Seems like it might be a good idea to try off-season threads about different rivals. Let’s start with the Cubs.
The Chicago Tribune is all over Theo for firing coaches instead of holding players accountable (trading them).
What exactly are Theo Epstein and the Cubs doing? https://t.co/SPA5kyfDcQ
— St. Louis BBWAA (@StLouisBBWAA) November 9, 2018
I think the Cubs brass is absolutely stunned that their “dynasty run” has only produced one world series championship. They were/are expecting more. Of course they still have time to win another one but the clock is ticking. Their championship window is probably another three years but it appears to me they have boxed themselves into a corner financially. Unless they are willing to zoom by the luxury tax like the Red Sox did last year it is going to be difficult for them to make significant additions this year.
Instead of breaking up their young core who have somewhat underachieved, Epstein seems stubborn to keep them all and look for scapegoats elsewhere. They have gone through hitting coaches, pitching coaches, and likely 2019 will be Maddon’s last year unless they win big.
Very interesting times in Wrigleyville. It looks like an opportune time for the Cardinals to strike big and take advantage of some of the Cubs strife. I hope we do.
Having said that, the Cubs did win 95 games last year and tied for the best record in the NL after 162 games. They aren’t exactly on the trash heap but expectations have changed and the pressure is mounting.
I consider it below this board to have a thread so to talk about another team that is not worthy of our attention
Their championship window is probably another three years but it appears to me they have boxed themselves into a corner financially. Unless they are willing to zoom by the luxury tax like the Red Sox did last year it is going to be difficult for them to make significant additions this year.
I’m not sure their window is even that long unless they pull a 2006 Cardinals run out of their hat. Unfortunately in today’s game with the luxury tax and the aging curve in the post-steroid era, it is very difficult to build a winner for more than a 2-3 year window. Look what we’re seeing with Cleveland right now. They have some elite talent and just plain can’t afford to keep it.
I think the Cubs are one year of age related regression from their pitching staff from being a 3rd place team, and one bad injury year from being 4th place. They have been very fortunate in the injury department over the last four years. Will they be willing to spend past the tax threshold, like you said, to remain competitive?? It should be interesting to see.
Not worthy of our attention? When was the last time the Cardinals advanced further than the Cubs? I can answer that for you. It was 2014. Until we prove we can go farther than them they had better have our attention.
They are still the team to beat in the NL. They have won 90+ games four consecutive years, and had a better record in 2018 than the prior year. And this was with a down year from Kris Bryant.
Their rotation, while strong, has some age on it and their bullpen has not been great. Pitching is the area they need to shore up. If they do that, and keep their big three of Bryant, Rizzo and Baez, they will be good for awhile yet.
Milwaukee looks to be their equal, but we will see how long they can stay atop the standings. As of the moment, the Cardinals have aways to go to get to the level of those two. But things could look a lot different a year from now.
Remember when the Giants tried to get by on bloated payroll and aging stars? And now they’re in denial and won’t do what they really should, which is tear down and rebuild?
That’s the Cubs by 2021. And it is a gleeful thought that they will need to get very creative to avoid it, because their farm system is junk and their pitching staff is ancient.
So if competition is the criteria, are we going to have seperate threads on the Brewers? Dodgers? Red Sox?
I dont care too much what the Cubs do and to the extent I do, I wont give them the dignity or respect of talking about it.
What I really care about is whether the Cards can put together a ? game winning team. If the Cubs can beat that, more power to them.
Our first goal each year should be to win the division so yes it would be fair to discuss what the Brewers are doing because they are a division foe. The Dodgers and Red Sox not so much. I know the company line is to “just focus on yourself and not worry about the competition” but that seems naive to me.
Right on CC. You are always the voice of reason. I am not being sarcastic.
It would be a stunner if they traded Bryant but crazier things have happened I guess. They probably know there is little chance they will sign him long term so they might see what they could get for him now. That column probably also serves as a shot across the bow to him and Boras.
Fast forward 11 months and this press release will probably be about Maddon as they get ready to announce Girardi as their new manager.
I guess that means they are not going to non-tender him
Well, yes, that is what it says. From Theo’s statement:
“Today, we are taking the procedural step of tendering Addison a non-guaranteed contract in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s deadline to offer contracts to arbitration-eligible players.”
Maybe too much is being read into this, but I come away wondering if there are leadership issues on the team itself – beyond the coaching changes and making Maddon a lame duck.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) December 4, 2018
I think it is more that arrogant Cubs think they have better talent so what they must be lacking is leadership
The Cubs have made big splashy moves the last four years to complement their young core:
They have now reached the point where their budget is maxed out. So how do they make big splashy moves this winter? The only option is to deal away some of their core, which they have been loathe to do. Something has to give. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
This seems to have everything to do with their payroll. According to Roster Resource, it’s projected at more than $219 million in 2019. In the eyes of the luxury tax, it’s nearly $232.5 million. That puts them in range for second-tier penalties, with third-tier penalties (starting at $246 million) not far away.
From one of the Cubs pre/post-game hosts:
I know the narratives that I read keep repeating that the Cubs won't be players for the big name players who are available this winter. My take? I'm not buying it. It's too damn quiet. They are in lockdown mode at the corner of Clark and Addison. Never count out Theo and Jed.
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) December 6, 2018
If the Cubs are determined to get Harper I’m sure they could find a way if they don’t mind a big luxury tax penalty. But they are going to have to outspend the Phillies, Dodgers, and Yankees to get him. Good luck with that.
My guess would be they are going to try to do some trades.
Just another reminder to those who want the Cards to get Harper how difficult it may be. If the Cubs went in on him, they wouldn’t let the Cards get him. No way.
Every team has some limit that they would be loathe to go past. Just like St Louis surely can afford a greater payroll burden than they do now, the Cubs can as well. But unlike St Louis, Chicago has some very major contracts that they’re likely going upside down on (Heyward, Darvish) and some young guys who are going to need paid massive $$ in the next few years (Bryant, Baez, Contreras), and that’s not even considering free agency. It’s not crazy to think that they could tie up $60M or more on those three guys by their 2nd arb year, much less free agency. Throw in Heyward and Darvish and that’s $110 million on 5 players, and not much hope of a system producing great young talent for a few years. Enjoy it while it lasts, Scrubbies.