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Matz Aftermath, Rodon an Alternative, Cubs Diversity, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

If you’re traveling today for Turkey Day tomorrow, I wish you safe transport. And if you’re starting the process of cooking and all that, I wish you luck with that. Just remember: anyone who says cheesy potatoes are not a Thanksgiving food is a dang liar.

•   So much drama this morning already about the Steven Matz signing, so catch up there if you missed anything. Basically, it’s all LOLMets. Meanwhile, the Cubs were IN THE TOP FIVE BABY:

•   Who knows what that actually means beyond the Cubs being a “serious” bidder. For all we know, though, the Cubs may have been trying to sell Matz on a shorter-term, higher-AAV type deal, and that simply wasn’t his preference.

•   I’ve been wondering, just for the sake of comparison, whether the Cubs would be better off landing a guy like Matz on a four-year deal, or a guy like Carlos Rodon on a much higher-risk, much higher-upside type signing. They aren’t direct comparables, but you’re talking about young-ish lefties who throw hard and come with certain risks. With Matz, you probably get a safer floor from a health perspective, but he might never be more than an average pitcher for 150-ish innings. With Rodon, you get the upside of a potential ace … just a very low likelihood it actually plays out that way. We have liked the idea of the Cubs taking a chance on Rodon, but you have to have your eyes open about the possibility that he gives you nothing at all. With the White Sox declining to even give him a qualifying offer, it makes you a bit worried about that arm. (No draft pick compensation, though, and if he’s open to a short-term, high-AAV deal, that’s the kind of thing the Cubs should be trying.)

•   I’m gonna keep mulling it – again, it’s just for the sake of thinking, not anything that’s actually been raised by the circumstances. I liked the idea of Matz as a reasonable mid-rotation option with a little bit of upside, but it’s hard to argue against the idea that a team like the Cubs could and should be jumping all over short-term, high-risk moves like Rodon. (Yusei Kikuchi is the other mid-90s fastball lefty who is going to come up in this context, and while he’s been speculated to the Cubs a lot, they’d have to have a very specific plan for sorting out his egregious splits.)

•   More Matz miscellany:

•   Looks like he made that change in mid-August, after which he had a sub-3 ERA. Doesn’t mean the results were wholly due to the change on the mound, and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s immediately portable to the same level of success in 2022 (hitters adjust). But that is a substantial change that did, last year, coincide with even better results.

•   The Cubs are slowly working on the issue of diversity in their front office and through their coaching ranks, but more is needed:

•   Good work here:

•   Soooooooo, who gets to keep the clay model:

•   Pretty darn cool for the Cubs announcer:

•   Special show tomorrow night:

•   Hey. Protect your wrist, young man:

•   Just a mess:

•   Heads up on what’s coming tomorrow night from Obvious Shirts:



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.