It’s All-Star night here at BCB After Dark: the be-boppingest bash for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. It’s good to see you stop by this evening. Come on in out of the heat. There are still a few tables available. The show will be starting shortly. 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.
The National League beat the America League 3-2 tonight, the first NL win since 2012. Elias Díaz was the MVP after hitting the go-ahead home run in the top of the eighth. If you predicted that Díaz would be the MVP, I just have one question for you: How long have you been an insanely optimistic Rockies fan?
But more importantly, Cubs lefty Justin Steele pitched a scoreless inning of relief. He gave up a single to the Orioles’ Austin Hays, but he struck out the Rangers Jonah Heim. It was also Steele’s 28th birthday, as well as his son’s first birthday
Last night I asked you if you thought the All-Star Game should switch to a US versus The World format or stick with the AL/NL format. Most of you think that they should just leave things as they are as 83 percent of you think the AL/NL format is the better way to go.
On the night they play the All-Star Game, I don’t have a movie section, if only because they play the All-Star Game on Tuesday. But I always have time for jazz, so those of you who skip that can do so now. You won’t hurt my feelings.
Since this is the night of the All-Star Game, I thought nothing less than an all-star jazz combo. And arguably the greatest all-star combo of all-time was the first great Miles Davis Quintet. (Fans of the second great Miles Davis Quintet might disagree.) So here’s “Freddie Freeloader,” the second track off Kind of Blue, which is often called the greatest jazz album of all time. (The first track is “So What,” which I’ve featured a lot before.)
Playing on this track are Miles Davis on trumpet, Julian “Cannonball” Adderley on alto sax, John Coltrane on tenor sax, Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums.
Welcome back to everyone who skips all that jazz.
The Cubs stand at the crossroads at the All-Star Break. The Cubs seem to be a much-improved team over last year. The Cubs currently sit at 42-47, whereas last year they were at 34-55 after 89 games. So that’s evidence that they have taken a step forward.
But, and I know some of you disagree on this point, they really should be better than that. If you go by the Pythagorean W-L (a formula based on a teams runs scored against the runs they’ve allowed), the Cubs should be at 47-42. If they were at 47-42, they’d be biting at the first-place Reds heels. They’d even be ahead of them if you go by the Reds Pythagorean record of 46-47.
But, even if the Cubs were just unlucky in the first half, that doesn’t mean they be extra-lucky in the second half. Additionally, the Cubs are seven games out of first in the Central and 6 1⁄2 games out of a Wild Card spot. Even if their luck does turn around, that’s a lot of ground to make up. Fangraphs gives the Cubs just a 9.9% chance of making the playoffs. That’s not nothing, but it’s not a lot either.
So unless the team goes on a tear right after the All-Star Break, the Cubs are likely looking at selling at the trade deadline for the third-straight year. Marcus Stroman and Cody Bellinger are the two players who would almost certainly be dealt if the Cubs decide to sell at the end of the month.
But unlike the past two seasons, there are not a ton of players on the Cubs whose contracts are up at the end of the year. Ian Happ and Nico Hoerner signed extensions. Justin Steele, Adbert Alzolay and Christopher Morel are still years away from free agency.
So there probably won’t be a major sell-off. But the Cubs are unlikely to just trade Stroman and Bellinger if they decide to sell. So tonight’s question is: which Cubs player is most-likely to be dealt if the Cubs decide to sell?
Of course, there are two factors at play here. One, it has to be a player the Cubs want to trade. And two, he has to be a player that other teams will want for a stretch run. The Cubs are willing to trade players who are years away from free agency, like they did with Scott Effross last year.
Which Cub do you think is most likely to get dealt at the trade deadline? (Other than Stroman and Bellinger.)
Other than Stroman and Bellinger, which Cubs is most likely to get traded?
This poll is closed
Mark Leiter Jr.
Someone else (leave in comments)
Thank you so much for stopping by this evening. I hope you’ve had a pleasant time with us. I know we’ve enjoyed having you. Please get home safely. Tip your waitstaff. And join us again tomorrow for more BCB After Dark.