2020 MLB Offseason Thread

CSF77

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Indians Place Brad Hand On Outright Waivers
By Steve Adams | October 29, 2020 at 12:15pm CDT

In a rather stunning move, the Indians have placed closer Brad Hand on outright waivers, Zack Meisel of The Athletic reports (via Twitter). It’s a pure cost-cutting transaction from Cleveland, with the hope that another team places a claim on the left-hander, who has a $10MM club option on his current contract. Any club that claims Hand would be able to pick up that option and retain him for the 2021 season at that $10MM price.
Per Meisel, the Indians had planned to decline the option, which would’ve required paying a $1MM buyout. They’ll decline it if he goes unclaimed. However, Cleveland would stand to save that $1MM if another team makes a claim, which seems possible given Hand’s excellent 2020 season and generally strong track record.
Hand, 30, led the American League with 16 saves this year and posted a 22-to-4 K/BB ratio with a 2.05 ERA over the life of 22 innings. He had a few hiccups in the ninth inning early on, but Hand’s overall results fall right in line with his All-Star track record. Since being unearthed by the Padres on a waiver claim back in 2016, Hand owns a 2.70 ERA with 12.2 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and 0.87 HR/9.
Waiver priority at this juncture is based on reverse order of the league-wide standings. That’d give the Pirates, Rangers, Tigers, Red Sox, D-backs, Orioles, Nationals, Mets, Rockies and Angels first crack at Hand, in that order. Most of those clubs are rebuilding or cutting costs themselves, but it’s feasible that a team like the Red Sox, Nats, Mets or Angels could place a claim with an eye toward contending in 2021.
Frankly, revenue losses notwithstanding, it’s arguable that any club should welcome the chance to bring Hand into the fold. There’s not a team that wouldn’t be bettered by adding a pitcher of this caliber to its relief corps, and the one-year, $10MM price point would be considered a bargain under normal market circumstances.
Of course, the absence of fans in 2020 has created what most expect to be a brutal market for free agents as clubs take drastic measures to cut payroll. As such, some clubs will surely pass on claiming Hand — maybe in hopes that he’ll go unclaimed and be available on a multi-year deal at a lower annual rate — but it’s hard to imagine that a hopeful contender won’t jump at the opportunity to acquire an elite bullpen price on a one-year term.
As for the Indians, this removes doubt about the club’s offseason direction. It’s long been expected that they’ll continue last winter’s efforts to pare back payroll, although not in such egregious fashion. The move to place Hand on waivers only seems to further the likelihood that Cleveland will trade superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor, whose salary could approach or exceed $20MM in his final trip through the arbitration process. That much has looked likely since owner Paul Dolan infamously told fans to “enjoy him” a few years back, but it now feels more inevitable than ever before.
Looking more broadly at the market as a whole, it’ll be of greater concern for free agents — relievers, in particular — across the game if Hand somehow passes through waivers unclaimed. If no club is willing to take on Hand at a one-year, $10MM term (or if he survives all the way to the Dodgers, who are last in waiver priority), that will speak volumes about market expectations in the months to come.
 

CSF77

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Pretty much what I've been saying. Teams are scared and trying to cut payroll. The posibility of another season minus fans is going to wreck some teams.

Being a F/A is not going to be a happy place.
 

CSF77

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Catchers

Alex Avila (34)
Drew Butera (37)
Welington Castillo (34)
Jason Castro (34)
Robinson Chirinos (36)
Tyler Flowers (35)
Bryan Holaday (33)
Erik Kratz (41)
Sandy Leon (32)
Jeff Mathis (38)
James McCann (31)
Yadier Molina (38)
Roberto Perez (32) — $5.5MM club option with a $450K buyout
Josh Phegley (33)
Wilson Ramos (33)
J.T. Realmuto (30)
Rene Rivera (37)
Austin Romine (32)
Kurt Suzuki (37)
Stephen Vogt (36) — $3MM club option with a $500K buyout
Matt Wieters (35)
Mike Zunino (30) — $4.5MM club option for 2021

First Basemen

Matt Adams (32)
Asdrubal Cabrera (35)
C.J. Cron (31)
Derek Dietrich (31)
Todd Frazier (35)
Marwin Gonzalez (32)
Howie Kendrick (37)
Tommy La Stella (32)
Jake Lamb (30)
Mitch Moreland (35) — $3MM club option with a $500K buyout
Logan Morrison (33)
Daniel Murphy (36)
Anthony Rizzo (31) — $14.5MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Pablo Sandoval (34)
Carlos Santana (35) — $17.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Justin Smoak (34)
Eric Thames (34)
Yasmany Tomas (30)
Ryan Zimmerman (36)

Second Basemen

Daniel Descalso (34) — $3.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Logan Forsythe (34)
Freddy Galvis (31)
Leury Garcia (30) — $3.5MM club option with a $250K buyout
Marwin Gonzalez (32)
Adeiny Hechavarria (32)
Cesar Hernandez (31)
Enrique Hernandez (29)
Jason Kipnis (34)
Tommy La Stella (32)
DJ LeMahieu (32)
Jed Lowrie (37)
Chris Owings (29)
Joe Panik (30)
Jose Peraza (27)
Jurickson Profar (28)
Jonathan Schoop (29)
Dee Strange-Gordon (33)
Jonathan Villar (30)
Neil Walker (35)
Kolten Wong (30)

Shortstops

Ehire Adrianza (31)
Freddy Galvis (31)
Leury Garcia (30) — $3.5MM club option with a $250K buyout
Didi Gregorius (31)
Jose Iglesias (31) — $3.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Joe Panik (30)
J.T. Riddle (29)
Marcus Semien (30)
Andrelton Simmons (31)
Eric Sogard (35)
Jonathan Villar (30)

Third Basemen

Asdrubal Cabrera (35)
Zack Cozart (35)
Todd Frazier (35)
Marwin Gonzalez (32)
Jedd Gyorko (32) — $4.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Adeiny Hechavarria (32)
Brock Holt (33)
Tommy La Stella (32)
Jake Lamb (30)
DJ LeMahieu (32)
Brad Miller (31)
Joe Panik (30)
Eric Sogard (35)
Justin Turner (36)

Left Fielders

Michael Brantley (34)
Jay Bruce (34)
Brett Gardner (37) — $10MM club option for 2021
Dee Strange-Gordon (33) — $14MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Robbie Grossman (31)
Brock Holt (33)
Matt Joyce (36)
Nick Markakis (37)
Cameron Maybin (34)
Marcell Ozuna (30)
Joc Pederson (29)
Jurickson Profar (28)
Yasmany Tomas (30)

Center Fielders

Jackie Bradley Jr. (31)
Rusney Castillo (33)
Jarrod Dyson (36)
Brett Gardner (37) — $10MM club option with a $2.5MM buyout
Billy Hamilton (30)
Jon Jay (36)
Jake Marisnick (30)
Kevin Pillar (32)
Mallex Smith (28)
George Springer (31)
Michael A. Taylor (30)

Right Fielders

Ryan Braun (37) — $15MM mutual option with a $4MM buyout
Jay Bruce (34)
Nick Castellanos (29) — can opt out of remaining three years, $48MM
Rusney Castillo (33)
Adam Eaton (32)
Marwin Gonzalez (32)
Enrique Hernandez (29)
Jon Jay (36)
Matt Joyce (36)
Nick Markakis (37)
Cameron Maybin (34)
Joc Pederson (29)
Kevin Pillar (32)
Yasiel Puig (30)
Josh Reddick (34)
Steven Souza Jr. (32)
George Springer (31)
Giancarlo Stanton (31) — can opt out of remaining seven years, $218MM

Designated Hitters

Matt Adams (32)
Michael Brantley (34)
Ryan Braun (37) — $15MM mutual option with a $4MM buyout
Yoenis Cespedes (35)
Shin-Soo Choo (38)
Nelson Cruz (40)
Edwin Encarnacion (38) — $12MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Matt Kemp (36)
Howie Kendrick (37)
J.D. Martinez (33) — can opt out of reamining two years, $38.75MM
Brad Miller (31)
Logan Morrison (33)
Marcell Ozuna (30)
Pablo Sandoval (34)
Yasmany Tomas (30)

Starting Pitchers

Brett Anderson (33)
Chase Anderson (33) – $9.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Chris Archer (32) – $11MM club option with a $250K buyout
Jake Arrieta (35)
Homer Bailey (35)
Trevor Bauer (30)
Trevor Cahill (33)
Tyler Chatwood (31)
Anthony DeSclafani (31)
Robbie Erlin (30)
Mike Fiers (36)
Kevin Gausman (30)
Zack Godley (31)
Gio Gonzalez (35) — $7MM club option with a $500K buyout
Cole Hamels (37)
J.A. Happ (38)
Rich Hill (41)
Merrill Kelly (32) — $4.25MM club option with a $500K buyout
Corey Kluber (35) — $17.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Mike Leake (33)
Wade LeBlanc (36)
Jon Lester (37) — $25MM mutual option with a $10MM buyout
Tommy Milone (34)
Mike Minor (33)
Matt Moore (32)
Charlie Morton (37) — $15MM club option with no buyout
Jimmy Nelson (32) — $2MM club option (can become $9MM mutual option based on innings total)
Ivan Nova (34)
Jake Odorizzi (31)
James Paxton (32)
Martin Perez (30) — $6.25MM club option with a $500K buyout
Rick Porcello (32)
Jose Quintana (32)
Robbie Ray (29)
Garrett Richards (33)
Tyson Ross (34)
Jeff Samardzija (36)
Anibal Sanchez (37)
Matt Shoemaker (34)
Drew Smyly (32)
Marcus Stroman (30)
Masahiro Tanaka (32)
Julio Teheran (30)
Michael Wacha (29)
Adam Wainwright (39)
Taijuan Walker (28)
Alex Wood (30)
Jordan Zimmermann (35)

Right-Handed Relievers

Pedro Baez (33)
Anthony Bass (33)
Dellin Betances (33) — $6MM player option with a $3MM buyout
Brad Boxberger (33)
Brad Brach (35)
Jesse Chavez (37)
Steve Cishek (35) — $6.75MM club option with a $750K buyout
Tyler Clippard (36)
Alex Colome (32)
Wade Davis (35)
Chris Devenski (30)
Oliver Drake (34)
Ken Giles (30)
Shane Greene (32)
Javy Guerra (35)
Matt Harvey (32)
Liam Hendriks (32)
Yoshihisa Hirano (37)
Greg Holland (35)
Jared Hughes (35)
Tommy Hunter (34)
Jeremy Jeffress (33)
Nate Jones (35)
Keone Kela (28)
Ian Kennedy (36)
Brandon Kintzler (36) — $4MM club option with a $250K buyout
Brady Lail (27)
Matt Magill (31)
Trevor May (31)
Collin McHugh (34)
Mark Melancon (36)
Juan Nicasio (34)
Darren O’Day (38) – $3.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Brad Peacock (33)
Yusmeiro Petit (36)
David Phelps (34) — $4.5MM club option with a $250K buyout
Erasmo Ramirez (31)
AJ Ramos (34)
David Robertson (36) — $12MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Sergio Romo (38)
Hector Rondon (33)
Trevor Rosenthal (31)
Joakim Soria (37)
Pedro Strop (36)
Tyler Thornburg (32)
Josh Tomlin (36)
Blake Treinen (33)
Nick Vincent (34)
Edinson Volquez (37)
Brandon Workman (32)
Kirby Yates (34)

Left-Handed Relievers

Jose Alvarez (32)
Luis Avilan (31)
Andrew Chafin (31)
Ross Detwiler (35)
Sean Doolittle (34)
Brad Hand (31) — $10MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Derek Holland (34)
Mike Kickham (32)
Aaron Loup (33)
T.J. McFarland (32)
Jake McGee (34)
Oliver Perez (39)
Nick Ramirez (31)
Tony Watson (36)
Justin Wilson (33)
 

knoxville7

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LaMahieu, Hand, Jeffress, Bauer, and Pillar(if they want to trade Schwarber and move Happ to LF) should be looked into on that list IMO.

id also consider Brantley if the DH is staying
 

CSF77

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LaMahieu, Hand, Jeffress, Bauer, and Pillar(if they want to trade Schwarber and move Happ to LF) should be looked into on that list IMO.

id also consider Brantley if the DH is staying
2020 was unique. any further changes including 7 inning DH and starting a runner on 2B will be part of the next CBA. Personally I loved all parts of it. 14 inning games suck.

I see the Cubs in the same boat as most teams and trying to run cheaper. The only 2 guys I see getting traded is Schwarber and Bryant. The goal would be adding SP depth and contact hitting.

Hand is a interesting case because they could pick him and then have a A+ set up for Kimbrel. I'm not sure if he last that long but I wouldn't let him get by me.

They are not going to pay a 35 mil 1 year deal. Like ever so Bauer is out.

I'm pretty sure if they go external for CF it would be Bradley Jr. There is a connection there.
 

beckdawg

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Pretty much what I've been saying. Teams are scared and trying to cut payroll. The posibility of another season minus fans is going to wreck some teams.

Being a F/A is not going to be a happy place.
I think it's a bit premature to make that comment. You're talking about the Indians who have long been a team that cuts payroll. They traded Kluber prior to this past season before any of the covid stuff was known.
 

knoxville7

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2020 was unique. any further changes including 7 inning DH and starting a runner on 2B will be part of the next CBA. Personally I loved all parts of it. 14 inning games suck.

I see the Cubs in the same boat as most teams and trying to run cheaper. The only 2 guys I see getting traded is Schwarber and Bryant. The goal would be adding SP depth and contact hitting.

Hand is a interesting case because they could pick him and then have a A+ set up for Kimbrel. I'm not sure if he last that long but I wouldn't let him get by me.

They are not going to pay a 35 mil 1 year deal. Like ever so Bauer is out.

I'm pretty sure if they go external for CF it would be Bradley Jr. There is a connection there.
If they trade Bryant and schwarber...that would basically be the money freed up to equal 35 million to pay Bauer for the 1 year deal. I actually love the fact Bauer wants just a 1 year deal. Sure, 35 mil is a lot...but there’s no long term commitment. The only issue would be draft pick compensation for signing him I assume. A rotation of Yu, Hendricks, and Bauer would be elite. That said, I agree Bauer is more of a want than a need at this point
 

CSF77

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If they trade Bryant and schwarber...that would basically be the money freed up to equal 35 million to pay Bauer for the 1 year deal. I actually love the fact Bauer wants just a 1 year deal. Sure, 35 mil is a lot...but there’s no long term commitment. The only issue would be draft pick compensation for signing him I assume. A rotation of Yu, Hendricks, and Bauer would be elite. That said, I agree Bauer is more of a want than a need at this point
19 for Bryant
8 for Schwarber that is their expected.

That is 8 mil short and a team losing 40+ HR's next year.

There was a reason why Bauer was 100% unlikely. He most likely will go to Atl because they are up and coming and they need a ace quality counterpart. ChC have never been big time players on payroll towards 1 player.

I just see Theo shopping Bryant, Schwarber around. See if he gets a return to his likening. If not sit on it til the deadline.

What we have to understand is they are currently under tax. That will be the goal this year. Not off loading contract to get under.

The way I see it is they were good enough to win the Div as is. They are losing 2 pitchers who did not factor. The set up did but Kimbrel started to turn it around. So that need is covered.


The Cubs have declined left-hander Jon Lesters $25MM option for 2021 in favor of a $10MM buyout, the team announced. The accomplished hurler is set to reach free agency for the first time since the 2014-15 offseason. However, the two sides appear willing to stick together on a less expensive pact, as Lester confirmed Friday on MLB Network Radio.

Lester revealed that contract talks haven’t occurred yet, but he added, “The feeling is mutual on both sides that we want to try to get something done.”

Lester anticipates a slow offseason because of the pandemic and doesn’t expect to sign imminently, but he’s sure to garner interest from other teams if the Cubs don’t make an earnest effort to bring him back. While Lester will turn 37 in January and is no longer his five-time All-Star self, he remains an immensely respected starter and someone capable of eating innings at the back end of a team’s rotation. Lester amassed no fewer than 171 2/3 innings in any season from 2008-19 and is now coming off a year in which he recorded 12 starts and 61 frames. On the downside, though, he registered career worsts in ERA (5.16), FIP (5.14) and strikeouts per nine (6.2).

Should he return to the Cubs on a buy-low contract, he’d continue to follow Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks in their rotation. At the moment, however, there isn’t much certainty after Darvish and Hendricks. Alec Mills joined Lester in posting subpar run prevention numbers in 2020, though Adbert Alzolay did pitch well over a small sample of work.



This is pretty much going to be the rotation

Yu
Hendricks
Lester
Mills
Alzolay

We need to get used to this reality. They have a ace in the making in Marquez and they are going to not rush him in a transition season.



This is the thing. There is nothing to justify spending on Bauer or trading for Lindor. I do not see winning as the top goal this year. The goal is transition and they win great.
 

knoxville7

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19 for Bryant
8 for Schwarber that is their expected.

That is 8 mil short and a team losing 40+ HR's next year.

There was a reason why Bauer was 100% unlikely. He most likely will go to Atl because they are up and coming and they need a ace quality counterpart. ChC have never been big time players on payroll towards 1 player.

I just see Theo shopping Bryant, Schwarber around. See if he gets a return to his likening. If not sit on it til the deadline.

What we have to understand is they are currently under tax. That will be the goal this year. Not off loading contract to get under.

The way I see it is they were good enough to win the Div as is. They are losing 2 pitchers who did not factor. The set up did but Kimbrel started to turn it around. So that need is covered.


The Cubs have declined left-hander Jon Lesters $25MM option for 2021 in favor of a $10MM buyout, the team announced. The accomplished hurler is set to reach free agency for the first time since the 2014-15 offseason. However, the two sides appear willing to stick together on a less expensive pact, as Lester confirmed Friday on MLB Network Radio.

Lester revealed that contract talks haven’t occurred yet, but he added, “The feeling is mutual on both sides that we want to try to get something done.”

Lester anticipates a slow offseason because of the pandemic and doesn’t expect to sign imminently, but he’s sure to garner interest from other teams if the Cubs don’t make an earnest effort to bring him back. While Lester will turn 37 in January and is no longer his five-time All-Star self, he remains an immensely respected starter and someone capable of eating innings at the back end of a team’s rotation. Lester amassed no fewer than 171 2/3 innings in any season from 2008-19 and is now coming off a year in which he recorded 12 starts and 61 frames. On the downside, though, he registered career worsts in ERA (5.16), FIP (5.14) and strikeouts per nine (6.2).

Should he return to the Cubs on a buy-low contract, he’d continue to follow Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks in their rotation. At the moment, however, there isn’t much certainty after Darvish and Hendricks. Alec Mills joined Lester in posting subpar run prevention numbers in 2020, though Adbert Alzolay did pitch well over a small sample of work.



This is pretty much going to be the rotation

Yu
Hendricks
Lester
Mills
Alzolay

We need to get used to this reality. They have a ace in the making in Marquez and they are going to not rush him in a transition season.



This is the thing. There is nothing to justify spending on Bauer or trading for Lindor. I do not see winning as the top goal this year. The goal is transition and they win great.
im not saying they will do it, I’m saying he’s one of the guys I’d be interested in on a 1 year deal. Plus, the 19 for Bryant and 8 for schwarber is 2020 numbers? So, after another year of arb, those numbers are likely to go up. Either way, I wasn’t saying it was an exact dollar for dollar match...just that it gets you the majority of the way. Plus, if I recall...Bauer is a huge darvish fan. So, if the money is all equal, I could see him choosing the cubs.

also, last I checked the World Series isn’t given based on number of homeruns you hit. The cubs need a couple actual hitters in their lineup, so seeing those 40+ homers go away isn’t so bad when you take into account the rest of their numbers being so shitty.

bryant is an easy in house replacement with bote. Not saying bote is Bryant level talent, just that he is an affordable in house option that is serviceable

schwarber isnt missed all that much with his lack of situational hitting. And tbh I could see the cubs deciding to pop Contreras in LF some and playing a lot of caratini behind the plate, or moving Happ to LF if they sign a CF like Bradley or pillar
 

Castor76

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2020 was unique. any further changes including 7 inning DH and starting a runner on 2B will be part of the next CBA. Personally I loved all parts of it. 14 inning games suck.

I see the Cubs in the same boat as most teams and trying to run cheaper. The only 2 guys I see getting traded is Schwarber and Bryant. The goal would be adding SP depth and contact hitting.

Hand is a interesting case because they could pick him and then have a A+ set up for Kimbrel. I'm not sure if he last that long but I wouldn't let him get by me.

They are not going to pay a 35 mil 1 year deal. Like ever so Bauer is out.

I'm pretty sure if they go external for CF it would be Bradley Jr. There is a connection there.
I see the NL DH being almost a slam dunk.

I think the runner starting on 2nf base in extras has a decent chance, especially if they tweak it and only go to that in the 11th or 12th inning giving one or two more innings or traditional ball.

7 inning Double Headers would probably be like this season and used for make up dates.

JMO
 

CSF77

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im not saying they will do it, I’m saying he’s one of the guys I’d be interested in on a 1 year deal. Plus, the 19 for Bryant and 8 for schwarber is 2020 numbers? So, after another year of arb, those numbers are likely to go up. Either way, I wasn’t saying it was an exact dollar for dollar match...just that it gets you the majority of the way. Plus, if I recall...Bauer is a huge darvish fan. So, if the money is all equal, I could see him choosing the cubs.

also, last I checked the World Series isn’t given based on number of homeruns you hit. The cubs need a couple actual hitters in their lineup, so seeing those 40+ homers go away isn’t so bad when you take into account the rest of their numbers being so shitty.

bryant is an easy in house replacement with bote. Not saying bote is Bryant level talent, just that he is an affordable in house option that is serviceable

schwarber isnt missed all that much with his lack of situational hitting. And tbh I could see the cubs deciding to pop Contreras in LF some and playing a lot of caratini behind the plate, or moving Happ to LF if they sign a CF like Bradley or pillar

I was giving Schwarber/Bryant 60 as a avg.
Almora/Bote 20 as a avg

That is 40+ HR lost per year. Or a guaranteed 40 Runs per year lost.

With the current line up build that is a net loss in runs and Bauer would not sign to a anemic team. He is a free agent and has said that he will only sign with teams that he feels can get him a ring that year. IE built to win vs in transition.

The topic is pointless.

I hate it when Cubs fans think that the top F/A will just sign here when NYY and Atl have better chances to nail him.
 

CSF77

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I see the NL DH being almost a slam dunk.

I think the runner starting on 2nf base in extras has a decent chance, especially if they tweak it and only go to that in the 11th or 12th inning giving one or two more innings or traditional ball.

7 inning Double Headers would probably be like this season and used for make up dates.

JMO

The most recent Agreement was finalized on November 30, 2016 and will last until December 1, 2021

You have a year to wait. No DH in 2021.
 

CSF77

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Team right now:

Happ CF
Bryant 3B
Rizzo 1B
Contreras C
Heyward RF
Baez SS
Schwarber LF
Hoerner 2B

The main problem out side of expiring contract was all but 2 had a career worst year. Sledge the Assistant Hitting Coach was canned over it. Iapoce was not. Now I personally believe it has to do with structure of the org. Iapoce and Hottovy are metrics guys.

Borzello Chicago Cubs: Appreciating Mike Borzello and his secret scouting reports Is the hands on guy for the pitchers and catchers. Sledge was fired which means he was the hands on guy for the hitters and that failed as a unit.

So this new hire kinda means something. I wouldn't be shocked if Napoli gets moved up from QA coach So, Dave Roberts, what’s a quality assurance coach? but they could go out of the box and target Manny.

So in house they get what they have back to their career avg this team can still be a force to recon with.
 
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CSF77

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  • The Cubs announced that they have claimed infielder Max Schrock via waivers from the rival Cardinals. Chicago also outrighted lefty Rex Brothers to Triple-A Iowa. Schrock picked up just 17 plate appearances for St. Louis in 2020 and collected three hits (two singles and a homer). Brothers, 32, threw only 3.1 innings with the Cubs and allowed three earned runs.
 

CSF77

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Pirates Decline Option On Chris Archer
By TC Zencka | October 31, 2020 at 8:33pm CDT

The Pittsburgh Pirates declined their $11M option on Chris Archer, making the right-hander a free agent, per Jason Mackey of PGSportsNow (via Twitter).
The 32-year-old’s last big-league action came in 2019 when he went 3-9 with a 5.19 ERA/5.02 FIP in 119 2/3 innings over 23 starts with 10.8 K/9 to 4.1 BB/9. The Pirates hoped Archer could anchor their rotation, but a 0.8 rWAR season wasn’t enough to make an substantive impact for the Buccos.
Declining Archer’s option likely means the end of a disappointing era in Pittsburgh. Much was heaped onto Archer’s shoulders after being acquired from the Rays for soon-to-be stars Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, and prospect Shane Baz. The 2018 deadline deal was doomed from the start, as Glasnow by himself arguably outperformed Archer down the stretch in that season alone with 0.6 rWAR to Archer’s 0.5 rWAR. Add in the years of control the Rays have for Glasnow, Meadows, and Baz (who has yet to debut) – not to mention Glasnow and Meadows critical role in helping the Rays to win the 2020 AL pennant – and the Pirates overpay for Archer couldn’t be more clear.
Even without the added expectations of the trade, it’s difficult to view Archer’s time with the Pirates as anything but a disappointment. He’ll finish with a 6-12 record with a 4.62 ERA in 172 innings across 33 starts.
All that said, there’s hope for Archer’s future. In all likelihood, he’s looking at a short-term contract to prove himself, but he will definitley be an arm to watch as a potential rebound candidate, as MLBTR’s own Steve Adams wrote about in March. Over his 8-year career with the Rays and Pirates, the former Indians and Cubs farmhand owns a 68-80 record with a 3.86 ERA over 1,235 innings.
 

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Mets To Extend Qualifying Offer To Marcus Stroman
By TC Zencka | October 31, 2020 at 4:10pm CDT

The Mets plan on extending a qualifying offer to starting pitcher Marcus Stroman before tomorrow’s deadline, per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo (via Twitter). The move does not come as a particular surprise, despite Stroman opting out of 2020. Some mystery remained, however, as the revenue losses around the game already made for some surprising cost-cutting decisions.
With that in mind, Stroman could consider accepting the $18.9MM offer, play one more year in New York, and return unencumbered to what should be at least a marginally more favorable free agent ecosystem after 2021. Under traditional circumstances, Stroman should have no problem finding a multi-year deal on the open market, but there’s more uncertainty than ever. Still, Stroman is among the very best free agent starters available, should he decline the qualifying offer and test the open waters. He is represented by Klutch Sports.
The Mets would likely welcome him back, especially with Noah Syndergaard to miss the beginning of the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Stroman made 11 starts down the stretch after GM Brodie Van Wagenen traded for him on July 28, 2019. Stroman was a long-rumored trade candidate with the Blue Jays, but the Mets emerged somewhat surprisingly as his ultimate destination despite being at the very fringes of contention at the time. Stroman was unable to move the needle even while going 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA/4.15 FIP in 59 2/3 innings with 9.1 K/8 to 3.5 BB/9. The Mets gave up two pretty good pitching prospects in Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson for those 11 starts from Stroman, though at the time, of course, the Mets expected to get a full 2020 from Stroman as well. He ultimately opted out of the 2020 season.
Throughout his career with the Mets and Blue Jays, the 5’7″ right-hander has a 51-47 record across 146 appearances (140 starts) totaling 849 1/3 innings with a 3.76 ERA/3.64 FIP and 7.36 K/9, 2.59 BB/9, and 59.6 GB%. He went 1-1 with a 4.40 ERA/4.15 FIP in 5 playoff starts with the Jays between 2015 and 2016, including a 6-inning, 2 earned run no-decision in a deciding game 5 ALDS win over the Rangers in 2015.
 

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Cubs Decline Daniel Descalso’s Option
By Mark Polishuk | October 31, 2020 at 1:37pm CDT

The Cubs have declined their $3.5MM club option on infielder Daniel Descalso for the 2021 season, the team announced. Descalso will instead receive a $1MM buyout and head into free agency.
Descalso was inked to a two-year, $5MM contract in December 2018 with the expectation that he would provide Chicago with multi-positional depth and some of the left-handed hitting pop he displayed with the Diamondbacks during the 2018 season. Unfortunately for the Cubs, Descalso hit only .173/.271/.250 over 194 plate appearances in 2019 and missed all of 2020 recovering due to an ankle injury.
A veteran of 10 big league seasons, the 34-year-old Descalso will surely have to settle for a minor league contract if he catches on with another team this winter. A career .235/.320/.362 hitter over 2893 career PA with the Cubs, D’Backs, Rockies, and Cardinals, Descalso has played mostly second base and third base in recent years, with some other experience as a first baseman, shortstop, and left fielder on his resume.
 

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