I’m not pissed that the Bears lost, and looked totally hapless on offense in the process. Like I said yesterday, I expected that. I’m pissed that I don’t have confidence at this moment that the organization will do what it needs to do, which is to say make FUNDAMENTAL changes in football operations immediately. Like, today. I guess I’m pissed because I’m already anticipating they won’t. Which, I know, is lame. Prove me wrong.
• Although there was a lot of buzz in private and public quarters about the possibility of another major Cubs sell trade this weekend, nothing actually came down the pipeline. I wouldn’t quite say that means nothing is going to happen now and the window has passed – in fact, the opposite is probably more likely, given how many places from which we were hearing serious chatter – but I will say that this seems like a pretty tough week to pull off a trade involving, for example, Kris Bryant or Willson Contreras. Why? Because arbitration figures are due by Friday. That means teams are feverishly negotiating this week with those players to try to reach settlements to avoid arbitration and avoid the exchange of figures on Friday, which, for some organizations, locks you into an arbitration hearing next month (i.e., teams that operate in “file and trial” mode). Historically, the Cubs work to get deals done this week before announcing them en masse on Friday, so I would expect that to be the same this week – and thus, for that reason, I’d expect trade efforts to take a back seat.
• Also, there’s the uncertainty. If you’re a team trading for Bryant or Contreras, now that we’re so close to the deadline for (probably) knowing precisely what their salary is going to be, don’t you want to wait a few days and find out? Moreover, given that we already know arbitration figures could be WILDLY variant this year, doesn’t that give you all the more reason to just kinda wait and see? I know why the CUBS would prefer to have trades done before that date arrives, but now that it’s this week, I don’t really see why teams would be too eager to pull the trigger. (Unless, of course, they’re already super far down the road and a trade’s completion is just awaiting medicals or whatever, and the financial aspect has already been fully taken into account. Gulp.)
• Consider that your general reminder, too, that arbitration figures week is here. Given the outsized importance finances have once again taken on for the Cubs, it’s a big one. They obviously have a whole lot of arbitration-eligible players, and many are coming off really wonky seasons that could create huge divergences in valuation (i.e., terrible seasons like Javy Báez and Kris Bryant, or incredible seasons like Ian Happ and Zach Davies, or huge skillset changing seasons like Willson Contreras).
• For the moment, I’d rather think about something like this than having to say goodbye to yet another long-time Cub:
Sometimes I think about how Willson Contreras hit a 491-foot MONSTER shot in the 2017 NLCS. That was fun. I was there. The ball went hilariously far. pic.twitter.com/KlYvG0m0ox
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) January 9, 2021
• Hey there, Cubs. Your pitchers thank you:
Let's go look at Outs Above Average (that's the Statcast defensive metric) for shortstops 2017-'20 and .. oh, yeah, I think Mets fans are going to like Francisco Lindor. pic.twitter.com/ncwqdnsGm1
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) January 11, 2021
• By that particular metric, Javy Báez was tied for fourth in baseball in 2020 (4 OAA, Fernando Tatis led with 7), but led all of baseball in 2019 (18). In 2018 (14) and 2017 (12), it was Addison Russell finishing second in the league both times behind Nick Ahmed. I don’t joke when I say that Cubs pitchers should thank the team’s recent shortstops, because it no doubt improves your performance to have the pretty clear second best shortstop situation in the league over a four-year period.
• I am so hard up for baseball and excited for Boog to arrive that I watched this more than once and thought about how well the pitcher was pitching to the conditions:
— Jon Sciambi (@BoogSciambi) January 10, 2021
• This thread is fantastic (featuring a big cameo by Ian Happ), and we’re pulling for Matt:
I am speechless about the events of this past week. From the lows of needing to start hospice due to my rapidly growing #Gbm #cancer ,to getting a call from @UCLAHealth saying they can get me into a clinical trial to hopefully shut down the tumor. The trial includes pic.twitter.com/8TnIwpLVru
— Matt Henkel (@mph_turf79) January 10, 2021
• That makes one of us:
Mitchell Trubisky Can See Himself Back With the Bears Next Yearhttps://t.co/95HBm8Q5a8
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) January 11, 2021