clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cub Tracks Wouldn’t Rule It Out

The Rule 5 draft, today in baseball history, big trade, buttfaces, and other bullets

MLB: Winter Meetings
Pushme Pullyou
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In the previous episode, Cub Tracks spoke about Cubs Fans’ Just Desserts, dropped a bunch of names, and buried not one but at least two ledes under an avalanche of hyperbole and a peculiar food metaphor that was so strained that it may as well have had a Gerber label on it.

Baby cakes indeed.

The matter of the back end of the bullpen would seem to have been settled with the trade of Jorge Soler and his potential to the Royals for Wade Davis and his present. Given that it’s December, the ghosts of Christmas past may yet give us Wade Miller and Wade Boggs. Who knows, maybe even lefty hurler Wade Blasingame. Theo works in mysterious ways.

The Rule 5 draft is today. I bet everyone’s excited about that. If the Cubs don’t unearth the next Roberto Clemente, they could at least find the next Hector Rondon. Probably won’t find that young, cost-controlled arm under that tree. Maybe by combing the never know. Tyler Webb might be worth looking at, or Wei-Chung Wang, should they fall far enough. Here’s a helpful preview, from Baseball America.

And late in the evening Wednesday, the Yankees brought Aroldis Chapman back. The deal has “real risk,” writes Jon Tayler.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1914 - After weeks of rumors, the bomb drops: Connie Mack sells Eddie Collins, generally regarded as the game's finest position player, to the White Sox for $50,000. Collins signs a five-year contract worth $75,000 and gets $15,000 as a signing bonus. The deal breaks up the A's "$100,000 infield" and raises conjecture that Mack, too, will leave to manage the Yankees.
  • 1951 - The AL alters its restrictions on night games, adopting the NL's suspended game rule and lifting its ban on lights for Sunday games.
  • 1977 - Texas engineers a series of deals with the Braves, Mets, and Pirates, unloading a total of six players and getting three back. Among those involved are Jon Matlack and Al Oliver (to Texas), Bert Blyleven (to Pittsburgh), and Willie Montanez (to New York).
  • 1983 - Owners elect former Yankees infielder Bobby Brown as president of the American League.
  • 1997 - It's a busy day in Cleveland. The Indians sign Kenny Lofton to a three-year contract for $24 million (ironically, Cleveland traded Lofton to Atlanta in March 1997 because he was due to be a free agent). The Tribe, in turn, trades 1997 ALCS MVP Marquis Grissom to Milwaukee, which finished second in the Lofton free agent chase. Grissom, who came to Cleveland in the Lofton deal in March, goes to the Brewers along with Jeff Juden for Ben McDonald, Mike Fetters, and Ron Villone. The Indians aren't done yet; they swap Fetters to Oakland for Steve Karsay, and sign free agent pitcher Dwight Gooden.

So that happened. Wish there were another Kenny Lofton available now. Ah well. Below you’ll find a number of articles culled from the electronic media and arranged attractively to suit your infotainment needs. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • ESPN: Joe Maddon on Davis/Soler trade [VIDEO].
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Theo Epstein on the Davis-Soler trade [VIDEO].
  • Max Rieper (Royals Review): Royals officially trade Wade Davis to the Cubs for Jorge Soler. View from the other side of the fence.
  • Keith Law (ESPN-Insider {$}): One-for-one deal works for Cubs and Royals. “Wade Davis could make a big splash with the Cubs as he is one of the best closers in the big leagues when healthy.”
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Why Cubs felt like they had to trade Jorge Soler now. “We felt like he needed to play – and it would have been a tough fit,” said Theo Epstein.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): How Cubs convinced themselves Wade Davis would be worth the health risk. “We studied the whole arc of his season and his career and we’re very comfortable that it was something he dealt with midseason and is not going to be something that’s chronic,” remarked Theo Epstein.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Cubs acquire Wade Davis from Royals for Jorge Soler. More on the story of the day.
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune): Cubs upgrade at closer but risk Jorge Soler reaching potential with Royals. “...the opportunity to get an elite closer like the Royals' Wade Davis for a spare outfielder was an offer the Cubs couldn't refuse.”
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Quick Reax: Soler/Davis trade could be win-win, fears still valid. “We won’t know the true impact of this deal for quite some time, or that’s the hope.”
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Cubs' trade of Jorge Soler could spur more deals for pitching help. "Over the next couple of years, we'll make more trades where we say goodbye to position players who are hard to part with but give us the pitching we need," Theo Epstein said.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs not done trying ‘to build a ton of depth’ in bullpen. Theo Epstein said “We’re going to try to build up a really talented, deep bullpen with a lot of different options that we can use in close games.”
  • ESPN: Wade Davis trade adds to Cubs' list of impending free agents. Jake Arrieta, John Lackey, Pedro Strop, Brian Duensing, Miguel Montero, and Jon Jay are the others.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Amid busy winter, Joe Maddon plots course for '17. Maddon shares some thoughts.
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald): Cubs' Maddon still fending off second-guessing about Game 7 decisions. "It's fascinating to me regarding the second-guessing because the only reality I know is that we won," Maddon said.
  • Alyson Footer ( 'Joy in Wrigleyville' to air on MLB Network Thursday. “This documentary features several groups of fans, from all walks of life and all corners of Chicago, as they experienced the white-knuckle moments of an epic postseason...”
  • Winter Meetings interview with Dayton Moore, Jed Hoyer. Transcript of talk with the two GMs.
  • Carrie Muskat ( Epstein still basking in post-Series euphoria. Still on his ‘bender’, Theo Epstein hasn’t been in the public eye as much as his players.
  • Mike Imrem (Daily Herald): Big winners of Chris Sale deal? Cubs. He didn’t go to Washington, and the Cubs are in the catbird seat.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Agent: Travis Wood drawing interest from 7 NL teams. Darek Braunecker says ten teams in all are interested in the lefty, who would like to start.
  • Sean Sears (Sports Mockery): Intriguing Cubs signings and trade proposals to acquire more pitching. Shelby Miller, the entire Rays pitching staff, Sonny Gray, Greg Holland, Tyson Ross are discussed.
  • Tommy Meyers (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Potential offseason targets: Drew Smyly/Patrick Corbin. “While neither would represent a huge upgrade in the back of the rotation, both provide competition for Mike Montgomery in the 5th starter’s spot and can slide into the bullpen if necessary as well.”
  • Barry Rozner (Daily Herald): Bud Selig in the Hall of Fame is just wrong. Confirmation bias aside...“Selig, after all, was the Steroids Commissioner, profiting more from steroid use than any other person in baseball, aside from a few players.”
  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Here’s how unbelievably huge the Chicago Cubs fan base is. Referring to Fansided article.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Will Kyle Schwarber replace Dexter Fowler as Cubs’ leadoff hitter in 2017? Jon Jay is also a possibility. Albert Almora, Jr and Javier Baez are unlikely.
  • DNAinfo: Did Cubs Championship make Joe Maddon more handsome? It made him a handsome amount of money, I’m sure. The jury is out on the rest.
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Player Profile: Kyle Schwarber. “Knees are overrated.”

Food for thought:

  • Sid Perkins (Science): Ancient eclipses show Earth’s rotation is slowing. “...the heavens run like clockwork.” On AA batteries?
  • Roger Groves (Forbes): The science that justifies marijuana in the NFL and NBA. “...those truly in pain should not have to suffer pain and punishment if medical science supports remedies that are still punished on outdated data points.” I guess MLB and the NHL don’t do pain. Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr is quoted.
  • Cari Romm (New York Magazine): Scientists think your face evolved to look like an ape’s butt. “Visual recognition isn’t the only thing your face has in common with a primate’s rear end.”

Smell you later, buttface. Thanks for reading.