The Holiday and Signings, Kay and Neidert Additions, First Base Depth, and Other Cubs Bullets

Social Navigation

The Holiday and Signings, Kay and Neidert Additions, First Base Depth, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

A happy Christmas Eve to those of you who celebrate. For most of us, I think it’s gonna be another brutally cold day locked inside. I mean, the snow looks all pretty out there, but I went to shovel last night for 10 minutes – literally only 10 minutes – and my fingers started hurting like I don’t remember experiencing before. I guess when they say don’t go out long in -9 degrees (wind chill -35), they aren’t kidding around.

  • Speaking of the holiday, though, I suspect yesterday’s flurry of signing reports was the final burst before Christmas. Like I said earlier in the week, you have a human element involved, where a lot of guys really want to have their deal in place (even if not officially official yet) before Christmas. It just feels nice to them. Does that mean we definitely won’t see any more moves today? Well, not necessarily. There will probably be agreements that go down, but the question is whether they would be officially announced or reported. A lot of folks in the industry are going to be taking today off – it’s not just Christmas Eve, but it’s also a Saturday – so it’s possible it winds up feeling starkly quiet compared to the last five days of action.
  • Speaking of that action, the latest move for the Cubs was the Anthony Kay claim, which came out of nowhere, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. The Cubs needed more lefty arms in any case, and when you have a chance to get a former top prospect out of an organization where he’s kinda stalled out for whatever reason (kinda seems like some injury issues in Kay’s case?), it’s great to jump. I also tend to think, knowing that the Cubs still have multiple guys to add to the 40-man from here (Smyly, Barnhart, another bat, another reliever, maybe more), they must’ve really liked Kay to go ahead and bounce Alfonso Rivas now in order to make room.
  • And speaking of the Rivas bounce, I wouldn’t say it GUARANTEES that the Cubs feel they are close to adding another first baseman, but I’d be surprised if there was no relationship whatsoever. Rivas, who may never be a solid big league bench option, is not terrible first base depth because of the floor created by his discipline and his glove. Losing him – if he’s claimed on waivers – would sting a mild amount, but it would sting less if the Cubs already knew they were signing, for example, Trey Mancini.
  • That said, I’m really not sure Rivas is a big risk of being claimed right now, and even if he is, the Cubs do have Bryce Ball who could come up to Iowa to play first base as depth (or maybe Jake Slaughter), Jared Young can also play first, and there are always 28/29/30-year-old minor league free agent types who can mash out there, but who are limited in some other way, and you can kinda maybe park at first base at Triple-A as depth if necessary. So even in a world where the Cubs don’t add another first baseman, and they coordinate among utility types and Matt Mervis, I’m not sure losing Rivas would be brutal.
  • Formerly a quality prospect, only 26, has already shown he can handle Triple-A well enough, so why not go for a minor league deal? No risk. Extra depth.
  • Keegan Thompson, you are an animal:
  • Manny and Adbert, having some fun:
  • Was scrolling Tucker Barnhart’s Twitter feed after he joined the Cubs, and I was reminded of this Joey Votto moment, and how beloved that guy is:

META: I was pretty overwhelmed by the almost-exclusively very kind words about my transition at the site, and I’m sorry I can’t respond to everyone. It means a lot to know you have support, but it also reminds me of how seriously I take the responsibility of doing good work around here. I know it’s just silly baseball content, but I think it does provide some joy or interest or whatever to a whole lot of people. I respect that, and I will continue to do my best possible work. You all deserve it.

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.