The Cubs could really use a top-of-the-rotation starter, and it appears that Miami is making four members of their rotation available. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, who sourced the Miami Herald, the Marlins are letting teams know that starters Pablo López, Jesús Luzardo, Trevor Rogers, and Edward Cabrera are all available. Cy Young winner Sandy Alcántara is obviously off-limits.
Nightengale did not speculate on the cost to acquire any of the pitchers. I subscribe to the Herald and I couldn’t find the article that he referenced. One post did mention that the Marlins are seeking a power-hitting corner infielder but their focus was Red Sox top prospect Triston Casas. Boston won’t be trading Casas or they would have held on to Eric Hosmer.
If Miami is indeed seeking a big-bat corner infielder, the Cubs aren’t a good match. There is no way the Marlins would want Patrick Wisdom, and their pursuit of Casas makes it seem as though Matt Mervis would be their Chicago target. No thanks. Christopher Morel is lightly penciled in as the Cubs starter at third base, just to give you an indication of how Wisdom fits into Chicago’s plans. One would hope Jed Hoyer is checking in on potential trade replacements, such as Matt Chapman, who aligns nicely with Chicago’s plan to be better defensively.
Circling back to Miami’s pitchers, López and Rogers would seem to be the optimal targets for Hoyer and they’ll probably cost less in terms of players. However, the president of baseball operations would have to convince Kim Ng to accept prospects for López or any of their other starters. Ng seems to be looking for major league-ready players with an abundance of team control, hence the pursuit of Casas.
The Cubs don’t have the ideal depth to make a push for any of those starters, though a Morel for Rogers trade makes a little sense. Rogers is a No. 4 starter, however, something Chicago has in spades. Based on the moves Hoyer has made and Chicago’s improved minor league pitching, he seems better positioned to acquire a stud starter at the trade deadline or during the 2023-24 offseason. It’s also possible one of Cade Horton, Ben Brown, or Jordan Wicks could develop into a top starter. Jackson Ferris is a ways away but he’s a possibility, too.
Cubs News & Notes
- Tucker Barnhart talked about the psychology of catching and I may have a new player crush.
- Barnhart said the team’s emphasis on run prevention is a big reason why he chose to play for the Cubs.
- The backup catcher also said he’s looking forward to the Wrigley Field fan experience.
- Prospects Ed Howard and Brennen Davis are expected to be full-go by the start of spring training.
- If you’re a capacity planning geek like I am, the FanGraphs RosterResource depth charts are a great way to acquire insight into Hoyer’s master plan. The site provides almost too much information if such a thing exists.
- The Cubs dropped their latest edition of “On Deck” featuring prospect James Triantos.
- Speaking of prospects…Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register talked with Director of Player Development Jared Banner about some of Iowa’s top-tier players.
- Will Hughes, a food critic from the UK, tried to recreate the Wrigley Field Rooftop hot dog ahead of the Cubs’ trip to England where they will play the Cardinals later this year.
Odds & Sods
Yes, there once was a Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. It was indeed owned by William Wrigley Jr., who liked to name buildings and baseball fields after himself. He just failed at winning championships.
Today In 1960: "Home Run Derby" makes its television debut! Filmed at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, the first episode features Mickey Mantle vs. Willie Mays! (Mickey wins 9-8) ⚾️ #MLB #Baseball #History pic.twitter.com/1Zyw6AA5mn
— Baseball by BSmile (@BSmile) January 9, 2023
Jon Heyman said a resolution could be coming soon.
The Red Sox could be a potential suitor for Correa.
Mets owner Steve Cohen wants to add a full-fledged casino to enhance the team’s fan experience. It’s not about money or neighborhood considerations, right?
Major League Baseball has reinstated former Braves GM John Coppolella from the “permanently ineligible” list.
An early look at next year’s free agents also provides a glimpse into which players could be available in trade.
The Padres payroll continues to increase and the team may not be done spending.
Three of the game’s most-hyped prospects play for the Diamondbacks.
“My treatment begins tomorrow, and I am confident that I will make a full recovery and be back on the mound as soon as possible. I know with the support of my wife, my family, my teammates, and the Chicago White Sox organization, along with the treatment and care from my doctors, I will get through this.”
Earlier Sunday evening, Liam Hendriks announced he is beginning treatment tomorrow for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We’re all with you, Liam! 💚 pic.twitter.com/iLF1IpByp5
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) January 9, 2023
Monday Morning Six-Pack
- Good morning, Bears fans. GM Ryan Poles may have pulled off the greatest tank job in the history of sports. He controls the draft because Chicago finished with the worst record in the NFL. Poles also has about $122 million in cap space available for free agency.
- The Bears lost 29-13 to the Vikings but most fans were more attuned to the Texans-Colts game because of the draft day implication. Backup QB Nathan Peterman played a good game and could parlay that into a backup role behind Justin Fields next year.
- Lovie Smith did the Bears a favor by improbably beating Indianapolis 32-31 in the final minute of the game thanks to a 28-yard touchdown pass on a 4th-and-20 play followed by a successful two-point conversion. Smith was fired after the contest, presumably for sacrificing the top pick in the draft.
- Damar Hamlin is recovering nicely from his near-fatal incident in last week’s Bills-Bengals game. He posted his first public comments since and included a quote that should be the credo with which we all live. “When you put real love out into the world it comes back to you 3x’s as much.” More like 1,000,000x, am I right?
- This funny video is frighteningly appropriate considering the current bumblefucked state of this country’s attempt to elect a Speaker of the House.
- The Mega Millions jackpot has ballooned to $1.1 billion—the third-largest prize in US history—ahead of Tuesday night’s drawing. I am currently three dollars liquid, so yeah, I’m buying a ticket.
Apropos of Nothing
Four notes of interest here:
- I watched the movie Draft Day last night because the Bears have myriad possibilities with the top selection in the 2023 draft. Frank Langella, who portrays fictional Browns owner Anthony Molina, is a fantastic fictional facsimile of Cohen.
- An adult-themed website recruited me to write a daily and tried to entice me with an opportunity to meet pornstar Richelle Ryan. The recruiting pitch mentioned my work here, so I am wondering which of you in the comments section has a secret life. The financial offer was impressive for a side hustle, but I’d lose my day job, and it wasn’t nearly enough to assume that risk. I hope Richelle can live without me.
- My rent payment fluctuates monthly because utility and water/sewage/trash charges are included. This month the total came to $1,666.66. Yikes. I may need an exorcism.
- I need to buy a new suit this week. I really don’t want to go to Men’s Wearhouse. Any suggestions?
They Said It
- “Part of our job as catchers is to be part psychologist as well. When I go to the mound, I’m… 99.9% sure that I’m gonna talk to Kyle Hendricks [differently] than I’m gonna talk to Marcus Stroman. I’m gonna talk [differently] to Stroman than I’m gonna talk to Justin Steele. I think as catchers you have to know that, and I think that stuff starts in just getting to know how a guy’s wired. What does he like to hear? Does he like [being] patted on the back when things are starting to go a little sideways? Or does he want me to go out there and jump his ass and try to get him locked in? What gets a guy locked in? So I think it starts with those conversations in the lunch room, in the weight room, what have you.” – Barnhart
- “For me, hearing how highly they value that was a big, big key in making my antennas go up as a place that I wanted to play. I mean we’re going to have Gold Glovers all over the field and that says something. I think it gives pitchers a lot of confidence, to know they don’t have to be super fine and pitch for the strikeout all the time.” – Barnhart
- “I think the key is for [Mervis] to show up to camp with something to prove all over again. He came in with that mentality last year and he backed it up after such an impressive season. [His] key is to stay focused on getting a little bit better every day and letting the results follow a good process.” – Banner
Monday Walk-Up Song
The Power of Christ compels you! Please send a priest to my apartment, stat.