The Phillies as a Lesson, Spending for Winning, Judge Gets Booed, and Other Cubs Bullets

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The Phillies as a Lesson, Spending for Winning, Judge Gets Booed, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The season finale of ‘Rings of Power’ was pretty great from where I was sitting, as was the entire season. I know it’s not for everyone – I’m actually not SUPER into that high fantasy stuff, myself – but I really like the way it played out. If you liked the movies at all and were waiting to binge, I give it a solid recommendation.

  • The Phillies, who may very well make the NLCS (they just need to win one of the next two games), won 87 games in the regular season this year. A true-talent 85-win team will frequently have the coin flips fall in their favor and win 87+ games, which is, apparently, enough to get you to the postseason, where good things can happen.
  • That’s why we keep saying the Cubs need to get to an on-paper, true-talent 85-win team this offseason. It’s not that you WANT the Cubs to win precisely 85 games next year. It’s just that, if that’s your true-talent level, then you at least give yourself a realistic chance – in that meaty center of the bell curve – to make the playoffs. And although you can’t guarantee the outcomes once the season starts, you CAN put in the work in the offseason to make the team an 85-winner *on paper.* In my view, with the current Cubs team, that can be done RELATIVELY EASILY with the right moves and the right level of aggressiveness this offseason. They have the money. They have the prospect depth. They can make the necessary additions for 2023 without imploding some hypothetical future season.
  • None of that, by the way, is to say the Phillies are a MODEL for how you want to proceed this offseason if you’re the Cubs. Only that their success this year offers something of a lesson about the many ways you can get things done if you just give yourself a shot.
  • Aaron Judge is getting booed by Yankees fans in the ALDS:
  • If you missed it, Matt Mervis homered AGAIN. Whatever it was possible for him to do in the Arizona Fall League to confirm that he was just a flat-out monster stud this year, he’s doing it. I cannot wait to see this guy in Spring Training, where he will absolutely have a very real shot at winning a job on the Opening Day roster, regardless of any additions the Cubs make this offseason.
  • Here’s how the Pirates are thinking about their offseason and their self-imposed financial limitations, together with a great reminder about the relationship between spending and winning:
  • Another look at spending and winning, from before this past season:
  • Three of the teams with a winning percentage over 50% had a relative payroll below average. Seven of the teams with a winning percentage over 50% had a relative payroll ABOVE average, and three of the winning-est of the bunch outspent other teams by a boatload.
  • It’s not a perfect correlation between payroll and winning, and we already know that spending a lot does NOT guarantee you wins. But we also know that big spending helps in a number of ways, and if small market teams aren’t going to do it, then big market teams are supposed to use that to their advantage (the CBA is explicitly set up that way). So, anyway, point there: if teams like the Pirates and Reds (and, to a lesser extent the Brewers) are pre-planning to never spend significant dollars, then there is all the more reason for the Cubs to be sure that they do.

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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.