Rookies of the Year and the New Rules, Heyward, McKay, Pujols, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Rookies of the Year and the New Rules, Heyward, McKay, Pujols, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

A reminder that today is Rule 5 roster protection day, and also Qualifying Offer decision day. So it’s going to get busy. Prediction? Cubs make a modest acquisition (maybe a Rays pitcher … ), and protect five prospects (Davis, Alcántara, Brown, Jensen, and Sanders).

  • Julio Rodriguez and Michael Harris II are your rookies of the year, with Adley Rutschman and Spencer Strider the clear second place finishers in each league. Neither of the Cubs’ top rookies – Seiya Suzuki or Christopher Morel – received any third place votes. Cardinals utility man Brendan Donovan was the clear third place finisher.
  • In addition to it just being plaudits for them, there are real impacts, if you’ll recall from the new CBA. For one, players who finish in the top two of ROY voting get a little more of the pre-arbitration bonus pool, so this means some extra cash for these guys (three of whom already have signed big extensions, oddly enough).
  • For another, there are the two elements designed to limit service time manipulation. First, prospects who were on at least two top 100 prospect lists coming into the season, and who finish in the top two of ROY voting, qualify for a full year of service time, even if they otherwise wouldn’t have. In this case, that’s Rutschman, who now gets credited with a full year of service time. And second, prospects who were on at least two top 100 prospect lists coming into the season, and who finish in the top two of ROY voting, will net their team a bonus draft pick if they were on the roster enough to qualify for a full service year on their own. In this case, that’s Rodriguez.
  • I’m just over here thinking about how it’s gonna kinda suck that Matt Mervis won’t be on any top 100 lists this offseason, and then is going to win ROY in 2023. No extra draft pick for the Cubs, even if Mervis plays the whole year and the Cubs do no service-time-manipulating. (Which, in turn, means teams in a situation like that *ARE* still heavily incentivized to manipulate service time. All because of third party prospect rankings. I never liked that part.)
  • Never a bad time to remember this walk-off grand slam, which was all the more improbable because at the time, Heyward absolutely could not slug off of lefties:
  • Cubs Charities is up for an award:
  • The Marlins now have a woman GM (Kim Ng) and a woman president of business operations:
  • Remember Tampa Bay Rays two-way prospect Brendan McKay? He was regarded as such a stud for so long, but injuries wound up forcing him into pitching-only, and then even more injuries kept him completely off the field (shoulder surgery, then flexor strain, then thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, and now Tommy John surgery). The Rays have now let him go. Such a sad stretch for a promising guy. It’s possible a new org takes him on for the rehab process over the next 15 months to see what’s what next offseason.
  • Oh, yeah … Albert Pujols has to become an Angel again for like a decade now:


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.