As the baseball winter freeze begins, a few ominous details come into sharper focus. Value Baseball will be important for pretty much every baseball organization. A few teams might spend "over," but "under" seems the trend. The indicators that adding low-cost talent is a short-term trend is difficult to locate evidence for. A few big names will sign for major hauls, but to get Nick Castellanos money might require a better projected future. Which leaves fewer gambit for the active baseball mind.
The Cubs have seemingly prioritized Max Schrock on waivers over Kolten Wong as a second base option, with player cost and future flexibility crucial assessment angles. Many of the "Should the Cubs add (insert player here)" articles verge on "Should the Cubs offer this player the most money?" pieces. Value to the player sometimes gets left out. Why should a performer sign for $1.75 million if another outfit is offering $3.2 million? If value is in play in one direction, with no specific loyalty, it might as well play both ways.
One pair of decisions this weekend the Cubs have to make is a decision only they can make. Similarly, the possibility exists that it leads to future wins, future value, or a lack thereof. Players returned to the minor leagues by way of the Rule 5 Draft have to be added to the 40-man roster this weekend, or be left unprotected.
The Cubs added Trevor Megill from the Padres in the Rule 5 Draft last December. He appeared five times in Mesa before the world stopped in March, throwing five innings with a 5.40 ERA and six strikeouts. Before the season resumed, Megill cleared waivers, and the Cubs and Padres came to a trade agreement, with the Cubs keeping Megill and the Padres getting the proverbial “cash consideration.” After time in the alternate training site, the Cubs haven't had much reason to publicly laud Megill for his efforts in South Bend.
Similarly, the Orioles poached Michael Rucker from the Cubs last December. His three outings covering five innings in the Grapefruit League resulted in no runs allowed, but he was returned to the Cubs without much fanfare just about the time the pandemic shut things down. He also spent time this summer in South Bend, with chatter of 95-97 being discussed.
While neither Megill nor Rucker is trendy arm getting a lot of attention, players with control and potential upside justify the scant discussion they will get this weekend. Are Rucker or Megill worth saving from the MLB portion of the Rule 5 Draft? As well as assessing waiver wire options with a fine-tootjed comb, the Rucker and Megill questions seem as pertinent as anything this weekend. I'd guess that Arizona Phil's guess of “Rucker being added” makes as much sense as anything.
Which decision would you recommend?
This poll is closed
Add Trevor Megill to the 40 man roster
Add Michael Rucker to the 40 man roster
Cry for a few months because teams are unlikely to spend during a pandemic.
Other (include below.)