Rehabbing with a New Org During a Lockout, Trading with the A's, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Rehabbing with a New Org During a Lockout, Trading with the A’s, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

On the radio this morning, they were telling the story of how Sylvester Stallone asked Queen for permission to use ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ in ‘Rocky,’ and they said no. So he went to Survivor, and that’s how we got ‘Eye of the Tiger.’ Interesting, I thought, as I flipped the station. That second station? It’s playing ‘Eye of the Tiger.’ Heh, that’s funny, I thought, as I flipped the station again. That third station? IT WAS PLAYING ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST. COME ON WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!?!?

•   We’ve talked about this issue before as it relates to the lockout, and although it’s an added challenge – particularly for a new guy in an organization like Nick Madrigal – it doesn’t sound like it’s been a huge problem, but it’s definitely not ideal:

•   Although Madrigal cannot communicate directly with the Cubs as he continues his rehab from surgery on his hamstring, he can communicate with his trainers, and they can communicate with the Cubs. Which they do. So, although it’s a game of telephone, it keeps the Cubs and Madrigal on the same page with his progress, as long as everyone trusts everyone else and faithfully communicates what is needed, how things are going, etc. I’m not TOO worried about it, but it does suck that Madrigal can’t be under the direct supervision of the Cubs, not only for rehab purposes, but also just player development. He’s still a really young player!

•   The article is a long read on Madrigal’s trade – including the wild story about how he had to change a HOUSE purchase at the last minute – and subsequent rehab process. I love getting that human perspective. As for the injury rehab, everything still looks to be on track for Madrigal to have a normal Spring Training … well, I mean, to the extent anyone has a normal Spring Training this year.

•   If you’re lookin’ to see the Cubs among the teams picking the bones of the Oakland A’s after the lockout ends, start by checking out the newly-released ZiPS projections for the A’s in 2022. We’ve discussed them before, but it’s worth reiterating that all of Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt, and Frankie Montas project to be 3 to 4 WAR players, and all have short-term control that could appeal to the Cubs. The rub, of course, is the price tag in acquiring a short-term player: the Cubs want to do it with cash, not prospects. And these three pitchers are going to have sufficient value, even at their arbitration projections, that they would cost a solid prospect package. Not sure the Cubs will go that route, even if we are of the mind that they could really use another starter (and the free agent market from here is quite thin).

•   Positionally, I don’t really see the Cubs going after either of the Matts Olson and Chapman, both of whom project quite well. I’ll be fascinated to follow their trade markets, since those COULD impact the Cubs, even if they don’t go after them.

•   The Padres made the rare move of denying a team permission to interview one of their coaches for a promotion. Former Cubs prospect Ryan Flaherty is now an up-and-coming quality assurance coach with the Padres, but they denied the Mets permission to give him a look for their bench coach job because it’s so close to Spring Training (in theory, obviously).

•   Big day for powders at Amazon, and I’ll say I’ve used several of them – matcha green tea, protein powder, collagen peptides, and more are your Deals of the Day. #ad

•   Big news today for the Chicago Bears, obviously, as both head coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace have been fired.

•   This is a fun tweet, and I have a couple comments:

•   The couple comments: (1) the Gorilla suit incident was actually about six years earlier in a different Epstein/Red Sox negotiation situation, but I presume Luis was just having some fun; and (2) for as unlikely as people think Sean Payton to the Bears is, given his standing with the Saints and the lowliness of the Bears, I’m just saying that there was a time in the summer and fall of 2011 that people thought it was RIDICULOUS that we were even discussing Epstein as a possible candidate for the Cubs’ front office opening. I thought it was a pipe dream. Sometimes you don’t know when a guy is looking for a different challenge, and I think sometimes as fans, we’re too close to our teams (when they suck, I mean) to realize what a great opportunity they can look like to others. Clearly, Theo Epstein was right to come, yes?

•   (There is a huge difference, though: at the time, Tom Ricketts had been getting advisory help from Pat Gillick, and knew enough to know how to go about landing someone like Epstein. The McCaskeys and Ted Phillips and Ryan Pace and whatever the heck is actually going to happen with all that … I don’t have nearly as much confidence that they can actually go get Payton.)

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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.