Former Cub Projections and Trades That Went Awry, Yankees Really Hate Frazier, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Former Cub Projections and Trades That Went Awry, Yankees Really Hate Frazier, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

For a variety of life and other-sports-got-their-hooks-in-me reasons, I have been out on college football for several years now. Whenever bowl season comes around, though, I’m mad at myself for being out, because I used to LOVVVVVVE bowl season.

•   Another day, another set of new ZiPS projections featuring a former Cub. As with Kris Bryant yesterday, today’s edition (the Detroit Tigers) paints a pretty underwhelming picture for Javy Báez in his first full non-Cubs season: .261/.304/.468, 107 OPS+, good but not spectacular defense, and a 3.1 WAR. If Báez went out and did that, complete with the things he does that aren’t quite captured in those statistics, then he’s a very valuable player. Don’t miss me on that. But when a guy signs for six years and $140 million, you’re hoping to get the very best from him in the first couple years; and if that’s the very best Báez has left, even at age 29, then the contract would likely become a real dud.

•   All that said, I’d reiterate that there is some El Mago value that I don’t think these systems quite capture, and you also have to remember that the Tigers are undoubtedly betting they can get more 2018-19 Javy in the years ahead than 2020-first-half-2021 Javy (which factor prominently into these projections). When you sign a guy like Báez, you aren’t just paying for his 50th percentile projection – you’re paying for the chance that he reaches his 70th or 80th percentile projection for a couple seasons, since the upside in a guy like Báez is particularly extreme.

•   (All that said x2, I will admit the fan discomfort I’m feeling in knowing there’s a very good chance we’ll track the performance of these former Cubs over the next few years and have confirmed for us that it was probably for the best that they all departed when they did. If that plays out, it’s just gonna be a really jarring thing, given how much they meant to our experience over the past decade, and how much we wanted some of them to stay with the Cubs for years to come.)

•   Oh, and the best position player on the Tigers? It doesn’t currently project to be Javy Báez, but it DOES project to be another former Cub: third baseman Jeimer Candelario – .253/.334/.430, 108 OPS+, good defense, and a 3.2 WAR. Also, the guy he was traded with, Isaac Paredes, also projects to be a really good player with an above-average bat and 2.2 WAR (and he’s only 22). That Trade Deadline deal in 2017 for reliever Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila made all the sense in the world, and Candelario wouldn’t have had a clear spot on the Cubs for the years that followed, but still. Tigers did pretty darn well in that trade, no?

•   Former Yankee lefty – and beloved Yankee figurehead? – CC Sabathia, who spent many years in the same org as Clint Frazier, is awfully tired of hearing stories about the now former Yankee outfielder. On his podcast, Sabathia responded to Frazier’s tweets about being excited to join the Cubs and depart the Yankees by saying, “If I see another Clint Frazier story, bro, I’m gonna punch somebody in the f—ing face. Sh-t is ridiculous. That kid played 15 games in the f—ing big leagues. Get the f–k out of here with all these stupid ass f—ing stories.” It’s been 228 games, but Sabathia’s point pretty clearly speaks to the fan and org frustration – echoed in his comments – that Frazier didn’t live up to the considerable hype that accompanied his 2016 arrival in a midseason trade for Andrew Miller:

•   All I can say is that my desire to see Frazier succeed with the Cubs, which was already considerable (because Cubs), is growing by the day. Seeing some Yankee fan/player/media rage would be delicious.

•   David Ortiz’s Hall of Fame candidacy isn’t quite the slam dunk I thought it would be, even if you ignore the (possibly specious) connection to PEDs earlier in his career. This very comprehensive write-up at FanGraphs tells you everything there is to say about the Ortiz case, and it’s surprisingly close. But his postseason accomplishments probably wind up the tiebreaker.

•   To that end, just something to mull: it kinda sucks that some guys never get a chance to really show off in the postseason. You wonder about borderline cases that might’ve been more clear cut if the guy’s teams had simply been better. And then you also wonder about older days when the postseason was only a series or two, at most. A lot more opportunity now to build out your postseason resume.

•   Toys, pet spray, and weighted blankets are among your Deals of the Day today at Amazon. #ad

•   This was yesterday’s anniversary:

•   Adbert Alzolay is rocking some serious hair right now:

•   I never get tired of seeing this pitch:

•   That’s old friend Moises Alou getting owned, by the way. Dude was such a good hitter. I forget how good until I check, which I do every time he comes up: .303/.369/.516, 9.3% BB, 11.3% K, 129 wRC+, and he did all that over the course of nearly 19(!) years.

•   Back to Maddux, I guess we’re just enjoying him today:

•   Fine, fine, yes, it’s gorgeous:

•   A couple of HUGE feats in last night’s Blackhawks win, one serious, one a little tongue-in-cheek:

•   Truly awful news overnight:

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.