I don’t like that Justin Fields has to miss a game today, obviously. Injuries are bad. But if the injury is going to happen right now in a lost season, where he’s already done a whole lot of developing, then I *will* like that he’s not being sent out there today for an extra layer of meaningless risk. Plus, you know, we’re definitely at the point where losses are waaaaay better than wins (sorry), and Fields might help the Bears win. So, you know, take your time resting that shoulder.
- Paul Sullivan writes about the Cubs’ offseason, the Winter Meetings, and how things used to be. He also mentions the last time the Cubs were all the buzz at the Winter Meetings – you remember it well – when they landed Jon Lester seemingly in the middle of the night. As Sullivan remembers, Theo Epstein said this just before the Cubs went out and signed Lester: “If you’re counting on one free agent who by definition you’ve paid more for than … anyone else in the industry, you’re usually buying some phase of his decline. If you’re counting on that player to make the difference for you and he must perform, I think you’re on a bit of a fool’s errand.”
- Jed Hoyer is not Theo Epstein, so I don’t want to attribute the thoughts and actions of one man to another, simply because they worked together for so long. But I do think it’s a good reminder there of the difference between what these guys say publicly, and what they might be doing behind the scenes. The superficial read on a quote is not always going to tell you everything, and instead you kind of have to think of ALL of its possible meanings – because you might look back after the fact and think, “Ah, you know, he wasn’t saying the Cubs wouldn’t sign a top-of-the-market free agent, he was saying you just have to understand you’re buying some downside and he won’t be the ENTIRE difference for you.” As fantastic as the Lester signing was, for example, both those things were still true.
- Anyway, I say that because it kind of drives me crazy when people point to the “intelligent spending” comments from Hoyer and Carter Hawkins as evidence that the Cubs won’t sign this or that level of free agent. It simply does not mean that. It just means that they are going to be careful and thoughtful, which can square equally well with a tiny signing or a big one. It is … not actually saying anything at all.
- All to say, I plan to be up at 2 in the morning waiting for a Carlos Correa announcement a week from Wednesday …
- Stray note, because I’ve been looking at the Diamondbacks’ outfielders so much: Corbin Carroll is ridiculous. A stud defender who hit .260/.330/.500/130 wRC+ in his big league debut after only just turned 22 (and after crushing Double-A and Triple-A this year) would be enough to tell you he’s impressive. But this is a guy who was drafted as an 18-year-old in 2019, and got in a little time at rookie ball and Low-A, then didn’t play any competitive games in 2020 because of the pandemic, played just seven games in 2021 because of a shoulder injury, and then exploded in 2022 right up to the big leagues. He had FEWER THAN 50 TOTAL professional games from 2019 through 2021, and yet was still able to reach – and perform in! – the big leagues in 2022, which was officially his age-21 season. What a stud the Diamondbacks have on their hands.
- Carroll was the 16th pick in 2019, by the way. Very well done by the Diamondbacks. The Cubs didn’t draft until 27th, taking Ryan Jensen, who was just added to the 40-man roster this offseason.
- Hack Wilson:
- Some are, you know … not great … but several of these are awesome. The Texas Rangers one needs to make a big comeback:
- The MLB Shop is up to 65% off sitewide through tonight: