Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the hippest hangout for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. It’s cold out there, but the Cubs talk is warm in here. Let us check your coat for you. There’s no cover charge this evening. We still have a few tables available. Bring your own beverage. The corkage charge is waived for you.
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.
Last evening, I asked you about the possibility of the Cubs trading for Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor. Overall, you weren’t in favor of it, with 43 percent saying “Nay!” and just 29 percent in the “Yay!” camp. The rest of you were “meh” about the whole thing.
So here’s the part where I put the music and the movies. Those of you who skip that can do so now. You wont hurt my feelings.
I’ve been feeling a bit down this evening, so I wanted some Christmas music that swings to liven me up. This is the Christian McBride Trio with a version of the James Brown classic “Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto.” Also, there’s a pretty yule log to keep you warm.
Tonight we just have a reminder that you still have time to vote in last night’s BCB Winter Western Classic. The vote between The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Rio Bravo is incredibly close as I write this. As in, your vote could be the deciding vote.
I’ll announce the winner tomorrow night and set up the next vote between director Sam Peckinpah’s 1969 classic The Wild Bunch and director Anthony Mann’s third team-up with James Stewart in The Naked Spur. (1953) Reviewing the two films, I realized that I set up a Robert Ryan matchup here, as he’s the antagonist (I don’t want to say villain) in both films.
Both films take a dark look at the Old West.
Welcome back to everyone who skips the music and movies.
I know that patience is a virtue, but I’m running out of virtue. Come on, Jed, give me something to work with. This has been the quietest Hot Stove for the Cubs in my memory. Of course, it could all explode tomorrow. There are still a lot of good free agents on the market. But the Cubs haven’t even signed someone to one of those one-year deals yet.
Does the Giants signing Jung-Hoo Lee take them out of the Cody Bellinger sweepstakes? The Bay Area media says no, but it seems like Lee and Bellinger play the same positions. I guess, like the Cubs, the Giants could use Bellinger primarily as a first baseman. However, San Francisco got some very good production last year at first out of their platoon tandem of LaMonte Wade Jr. and Wilmer Flores. So we’ll see.
There has been some talk connecting the Cubs to free agent left-handed starter Jordan Montgomery. I’m not sure if it’s is actual rumors of contact between the Cubs and Montgomery or just speculation that there could be a fit there.
The former Yankee, Cardinal and Ranger had a very good season last year between St. Louis and Texas. He finished the year with a record of 10-11 with an ERA of 3.20. Montgomery doesn’t strike out a ton of batters, but he throws strikes, avoids walks and gets a lot of ground balls. That’s a formula the Cubs are looking for with Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner in the middle of the infield. (And Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman at the corners? A guy can hope.)
Montgomery was especially good after his trade to the Rangers at the deadline. He made 11 starts and went 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA. He only walked 13 batters in 67 2⁄3 innings and struck out 58. His results in the playoffs were mixed. He was terrific in the American League Championship Series against the Astros, giving up just two runs over 14 1⁄3 innings over two starts and a relief appearance. He was also the winning pitcher in Game 1 and in relief in Game 7 after bailing out Max Scherzer. You can’t ask for more than that.
Montgomery only made one start in the World Series against the Diamondbacks and he lost the only game the Rangers would lose in that five-game series, giving up four runs in 6+ innings. They probably shouldn’t sent him out for the seventh inning because he pitched well before then.
What Montgomery would offer the Cubs is a left-handed starter who gets ground balls and has averaged about 174 innings a year over the past three seasons. That doesn’t include the postseason. He’s also been traded midseason in both of the past two years and got better in the second half after the deal.
Montgomery turns 31 two days after Christmas. He’s probably in line for a four- or five-year deal. The Cubs would likely have to overpay to get him to come to Chicago, but that’s true of every free agent this winter and that doesn’t just apply to the Cubs. If you don’t overpay, you don’t sign anyone. I can see Montgomery signing a five-year deal at $125 million this winter, which is a lot more than what Jameson Taillon got from the Cubs last year. Montgomery is probably the better pitcher than Taillon, but not by a whole lot.
So should the Cubs sign free agent Jordan Montgomery?
This poll is closed
Thanks for stopping by this evening. Please stay warm out there and get home safely. If you need for us to call you a ride, let us know. Please recycle and cans or bottles. Tip your waitstaff. And join us again tomorrow night for more BCB After Dark.