Role for Higgins, No Competitive Balance Pick for the Cardinals, Projections on the Reds and Pirates, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Role for Higgins, No Competitive Balance Pick for the Cardinals, Projections on the Reds and Pirates, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Little Boy has become obsessed with ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ this week, which means it permeates the landscape in our house. I can hear it now. And now. And now.

  • It’s not a lock that the Cubs add another catcher this offseason, but it is very clearly the plan. In that case, Bryan wonders what the plan will be for P.J. Higgins:
  • Number two does seem most likely, but I suppose it depends on how robust the offseason is on the positional side at the big league level. If it is rather limited, there might still be a bench spot for Higgins, who can catch and also play at the infield corners. If the offseason is rather robust, though, it’s possible – albeit very unlikely – that Higgins could get squeezed off the 40-man (and he has the right to choose free agency if he’s outrighted, so he’d potentially be gone). Option two remains the most preferable, because Higgins strikes me as a pretty great third catcher to have around, especially so that there is no pressure to call up Miguel Amaya in a pinch.
  • No more jokes about the Cardinals getting a free competitive balance draft pick! For the second year in a row, the Cardinals did not qualify for a competitive balance pick (generally goes to teams in the bottom 10 in market size or bottom 10 in revenue), so last year wasn’t a one-year blip; I think it’s tentatively likely that they will not be sliding back into that group in the near future.
  • As for the teams that did qualify, the other three NL Central teams are still in there, and the Brewers got a particularly high pick (MLB.com):

Round A (After the First Round)

  1. Mariners
  2. Rays
  3. Brewers
  4. Twins
  5. Marlins
  6. Tigers
  7. Reds
  8. A’s

Round B (After the Second Round)

  1. Guardians
  2. Orioles
  3. D-backs
  4. Rockies
  5. Royals
  6. Pirates
  • The ZiPS projections are out for the Reds and Pirates, and they are about as ugly as you’d expect (which, hey, the Cubs’ ZiPS wouldn’t be pretty right now either, so no shots taken). For the Reds, they have ONE positional spot projected for more than 1.5 WAR, and that’s the 2.1 at catcher from Tyler Stephenson and Luke Maile. At least ZiPS does like Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene. For the Pirates, it’s the rotation and the bullpen that are an absolute mess of horrible. At least Bryan Reynolds, Oneil Cruz, and Ke’Bryan Hayes get some love, and if a bunch of the Pirates youngsters all hit their 80th percentile projections, then maybe the Pirates will actually be loaded on offense.
  • Cody Bellinger is working on his swing this offseason, as you would expect:
  • The largest free agent contract in Rays history still has that classic Rays structure to it. You can always tell when they are projecting a guy to no longer be on their roster:
  • A little history:
  • WHAT’S IN THE BOX:

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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.