Clarifying Productive Arms on the Farm, Small Market Spending, and Other Bullets

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Clarifying Productive Arms on the Farm, Small Market Spending, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Boy, yesterday’s Bullets sure did piss some people off in the comments, and I reckon it was half my fault and half something else. So, for that I say sorry, my dearest friends/cram it, ya goobers.

I knew that suggesting any kind of positivity with respect to the arms on the farm would be controversial (however much I might believe it), but I didn’t realize just how controversial it was to say that this is the first time in the front office’s tenure (which is a criticism) that I can see a likelihood of some productive arms actually reaching the big leagues soon. Or that the farm system would be regarded as decent on pitching by this time next year. I do think those things. I also don’t think they’re remotely crazy based on where I think the org is – not just the players, but the development crew – heading into 2019.

I think some of the negative reaction yesterday (and the upvotes! oh man, the upvotes are always the ego killer!) was predicated on reading stuff that wasn’t there. Is it possible you read more than I actually said? I think you might consider giving it a second look.

In fairness, though, is it also possible that I did a poor job communicating what I was thinking? Yup. I also gave it a second look, and I could have been way more clear about how low the bar has become for the pitching side of the Cubs’ farm system. I did not mean to suggest that I think the Cubs presently have a farm system loaded with the best pitching prospects in baseball. I only meant to say, for the first time in the last seven years, I see such a large volume of “yeah, that’s a possible big leaguer” arms at AA and AAA that I think there are going to be meaningful contributions coming from the farm over the next few years (starting this year). That, to me, is exciting.

All right. Fire away.

Meanwhile, other stuff …

  • I fall into the final category, unfortunately, because my buddy Jim reached over my shoulder and snagged a Wrigley 100th Anniversary ball that Justin Ruggiano was totally throwing to me.
  • … and then Jim gave me the ball because he’s a good dude.
  • Sean Doolittle is out there making some points:

  • We discuss the large market teams most frequently around here because the Cubs are one, but it’s worth remembering – when it comes to spending – that the Cubs did not get a publicly-financed stadium, do not receive revenue-sharing (they pay into it), and still do spend at the top of the market. Yes, they could possibly afford to spend more, and there are times in the competitive cycle when extending yourself makes sense to win. But compared to clubs that got their ballparks paid for by the taxpayers *AND* receive revenue-sharing dollars *AND* then just pocket those dollars as profit? That, uh, is pretty bad. Especially at a time like this, when player payroll is falling in the face of increasing league revenues.
  • You know, teams like …

  • You can debate the wisdom of the Pirates trying to go all out or anything close to that for 2019, given how competitive the NL Central figures to be. But the Pirates do have a great pitching staff and a solid young core – spending AT ALL to supplement them would not be crazy. The Pirates currently project to have a payroll under $80 million in 2019, which would be their lowest in five years.
  • Today’s Deals of the Day at Amazon include Biofreeze, which is one of the Cubs’ partners.
  • It’s a game day for the Bears! Kinda!

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.