It’s another Tuesday night here a BCB After Dark: the jazziest afterparty for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Come on in on this delightful late-spring evening. Or sit on our new patio—we’ll keep the windows open so you can hear the music. There’s no cover charge here tonight. Dress code is casual. Bring your own beverage.
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, the Cubs got more excellent pitching from Kyle Hendricks, Julian Merryweather, Mark Leiter Jr. and Adbert Alzolay to beat the Rays for the second-straight night, 2-1. They also got some excellent defense too. Yes, the offense still seems to be sputtering, but to be fair, the Rays have some incredibly good pitchers too, Like Shane McClanahan, who was 8-0 coming into tonight’s game. Now he’s 8-1. But there’s a reason the Rays have the best record in baseball.
But hey, you know what is more surprising that the Cubs beating the Rays in the first two games of their series? The Athletics beating the Braves in their first two games of their series.
Last night, I asked you which city you’d rather have the A’s in: Oakland or Las Vegas? By a margin of 65 percent to 35 percent, you’d like them to stay in Oakland.
On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I don’t write about movies. But I always have time for jazz, so those of you who skip that can do so now.
Here’s a lovely little tune from the Bill Evans Trio from someone’s living room in Helsinki for Finnish television in either 1969 or 1970. It’s called “Emily” and it features Evans on piano, Eddie Gomez on bass and Marty Morell on drums.
Welcome back to everyone who skips the music.
Over the offseason, I asked in this spot a few times “Which of the four big free agent shortstops do you want the Cubs to sign?” In case you’ve forgotten, those four were Trea Turner, Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson.
As you know, the Cubs ended up with Dansby Swanson. And from my impression of the debate, it seemed like Dansby Swanson was Cubs fandom’s fourth choice. Some of you didn’t want him at all. Others were glad to have him as a Cub, but still thought of him as a consolation prize.
However, I wasn’t one of those fans. I was a big advocate for signing Swanson as I felt he was the one most likely to stick at shortstop throughout the length of his contract. I also felt that he was underrated as a offensive force as well. I noted that Swanson had the highest WAR in 2022 of all four of the free agents. (Although he was clearly last among the four in 2021.)
Maybe in a vacuum where the four shortstops all got the same contract, I might have picked Trea Turner. But I thought the difference between the four shortstops was too small to pay out the extra money and years that the other three free agent shortstops would command.
Now it’s not right to judge seven-to-twelve-year contracts on the basis of two months. But we’ve got to have something to talk about. So fairness goes out the window.
Once again, Swanson has the highest WAR of the four shortstops. Coming into tonight’s game, Swanson is hitting .270/.366/.422 with five home runs and a 2.3 bWAR.
By comparison, Carlos Correa is hitting .210/.304/.381 with six home runs and a bWAR of 0.3.
Trea Turner, who recently said “I’ve sucked” about his own play, is hitting .243/.288/.383 with five home runs and a bWAR of 0.2.
The Padres’ Xander Bogaerts got off to a strong start, but he’s slumped badly in May. He’s also dealing with a wrist injury. But his line on the season is .253/.345/.397 with seven home runs and a bWAR of 1.6.
(All numbers are coming into tonight’s game.)
But those three players can’t continue to play at that level, can they? They’ve all demonstrated that they are better than that. But the question is how much better? And how good will they be over the length of their contracts?
So I’m going to offer the Cubs any one of the four free agent shortstops from last off-season. You can keep Swanson, or you can deal him for Correa, Turner or Bogaerts. The only condition is that you have to take their contract as well. Now you can take the contracts into consideration as to which one you want playing for the Cubs. Or you can say it’s Tom Ricketts’ money and not yours and spend it as you see fit.
So after two months, which free agent shortstop from last winter do you want now on the Cubs?
Which 2022-23 free agent shortstop do you want now for the Cubs?
This poll is closed
And as a bonus question, tell us if your mind has changed since the start of free agency.
Have you changed your mind on the previous question from this past winter?
This poll is closed
Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you were able to celebrate a little with us. Please get home safely. Let us know if we need to call you a ride. Recycle any cans and bottles. Tip your waitstaff. And join us again tomorrow with another edition of BCB After Dark.