These deadline days are always tricky, because I’m trying to put together the usual pieces for the day while simultaneously keeping tabs on the tender rumors out there. Obviously I do that every day with all rumors and breaking news anyway, but it’s a little different on deadline days, because I can get more easily derailed. Like, I see a tweet about the Braves considering a two-year deal for Kris Medlen, and I think about how I was hoping he would be non-tendered, but then I think about whether he’s the right kind of dice roll for the Cubs anyway given their depth, and then I think about guys coming back from second Tommy John surgeries, and … I get down a wormhole on a day when I can’t be doing that.
- Carlos Pena was a Cub for a very short time, but he definitely imprinted himself on the hearts of many Cubs fans because he was a good dude with a good glove, a good bat, and a good line for every occasion. Pena has now retired from MLB, and will join MLB Network as an analyst. He could have a lot of success there, because he’s got a magnetic personality, and he says interesting, thoughtful things. With the Cubs in 2011, Pena hit .225/.357/.462 with a .356 wOBA and a 121 wRC+. Because it was just one year and because things turned so, so sour in 2011, it’s easy to forget how good he was for just $10 million. More than that, because Pena was offered arbitration and declined – this was back in the days of Type A, Type B free agents – the Cubs got a draft pick for his departure, which they turned into pitching prospect Paul Blackburn. That’s a real nice run for a Cubs player in such a short time.
- (Pena was also the vehicle by which we got the first whiff of potentially serious financial constraints for the Cubs. His $10 million deal was paid out over three calendar years (13 months in total), with a signing bonus in 2010, a salary in 2011, and deferred compensation in 2012. Yikes. Better days lay ahead from there, though.)
- Got a couple hundred grand laying around? You could own a rare Ernie Banks jersey.
- A shot and a beer:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) December 1, 2014
- The ZiPS projections are starting to roll out at FanGraphs, and the Braves are up today. Interesting to see how Arodys Vizcaino is projected (poorly), how Shelby Miller is projected (so-so), and how Ervin Santana is projected (below average). The latter pitcher is now a free agent, expecting to get big money. The middle guy was the main return for Jason Heyward. And you know Vizcaino.
- Although it’s written from a fantasy perspective, a FanGraphs piece projects Adam Wainwright as an “obvious bust candidate” for next year, thanks to declining skills at the margins, elbow concerns, and aging. Wainwright, 33, costs the Cardinals about $20 million per year for the next four years, and he’s a critical component of their current window. Just sayin’.
- A great write-up from agent Joshua Kusnick on BP about the wave of youthful “reporters” on Twitter. Just a fantastic perspective from someone intimately involved in the business.
- Baseball’s annual report on PED use and therapeutic exemptions is out, and you can see some of the details at Hardball Talk.
- Go Bulls go, go Bulls goooooo: