MLBits: Bautista Traded, Cardinals to Extend Shildt as Manager, Orioles' Mysterious IFA Deals, Herrera, Schwarber, More

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MLBits: Bautista Traded, Cardinals to Extend Shildt as Manager, Orioles’ Mysterious IFA Deals, Herrera, Schwarber, More

Chicago Cubs

I love the summer – especially the weather and the baseball – but man do those weekends get filled up quickly. Weddings, family parties, weddings, birthdays, weddings, etc. It’s fun, but also my schedule gets so out of whack so quickly. And that, in turn, throws everything else off.

So basically I’m saying give me October – with the Cubs in the playoffs, Halloween and my birthday around the corner, spooky movies on TV, and that cool fall weather – over August any day of the week. Really.

  • Last night, Jose Bautista batted sixth and played right field against the Cubs, but he won’t tonight, because he’s been traded the Phillies. Indeed, the Phillies, who continue to quietly improve as they sit 3.5 games out of first in the East and 2.5 out of the Wild Card, had claimed Bautista on waivers over the past couple days and have finally worked out a deal to pull him away from New York. The Mets, in return, will receive a player to be named later or cash.
  • Bautista is obviously years removed from being the feared hitter he once was, but does still have a 16.4% walk rate (which is pretty nuts) and just about league average production overall. Then again, he’s been struggling mightily since the second-half began (74 wRC+) and doesn’t play quality defense, so it’s fair to wonder if the Mets didn’t actually just get better before tonight. Then again, the Mets have been one of the worst teams in baseball against southpaws (like Cole Hamels) and Bautista was actually an above-average hitter against lefties, so … maybe the Cubs did catch a break with the timing.
  • This was mysterious at first, but it appears that the Cardinals are set to announce a three-year deal with Mike Shildt as manager:

  • I mean, sure, the guy has done well, but … really? Already? Three years? I cannot believe that they won’t even interview other candidates in the offseason. It’s not like Shildt was going anywhere, and now the Cardinals are already hitching their wagon to him for three more years. Shrug. Their life.

  • In any case, the conference will probably not have anything to do with the earlier revelation that Kolton Wong (left hamstring strain) would be headed to the 10-Day disabled list, retroactive to August 26th, though that is a story too. Wong, 27, has had a brilliant year defensively and is one of the leading candidates for the NL Gold Glove at second base. For now, he’ll be replaced by Triple-A infielder Patrick Wisdom.
  • The Players Union has recently hired veteran labor attorney Bruce Meyer as their new “Senior Director for Collective Bargaining and Legal.” Meyer will reportedly take the lead when the union goes back to the table for the next CBA for 2022 and beyond, replacing MLBPA director Tony Clark in those efforts. This is a pretty big (and justifiable) move for the union. Although it stops just short of removing Clark from his role entirely, which had been floated, it does remove his autonomy at the negotiating table, which, at this point, is inarguably a win for the union regardless with whom they replaced him. Meyer seems like a serious, experienced attorney though you have to wonder if that’ll lead to less or more risk for a holdout the next time the CBA is on the table.
  • The Baltimore Orioles never-ever-ever spend their IFA bonus money, presumably, because … I don’t know why. It’s dumb. But this year, something is decidedly different. Despite having started with one of the bigger bonus pools and no restrictions in IFA, the Orioles have gone around collecting more space in trades. And at one point, rumors had them set to land big-time Cuban prospect Victor Victor Mesa with the money, though that has since fallen through – at least, for the time being. And now, things get even weirder:

  • Now the Orioles have reportedly given up $750K in international bonus money for a minor league infielder from the Phillies. Whaaa? Did they have a change of heart? A new strategy? Did they find out that Victor Victor Mesa was not going to sign with them and has since committed elsewhere? All of the above seem likely.
  • And of course, at the periphery of this discussion is our desperate desire for he Cubs to land Mesa, but after spending almost all of their bonus pool money, they’d have to rattle off a couple of huge trades to get the bonus space to pull it off. It’s just probably not going to happen.
  • The Nationals get more and more bad news as the season goes on. Today, it was revealed that closer Kelvin Herrera’s season is likely over thanks to a torn ligament in his left foot. Obviously, Herrera’s injury is far from the straw that broke the camels back, but they’re sure in “let it burn,” territory over in D.C.
  • When I first saw this, I stared at it for at least 30 seconds trying to get the joke, before I realized Eddie Rosario is not the Cubs’ Randy Rosario:

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami