For the Amazon Prime users among you, today is Day Two of Prime Day, so there are a boatload of deals over at Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, BN might get a cut of some of the revenue from your shopping, so thanks for the #ad support. The special ends tonight.
• We have started talking a lot about the Cubs’ open rotation for 2021 already, talking about a possible reunion with Jon Lester, talking about Alec Mills’ need to improve against lefties, talking about Adbert Alzolay’s breakout, talking about free agents like Kevin Gausman and Marcus Stroman. There will be much more to discuss in the coming months, because we still don’t really know exactly what the market is going to look like. But one thing I find interesting is that none of us really have any sense of urgency to discuss the possibility of retaining either of the other internal, outgoing free agent options: Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood.
• I would guess that a lot of us just kinda don’t think about them going forward, since each had a disappointing run with the Cubs in his own way, and each is coming off an injury-shortened 2020 season. It’s hard to imagine either guy commanding a significant free agent contract at this point, but it’s also not hard to imagine either guy signing a cheap one-year deal, and then proving his health/succeeding in 2021. Of course that could happen, probably especially for Quintana. And yet we don’t really feel like doing a whole dig in on, “Oh, well, if they could sign him for a super cheap, incentive-laden deal, why not bring him back,” etc. Maybe late in the offseason if the market has been so decimated that you could consider one of those guys as a 5/6 swing type? I don’t know. It just feels like a “moving on” situation, for whatever reason.
• THAT SAID, I sure do remain intrigued by Quintana’s potential as a two-pitch reliever, and by Chatwood’s potential post-cutter addition (either in the rotation or in relief). So maybe, even if I’m not feeling this conversation today, I’ll come back to it if the duo are still unsigned in January? Neither is old (31 next year for Chatwood, 32 for Quintana), and each clearly has big league pitches. Why wouldn’t you at least consider them as swing types on a cheap contract if it comes to that? OK. I’ve turned myself around a little bit as I wrote. But I still feel like the actual conversation is a ways off, and the Cubs need more time to see how the rest of the market develops, and what trade opportunities may arise.
• We earlier discussed Nightengale’s initial report on this (my gut says it is an effort to help the White Sox with their actual managerial search targets), but now Nightengale is saying Tony La Russa is the White Sox’s top choice for manager:
Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa is the #WhiteSox's No. 1 candidate to manage their club. The big question is whether he's willing to come out of retirement. If La Russa decides to stay put, they likely turn to former #Astros manager A.J. Hinch. https://t.co/yL9D8Uv2Vo
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 13, 2020
• Again, although La Russa had a very long and successful managerial career, he hasn’t managed since 2011, so you’re talking about a decade out of the dugout by next year. Is that really what the White Sox are looking for? Just because the owner and La Russa are tight?
• If you would like to know more about the Braves’ tremendous scouting wins over the past half-decade, and then try desperately hard not to think about how flailing the Cubs’ efforts have looked by comparison, I encourage you to read:
On Ian Anderson and the Braves’ scouting triumphs: https://t.co/UohlbNXzRz
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 14, 2020
• The Rays just grow these guys on a tree, man:
— Yahoo Sports MLB (@MLByahoosports) October 14, 2020
• There’s a saying about umpires that more or less amounts to: if you’ve heard of them, it’s probably a bad sign. Never have I seen that expression more perfectly played out than when looking at this chart, where the best umps include a number of guys I’ve absolutely never heard of, and the umpire names you know best all show up at the bottom (in fact, the Twitter embed perfectly cuts off the chart so you’re like, “where are all the names I know?” – yeah, they’re cut off at the bottom):
Just so everyone knows, Pat Hoberg was the BEST umpire last year (2019 season) in terms of total runs created per game (absolute value, doesn’t cancel out positives and negatives). Here is the table of the best and worst 15. pic.twitter.com/hgHiw7yJES
— Umpire Scorecards (@UmpScorecards) October 13, 2020
• It was good:
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) October 14, 2020
• Some fascinating historical reading:
From Satchel Paige to Rube Foster to Effa Manley, you can find hundreds of #SABR biographies of Negro League baseball legends at the @SABRbioproject: https://t.co/9PQXCopT5o #NegroLeagues100 pic.twitter.com/LlcQBSA9Lt
— SABR (@sabr) October 14, 2020