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November 2017

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Way-Too-Early Offseason: Who are the New Faces?

Written by , Posted in General

Last week, I took a look at some familiar faces that might end up leaving the Cubs between now and opening day on March 29 in Miami.  The other side of that coin is that some new faces (or maybe not so new) end up joining the team, whether by trade or free-agent signing.  This is the part that always seems harder to figure out, and doesn’t always get resolved until spring training gets underway (or longer).  So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some folks that there may come to a hot stove rumor list near you.

Jake Arrieta: This would fall into the not-so-new face side of things.  Obviously, the Cubs need starting pitching this offseason–there’s only 3 for-sure starters right now on the roster in Quintana, Lester, and Hendricks–and re-signing Arrieta is the sort of thing we would probably all be happy with.  However, we can’t lose sight of the fact that he’s a Scott Boras client, is going to be looking for more years than anyone is probably comfortable with, not to mention dollars.  The Cubs tendered a qualifying offer, ensuring that if he goes elsewhere, they’ll get an extra draft pick.  I don’t see it happening, but the longer the free agent process plays out, the louder the rumors will get.

Alex Cobb: There has already been some word coming out that there have been talks with Alex Cobb’s people, and he doesn’t seem to be a likely get for the Cubs unless the market doesn’t develop well.  The Cubs reportedly won’t go more than 4 years, where Cobb (like Arrieta) is looking for 5-plus.   He figures to be a less-expensive get as compared to Arrieta, but with that comes a step down in quality from Arrieta–his 3.66 ERA (and accompanying 4.16 FIP) and 1.22 WHIP from 2017 don’t look that great.

John Lackey: NO.  Just no.

Zach Britton: A possible short-term closer solution that could come the Cubs’ way from Baltimore, for the low low price of $11.4M or so.  That figure could vary depending on the quality of player the Cubs were able to offer back, but given that the farm system isn’t in the greatest of shape–not one of the Cubs Top-10 prospects according to Baseball America are in the overall Top 101 (they made an error, so the list is one larger than normal)–they probably won’t be able to offer a package that would give any sort of real salary relief.

Shohei Otani: The Nippon Ham Fighters player has been posted, and should be making his way to the majors next year.  His landing spot is a big question mark and probably will be for some time.  The Cubs could be a landing point for him–pitchers who rake is a bit of a Cubs thing–but the new convoluted IFA system makes things a bit wonky.  Not many teams have a large amount of IFA money, and the Cubs are a bit hamstrung in that regard.  I think he’d be a fun one to have around, but bear in mind that the Cubs’ last effort to import a big-name player from Japan didn’t work out too well.

Giancarlo Stanton: The biggest links for Stanton and his monstrous contract so far are St. Louis and Boston.  I don’t see the Cubs realistically pursuing him–unless they can offload Jason Heyward’s contract, because having 75% of your annual salary load in the outfield is not a good idea.  But, I do see them getting involved so far as to interfere with St. Louis’ efforts to land him, by potentially pricing them out of the trade market for Stanton (but maybe not so far as to knock Boston out of the running).  It’d be a dirty trick, but I don’t think the brain trust are necessarily beyond doing that to a division rival.

I’m sure there will be a plethora of other names that come up as the rest of the offseason moves on, some that will be shocking and others probably not much so.  With the GM meetings starting tomorrow, I’m sure things will heat up a bit, but…it is still mid-November.  Don’t expect things to heat up for a while yet.

  • Buddy

    I could see Alex Cobb, or maybe Lance Lynn, but probably not Jake, Darvish, or Otani (whose name fits perfectly into the lyrics of “Oh Sherrie” by the way). A trade for Britton is interesting, assuming he’s healthy of course.

    • Michael S.

      I’d forgotten the Cards had cut Lynn loose. Could do worse. Could do better though.

  • Doc Raker

    Anyone going to the GM meetings in Orlando? CAPS, are you still in Orlando?

    NEWS FLASH: Man found hiding in Simpson Land after hours. A man presently residing in the Boston area was visiting Simpson Land when he decided he would try and live there. He was hiding in the bathroom of Mo’s Bar so once Simpson Land closed he could hang out at Mo’s until the next morning of the Simpson Land opening. At opening he would then enjoy Simpson Land as a tourist. The man was a stole away at Mo’s Bar for 8 days before Simpson Land security found him. The stole away was unavailable for comment but believed to be heading to the GM meetings in Orlando carrying a Fire Joe Maddon sign.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      Did they find him batch cooking?

      • Doc Raker

        Not sure but there was a guy seen following him to Orlando with a Fire Len Kasper sign.

    • JTBarrett16

      I got back this morning

    • JTBarrett16

      When I met Bart, I yelled Why You Little at him and scared him away

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        So you yell at everyone you like, not just your mother.

      • There’s something to be proud of.

      • JTBarrett16

        I was doing my Homer Simpson impression and it was in good nature

  • JTBarrett16

    No Wade Davis?

    • Doc Raker

      At Simpson Land? You tell us.

    • Michael S.

      I see that as less realistic than re-signing Arrieta. Keeping effective bullpen pieces around doesn’t seem to be the front office’s MO.

  • Doc Raker

    I agree with the John Lackey: NO. Just say no. That’s a Raker Racker, consider it racked in Raker land.

  • Doc Raker

    I am having a good day, too bad Lizzie retired. Sherm would be worried.

    • Eddie Von White

      We will all live a little longer without all that stress of trying to come up with a good line. Sherm doesn’t have to try.

  • Adam Peters

    Lackey should retire. He came to Chicago to get a ring, and he got one. He can’t possibly need the money. He should just retire gracefully.

    • Angrily retire gracefully.

    • Michael S.

      Ride off into the sunset, carrying his wife and kids into the west…

      • Doc Raker

        His wife and kids can ride him off into the sunset

      • Michael S.

        Eh, I that’s what I was going for, but figured it’d sound a little crude that way.

      • Buddy

        If Lackey does ride off into the sunset, he will likely punch the sunset and curse at it a few times.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        He would also knock out whatever animal that made the mistake of taking him to that sunset.

      • Seymour Butts

        Jerry please pay more attention. What they are implying is that Lackey is a horse. I dearly hope that that is due to his woeful countenance and not a comparison to one of my most favorite topics.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        If I were to compare him to an animal, I would compare him to a Jackass.

      • Buddy

        Is there an animal that gives up tons of homers? If so, I vote for that one.

      • Michael S.

        There is: Equus ferrus lacketus. The only known living example of this species gave up homers for the Chicago Cubs and was believed to be retiring and released to the wild, but seems insistent on remaining in captivity–possibly due to the taste it has developed for the endangered subspecies Homo sapiens idiotus (the poorly disguised Major League Umpire).

      • Doc Raker

        Seymour, please translate. Seymour loves when you make him look like the smartest guy in the room.

      • Seymour Butts

        Depends on the room.
        Equus ferrus lacketus would seem to be a cross between Lou Gehrig ( the Iron Horse) and John Lackey. I can’t get the connection.
        I am relatively certain I do not have to identify Homo sapiens idiotus to you of all people.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        This is where we need Lizzie, she would give out the awards and then ask us to choose what animal each Cub would be if you had the choice. Then all hilarity would break out.

      • JTBarrett16

        Contreras would be a bull and Schwarber would be a bear.

      • Doc Raker

        Contreras is selling a Tiger tee shirts so maybe he would be a Tiger. Schwarbs would be a Moose because Moose swing lefty, Bears swing righty.