Cubs hire Chili Davis as hitting coach

In News And Rumors by dmick89371 Comments

The Cubs let John Mallee go and hired Chili Davis to take over. Theo said that Joe Maddon could have any coach back that he wanted and it turns out that there were a lot that he did not want back. The Angels hired assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske away from the team a few days ago and they let Chris Bosio walk too. Davis had been the hitting coach with the A's for three years and with the Red Sox the past three seasons. The team also hired Brian Butterfield away from the Red Sox to replace 3rd base coach Gary Jones and they promoted Andy Haines from minor league hitting coordinator to assistant hitting coach. 

Since hanging up the spikes, Davis has also emerged as a well-regarded hitting coach, first taking the position with the Athletics (2012-14) before joining the Red Sox (2015-17). He drew interest from the Padres in the same role and has also been listed as a speculative managerial candidate at times. While there are many in the Boston organization that deserve some degree of credit, Davis was the primary voice guiding Boston’s rising crop of young bats, including Mookie BettsAndrew Benintendiand Xander Bogaerts.

The 59-year-old Butterfield will bring more than two decades of coaching experience to the Cubs. He’s previously held various positions with the Yankees, Blue Jays and D-backs, serving as a first base coach, third base coach and bench coach at the Major League level.

If there aren't any additional changes to the coaching staff, that still leaves the vacant pitching coach position to be filled. The Cubs have interviewed Jim Hickey who became available at the end of the season. He and Joe worked together for a long time in Tampa Bay. 

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  1. Smokestack Lightning

    I’ve been around too long to get all that excited about coaching changes, but fwiw, Chili sounds like a good one, and perhaps a new voice will help the Cubs hit Dodgers pitching next NLCS.

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  2. JKV

    P.S. – Chili Davis is a sweet name.

    Off topic – I played for John Mallee’s traveling AAU team in Northwest Indiana. He was never there because he was in the Marlins org at the time, still kinda cool. We were called the “Pro-Style Power”. Creativity wasn’t his thing.

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  3. Author
    dmick89

    JKV,

    That’s one, but I want some more power from Bryant. Considering that home runs were flying out at a record pace, Bryant should have been in the 40s. I’d also like to see Addy take a step forward offensively. I think there’s more to fix than just Heyward. Schwarber, Addy, Baez (stop fucking swinging at pitches forty feet outside) and Heyward.

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  4. JKV

    dmick89,

    Oh I definitely agree. I think the great variance in quality of teams in the MLB right now is very great, which allowed the Cubs hitters’ weaknesses to be hidden during the regular season. They hit a lot of home runs. Crushed bad pitching. For me, it’s easy to see why they struggled so mightily in the playoffs against good pitching.

    You look at the Astros and Dodgers. Hitters going to all fields. Disciplined strike zones. You need that against good pitching. Schwarber, Rizzo, Heyward, and Bryant are all players who hit against a shift because of their inability to use the entire field.

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  5. Author
    dmick89

    JKV,

    It’s not like those players were only shifted on in the postseason. I agree they could probably use some more guys who use the entire field, but Rizzo and Bryant were successful against the shift all year. Schwarber was a lot better in the 2nd half, but his biggest issue in my opinion is strikeouts. That’s partly because he works deep counts. This offense isn’t that much different than last year’s team. They were streaky offensively in the postseason last year, but just weren’t as good overall this year. I’m not too worried about the offense. I am quite worried about the pitching.

    I think the guys most likely to improve are Schwarber, Addy, Baez and Heyward. I think we might see more power from Bryant or at least I hope so, but we’ll probably also see some regression from guys like Willson and Happ.

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  6. Author
    dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning,

    Yeah, it won’t happen. Baez is a hitter who just guesses what’s coming and where it’s at. If you take that away you’re going to take away a lot of his power and he’s probably more like Almora than any of us really want at that point.

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  7. North Side Pat

    Obviously the first priority for Davis will be to spend all winter with the pitchers since letting the pitchers bat is Joe’s favorite thing.

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  8. Rizzo the Rat

    Joe Torre confirms the ball should have been dead after Baez hit Wieters with his bat. Hm https://t.co/QGhKmy6Rb1

    — Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) October 26, 2017

    I figured as much. I must say, I think it’s a shame that a botched call happened on a crucial play in a winner-take-all game, though I’d much rather such a call go in the Cubs’ favor than their opponents’.

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  9. Rizzo the Rat

    dmick89,

    I don’t have a problem with it. The catcher has enough to deal with already without getting hit by a moving bat. It is not really possible to say how it affected his response. In any case, baseball is full of “zero tolerance” rules like that. e.g., it’s catcher’s interference of the bat just barely touches the catcher’s mitt, even if it doesn’t affect anything.

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  10. Rice

    Rizzo the Rat,

    The postseason is also where scouting takes at least some precedence over analytics. Scouting is analysis. And scouting tells you that Giles has sucked, which is real and detrimental to the club in a short series.

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  11. Rice

    Rizzo the Rat,

    I think we will just have to disagree. While there is some recency bias you have to see objectively that Giles had not done well and it would have been defensible to use Devo for another inning.

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  12. Author
    dmick89

    If the Cubs really wanted to be ahead of the curve, they’d hire a sabermetrician to be the bench coach. GW was suggesting this several years ago and I think it’s the ideal way to bring some more of the advanced statistical knowledge into the dugout. Considering there are more coaching positions these days, it’s a shame that some organization hasn’t taken advantage of this yet. My money is on the Astros being the first to do it.

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  13. Ryno

    I’m starting to think Dave Roberts pulling Dick Mound so early in Game 2 might be one of the biggest keys to the Asstros winning the World Series.

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  14. Author
    dmick89

    Ryno,

    Now that I think about it, I think so. That’s been a long time. I was trying to think about some of the Alvinisms recently, but I only could come up with a few.

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  15. Ryno

    Mark Bowman @mlbbowman
    If the Braves eventually have to move on from thoughts of Dayton Moore, Jim Hendry might be a target to run their baseball ops department

    Whoa…

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  16. Author
    dmick89

    Ryno,

    Longer than that. Adam, you and I began talking about the Cubs after the 2003 season and we started ACB in January 2005. It’s kind of crazy how fast time has gone by. It does not seem like it’s been nearly 15 years since we had our first conversation about baseball.

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  17. Author
    dmick89

    Apparently Ross all but ruled himself out as bench coach so maybe now the journalists can actually do their job on report on the more likely candidates to fill the job. Ross was always a fan choice and never the logical choice anyway.

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  18. Berselius

    dmick89,

    I think he ends up as a coach/manager in 10 years or so, but I thought it was pretty clear that he wanted some time away from the daily grind for the time being.

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  19. Author
    dmick89

    Berselius,

    Yeah, I agree. I’ll admit that the fan in me briefly thought it would be fun to see him as the bench coach, but there has to be a lot of guys better suited for that job right now and that’s what the Cubs need. I don’t think it takes much coaching experience. I think Martinez only had been a spring training coach for a year or two before he was named the bench coach.

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  20. Rice

    dmick89,

    He’s probably going to be a good coach but like many of the casual fans, I just don’t know who else would be available to fill the bench role either in house or from outside.

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  21. Author
    dmick89

    Rice,

    I only know the names that I’ve recently read about it since it was known Martinez would be interviewing for that job. Seems to me that Borzello and Hyde would be the leading candidates, but I’m guessing they talk to Farrell to see if he’s interested. If he is and if Maddon is okay with it, I wouldn’t be surprised if he moved to the top of the list. I’m just not sure why Farrell would take a bench coach job right now.

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  22. Rice

    dmick89,

    I feel like Boston not retaining Farrell could be a red flag against him being an ideal candidate for the Cubs. Maybe it shouldn’t matter but that just sticks in my mind.

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  23. berselius

    Rice:
    dmick89,

    I feel like Boston not retaining Farrell could be a red flag against him being an ideal candidate for the Cubs. Maybe it shouldn’t matter but that just sticks in my mind.

    It’s not like his predecessor has had any success since Boston pushed him out the door.

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  24. Myles

    dmick89:
    If the Cubs really wanted to be ahead of the curve, they’d hire a sabermetrician to be the bench coach. GW was suggesting this several years ago and I think it’s the ideal way to bring some more of the advanced statistical knowledge into the dugout. Considering there are more coaching positions these days, it’s a shame that some organization hasn’t taken advantage of this yet. My money is on the Astros being the first to do it.

    Wonder whatever happened to GW.

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  25. Author
    dmick89

    Myles,

    He was around last year during the playoffs and I think he stopped by here a month or two ago.

    Looks like he came around the comments in July and was around a lot on some post Myles wrote in February. I miss having him around.

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  26. Author
    dmick89

    Edwin,

    You joke, but I’d take that. I don’t really care who they pick. May as well be someone I’m a fan of. I wonder if Roger Waters is available. He’s not welcome in parts of the US because of his Israeli boycott so he may have to miss some road trips if they hired him for the job.

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  27. Berselius is too lazy to login

    dmick89:
    Myles,

    He was around last year during the playoffs and I think he stopped by here a month or two ago.

    Looks like he came around the comments in July and was around a lot on some post Myles wrote in February. I miss having him around.

    I haven’t talked with him much since we both left Austin, but last time I did he had just got a new job in the boonies somewhere and was asking me advice about getting decent internet access in the middle of nowhere, since I had very recent experience. He and his wife were also about to have a baby, so I’m guessing all of those probably contributed.

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  28. Ryno

    berselius,

    Evidently. The move was a surprise, but only that the move was made. I’ve thought an established QB makes more sense for this team than drafting one. JG isn’t as established as Cousins, but he could end up being better. I like the move.

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  29. Rizzo the Rat

    I don’t get pulling Darvish with two outs and the pitcher’s spot coming up in the bottom of the inning, but whatever.

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  30. berselius

    (dying laughing) at that DP. Feels like the Dodgers are going to hit into a triple play before this game is over.

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  31. Rizzo the Rat

    Obligatory reminder that Ken Giles is a great pitcher, and great pitchers tend to pitch great even after seven terrible innings.

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  32. Ryno

    Mark Feinsand @Feinsand
    Source confirms Jerry Hairston Jr. is a candidate for Yankees managerial opening. @Ken_Rosenthal first to mention as a possibility.

    Is Jim Hendry the Yankees’ GM?

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  33. Author
    dmick89

    Ryno,

    I thought of that earlier today after you mentioned Hendry and then I got a call from my mom telling me my cousin (51 years old) had died yesterday of a heart attack. I hope you have better luck.

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  34. Author
    dmick89

    If Arrieta only costs $100 million, I’m okay if the Cubs bring him back. I think he’ll get $120 million or more. I wonder what the Cubs largest extension offer was. For some reason i think I remember something about $150-175 million that he turned down. I’m glad he did.

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  35. Author
    dmick89

    I think the Cubs should seriously consider trading Schwarber and something else for Archer while signing JD Martinez. They need some offense from their outfield on a more consistent basis.

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  36. Myles

    dmick89:
    I think the Cubs should seriously consider trading Schwarber and something else for Archer while signing JD Martinez. They need some offense from their outfield on a more consistent basis.

    Would you trade Schwarber and Happ for Archer? I think I probably would.

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  37. Author
    dmick89

    What about Schwarber and Baez for Archer and a prospect? Schwarber and Russell for Archer and a prospect? How highly would the prospect have to be thought of to make you pull the trigger? I know I wouldn’t do either of those straight up for Archer, but I’d probably do either of them for Archer plus a good prospect.

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  38. Myles

    dmick89:
    What about Schwarber and Baez for Archer and a prospect? Schwarber and Russell for Archer and a prospect? How highly would the prospect have to be thought of to make you pull the trigger? I know I wouldn’t do either of those straight up for Archer, but I’d probably do either of them for Archer plus a good prospect.

    It’d have to be an awfully good prospect for me. Both Baez and Russell are significantly more important to me than Happ is. We are talking like a Top 50-75 prospect, probably.

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  39. Author
    dmick89

    Myles,

    I was thinking top 30. I’d also take two top 75s. If the Cubs could get a top 25 I think it would be a really good deal for the Cubs.

    In the perfect world for the Cubs, the Rays would gladly take Schwarber and Almora for Archer. The Cubs could then sign Martinez for LF and Cain for CF. May as well sign Cobb and then start counting down the days until they win the 2018 World Series.

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  40. Author
    dmick89

    Myles,

    Me too, though I did just look at Happ’s overall stats this season again and they are impressive. He hit 33 home runs between AAA and MLB in 529 plate appearances. It was his age 22 season. His walk rate was over 9% and his strikeout rate was too high, but if he can get it down to what it was in AAA, he could be a very good player. I’m curious what his defense would be like if he played exclusively 2nd base. He looked like he could never get comfortable in the field this year, which isn’t too surprising since he was 22/23 years old and it was his first year.

    I still pull the trigger on Schwarber and Happ for Archer, but only if the Cubs acquire someone like Martinez. If they don’t plan to acquire a good outfielder, I’m not sure they have the offense to spare.

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  41. Rizzo the Rat

    I had a really good plan for the Cubs this off-season, but it was contingent on the Red Sox declining their option on Chris Sale. Back to the drawing board.

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  42. Ryno

    dmick89,

    J.D. Martinez, after all, didn’t just hit 45 home runs last season, but did it in 119 games, missing time due to injury, which meant he hit long balls at a higher rate than either Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Judge.

    This sentence is Yellonian.

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  43. Author
    dmick89

    Edwin,

    Hasn’t the community projections on Fangraphs shown a significant bias in favor of the person’s favorite team? It’s been awhile since I’ve read anything about it, but I seem to recall tango calculating it to be somewhere around half a win better than the player actually is. Russell and Baez certainly have value to other teams, but I don’t think it’s nearly as high as Cubs fans think it is. Both players are probably around league average at best going forward.

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  44. Edwin

    dmick89,

    Sounds about right. Fans almost always over value their own players and under value others. This proves itself every trade season on credited blog discussion boards.

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  45. Ryno

    Matt Miller @nfldraftscout
    Marshon Lattimore has been incredible this season. Top 5 cornerback already.

    I told you guys he was the best CB prospect I’ve ever seen.

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  46. Edwin

    Ryno,

    If I remember correctly, failure to turn over a phone or comply with turning over a phone is a big deal to the NFL, and is highly punishable.

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  47. Ryno

    Edwin,

    The NFL does not like anyone not doing what the NFL says.

    It’s crazy what’s happening to that league right now. The NFL was a money-making machine and the owners are ruining it. People are losing interest because the sport sucks right now. There are no exciting storylines to follow (no charismatic personas, intense rivalries, upper echelon of teams) and the games are boring.

    Meanwhile, MLB has had two of the most engaging World Series in recent memory within the last 12 months…

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  48. sharpchicity

    I didn’t really think of it until i saw that MLBTR is guessing the cubs sign him, but signing Darvish early in the winter would mean Ohtani has a fellow japanese player on the roster. I imagine he’s leaning towards the AL so he can DH, but I wouldn’t mind spending the money if the FO thinks it will even remotely increase the chances of getting Ohtani.

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  49. Author
    dmick89

    sharpchicity,

    I doubt it would have any impact on Otani’s decision. This is something that has come up with every big Japanese free agent in the past and I haven’t seen any evidence they care about having a teammate from the same country. It’s difficult to compare to the past since it was more about money, but Otani will have a translator with him and I’m sure he speaks or will speak enough English for it to not matter much. I also imagine there are is a decent Japanese population in Chicago if that really matters to him.

    I have no idea what Otani will do. If I had to guess I’d bet on the Yankees or Dodgers, but it’s just a guess.

    I think signing Darvish is a pretty good idea regardless, though if the projected salaries I’ve seen over the last couple days are anywhere near close, I might prefer the Cubs go with Arrieta and Cobb over Darvish.

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  50. berselius

    dmick89:
    I think the bullpen could use more walks so maybe the Cubs could get Carlos Marmol to come out of retirement.

    I don’t know, I could walk a lot of hitters for a few million dollars all on my own.

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  51. Author
    dmick89

    berselius,

    They’ll forget they can pass next week. If Iowa only remembered that Stanley was pretty good, they’d have a legitimate chance of being unbeaten at this point. They couldn’t do shit offensively in two of their three losses because they refused to pass the ball. This was after Stanley had been awesome for two or three weeks and having all the skills of someone is at least a well above average college quarterback. I think he has the chance to be a really good NFL quarterback.

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  52. Ryno

    Around The NFL @AroundTheNFL
    Tom Savage on Texans’ loss to Colts: ‘I played like crap’

    Who could’ve seen that coming? I bet he stood like a MFer for the national anthem, though.

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  53. Edwin

    Anyone on here know anything about contract law? Specifically Non-Compete clauses? I figured OV was the best place to go to for discredited legal advice.

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  54. Myles

    Edwin:
    Anyone on here know anything about contract law?Specifically Non-Compete clauses?I figured OV was the best place to go to for discredited legal advice.

    If you can’t compete, you can at least be a QB in the NFL before Kaepernick. That’s the extent of my legal knowledge.

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  55. Ryno

    Bill O’Brien: ‘Colin Kaepernick is a good football player, hasn’t played in a while. These things are going to continue to be discussed’

    But TJ Yates has thrown nearly 100 passes since 2011, so we went with him…

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  56. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    Edwin:
    Anyone on here know anything about contract law?Specifically Non-Compete clauses?I figured OV was the best place to go to for discredited legal advice.

    Yeah, a bit. Generally non-compete clauses are enforceable if they’re reasonable. Some states (California) don’t really allow them except in limited circumstances.

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  57. cerulean

    Edwin,

    I know they should be illegal without a large bag of fuck-you money. John Random Job should never ever be prevented from going elsewhere without some serious remuneration—like a year’s salary kind of serious.

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  58. Author
    dmick89

    cerulean,

    My sister-in-law had a no compete at her last job and once she had risen so far and worked there for so long, they no longer wanted to pay her as much as she was earning when they could promote or hire someone else making 50% of what she made so they let her go. She was given six months of severance pay equal to her salary and she was able to keep her insurance for one year. The no compete didn’t allow her to do almost anything for 12 months after termination, but at least they gave her a considerable amount and the insurance alone for the family was also quite a lot. I think no competes are pretty stupid, but yeah, if they exist then you should get compensated quite well. She didn’t feel that she wasn’t and she did find a job making about 75% of what she was earning so it worked out for her in the end. I agree though, unless you’re going to pay them exceptionally well after termination, they shouldn’t be enforceable.

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  59. Edwin

    I think non competes make sense depending on the profession. Jobs where reatining clients on an annual basis is key, I get that. Places like law firms, accounting firms, financial planning services, or jobs where the position entails a lot of proprietary information, it makes sense to protect owner’s from IP theft.

    In this case my wife was working for a tiny firm, providing services for a client. The client decided, on their own, to terminate the contract at some point with the firm and bring in someone to perform the services in house. My wife applied for the position and got it. My thinking is that since my wife isn’t going into competition with her old firm, and didn’t solicit the client to terminate the contract, she’s fine, and did not act unethically. I liken it to an IT specialist working for an IT firm who provides services to a client, the client decides to develope their own in-house IT department, and the IT specialist goes to work for the former client.

    Apparently the owner of the firm is being kind of a jerk about things.

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  60. Ryno

    Edwin,

    What’s interesting to me is GB’s cavalier approach to the backup spot. Everyone knows how dependent that team is on Rodgers, but their only other QB is a guy they have invested nearly three years in developing yet don’t trust with the keys to the offense.

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  61. Author
    dmick89

    Rizzo the Rat,

    Yeah, I only saw the last inning or two of Halladay’s. The only no hitters I’ve seen from beginning to end were the ones I mentioned. It’s not many. Almost all of the baseball I watch is the Cubs and they didn’t have many no hitters thrown for them or against them until recently. They were becoming a regular thing for awhile.

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  62. Author
    dmick89

    Apparently John Lackey is going to pitch in 2018. I wouldn’t mind signing him to another short-term deal. One year preferably. He had a below average season, but I think he’s a good candidate to bounce back some. He’s also fairly durable so as a 5th starter, he’s about as good as you could hope for in my opinion. If the Cubs want to trade for Archer and sign Darvish or something like that, then that’s even better, but that probably won’t happen.

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  63. Edwin

    Depending on how things go, I wouldn’t mind the Cubs taking another flier on Clayton Richard as a 6th starter. He gets a ton of groundballs, and he throws strikes.

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  64. Perkins

    The big thing that gives me pause with Lackey is that he’s lost velocity that’s almost certainly not returning, and he’s been a guy who pounds the zone for some time. It looks like increasing his slider usage may have helped him in the second half, but if he loses another tick on his fastball, he’s going to have a lot of trouble setting it up. Especially since both of his fastballs graded out as below average this year.

    I’d probably bring back Lackey on a one year deal if the Cubs think they’ll have a higher likelihood of landing an impact starter next offseason, but I don’t love the idea of going into 2018 with him in a rotation that may already include a diminished Lester.

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  65. Author
    dmick89

    Perkins: I’d probably bring back Lackey on a one year deal if the Cubs think they’ll have a higher likelihood of landing an impact starter next offseason, but I don’t love the idea of going into 2018 with him in a rotation that may already include a diminished Lester.

    Yeah, that’s kind of what I’m talking about. There’s no reason the Cubs couldn’t just sign Cobb and Lynn. There’s really no reason they couldn’t sign Darvish or Cobb. That may even be preferable since there wouldn’t be a draft pick surrendered for signing Darvish. I don’t think that’s going to happen though. I think it’s more likely they sign Darvish and someone like Lackey.

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  66. Perkins

    dmick89,

    I think it’s even more likely they sign Cobb and someone like Lackey, as much as I don’t love that idea. I’d hope they land one of Darvish or Arrieta though.

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  67. Author
    dmick89

    Perkins: I think it’s even more likely they sign Cobb and someone like Lackey, as much as I don’t love that idea.

    That wouldn’t surprise me and it is a terrible idea. Their top of the rotation wouldn’t compare to almost any playoff team if that was the case.

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  68. Perkins

    dmick89,

    It’s definitely a terrible idea, and I hope they prove me wrong. Mostly I’m basing it on the FO’s apparent reluctance to give multiple pitchers over 30 a huge deal and its willingness to go into a title defense season with the Brett Anderson Experiment in the rotation.

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  69. Myles

    Perkins:
    dmick89,

    It’s definitely a terrible idea, and I hope they prove me wrong. Mostly I’m basing it on the FO’s apparent reluctance to give multiple pitchers over 30 a huge deal and its willingness to go into a title defense season with the Brett Anderson Experiment in the rotation.

    That never made sense to me. A championship team shouldn’t have Brett Anderson as Plan A without a really good Plan B and C.

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  70. cerulean

    I would rather the Cubs send a parade of minor leaguers to the mound than re-sign Lackey, who at this point is just dead weight.

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  71. Author
    dmick89

    Myles,

    I think it comes down to payroll. I’ve yet to see evidence that the Ricketts family is willing to spend as much money as the Chicago Cubs probably should be spending.

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  72. Author
    dmick89

    cerulean,

    A parade of minor leaguers from just about any other organization would maybe be okay, but that parade for the Cubs includes a bunch of guys who probably aren’t good enough to pitch in Little League.

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  73. Author
    dmick89

    I think it’s very unlikely that Lackey would give up as many home runs as he did in 2017. He’s below average, but the best pitching prospect they have is far worse than he is. I’d rather Lackey not be a part of the 2018 team, but I’d much rather he be in the rotation than Tseng. That’s not even a difficult decision in my opinion.

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  74. Edwin

    Myles: That never made sense to me. A championship team shouldn’t have Brett Anderson as Plan A without a really good Plan B and C.

    They had Montgomery, and traded for Eddie Bulter and Alec Mills. What could go wrong?

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  75. Edwin

    So how has the Cubs IFA spending strategy aged over time? On the one hand they came away with some really solid prospects in Torres and Jimenez, and were able to turn both into high quality MLB pieces. On the other hand, it kept them out of the bidding on players like Yoan Moncada and now likely Otani.

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  76. Author
    dmick89

    Edwin,

    You’d much rather have had a chance to get Moncado and Otani. I’m not super impressed with how the Cubs have spent their money on international free agents. Actually, I’m not even a little bit impressed. It’s almost seems like a veteran front office has had more of a learning curve with something like this than they should have had. It sucks that they have almost no chance to get Otani.

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  77. uncle dave

    dmick89,

    On the other hand, the rules around IFAs have been pretty unstable, with rumors of a draft or other changes that would have been intended to curtail spending. In a situation like that, I can see the argument to be made for spending as much as you can this year and worrying about the rest later, because you might not even have to worry about the rest later.

    The changes haven’t been as sweeping as they were rumored to be which leaves us where we are today, but I can’t fault the logic of spending as much as possible when you can spend it.

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  78. Ryno

    Sounds like Marcell Ozuna might be available. I think the Cubs should trade Schwarber for Ozuna and then flip him for Stanton.

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  79. Berselius is too lazy to login

    Ryno:
    Sounds like Marcell Ozuna might be available. I think the Cubs should trade Schwarber for Ozuna and then flip him for Stanton.

    I think the correct Yellonism would be to flip Schwarber for Stanton then send Stanton and Baez to Miami for Ozuna.

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  80. Ryno

    I had to see what old Alvin was up to…

    [Darvish]’s kind of like that luxury SUV you see in the showroom that looks slick and fancy and you’d feel great driving it, but you know you’d be better off saving some money and getting the model one level down from there.

    Thanks, Alvin, for painting such a detailed picture for those of us who didn’t know what the word ‘luxury’ meant…

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  81. JKV

    Ryno:
    Sounds like Marcell Ozuna might be available. I think the Cubs should trade Schwarber for Ozuna and then flip him for Stanton Nolasco.

    Fixed

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  82. Perkins

    Ryno:
    I had to see what old Alvin was up to…

    Thanks, Alvin, for painting such a detailed picture for those of us who didn’t know what the word ‘luxury’ meant…

    Why the hell does he care about how much the Cubs spend? What advantage is it to him if they don’t flex their financial resources as much as they’re able to do? Does he think they won’t raise ticket prices if they cheap out on starting pitching?

    I realize this is Yellon we’re talking about, but I’m amazed someone can make it past 50 and still be as clueless as he is.

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  83. Edwin

    Ryno,

    luxury is that stripper you see in the showroom that looks slick and fancy and you’d feel great driving it, but you know you’d be better off saving some money and getting the model one level down from there.

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  84. Author
    dmick89

    I’ve always assumed the worst about famous people, but even I’m a little amazed at this stuff in Hollywood. I’m not totally surprised, but the number of women (and men) who have been harmed is astonishing. We’ve got men who don’t realize that it’s wrong to pull out their junk in front of women (I knew this as far back as I can remember), men trying to or forcing themselves on men and women regardless of their age and we’ve got Mrs. Green Arrow running a fucking sex cult. Leave it to Hollywood to make male professional athletes look less awful.

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  85. Author
    dmick89

    Perkins,

    It’s been awhile since I’ve read up on the posting rules. MLBTR says the team will set the max posting fee at $20 million. I assume that figure can be and probably would be sent in by most teams (Cubs included). At that point the team only has the amount left that they have available in their IFA, right? Let’s say 10 teams submit bids of $20 million, do those 10 teams then get to bid for his services? I read recently the Cubs only have about $300,000 so that pretty much eliminates them. I assume they go ahead and bid anyway on the off chance that Otani doesn’t care at all about money, but what are the odds of that? I miss the old posting system, which obviously favored an organization like the Cubs. (dying laughing)

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  86. Perkins

    dmick89,

    One thought about Otani: he could instantly get a nine figure contract if he waited a couple years and is choosing to come to MLB now, so he’s already betting on himself. The immediate payday seems secondary.

    Still, I’d be surprised if he ends up anywhere other than NYY or LAD.

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  87. Author
    dmick89

    Allison Mack played Chloe Sullivan who was one of Clark Kent’s childhood friends in Smallville (the tv show). Sullivan went on to marry Oliver Queen near the end of the show.

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  88. JKV

    So Otani signs with a team for that’s teams max IFA budget and Otani goes through the normal MLB minimum salary and arbitration process. What precludes a team from immediately signing him to a big extension that buys out his minimum salary years, arbitration years, and an extra free agent year? I feel like that’s the only realistic chance the Cubs could get him to take less money.

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  89. Author
    dmick89

    JKV,

    I’m pretty sure MLB would investigate the matter. If it turned out the Cubs had agreed to do this in order to sign Otani, I’m guessing the contract would be voided. I think they said they’d be watching this closely to make sure such things do not happen. I still think something like that is going to happen. Maybe it’s the team that signs him. Maybe not.

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  90. Author
    dmick89

    I’m guessing if Otani has a strong 2018 that whoever ends up with him could sign him long-term at that point. What’s the going rate for a star talent (let’s say he’s very good next year) who has so much club control left? It’s probably not much. I think anything over $75 million would get MLB involved and that may even be high.

    How much was Kris Bryant worth after the 2015 season? If Bryant goes year to year he gets paid around league minimum in 2016 and 2017. You’d probably have estimated $8 million, $12 million, $16 million, $20 million in his arbitration years. That’s $58 million and that’s being hopeful that he continued to produce and didn’t get injured. So yeah, I think anything over $75 million is going to get MLB involved. I don’t think Otani is going to be getting a $100+ contract after one year. Maybe two, but not one.

    I think Otani the odds of signing him are probably something like this:

    Yankees: 60%
    Dodgers: 30%
    Mets, Giants, Angels and Cardinals: 9.5% combined

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  91. Myles

    dmick89:
    I’m guessing if Otani has a strong 2018 that whoever ends up with him could sign him long-term at that point. What’s the going rate for a star talent (let’s say he’s very good next year) who has so much club control left? It’s probably not much. I think anything over $75 million would get MLB involved and that may even be high.

    How much was Kris Bryant worth after the 2015 season? If Bryant goes year to year he gets paid around league minimum in 2016 and 2017. You’d probably have estimated $8 million, $12 million, $16 million, $20 million in his arbitration years. That’s $58 million and that’s being hopeful that he continued to produce and didn’t get injured. So yeah, I think anything over $75 million is going to get MLB involved. I don’t think Otani is going to be getting a $100+ contract after one year. Maybe two, but not one.

    I think Otani the odds of signing him are probably something like this:

    Yankees: 60%
    Dodgers: 30%
    Mets, Giants, Angels and Cardinals: 9.5% combined

    I think it’s way more likely than you do that Otani signs with the Angels.

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  92. Myles

    I don’t understand why Otani isn’t linked to the Angels way more. West Coast team with an unlimited amount of money and a huge Asia-Pacific presence. I guess Pujols is unmovable at DH, but a) that’s not actually true and b) the Angels are just the type of team who would put him at RF anyway.

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  93. Author
    dmick89

    Myles: I think it’s way more likely than you do that Otani signs with the Angels.

    Of the 9.5% I listed there that included them, maybe they’re at 7% or something. I could see that.

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  94. Author
    dmick89

    Myles,

    If you’ve got two LA teams to choose from and we know the Dodgers will be in it, who do you choose? The team that almost nobody outside of LA has heard of or the team that almost everyone in the world has? It’s the same reason why the Yankees are the favored team. Everyone knows who the Yankees and Dodgers are. I’m pretty sure the average fetus knows who those teams are. You’re born with that knowledge. It’s coded in our DNA.

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  95. Author
    dmick89

    Alex Cobb said it would be fun to be with Hickey and Maddon in Chicago. I think it would be fun to have Alex Cobb, though I hope he’s not the best starting pitcher the team signs.

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  96. Myles

    dmick89:
    Myles,

    If you’ve got two LA teams to choose from and we know the Dodgers will be in it, who do you choose? The team that almost nobody outside of LA has heard of or the team that almost everyone in the world has? It’s the same reason why the Yankees are the favored team. Everyone knows who the Yankees and Dodgers are. I’m pretty sure the average fetus knows who those teams are. You’re born with that knowledge. It’s coded in our DNA.

    I think Otani will sign with an AL team, which is why I don’t think he’ll sign with the Dodgers. I would be mildly stunned if Otani doesn’t sign with a West Coast AL team, or the Yankees.

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  97. Author
    dmick89

    Myles,

    I guess I don’t think any team he’s probably interested in is willing to let him be a two way player. I think the only teams that would consider it are the small market teams who would have no interest in signing a long-term deal, which I think is something Otani definitely wants after a year or two. I could see him getting some at bats early on, but I think he’s going to begin to lose one skill as he focuses more on one over the other. That’s what happens to all players eventually and I think the same thing will happen with him. If he’s a pitcher, my guess is he’s a well below average hitter by the time he would be eligible for free agency. He’d probably be an above average hitting pitcher, but not much more than that.

    So I think the only way he’s a legitimate two way player is if he plays almost every game. That’s doubtful. He’s already injured himself at least a couple times running the bases and was restricted from running very fast and had to run without hitting the base with his right foot. He barely pitched this past season as a result.

    It’s a lovely idea to have a guy who can do both and Otani certainly has the skill set, but so does just about every high school pitcher worth drafting early.

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  98. EnricoPallazzo

    dmick89,

    yeah i think what people are missing is that you need to practice like a million hours per day to be an mlb-caliber hitter OR pitcher. i don’t think there’s enough hours in the day to practice BOTH skills enough to be league average in either category. any team that signs him is gonna force him to focus on one or the other (presumably pitching) and as you say, after a few years, he just won’t be anything better than a good-hitting pitcher. obviously that adds value but not a whole lot.

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  99. Author
    dmick89

    For what it’s worth, Otani threw significantly fewer innings than Tanaka and Darvish through age 22. Darvish threw 300 more innings (834 to 534) and Tanaka threw nearly 400 more innings. Both Tanaka and Darvish had three seasons of more than 180 innings pitched by the time they were 22 and Otani has yet to reach 180 in a single season.

    This could be a good thing, but I only mention this because it seems that Otani has had trouble staying on the field most of his career and that’s another reason why I think it’s unlikely he’ll get much or any playing time other than pitcher. His career OPS is also only .859 though he was quite a bit better than that the last two seasons.

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  100. Author
    dmick89

    I also just read that Otani idolizes Yu Darvish. I’ve thought for awhile the Cubs should sign Darvish, but I wonder if it might give them a bit of an advantage in signing Otani too. Regardless, they should sign Darvish and it couldn’t hurt in negotiating with Otani.

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  101. Author
    dmick89

    dmick89: I think Otani the odds of signing him are probably something like this:

    Yankees: 60%
    Dodgers: 30%
    Mets, Giants, Angels and Cardinals: 9.5% combined

    I’d like to update this.

    Yankees: 60%
    Rangers: 15%
    Dodgers: 15%
    Cubs: 3%
    All others: 7%

    The Cubs and Dodgers have the same amount of money that they could spend on Otani so I could even see the Cubs and Dodgers splitting close to 20%. The only team who can spend more than the Yankees is the Rangers. Yeah, I know this isn’t entirely about money right now, but it’s probably a bigger factor than we realize.

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  102. Author
    dmick89

    If JD Martinez gets a deal worth more than $200 million, Bryce Harper is easily going to get one next year for more than $400 million. I wouldn’t be surprised at $500 million. He’s more than twice as valuable as Martinez is.

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  103. Ryno

    Tyrod Taylor –> bench

    Buffalo’s about to find out how hard it is to find a decent QB…

    Incidentally, if your team needs a QB, this is the off-season to find one. Kirk Cousins and Tyrod will likely be FAs. Garoppolo could be available via trade. Rosen, Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, possibly Darnold and others via draft.

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  104. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    Ryno:
    I asked the MLBTR guy a great question in the chat and he didn’t answer it. What a bunch of bullsh.

    The answer is “your mom”

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  105. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    Ryno:
    Tyrod Taylor –> bench

    Buffalo’s about to find out how hard it is to find a decent QB…

    Incidentally, if your team needs a QB, this is the off-season to find one. Kirk Cousins and Tyrod will likely be FAs. Garoppolo could be available via trade. Rosen, Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, possibly Darnold and others via draft.

    That Jake Utler guy on Miami is available, too.

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  106. Ryno

    It’s admirable that SEA is going to try a blind musician at first base, but I don’t think it will translate to on-field performance like they hope.

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  107. Rizzo the Rat

    dmick89: The Cubs should sign both Morrow and Reed. A 7th/8th/9th of Edwards, Morrow, Reed would be pretty good and if Wilson figures his shit out that could be suddenly be a good bullpen.

    If Streamer projections are anywhere close to accurate, that’s a terrible idea.

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  108. cerulean

    Edwin:
    What happened to the Chicago Bulls?They seem terrible.

    They fired Thibs because he got the best out of a medicore team due to injuries. Fuck GarPax, if they are even still a thing.

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  109. cerulean

    Imagine Ohtani as Andrew Miller, except he starts the game in left field, and can come in for relief at any moment before going back to left field. Would that be more valuable than him as a traditional full-time starter? I think it would if he can really bring it for one or two batters in high-leverage situations. He is basically a free arm out of the pen. Warm-up might be a problem, but it might not be either, since he would be keeping loose with the long toss, as long as he can find the zone in a few pitches. Basically, I want to see Ohtani break baseball.

    And if he does not go to the Cubs, please let it be the Mariners that get him.

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  110. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    cerulean: And if he does not go to the Cubs, please let it be the Mariners that get him.

    As a Cubs fan living in Seattle, I’m OK with this.

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  111. Berselius is too lazy to login

    I am pleasantly surprised to see Votto get so much MVP love. And KB got a first place vote!

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  112. cerulean

    MLBTR has Lorenzo Cain going for four years, $70M. He is two years the wrong side of thirty. But the pitching market is also not great. I would take Cain for that and trade two of Schwarber, Almora, or Happ (plus) for the likes of Archer.

    And then flip he and Cain for Nolasco.

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  113. cerulean

    Rizzo the Rat:
    These prolonged championship droughts are excruciating.

    It has been an entire decade since the Cubs one the World Series. Such is a year under the Trump administration. Only a lifetime to go…

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  114. JonKneeV

    dmick89,

    You and I had discussed it in the comments a couple times. I mean, it makes sense from the aspect that the pitching market kinda sucks outside of Darvish, Otani, and Arrieta. Certainly doesn’t help that Cueto and Tanaka didn’t opt out.

    Signing Cain allows you to trade OF depth for pitching. I might be wrong, but I don’t think Cain’s offensive value it going to go down. He’s a high average, low strike out guy that would be nice to have in a Cubs line up that doesn’t have that stability. We saw how volatile this offense was all year. His CF days are likely coming to an end, but he’d be an above average LFer in the mold of Alex Gordon.

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