Hosmer at Wrigley, VogelTradeTree, About that Devers Contract, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Hosmer at Wrigley, VogelTradeTree, About that Devers Contract, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Today is the deadline by which the Los Angeles Dodgers have to either reinstate Trevor Bauer, trade, or release him. Most have expected that he would ultimately be released follow his suspension under MLB’s domestic violence policy, but the Dodgers are certainly taking it right up to the wire.

  • Left center at Wrigley Field is extremely friendly to lefties who have some, but not a ton, of oppo power:
  • Notably, Wrigley Field is one of the friendlier parks to new Cubs first baseman Eric Hosmer, specifically, as he would’ve had 11 homers last year if he played there all year instead of the 8 homers he actually had. Still not a significant source of power, and given his career trends, I wouldn’t expect that to change. But maybe an extra dinger or two.
  • Since I was eyeing Hosmer’s Statcast page for that info, I noticed that all of his under-the-hood contact quality metrics have been on a steady trend to oblivion the last five years (no surprise), but his under-the-hood plate discipline metrics have been on a steady rise (also not necessarily a surprise for a guy of his experience and style). So you’ve got a guy who, at 33, is probably going to continue making poor overall contact … but a lot of it, with a decent number of walks, and a decent number of pitches seen. The crummy quality – especially all the ground balls – is going to be frustrating at times. I already know it. But he may do enough of the other stuff to stay slightly above-average overall at the plate.
  • With a h/t to the Away Games pod, we can now say that the famous Dan Vogelbach Trade Tree is at a close. The Cubs traded Vogelbach and Paul Blackburn to the Mariners back in 2016 for Mike Montgomery, who was later traded for Martin Maldonado, who was later traded for Tony Kemp, who was later traded for Alfonso Rivas, who … was released yesterday. No return for Rivas means no continuation of the Vogelbach lineage. Sad day. Sad day.
  • I’m not about to criticize the Red Sox for extending Rafael Devers (well, other than to be annoyed that he didn’t hit free agency), but I will say that I didn’t realize how meh his ZiPS projections are for the years ahead. They already had Devers for 2023 through arbitration, so his 11-year deal is kinda more like a 10-year extension that starts a year later. And in that extension, Devers is projected to be above 4 WAR for just one season, and then slip under 3 WAR by the 5th of those 10 years. Consider that Aaron Judge is guaranteed just $27 million more than Devers, is five years older than Devers, signed in free agency rather than an extension, and he is projected by ZiPS to still be over 3 WAR in the 5th year of his deal. Did the Yankees sneaky get a bargain on Judge, or is this a massive overpay by the Red Sox?
  • I mean, Dansby Swanson projects to be worth more WAR in the second year of his deal with the Cubs than Devers projects to be in the second year of his extension with the Red Sox(!). These numbers are kinda blowing my mind. I suppose the best counterargument here is that maybe ZiPS is really underrating Devers, or maybe the fact that he was going to be singular (in age/position/lefty/etc.) in the upcoming free agent class means he deserved much more. But now that I step back and mull the deal, this has the look of an organization desperate to not take another “L” when it comes to a homegrown player walking away.
  • The Brewers do look perfectly solid, according to ZiPS:
  • What I see when I review the Brewers’ ZiPS is a team that could explode to 95+ wins if their young position players all break out at the same time. I could also see a team that really struggles to score runs if a lot of guys DON’T click. Having Burnes and Woodruff at the front of the rotation is huge, though the Brewers are obviously extremely reliant on both of those guys being studs in 2023 in order to compete. Still, on paper, this is a better team than the Cubs.
  • Recruit him, Seiya. RECRUIT HIM:
  • (Also maybe put in a good word with Sasaki and Murakami for the future, too.)
  • Historically, this has not worked out for Craig Kimbrel:
  • SOMEBODY BRING IT BACK:
  • The Yankees are gathering up all the former big-market top decision-makers:
  • Speaking of which:
  • Instantly transports me:

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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.