That poor Vikings kicker, eh? The holder, too. The “laces out” jokes will probably never stop.
- Jeff Passan writes about the Cardinals hacking situation, and his take is even more stern than my own. How Passan frames Cardinals Scouting Director Chris Correa’s hacking of Astros information: “As far as sins in baseball go, this exceeds any brushbacks or beanballs, any signs that can be stolen, anything shot subcutaneously through a needle. This is a direct assault on another team’s front office, the triumvirate of immoral, unethical and illegal, and no matter where it emanated from on the corporate hierarchy, the punishment needs to be severe.” Passan goes on to detail the allegations, and concludes that the punishment must involve the loss of draft picks, draft bonus pool space, and IFA bonus pool space. He ain’t messin’ around.
- In the end, although I don’t think the Cardinals are going to get crushed for this, I do think there will be, and should be, a harsh punishment tied directly to the draft (not only because that’s a compelling way to punish a team, but also because part of malfeasance here involved a high-ranking executive on the amateur scouting side hacking information from another team during a draft). The Cardinals did not receive a competitive balance draft pick this time around (their hacking must have pissed off the voodoo gods), but they will receive two compensatory picks for losing Jason Heyward and John Lackey (both to the Cubs, incidentally). Maybe they should lose one or both of those picks now, plus the pool dollars associated with them.
- (No, before you ask, that would not mean the Cubs get their picks back. Their two highest picks will be gone no matter what.)
- A reminder that salary arbitration figures will be exchanged this week, and the Cubs have a whole bunch of arbitration-eligible players with whom to work. When you see the figures, and if there isn’t an immediate resolution, just remember that it’s not personal. The players (rightfully) are trying to get as much as they can while they can, and the team is (rightfully) trying to hold down costs as much as it reasonably can. Michael wrote up all of the Cubs’ arbitration-eligible players, if you missed it. We will probably see some settlements this week, and a long-term deal or two is also possible.
- Former Cubs pitcher Daniel Bard never contributed to the big league team, as the Cubs were unable to reclaim his ability to throw the ball even remotely near the strike zone with consistency. Now, Bard has signed on with the Pirates who’ll try to fix him.
- Speaking of Cubs pitchers with lofty former hopes (and health issues), this is interesting:
— Kyle @ Driveline (@drivelinebases) January 10, 2016
- McNutt was in the Cubs’ organization in 2015, but made only a handful of appearances in rookie ball after recovering from 2014 shoulder surgery. He was due to be a free agent after the year, so I’m not 100% on his status with the Cubs (his MiLB page says he’s been released). Now 26, McNutt is far removed from his days of being the Cubs’ top pitching prospect (even over Chris Archer in the eyes of many, which, well, oops), but if he’s throwing 100mph? Someone will give him a look.
- The annual Cubs Caravan will stop at the Chicago Help Initiative on Wednesday and prepare and serve meals, and then on Thursday go to Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, talk to students at three elementary schools, serve lunch to military service personnel and veterans, and then finish up at Jahn Elementary School in Chicago. Lots of good service in there.
- Over at Baseball is Fun, Clayton Kershaw and Giancarlo Stanton are ridiculous in opposite directions.
- Sometimes I just look for really weird Cubs stuff on Amazon. And, even among the weird stuff, this pen is really freaking weird.
- And if you missed anything from the busy weekend, catch up here.