Machado vs. Harper

In Commentary And Analysis, News And Rumors, Uncategorized by myles134 Comments

The Cubs will go into this offseason ready to make at least some small amount of changes to the baseball club. Theo Epstein said as much in his incredible post-season conference (almost always the highlight of the year for non-baseball activities). The problem with jettisoning young players is that you are getting pennies on the dollar – advertising that you are getting rid of players tends to do that. There are a few candidates for the ole’ heave-ho, and I’ll lay out a case for each here:

Ian Happ: Happ has had 875 career plate appearances at the MLB level, and he’s struck out in nearly 300 of them (296, or 33.8% of appearances). That’s 5% more over his career than Javy Baez – nobody in the organization gives away quite as many ABs as Ian Happ does. Happ walks a lot, but lost a lot of power this season – only an unsustainable .362 BABIP this year allowed Happ to have any real semblance of production. Ian is prone to deep, deep slumps, and gives away a little bit in the field, so you’re looking at a second-division starter unless he can find a way to add power or disicipline, neither of which he’s had in spades in this organization.

Kyle Schwarber: Schwarber is the prototypical case of tools vs. results. To this very day, I think Schwarber has the highest potential, hitting wise, of any player in the organization! He has great plate discipline (as does Happ, to be fair). He can hit the ball a freaking ton. He takes his walks. He just…can’t make contact with the ball when it’s in the strike zone. He also doesn’t swing when the ball is in the strike zone (for good reason sometimes – Schwarber has a huge hole in his swing down and in). Schwarber hasn’t fixed that hole in 1274 plate appearances, and it will keep him from taking the leap into a premier hitter. What’s left – an average to above-average left fielder with both glove and bat – is still an attractive piece, but you can imagine another team thinking they can finally unlock his MVP potential, and the Cubs may well think this is the likely ceiling here.

Addison Russell: Just as a baseball decision, it’s easy to imagine Russell getting jettisoned. He’s backslid offensively in almost every season. On defense, he’s still nearly elite, but the bat wipes out nearly all the value the glove provides. If Russell were just an average guy, it would be time to think hard about moving Russell to a bench role (and a costly bench player, at that). Add in the other issues that we won’t recap here, and Russell is an easy choice to non-tender.

Albert Almora Jr.: Almora is the epitome of a 4th outfielder. He can give you a productive PH in a critical situation, he can play all three outfield positions, and he doesn’t have horrible platoon splits so you don’t worry about leaving him in the game for a second PA. What Almora can’t do is drive the ball with authority – his ISO this year was eclipsed by Billy Hamilton. I feel confident in saying that Almora has the lowest ceiling of all of the young players on the team. I can’t ever envision him being more than average with the stick, and with walk rates similar to Javier Baez, you have to be elite in the field or with the stick to be impactful and Albert isn’t either.

The unique situation that the Cubs find themselves is that they can easily re-arrange themselves to have a home for either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper (or even both, honestly!). The Cubs have $24.1 million to play with to reach 2018’s payroll (without moving any salary, and assuming Russell and Kintzler are gone and that Hamels will stay around $20MM). It does not seem unlikely that the Cubs can be in the market for either. I’d like to examine now the benefits of each.

Manny Machado

The first thing that jumps out about Machado is his incredible consistency. With the exception of a bad-luck 2017 (BABIP-induced), Machado has put up wOBAs of .370, .366, and .377 in 3 of the past 4 seasons (2017’s number was .328, still above league average). Machado is a near lock for mid-30s dingers, and above-average defense at third base. He has no platoon advantage, does not wilt in high-leverage situations, and he’s only 4 months or so older than Harper. Lastly, Machado has been injured less recently than Harper has. Machado missed half of 2014, while Harper missed parts of 2017.

Bryce Harper

Harper has higher highs and lower lows than Machado does, which is first an indicator that Machado is the safer play (always remember, variance is good for bad teams and bad for good teams). Harper also sucks in the field, though he’s equally bad in CF and RF. The primary advantage of Harper is that he is an absolute monster at getting on base: his career OBP is .388 compared to .335 for Machado. From 2015 to now, here’s the top 10 list for OBP:

  1. Votto, .442
  2. Trout, .435
  3. Goldschmidt, .410
  4. Harper, .410
  5. Judge, .398
  6. Freeman, .391
  7. Cabrera, .388
  8. Altuve, .386
  9. Bryant, .385
  10. Rizzo, .385

Harper is elite at getting on base, and it isn’t like he sacrifices power for OBP. Harper has the 9th most homers in that same timeframe (Machado has the 8th most). Harper being a Cub would probably make getting a righty OF a priority, as Harper has shown himself merely decent against lefthanders. I’d imagine in the scenario that the Cubs sign Harper, they keep Almora and get rid of Schwarber (for defensive reasons and for handed-ness reasons). This team is pretty left-handed as it is.

The most obvious need on the team is hard to discern. If you take as given that Russell is gone, you can put Zobrist at 2B right now and slot Happ or Bote in there to spell him (frequently). Sign Machado, and you have a backup SS for Baez off days (and Bryant moves to LF for Machado everyday- come to think of it, Schwarber is the odd man out in either scenario). Sign Harper, and you probably have him Harper/Bryant/Heyward/Almora playing some chimera structure.

Both players have slight question marks about their personalities, as well. Machado insists upon being a shortstop – we already have one of those, and he’s a lot better at the position defensively than Manny is. Machado actually kinda sucks at shortstop and is great at third. You can perhaps get away with Bryant/Machado/Baez/Rizzo given how unreal Baez is at second, but I’d rather not risk opening up a defensive hole if we don’t have to (though is Bryant/Baez/Zobrist/Rizzo any better?). Harper has literally been choked on camera by a teammate – I think most of that is on Papelbon, but you can’t help but wonder a little bit. Still, I clearly don’t know them as people, so it’s hard to say too much on this point.

I’m not certain either signing makes more or less sense than the other. Both can fit, especially if some of the core is on the way out anyway. I think I prefer Harper, but it’s a soft preference at best. Contract demands may be a greater informant than any positional consideration, too – I don’t think Machado even WANTS to come to Chicago, while Harper clearly would entertain the notion. While it sucks that we are thinking about this and not the playoffs, we can at least feel fortunate that we can basically assume we’re in for someone, even if we come away with nobody. This front office (and this ownership group, despite any political misgivings you may have) has operated in such a way that they have the benefit of the doubt.

 

 

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  1. andcounting

    Already? It’s like you’re making your next balogna sandwich before you’ve even pooped out your last one.

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  2. EnricoPallazzo

    i’m assuming we’re only gonna get like 3 more OV posts between now and april so i’m gonna ration this out and only read one sentence per day. please no one ruin any surprises for me.

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  3. dmick89

    I’d imagine in the scenario that the Cubs sign Harper, they keep Almora and get rid of Schwarber

    I’d think one of the big selling points on Harper over Machado is the ability to get on base so I don’t actually see the Cubs giving up that ability elsewhere just so they can land him. I think if the Cubs get Harper that they should keep Almora and Schwarber. Schwarber should start against righties and Almora should play vs lefties and as a defensive replacement.

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  4. dmick89

    I’ll take Harper. I think if the Cubs want to extend their window they’re going to have to take the chance that Harper becomes as great as he’s shown he can be. I also don’t really like the idea of moving Bryant to LF permanently.

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  5. Author
    myles

    dmick89: I’d think one of the big selling points on Harper over Machado is the ability to get on base so I don’t actually see the Cubs giving up that ability elsewhere just so they can land him. I think if the Cubs get Harper that they should keep Almora and Schwarber. Schwarber should start against righties and Almora should play vs lefties and as a defensive replacement.

    Maybe you’re right.

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  6. andcounting

    Welp, I hope MLB doesn’t overreact to the dearth of interesting games/series by making drastic changes to the postseason.

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  7. dmick89

    Ryno,

    I had to stop reading after such hard hitting analysis as this:

    The Milwaukee Brewers played better down the stretch than the Chicago Cubs did. Plain and simple, that’s the reason they won the N.L. Central this year, and the reason the Cubs are sitting home this October while the Brewers are in the NLCS.

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  8. dmick89

    The Boston Red Sox played better in the ALDS than the New York Yankees did. Plain and simple, that’s the reason they won the series, and the reason the Yankees are heading home this October while the Red Sox are in the ALCS.

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  9. Perkins

    If I’m understanding Alvin’s analogy correctly, it sounds like the Cubs should trade away a couple of players like Happ and Edwards, wait a few years for them to come back in trades or free agency, and then expect them suddenly to be awesome.

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  10. Ryno

    dmick89,

    Some SBNation sites are obviously better than others, but I really feel like BCB is the worst by a significant margin. Just seems so weird that they keep him in that role. shrugemoji

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  11. BVS

    Aren’t we stuck with Kintzler anyway? Seems like there is a $10M team option or a $5M player option. I assumed we’d be stuck with him for 5.

    Maybe he’ll be the current version of Wilson. Terrible in season of trade. Serviceable the next year.

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  12. Author
    myles

    BVS:
    Aren’t we stuck with Kintzler anyway? Seems like there is a $10M team option or a $5M player option. I assumed we’d be stuck with him for 5.

    Maybe he’ll be the current version of Wilson. Terrible in season of trade.Serviceable the next year.

    My payroll number assumes that Kintzler exercises his side of the option, I think.

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  13. dmick89

    myles,

    As good as Bryant is, I don’t see what the point of a contract extension like that is at this point. Just wait until he’s a free agent. Also, wait until you know his shoulder is okay because I definitely don’t want 2018 Kris Bryant for more than $200 million.

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  14. dmick89

    Makes me wonder if the Cubs might consider trading KB. With Machado available it’s not a terrible idea if you don’t think you can lock Bryant up. Considering Bryant’s most recent season, I wouldn’t want to lock him up now anyway.

    Myles, if the Cubs did trade Bryant, any chance they could sign Machado and Harper?

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  15. Mucker

    dmick89,

    Would the Cubs be selling low on Bryant? I would imagine any team trading for KB doesn’t want the 2018 version. Is he untradeable at this point? Will teams pay what the Cubs would be asking?

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  16. dmick89

    Mucker,

    I wouldn’t trade him right now. Bryant won’t make enough in 2019 that it would prohibit the Cubs from going after both of them. I was thinking more about 2020 and after. I don’t think it will happen (signing both of those stars), but if the Cubs aren’t able to lock Bryant up, they probably should consider moving him assuming he bounces back next season.

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  17. dmick89

    Mucker,

    Bryant, but I also hate the idea of losing someone like Bryant for nothing more than a draft pick in a few years. There’s no urgency and I didn’t mean to imply there was. If KB won’t sign for more than $200 million he’s probably gone once reaches free agency. So if that’s the case I would definitely look to trade him with more than a year left on his deal.

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  18. andcounting

    Wait. This whole rumor is based on a Kaplan source? Jesus Christ.

    Assuming he isn’t just blowing smoke out of whichever end we’re pretending is his ass, he also says it was in the last several months. I don’t think there’s any way the Cubs made an offer since his injury or that he declined it.

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  19. dmick89

    andcounting,

    Thanks. Good to know it was from Kaplan because that offer seems ridiculous. When Myles first commented on it all I could think was how lucky the Cubs were he declined it. Then I thought how stupid they must have been to have even offered it.

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  20. dmick89

    andcounting:
    Mucker,

    Right now is a terrible time to get rid of him and a great time to sign him to an extension (for the Cubs; terrible for KB).

    Yeah, assuming that extension is around $100 million and no more. There’s no way I’d go higher than that right now. Even if his shoulder was completely healthy and he had a typical KB season, I’d still probably stay under $150 million.

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  21. andcounting

    dmick89,

    I was assuming it was for some ridiculously long time, like 10 years, making Jason Heyward money. I took it as a positive sign they believed he was healthy. Now I’m back to assuming he might be done, shocked he’s only 5 years younger than McCutchen.

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  22. sharpchicity

    andcounting:
    Already?

    Think this is the only necessary thread here until one of them signs. And at the rate this site is going, it might just be.

    edit: i see enrico beat me to this point.

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  23. Ryno

    That report that Kris Bryant rejected a Cubs extension offer "well north of $200 million" in the last several months? A source close to the situation said it's "simply not true." That and more on Kris Bryant and what he's hoping to do in 2019. https://t.co/mr3UHuMAZz

    — Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) October 11, 2018

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  24. BVS

    So given the teams left, who’s your rooting favorite for WS champ?

    Brewers for me. I like winning teams that haven’t won for a long time, unless they are playing the Cubs. Also, Kato Kaelin’s head would explode (hopefully) if Counsell’s team wins the WS.

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  25. Ryno

    Ryno,

    Quick heads up: None of you will get the 2018 catcher or the 2013 LF unless you misspell their names.

    SPOILER ALERT

    Players I can’t believe I forgot: Karl Rhodes, Bill Mueller, Fred McGriff.

    Players I clearly blocked from my memory: Jeromy Burnitz, Matt Murton, Darwin Barney.

    Players I’m impressed I remembered: Jeff Blauser, Gary Gaetti, Mark Bellhorn.

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  26. Ryno

    BVS,

    LAD simply because I want people to stop saying Clayton Kershaw isn’t the greatest pitcher of our generation simply because “he” hasn’t won a World Series.

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  27. Ryno

    BVS,

    You have permission to look up spellings. I also grant permission to look up players whose names you can’t recall. Mine was Damian Miller (I couldn’t get past Damon because of Berryhill).

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  28. Ryno

    Ed
    1:25 If you’re the Cubs, do you pick up Hamels’ option for next year?

    Keith Law
    1:25 Absolutely – or, before that, I offer him something like 2/$35 million instead.

    That sounds REALLY familiar…

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  29. Smokestack Lightning

    Perkins:
    I want to see LAD win for Kershaw, but mostly because I want the Brewers to know crushing disappointment.

    Agreed. Dodgers kill the Brewers. Red Sox/Astros kill the Dodgers. All is well.

    Or at least not as bad.

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  30. Ryno

    Ryno,

    That is…the team I root for in the World Series once the participants have been determined.

    The team I want to win the World Series is 1-16.

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  31. Rizzo the Rat

    I’m indifferent to the Chili firing. The Cubs third in the league in wRC+ for the second year in a row despite the Bryant injury (which almost certainly had a larger impact on the team’s offense than their pitching coach).

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  32. Rizzo the Rat

    Basically, I think we have zero evidence that Davis’s hiring or firing improved or harmed the team, and people would feel differently if the last two game of the Cubs’ season went differently.

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  33. Rizzo the Rat

    I honestly have no idea whether Davis is good or bad at his job. I just find it weird how people are pointing fingers at the coaching staff when the team won 95 games with a somewhat less than 95-win roster (accounting for injuries to potential impact players).

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  34. Rizzo the Rat

    Maybe if someone releases a convincing study on the impact of a coach on the distribution of offense across games I’ll change my tune, but I’m sticking with the null hypothesis until it is refuted.

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  35. BVS

    JonKneeV,

    Rizzo the Rat,

    Don’t know if it is coaching or not. But I don’t think that many games is really a random draw. Particularly with the hitters we had, even with Bryant’s injury.

    So, combined with optics of Red Sox explosion, something had to change. Hopefully more than just Chili.

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  36. dmick89

    Rizzo the Rat:
    JonKneeV,

    …is a silly way to evaluate an offense, and an even sillier way to evaluate a coach.

    His fault or not (I’m guessing he is at least partially to blame), the Cubs were insanely lucky to win 95 considering that distribution. Just about every contending team would replace a very replaceable coach under the same circumstances. I’m still a little surprised that Joe managed to keep his job. Someone was going to pay a price though.

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  37. andcounting

    A huge part of being a coach is sustaining a chemistry and an environment where you can get through to players and help them perform well. Fault is irrelevant. If it’s not working, it’s not working. You’re never going to find hardcore evidence that a coach is doing well, but you always find narratives that people in and out of the organization but into.

    EVERYONE bought into the idea that Chili’s midseason clubhouse meeting with the players worked. They had been slumping, he gave them a speech, then they scored 247 runs in 7 games, give or take. Everyone believed it worked, and it’s impossible to prove it didn’t. But pretty much everyone also believes it didn’t work as frequently or consistently as they needed it to. And the thing is, they could bring in someone else who says the exact things Chili did, watch the offense explode tenfold, and say the new guy is the most amazing coach in the world. Doesn’t mean Chili did anything wrong or poorly, something just wasn’t working.

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  38. Myles

    Ryno: That sounds REALLY familiar…

    Myles: I think 2/$34 million gets it done, because that’s $40 million for Hamels with the option getting declined. Basically, the Cubs have an extra $6 million of bargaining for an extension because Hamels only gets the “extra” $6 mil if the Cubs don’t exercise.

    Ryno:
    Myles,

    I’d probably discuss a 2/$35 deal with Hamels before declining the option, but I’d be just fine with the 1-year deal. I bet Theoyer would too.

    I bet the front office is betting on a bounceback year and will not be overly aggressive because of it. The rotation seems pretty set for the year if Hamels returns, so I could see them going for Bryce/Manny, middle infield depth and a reliever or two. I could also see them trying to get younger in the rotation somehow…

    We are basically Keith Law at this point.

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  39. Ryno

    Myles,

    If I had suggested the Cubs offer Hamels $35 million instead of an insulting $35, I could have accused Law of idea theft.

    But I don’t think we discuss books, vaccines or board games enough to be Keith Law.

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  40. Myles

    Ryno:
    Myles,

    If I had suggested the Cubs offer Hamels $35 million instead of an insulting $35, I could have accused Law of idea theft.

    But I don’t think we discuss books, vaccines or board games enough to be Keith Law.

    We do fill the “nice snark” quotient pretty well, though.

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  41. JKV

    No. of games with 0 or 1 run:

    Baltimore Orioles  40
    Chicago Cubs  40
    Miami Marlins  37
    San Francisco Giants  36
    New York Mets  34
    Kansas City Royals  32
    Pittsburgh Pirates  32
    Tampa Bay Rays  32
    Cincinnati Reds  31
    Detroit Tigers  31
    Philadelphia Phillies  31
    Texas Rangers  31
    Chicago White Sox  30
    Los Angeles Angels  29
    Arizona D’Backs  28
    Toronto Blue Jays  28
    Washington Nationals  28
    Milwaukee Brewers  27
    Seattle Mariners  27
    Atlanta Braves  26
    Houston Astros  26
    San Diego Padres  26
    Los Angeles Dodgers  25
    Minnesota Twins  24
    St. Louis Cardinals  23
    Boston Red Sox  21
    Cleveland Indians  21
    Oakland Athletics  20
    New York Yankees  17
    Colorado Rockies  14

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  42. JKV

    No. of games with 5+ runs:

    Row Labels Count of Runs
    Boston Red Sox  92
    New York Yankees  89
    Houston Astros  80
    Colorado Rockies  78
    St. Louis Cardinals  78
    Washington Nationals  77
    Oakland Athletics  76
    Chicago Cubs  75
    Milwaukee Brewers  75
    Minnesota Twins  75
    Pittsburgh Pirates  75
    Atlanta Braves  73
    Cleveland Indians  72
    Los Angeles Dodgers  72
    Toronto Blue Jays  72
    Texas Rangers  71
    Cincinnati Reds  70
    Los Angeles Angels  68
    Tampa Bay Rays  68
    Arizona D’Backs  64
    Seattle Mariners  63
    Chicago White Sox  61
    Philadelphia Phillies  61
    Kansas City Royals  59
    Detroit Tigers  58
    New York Mets  58
    Baltimore Orioles  54
    Miami Marlins  53
    San Francisco Giants  53
    San Diego Padres  48

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  43. EnricoPallazzo

    BVS: So given the teams left, who’s your rooting favorite for WS champ?

    i’m pulling for the red sox to at least win the alcs because i live in boston, and as soon as the red sox get eliminated, everyone here immediately turns their interest to football (which i find boring as hell). so it behooves me for the red sox to be alive as long as possible.

    i also want to see LA advance because fuck the brewers.

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  44. EnricoPallazzo

    Rizzo the Rat: Basically, I think we have zero evidence that Davis’s hiring or firing improved or harmed the team

    yeah this is where i’m at too. i think that the up and down (and then up) that boston experienced could be evidence against chili davis but i’m more than willing to chalk that up to sss/baseball randomness.

    that said, i don’t think that letting him go is going to adversely affect anyone other than chili davis so whatever.

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  45. BVS

    JKV,

    JKV,

    So…feast or famine. Also maybe I’ll withdraw my statement about the number of 0-1 run games not being random. There are a lot of teams not far behind the Cubs there. Even some decent ones.

    When you consider we were tied for last with 2+ R games, makes you respect the pitching that much more for Bulldoggedness. If we can fix the 1st inning, and return to health, we should be fine there.

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  46. andcounting

    BVS,

    What decent ones? There’s a pretty amazing correlation between that list and the list of the worst teams in baseball. It’s insane that the Cubs are atop it. It might be a fluke, but it’s one hell of a fluke.

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  47. andcounting

    I mean, it’s really fucking weird. In the NL, the Cubs had the most hits, highest BA, most at bats (by a shockingly wide margin, despite ranking 4th in walks), 2nd highest OBP, 6th highest slugging, 5th highest OPS, and they were—perhaps the most attributable stats to Chili Davis—middle of the pack in homers and strikeouts. To lead all of baseball in shutouts and one-run games with those kind of rate stats is really fucking weird. It might seem silly to blame that on the hitting coach when they play in a notoriously schizophrenic home park, but it’s not crazy to think a new hitting coach might help.

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  48. dmick89

    andcounting,

    It hasn’t been mentioned here (maybe not anywhere else either), but I imagine a big reason that Davis got fired is how the offense seemed to be complete shit for the final two months of the season.

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  49. Smokestack Lightning

    Apparently, there was quite a bit of negative feedback from the players re: Chili. IIRC, some Red Sox players made similar noise after last year too.

    Wtf is he telling guys to do that’s screwing them up?

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  50. andcounting

    I’ll admit, I kinda want the Brewers to win. I hate the Dodgers. I nothing the Brewers in general. But Yelich and Cain deserve it. They’ve played great baseball. I like the idea of Jeter trading away the MVP and the lynchpin of a champion team.

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  51. Rizzo the Rat

    I was just thinking how silly it was to allow a relief pitcher to hit when down a run in a game this important…

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  52. dmick89

    Rizzo the Rat:
    I know he’s well-rested, but I don’t get using Hader here.

    From what I heard somewhere, Counsell doesn’t like using Hader on back to back days because he’s apparently not as good. If that’s really the case, I don’t have a problem getting as many innings out of him as possible. I’m just not sure that’s really true. He may have performed worse on back to back days, but I’m guessing that’s largely because Counsell had him out there on day one for 30+ pitches.

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  53. Rice in CA

    I know nobody wants to trigger the max luxury tax penalties which come with a lower draft pick, but if they’re going to forfeit draft picks signing QO guy (Harper) and blow past the luxury tax threshold anyway, why not sign both Harper and Machado?

    *making it rain money dot gif*

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  54. BVS

    andcounting,

    Phils, Tampa, and Pirates were “decent.”

    Still, I really don’t know what Chili’s influence is *was* but I thought originally the Cubs would be the only >.500 club in the top half of <2 run games. So I figured it couldn't be random.

    It probably still isn't random. But maybe it's within a 95% confidence interval after all. I'm too lazy to go back through previous years to look and the Bucks Gophers game is still entertaining in the 4th.

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  55. Smokestack Lightning

    Rizzo the Rat,

    Yeah, baseball can be pretty dumb sometimes.

    Brewers are a good team, but they’ve definitely bottled some lightning this year.

    One can only hope that regression will be swift and merciless next year.

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  56. Smokestack Lightning

    berselius,

    Yeah, md had that called pretty good. Cubs could have definitely used him this year.

    I suppose the silver lining (for us) is this is probably the best he’s going to be, and the worst is yet to come.

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  57. dmick89

    berselius: Agreed, though I don’t think anyone would have guessed that he’d have a season this great.

    Yeah, he had a standout season, but I think we should have expected at least 4 WAR out of him. That was and is considerably better than Almora’s expected production. It also would have given the Cubs two of the best defensive outfielders in the game. The other thing is that it makes the decision this offseason of who to go after much easier. The outfield would be set and you could focus on Machado.

    When I think about this it actually pisses me off. It was so obvious at any point during Cain’s final year with the Royals that he should have been the top target for them last offseason. The Cubs win the division easily if they sign Cain. The fact they basically ignored Cain and went after Chatwood so quickly is crazy. I’d really like to have a copy of the early discussions the front office had last year. Whoever said they should go that hard after Chatwood when no one else would have come close to paying him that while ignoring one of the better CF in the game should never be allowed at any big boys table again.

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  58. berselius

    dmick89,

    To be fair to the FO, they never got the memo that nobody was going to spend any money on FAs this year. Given how the past few offseasons had gone I can understand why they’d want to jump on their guy early from a strategic perspective. As far as their actual target goes…not so much.

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  59. sharpchicity

    dmick89,

    If the cubs were planning on going after harper, then cain would be a dumb move.
    If Chatwood was any semblance of 4.25-4.50 ERA, the deal would have been fine. Remember Mike Leake got 5/80 a couple years ago. That’s the pitching market right now and the Cubs don’t have pitching.

    FA is always hindsight. Projects had Chatwood at 2WAR and Cain at 3WAR. Missing out on Harper to get 1 extra win in a season when the team should already win the division by a few games is not the best use of resources. That said, the difference between the two this year was actually 6WAR. So not the outcomes either team probably projected

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  60. dmick89

    sharpchicity,

    Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. Sign Cain and then you don’t need an outfielder this offseason. You can focus on Machado.

    There was never any chance that Chatwood was going to be that good unless he had a career year. Chatwood sucked long before the 2018 season.

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  61. dmick89

    To be clear, I don’t have a problem with signing Chatwood. My issue is signing him to the contract the Cubs did and jumping on him so quickly in an offseason that moved slower than ever. The Cubs couldn’t have known how slow the offseason would move, but maybe you shouldn’t jump at sucky players the first chance you get. Also, don’t give players who suck that much money or that many years. Chatwood probably shouldn’t have been signed for more than 2 years and $15 million. If another team wants to go over that, let them. Personally, I’d stick Chatwood in the pen next year and see if he can be a quality late inning reliever at some point. You’re only going to lose on this deal more than you already have if you give him as many innings as possible.

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