Rule 5 Approaches, Agents Don't Know What the Cubs Are Doing, Cubs Are Team Mexico, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Rule 5 Approaches, Agents Don’t Know What the Cubs Are Doing, Cubs Are Team Mexico, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

These Bullets have been written in five-minute increments throughout the morning, in between the many, many bits of news and rumors that have come out already at the Winter Meetings today …

  • The Rule 5 Draft is today at 4pm CT, and we’re all bracing ourselves for Cubs losses. The Cubs had more intriguing prospects than they could protect on the 40-man roster this year, so the tentative guess around these parts is that the Cubs lose a player or two in the big league phase (and maybe more in the minor league phase, too).
  • Baseball America has the most comprehensive preview list, and there are four Cubs prospects listed, including reliever Cam Sanders, who just got put on today (which, waaaaaaah, likely means he’s being discussed by insiders/evaluators in San Diego this week):
  • The other named Cubs prospects are infielder Jake Slaughter, righty Yovanny Cruz, and righty Danis Correa. The Cubs can *afford* to lose any of them, including Sanders, but you never want to see it happen, obviously.
  • I tend to think the Cubs will not select a player in the draft this year, though the changed roster rules (and other rules) still have me wondering if the Cubs would try to pluck a super speedy outfielder to compete in Spring Training for a bench job.
  • The Rule 5 Draft is the traditional capper on the Winter Meetings, though I don’t know that the rumor mill or signing activity is actually going to slow down all that much from here. The first real slowdown will probably come late in the week before Christmas.

“Not $300 million guys.”

“Team-friendly.”

“We are going to act like a small market team even though we are one of the richest organizations going.”

“The Ricketts are clearance shopping. Wonderful.”

“That’s code for we’re not going to be involved with Aaron Judge. We’re not going to spend money that’s going to have everybody oohing and aahing, and the media fist-pumping, and then it ends up being a bad deal for us four out of the eight years. Jed (Hoyer) is sending a message to the fan base that we’re not going to spend recklessly. He’s not going to sink four years on an eight-year deal just to make a splash.”

“I’m assuming ‘intelligent spending’ is hiring scientists and analytical research people. I don’t know. I’m so lost on what the hell they’re doing. I don’t have even a clue.”

“I put them in Boston’s bucket, what the f— are they doing? Does anyone know?”

“Baseball is better when the Cubs are not ‘intelligent spending,’ let’s put it that way.”

  • Keep in mind, those are agents speaking, so they have a certain perspective, necessarily. But I think some of them are REALLY missing what the Cubs’ current process is, which, yes, does also include spending a decent chunk of money. (That said, I’m definitely getting increasingly nervous about the possibility that Xander Bogaerts goes back to Boston, Dansby Swanson goes back to Atlanta, and then the Twins and Giants fight it out for Carlos Correa …. )
  • No surprise that David Ross is happy about the fit with Cody Bellinger, given how bad things were in center field for the Cubs last year:
  • As others have pointed out, if Bellinger could be a merely league-average bat and do his usual defense in center field, that would be a FOUR+ win improvement in WAR for the Cubs in center field over last year. Four wins. From one spot. Where the guy is merely average with the bat. That’s how ugly things were.
  • Ian Happ is happy to have a new outfield-mate – just a couple-a Gold Glove buddies out there:
  • This is pretty cool – the Cubs could be REALLY well-represented on Team Mexico in the WBC:
  • Spending check on the Mets, who still have holes to fill:

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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.