A week from the winter meetings, Things Said and Things Done, Carroll, Logos and Other Cubs Bullets
I don’t like Justin Fields having to miss a game today, obviously. Injuries are bad. But if the injury is going to happen right now in a lost season, where he’s already developed a lot, then I *would* like him not to be sent out there today for an extra layer of pointless risk. Plus, you know, we’re definitely at the point where losses are way better than wins (sorry), and Fields can help the Bears win. So, you know, take some time to rest that shoulder.
- Paul Sullivan writes about the Cubs’ offseason, the winter meetings, and how things used to be. He also mentions the last time the Cubs were at the winter meetings – you remember it well – when they apparently landed Jon Lester in the middle of the night. As Sullivan recalls, Theo Epstein said this just before the Cubs went out and signed Lester: “If you’re counting on one free agent that by definition you paid more for than … anybody else in the business, you’re usually buying some phase of his decline. If you expect that player to make the difference for you and he has to perform, I think you’re a bit of a fool.”
- Jed Hoyer is not Theo Epstein, so I will not attribute the thoughts and actions of one man to another, simply because they worked together for so long. But I think it’s a good reminder there of the difference between what these guys say in public, and what they might be doing behind the scenes. The cursory reading of a quote isn’t always going to tell you everything, and instead you have to think about ALL the possible meanings – because you might look back after the fact and think, “Ah, you know, he was” To say that Cubs didn’t want to sign a top-of-the-market free agent, he said you just have to understand you’re buying some downside and he’s not going to be ALL the difference for you.” As amazing as the Lester signing was, for example, both of those things were still true.
- Anyway, I say that because it drives me crazy when people point to the “intelligent spending” comments from Hoyer and Carter Hawkins as evidence that the Cubs won’t sign this or that level of free agent. It simply does not mean that. It just means they’re going to be careful and thoughtful, which can go with a small signing or a big one just as well. It is … doesn’t really say anything at all.
- All that to say, I plan to be up at 2 in the morning waiting for a Carlos Correa announcement a week from Wednesday…
- Note, because I’ve watched so much of the Diamondbacks’ outfielders: Corbin Carroll is ridiculous. A stud defenseman hitting .260/.330/.500/130 wRC+ in his big league debut after just turning 22 (and after crushing Double-A and Triple-A this year) would be enough to tell you he is impressive. But this is a guy who was drafted as an 18-year-old in 2019, got some time in rookie ball and Low-A, then didn’t play any competitive games in 2020 due to the pandemic, played just seven games in 2021 at due to a shoulder injury, and then in 2022 exploded all the way up to the big leagues. He had LESS THAN 50 TOTAL professional games from 2019 to 2021 and yet he was able to reach – and perform! — the big leagues in 2022, which was officially his age-21 season. What a stud the Diamondbacks have on their hands.
- Carroll was the 16th pick in 2019, by the way. Very well done by the Diamondbacks. The Cubs didn’t go until the 27th, taking Ryan Jensen, who was just added to the 40-man roster this offseason.
- Some are, you know… not great… but several of these are amazing. The Texas Rangers need to make a big comeback: