Cubs Reportedly Looking for Training Sites, Love for Lee, Nationals Players Step Up, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Cubs Reportedly Looking for Training Sites, Love for Lee, Nationals Players Step Up, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Obviously it’s impossible to proceed with the morning Bullets like there isn’t so much going on in the world that transcends what we cover here, as I mentioned yesterday. But, here we are in any case. I will say that I’m disappointed Major League Baseball as an entity has not addressed the racial injustice that sparked this week’s sadness, anger, demonstrations, and conversations. For a sport that has historical roots in the integration process in this country, but has struggled with its own representation and access issues the last 30 years, I would have thought it would be among the first sports leagues to speak out. So far, silence.

Meanwhile …

•   Bruce Levine reports that, in advance of any possible deal between the players and the owners (latest here), the Cubs have been checking in with local colleges and minor league teams about the possible use of their facilities for Spring Training Part Two in June. Curtis Granderson Stadium at UIC and North Park College come in for mention. More than most, Wrigley Field is not really set up to accommodate large groups of players training simultaneously, so getting some other places nearby lined up makes a lot of sense if you’re going to train in Chicago. That’s especially true when there will be social distancing considerations and a group that could be upwards of 50 players (up to 30 players might make the big league roster, and up to 20 players might be trained up as a taxi squad to fill in when there are needs/injuries/etc.).

•   That shouldn’t be read as a sign that a deal will definitely get done, by the way. It’s just a proactive step to be ready.

•   This raises a very interesting point about any stateside players that might look to the KBO (or NPB) as an option to compete for a job if the MLB/MiLB seasons do not proceed:

•   There are also limitations in each league on the total number of foreign players permitted per team. That is all to say, if a deal doesn’t get done to play in the States – or the virus ultimately prevents it – players won’t simply be able to say, “Ope, well I’ll go play in Asia,” even if they were talented enough to make those leagues.

•   Derrek Lee was very good for the Cubs for a long time, but for one season in particular, he was a legend:

•   Lee finished behind Albert Pujols and Andruw Jones that year, and it’s hard to rip the voting too hard. Lee’s bat (170 wRC+) was far superior to Jones (134), but Jones (7.9) bested Lee in WAR (7.0) thanks to his super elite glovework in center. Pujols, who won the award, also topped Lee in WAR (7.7), but was slightly behind in wRC+ (167). My guess is if the Cubs didn’t suck butt as a team that year (4th in the NL Central, 21.0 games behind the Cardinals), Lee, who also won a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, and led the league in batting average, slugging, and OPS, probably would’ve won the award.

•   The Athletic reported that the Nationals were quietly cutting the minor league stipend from $400 per week to $300 per week, something that would – back of the napkin – save the organization about $80,000 per month. The big league players immediately responded:

•   Good on the Nationals players. Very, very shameful that it came to that, though.


•   The draft is 9 days away:

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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.