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Cub Tracks warms up

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Clark and Addison (Russell), trading places, and other bullets

Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs
that was years ago
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I’ve been re-reading baseball books from the last few years, in particular Keith Law’s “Smart Baseball”, and I was gonna riff on data-gathering and stats but I think I’ll save that for a better time, and we’ll just talk about the #narratives today. The Russell and Hickey bits have already been front-paged, but there are still wrinkles, and some of those are explored below. There are more juicy tidbits in the buffet.

As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs News and Notes:

Agent Scott Boras was asked if Addison Russell’s acceptance of a suspension as part of MLB’s domestic violence policy is now an admission of guilt after denying he did anything wrong previously. He began to answer it then pivoted a little: “Anytime you accept a course of action where there is a direction given...The idea that we look at is that Addison is getting therapy...Anytime we try to improve people and have a system that does that and brings attention to things that in society that make us better on and off the field, I think that’s a very positive step.” — Jesse Rogers.

  • NBC Sports Chicago*: Jed Hoyer: “We’re Open for Business.” [VIDEO].
  • Jon Greenberg (The Athletic {$}): Joel Quenneville got fired. Is Joe Maddon next? The price of excellence is heightened expectations. “Maddon’s tenure isn’t over yet, even if it feels like a goodbye tour is on tap.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Cubs working to finalize coaching staff. “I’m not in a position to formally announce the final coaching staff yet,” Theo Epstein said. As reported on the front page, the coaching carousel is still revolving. Evan Altman adds on.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Where the Cubs stand financially as Hot Stove season heats up. “The Cubs still may be able to impact their roster in a major way this winter...”
  • Sahadev Sharma (The Athletic {$}): Epstein is ‘not ruling anything out’ this offseason. Let him repeat, he’s ‘not ruling anything out.’ “We may make many trades or we may make only a couple small trades or we may make no trades.” Patrick Mooney piles on.
  • Sam Fels (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Oh yeah, him: Yu Darvish going forward. “Darvish’s presence, assuming a return to health, probably gives the Cubs the best rotation in the National League next year.” (wait til last year?)
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): Agent expects Addison Russell back with Cubs after domestic violence suspension. “We’re in communication closely with the Cubs, and Addison’s working on his therapy,” agent Scott Boras said. Paul Sullivan {$} concurs.
  • Tony Andracki (NBC Sports Chicago*): Why Cubs feel a responsibility to not immediately cast aside Russell. “I think we have an obligation to speak to everyone involved in the situation and to really engage with Addison,” Epstein said Monday.
  • Brendan Miller (Cubs Insider): Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber among league’s elite walk rates. “Which other young hitters regularly draw walks and show light-tower power potential?”
  • Bill Thompson (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Dakota Mekkes: A backend option for 2019? “...every year he becomes more interesting while the majority of fans remain unaware of his existence.” Thompson also writes about Nathan Eovaldi.
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Offseason target: Manny Machado. “...to this point, Harper has had precisely two seasons where he amassed 5.0 WARP or higher. And Machado has had four.”

Current 40-man roster, updated daily. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are conspicuously absent.

Food for Thought:

Thanks for reading.