Cards/Cubs free agency

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Avatar gscottar 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #56511
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    When Cards fans think about the Cubs these days we tend to think of their drafting and development of hitting prospects. The Cards player development has largely been on the pitching side.

    But if you look head to head in terms of recent free agents signed, there is a wide difference:

    Cubs free agents:
    Zobrist
    Lester
    Morrow
    Heyward
    Uejera

    Cards free agents:
    Holland
    Gregerson
    Leake
    Fowler
    Cecil
    Mikolas
    Norris

    Including the lists above, and I am sure more names that I have forgotten, the Cards have ONLY hit on Mikolas and Norris, with most of the others being downright busts, while the Cubs only bust, Heyward is actually having a good year. Zobrist, Heyward, and Lester helped them win a World Series, while our Cardinals missed out on the playoffs last year by very little. At least the recent trend is a mixed bag, some positive, with Mikolas pitching extremely well, and Norris for the most part doing well.

    #56512
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    I forgot Oh, which would qualify as one very good year, one subpar year.

    #56513
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    gscottar
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    You could also mention Darvish for the Cubs. The sample size is small but so far he has been a disappointment for them. Same with Chatwood. Cishek has been good though.

    As much grief as the Cubs have taken for the Heyward deal who would you rather have on your team right now, Heyward or Fowler?

    The Cubs have made some really good trades the last 5 years too.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Avatar gscottar.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #56516
    stlcard25
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    The Heyward signing was a massive bust. I don’t care if they won the Series but that was a terrible contract.

    While they have made some shrewd moves, the #1 factor in the Cubs accumulation of talent has been their tank job. Yeah, trades…yeah, free agents…but they don’t pull it off without getting payroll and roster talent that they used to get high draft picks that turned into cheap, high end talent.

    It stinks, as a Cards fan…and maybe it’s a little bit of bitterness speaking…but it’s a fact.

    #56519
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    It wasn’t just the draft. It was a combination of draft, trades, and FA.

    Here are some guys they have acquired the last few years through means other than the draft:

    Rizzo, Russell, Lester, Arrieta, Hendricks, Quintana, Lackey, Fowler, Heyward, Zobrist, Chapman, Davis, Morrow, Darvish, Chatwood, Montgomery, Cishek, Wilson, Jay, Smyly, etc….

    #56521
    stlcard25
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    Yep, and my point was that those high draft picks were turned into the guys they traded for. The cheap young talent let them spend in free agency in ways they couldn’t have without the gutted roster move.

    Tanking doesn’t just affect the draft…it plays into trades, free agency, etc. It is the #1 reason the Cubs are where they are right now.

    #56524
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    Cubs free agents:
    Zobrist
    Lester
    Morrow
    Heyward
    Uejera

    Cards free agents:
    Holland
    Gregerson
    Leake
    Fowler
    Cecil
    Mikolas
    Norris

    The Cubs were coming off a 73 win season in 2014 with around a $72M payroll. We were coming off our 4th straight postseason appearance with a $118M payroll. By 2015, they had a $122M payroll ($50M increase) while we went up to $132M. The 2018 payrolls are $175M for the Cubs and $160M for the Cards. So it’s pretty obvious that they have had a lot more money to spend than we did.

    Next, you left off several other signees of theirs since 2015 in Fowler, Lackey, Motte, Cahill, Jay, Ross, Denorfia, Duensing, and the aforementioned Chatwood, Cishek, and Darvish.

    I don’t think that FA signings can be looked at in a vacuum as done here. The two teams had wildly different baseline to begin from. For the effectiveness of the Lester, Zobrist, and Morrow deals, they’ve had equally poor signings of Heyward, Davish, and Chatwood. At least so far.

    #56525
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    Lackey, Darvish, and Chatwood stand out as ones I did not include. It’s a little early to tell how Darvish and Chatwood will fare long term. Lackey did an okay job for 2 years, in retrospective, keeping Lackey would have been better than signing Leake. My point is that I believe they have done a much better job of signing quality, or at least helpful free agents to fill holes. Our front office seems to be looking for a “deal”. There were many good relievers out there this offseason, we just chose the wrong ones for the most part.

    #56538
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    They traded away a few of their top prospects but they also kept several as regulars. Several of their trades were very shrewd. They acquired Rizzo, Russell, Arrieta, and Wade Davis without giving up much of anything.

    #56541
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    forsch31
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    Trade:
    Rizzo (2012 for 1st round pick Andrew Cashner)
    Russell (2014 for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel)
    Hendricks (2012 for Ryan Dempster)
    Quintana (2017 for Dylan Cease (6 Rd 2014), Eloy Jimenez (top 20 MLB prospect), 2 others)
    Wilson (2017 for 2010 Amateur FA Jeimer Candelario)
    Strop (2013 with Jake Arrieta for Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman)
    Montgomery (2016 with Jordan Pries for Paul Blackburn and Daniel Vogelbach)
    Edwards (2013 for Matt Garza)

    Draft:
    Baez (2011, 1st round, 9th overall)
    Bryant (2013, 1st round, 2nd overall)
    Schwarber (2014, 1st round, 4th overall)
    Almora (2012, 1st round, 6th overall)
    Happ (2015, 1st round, 9th overall)

    Amateur Free Agent:
    Contreras (2009)

    ML Free Agent:
    Heyward (2016, 8 years/$184 million)
    Zobrist (2016, 4 years/$56 million)
    Lester (2015, 6 years/$155 million)
    Chatwood (2018, 3 years/$38 million)
    Darvish (2018, 6 years/$126 million)
    Morrow (2018, 2 years/$21 million)
    Cishek (2018, 2 years/$13 million)
    Duensing (2018, 2 years/$7 million)

    So they acquired Rizzo, Russell, Hendricks, Strop and Edwards during the tear down period. Baez, Bryant, Schwarber, Almora and Happ were all drafted before the 10th overall pick. The Cardinals have not had a top 10 draft pick since 1998. Bryant, Schwarber, Almora and Happ were all a result of “tanking”.

    Wade Davis was acquired by trading a player who was rated a top 50 prospect by MLB for 3 years and was a top 25 prospect prior to 2015.

    #56576
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    They traded away junk to get Arrieta, Hendricks, Rizzo, and Russell. Shrewd moves.

    #56577
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    forsch31
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    At the time of the trades, Cashner, Samardzija and Dempster were not considered junk. They had quite a bit of value.

    #56579
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    They have better management thus looking more shrewd. The guy beat them twice with the Red Sox and he has hammered that ass with the Northsiders. It’s not even been close since the season opening series split of 2015. They have outright owned the Cardinals.

    #56580
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    I want to see how the Cubs handle the next 5 years. Their management is good but they will have a lot of tough decisions to make as players enter their free agency years. How will they handle things when they are up against the luxury tax and need to pay players? Also, will they be able to continue drafting good players since they are drafting in the top 10?

    Also, I would not say the Cubs have better management. They have had a different situation in which to operate for the last 7 years.

    #56582
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    Their President is better than ours and it’s not close. Since he got there they have been on the up and the Cardinals have been spinning down. Yes they will have choices to make but every season teams have choices to make. I trust their management more than ours and its little doubt the Cardinals will once again be watching the Cubs play October baseball for the 4th season in a row.

    #56617
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    At the time of the trades, Cashner, Samardzija and Dempster were not considered junk. They had quite a bit of value.

    Maybe so but the point is that the Cubs won every one of those trades then signed Rizzo to the most team friendly contract in MLB which backs up my point that their strategy was a little more complex than just tank and draft high.

    #56618
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    I want to see how the Cubs handle the next 5 years. Their management is good but they will have a lot of tough decisions to make as players enter their free agency years. How will they handle things when they are up against the luxury tax and need to pay players? Also, will they be able to continue drafting good players since they are drafting in the top 10?

    Also, I would not say the Cubs have better management. They have had a different situation in which to operate for the last 7 years.

    This is very true forsch. The Cubs are not going to be able to keep everyone. Eventually the core will hit free agency and their won’t be enough money to go around. Unfortunately that is 4-5 years away.

    #56619
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    Their President is better than ours and it’s not close. Since he got there they have been on the up and the Cardinals have been spinning down. Yes they will have choices to make but every season teams have choices to make. I trust their management more than ours and its little doubt the Cardinals will once again be watching the Cubs play October baseball for the 4th season in a row.

    I have to agree with this too unfortunately. I think most rational people would say Epstein is on a different level than Mo although we are really comparing apples to oranges. The two organizations are built different and have different agendas in my opinion.

    The Cubs have decided that they are going to build a team capable of winning a world series every year during their window knowing that when the window closes they are going to fall backwards some.

    The Cardinals, on the other hand, build teams that can be a playoff contender every year with a perpetual window. Not necessarily a world series contender but a playoff contender. Their philosophy is if you get to the playoffs enough times you will get hot once in awhile and win the whole thing. That has proven to be true but that was before the ascension of the Cubs. Things are more difficult now and I wish we were more proactive instead of just trying to hang around and wait for the Cubs to stink again.

    #56626
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    I think that you build a team through the draft. But filling holes is what free agency is for. What the Cards have is more liabilities from free agents signed. The Cubs only have Heyward, and Darvish may be a bust now or in the future. I don’t see him having Lesters success in future years. And you folks make very good points about being able to afford their star players in the future. Out of curiousity, doesn’t the baseball team set a players salary for the first 2 or 3 years? Then 3 arbitration years. Then free agency?

    #56634
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    Yes, typically a player receives the league minimum for three years (or salary chosen by team) then three years of arbitration then free agency, although this timetable can sometimes be altered depending on when the service clock starts. The super two players can get four years of arbitration. (Kris Bryant)

    #56643
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    2022 is the year the Cubs have a major part of their core hitting free agency. Before that time, there are quite a few that will be in their 2nd, 3rd or 4th year of arbitration.

    According to Cot’s, the Cubs have a payroll for 2018 of $182 million. Justin Wilson will be the only free agent unless they decline someone else’s option. His salary is $4.25 million. They gain an additional $17 million from salary decreases to Heyward, Zobrist, and Darvish. Their known salary increases are $8 million from the salaries of Rizzo and Smyly. Bryant, Hendricks, Russell, LaStella, Baez, Montgomery, Schwarber, Edwards and Butler will all be in arbitration. Quintana will get an additional $2.15 million from a club option. Strop has an option for 2019 with a very minimal raise.

    After 2019, Zobrist, Cishek, Strop, Duensing and Smyly are free agents with option years for Rizzo, Quintana and Morrow. After 2020, Chatwood, Quintana and Morrow are free agents with option years for Lester and Rizzo.

    My point is that the Cubs payroll will be going up significantly over the next 3 years. If they don’t re-sign some of these pieces, they will still have to replace them. Do they have the replacements within their system? What will they have to pay to bring someone else in?

    They did an excellent job of setting themselves up for a 5-7 year window of opportunity. However, they had to tank to get where they are and I wait to see how they handle it when they need to retool.

    #56644
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    Mo has had a different situation to work under since he took over the club. He has had to maintain a winning baseball team. He was not allowed to blow the team up and restructure. Epstein was allowed to do that.

    Also, the trades that were mentioned that the Cubs won, were they the only ones they made?

    #56777
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    Off the top of my head the only trade under Epstein that looks questionable would be the one with the Tigers last year. They gave up Candelario for Justin Wilson. Candelario looks like a good everyday player while Wilson has been very pedestrian, almost Cecil-esque at times.

    Some could say the Chapman and Quintana trades were bad because Torress and Jimenez could be long term all stars. Chapman helped them get a world series title so I’m sure that was worth it to the Cubs. The jury is still out on Quintana.

    Otherwise the Cubs have pretty much made out like bandits the last few years. I understand they were allowed to tank but tanking doesn’t always automatically lead to championships. You still have to make good decisions along the way. Baez, Bryant, Schwarber, Almora, and Happ weren’t overall top draft picks which means that there were teams that passed on all of them. Anyone remember Brady Aiken?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #56785
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    #56788
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    So the Astros passed on Kris Bryant for Mark Appel then passed on Kyle Schwarber for Brady Aiken. Yikes.

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