More Moves Happening, Venezuelan Home Run Derby Fun, Cubs Getting All Scienc-y, and Other Cubs Bullets

No new ‘Andor’ to look forward to tomorrow … waaaaahhhhh ….

  • In addition to the Jose Abreu thing, sigh, there have also been a few minor reported signings over the past 24 hours – catcher Luke Maile to the Reds, reliever Trevor Gott to the Brewers, and reliever Chris Devenski to the Angels. Is that a sign of thawing, as more players/teams get comfortable making moves without seeing the whole landscape shake out? Maybe. But these are verrrry minor moves that could’ve been in process for a week or more, and happened to get reported yesterday as folks got back to the office from a holiday break.
  • In other words, having seen a big signing yesterday and a few minor signings, I wouldn’t necessarily expect the dam to break today or even this week. Honestly I’m just hoping we see at least a steady drip this week, and then a true acceleration at the Winter Meetings next week. Some of the biggest names – especially the Scott Boras clients – might be content to wait well into the new year, though.
  • The Venezuelan Home Run Derby was last night, featuring a loaded lineup of players – Willson Contreras, William Contreras, Ronald Acuña Jr, Jose Altuve, Eugenio Suarez, and Gleyber Torres, among others.
  • Willson Contreras beat Eduardo Escobar in the first round, and stepped it up in the semi-final with ten homers. That wasn’t enough to move on to the final, though.
  • In the end, it was Ronald Acuña Jr. taking the crown, and everyone went absolutely nuts celebrating, like it was the World Series. I love it, and I miss baseball:
  • Great read on the Cubs’ expansion of their R&D department to include more and more science:
  • It’s just one of many, many things, but I love the focus on the pitch clock and its relationship to pitcher health, recovery, and performance. Not only is that something Sonne has focused on for a long time, so the Cubs are bringing in a lot of expertise, but they are also developing internal expertise on the subject long before the rule actually kicks in (Sonne was consulting with the Cubs all of last year, too). If you wind up slightly better positioned to deal with the pitch clock from a physical standpoint because you happen to nail some of the underpinning science in a way other orgs are not, who knows how much on-field benefit that might provide over the course of a season.
  • The Contemporary Baseball Era committee has quite a Chicago vibe:
  • Pretty sure Fred McGriff is going to get the nod from that group, but he might be the only one.
  • Next season will be Miguel Cabrera’s last:
  • There was a long stretch when you could have argued that Cabrera was the best hitter in baseball, from about 2010 to 2016, but in the six seasons since, he’s hit just .262/.330/.385/95 wRC+.
  • It looks like this deal carried over past Cyber Monday, so heads up if you want a Mystery Box:
  • 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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