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  1. #1
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    Default Offseason discussion/rumors

    -Fowler has already commented he is going to be a FA. Cubs surely QO him. Depending on price he could in theory be brought back but my working assumption right now would be a bit of a out field rotation of Schwarber/Heyward/Zobrist usually mixed in with Almora occasionally where needed. Given how joe played baez during the season I have to believe he's the starting 2B unless he pulls Baez over to third more and plays Bryant in RF.

    -I expect the cubs will pick up Hammel's option and try to deal him. Team seem to sour on him a bit at the end of the season. He's not going to bring anything huge in return but you might be able to get a team needing a cheap starter in a weak FA market to give up a fringe top 100 player for him. I'd imagine at this point they would consider giving Zastryzny a shot at the #5 slot with the possibility of trying to acquire an impact starter.

    -Bullpen seems like the clearest area of improvement the cubs need. Wood is a FA as is Chapman.

    Free Agents
    Chapman
    Wood
    Fowler(presumably)
    Joe Smith
    Coghlan
    Cahill
    Ross

    Arbitration
    Arrieta - final year
    Strop - final year
    Rondon - second to last year
    Grimm - 3 more years
    Kawasaki - 3 more years

    Also of note, cubs are no longer paying Edwin Jackson so that's another $12.5 mil off the books. Excluding arbitration cases here's the breakdown of the non-rookie wage deals

    Heyward - $28.167 mil
    Lester - $25 mil
    Zobrist - $16.5 mil
    Lackey - $16 mil(last year)
    Montero - $14 mil(last year)
    Hammel - $10 mil(assuming they pick up his last option year)
    Rizzo - $7.286 mil
    Soler - $3.667 mil

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  3. #2
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    Default Offseason discussion/rumors

    If they did bring in a CF you would think it would have to be one good at the plate, hard to find so Heyward/Almora at CF probably make sense. Great bats from the LF and RF with Zobrist and Schwarber, how good is Zobrist defensively in right? Where does Soler fit in?

    Given what the FO saw in the postseason you would think they are looking for upgrades in the pen...

    Also can't remember who said it but there was some thinking that Montgommery would be tried as a starter next year?


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  4. #3
    Senior Member DanTown's Avatar
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    My assumption for the 25 man roster

    C
    Miguel Montero, Wilson Contreras, Chris Iannetta
    IF
    Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Javier Baez, Addison Russell, Jeimer Candelario
    OF
    Jason Heyward, Albert Almora, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler, Matt Szczur
    SP
    Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lackey, Jason Hammel
    RP
    Mike Montgomery (LHP), Boone Logan (LHP), Carl Edwards Jr, Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon, Justin Grimm, Pierce Johnson

    Lineup most days against RHP/LHP

    RHP
    Zobrist - 2B
    Schwarber - LF
    Bryant - 3B
    Rizzo - 1B
    Russell - SS
    Soler - RF
    Heyward - CF
    Contreras/Montero - C

    LHP
    Zobrist - 3B
    Bryant - LF
    Rizzo - 1B
    Russell - SS
    Soler - RF
    Baez - 2B
    Contreras - C
    P
    Almora - CF

    There are three predictions I want to make

    1. Ben Zobrist will play primarily in the IF next season
    There has been a lot of proclamations about Baez being a regular 2B next year and I simply don't see that as true due to Zobrist. As it stands, Zobrist is their lead-off hitter most days (you will see him get a lot of days off against righties as he simply doesn't slash that great compared to lefties and maybe Schwarber is the new leadoff guy with the pitcher in the eight spot). I think the Cubs in the post-season might play Zobrist in the OF a lot to get Baez and his defense in there but I just can't see them putting that kind of wear on Zobrist's legs.
    2. Mike Montgomery will become the new Travis Wood
    I don't know what the FA market for Travis will be but he just made 5.5 million this season so maybe some team wants him to be a 3-4 arm in the bullpen or maybe some team wants to get him as a starter. Either way, I think he's priced out of the Cubs and I think that means the Cubs have a need for lefties. We've also seen a lot of "Montgomery will start" chatter but I don't think he's there yet. I think the Cubs/Bosio have some work to do with his delivery and refining his accuracy in the zone because he's still prone to walks. And to be honest, the Cubs can always stretch him out as a starter in the future (and likely will in 2018) but next year he solves a problem of what to do from the left side.
    3. The largest contract this winter will go to Addison Russell
    The Cubs and Theo have identified young hitters and tried to give them extensions for team friendly deals. It's unlikely they could get Bryant to accept a buyout of his FA years because KB could be looking at so much money but Russell is a decent candidate. He's super young (so a deal buying out his years won't be too crazy) and you could do something like 7/65 (2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 16) and he can get that guaranteed money. 7 years buys out 2 of his FA years and he would hit the FA market at age 30. You also wonder if after the Jose Fernandez incident if some of the younger guys who are in Russell's class of player take that guarantee because you simply never know.

  5. #4
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    Soler will not be with the Cubs next season

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omeletpants View Post
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    Soler will not be with the Cubs next season
    You might be right


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  7. #6
    Senior Member SilenceS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beckdawg View Post
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    -Fowler has already commented he is going to be a FA. Cubs surely QO him. Depending on price he could in theory be brought back but my working assumption right now would be a bit of a out field rotation of Schwarber/Heyward/Zobrist usually mixed in with Almora occasionally where needed. Given how joe played baez during the season I have to believe he's the starting 2B unless he pulls Baez over to third more and plays Bryant in RF.

    -I expect the cubs will pick up Hammel's option and try to deal him. Team seem to sour on him a bit at the end of the season. He's not going to bring anything huge in return but you might be able to get a team needing a cheap starter in a weak FA market to give up a fringe top 100 player for him. I'd imagine at this point they would consider giving Zastryzny a shot at the #5 slot with the possibility of trying to acquire an impact starter.

    -Bullpen seems like the clearest area of improvement the cubs need. Wood is a FA as is Chapman.

    Free Agents
    Chapman
    Wood
    Fowler(presumably)
    Joe Smith
    Coghlan
    Cahill
    Ross

    Arbitration
    Arrieta - final year
    Strop - final year
    Rondon - second to last year
    Grimm - 3 more years
    Kawasaki - 3 more years

    Also of note, cubs are no longer paying Edwin Jackson so that's another $12.5 mil off the books. Excluding arbitration cases here's the breakdown of the non-rookie wage deals

    Heyward - $28.167 mil
    Lester - $25 mil
    Zobrist - $16.5 mil
    Lackey - $16 mil(last year)
    Montero - $14 mil(last year)
    Hammel - $10 mil(assuming they pick up his last option year)
    Rizzo - $7.286 mil
    Soler - $3.667 mil
    I dont think the Cubs are QO Fowler. I remember it being part of the deal or something. Just looked it up and I am right. Part of the deal was the Cubs wouldnt put a QF on Fowler so he could be a FA clear. The QO is what hurt him last year.

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  9. #7
    CCS Donator Spunky Porkstacker's Avatar
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    Schwarber in an interview this week on Chicago sports radio said the plan for him to work at catcher is very much alive and his knee won't be a problem. I have doubts, he ever plays there. Just let him work at lf in spring training to acclimate.

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    Schwarber has to catch a game or two a week to keep more bats in the lineup. Hammel was ready to make him his personal caddy last year before he got hurt. I doubt Hammel will be here though. Alot of team options have already been taken. It surprised me with Fowler last year, mainly because the cubs overpaid for Heyward to take over center field and it really threw the outfield in a funk. I seriously just see Fowler as a way to bench Schwarber or Soler. The majority say Soler sucks, but he has a cannon for an arm, showed it in the world series, and needs to see pitches regularly. Time off is ruining Soler, so if he moves and is an every day player, we will be seeing moonshots on sportscenter and wish he was here. He was always good enough for right field until Heyward got here and unless the plan is to move Kris Bryant to right field, it makes no sense to move him.

    They really need to jump on getting Jake signed. This might be the worst year he pitched in a while, even though he will still get cy young votes. There is a reason Baltimore bans their pitchers from throwing cutters, the opposite arm twist is what shortens careers.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spunky Porkstacker View Post
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    Schwarber in an interview this week on Chicago sports radio said the plan for him to work at catcher is very much alive and his knee won't be a problem. I have doubts, he ever plays there. Just let him work at lf in spring training to acclimate.
    I quoted a doctor some time back that said tearing his ACL would have no affect on his catching. The doctor said the first year would be a little uncomfortable being in the position and getting the feel again, but by year 2. It would be like before he tore his ACL. He said there isnt anymore risk to him than it was before the injury.
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    CCS Donator Spunky Porkstacker's Avatar
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    The only doubts I have about him playing catcher have nothing to do with his knee. I just have concerns about how well he plays the position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spunky Porkstacker View Post
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    The only doubts I have about him playing catcher have nothing to do with his knee. I just have concerns about how well he plays the position.
    He isnt bad at throwing out runners. I would assume they would have him catch an athletic pitcher. Lets put it this way, Montero really fell off this year and we still caught him about half the year. Keeping his bat in the lineup would probably out weigh any kind of "bad"catching considering he is going to be put in good situations. I would guess the Cubs would carry Contreras, another catcher, and have Schwarber as the third C.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omeletpants View Post
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    Soler will not be with the Cubs next season
    I've said previously they can try to package him with Hammel or Arrieta, if they can't resign Jake.
    Quote from Omeletpants for WSG3 - "Neither Soler nor Heyward would get a hit so I would go for the defense in Heyward"
    Fact: Soler went 2-3 with a triple.


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  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spunky Porkstacker View Post
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    The only doubts I have about him playing catcher have nothing to do with his knee. I just have concerns about how well he plays the position.
    I don't have any doubts he can catch.
    Quote from Omeletpants for WSG3 - "Neither Soler nor Heyward would get a hit so I would go for the defense in Heyward"
    Fact: Soler went 2-3 with a triple.


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    Quote Originally Posted by SilenceS View Post
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    ...I would guess the Cubs would carry Contreras, another catcher, and have Schwarber as the third C.
    That's mine, as well.
    Quote from Omeletpants for WSG3 - "Neither Soler nor Heyward would get a hit so I would go for the defense in Heyward"
    Fact: Soler went 2-3 with a triple.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Parade_Rain View Post
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    I don't have any doubts he can catch.
    Does he have a big enough body of work to tell whether or not he'll have a sharp enough arm to keep teams from running on him.

  19. #16
    Senior Member Diehardfan's Avatar
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    A lot of people are writing off Hammel for next season. The guy won 15 games with an ERA under 4. Most teams would be elated to have a #5 win 10. He's an affordable piece of the puzzle and I doubt he's going anywhere. As for Soler...he will also stay until he can build up his trade value. He won't bring much back in return as it stands right now...it would be dumb to give him away.

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  21. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diehardfan View Post
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    A lot of people are writing off Hammel for next season. The guy won 15 games with an ERA under 4. Most teams would be elated to have a #5 win 10. He's an affordable piece of the puzzle and I doubt he's going anywhere. As for Soler...he will also stay until he can build up his trade value. He won't bring much back in return as it stands right now...it would be dumb to give him away.
    How is he going to build up value sitting on the bench?
    Quote from Omeletpants for WSG3 - "Neither Soler nor Heyward would get a hit so I would go for the defense in Heyward"
    Fact: Soler went 2-3 with a triple.


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  23. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spunky Porkstacker View Post
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    Does he have a big enough body of work to tell whether or not he'll have a sharp enough arm to keep teams from running on him.
    The issue with Kyle is his framing and game calling. If that improves, as it should, then we can discuss pop times being a problem, but I don't recall his arm being an issue that would stop him from being a backup catcher for Contreras.
    Quote from Omeletpants for WSG3 - "Neither Soler nor Heyward would get a hit so I would go for the defense in Heyward"
    Fact: Soler went 2-3 with a triple.


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  24. #19
    Formerly known as 85Bears 85Bears's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omeletpants View Post
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    Soler will not be with the Cubs next season
    I agree with this.

    Also think they might try to make Montgomery a starter over Zastryzny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 85Bears View Post
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    I agree with this.

    Also think they might try to make Montgomery a starter over Zastryzny.
    Zastryzny is a AAAA-type or a long reliever and apparently Maddon has already told people that Montogmery will be in the rotation next year.

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