I left early this morning to start taking kids around to activities, and I will not return home until the late afternoon/early evening. SATURDAYS FOR PARENTS!
But I can still write while the various activities take place …
- Because I was on vacation, I didn’t really get to comment on the Brad Boxberger signing, which Michael wrote about here. As he said, it feels like the Cubs have been in on Boxberger for years, and why not? He extreeeemely fits the mold of the kind of 6th/7th/8th inning reliever who gets good results, even without always having overwhelming peripherals. They are the types of relievers who do not sign for massive contracts in free agency, but out of whom the Cubs get good results. Boxberger has been 25% better than league average over the last three seasons by ERA-, and if he does that for the Cubs, that’d be pretty awesome for $2.8 million. Cubs are obviously very familiar with him, too, from his recent run with the Brewers. (And no, I will *NOT* say anything about him being a flippable piece. Not in December. Not this time.)
- Naturally, Boxberger’s deal comes with the obligatory mutual option, so it’s $2 million now, and $800K when the option is declined by one side or the other next fall. Truly, it’s just what the Cubs always do on these one year deals. It’s deferred money without calling it deferred money, and I guess if it helps the accounting, who cares.
- With apologies to the new guy, the first thing I’ll *always* think about when I hear Boxberger’s name is the time David Bote and Anthony Rizzo did this to him:
- I’m not sure how many more relief arms the Cubs will add in free agency. They have plennnnnty in terms of volume, but we also know that they love to bring in as many as possible – guys they believe they can get under-market, and have perform over-market. I suspect that’ll mostly be minor league signings from here, but they might add another big league guy or two as the market shakes out and they see someone who is undervalued and/or perfect for their system.
- As things stand, you couldn’t say there is a clear “closer” on the roster, but I think you could let a few guys get a crack at the job, maybe even including Boxberger. That might be the spot where the Cubs try to find another David Robertson, though – a guy who has a closer mindset/experience, who has closer-level stuff, but who has slipped in free agency for whatever reason.
- Happy to see Michael Hermosillo get his next opportunity:
- Good outfielder, good baserunner, good power – there’s all the talent there to be a solid reserve outfielder in the big leagues, but he’s just not gotten over that hump for a variety of reasons. I hope he can make the Yankees this year and contribute. If not, I wonder if he’ll next year be a candidate to go overseas and get paid.
- Reportedly, old very good friend Pedro Strop will pitch for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic:
- Strop, 37, last pitched in the big leagues in May of 2021 with the Cubs, and pitched for the Dominican Republic in the 2013 WBC.
- It’s pretty wild that only eight teams have made the playoffs more often than the Cubs since 1995:
- I agree with this optimistic take:
Cubs Prospect Notes: Alcántara’s Big Year Ahead, Caution on Wicks and Triantos, Offensive System, Slaughter, Hodge, More