Mets Moving the Market, Cubs Quiet So Far, Hendricks and Miley, and Other Cubs Bullets

On the one hand, I love that we’re finally getting a busy November again after years and years of freezing cold starts to the baseball offseason. On the other hand, the reason we’re getting a busy November is because everyone knows December is about to go poof …

•   The Mets led the charge on the busy-ness yesterday, signing the first THREE position player free agents of the offseason, Eduardo Escobar, Mark Canha, and Starling Marte. You can expect that they’ll turn to their needs in the rotation now, where there will more likely be competition with arms the Cubs were possibly pursuing (Marcus Stroman? Jon Gray?). Given the rapidity with which the Mets swooped in on those three position players, and given what we already know about some guys wanting to sign before the CBA expires, I would pretty much expect the Mets to land a pitcher this weekend, either in free agency, or by trading their now surplus of position players. Things are moving now, and it could accelerate from here, all the way through Tuesday’s tender deadline and Wednesday’s likely final day before a lockout.

•   Meanwhile, the Cubs’ big league offseason additions so far are limited to reserve outfielder Harold Ramirez, and mid-rotation contact manager Wade Miley. I really like both of those moves in isolation, but obviously the Cubs are going to need to be considerably more active from here if they seriously want to compete in 2022. They don’t *have* to get deals done before the lockout starts, but they may not get their pick of the litter if they don’t move quickly and the market moves without them. So far, the only player who has signed that I was bummed did not go to the Cubs is Steven Matz (I wanted Noah Syndergaard, but not once he got the qualifying offer). I don’t feel like the Cubs have “missed out” on much yet. YET.

•   To that end, I think the Cubs would move early if they had to – the bidding on Steven Matz and Andrew Heaney suggests it, though we don’t know how large the bids were – but I still think they PREFER to wait until the CBA is settled so they know the backdrop of rules, roster construction, price tags, etc. that they’re working against. I can see the pros and cons either way (clearly MLB orgs are split on the issue, too), and it’s one of those things where I’m not sure I’ll be able to evaluate properly whether the Cubs did the right or wrong thing until it’s all completed. I just don’t have an intelligent opinion either way at this moment, other than to say the Cubs cannot sit on their hands if a preferred target is dead set on signing before December 1.

•   Just a reminder that the focus on the rotation for the Cubs thus far this offseason in our discussions is more about the direness of that need and the part of the market that was moving early. It’s not about the Cubs *not* needing position player additions, because I think it’s pretty hard to argue they have a clearly competitive lineup. They have some passable pieces, and some guys with upside. But a full set of clear starting-caliber players? No. There are massive holes.

•   Kyle Hendricks is stoked to be paired up with a guy who is something of a lefty version of himself (and yes, they’ll definitely be picking each other’s brains):

•   The price tag is in on Michael Wacha, and while I understand there is data that suggests he can be so much better than he’s been for the last SIX years, I don’t quite get him landing a relatively sizable deal this early in the offseason:

•   Not that I’m gonna take a dump on Chaim Bloom’s decision-making, because the guy really nailed this tier of moves last year for the Red Sox.

•   Stray Twitter discussion this morning from me and Bryan:

•   In the spirit of going with early versions of deal days, Amazon is on to its Cyber Monday Deals a couple days in advance. Basically, a bajillion things are still on sale, and you are advised to peruse if you’d been waiting for these sales to get something. #ad

•   The Bulls didn’t linger on this week’s ugly, ugly losses for too long, and the Blackhawks came back and won one in overtime:

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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