Alright folks, I’m gonna go super short on this one. Not because the topics don’t merit more exposition, but because I really need to learn to shut up once in a while. Friday was a lot of fun in terms of rumors, particularly with the whole Castro-for-Gardner thing, but there were some items of substance too. Some insubstantial stuff too.
Bryant, Russell, Schwarber named to Topps All-Rookie Team
It really doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s still cool to see the Cubs dominate a roster of rookies. The Marlins actually had two players named to the team as well, but they were the only other team with multiple players. The honorees are below, followed by my quick comments.
C: J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins
1B: Justin Bour, Miami Marlins
2B: Addison Russell, Chicago Cubs
3B: Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
SS: Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
OF: Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs
OF: Randal Grichuk, St. Louis Cardinals
OF: Michael Conforto, New York Mets
LHP: Carlos Rodon, Chicago White Sox
RHP: Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
RP: Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays
DH: Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
First, I’m surprised Grichuk wasn’t named in all 5 positions not held by Cubs; I’d say he should of [sic] taken up the pitching spots too, but I think there’s a point at which reason must rule. It’s pretty cool to see Russell there at 2B even though it was neither his favored nor final position. And to see War Bear make the cut as an outfielder, again not his original spot, is nice as well. Then you’ve got Bryant, who could have taken at least two spots here. But that would mean cutting ol’ Randy loose, which we all know just wouldn’t do. The last thing we need is to get the BFIB all riled up.
Cubs use protection against Rule 5 draft
So, yeah, I’m not the best at knowing all the ins and outs of the Rule 5 rules, though I do know about redundancy, which is exactly what the Cubs are starting to accumulate in the minors. As such, there’s only so much they can hold onto. That’s the point of the Rule 5 draft, which aims to prevent teams from just loading up on all kinds of talent other teams would be able to use.
As for the moves the Cubs made, check out Todd Johnson’s piece about who was protected and who might be culled from the organization.
Another bullpen arm acquired
Soon after David Kaplan dropped a cryptic tweet about a trade involving guys 99% of us didn’t know, it was announced that the Cubs had traded minor league middle infielder Frandy Delarose to the Rangers for right-handed reliever Spencer Patton. The move seems pretty insignificant on the surface, but it says a lot about the Cubs’ strategy in terms of stocking the pen. Or, rather, it says more.
Relief pitching was inconsistent on the North Side, so it’s an obvious target this offseason. Of course, so is the rotation. But if the Cubs are intent on spending boatloads of payroll on starters, it means skimping on the bullpen. As such, they’re going after guys like Patton, he of the 24 hits and 24 earned runs in 24 major league innings in 2015, Jack Leathersich, and Andury Acevedo.
I could regurgitate information I’ve read about Patton, but this isnt’ Pre-Chewed Charlies and I’m not interested in theorizing on how this guy could morph into a stud under Chris Bosio’s tutelage. Okay, that’s not entirely true. But speculation on who Patton is, isn’t, or might be is better left for another time and place.
Lot of momentum building at this point, so don’t expect rumors and press releases to slow down.