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2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove!

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2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#1 » by hermes » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:32 pm

and now we begin our title defense - still feels great to say

here is the list of our free agents
http://www.spotrac.com/mlb/free-agents/chicago-cubs/

fowler, champman, hammel, and wood are the big names. coghlan was a key role player too

signed jon jay to a 1 year, $8 mil deal - which people are thinking means fowler won't be coming back

i don't think champman and hammel are coming back, wood maybe

so what are our needs? who (else) are we looking for? what other moves do you think we will make?
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#2 » by Howling Mad » Thu Dec 1, 2016 3:18 pm

Not a bad signing. He's suppose to be stellar on defense. From what I read, what we gain from defense isn't covering what we lose in power and OBP.

That's if we're only comparing Folwer and Jon Jay straight up. With Schwarber back we'll have additional power and OBP that we didn't have last year which more than covers what we lose with Fowler. Jon Jay's range is suppose to be better than Fowler and, on paper, looks great next to Schwarbs.

This is a short term solution. I see them platooning Almora and Jon Jay at CF, give Alby a real shot for the full year. If he doesn't cut it, which he won't, we'll still be on the lookout for a leadoff CF. Sounds like 2003 all over again. Corey Patterson. Pfffft.

Needs:

1. Closer
2. One, but two would be better, bullpen arms.
3. A 5th (or 6th starter) depending on whether you believe Mike Montgomery will be the 5th guy. Wood was really our guy last year for this, we need another super versatile guy. I doubt we'll find a 5th/6th that can also play outfield and hit homeruns in the post season but who knows with Theo.
4. Stud defensive catcher - love ya Miggy, but there's 50 catchers in the league that fit better for this team than you do.
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#3 » by Kizz Fastfists » Fri Dec 2, 2016 5:19 pm

New CBA is going to make things interesting. The luxury tax is lower than most expected it to be. They will need to address the pitching, which could be done through FA and trade. The are loaded with position players and need to move someone or the logjam will be worse than last year.
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#4 » by Kizz Fastfists » Fri Dec 2, 2016 5:38 pm

Howling Mad wrote:1. Closer
2. One, but two would be better, bullpen arms.
3. A 5th (or 6th starter) depending on whether you believe Mike Montgomery will be the 5th guy. Wood was really our guy last year for this, we need another super versatile guy. I doubt we'll find a 5th/6th that can also play outfield and hit homeruns in the post season but who knows with Theo.
4. Stud defensive catcher - love ya Miggy, but there's 50 catchers in the league that fit better for this team than you do.


1/2) Rondon can start the season as the closer like last year. I think they will win the Greg Holland sweepstakes, a one year deal, and he'll return to form around mid-season recovering from TJS and be their high leverage closer for the playoffs. My dream scenario is to sign Melancon and Holland then trade something like Happ and Zagunis for Wade Davis. I don't think Melancon, or another long-term contract, is in their plans for the bullpen.

3) I'd like to see them go after Archer and pay the price of Schwarber plus for him. Archer is under contract for FIVE years and his salary caps at $11M and he will only be 32 when the contract expires. He'd be a great upgrade from Hammel and Montgomery gets to be the swing man again this year before replacing Lackey in 2017. It also keeps the cost of pitching down so they can afford to give Arrieta his contract next off-season. Yes, Schwarber is a great hitter, but the Cubs were 3rd in the majors in OPS in LF last year with an .833 with Soler getting the most time out there. With Zobrist getting more time in LF, with Baez at 2B that number should go up. Due to the defensive difference the Cubs might actually be better without Schwarber.

4) Montero isn't going anywhere. He's this year's version of David Ross. The old veteran catcher that will continue to help Contreras develop and then help Victor Caratini break in when he gets the call mid-season. They will once again carry three catchers late in the season and possibly in the playoffs. Montero will be gone after this year as a FA, but Theo will keep the best pitch framer in baseball for one more year.
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#5 » by hermes » Sat Dec 3, 2016 3:19 am

do they bother having schwarber catch anymore or has that ship sailed?
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#6 » by Kizz Fastfists » Sat Dec 3, 2016 5:44 pm

hermes wrote:do they bother having schwarber catch anymore or has that ship sailed?


After the ACL and with Willson's development and Caratini looking ready to come up next year I hope that ship has sailed. He was a bad catcher before and with a reconstructed knee he's not going to suddenly be passable there.

Tyson Ross just became an interesting name in FA. The Padres didn't extend an offer sheet which means instead of arbitration he's a FA. He is coming off shoulder surgery and will probably not be back until late April or May, but he would be a solid depth signing if they can get him on a minor league deal with incentives based on performance. Rotation depth is the one area that actually concerns me.
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#7 » by hermes » Wed Dec 7, 2016 2:55 am

looks like we're getting close to trading for wade davis, royals closer

no word on what we'd be giving up that i've seen
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#8 » by karch34 » Wed Dec 7, 2016 3:55 am

Only name I saw is Soler. Makes sense with OF surplus, but would prefer another year on contract of Davis if true.
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#9 » by Kizz Fastfists » Wed Dec 7, 2016 4:04 am

Probably Soler and a minor league arm like De La Cruz or Underwood. They should still have enough to make a push for a starter from the Rays if they want to trade for another starter. Nationals are supposedly getting in the bidding late. I guess we'll find out tomorrow who he goes to. The Nationals are starting to get desperate after missing on Sale and the rumors that they are now out on Chapman and Jansen.
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#10 » by Howling Mad » Wed Dec 7, 2016 5:05 pm

Theo has been adamant about Schwarber catching again. I think we are under valuing Schwarbs potential batting as a catcher. If the DH happens in the NL then it's moot point but he'll catch for sure.

Maybe my man crush on Schwarber is too much and I'm in a haze, maybe the way Theo sees it, but no way this team is better without Schwarber. Did a few key hits in the world series, after an entire season off and practically no spring training, not persuade you of his awesomeness? He's awesome. He will be awesome and I'm with Theo in the belief that he will have a historic career.
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#11 » by Kizz Fastfists » Wed Dec 7, 2016 7:05 pm

The DH isn't happening. The new CBA did not add it. Schwarber as a catcher is a joke. His defense and framing are so bad he would be 2 WAR worse as a catcher than in LF even AFTER you account for positional scarcity. Assuming Schwarber can make it though the season in LF without hurting himself he would still only be an extra 5-10 runs, or less than 1 WAR, improvement in LF over Zobrist. The upgrade they can get to the rotation by moving Schwarber for a pitcher like Archer would improve the team more than keeping Schwarber.

Schwarber is already one of the best players in baseball when standing in the batter's box. The problem is he will always be one of the worst anywhere else he is on the field. Theo might be too high on Schwarber for his own good. If that is the case I expect him to adjust over the next 6 months when he realizes that Schwarber is David Ortiz and not Ryan Braun.
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#12 » by hermes » Wed Dec 7, 2016 11:21 pm

seems like the trade is davis for soler straight up, is that right?

seems like a fairly good deal for us, get a closer (only for one year guaranteed though) for our 4th maybe 5th outfielder
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#13 » by Kizz Fastfists » Thu Dec 8, 2016 12:11 am

Soler for Davis straight up. The Cubs rent another closer. With the OF depth and Soler's inability to stay healthy for a whole season to this point it will be worth it as long as Davis doesn't have elbow problems again this year. That "only" leaves them with Almora, Heyward, Bryant, Jay, Szczur, Contreras, Zobrist and Schwarber for OF shuffling.

Davis, Rondon, Strop and Edwards should be the start of a strong bullpen. I'm assuming they'll either add a lefty at some point. Maybe add a starter instead to keep Montgomery in the bullpen. Greg Holland is still a name I like for a one year deal. If he returns to form, and he has had enough recovery time from TJS that he should be returning to his old form in April, then the Cubs would have a monster bullpen.
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#14 » by hermes » Thu Dec 8, 2016 11:16 pm

seems like a potentially great trade for the cubs is davis is healthy the whole year, soler was most likely to get moved this offseason i think - just too full an outfield
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#15 » by hermes » Fri Dec 9, 2016 11:09 pm

fowler to the cardinals
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#16 » by karch34 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:28 pm

Sad to see Fowler go, especially to our rivals, but we weren't going to keep him with the OF candidates we have. Wish him the best...except when he plays us.

So after Koji Uehato (I know I spelled it wrong) it will be interesting to see our next move.
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#17 » by Kizz Fastfists » Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:23 am

Uehara was a good signing. He's a rare righty out of the pen that does better against LHH. He's very good against RHH also, but they seem to be stacking the bullpen with guys that can pitch to both so they don't need lefties just to play a one hitter match up game. Davis, Rondon, Strop, Edwards and Uehara can all just be plugged in and left no matter who is at bat. If they pick up another starter to move Montgomery back to the bullpen he would fit that description as a lefty. If they resign Wood he's a lefty that you don't want to be throwing to RHH.

The team is coming together nicely. I still have a wish list of two things for this off-season. I want to see them sign Greg Holland and trade Chris Archer. If they do those two things it would be very close to a perfect off-season. Right now it is just a very good off-season. The bullpen was replenished and Jon Jay was a great signing for insurance in CF if Almora struggles.
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#18 » by hermes » Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:02 pm

what are our options for the leadoff spot? fowler was so good there, and like maddon has said - the offense largely went as he did

i'm worried it might be a struggle to replace that
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#19 » by karch34 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:37 pm

Great question. I could see the most likely being Jay/Alomora, but wouldn't be surprised if it was Zobrist to be honest with you. Russell might be a possibility as well, since part of his hitting 8/9th was to give another lead off type player of sorts.
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Re: 2016-17 off-season thread - fire up that stove! 

Post#20 » by Kizz Fastfists » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:52 pm

The batting order is very much up in the air right now with the changes in LF and CF along with potentially at 2B. Zobrist probably is the best looking option right now, although depending on how Heyward adjusts his swing during the off-season he does have experience there and could be an option. If you go with Zobrist you are keeping Javy on the bench. I don't think Almora is a leadoff option. Addy could be an interesting option. Contreras had a .357 OBP last year and could be someone to consider also.

I'm not even sure which players will be in the starting lineup at this point. We know Rizzo, Addy and Bryant will be at 1B, SS and 3B. After that I expect Contreras to be the primary catcher. The OF could have Heyward in CF or RF, Jay or Almora could be in CF, Zobrist could be in RF or LF, Schwarber is probably going to be in LF. Baez or Zobrist is probably going to be at 2B. With that much still to be worked out it seems really hard to nail down the batting order. If I were going to guess at this point I'd go with:

1- Zobrist, 2B
2- Rizzo, 1B
3- Bryant, 3B
4- Schwarber, LF
5- Contreras, C
6- Heyward, RF
7- Addy, SS
8- Pitcher
9- Almora, CF

That leaves Baez in a utility role and Jay as the 4th OF. There is still a chance for another trade to clear out one of Baez or Schwarber for a starting pitcher, like Archer. It seems like the front office would rather have a starting caliber position player on the bench instead of making a move for a young pitcher they would have control of for several years. They could still bring Hammel back on a one year deal to be the 5th starter again and there are other options like Tyson Ross if they want more starting depth than what they have.

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