Padres and Rays Make Another Trade, Hoerner at 2B, Bryant Not Getting Love, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Padres and Rays Make Another Trade, Hoerner at 2B, Bryant Not Getting Love, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Wife finally caved and got AirPods almost entirely because she can no longer tolerate the sound of me banging on my keyboard when I type. “It’s not that loud!”, I yell over the sound of my own typing …

  • The Padres, despite adding two outfielders this offseason – Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham – also already had a lot of outfielders to move out. They haven’t been able to unload any part of Wil Myers’ contract yet, but they pulled off another outfield trade with the Rays last night, having already sent them Hunter Renfroe earlier in the offseason:

  • The trade is a curious one, as it nets the Padres a great reliever, but also leaves them with a theoretical opening in center field (any chance they get back in on Mookie Betts with the Red Sox waffling, and try to use Betts there or shift someone else over?). It also gives the Rays six starting-ish outfielders, and makes you wonder if they are also trying to move someone like Kevin Kiermaier out. Most likely, it’s just that the Rays want a lot of optionality in the outfield for match-ups and the Padres really wanted Pagan (the sides had previously traded pieces, so they already knew where each other stood, I’m sure). Or I guess it’s also possible we’re about to find out about a Rays outfield injury.
  • Some great shots of the early arrivers to Spring Training from Tim Sheridan and John Antonoff:

  • And speaking of Hoerner, he’s just gonna be a head-down worker, man:

  • If Hoerner shows he’s the clear best option at second base right out of Spring Training, then I have absolutely no qualms about making him the starter on day one *SO LONG* as the Cubs have clearly determined that it’s not going to hinder his development. I just don’t want to see another situation where a high-contact, high-swing bat has his marginal power (and walk rate) crippled by advanced pitching that knows how to abuse guys like that, especially if they don’t have a lot of professional experience. I’m open to the possibility that Hoerner is uniquely special; I’m equally open to the possibility that he needs to get beat up on by veteran AAA pitching for a little while.
  • (It’s also possible that he could use a little more time to polish at second base – we presume he can do it well based on the scouting, but it’s probably fair to note he’s almost exclusively been a shortstop in his baseball career.)
  • The position is loaded. No question. But I can think of an unlisted gent who is likely to outperform about five of the guys on this list in 2020, so:

  • The crosstown storylines might actually be kind of interesting this year, especially if the Cubs perform quite well and the White Sox are slow out of the gate:

  • Keep in the back of your mind that there’s a bit of a weird situation brewing where the Cubs have left NBC Sports Chicago (in large part owned by the Reinsdorf Family, who own the White Sox, and partly owned by Comcast) in favor of their own new network, Marquee (which does not yet have a carriage deal in place with Comcast). I’ll be curious to see if there are ways that the intracity rivalry winds up played up a bit on the TV media side of things. I could see ways that would be fun, but also ways it would become super annoying over time.
  • Wrigley Field just always looks beautiful to me:

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.