I simultaneously wish the Bears were playing today so I could watch, and also am glad they are not playing so I can just chill and enjoy the other games knowing the Bears already won.
• It’s interesting that Theo Epstein has used the “thread the needle” expression again for this offseason after using it last offseason, and ultimately failing to thread it:
"Is it possible to thread the needle and improve in 2021, while also setting ourselves up for the long-term future? I think it is."
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) October 8, 2020
• Pulling it off this offseason is going to be even more difficult, because there will be far less capital resources available, and some of the tradable pieces have far less value. Of the four core guys coming back on one-year deals (as Epstein described them in hyping up the value), Jordan Bastian speculates that Javy Báez and Anthony Rizzo seem the more likely two for extensions, while Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber seem to the more likely two for a trade. I think you would find most pundits would agree if you were separating them two and two like that. Báez is the most difficult to replace effectively from a positional/defense standpoint, and Rizzo is so intimately tied with the “Cubs Organization” that it just feels right that you’d try to keep him around forever. If either or both guys believe the market is pretty disrupted right now and for the foreseeable future, and if they’re concerned that anything shy of a huge 2021 season could crush them in free agency, it’s possible signing this offseason might be their best bet.
• None of that is to say you wouldn’t be open to extensions on Bryant and Schwarber – as we’ve noted, it’s not as if either is going to have enormous, impact-prospect-type trade value this offseason – but the kinds of deals the Cubs would consider for them would probably look monstrously below what the two might’ve expected just last year. Of course, it’s possible Schwarber would be into it, since it would be his first – and maybe only – crack at significant career earnings. Bryant, by contrast, has already made over $50 million from the draft through 2020.
• One way to thread the needle? Coordinate whatever you do with the above four with a signing of Ha-Seong Kim, who will be just 25 next year, whom you’d necessarily have for several years upon signing, and who could immediately impact you up the middle in 2021. Money is coming off the books after 2021 either way, so it’ll be annoying to learn that short-term budget crunching took the Cubs out of the mix for a rare, young, perfect-fit international bat.
• It’s really crazy to think that a top Cubs pitching prospect like Kohl Franklin has been able to do nothing but throw off whatever mounds were available to him (and whatever bats were available to take swings) since March:
First bullpen in AZ since Spring Training ❤️ pic.twitter.com/KNrT8rgYqf
— Kohl Franklin (@kohlrf) October 11, 2020
• If we are fortunate enough to have a normal minor league season next year, the development changes for some players (good and bad) when compared to 2019 are going to be absurd.
• Jose Canseco with the random shout:
Sammy Sosa you're the man watching your home run video on YouTube only man in history to hit 60 or more home runs 3 years straight no one's ever done it or come close you are the man
— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) October 10, 2020
• Halloween candy, appliances, dash cams, bedding, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad