Last season was truly so, so special, but sometimes I wake up and start typing on here and pinch myself about all the Cubs’ young talent that we’re going to get to watch for years. Nothing is guaranteed, but just imagine that you were the fan of another team, gazing jealously upon the group the Cubs broke in last year.
- The Cubs made their tender decisions last night, which included a pre-tender contract agreement with lefty swing man Clayton Richard. His deal with the Cubs is for $2 million, which is on the upper end of what I was expecting for him, but he was always a really tough one to gauge, given his significant big league experience, and then his time out of the big leagues with the arm injury. I’m glad that the Cubs decided to keep him (and Travis Wood, obviously), though, because they simply have so little back-end rotation depth right now that you need several just-in-case guys around. And who better to be a just-in-case rotation guy than someone who has already demonstrated the ability to pitch very well out of the bullpen? A couple million bucks isn’t too much to risk (especially when you remember that (1) he could still be traded, and (2) if he’s a train wreck in Spring Training, he can be let go for termination pay) for the Cubs right now. You could say all of that stuff for Wood, too, and just bump the dollar figure up to $6.5 to $7 million. It’s all still true.
- Having both Richard and Wood in the fold, together with four other clear starting pitchers, allows just a little more comfort and cover as the Cubs continue pursuing other starting pitching options.
- A top prospects list from BA on the Arizona Fall League that I kept meaning to mention. Willson Contreras comes in at number five, and Jeimer Candelario gets a mention outside the top 10. I especially liked hearing even more on how good Contreras looked defensively behind the plate. If he can be a legitimate average or above-average defensive catcher at the big league level – and most think he can be – then the bat doesn’t even have to be plus for him to be a hugely valuable player. Oh, and the bat very much might be plus.
- Marc Anthony – the music guy, not the Roman politician who was a big fan of ears – is getting into the baseball agency game, not unlike Jay-Z.
- The Winter Meetings start next week, and you gotta watch your step. Literally.
- Cubs on Amazon: earbud headphones for cheap. True story: I must have two different sized ear holes, because ear buds often fall out of my right ear, but not my left. Is that normal?
- If you missed today’s earlier discussion of the notable non-tenders around baseball, you can catch up on that here. Also: even more Cubs-Jason Heyward stuff.