no longer plague us. Bote has been on the IL for nearly 8 weeks now and Happ and Heyward are seeing less and less playing time.

With Duffy back, I’m ready to see if Wisdom can handle some left field.
 
#584      
Duffy off the IL, Sogard DFA’d.

Thank goodness. One of the four (!!!) players on the Cubs with over 150 plate appearances and an OPS+ under 75 will no longer plague us. Bote has been on the IL for nearly 8 weeks now and Happ and Heyward are seeing less and less playing time.

With Duffy back, I’m ready to see if Wisdom can handle some left field.
Just asking hypothetically but do you think someone would take on Heyward's contract (16% 0f the Cubs total payroll this year with 2 more years left) if we threw in one of the Big 4 free agents for free ? I think I just answered my own question...no.
 
#585      
Just asking hypothetically but do you think someone would take on Heyward's contract (16% 0f the Cubs total payroll this year with 2 more years left) if we threw in one of the Big 4 free agents for free ? I think I just answered my own question...no.
I think the point is moot. Heyward has his 5 and 10 protection and can veto any trade. With so many other players up for free agency that can be dealt, I can’t see it being worth the trouble for the Cubs to try to work something out.

Besides, the Cubs have so little money on the books starting next year, that Heyward’s contract shouldn’t effect their spending in any way. After arbitration, in 2022 they’d likely be able spend over $100 MM in free agent contracts and not go over the luxury tax.

I’d far rather see the Cubs kick in cash when trading Bryant, Rizzo, or Kimbrell to get better prospects than to take worse prospects just to get even more cash off a payroll already projected to be bottom 10 in the Majors next year.

I think it’s way more likely Heyward gets released than he gets traded. Will be interested to see if they think he’ll be a good mentor/influence on Brennan Davis when he gets called up some time next year. If the Cubs are going to have to pay Heyward anyway, that might be reason enough to keep him on the roster. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if Heyward were to pursue a coaching career.
 
#587      
The justifications for the Yu Darvish trade was that over the previous four seasons, 2017-2020, Darvish and Davies had near identical stat lines. Both had about 3.70 ERAs over about 480 innings pitched. Davies just doing it in a far less flashy, dominant and expensive manner than Darvish. So the Cubs thought they could conceivably get the same performance, while restocking the farm system, and not being on the hook for Darvish’s future contract as he enters his age 35 and 36 seasons

This reasoning looked ridiculous after one month of the season as Darvish looked like a Cy Young contender again and Davies was flat out awful.

But look again now…. take out April and you get:

Davies: 3.12 ERA over 83.2 innings.
Darvish: 3.59 ERA over 72.2 innings.

Now let me be very clear here…. April baseball counts and Darvish is a better pitcher than Davies is and is likely to remain so over the near term. That said, I think that trade is starting to look better than it did a few months ago, especially as Caissie and Preciado continue to destroy baseballs in Arizona.

And, yeah, having to throw in Victor Caratini hurt, but Austin Romine was a perfectly decent backup catcher signing and I don’t know how much you can blame the Cubs for not being prepared for three different backup catchers all suffering season ending injuries in the same year.
 
#588      
Houston, Texas
The justifications for the Yu Darvish trade was that over the previous four seasons, 2017-2020, Darvish and Davies had near identical stat lines. Both had about 3.70 ERAs over about 480 innings pitched. Davies just doing it in a far less flashy, dominant and expensive manner than Darvish. So the Cubs thought they could conceivably get the same performance, while restocking the farm system, and not being on the hook for Darvish’s future contract as he enters his age 35 and 36 seasons

This reasoning looked ridiculous after one month of the season as Darvish looked like a Cy Young contender again and Davies was flat out awful.

But look again now…. take out April and you get:

Davies: 3.12 ERA over 83.2 innings.
Darvish: 3.59 ERA over 72.2 innings.

Now let me be very clear here…. April baseball counts and Darvish is a better pitcher than Davies is and is likely to remain so over the near term. That said, I think that trade is starting to look better than it did a few months ago, especially as Caissie and Preciado continue to destroy baseballs in Arizona.

And, yeah, having to throw in Victor Caratini hurt, but Austin Romine was a perfectly decent backup catcher signing and I don’t know how much you can blame the Cubs for not being prepared for three different backup catchers all suffering season ending injuries in the same year.

A quick check of other stats shows that Davies is at 1.49 WHIP whereas Yu is at 1.003, FIP is way in Yu's favor. Davies walks too many guys, especially compared to Yu. Yu just gives the team a better chance to win. If you're saying, though, that Davies isn't a "direct" replacement for Yu, I'd agree with you. But on the Cubs staff, he's probably the #2 but in reality, he's not a 2.

I didn't like the trade then and I don't like it now because they essentially gave up and cried poor before the season even started in a division that's extremely weak and was/is there for the taking. If they wanted to cry poor and dump more guys that Yu this past offseason, then fine, I'd begrudgingly accept it as a rebuild and live with whatever happens. But that's not what happened. It appears to me that they have no idea what direction to take the team and until they can figure it out, I am doing nothing to support them.
 
#589      
Montgomery, IL
ICYMI - Yu has an ERA of 7.32 in 4 starts this month.
 
#590      
A quick check of other stats shows that Davies is at 1.49 WHIP whereas Yu is at 1.003, FIP is way in Yu's favor. Davies walks too many guys, especially compared to Yu. Yu just gives the team a better chance to win. If you're saying, though, that Davies isn't a "direct" replacement for Yu, I'd agree with you. But on the Cubs staff, he's probably the #2 but in reality, he's not a 2.

I didn't like the trade then and I don't like it now because they essentially gave up and cried poor before the season even started in a division that's extremely weak and was/is there for the taking. If they wanted to cry poor and dump more guys that Yu this past offseason, then fine, I'd begrudgingly accept it as a rebuild and live with whatever happens. But that's not what happened. It appears to me that they have no idea what direction to take the team and until they can figure it out, I am doing nothing to support them.
I 100% agree with you that it was a half measure. Management trying to get under ownership’s arbitrary spending limit in order to free up enough payroll to fill out the roster with lottery tickets and AAAA players.

But I’d argue the Darvish trade portion of the off-season strategy worked. The Cubs are getting enough from Davies that the money they saved could have gone to upgrades that would have helped them to compete in the division.

The problem has been the second part. They went cheap and tried to get two starters for the price of one with Arrieta and Williams when they would have been far better off spending on just one better pitcher - DeSciafini, Taijuan Walker, Kluber, Robbie Ray - and then using Mills as your #5. They tried to save a little more money by swapping out Schwarber for Pederson. They got some nice infield pieces but didn’t address the outfield depth. They got unlucky with injuries to backup catchers.
 
#594      
The A’s have a bad farm system. Still, to get their #9 and #12 prospects for a guy who signed for $3MM in February is a pretty decent return.

Tepera has better stuff than Chafin, but hasn’t quite had as good a year and is a Righty instead of Lefty. So I don’t expect quite the same return for him.
 
#595      
Geneseo, IL
How quickly we forget Joc Pederson.

Supposedly, one of the two prospects coming back is a 26 year old AAA out fielder who’ll probably be a call up later this year. Good news for those of us looking for a quick turn around instead of an extended rebuild.
Not trying to be a smart aleck here, but at 26 and still at Triple-A, can he be that good?
 
#596      
How quickly we forget Joc Pederson.

Supposedly, one of the two prospects coming back is a 26 year old AAA out fielder who’ll probably be a call up later this year. Good news for those of us looking for a quick turn around instead of an extended rebuild.
Whispers swirling around with Bryant/Tampa Bay, Rizzo/Boston and Kimbrel/Philadelphia/San Diego.

Again, mostly just eager to see how it all pans out.
 
#597      

White Sox continue their due diligence on trade chips in Cubs' bullpen​


As the White Sox look to bolster their bullpen with hopes of making a World Series run, they have a close eye on the other side of town as the trade deadline looms Friday.

The White Sox continue to scout the trade chips in the Cubs’ bullpen, most notably All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel and reliever Ryan Tepera, sources said.

Kimbrel is the most sought-after reliever on the trade market, so there’s plenty of competition for his services. At least seven clubs have shown serious interest in Kimbrel, including the Red Sox, sources said.

https://www.audacy.com/670thescore/...terest-cubs-bullpen-craig-kimbrel-ryan-tepera
 
#598      
Not trying to be a smart aleck here, but at 26 and still at Triple-A, can he be that good?
He becomes our 15th best prospect according to MLB.com and 16th according to Fangraphs. Not great, not terrible, win-win for both teams as I see it. He's the type of player you add if you are working on a soft rebuild rather than a 2011-2014 type rebuild.
 
#599      

White Sox continue their due diligence on trade chips in Cubs' bullpen​


As the White Sox look to bolster their bullpen with hopes of making a World Series run, they have a close eye on the other side of town as the trade deadline looms Friday.

The White Sox continue to scout the trade chips in the Cubs’ bullpen, most notably All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel and reliever Ryan Tepera, sources said.

Kimbrel is the most sought-after reliever on the trade market, so there’s plenty of competition for his services. At least seven clubs have shown serious interest in Kimbrel, including the Red Sox, sources said.

https://www.audacy.com/670thescore/...terest-cubs-bullpen-craig-kimbrel-ryan-tepera
They better be prepared to send us MLB players because their system doesn't have enough to offer for a guy like Kimbrel. Reynaldo Lopez ain't even close to a piece.
 
#600      
Not trying to be a smart aleck here, but at 26 and still at Triple-A, can he be that good?
He’s had injuries, lost a year in the minors due to COVID, and is pretty firmly blocked with the A’s behind Canha and Brown for a corner outfield spot. No one’s saying he’s a star, but the main reason he isn’t playing outfield for the A’s right now is because the A’s outfield is really good.

The Cubs outfield on the other hand is really bad at hitting the baseball.