Not that I needed another reason to pull back the reins a little bit on my desire for the Cubs to GET AGGRESSIVE on adding a steady starting pitcher right now (and then deciding whether to make a bigger move next month), but Cubs President Jed Hoyer just dropped another one.
In addition to, as I mentioned earlier, the options just not being there on the trade market right now, Hoyer pointed out to Waddle and Silvy on ESPN 1000 that the new enforcement of “sticky stuff” rules is going to change the landscape for player evaluation. And that might mean, despite the fact that trade feelers are starting to go out, teams will have to head sufficiently back into full-on scouting mode that no one may WANT to make a trade until they have so much more data after Monday when the random checks begin.
I feel very stupid that I did not consider this factor in the timing of trades and trade availability.
Cubs Pres Jed Hoyer on ESPN 1000 calls the upcoming crackdown on foreign substances a ‘huge variable’ which could impact the trade market. It’s like a new 5 week season starting Monday. Trade deadline is July 31.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) June 17, 2021
Think about all the directions in which that will cut in advance of the July 30 (it’s July 30 this year) Trade Deadline.
Not only is it obviously a huge evaluation wrinkle in relation to the your possible trade targets – was this guy always legit? if not, how good can he be post-adjustment? – but also in relation to your own pitching staff. You need to know how your own guys are going to adjust (starters AND relievers) before you can really know best what you need, or how realistic it is to believe that Trade Addition X is going to help you sufficiently in the months ahead. And that’s all to say nothing of scouting PROSPECTS in this environment! Hell, we were already in a situation where teams had so little recent scouting data, and now, after a shutdown, guys are coming back to an environment where they might be playing with their grip substances? Good lord, scouting and data are gonna be a mess.
AND THAT doesn’t even consider the impact on the other side of the equation! What about hitters, big league and prospect? What about differences you start to notice in THEIR performance in the coming weeks? It’s not quite the same level of new data, but when you’re making decisions at the margins, might you see some trends that get you thinking?
What a new level of mess for what has already been a challenging roll-out.
At a minimum, it seems like another fact that will help to delay this year’s trade market, particularly on the pitching side. Which, well, is a bummer for the Cubs.