Rebuild or Retool or Neither?

Steve_A

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Want to hear all your ideas on what the Cubs are doing and what they should do going forward.

1 Is this a rebuild / retool or neither?

2 If it's a rebuild shouldn't they tear everything down?

3 Rizzo / Hendricks / Heyward / Kimbrel aren't spring chickens either, shouldn't they just fire sale these guys away as well?

4 We saw a trade with the Padres but do you see any other possible trade partners?
 

Castor76

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I would say it's a rebuild.

I would say they will tear most if not all of it down.

Other than Hendricks, you have to have teams that need players at those positions or, with Kimbrel, a little more time to prove the worth. The Cubs will also need to assess what to target in future trades.

Possible Trade Partners - Boston, either NY, Minny, and the Angels might be in the market for Rizzo at 1B. He's experienced for a contending team that might not have a guy otherwise while still good with stick and glove. Always a market for pitching with whomever is contending. No idea on Heyward.
 

Steve_A

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I would say it's a rebuild.

I would say they will tear most if not all of it down.

Other than Hendricks, you have to have teams that need players at those positions or, with Kimbrel, a little more time to prove the worth. The Cubs will also need to assess what to target in future trades.

Possible Trade Partners - Boston, either NY, Minny, and the Angels might be in the market for Rizzo at 1B. He's experienced for a contending team that might not have a guy otherwise while still good with stick and glove. Always a market for pitching with whomever is contending. No idea on Heyward.
Read your reply and made me wonder if Jed's 5 years is enough for a rebuild.
I think most fans would agree that this team

1 Can 't develop pitching at all.
(Kinda what makes the Darvish trade sting more than anything else)

2 Don't have great position prospects like they once did.

So I think it might take a bit longer to rebuild this team up.
What probably will make the tanking even harder is the fact that the Pirates and Reds also trying to tank now as well.

Any who thanks for the reply and looking forward to seeing how others feel about the topic as well.
 

CSF77

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You really have to look at the market and their current situation and what next year's financial situation and potential pitching and hitting F/A.

Right now they are projected at 134M. That is as low as it has been in a long while.
What are they losing: Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, Davies
What are they adding: Marquez, Davis, Alozay
Who is caring over: Contreras, Happ, Heyward, Hendricks, Kimbrel

So we are really talking about 2022 here. Heyward: 23M, Hendricks 13.875M, Bote: 3M, Kimbrel is on a opt. That is it.
If they decide to retain all they are on the hook for 58M plus some arb cases.

On the arb cases I would use this new flex to extend Happ and Contreras. The rest of the arb cases I would ass can.

2022 they would have locked in:

LF: Happ
CF: Davis
RF: Heyward
3B: Bote
SS: open
2B: Hoerner
1B: Amaya/Contreras
C: Amaya/Contreras

SP
Hendricks
Marquez
Alozay

So The need is clear. I could see the Cubs going into F/A that year locking up Contreras and Happ. Then the would be sitting around 100M with Lindor as their main target and a bunch of payroll flex to toss at him. The pen should be self sustained.

They will need at least 1 SP. Noah Syndergaard (29) would be on the market at this point. Jon Gray (30) might be more attainable. This is where you really want to have a strong pitching training and development in place as most top F/A pitchers are looking at teams with strong facilities and methodologies. I believe the Cubs are progressing in that direction but targeting a GM that has a strong history would go far in attracting guys like this.

So I do not believe that this is a overhaul. If Jed was selling Contreras then yes. As noted above even losing all 3 is not a death sentence. The biggest loss in production would be 3B but they would have to get that back elsewhere.

A simple fix

Davis
Lindor
Happ
Contreras
Heyward
Bote
Hoerner
Amaya.

As long as the team can manufacture runs and the pitching is solid I see this team competitive.

Now if Arenado opts out then I would add him also. Thor would cost 25 AAV, Nolan 25 AAV, Lindor 30 AAV. That would put payroll back up to 180 and this team looks the part of a contender.
 

CSF77

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I think this is fair.



Since Jed Hoyer joined the Cubs in 2011, he and Theo Epstein have had a policy of always listening to trade inquiries that may come their way.

“I’m not in the business of talking about untouchables,” Hoyer said Wednesday. “I think that’s a mistake.”

But while he’ll answer phone calls or texts from other front offices about his players, that doesn’t mean he’s close to shipping any players, particularly star catcher Willson Contreras. Reports emerged Tuesday afternoon that the Cubs were “extensively shopping” Contreras on the heels of trading Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini.

Hoyer quickly dismissed that report, though.

“The reports yesterday,” Hoyer paused and chuckled, “fictional. There’s no other way to say it.”

Since he debuted in 2016, Contreras ranks 7th among all catchers in WAR, per Fangraphs.

“He’s one of the top handful of catchers in baseball,” Hoyer said. “We control him for two more years. Catching is a strength of this team as a result of having him on the roster.”

In a way, that’s what made trading Caratini a bit easier to accept. Contreras being an elite option at a premium position put the Cubs to trade from a position of strength. While losing Caratini might seem tough, Hoyer is content with Contreras at the top of the catching corps and looking for someone to fill that backup catching role to add depth.

That solution could mean a free agent or a veteran like Josh Phegley, who spent time with the Cubs in 2020. The answer likely won’t be their top catching prospect Miguel Amaya, though.

While Amaya spent the 2020 season at the Cubs’ alternate site in South Bend and is having a strong performance in the Puerto Rican Winter Leagues (.261/.514/.609 slash line with 2 home runs and 11 RBIs for Criollos de Caguas), he hasn’t played above High-A ball.

“Amaya, I don’t see him as an option, certainly to start the season,” Hoyer said. “Excited about how he’s playing in Winter Ball and he’s a great prospect, but, no, he’s not someone that we’re penciling in.”
 

CSF77

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Now he did say (start of the season). We could see him in Aug/Sept. Phegley felt right when I looked over F/A earlier. There is a connect already so all it means is more pa for Wilson.
 

Steve_A

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2022 they would have locked in:

LF: Happ
CF: Davis
RF: Heyward
3B: Bote
SS: open
2B: Hoerner
1B: Amaya/Contreras
C: Amaya/Contreras

SP
Hendricks
Marquez
Alozay
I usually agree to a certain degree on what you say but not at all on your 2022 projection.

Aging Heyward and a couple of okay hitters is not worth a complete tear down.
Bote / Hoerner / Amaya aren't Dodgers or Padres beating material.
Marquez is no given to be an excellent with a 1.3 something whip all the time in single A.
I don't see what people see in Alozay because he's a constant 4 era guy in triple A.

Adding two bats (Nolan and Lindor who will be aging as well) to this mix ain't a world series contender to me.

■Lastly
Why on earth should we believe anything the execs say right now when the initial message was

We have no intentions of tearing anything down?
 
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CSF77

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I usually agree to a certain degree on what you say but not at all on your 2022 projection.

Aging Heyward and a couple of okay hitters is not worth a complete tear down.
Bote / Hoerner / Amaya aren't Dodgers or Padres beating material.
Marquez is no given to be an excellent with a 1.3 something whip all the time in single A.
I don't see what people see in Alozay because he's a constant 4 era in triple A.

Adding two bats (Nolan and Lindor who will be aging as well) to this mix ain't a world series contender to me.

■Lastly
Why on earth should we believe anything the execs say right now when the initial message was

We have no intentions of tearing anything down?

This is the world of best case.

Heyward is under contract and no trade. Not even a talking point. But seeing how he turned a corner this year. Again non issue.

Alozay is based off of potential and raw stuff. You have to see what you have with him. The main takeaway is he improved 2019-2020 as a Cub. AAA don't matter.

Mills is more of a issue with Hendricks and Davies also being high 80 MPH pitchers. The staff will NEED velocity.

Noland and Lindor are GG quality. My plan is to use C/1B as a pivot. No need to injure a catcher with a live arm that misses the mark frequently. So glove work is the main factor. Age Lindor is 28 when he hits F)A. You make it sound like he is a grandpa.

Marquez is a reach. I expect Iowa with Amaya and they promote together and work exclusively with each other at both levels. 2022 they would have a year working together and 2 months as a Cub.


Now I never said win a WS. I said a playoff calaber team.

Hendricks
Thor
Marquez
Alozay
Abbott (I believe that he beats Mills as the 5)

Lindor SS
Hoerner 2B
Happ LF
Contreras C/1B
Arendo 3B
Heyward RF
Davis CF
Amaya C/1B

Bote would be the main Corner IF and back up 2B. Nico the back up SS. Roederer would fall into 4th OF as he can play all 3 spots.

Over all this team would be near 2015 Cubs. It heavily is dependant on 3 SP and Amaya not being a dead weight as a hitter. But if needed they could invest into a bat first 1B or have Roerderer take reps at 1B to add depth there.
 

Steve_A

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@CSF77

Heyward : None issue is not a non issue because he just might be un-useable in a year or two.

Alozay : His numbers might be better but you're missing on the fact that it's the smallest of sample sizes that he improved.

Thor / Mills : Thor is one brittle guy who can't stay healthy but you want him to be the ace or the velocity for the staff?

Noland / Lindor : You make it sound like they will be who they are even if they age and even if one is out of the friendly compounds of Coors Field. And is the likelihood of the owners using money from next year high to begin out with?

Marquez : We'll see how he develops but hope he pans out

WS Contender : The rebuild is for trying to win another title isn't it? Then why are we talking 2022?

Bote : Are you sure you want to keep a best case scenario .250 hitter at the hot corner? Wouldn't you be better off trying to find someone with a higher ceiling during a rebuild?

2015 Cubs : The 2015 Cubs had Arrieta / Lester / Hendricks / Hammel / Haren and a swing man in Richard and Wada. All of the top three guys having eras in the 2s and Hammel and Haren having an era around 3.5 the year prior. Way more proven then the group on your list. Not saying that you can't be right but the comparison seems far fetched at this point don't you think?
 
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HSBOB

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I don't follow the Cubs as closely as the many well informed posters here do but how many teams cut salary and trade the Cy Young runner up after winning their division by three games?
 

CSF77

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Heyward : None issue is not a non issue because he just might be un-useable in a year or two.

Alozay : His numbers might be better but you're missing on the fact that it's the smallest of sample sizes that he improved.

Thor / Mills : Thor is one brittle guy who can't stay healthy but you want him to be the ace or the velocity for the staff?

Noland / Lindor : You make it sound like they will be who they are even if they age and even if one is out of the friendly compounds of Coors Field. And is the likelihood of the owners using money from next year high to begin out with.

Marquez : We'll see how he develops but hope he pans out

WS Contender : The rebuild is for trying to win another title isn't it? Then why are we talking 2022?

Bote : Are you sure you want to keep a best case scenario .250 hitter at the hot corner? Wouldn't you be better off trying to find someone with a higher ceiling during a rebuild?

2015 Cubs : The 2015 Cubs had Arrieta / Lester / Hendricks / Hammel / Haren and a swing man in Richard and Wada. All of the top three guys having eras in the 2s and Hammel and Haren having an era around 3.5. Way more proven then the group on your list. Not saying that you can't be right but the comparison seems far fetched at this point don't you think?

2022 would be for having a competitive team. That year the next wave would be at SB and 2 years out.

Then expect some deadline trades this year to add to that base upwelling.

That is the main point. Compete while building the next gen.

Thor would be for velocity. I don't see him a 100 mph arm forever unless they make him the closer later contract and that works also vs losing velocity with innings.
 

CSF77

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Alozay I covered on you have to see what you have. That is it. If he sucks then you adjust. Simple as that.

Mills meh. He had 1 great game and the rest meh. If he can become a curve ball pitcher and work off that pitch then sure. But if his prime pitch is a 90 2 seam...ya that is not getting it done.

2015 they didn't have shit. They signed Lester to draw fans and Joe. They started winning and promoted Bryant. Jake at that point was a unknown and Hendricks was a soft tosser like Mills.

So that team with 5 established players has more going on than that team did. It comes down to the youth taking off and injury. But that is common in baseball
 

Steve_A

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I don't follow the Cubs as closely as the many well informed posters here do but how many teams cut salary and trade the Cy Young runner up after winning their division by three games?
Unprecedented I think other than a more extreme scenario in the Marlins and the year they sold off their team after winning the world series.
 

Steve_A

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2024 will be when the cubs seriously contend again. And that’s best case scenario IMO
They could technically flip prospects for talent down the road to speed up the process but,
if the front offices thinking is wait for the kids to grow then yes I completely agree with you on 2024 probably being it.

I don't trust in this team’s ability to grow any pitching though so it might be a bit after even if somethings go right.

Jed’s whole reign could be a rebuild IMO.
 

Steve_A

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Alozay I covered on you have to see what you have. That is it. If he sucks then you adjust. Simple as that.

Mills meh. He had 1 great game and the rest meh. If he can become a curve ball pitcher and work off that pitch then sure. But if his prime pitch is a 90 2 seam...ya that is not getting it done.

2015 they didn't have shit. They signed Lester to draw fans and Joe. They started winning and promoted Bryant. Jake at that point was a unknown and Hendricks was a soft tosser like Mills.

So that team with 5 established players has more going on than that team did. It comes down to the youth taking off and injury. But that is common in baseball
Alozay : You penciled him in the 2022 rotation like a sure thing though.

Mills : Meh yes but, Thor is talented and could be an ace but he'll come with high risk.

2015 : Dude they had 5 decent and fairly proven rotation pieces and a can't miss prospect in Bryant / Soler / Russell / Schwarber and Baez. Your 2022 projection doesn't have any of that other than Davis who could have an impact like that. Also these guys other than Russell easily had 20 HR or more pop upside in their bat. Horner at best is a Tommy La Stella / Amaya at best right now seems to be a defensive catcher (Willson hit .353 in the minors proving he's a hitter but Amaya has yet to do something of this caliber) and that isn't enough to build off of. And what is the likelihood of Arenado signing with a rebuilding team when he hates losing with the Rockies? I think your projections this time are flat out not being objective enough.
 

knoxville7

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They could technically flip prospects for talent down the road to speed up the process but,
if the front offices thinking is wait for the kids to grow then yes I completely agree with you on 2024 probably being it.

I don't trust in this team’s ability to grow any pitching though so it might be a bit after even if somethings go right.

Jed’s whole reign could be a rebuild IMO.
well, come 2024 they should be free of most contracts that they don’t want currently. So, in theory that FA leading into 2024 they could sign the positions they feel they are lacking coming up from the minors to be ready to compete in 2024. This is all speculation for now, though. Just makes 2024 in my mind the soonest they will really really be challenging for the WS again if things all go really according to plan
 

CSF77

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Alozay : You penciled him in the 2022 rotation like a sure thing though.

Mills : Meh yes but, Thor is talented and could be an ace but he'll come with high risk.

2015 : Dude they had 5 decent and fairly proven rotation pieces and a can't miss prospect in Bryant / Soler / Russell / Schwarber and Baez. Your 2022 projection doesn't have any of that other than Davis who could have an impact like that. Also these guys other than Russell easily had 20 HR or more pop upside in their bat. Horner at best is a Tommy La Stella / Amaya at best right now seems to be a defensive catcher (Willson hit .353 in the minors proving he's a hitter but Amaya has yet to do something of this caliber) and that isn't enough to build off of. And what is the likelihood of Arenado signing with a rebuilding team when he hates losing with the Rockies? I think your projections this time are flat out not being objective enough.

Bryant was not a Cub on opening day. 20/20 doesn't apply to pre-events.
Soler busted as a Cub. Russell busted as a Cub. It happens. You can go around saying ya 2015 was locked in because it was after the fact. Opening day it was hype a new manager and a investment into Lester.

Alozay I am penciling him in until he busts. If he busts then adjust as needed. I listed him as a #4. It is not like I was banking on him. They started Mills so this is not a huge reach. But you have to see what you have and Jed is going to start him as of right now. So yes you have to pencil him in with the current situation. If we were talking Marquez then no. He was not a part of the team rotation and saw 1/3 of a inning. Could he? Unlikely but he could dominate hitters in S/T and force it. For sure it could happen with his talent.

Thor

2017: On April 30, Syndergaard left the game after experiencing tightness in his right biceps. The next day, on May 1, he was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to a torn lat muscle in his right arm.[55][56] He was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on May 7.[57]

2018: He was placed on the disabled list at the end of May and was activated on July 12, after missing the whole month of June with a strained ligament in his right index finger. On July 22, he was again placed on the disabled list after contracting hand, foot and mouth disease,[62

2020[edit]
On March 24, 2020, Syndergaard was diagnosed with a torn UCL in his right elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery on March 26, putting him out for the entire 2020 season.[

IDK if I would call him fragile. TJ is so common I'm more concerned of pitchers who never got it because it is pending.

If it was the same thing over and over then I would pull up the shades on no. But Lat, Index finger then UCL. It happens but if it was shoulder then I would run away. That is the one that wrecks a career.

But this is the world of what if.

What I believe happens: They buy short term to flip. They will flip Davies, Baez, Bryant and Rizzo. Next year he signs filler 1 year deals to flip like he did with Scott Feldman and continues to acquire prospects. I don't see him going into a season to tank. He will field a team that could win the division and if they are not in it he sells if he is in it he will add cheap players if any. I don't see a huge investment unless it has control attached that he can either resell or take forward with.

2021: I see Phiggy resigned to back up Contreras. They need a starting LF. They need a 5th starter. I doubt that he goes with 3 guys.

If it was me I would sign Profar for LF and Archer for the rotation. Archer would be a 1 year flip. Profar could end up a multi year because he can man 3B after Bryant is traded. So that one could be a problem solver.

2022: That is where they will create a vacuum in cap space. Around 110 mil. Will they invest? I feel this would fall under Tom Ricketts wanting to contend or create profit. That is the driver.

If he wants to contend then Lindor should be the main target. They should have a need for a SP. Thor has the most upside. Grey might be a good target also if they are looking at a mid rotation type.

If they are looking to flip again. SS I would move Nico there. Bote to 2B Profar to 3B. Jon Grey depends if he is in the situation Archer is in now. 1 year prove it deal and flip to a contender. Matz would be on the market. Daniel Norris. So there are a few mid-back end types that wouldn't bust the bank and could be used as chips.
 
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