Soler the MVP, the Wild Story of His Home Run Ball, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Soler the MVP, the Wild Story of His Home Run Ball, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

No Major League Baseball for (at least) four months. I tend to be fine with exhaling for a minute when the World Series is over, but it’s only a few weeks before I would like to be back into the season. I expect that will be the case again this year – or maybe even sooner – since there might not be a lot of offseason-type activity until the CBA is settled. It’s possible things will just get quiet for a while, and I’ll miss baseball all the more. Maybe I should get me a Dominican Winter League team …

•   A big congrats to Jorge Soler on his World Series MVP honors. Who saw that coming when he was hitting .183/.277/.313 in mid-July for a 37-55 Royals team? Good for him. Good for the Braves.

•   The Cubs, as you’ll recall, traded Soler just after their 2016 World Series win for Wade Davis. Given how things ultimately played out for the Cubs, it turned out that the only way for a member of that core to win another World Series was with a team that wasn’t the Cubs. (Well, and then he had to get traded again by the Royals.)

•   Soler, who’ll be 30 in February, will make for another interesting free agent case. Although he can play a corner outfield spot, he’s never looked or rated well there. As a pure DH, he’s had only one full really good offensive season in 2019. He was great with the Braves in the second half this year, and then was huge in the playoffs (11 games). This year was just the second time in his career that he was healthy enough to top 600 PAs. How much do you pay a guy with that profile, hoping that the bat gets a little bit better/more consistent in his 30s? I’ll always have affection for Soler, but when you really review the body of work, I’m not sure he’s a great DH bet going forward unless it’s a really reasonable contract, and unless you can make sure that strikeout rate doesn’t climb back over 30%.

•   For the record, I still don’t have a huge beef with the Soler trade. As much as I was a fan of Soler’s bat, it had become very hard to see him lasting as an everyday corner outfielder, and his troubles with breaking pitches were not improving. I wish the Cubs had been able to get more than just one year of Davis for Soler, but I didn’t really have a problem – and still don’t – with them trading him, overall.

•   I laughed:

•   Speaking of monster Soler homers, that one last night – the 446-foot blast that left the stadium and proved to be the game-winner – wound up at a nearby apartment party:

•   I am a nerd and thus immediately wonder what the legal state of ownership is of the baseball if you have to go into a fenced off area (while your wife (inadvertently?) distracts security). I would think the actual ownership would lay with whoever’s property that was in the fenced-off area, but it’s hard to blame this fan for just going for it and getting the ball. Either way, hopefully it ultimately winds up with Soler for him to decide what he wants to do with it.

•   The goggles are right there on your head, my man:

•   Joc gonna Joc, and I love how happily himself he is (this is actually from the pennant celebration, but I only saw it this morning):

•   The offseason dates and deadlines post is here, and you already know this year’s huge caveat: the CBA stuff. Something to note is that MLB did send out credentials request information for the Winter Meetings (which come after the CBA expiration), so they are still operating as though there will not be a lockout. That isn’t evidence of anything, mind you! Just confirmation that everything is going to proceed AS THOUGH there will be no lockout … until there is one.

•   It just keeps happening:

•   Found the next rising exec who’ll reject the Mets:

•   A reminder that the Cubs’ crunched 40-man roster hits the wall this week, as the guys on the 60-day IL have to come off the IL and back onto the 40-man. That will put the Cubs over 40, so … there will be departures as soon as today. More on that coming.

•   As of this morning, the anniversary sale is still going on, so hop on it while you have a chance (ends 1pm CT today):

•   Highlighting what there was to highlight (there actually was a good bit of fun stuff this year, all jokes aside – and Michael is a very fun and happy guy, so he’s perfect for it):

•   As expected, maddening as it is, the Bears did nothing at the deadline:

•   Oh, Scottie … :

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.