The Good Trades You Didn’t Make, Comp Pick and Swanson, Morel Muscles, and Other Cubs Bullets
No football today. The extra week off before the Super Bowl does mostly make sense to me, but it’s nevertheless annoying each year when you’re living it. Pitchers and catchers report in 10 days, so there’s also that to wait for.
- No pressure, Dansby – we’re all just expecting an immediate winner:
- I love this experience opportunity for Nelson Velazquez, especially on a loaded team like Puerto Rico:
- Yes, re Sandy, but also this puts some more context on just how bonkers Jake Arrieta’s 2015 season was (especially that second half):
- Mets pitching prospect Matt Allan was the subject of a lot of speculation at the last trade deadline as the type of prospect the Cubs might be targeting in Willson Contreras/David Robertson talks (but the Mets didn’t want to trade him). Allan was a 2019 third rounder, but was a massive over-slot signing, believed to be one of the best high school arms in that draft class. After briefly appearing in that 2019 season, Allan missed the next three seasons (pandemic, Tommy John surgery, nerve transposition surgery), and was finally set to get back on the mound this year, four seasons after he was drafted. Except he just had to have UCL revision surgery (basically a second Tommy John surgery), so he’s going to miss his fourth straight season.
- My main thought is that it’s a tough break for a young player, but I admit, my second thought – and why I am even mentioning it – is … oof, what if the Cubs had pulled off a trade for him? I’m thinking they are now much, much better off with Ben Brown (Robertson) and a comp pick after the second round (Contreras). Sometimes the best trades are the ones you didn’t make or whatever. (Which is not to say Allan was even on the table for the Cubs – but that was at least some of the chatter at the time, and let’s be honest, that type of prospect would’ve fit the Cubs’ MO.)
- Recall the other rumors about what the Mets were offering the Cubs for a Contreras-Robertson combo, and the Mets were trying to get both for a pitching prospect who isn’t as good as Ben Brown, and outfield prospect Khalil Lee, who has now been accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and is under investigation by the league. Again, maybe the Cubs were never even close to considering a package like that, but DEFINITELY prefer Brown and the comp pick!
- Speaking of that comp pick, just as a reminder, the Cubs do still have that pick (number 68), but they did lose their own second rounder (number 49) for signing Dansby Swanson. It would’ve been nice to have both picks (or a massive trade for Contreras), obviously, but it’s definitely comforting to know the Cubs still have a second rounder-ish, even after signing Swanson, so they can try to coordinate their first and second round picks again, if they decide to go that route.
- Which is just a stray reminder to me how much I’m going to be watching Cade Horton and Jackson Ferris closely this year. You can’t quite say they are “together” the Cubs’ first rounder from 2022 (because even if the Cubs had taken a top bat, they still would’ve drafted SOMEBODY in the second round), but it’s pretty close to that. The Cubs basically traded the 7th overall and the 47th overall for something like the 12 and the 23 (using slot values and signing bonuses). (Yes, I have been following a lot of hypothesized Bears draft trades.) I understood the approach, but as these top 100 lists come out with guys the Cubs *could have had* all showing up in the top 50 already … I just say the Cubs need to have been right in their decision.
- Shaving gear, books, jewelry, and Saxx underwear are among the Deals of the Day at Amazon. I am going to get myself some new underwear because that Saxx stuff is really awesome, but also really expensive. So when I see a deal, I pounce. #ad, but true. Just ordered.
- The Dodgers immediately signed Miguel Rojas to a mini extension after acquiring him from the Marlins, tacking on a 2024 season and a club option for 2025. The 33-year-old infielder essentially gets another $5 million for 2024, and then the option is also worth $5 million with a $1 million buyout.
- You never know how or if this stuff is going to translate on the baseball field, but it rarely can hurt (looks like the cropping my be off when the tweet is embedded, but suffice to say, Christopher Morel is ripped right now):
- Lord I hope we see more eephuses in the future:
- Funny to think about/remember Brad’s second tweet here:
- The Dodgers are finally retiring number 34 for Fernando Valenzuela:
- This is good:
Spring Training Miscellany: Velazquez Walks It Off for the Cubs with a No-Doubter! (And Some Other Less Happy Stuff)