MLB: ***Official 2022 Chicago Cubs Season Thread***

tman24

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About time to get hot right before the all-star break and then **** the bed the rest of the season.
 

ISUCubswin

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Well you’re wrong. The Cubs are 15th in the mlb in runs scored, tied for second in OBP and 12th in SLG.

Their starters rank 25th in ERA and 27th in FIP. The bullpen is 19th in FIP for comparison. I have no idea how you can look at this team and think the offense is the main problem.

I am going off of the belief that

1) Stroman and Hendricks performance so far is not indicative of where they’re at in their careers.

2) Steele, Thompson, and Killian have not peaked

I do not think we have a top of the line rotation now, but I don’t think we’re far off from having one. Say, for example, we get DeGrom. I would be comfortable going into a series with DeGrom, Hendricks, and Stroman as my 3 starters.

As for the offense, I personally wouldn’t want to go into 2023 with it, but if that’s what you want, go for it.

My main argument heading into this is that I understood selling off last year. If you want to compete by 2024, you have to stop selling off at some point. Contreras and Hendricks will still be valuable players in 2024 and send a much needed message across the league that our incompetent front office is at least trying to make decisions that top 5 budget franchises do, which means extend them.
 
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cyfanatic13

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I am going off of the belief that

1) Stroman and Hendricks performance so far is not indicative of where they’re at in their careers.

2) Steele, Thompson, and Killian have not peaked

I do not think we have a top of the line rotation now, but I don’t think we’re far off from having one. Say, for example, we get DeGrom. I would be comfortable going into a series with DeGrom, Hendricks, and Stroman as my 3 starters.

As for the offense, I personally wouldn’t want to go into 2023 with it, but if that’s what you want, go for it.

My main argument heading into this is that I understood selling off last year. If you want to compete by 2024, you have to stop selling off at some point. Contreras and Hendricks will still be valuable players in 2024 and send a much needed message across the league that our incompetent front office is at least trying to make decisions that top 5 budget franchises do, which means extend them.
I agree to an extent with Contreras but wouldn't be mad if they were able to find a solid deal for him. I also believe too much in prospects and think Amaya will be the guy in a year or two. I'd be totally fine with trading Hendricks. He is what he is at this point, IMO. Couple great starts every once in awhile sandwiched between a lot of "meh" starts.
 

CyJack13

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I am going off of the belief that

1) Stroman and Hendricks performance so far is not indicative of where they’re at in their careers.

2) Steele, Thompson, and Killian have not peaked

I do not think we have a top of the line rotation now, but I don’t think we’re far off from having one. Say, for example, we get DeGrom. I would be comfortable going into a series with DeGrom, Hendricks, and Stroman as my 3 starters.

As for the offense, I personally wouldn’t want to go into 2023 with it, but if that’s what you want, go for it.

My main argument heading into this is that I understood selling off last year. If you want to compete by 2024, you have to stop selling off at some point. Contreras and Hendricks will still be valuable players in 2024 and send a much needed message across the league that our incompetent front office is at least trying to make decisions that top 5 budget franchises do, which means extend them.

Aside from the Covid season, Hendricks ERA has increased every year since 2016. He had a 4.77 ERA last year, 4.80 this year. That's a year and a half of him showing you that this is exactly who is he is at this point.

Thompson and Steele are lightly regarded prospects, I would not be surprised if this is the best season of Thompson's career, I have no expectations for either of them being long term quality starters.

The Cubs are so far away from seriously contending. They aren't getting DeGrom. They need to move Contreras and Hendricks and get young talent in return.
 
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CYdTracked

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Hendricks is going to be 33 years old going into next season. His best days are behind him I think as he's had to be a finesse and command pitcher with a fastball that only tops out around 88. Once his velocity goes down more he really will have to be more of a command pitcher and based on what we have seen the past 2 years I'm not confident he can consistently string together a stretch of good starts anymore. Right now he's probably a 3rd or 4th starter for a contender and in the coming years probably nothing more than a 4th or 5th starter on a lot of teams that just need a guy to chew up some innings in the back end of the rotation. By the time the Cubs are at a point to compete again (don't see that being next year unless they really splurge in free agency) he's not going to be anything more than a backend of the rotation guy at best.

I'm not sold that Stroman is a top end of the rotation guy either. He keeps getting hurt and when he's been "healthy" this year he's been lit up several times. He's a career 63-65 3.71 ERA guy, is 31 now so would like to see more of the pitcher he was just a few years ago than the guy he's been lately. As for Steele, Thompson, and Killian it's too early to tell and you can hope that they keep improving with more starts. At times they have looked good but with any young pitchers developing consistency and adding another pitch to the mix is going to be crucial to long term success.
 

CyJack13

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Hendricks is going to be 33 years old going into next season. His best days are behind him I think as he's had to be a finesse and command pitcher with a fastball that only tops out around 88. Once his velocity goes down more he really will have to be more of a command pitcher and based on what we have seen the past 2 years I'm not confident he can consistently string together a stretch of good starts anymore. Right now he's probably a 3rd or 4th starter for a contender and in the coming years probably nothing more than a 4th or 5th starter on a lot of teams that just need a guy to chew up some innings in the back end of the rotation. By the time the Cubs are at a point to compete again (don't see that being next year unless they really splurge in free agency) he's not going to be anything more than a backend of the rotation guy at best.

I'm not sold that Stroman is a top end of the rotation guy either. He keeps getting hurt and when he's been "healthy" this year he's been lit up several times. He's a career 63-65 3.71 ERA guy, is 31 now so would like to see more of the pitcher he was just a few years ago than the guy he's been lately. As for Steele, Thompson, and Killian it's too early to tell and you can hope that they keep improving with more starts. At times they have looked good but with any young pitchers developing consistency and adding another pitch to the mix is going to be crucial to long term success.

Hendricks has really changed his profile as a pitcher too, he used to be an extreme ground ball, and now gets a dramatically larger amount of outs through fly balls. I love Hendricks too, he's gotten every ounce of potential out of his ability, but he has such little margin of error when it comes to losing velocity, If he can't get that needed separation between his change up and fastball, he's a guy out there throwing BP.

If he's the 2015 Dan Haren in your rotation, you're probably a really good team. If you're counting on him to be one of your top guys at this point, well you're probably a team with a bottom five starting rotation.
 

ISUCubswin

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I respect and value those assessments. I understand I look through rose-colored glasses. For the record, I don't think have a competitive team next year, but I absolutely believe if the cards are played right, we can have that team in 2024.

In my opinion, the cards are not being played right if you trade Contreras for a prospect. To be that team in 2024, you have to build that team before 2024, and it can't all be farm-based. Extend Contreras, let FA's know you aren't pinning all hopes on the farm. Contreras is worth the $20 AAV he is reportedly seeking.

In regards to Hendricks, who was a "lightly regarded prospect" much like Steele and Thompson, in trading him, my guess is you will be getting in return...a lightly regarded prospect. He had a 3.77 ERA before the sell-off last year and finished the second half with a 6.16 ERA. The world knew the Cubs would suck this year. I'm going to guess the mental drainage of a sell-off and "rebuild" have done more to hurt his pitching than his age. He is not a power arm, so typically you see guys like him last longer. I don't think he's physically expired at 32 years old, I think last July he looked around the diamond and thought he was sent to Des Moines.

If I had any power whatsoever, I'd go forth with this plan:

C - Contreras ($20 Million)/Amaya
1B - Hosmer ($13 Million)
2B - Madrigal (Cheap)
SS - Boegarts ($30 Million)
3B - Wisdom (Cheap)
OF - Davis (Cheap)
OF - PCA (Cheap)
OF - Suzuki ($17 Million)

Happ, Morel, Hoerner, Alcantara become your super utilities, all cheap. In total, you're probably looking at $100-110 million for your offense.

Hendricks and Stroman are the only ones eating at your SP salary ($40 million, combined) taking the rest of your pitching staff, I would assume they're making a combined $30 million, if we're being generous? (not including those coming off the books this year) so I would assume you're looking at roughly $40 million in spending on pitchers before even worrying about the luxury tax.
 

CyState85

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I don’t think any team is going to shell out $20 million for a catcher any time soon. With the rest they require and pitchers working “better” with backups, Contreras likely won’t catch more than 125 games a season.

If you look at the market for catchers the last couple years, virtually all of them have underperformed with their contracts. Trade him in the next two weeks to the Yankees, Mets, or Dodgers for their top catching prospect and save tens of million in payroll. Gomes and Higgins are serviceable backups.

Cubs should have took on the contracts of Hosmer and Myers to buy a prospect from the Padres before the start of the season. The Mervis kid at AA is raking and maybe we get a look at him in September.
 
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CyJack13

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I respect and value those assessments. I understand I look through rose-colored glasses. For the record, I don't think have a competitive team next year, but I absolutely believe if the cards are played right, we can have that team in 2024.

In my opinion, the cards are not being played right if you trade Contreras for a prospect. To be that team in 2024, you have to build that team before 2024, and it can't all be farm-based. Extend Contreras, let FA's know you aren't pinning all hopes on the farm. Contreras is worth the $20 AAV he is reportedly seeking.

In regards to Hendricks, who was a "lightly regarded prospect" much like Steele and Thompson, in trading him, my guess is you will be getting in return...a lightly regarded prospect. He had a 3.77 ERA before the sell-off last year and finished the second half with a 6.16 ERA. The world knew the Cubs would suck this year. I'm going to guess the mental drainage of a sell-off and "rebuild" have done more to hurt his pitching than his age. He is not a power arm, so typically you see guys like him last longer. I don't think he's physically expired at 32 years old, I think last July he looked around the diamond and thought he was sent to Des Moines.

If I had any power whatsoever, I'd go forth with this plan:

C - Contreras ($20 Million)/Amaya
1B - Hosmer ($13 Million)
2B - Madrigal (Cheap)
SS - Boegarts ($30 Million)
3B - Wisdom (Cheap)
OF - Davis (Cheap)
OF - PCA (Cheap)

OF - Suzuki ($17 Million)

Happ, Morel, Hoerner, Alcantara become your super utilities, all cheap. In total, you're probably looking at $100-110 million for your offense.

Hendricks and Stroman are the only ones eating at your SP salary ($40 million, combined) taking the rest of your pitching staff, I would assume they're making a combined $30 million, if we're being generous? (not including those coming off the books this year) so I would assume you're looking at roughly $40 million in spending on pitchers before even worrying about the luxury tax.

Is that lineup for next year? If PCA is Pete-Crow Armstrong, he has a .696 OPS in high A. Brennan Davis has an OPS under .600 in AAA. How do you have those guys starting over Happ? And why pay Hosmer? He's not worth that money and on the down side of his career.

Wisdom is a guy who might have some decent trade value too. He's 30 but still has four cheap years of team control left, now has a solid year and half of good offensive production. I'd be listening to offers for him.
 

ISUCubswin

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Is that lineup for next year? If PCA is Pete-Crow Armstrong, he has a .696 OPS in high A. Brennan Davis has an OPS under .600 in AAA. How do you have those guys starting over Happ? And why pay Hosmer? He's not worth that money and on the down side of his career.

Wisdom is a guy who might have some decent trade value too. He's 30 but still has four cheap years of team control left, now has a solid year and half of good offensive production. I'd be listening to offers for him.

No, that lineup would be 2024 based on prospects. FAs would be this year.

I wouldn’t hate getting rid of Wisdom. I’m not tied to the guy. I just wouldn’t trade him for a 28 year old who hasn’t touched AA and has been a reliever the last 6 years.

As for Hosmer, $13 million is nothing in this league. I’d trade for him for 2 reasons

1) You would get a decent prospect as well
2) You are getting a vet who wouldn’t provide some production for this team as opposed to throwing darts like Rivas and Schwindel and hoping they stick

The way I look at it, he’d be on the books next year, which is probably a wash, and then the following year, when Heyward is gone and the luxury tax will be $237 million, so his $13 million will hardly cause a dent.
 
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CYdTracked

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No, that lineup would be 2024 based on prospects. FAs would be this year.

I wouldn’t hate getting rid of Wisdom. I’m not tied to the guy. I just wouldn’t trade him for a 28 year old who hasn’t touched AA and has been a reliever the last 6 years.

As for Hosmer, $13 million is nothing in this league. I’d trade for him for 2 reasons

1) You would get a decent prospect as well
2) You are getting a vet who wouldn’t provide some production for this team as opposed to throwing darts like Rivas and Schwindel and hoping they stick

The way I look at it, he’d be on the books next year, which is probably a wash, and then the following year, when Heyward is gone and the luxury tax will be $237 million, so his $13 million will hardly cause a dent.

I would be OK with Hosmer too if they can get a good prospect in the deal. That's 1 thing I actually agree with you on so far and wish they had already made a trade for him. You are leaving a lot of faith that all these prospects pan out too. Gotta see Davis healthy before I buy in that he is the real deal because he was off to a slow start at AAA this year when he got hurt. PCA sure is tearing things up right now but still has a ways to go to get to Chicago. Don't forget about Canario in AA right now either as he could factor into the mix too at some point. Got a lot of options coming up in the OF that hopefully a couple of them hit the ground running when they get the chance.

I'd be OK with replacing Wisdom, just feels like they have caught lightning in a bottle with him at times but then he goes into one of those cold stretches where he whiffs at everything too. I think Hoerner becomes the everyday 2B if they sign a top tier SS too and Madrigal becomes an afterthought. Just a lot of holes to fill and some of them could be filled with proven veterans at the right price if they are going to get serious about competing sooner than later. I think Hendricks is replaceable too which is why I would rather deal him now than watch him continue to decline. As someone else mentioned he is giving up a lot of hard contact lately instead of weak grounders which was his thing and if that trend continues the dip in velocity that he already did not have much of is not going to be kind to him as he gets older unless he gets back to being that kind of pitcher and extends his career like Maddux was able to.
 

ISUCubswin

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You are leaving a lot of faith that all these prospects pan out too. Gotta see Davis healthy before I buy in that he is the real deal because he was off to a slow start at AAA this year when he got hurt. PCA sure is tearing things up right now but still has a ways to go to get to Chicago. Don't forget about Canario in AA right now either as he could factor into the mix too at some point. Got a lot of options coming up in the OF that hopefully a couple of them hit the ground running when they get the chance.

I think this is an area you and I agree on, just have different philosophies of where to go from here. I think right now we have a stockpile of prospects. I'm not sure what the benefit of trading Contreras is, given it sounds like his demands are more realistic than anyone from last year, and is it really worth adding another prospect that we don't know will pan out? At what point do top talents say they'll take a couple million less to not rebuild with the Cubs and bank on prospects and instead go play for a contender? And if Amaya pans out, you can always move Contreras to the OF as he gets older, he can play DH, he's very versatile compared to most catchers.

As for banking on prospects to deliver, I'm not all-in on the ones listed. I do feel good that one of Davis, PCA, Alcantara, and Caissie will pan out for our outfield. I feel good that one of Hernandez, Triantos, Howard, Preciado, and Made will pan out. I appreciate how wide the net is we've caste, but we need not make it wider. You can start building your 2024 team now, or you can wait until 2024 and see what prospects have worked out.
 

CYdTracked

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I think this is an area you and I agree on, just have different philosophies of where to go from here. I think right now we have a stockpile of prospects. I'm not sure what the benefit of trading Contreras is, given it sounds like his demands are more realistic than anyone from last year, and is it really worth adding another prospect that we don't know will pan out? At what point do top talents say they'll take a couple million less to not rebuild with the Cubs and bank on prospects and instead go play for a contender? And if Amaya pans out, you can always move Contreras to the OF as he gets older, he can play DH, he's very versatile compared to most catchers.

As for banking on prospects to deliver, I'm not all-in on the ones listed. I do feel good that one of Davis, PCA, Alcantara, and Caissie will pan out for our outfield. I feel good that one of Hernandez, Triantos, Howard, Preciado, and Made will pan out. I appreciate how wide the net is we've caste, but we need not make it wider. You can start building your 2024 team now, or you can wait until 2024 and see what prospects have worked out.

Interesting thing about that list is Caissie and Preciado were part of the Darvish trade that some fans were critical of and now they are the #8 and #11 prospects in the system according to MLB.com. Caissie especially has been hot lately. If you look at some of the guys they got at the deadline deals last year I'm pretty happy with the returns thus far when you look at what Crow-Armstrong, Alcantara, Canario, and Kilian have done so far in the minors. Finally seeing a few guys they drafted in recent years too - especially pitchers starting to come up through the system or get call ups this year. Just hope that Davis, Marquez, and Amaya can stay healthy and develop soon as there is a lot of potential with those 3 but they keep having set backs or lost a year not playing during COVID.
 

gocubs2118

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Is that lineup for next year? If PCA is Pete-Crow Armstrong, he has a .696 OPS in high A. Brennan Davis has an OPS under .600 in AAA. How do you have those guys starting over Happ? And why pay Hosmer? He's not worth that money and on the down side of his career.

Wisdom is a guy who might have some decent trade value too. He's 30 but still has four cheap years of team control left, now has a solid year and half of good offensive production. I'd be listening to offers for him.
Having a .700 OPS in a league where he is more than 2 years younger than the average player, isn’t all that bad. Also considering many people say he would play gold glove defense in CF RIGHT NOW, penciling him into the 2024 lineup doesn’t sound so outlandish.
 

CyJack13

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Having a .700 OPS in a league where he is more than 2 years younger than the average player, isn’t all that bad. Also considering many people say he would play gold glove defense in CF RIGHT NOW, penciling him into the 2024 lineup doesn’t sound so outlandish.

High A is a long way from the MLB. I hope he blows up in the next year and is a solid MLB started in 2024, but I would definitely take the other side of that bet.
 

Cyforce

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Merkins is on pace to open the season in Iowa next spring. I think he'll be up mid-season as our long term 1B.
 

isucy86

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I respect and value those assessments. I understand I look through rose-colored glasses. For the record, I don't think have a competitive team next year, but I absolutely believe if the cards are played right, we can have that team in 2024.

In my opinion, the cards are not being played right if you trade Contreras for a prospect. To be that team in 2024, you have to build that team before 2024, and it can't all be farm-based. Extend Contreras, let FA's know you aren't pinning all hopes on the farm. Contreras is worth the $20 AAV he is reportedly seeking.

In regards to Hendricks, who was a "lightly regarded prospect" much like Steele and Thompson, in trading him, my guess is you will be getting in return...a lightly regarded prospect. He had a 3.77 ERA before the sell-off last year and finished the second half with a 6.16 ERA. The world knew the Cubs would suck this year. I'm going to guess the mental drainage of a sell-off and "rebuild" have done more to hurt his pitching than his age. He is not a power arm, so typically you see guys like him last longer. I don't think he's physically expired at 32 years old, I think last July he looked around the diamond and thought he was sent to Des Moines.

If I had any power whatsoever, I'd go forth with this plan:

C - Contreras ($20 Million)/Amaya
1B - Hosmer ($13 Million)
2B - Madrigal (Cheap)
SS - Boegarts ($30 Million)
3B - Wisdom (Cheap)
OF - Davis (Cheap)
OF - PCA (Cheap)
OF - Suzuki ($17 Million)

Happ, Morel, Hoerner, Alcantara become your super utilities, all cheap. In total, you're probably looking at $100-110 million for your offense.

Hendricks and Stroman are the only ones eating at your SP salary ($40 million, combined) taking the rest of your pitching staff, I would assume they're making a combined $30 million, if we're being generous? (not including those coming off the books this year) so I would assume you're looking at roughly $40 million in spending on pitchers before even worrying about the luxury tax.
Have a tough time seeing Morel & Hoerner as utility players. Also until Madrigal hits as a Cub, not sure where he fits. He doesn't seem like a utility type.

I like how Ross is platooning Contreras and that might be a blueprint go forward- split time as catcher & DH.

If the Cubs are going to spend in FA, would prefer a couple SP and a big bat. Hopefully, the Cubs have enough position players developing in the minors.
 
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Rabbuk

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Have a tough time seeing Morel & Hoerner as utility players. Also until Madrigal hits as a Cub, not sure where he fits. He doesn't seem like a utility type.

I like how Ross is platooning Contreras and that might be a blueprint go forward- split time as catcher & DH.

If the Cubs are going to spend in FA, would prefer a couple SP and a big bat. Hopefully, the Cubs have enough position players developing in the minors.
I'm really hoping Ryan Theriot isn't madrigal ceiling.
 
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CYdTracked

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Adding some quality starting pitching through free agency needs to be a priority if they are ever going to turn this thing headed in the right direction. Even with the flaws this offense that has a lot of guys that are no long term pieces they are 18th of 30 MLB teams in runs scored and 13th in batting average, 10th in OBP and 14th in OPS which has been enough they should be winning a few more games than they have or looked a little more competitive at least. But the pitching staff has given up the 5th most earned runs in all of baseball with the Royals, Rockies, Reds, and Nationals the only teams that have given up more. 6th worst WHIP in baseball too since they are 6th in most walked batters. Only good stat the pitching staff really has is they have the 9th most strikeouts. Didn't expect this team to compete for the playoffs but the pitching has been much worse than I thought it would be.

They really need to go out and get a couple top of the rotation arms I think. I think Steele and Thompson can be solid middle to back end of the rotation guys as they continue to develop but I doubt either of them will ever become a #1 or #2 guy. I think they still have a few young pieces on the bullpen that will be fine but you can't have guys like Norris and Leiter on a team that wants to hold a lead. They will have to figure out if guys like Espinoza, Swarmer, and possibly even Thompson if they are going to be starters or relievers going forward as eventually need to commit to develop them as 1 or the other role.
 

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