Playing GM: Cubs Edition
Well, football is over and now all we have to do is wait for the MLBPA and owners to be friendly to one another and reach a deal that makes everyone happy so baseball can come back. Easy right? I’m not sure why they haven’t thought of that. Anyway, while we wait for that to happen, let’s take a look at possible moves across all positions that the Cubs could make when free agency is in full swing again.
None. Willy is a stud and should be given an extension. Best catcher in Chicago, sorry not sorry.
Reports have recently surfaced of a possible reunion between Rizzo and the Cubs and my response is, "yes please". Rizzo embodies Chicago, the Cubs and will always be a perfect fit for this organization. It also never hurts to add a left-handed bat that is going to at least hit for average and rack up some walks and HBPs. Bring Tony home.
The combo of Madrigal and Hoerner is going to be a great competition, but I think Nicky Two-Strikes wins the job as he pretty much does everything a great leadoff should do. Except walk. But Hoerner is still a great player who can take the role until Madrigal is healthy. There’s really no move that needs to be made.
Again there could be a bit of a competition between Bote and Wisdom, but Bote seems to be out until at least May, so depending on when the season starts, it could be Wisdom’s job right out of the gate. And if he continues to show off the crazy power he had last season, then we’ll be in for a treat.
The outfield situation is a bit tough. We have a bunch of guys who have potential, but nothing that seems rock solid at this moment. There’s Happ, who has been very inconsistent but has a high ceiling. Ortega had a great season with the Cubs and finally had his breakout at 30 years old, can he keep it going for years to come? Time will tell. Heyward is just bad. And we signed Clint Frazier before the lockout and he is a very solid player, but he really struggled with the Yankees last season. Just for some consistency I’d love to see the Cubs trade for Kevin Keirmaier who will hit for average and will be one of the best defensive center fielders in the league. Tampa Bay is also looking to trade him, so if we could get them to eat some of that $12 million salary for the last year on his contract, then it’d be a great pickup. This roster is also full of young guys both on the major league roster and obviously in the farm, so Andrew McCutchen could be a solid guy to bring in some veteran leadership and probably hit for average.
There is one guy I think the Cubs should go after to strengthen the starting rotation and that’s Carlos Rodón. I know, he was on the Sox last year, gross, but he finally showed that when healthy, he can be one of the best pitchers in the league. This Cubs team is up and coming and will look to compete sooner rather than later, and I really think Rodón really speeds up the process. The current 1-3 with Hendricks, Stroman, and Miley is great but falls off a cliff after that. Rodón gives the Cubs one of the better rotations in the league and directly competes with Milwaukee’s big 3, although I think Milwaukee still may be a bit better. Nonetheless, Rodón would be a great addition to this rotation. It doesn’t feel very likely as we really need to focus on that atrocious bullpen, but it’d still be nice.
These are the moves that would be my focus if I were the GM of the Cubs. Am I way too optimistic? 100% yes. I never said this was the most realistic approach. Whatever lineup they put out there, all I can do is continue to cheer them on and hope they finish the season 162-0 and sweep everyone in the playoffs.
As always everyone, Go Cubs!
-Tony Anaya (Twitter: @anayaL8TR)