When I started calling our rumor round-ups the “Lukewarm Stove,” I did so as a small joke about the lengths to which I could stretch to connect rumors to the Cubs, and how much even minor things still pique my curiosity (i.e., it’s not “hot,” it’s merely lukewarm – but I am still interested!).
What I would like it to NOT reflect this offseason is our collective feelings about whatever it is that the Chicago Cubs accomplish. Lukewarm, this offseason, simply will not cut it.
So it is with a little grumbling that I pass on yet another external evaluation that arguably doesn’t see too much big happening for the Cubs. That doesn’t necessarily mean these folks have any unique insight, or that the Cubs AREN’T going to go big – it’s just that, when ESPN polled a bunch of anonymous execs and insiders, mentions of the Cubs were few and far between.
For example, when polled on where the big four shortstops would wind up, the Cubs got just 1 vote out of 12 for Carlos Correa, 1 vote out of 12 for Xander Bogaerts, 2 votes out of 12 for Dansby Swanson, and 0 votes out of 12 for Trea Turner. Contrast that with the Yankees (4), Twins (3), and Giants (3), all of which got more votes on Correa. Or even the Red Sox (4), Giants (4), and Dodgers (2), all of which got more votes on Bogaerts. Half the votes on Swanson went to the Braves, by the way. Half the votes on Turner went to the Phillies.
The Cubs did pick up one of the 12 votes on “Which team (outside of yours) will make the biggest splash this offseason?,” though I’m going to guess that was the same person who predicted Carlos Correa to the Cubs. So, in reality, not a whole lot there, either.
It’s clear from the voting that the Yankees and Giants are expected to be the big market movers, with a lot of attention also thrown toward the Dodgers and Phillies. I guess it’s to be expected, and it’s not like being The Big Splash team is always a good thing. I just … well … I mean, I want the Cubs to get impact players. And in service of that, if folks around the game expected it to happen – here on the precipice of the Winter Meetings – it could be a pretty good clue that it actually WILL happen. Alas. No clue offered here.
There’s a ton more to check out in the survey that doesn’t directly touch on the Cubs. It’s interesting stuff, even if you won’t get all excited about the Cubs. For example, I found it wildly interesting that, when asked which non-deGrom/Verlander pitcher would provide the most value, Chris Bassitt (5) got as many votes as Carlos Rodon (5). I guess that’s a reflection of how much risk some insiders and execs see on Rodon. Kodai Senga got the other two votes. The Cubs have been rumored to be in on all three of those pitchers at varying times, but none lately.