Tough NL Central, Offseason Strategies, Old Friend Signings, and Other Bullets

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Tough NL Central, Offseason Strategies, Old Friend Signings, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I can’t decide if I’m rooting for the results of my physical to be pristine (because obviously), or just slightly not great, so I’ll have a little extra motivation to turn around some bad dietary habits I’ve added over the past half-year …

  • Jesse Rogers writes about the competitiveness of the NL Central and the way the various teams have approached their offseason:

  • Rogers is quite right to point out that an active, praise-worthy winter can be the product of covering up issues that you created with past mistakes. But it’s also true that even a 95-win team like the Cubs can have obvious needs (impact bat, quality relief options). The Central figures to be even more competitive in 2019, which won’t be a great excuse for the Cubs not to take advantage of still having a controlled core of players that can compete for a title. If cheap divisional wins are impossible to come by in 2019, no one’s going to want to hear about how great those other teams are if the offense and bullpen wind up being actual issues for the Cubs.
  • Like we’ve said all offseason, it is absolutely possible – maybe even likely – that the Cubs will see a big bounce-back in the offense as a whole in 2019, making it a more successful group than it was in 2018 despite no additions. But is that an appropriate strategy when there’s a 26-year-old impact bat right there available for money? I worry that it will be easier to see the regret of not making an addition than the regret of making a poor one. But hey, it’s the offseason, and fans – myself included – have trouble fighting the urge to want to see their team “DO SOMETHING!”
  • All that said, it wouldn’t quite be fair for me to shred the Cubs for inactivity while yesterday borderline praising the Brewers for thoughtful inactivity. Winning the offseason is not the thing. I get it. I get it. I get it. (But also, the Brewers are going to do some things from here. And the Reds will probably do more.)
  • Old friends alert, with Justin Grimm signing a minor league deal with the Indians, and Casey Coleman signing a minor league deal with the Mets.
  • How about this fun bit on new Cubs depth catcher Francisco Arcia:

  • MLB Pipeline ranked the NL Central based on their top five prospects aaaaaaand, yeah the Cubs were last. (The five prospects included, by the way, were Miguel Amaya, Adbert Alzolay, Alex Lange, Brailyn Marquez, and Aramis Ademan. I think an updated group probably swaps out Lange for Nico Hoerner, but it wouldn’t move the needle on the Cubs vis a vis the other Central organizations.)
  • Well this is a very fun thing for a great cause:

  • Another great cause:

  • That does not feel so far away:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.