The Good and Bad in the Huge Hosmer Deal, the Cubs Up the Middle, and Other Bullets

In the week ahead, the goal is for me to be walking in the boot with only one crutch, rather than two. So I started experimenting with it today, and the good news is, I can totally do it. It doesn’t really hurt to walk with one crutch, and it’s nice to finally feel some weight on that left leg. The only question is will I feel a whole lot of pain tonight when I try to sleep? The last few nights have sucked already, and, in theory, the more actively upright I am during the day, the more chance there is for pain at night. We’ll see, I guess. I’m already tired of just sitting around all the time.

Elsewhere …

  • So, there was finally another big signing yesterday, one week after Yu Darvish signed with the Cubs. It’s Eric Hosmer – a Scott Boras client – getting an eight-year deal (with an opt-out after five) worth $144 million. Given the limited market of suitors, it’s a very strong deal for a guy about whom there was legitimate debate on his future value. While no individual signing will kill the collusion fight that looms after this offseason, I feel pretty strongly that Hosmer’s deal will be considered a bit of evidence in the owners’ side.
  • Consider the ZiPS projections for Hosmer over the course of this deal, and tell me he didn’t get paaaaaaaaid:
  • Sure, he could outperform the projections, and sure, he probably does bring some non-statistical value in the clubhouse. But absent a huge breakout from here, it’s hard to see this signing making sense for the Padres – and that makes it a financial win for Hosmer.
  • That said, I do want to give a little credit to the Padres: they may not be in position to win in 2018, but with the market soft and an opportunity to get a 28-year-old player they really liked, they stepped up and made a commitment. It’s going to “hurt” them in the tanking standings, but at least they’re doing something. I don’t really want to rip them too badly for doing it.
  • Joe Maddon likes the competition, and wants to see the Cardinals and Brewers be good this year (Tribune). That probably helps drive his own players, and it’s also good for the sport, so that’s fine by me. All that said, after experiencing a struggle kind of race last year, I could go for the Cubs cruising in the NL Central this season – it turns out, that’s awfully fun. (I suppose the other option is that the Cubs are as good as expected, but the Cardinals and/or Brewers are shockingly good, and the Central becomes a race between some very, very good teams, a la 2015. I wouldn’t hate that … if the Cubs wound up on top, of course.)
  • Meanwhile, how about the Pirates? … uh … it’s not so good. After David Freese essentially said he doesn’t feel like the team/players actually care about winning, Josh Harrison is reiterating his desire to be traded if the team isn’t going to compete. That’s gonna just be an ugly year of guys grinding away, isn’t it? After a stretch of competitive seasons, even a short rebuild is going to be tough to stomach. But when I look at their talent base, their available dollars after this year, and then maybe a top draft pick in 2019 thanks to struggling this year, it’s not at all hard to imagine this could be an extremely quick turnaround for Pittsburgh. But, yeah, they’re really going to stink this season.
  • Facts are facts:
  • The question remains how the duo will line up in the middle infield this year, but unless the Cubs feel like a move to second base is necessary to optimize Russell’s shoulder health (and the throws that sometimes were off target because of it), then I’m more than fine with sticking with the status quo. Russell is elite at shortstop, Baez is elite at second base. Sure, that still might be true if they flip-flopped, but why mess with it if it isn’t necessary?
  • Love for Harry, even 20 years later:
  • Now *that’s* what I call a changeup! (ducks):
  • Lids is having a President’s Day sale, so you can get a range of discounts on your Cubs gear there.
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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