I’d be lying if I told you I was not each shocked and unhappy, however neither in terrific measure, when ESPN’s Jeff Passan broke the news that Troy Tulowitzki experienced agreed to a deal with the Yankees. He’s prolonged in the tooth and his match lacks a great deal bite either in the area or at the plate, but it is hard to move on even a guttering flame of hope when it is fueled by a league-least deal.
That’s why the Cubs were being amongst the dozen or so teams present at Tulowitzki’s December workout, and his clear willingness to perform positions other than short produced extra intrigue. With Addison Russell out at minimum the to start with month of the season, if he’s back with the crew at all, the Cubs are unbelievably skinny at shortstop behind Javy Baez. Unless of course you count Daniel Descalso, David Bote, and Ben Zobrist as viable alternatives, which you should not.
Though not every person will agree that they’ve preferred all the right targets in free of charge company around the very last couple of years, it is hard to argue in opposition to the strategy that the Cubs typically land the players they go following in earnest. Which is why Tulo heading to New York raised a couple of queries for me with regards to Theo Epstein’s options this winter, not all of which are even shut to remaining unveiled.
On the surface, it is quick to see how the Yankees, who are devoid of the solutions of Didi Gregorius for at minimum most of the season next Tommy John surgical treatment, can provide far more taking part in time at short. But they’ve also bought this Gleyber Torres male and are in warm pursuit of a fella named Manny Machado, who recently begun next the team’s social media accounts. If Machado without a doubt heads to New York, taking part in time on the middle infield would be a high quality.
1 may possibly even say the chance would be too small to entice a veteran who experienced his decide on of teams.
Then once more, you’ve bought a extremely distinct chance for big innings at short in New York as items at present stand. If Machado signals there, the decline in taking part in time is offset by remaining component of a playoff crew that has revealed a commitment to winning by signing 1 of the top free of charge brokers on the industry. Chicago, on the other hand, presents no distinct likelihood to start off and has hence much revealed very little to no urgency when it arrives to generating sizeable advancements.
But the discussion to this point assumes the Cubs produced an endeavor to pursue Tulo further than their attendance at his workout, which may well not be the scenario at all. As tempting as it is to land a previous All-Star for just $555,000, there is a explanation he was out there that cheap. That the Blue Jays were being willing to spend him the entirety of his remaining $38 million around the following two seasons not to perform for them tells you a very little something about what they assume of his prospective customers.
Nevertheless, he could be completely abysmal and wouldn’t be a serious drag on the crew at that small income. Apart from that he’d be taking up a roster location, which is a commodity with all types of worth of its have. Signing Tulowitzki would most likely mean the conclude of Russell’s time in Chicago and may well have further decreased what minimal leverage the Cubs have left when it arrives to shifting him. Not that that need to be of terrific worry in gentle of the human aspects included, but you’re lying to you if you don’t think it is a factor.
The following component to consider is the Cubs’ utter absence of activity outside of Descalso and some fringe depth moves. It’s totally probable that alerts practically nothing far more than a motivation to observe by with their proclamations of economical restraint and that most of the advancement in effectiveness will come from inside of. Self-assurance in the main means augmenting alternatively than overhauling. But what if there is far more to it?
Probably the Cubs essentially do have moves in the will work, most of which are underneath the surface and/or dependent on other transactions. If that is without a doubt the scenario, they would will need to manage as a great deal roster flexibility as probable to be in a position to pull anything off. Or everything off. Or practically nothing off.
So although it is impossible to say regardless of whether and how seriously the Cubs are essentially pursuing Bryce Harper, their absence of activity seems to suggest something even bigger is in the will work. Either that or they are genuinely content material to head into 2019 with just about the exact same crew that “broke” this previous season. Never get me wrong, they need to assume to enhance with a wholesome Kris Bryant and bouncebacks from quite a few many others. It’s just hard to square that with Epstein talking about spending “all our strength to repair it.”
This winter has kind of a Casey at the Bat come to feel to it, as however the Cubs are just sitting back and ready for the great pitch before they swing. But what happens if they glimpse them selves into an -2 count and then whiff at that 3rd meatball? Or worse, if they dribble a grounder to short for a tailor-produced double perform? I guess we’ll obtain out quickly ample.