Farewell to Schwarber, Outfielders, Cubs Loaded at Young Shortstop, and Other Cubs Bullets | Bleacher Nation

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Farewell to Schwarber, Outfielders, Cubs Loaded at Young Shortstop, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I think I’m ready for today’s game. The Bears are not close to as good as the Saints. That’s just a reality. The Bears are also missing two critical players in Roquan Smith and Darnell Mooney. Jaylon Johnson is also banged up. The Saints are getting BACK Michael Thomas and will have Alvin Kamara. It’s like a 10-point spread. In a dang playoff game. This has all the makings of a total blowout and embarrassment. Fine. Maybe that’s what happens. But if I prepare myself appropriately for that, then my fan outcomes today are either (1) what is expected to happen happens, or (2) something crazy and wild and fun happens.

Just don’t, like, take it to overtime and lose or something …

•   Like I said yesterday, I didn’t anticipate that Kyle Schwarber would re-up with the Cubs, and I also understand the desire to change the type of hitter the Cubs incorporate into their lineup (since Schwarber’s hit tool never quite developed with the Cubs in the big leagues (God help my rage if it happens with the Nats)). It still just felt so final to see he’d actually signed with another club, and to see all the farewells and positive comments from him about going forward. This is a guy who is inarguably responsible for some of the best memories of the last five years:


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•   Schwarber’s contract with the Nationals is reportedly for $7 million in 2021, and then comes with a mutual option for 2022 at $11 million with a $3 million buyout. So, it’s one year and $10 million. Mutual options are a weird bird, because sometimes the guy gets the buyout either way (in which case, the mutual option is nothing more than a way to defer some of the salary), but more frequently, there’s an order of operations put into the deal: if the player wants to stay, but the team wants him to go, then he gets the buyout. Otherwise, if he wants to go but the team wants him to stay, he doesn’t get the buyout. So basically, if it’s that type of deal, the Nationals have guaranteed Schwarber at least $10 million for AAV purposes, but if he’s awesome and decides to hit free agency after next year, he’ll probably forgo that buyout. So, think of it as $7 million for Schwarber if he’s great, and $10 million if he stinks. And either way, the Nationals got to defer up to $3 million for a few months. That is all to say … it’s a one year, $10 million contract. Just think of it that way. Good deal for Schwarber to get the very high end of his arbitration projection, but pretty clear that there wasn’t going to be much of a trade market if Cubs were determined to move him back in November (remember how there was even MORE uncertainty back then).

•   This is just weird:

•   A third party take on the signing:

•   In his weekly roundup, Todd at Cubs Central hears that AAA outfielder Donnie Dewees has a torn ACL and maaaaan I really hope that’s not true. The Cubs’ outfield depth – as you well know – is frightening as it is, and Dewees, the Cubs second rounder in 2015, at least offered some compelling offensive upside. Dewees already missed competitive ball in 2020 because of the pandemic, so you’d hate to see him miss a second straight year because of injury.

•   Notably, the Cubs have absolutely loaded up on minor league outfield signings, which would’ve been expected anyway given the lack of upper-level depth there and the barren big league outfield (and the lack of a desire to spend money … ). But if Dewees is indeed out, it’s all the more reason for the Cubs to have signed so many guys.

•   Rumors that the Padres are working on a monster extension for Fernando Tatis, Jr., which could top $300 million. There’s undoubtedly merit there, but it’ll be crazy to see him get triple was Ronald Acuña, Jr. got, despite having played in only about 30 more big league games at the time of the extension. Of course, the Acuña extension was seen as ROUGH for the young superstar at the time, so I guess the Braves just got an absolute steal, which is only gonna look even more ridiculous.

•   This is a big week for the Cubs farm system, as they’re FINALLY going to get this guy officially into the organization:

•   Yes, Hernandez will be yet another super young shortstop, but the Cubs are absolutely loaded in that department in the system. Hernandez, Santana, Preciado, Howard, Morel (the Rafael version), Made, Vazquez, Verdugo, and more. Among groups 20 and younger, I would say that’s probably the best set of shortstops in a single system in baseball. It might not even be close, actually. The rub, of course, is that you have to figure out how to accommodate all of them for development purposes, and furthermore, there’s soooo much wash-out potential when you’re talking about a group so young. So it’s not quite the same as saying, yo, you have the best group of middle infielders at High-A/AA in all of baseball. But it’s still a great foundation.

•   A Chicago great hangs ’em up:

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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.