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caulfield12

Hahn is getting all the praise, Theo no longer "Sainted"

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If you live in Chicago or you root for one of the two Chicago baseball teams you have seen two wildly different approaches to this winter. While the White Sox have had perhaps the best off-season of any team in the sport, the Cubs have regressed dramatically from their 84-win 2019 team that finished third in the NL Central division.

...

"The Cubs are in a trick box. They did a terrible job locking up their young stars to deals that would have extended their window of contention," one executive said. "Yes, they got Rizzo and Starlin Castro but until Kyle Hendricks took a deal they had signed no one else long term from their core guys. Look across your city and see what Rick Hahn has been able to accomplish. He has a great young core and he has been able to sign some of his guys to outstanding deals.

"The Cubs are trying to jump start their team again and while I don't blame them for asking for a ton in return for Bryant, I don't believe they are going to get it."

Another believes the Cubs are in a terrible position as they launch a new TV network. Marquee Sports was supposed to infuse the franchise with a significant revenue stream to allow them to compete with all of the other financial behemoths in the industry.

 

Next up on the extension list:  Moncada/Giolito, Madrigal, Lopez/Kopech/Cease (surely they'll wait to see how this season plays out first)...same with Mazara and Rodon (the most unlikely).  The tide is starting to shift, finally.  

 

 

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/why-cubs-theo-epstein-havent-161420818.html

Also talks about how they're boxed in by Bryant's grievance not being settled, asking too much for Wilson Contreras/Bryant and also goes into why they can't trade Javier Baez.

Edited by caulfield12
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I wouldn't be so quick to praise Hahn or discredit Theo.  Theo won a title, and seemingly is operating under similar restrictions to Hahn, despite an annual revenue roughly 20-40% larger.

Theo would probably like the Chapman trade back.  But flags fly forever and when dealing with ownership that has profit somewhere around the same as winning it's not that easy.

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The biggest problem is that they can't go over the luxury tax or they're hit by that 30% penalty.

Which means their only options are getting the best possible return for Contreras and/or Bryant...probably Bryant, in terms of "replace-ability" in the line-up and the higher salary.

Of course, the obvious problem is they can no longer push him as an MVP-caliber player unless he can put up at least 3 fWAR when the calendar turns to July.   Right now, he's a diminished asset.  And he's not cheap in terms of salary, either.

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Everything feels good right now. But go back 4-5 years or so with the Cubs. Who would the extension candidates of been? Even ahead of Baez, they would of been Schwarber and Russell (since Bryant wouldn't of done it as a Boras guy). I'm not sure many people saw the fall in value for those 2, or the rise in value of Baez.

That said, Theo has won what, 3 World Series? He's obviously facing the biggest struggles of his GM career right now. It will be interesting to see if he can right the ship before bailing on the Cubs.

And for the Sox, hopefully Robert and Jimenez live up to their prospect status, both this coming season, and for the next 5-7 years beyond that.

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2 hours ago, caulfield12 said:

The biggest problem is that they can't go over the luxury tax or they're hit by that 30% penalty.

Which means their only options are getting the best possible return for Contreras and/or Bryant...probably Bryant, in terms of "replace-ability" in the line-up and the higher salary.

 Of course, the obvious problem is they can no longer push him as an MVP-caliber player unless he can put up at least 3 fWAR when the calendar turns to July.   Right now, he's a diminished asset.  And he's not cheap in terms of salary, either.

Bryant doens't quite feel like the player he used to be. Plus there's injury concerns. I'd be hesitant to give up too much if I was another team. If the Cubs are expecting a 'Chris Sale' type of return, they probably will be disappointed.

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24 minutes ago, Sarava said:

Bryant doens't quite feel like the player he used to be. Plus there's injury concerns. I'd be hesitant to give up too much if I was another team. If the Cubs are expecting a 'Chris Sale' type of return, they probably will be disappointed.

Well, yeah....he went from a 7 fWAR player over three seasons down to a mid 3’s average over the last two.

He’s still worth a lot next season (projected 4.7-4.8), and the season after...but the Cubs are going to be fixated on that 6-7 fWAR return, not to mention he’s also going to make something like $25-30 million.   That’s still a great price even for his diminished level of production, but trading him for prospects when you still have a lot of the core pieces in place is going to be a tough sale to Marquee subscribers.

It’s not a good situation to be trading him if he loses the grievance because the perception will be the Cubs are being pressured to cut him lose, and it might be just as untenable with Boras if they win.  Ricketts will be tempted to put him in his place, but that’s not the way to extract maximum value from an asset, either.

Rock and a hard place.

 

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1 hour ago, Sarava said:

Everything feels good right now. But go back 4-5 years or so with the Cubs. Who would the extension candidates of been? Even ahead of Baez, they would of been Schwarber and Russell (since Bryant wouldn't of done it as a Boras guy). I'm not sure many people saw the fall in value for those 2, or the rise in value of Baez.

That said, Theo has won what, 3 World Series? He's obviously facing the biggest struggles of his GM career right now. It will be interesting to see if he can right the ship before bailing on the Cubs.

And for the Sox, hopefully Robert and Jimenez live up to their prospect status, both this coming season, and for the next 5-7 years beyond that.

I think it’s fair to say 3 1/2, since Cherington road the coattails of the team Epstein basically put into place...although there were a number of free agent moves that offseason that all worked out well and put them over the top. 

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https://www.mlb.com/news/predicting-next-10-world-series-winners

2021: Yankees over Padres
Speaking of late-90s World Series rematches … The Yankees attempt to re-create their ‘90s dynasty by actually beating all the teams they beat back then: They took out Tony Gwynn's Padres in 1998. It is a very real possibility that the Yankees' best player in '21 is Gleyber Torres. Is this his Derek Jeter year when he becomes a national star? The Padres have a budding shortstop superstar of their own in Fernando Tatis Jr., who just might be an MVP by this point.

2022: Dodgers over Angels
The Dodgers have to do it at some point, don’t they? By this point, Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger may be leading them, and Clayton Kershaw will be the grizzled vet finally having his big postseason moment. By the way, congratulations to Mike Trout, whose team has finally become good enough around him to succeed in the postseason. Wouldn’t a Fall Classic be truly amazing if it had Trout in it?

2023: Braves over White Sox
The Braves, despite all their postseason appearances, haven’t won a World Series since 1995, but they barely sneak under the 30-year drought mark with the first championship for Ronald Acuña Jr., one of those players whose talents are so abundant that his career will feel incomplete if he never gets one. By this point, he should be surrounded with pitching, and his contract, if you can believe this, runs through 2026. The White Sox may well be dominating the AL Central by this point: All their young talent is going to mature and grow old together.

2024: Blue Jays over Dodgers
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will be 25 years old in October 2024, right in his prime, and all his fellow “Juniors” -- Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio -- will be ready to take over the AL East. (Until the Yankees reload again.) The Dodgers are as likely as any team in the NL, and maybe in baseball, to be competitive every year of this decade. As a frame of reference, by the way: 2024 is the first season the Tigers won’t be paying Miguel Cabrera.

Yankees over Braves in 2020, fwiw.

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When a team has a Bryant who announces up front there will be no extensions...I strongly believe that player needs to be put on the block while the team has 2 years of control left.  Cubs are going to get bubcus for Bryant instead of a pretty nice haul which would have been available had they moved him earlier.  RH needs to work very hard to get extensions for Gio and Moncada types.  RH has been very good at this by the way.

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3 minutes ago, poppysox said:

When a team has a Bryant who announces up front there will be no extensions...I strongly believe that player needs to be put on the block while the team has 2 years of control left.  Cubs are going to get bubcus for Bryant instead of a pretty nice haul which would have been available had they moved him earlier.  RH needs to work very hard to get extensions for Gio and Moncada types.  RH has been very good at this by the way.

You think it will be that easy to trade Giolito or Moncada, right before the team’s two best projected years, 2022/23?
 

In the Cubs’ case, after the World Series season or even 2017?   Their fanbase would have gone crazy.   We can say it makes some sense since the Cubs’ window opened so quickly and they won it in Year 2...or the Royals getting to the World Series in Years 2&3 of their window, but Jerry Reinsdorf and his loyalty tendencies don’t seem to fit with this concept of trading a World Series hero like Konerko or Buehrle right after they won.  In fact, we held onto most of that core into 2009-10-11.  We did the exact opposite, other than trading Rowand.

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43 minutes ago, caulfield12 said:

You think it will be that easy to trade Giolito or Moncada, right before the team’s two best projected years, 2022/23?
 

In the Cubs’ case, after the World Series season or even 2017?   Their fanbase would have gone crazy.   We can say it makes some sense since the Cubs’ window opened so quickly and they won it in Year 2...or the Royals getting to the World Series in Years 2&3 of their window, but Jerry Reinsdorf and his loyalty tendencies don’t seem to fit with this concept of trading a World Series hero like Konerko or Buehrle right after they won.  In fact, we held onto most of that core into 2009-10-11.  We did the exact opposite, other than trading Rowand.

I obviously am not saying it's desirable.  How do you think the fan base is going to like Bryant for a couple of trash players?   Our fan base excepted the trades of Sale, Q & Eaton quite well. Everyone understands you can't be left empty handed when dealing with these star players.  I want to make every effort to extend virtually all core players...but if it can't be done you turn it over.  Bryant's situation is unacceptable and avoidable.

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8 minutes ago, poppysox said:

I obviously am not saying it's desirable.  How do you think the fan base is going to like Bryant for a couple of trash players?   Our fan base excepted the trades of Sale, Q & Eaton quite well. Everyone understands you can't be left empty handed when dealing with these star players.  I want to make every effort to extend virtually all core players...but if it can't be done you turn it over.  Bryant's situation is unacceptable and avoidable.

Well, the only way to avoid it would have been losing Year 7 and bringing him up for OD (in which case they’d now only have him for 2020) or giving him the biggest early extension in the history of baseball, which Boras Corporation has done how many times in its lengthy history?    

Injuries are almost impossible to predict, as well...at least on the position player side of things.
 

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Theo will be fine. The Sox might compete this year and liven up the city rivalry. I would trade Bryant but he is a fan favorite. Give us Q back and we will give you a B and C prospect.

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27 minutes ago, pcq said:

Theo will be fine. The Sox might compete this year and liven up the city rivalry. I would trade Bryant but he is a fan favorite. Give us Q back and we will give you a B and C prospect.

The Sox checked in at 17 in the new power rankings at MLB. Cubs were 12th, and the Twins were 4th. 

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6 minutes ago, SonofaRoache said:

The Sox checked in at 17 in the new power rankings at MLB. Cubs were 12th, and the Twins were 4th. 

https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/KCR/2013-schedule-scores.shtml
 

This is close to what we should be expecting, 85-87 wins.   The Tigers and Indians won 93 and 92 that year, in 2013.   The Twins should be in the low 90’s or high 80’s.  Jury’s still out on CLE, depending on the ultimate fate of Lindor and Clevinger.

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I've referred to St. Theo but derisively because the according to the media, the management at Clark and Addison can do no wrong.  

All I know is we have as many WS Championships as they do over the last 19 years.  Now, the reason we only have one is a topic for another day.

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3 hours ago, Blackout Friday said:

Theo did something similar in Boston. Ended a long drought With savvy moves and then seemingly got lazy and threw around money recklessly. 

His blank check approach to team building only works for so long.  And now that there are caps for the draft & international pools his flow of young talent has slowed.  Throwing gobs of money at everything seems to have caught up with him this time. 

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5 minutes ago, SouthWallace said:

His blank check approach to team building only works for so long.  And now that there are caps for the draft & international pools his flow of young talent has slowed.  Throwing gobs of money at everything seems to have caught up with him this time. 

This is the "curse" for GM's like Dombrowski and Epstein when they operate in "blank check" organizations.

They both have a better sense for amateur/young talent than playing the top of the free agent market.   It was their undoing in all four places (the exception would be DD earlier in his career with Montreal and the Marlins.)

Of course, on the other hand, you have the more "cost efficient" spending approach of the Dodgers....which has led to seven consecutive playoff appearances but no World Series titles.

 

Ultimately, giving up Torres, Cease, Jimenez and some of the other prized youngsters like Candelario and Paredes.   Simultaneously, you had a failure from Schwarber, Almora, Russell, Soler, Happ, etc., to fill in as that next generation of homegrown stars to adequately supplement the core.

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Don't care about Theo at the moment. Hahn and the Sox did what they had to this off-season. They couldn' t tell their fans to wait one more season and go through another losing campaign. Their strategy seems to be this: No mega contracts, sign up young players for long periods and hope for long-term success without dishing out millions upon millions for one player. At the very least, 2020 should be a winning season. And if the strategy works in the long run, this rebuild will be a huge and much needed success. This needs to happen. 2010 was a miserable decade. Perhaps the White Sox can become a franchise with a real identity.

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The soft cap belies the open checkbook theory. You have to be smart with every penny. You end up paying guys not to play like the Red Sox. 

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13 minutes ago, pcq said:

The soft cap belies the open checkbook theory. You have to be smart with every penny. You end up paying guys not to play like the Red Sox. 

Is the luxury tax even needed (if it ever was) now?  I don't see a need for it.  I'd like to see teams spend as much as they like without penalty.  I think it's healthier for the sport.

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14 minutes ago, chitownsportsfan said:

Is the luxury tax even needed (if it ever was) now?  I don't see a need for it.  I'd like to see teams spend as much as they like without penalty.  I think it's healthier for the sport.

Maybe not get rid of it but definitely raise it. And add a spending floor.

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2 minutes ago, soxfan2014 said:

Maybe not get rid of it but definitely raise it. And add a spending floor.

Yes with national revenue sharing there's no reason not to enforce a floor.  There isn't a single owner that can cry poor given the current finances of MLB.

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I dislike the idea of a floor.  It would become a "get out of jail free" card to the rich teams.

They could give away their bad contracts to tanking teams trying to reach it.

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