Trade Dreaming, All-Star Game and Moments, and Other Cubs Bullets

I am not here to tell you about a dream I had, because there is little more uninteresting than someone else’s dreams. Instead, it’s baseball-related and I have a question about dreams.

Last night I dreamt that the Cubs traded Patrick Wisdom and Trevor Williams to the Mets for James Wood, who is a top Padres outfield prospect. Now, obviously I can see some parallels to the actual trade with the Mets last deadline, plus the ever-present interest in acquiring Padres prospects, and that’s probably why it bled into my head the way it did. But why would my brain – just because it’s “asleep” – have so many glaring factual errors? I know Trevor Williams is already on the Mets. I know James Wood is not in the Mets system. Why would my sleeping brain do that? I’m sure you see this kind of thing all the time in your own dreams, and I just wonder why we mess up simple factual stuff.

Bringing it back to the baseball of it, I also think I had the Mets on the brain because of this tweet:

I won’t stake anything on Cerrone, who used to cover the Mets extensively but who has fallen off my radar in recent years. So I can’t speak to the veracity of the rumor. But I think it’s worth saying that *IF* the Mets seriously considered trading Francisco Alvarez, one of the three best prospects in baseball, it’s hard to imagine it being for any player seriously on the block other than Juan Soto (Luis Castillo is not enough, right? And Shohei Ohtani isn’t ACTUALLY being traded, right?). And boy do I have a hard time seeing division rivals getting together on that scale of a deal.

… which means I start doing mental backflips (dreaming, if you will) to try to figure out how the Cubs could put together a package of players that could MAYBE net Alvarez, but I still don’t see it. Even a Willson Contreras, Ian Happ, David Robertson combination package is probably not a “good idea” for the Mets to send out Alvarez for, even if you could make an argument that there’s a value equivalency there.

In other words, don’t get your hopes up for Alvarez. The Cubs tried to target him a year and a half ago in a possible Kris Bryant deal, long before Alvarez had truly exploded, but nothing ever came together. At least the Cubs’ scouting was right. (The Cubs should just trade for Soto themselves)

All right. Enough of that. See, told you it was baseball-related. On to the Bullets …

  • The American League once again beat the National League in the All-Star Game last night, the ninth time in a row, and the 27th time in the last 34 games. For nearly my entire life, it’s always the American League. Shrug.
  • It was a mostly quiet night for the Cubs participants. Willson Contreras hit one super deep! … but foul. He also reached base! … on an error. Ian Happ got into the game later and walked. It seemed like a great experience for both guys, though, and the talk about the Cubs trading them was relatively minimal during the game …
  • The intro to the game featured a tribute to Jackie Robinson and also his widow, Rachel, who was celebrating her 100th birthday:
  • Giancarlo Stanton, who later took MVP honors, hit a 457 foot home run, and he remains my favorite freak in baseball:
  • One of the other top baseball freaks went deep in the same inning, with Byron Buxton somehow hitting this pitch 425 feet:
  • Among the best features were the mic’d up pitchers, talking their way through their appearances. Alek Manoah, in particular, was a ton of fun:
  • This mic’d up moment was also pretty delightful:
  • And the Ump Cam, when used carefully and not for the initial look at a pitch, was freaking awesome:
  • That was two of the just five total runs scored in the game. It’s just an exhibition game, so there is a TON of “who cares” to something like this, but I still think it’s worth pointing out: there were 22 strikeouts in the game, and just 18 hits+walks. These are the best players in the sport, and when they face each other, the pitchers dominate. There’s nothing inherently WRONG with pitchers being awesome. But all the strikeouts compared to the action in the field. It’s not an ideal balance.
  • Honestly, I’ve just become completely and irreversibly sold on the idea that I want to see more batted balls in play. It doesn’t have to be “more offense.” It doesn’t have to be “shorter games.” Those aren’t what animates the desire for change for me. I would like strikeouts to become a little more special and non-standard, with a ball actually being hit out there for something to happen being more of the at-bat-to-at-bat expectation.
  • Attendance worries permeate the league, not just the tankers:
  • 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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