I’ll admit it, on a fan level: I was a little disappointed that, down the wire last night, the Cubs merely added four prospects to the 40-man roster. I had very much expected, with all the space on the 40-man roster, with the need to add as many potentially useful relief pieces as possible, and with a history for making these kinds of fringe roster moves on deadline days, that the Cubs would get something done. Nothing super exciting, mind you, but adding a guy to mull and discuss? Sure.
Thing is, I have no doubt that the Cubs *were* working on those moves yesterday, but nothing came together. That doesn’t mean the fringe moves won’t happen later, though. For one thing, from here, teams will still need to create 40-man space at times, and the Cubs might pounce (either a cheap trade or a waiver claim). The moves are coming eventually. They always do. For another thing, it’s not like a “fringe” roster move is better than a standard free agent signing or a significant trade! It’s just that I am a huge nerd, and I really like to dig in on these types of deals where you dream on the upside … and then totally forget about it six months later when the guy flames out, because he was a fringe roster guy for a reason.
- Remember when the league agreed to re-open the CBA last summer to talk to the players about various issues, more than two years before the current deal was set to expire? Remember how it felt like a monumental step forward in an otherwise cantankerous process that was sure to end in a strike/lockout? Remember how it seemed impossible that the league would think long-term and concede on some financial issues in service of preserving the peace and improving the life of the sport going forward?
- … well, LOL:
— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) November 20, 2019
- Per the NBC report, the league sounded a whole lot less flexible than we hoped, which is probably why early talks on anything that remotely touches on financial issues (luxury tax, competitive balance, draft bonuses, designated hitter, etc.) haven’t really been addressed. On the one hand, that’s normal in the middle of a CBA; on the other hand, this CBA has been so one-sided in favor of the owners that it seemed like the league might realize the best approach for the sport going forward would be to improve the relationship now so that there wasn’t a strike/lockout in 2021. Alas.
- Craig Calcaterra says that the impression some got from the Commissioner’s comments was that the league may seek a salary cap, together with some other kinds of fundamental changes to the player control system. Obviously that would be a dramatic ask, but can I play the part of the hopeful guy? If a salary cap is paired with (1) a salary floor, (2) a required revenue split percentage near 50/50, and (3) a shorter period of team control? Maybe that’s a win win for all, because then the players are still getting their share of the revenue, owners have more cost-certainty, and younger players get paid earlier.
- Meanwhile, at the owner’s meetings this week:
Astros owner Jim Crane is sitting about 30 feet away. We're not allowed to approach him and a sherriff and constable are standing in between the media and the owner. He'll get to decide whether he wants to speak about the cheating investigation. Stay tuned…
— Laura Albanese (@AlbaneseLaura) November 20, 2019
Houston Astros owner Jim Crane just walked through the lobby at the owners’ meetings and said: “If you want to talk about baseball, I’ll talk about baseball. What else do you want to talk about? Any other issues …” at which point two police officers escorted him away.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 20, 2019
For the record, “was your team illegal cheating electronically during games?” is a question about baseball. https://t.co/MvAHQk5WPh
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 20, 2019
- It’s a site-wide deal day at Fanatics right now, so check it all out (not just Cubs stuff, but obviously Cubs stuff), and make sure you use the code TACKLE to get the discount.
- A little more flexibility coming to the Gallagher Way plaza next year? Maybe a little more time to hang, plus liquor:
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she looks forward to the next round of negotiations on Galagher Way rules between Ald. Tom Tunney and the Ricketts family. Tunney said he’s willing to allow the sale of hard liquor on the plaza next to Wrigley Field.https://t.co/TmNuhw2d1C
— Sun-Times Sports (@suntimes_sports) November 20, 2019
- Robel Garcia is currently playing in the Dominican Winter League, showing off his easy power:
- Unfortunately for Garcia, the strikeouts are still an issue – he’s at upwards of 25% in the DWL. Garcia flew up the ranks last year, and showed big league power along the way (together with solid speed, athleticism, and playable defense). But that strikeout rate. He didn’t QUITE get enough PAs (80) to feel like it was a stable rate last year in his big league debut, but among guys with 80+ PAs, Garcia’s 43.8% K rate was the second highest in the league (there were only three guys over 40% – Garcia, Keon Broxton, and Jared Walsh). Worse, Garcia had a mere 56.6% contact rate, dead last in MLB. To be playable, he’s gonna have to increase that mark by at least 7 or 8 percentage points. The talent is real, but that’s such a steep, steep hill to climb.
- Jon Lester, showing that offseason power:
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