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BCB After Dark: If it’s the All-Star Break, it’s decision time

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The nightclub for night owls, early-risers and Cubs fans abroad asks you for your opinion of Matt Duffy’s future

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the afterparty for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Thanks again for stopping by. The hostess will seat you shortly. No jacket or tie required tonight. Please enjoy the beverage of your choice.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

Tonight was the All-Star Game, which of course the American League won again, 5-2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit one of the longest home runs I’ve ever seen and Kris Bryant got robbed of a two-run single by Jared Walsh, of all people. But you’re free to discuss the All-Star Game in this space.

Yesterday I asked you if you thought Patrick Wisdom had a “long-term” future with the Cubs. I put “long-term” in quotes because Wisdom is already 29 years old, but he’s not so old that he can’t be a productive player for another four or five seasons. Or at least two or three. Anyway, we got some good discussion going on that and 79% of you thought that Patrick Wisdom is going to be the Cubs starting third baseman next April and maybe beyond.

Tuesdays are the nights when I normally do an abbreviated After Dark, so tonight’s edition is not going to be much different than last night’s when I had all the draft articles to write. (Can everyone wait until at least Thursday for a draft recap? Thanks.) But since it’s All-Star Week, I found this jazz cut that is an absolute All-Star Team of jazz greats. It’s from a Blue Note concert from 1985 featuring pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Joe Henderson (whom we featured last night), trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams. For all the talk recently of all the greats at the 1971 All-Star Game, this is like the 1971 All-Star Game of jazz.

So here are the five playing Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island.” [VIDEO]


Since last night I asked you about Patrick Wisdom’s future and it got a good response, I thought tonight I’d ask the same question about Matt Duffy, the person Wisdom replaced on the roster.

Duffy was one of the better stories of the first two months of the season. The Cubs signed him to a one-year deal this past winter and he got off to such a good start that Kris Bryant got moved to the outfield. Duffy doesn’t have Wisdom’s power, but he’s much better at getting on base. Duffy hit .278/.377/.325 in 38 games before going on the injured list with a lower back injury.

The similarities between Duffy and Wisdom is that they were both pleasant surprises at third base for the Cubs in 2021. Neither one of them played at all (outside of alternate site games) in 2020. Duffy is eight months older than Wisdom.

But that’s where the similarities end. Duffy is more of an on-base hitter whereas Wisdom is more of a power hitter. Duffy has a much longer record of success in the major leagues. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2015 and he hit .294/.361/.366 in 132 games for the Rays in 2018. Whereas we are wondering if Wisdom is really as good as he’s shown this year, we know Duffy can hit like he has. He’s a proven commodity.

But Duffy has also had a long history of injuries. He blew out his Achilles tendon in 2016 and missed half of that season and all of the 2017 season. He only played 46 games in 2019 because of a hamstring injury. And now he’s on the 60-day injured list with back problems, although he’s due to come off shortly.

So if you were Jed Hoyer, what would you do with Matt Duffy? You could trade him at the deadline, but it’s not likely that anyone would offer anything more than a D-level prospect. He’s only making $1 million this season, so the Cubs wouldn’t save much money by dealing him.

Unlike Wisdom, Duffy is a free agent at the end of the year. The Cubs could probably re-sign him for something close to the million he earned this year, but that would depend on what he does in the second half. The Cubs do need some players to finish out the season, and Duffy can play other positions other than third base (and Wisdom can play first base, although I hope it doesn’t come to that).

So what should the Cubs do with Matt Duffy? Trade him, even though the Cubs aren’t likely to get any real prospect for him? Keep him until the end of the season and let him leave as a free agent? Or try to re-sign him for next year?

Poll

What should the Cubs do with Matt Duffy?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Trade him for whatever they can get
    (19 votes)
  • 20%
    Keep him until the end of the year and let him leave
    (39 votes)
  • 69%
    Try to sign him back for 2022
    (132 votes)
190 votes total Vote Now

Thanks again for stopping by. I hope we will see you again tomorrow.