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2021 MLB Thread

Discussion in 'Other Sports Forum' started by Unlucky 13, Jan 2, 2021.

  1. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    I've been so demotivated about baseball all this offseason that I have almost no idea who's even good in the AL! Good luck to your guys, though.
     
  2. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    Well tbh you aren't missing much, they are absolutely terrible in pretty much all aspects and phases of the game save defense. Starters are bad, bullpen is bad, hitting is abysmal.

    Javy playing himself out of any kind of good contract which is weirdly both good and bad. Bryant is really the only guy who has stepped up, and if their season doesn't pick up, he should probably be traded for the best offer. At this point, this core needs to get blown up, or something radically different needs to happen. Too many strikeouts, unproductive ABs, lack of just good hitters instead of swingers.
     
  3. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    Apparently, Javy turned down a 6 year, 180 million dollar contract before the season. Its not looking good that anyone is going to stick around, but as you said, its probably best that they basically do what the Dolphins did and just nuke the entire operation. They've sucked at making regular contact since Theo was hired, so it has to be an operational problem that runs deep.

    A lot of Cubs fans are deep, deep, deep into conspiracy theories that the Rickets are just going to run the team on the cheap as long as fans keep filling Wrigley, without really caring about winning or losing. We'll start to find out how true that is next year if the big stars are all gone and they don't spend anything to replace them.
     
  4. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    Yeah turning that down was a huge bet on himself, but it hasn't paid off at all - he has regressed badly the past few years from his peak. Cubs offered a pretty fair deal (better than Bogaerts got, but not in the Lindor range), they may circle back. Rizzo I feel they should keep just for the veteran presence that he is ... but man they need to find people who can just hit and put the ball in play. Losing the Dexter Fowlers and Ben Zobrists hurt them. They also have been very bad at developing young talent, especially pitching.

    I don't think it's a conspiracy to say the Ricketts have definitely cheaped out though. Just not a good ownership group unfortunately. As for filling Wrigley, that's a fairly big deal, but the money is really in the TV contracts and then minimizing cost more than filling a ballpark, especially with covid still limiting numbers.

    MLB really needs to do more to get these spendthrifts out.
     
  5. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    And Fowler and Zobrist were obviously free agent signings who developed outside of the Cubs org. Same with the third of a season they got out of Nic Castellanos a few years ago, and to a lesser extent Tommy LaStella during their run of NLCS appearances. Without those players, they never would have won the series. They allowed the young guys to work in complementaty roles and focus on learning as they went. Everyone thought that they would continue to grow and become all around players, but man, every single one of them crapped out in that regard.

    Basically, anyone who's been on the team in the past eight or nine years who can regularly make good contact and put the ball into play has come from the outside. Anyone developed inside can hit for power, work the count, take a lot of walks (except for Javy), but has very, very little hard contact when not swinging for the fences, and is abysmal at getting a base hit with runners in scoring position.

    Like I said, they need to just nuke everyone involved in player aquisition and development and start completely fresh. They can't bring in players who can make good contact, and they can't develop starting pitching to save their lives. Obviously, power, on base percentage and good defense only get you so far. And its really boring to watch to boot.
     
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  6. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    I will say, Bryant is actually looking really good this season. He's going to make it hard for the Cubs deciding whom to keep of their big pending free agents. Nico Hoerner is also playing pretty well. Kimbrel is back to his old self striking people out and not allowing runs in high leverage situations - he might fetch something decent on the trade market barring a collapse.

    The rest of the team? Not so much. And the worst are the starting pitchers who are atrocious. The Darvish trade looks just horrendous and inexcusably bad.
     
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  7. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    And after a nice little start to the season the Tigers are just awful lol. Mostly the hitting, which is historically inept despite being like 5 years into a rebuild. If the manager Al Avila still has a job next year that's just pathetic. The Tigers' old owner Mike Illitch spent hard late in life trying to win before he passed and sadly it didn't happen. His kid has taken over and basically has cheaped out on everything since. There are folks who think he's just biding his time, but it's looking more and more like he's the opposite of his father.

    MLB needs to do something - these spendthrift owners are really hurting their clubs and the sport as a whole.
     
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  8. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    The Darvish deal was a pure salary dump to get out of the 60m remaining on his contract. Even if he wins the Cy Young, I don't think Cubs brass will regret it. Time will eventually tell what they got back in the minor leaguers from the Padres, and the current situation obviously pushes everything like that back a bit. No one is going to develop a whole lot right now until the minor league games actually start.

    As far as the others, Bryant raking will hopefully help them deal him for something useful too. Playing like an MVP won't hurt that, so I guess we'll see who might come calling in July. It would be nice if one of the contenders had a hole in their lineup at third base and a deep farm system. With Kimbrell, I think the Cubs would be happy to get something in a return and to have someone take the contract. They don't want to pay him another 16m next season.

    Javy and Rizzo....I guess we'll see. They're hugely popular with the fanbase, but they haven't been able to work out extensions yet. Better to trade them away then let them walk as free agents. Meanwhile, the 75m left on Jason Heyward's contract is just an anchor.
     
  9. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    They forced the Dodgers owner to sell a few years ago, and that has been an absolute boon for that franchise. Hopefully they would do more of that if necessary, but history says they aren't likely to force it. The pandemic has given some of the teams cover in all of this, but that won't last past this season.

    Right now all but 10 teams have commitments under 100m in salary for 2022, and half the league has a pending payroll under 65m. Right now the Rays have 29 guys signed on their 40 man for next year at a total of just 25m. Ownership there is clearly just putting money in the bank and biding their time until that situation changes in one way or another.
     
  10. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    The Rays are at least competitive, though that really just serves as an excuse for other cheap teams to be cheap.
     
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  11. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    They're almost a halfway house for young players though, because they almost never sign guys to extensions once their team control period is up. If you could take their drafting and development program and put it into a big market club, you'd have an unstoppable beast. I'm very envious as a Cubs fan.
     
  12. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    Yes, as you pointed out the Dodgers are probably the best example employing the Rays/A's moneyball and talent and development methods ... and then busting out the big cash to keep player or add a Mookie Betts. Ironically, the Red Sox probably were in that category as well, until their owner cheaped out and decided not to resign Betts. The Cubbies absolutely should be in that stratosphere as well, what the Rickett's family is doing is farcical. Then you add on teams like the Rockies, the Pirates ... like c'mon MLB, step in. How the Nuttig's still own the Pirates is baffling, but it took this long to get the Wilpons out.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
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  13. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    Also, as to the McCourt's, that was kind of a two-fold issue. First was that they divorced and a judge ruled the Dodgers were not exempt from the financial fallout despite a marital agreement. Secondly was an investigation that supposedly was about the McCourts taking money out of the organization fraudulently without paying taxes.

    Selig didn't want the divorce or IRS hanging over the team and thus forcibly took it over and then sold it off. It really didn't have anything to do with not fielding a competitive team (they actually were pretty good) or not spending on the team.

    So I guess if the IRS starts investigating the Rickett's maybe that will do something. But just being bums that want to count pennies, sadly no. At least not until something drastic in fan viewership on TV or in stadium starts to happen. Even then, I'd suspect MLB would firstly try to blame players/rules. It's not entirely wrong, as games are inexorably long and with less action, but teams not wanting to spend money isn't helping.
     
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  14. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    The Pirates owner, Bob Nutting, is actually the richest person in/from my hometown of Wheeling, WV. In an area where absolutely no one is wealthy and the city has been in decline since WW2, his family "headquarters" their newspaper empire there, though they don't really employ anyone locally. His great grandfather started the paper, and he's basically a lifelong spoiled brat and the Pirates are his money making toy.
     
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  15. Grippa

    Grippa Member

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  16. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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  17. Grippa

    Grippa Member

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  18. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    Well after a tough start, the ol' Cubbies are surging. Ian Happ deciding to be a hitter instead of a power guy, adding Nico Hoerner and the return Of Kris Bryant to MVP form have definitely contributed. I'm not sure if the good pitching luck on guys like Hendricks (still giving up homers) and Davies will hold, or that of the bullpen which is lights out, but it's fun right now.

    Interestingly, it also makes a complete mockery of the Ricketts and their plans. Gonna be hard to do a sell now that they are in first. Also going to be hard not to offer Bryant a high end contract. Also that Darvish deal looks so insanely bad and so clearly a salary dump without baseball consideration.

    As for the Braves ... Marcell Ozuna man, what is you doing. Dude sounds like he needs to be in jail. Will be interesting to see if Atlanta tries to dump that salary and if baseball will let them.
     
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  19. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    I just don't know, man. They keep winning, but they really aren't as good as their record and I keep waiting for the wheels to fall off.

    Bryant is back to his old self finally, now that he's healthy, and Javy is playing up to his potential except for batting average. But most of the rest of the guys are struggling to get on base, and four of the five starting pitchers plus long man Alec Mills have an ERA north of 4.40.

    A lot of the relievers are playing over their heads, and while I cross my fingers that it continues, I don't have a lot of faith that it will. I guess we'll see! They have eleven of the next fourteen on the road, and all 14 of those are against teams in first or second place. The next two weeks will go a long ways towards defining the season.
     
  20. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    I think they are overachieving after a bad start, so some regression is certainly likely. However, their run differential is +38 right now, which is leaps and bounds better than anyone else in the division (none of them are even positive!!!) and good for 4th in the NL (behind the Dodgers, Padres and ... Giants). They have swept both the Padres and Dodgers now.

    They should definitely compete for a playoff spot at the very least unless the wheels totally fall off. Will be interesting to see if pressure mounts for them to actually be buyers at the deadline rather than the sellers people assumed they would be. I doubt they would go for a major ticket like a Max Scherzer, but they might try some mid-tier stuff that won't cost a ton of prospect depth but may give insurance against guys like Arietta/Williams/Mills imploding.
     
  21. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    The NL Central has to be one of the most pathetic divisions in recent history. It has four of the bottom six teams in the league in batting average, all hitting .229 or worse as a team. Also three of the bottom four in OBP, the bottom two in slugging, the bottom three (and four of the bottom six) in OPS.

    Amazingly, despite the fact that they can't hit their way out of a paper bag most nights, the Cubs are league average in OPS and runs scored because of their sporadic and unpredictable home run streaks. They're fourth from the bottom in doubles though. Its homers or nothing.

    Strangely, four of the top six teams in getting hit by pitches reside in the Central too, because the pitching is broken as well. And three of the top four in allowing walks.

    Its minor league baseball out there, and it only reinforces how terrible the Pirates are that they're so far back in last place!
     
  22. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    This was the Cubs sixth loss in a row, and they gave up 14 runs two days ago as well. The good thing about all of this is that now the Cubs won't be stuck thinking that they're contenders and fail to sell next month. The franchise needs a hard reset. They're now 6 games back of the Brewers, and Milwaukee has four games with the Pirates coming up.

    Its been a good run. The team had six consecutive winning seasons for just the second time since the 1930s (when they had 14 straight from 1926-39). But its time to pull the plug. Though the fact that the Cubs have almost literally completely failed on every single draft pick outside of the first round since Theo took over back in 2012 has me questioning whether following the farm system closely is even worth it any more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2021
  23. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    Fun story for me with catcher Robinson Chirinos. Twenty one years ago, in the summer of 2000, he signed with the Cubs as a teenager out of Venezuela, which was right around when I started following the minor league system online. He started playing in the Cubs minor league system in 2001, and stayed there for an entire decade, eventually making it up to AA. At that point, most people figured that he was a career minor leaguer, and the Cubs traded him, basically as a throw in, along with several much bigger name prospects for pitcher Matt Garza.

    But Tampa Bay brought him up to the majors and gave him some playing time and then traded him to the Rangers, where he stuck around as a backup catcher until last year, when he also played for the Mets. This week, he signed with the Cubs as their sixth backup catcher on the season so far, and 21 years after signing with the club, and eleven years after trading him away, he finally got his first ever hit with Chicago, a home run.
     
  24. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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  25. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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  26. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    Almost everyone in the media seems to be saying that the midseason trade market it now overwhelming in favor of buyers and not sellers, and that no team should hope for anything reasonable in return for any player, no matter how good he is. Which....seems pretty harsh.
     
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  27. King Felix

    King Felix Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Kelenic called back up to the mlb. I hope he doesn’t struggle like he did in his first stint. Julio Rodríguez looks better than Kelenic tho imo @Boik14
     
  28. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    What did you guys think of your teams' drafts?

    I like the Cubs going with a lefty college starting pitcher in the first round. Plus he already signed. He's 21 and said to have the ceiling of a #3 starter, but that's just fine. The Cubs have sucked at developing starters for twenty years, and he's a lefty to boot. If he can be in Chicago by some point in 2023, I'll be delighted. He'll be in the team's top ten prospect list immediately, and is likely to start next year at high A.
     
  29. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    You’ll get something for Bryant and Baez. Kimbrel too if you move him.
     
  30. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    Kelenic is 21. They’re both going to grit some bumps. But I’m investing heavily in fantasy on both.
     
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  31. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    We shall see. A couple optimistic, plugged in Cubs writers I follow are saying that even if Bryant and Kimbrel were the only two big name players moved, that Cubs fans are likely to be extremely disappointed by the return. In part because of how much the Cubs gave up in recent deals themselves.
     
  32. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    It goes year by year but if the Mets say wanted either I’d be pleasantly surprised if we hung on to all of Alvarez, Mauricio, Allan, Ginn, Rocker, Crow Armstrong, Baty and Vientos
     
  33. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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  34. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    FWIW, Reports are that Maurico and Vientos are being discussed as part of a deal for Bryant.
     
  35. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    It would take a hell of a lot more then a half season of Bryant to get Mauricio from me. I like Bryant but Mauricio reminds me of Alfonso Soriano interns of bat speed and build. Dude is a baby but his bat speed is ridiculous. He may end up at 3B but the Mets need Bryant and Kimbrel IMO.
     
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  36. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    From my end, that's good to know. I read up on him and he seemed like a weak average, high defense guy. Frankly, I've had my fill of those types. Even if they have power.
     
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  37. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    He could end up being that but he’s I think 20 or 21. He was killing it in low A last I check (tho admittedly I haven’t checked this year) and is a top 100 prospect, top 40 in some places.
     
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  38. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    I should add I also really like Mark Vientos. He profiles as a 3B, played SS in Hs though. Could be a Matt Chapman type where he hits 250 with like 25 hr.
     
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  39. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    I saw that he was doing well at AA and Mets blogs seem to think he'll be in the bigs by 2023. He would likely be the direct replacement for Bryant, obviously.

    It's looking like the only pending free agent the Cubs hsve any hope of extending is Rizzo. The 2022 team could be a lot like the 2019 Dolphins.
     
  40. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

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    How bad is the Cubs offense?

    Starting pitcher Trevor Williams had the third highest batting average in the lineup last night (.250).
     
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