If you weren’t checked in late-ish last night, the Cubs made their tender deadline decisions after 9pm CT, tendering contracts to everyone except John Baker and Wesley Wright. I’ll have some more thoughts on those decisions soon. Until then, Bullets …
- John Sickels has started his process of examining Cubs prospects for possible inclusion on his top prospect list. To do that, he crowd-sources information on which guys he should be considering, and you can head over and check out that process as it plays out. Even at 45 names, there are still guys that you’d reasonably want to see considered – Trevor Clifton and Charcer Burks were notable omissions at the start – but you can understand, with so much depth, how it’s easy to forget a guy on a first pass and go, “Oh yeah, that guy.” There are probably another 10 or 15 that I could name that I’d like to hear more about, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
- The method Sickels uses, at least in terms of the preliminary openness, stands in contrast to the process for many other prospect rankers. To that end, Kiley McDaniel writes a long, interesting piece over at FanGraphs about the business of evaluating and ranking prospects, and about the many hurdles that guys like McDaniel face when trying to get it right. Teams and individuals working for those teams obviously have an incentive to puff up their prospects. Third party rankings lists are not the be-all end-all of prospect status but they are treated as at least one data point in the industry, and, as McDaniel points out, they are often reviewed by non-scouting folks in an organization (owners, for example) to determine whether the organization has the right scouting and player development staff in place. That’s kind of crazy when you think about it, but in the era of endless information, people are going to use as much data as is available to them. For our purposes, I think the key remains to not put too much stock in any one singular list or any one singular ranking (just as you would with any one singular scouting report or any one singular stat). Review them. Enjoy them. But try your best to distill from them the baseline information that you can use when reviewing the next list and compiling in your head an aggregate understanding of how a prospect is perceived in the industry generally.
- Dave Cameron writes about the way the public digests big trades, and tries to figure out where there are biases in how we perceive the “winner” and “loser” of the trade. One funny aside: although very few deals in recent years appear to have been “won” by the seller of the big name player(s), two of the six such deals were by the Cubs (Samardzija/Hammel, and Garza).
- A very cool honor here: Baseball America named Iowa Cubs President/GM Sam Bernabe the MiLB Executive of the Year.
- There’s a rumor floating around about at least part of the reason Josh Donaldson was traded by the A’s, and it involves a mid-season clash between the third baseman and GM Billy Beane.
- A great read on Jake Arrieta’s offseason and his family.
- Bud Selig released a positive statement on umpire Dale Scott, who revealed publicly this week that he is gay.
- MLB.com is looking for stat stringers for next season, and that includes covering Cubs games.