Things are shutting down around here again, which is both understandable and discouraging. Sure, we knew the winter could be tough, but it feels like the collective we made it a lot shittier than we had to.
• Today is the deadline to roster prospects to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft next month if they’re otherwise set to be eligible. Bryan looked at some of the Cubs’ decisions here and here, and we’ll otherwise wait to see what decisions the Cubs make. Moreover, we’ll see if there’s any ancillary movement – frequently, you see minor trades and/or waiver moves today as clubs reshuffle their 40-man roster a bit to open up spots to protect prospects. The Cubs’ 40-man roster is at just 34 (plus some non-tenders coming on December 2), and without a ton of eligible prospects who clearly require protecting, the Cubs have a ton of room today for additions if opportunities present themselves. Stay tuned.
• As noted by Cubs Insider, the Cubs have punted their first deposit deadline for season ticket holders about seven weeks, which is the right thing to do when you consider what next year may or may not look like (the league is reportedly still hoping to open April 1 with a full 162-game calendar). It’s also probably a practical thing, because I bet the Cubs weren’t seeing renewal rates anywhere close to what they usually were. First deposits are now not due until January 8.
• For baseball ops budgeting purposes, then, I wonder if this kicks the “fluid budget situation” another couple months down the road. As we’ve discussed, the Cubs will have to make some key decisions long before that (non-tender deadline on December 2, trade opportunities come up when they come up, guys you might want to target could sign before you have a fixed budget). But it’s conceivable that the baseball ops budget changes markedly at some point in January/February, owing to the season ticket holder decisions, the baseball calendar, and the state of the vaccine/pandemic. Yes, much of the offseason will have passed you by at that point, but it’s better than nothing?
• Somehow the legend of Alfonso Soriano’s contract became more potent than his actual performance:
#OTD in 2006, the Cubs signed one Alfonso Guilleard Soriano.
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) November 19, 2020
• Soriano’s performance faded in the later years of his deal, but that’s what you expect when you sign a guy in his 30s to a monster contract. You’re hoping to get his best years early on, which the Cubs *did* get from Soriano. It’s hardly his fault (alone) that the team crapped out twice in a row in three straight postseason games in 2007-08. Indeed, Soriano’s trajectory after signing with the Cubs looks a whole lot like that of Jon Lester, and people regard the Lester signing as one of the best in team history. The postseason performance makes a huge difference – as it should – but it’s just not accurate to say the Soriano signing was a disaster:
• That’s a very young Greg Maddux:
• The federal announcement on Wrigley Field’s new status:
⚾️ Hitting it out of the park with this news! Wrigley Field is officially a National Historic Landmark.
— US Department of the Interior (@Interior) November 19, 2020
I'm the captain now. pic.twitter.com/mjFHSmxIYT
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) November 20, 2020
• We partnered with Obvious Shirts a couple years ago because we loved the shirts anyway, and they’re very much our style. But having been able to work with Joe (the dude behind OS) for a while now, my favorite part of his company is how he’s constantly doing this stuff:
Thrilled to announce that Obvious Shirts has now raised over $96,000 for these incredible foundations in 2020. This has sincerely been the most rewarding part of what I do and it would not be possible without all the wonderful people who purchased a shirt. THANK YOU! 🙏 pic.twitter.com/r17sRhk5MG
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) November 19, 2020