Leeper and the Bullpen, Trading for Stearns, Schwarber, Fergie, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Leeper and the Bullpen, Trading for Stearns, Schwarber, Fergie, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Went out with a friend last night and played some old school arcade games, so that was fun. I’m still an absolutely pro at Off Road.

  • I think this is very good and useful and interesting information on Cubs relief prospect Ben Leeper, but I have a but:
  • While it COULD be comforting to note that Leeper, 25, was dominant outside of those three implosion outings, don’t we also have to note that those implosions did happen? Unless there was something deeply flukey about those three that cannot and will not be repeated in the future, I would think it’s a mild concern about what could happen in the future, not something to toss away as no big deal. Leeper was such a dramatic breakout guy in 2021 that anything short of reaching the big leagues and being an impact arm in 2022 felt like a mild disappointment (which was a SUPER unfair expectation in the first place), but there’s no reason he shouldn’t still be viewed as a potentially very important relief arm for the Cubs.
  • My quick eyeballing of the game log suggests that the really rough outings were the product of some extreme wildness; so maybe there is a fluke there? Or something addressable? You’d like to have Leeper on the radar as an up-down guy in 2023, because he’s got big-league-caliber pitches (he is Rule 5 eligible after the 2023 season, so he does not have to go on the 40-man this mont, but could comfortably come up any time next season). He will be someone to watch in Spring Training.
  • Leeper is part of a big group of Double-A/Triple-A/MLB relief arms who could and should find the Cubs not only some useful up-down guys, but also at least one or two breakouts like Brandon Hughes. And that’s outside of guys like Keegan Thompson and Adbert Alzolay who might wind up in the bullpen as multi-inning weapons. Oh, and that’s also outside of surprise guys who fly up through the system rapidly like Jeremiah Estrada did. I remain very bullish on the Cubs’ ability to have a great bullpen in 2023.
  • Jon Heyman reports that the Brewers are not expected to allow David Stearns to interview for any other jobs this offseason since he’s still under contract for 2023, even though he stepped down as president. Which, come on now: that’s just the Brewers’ way of saying they want to make a trade if you’re going to try to interview him now. If the Mets or Astros want him, then they will have to step up; otherwise, he’ll just hit free agency after 2023 and you never know what might happen. Either way, sounds like Stearns is gone after 2023 to some other team. Now we’ll see if Matt Arnold has the same secret sauce for the Brewers as Stearns did.
  • The Atlanta Braves (owned by a publicly-traded company, so we get to see financial data) spent more this year, but also kept winning, and therefore were still PROFITABLE in the third quarter:
  • Kyle Schwarber, who knows something about going on the road for the final two games of a World Series and winning, channels ‘The Scientist’ when talking about what comes next for the Phillies: “No one said this was easy. We’ve overcome a lot of things throughout the course of this year to be in this position. I think when we get there, you’re going to see a really resilient club and we’re going to play until the very end and we’re going to see where it takes us. It’s going to take everything. It’s going to take everyone. We’re excited. Trust me. Sure, it’s frustrating [to lose Game 5], but we’re also very excited.”
  • Schwarber is the first player in history to homer in every type of postseason series:
  • On Chas McCormick’s possibly-game-saving catch:
  • 30(!) complete games:
  • Hey, sure, why not:


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.