In the last day or so, another name came off the free agent list in Nelson Cruz. Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs continue to remain quiet on all fronts.
The Chicago Cubs were never going to be in guys like Nelson Cruz, so it makes little difference to Theo Epstein’s ballclub that the veteran slugger is off the table. Still, it’s yet another sign the market is continuing to move along – and the Cubs are stuck in the mud.
In that moving market, one piece I personally liked as a potential backup to Willson Contreras, Jonathan Lucroy, signed a one-year deal, $3.35 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Granted, he’s nowhere near what he was when he finished fourth in MVP voting back in 2014, but he could still lighten the load on Contreras in the short-term.
To me, Chicago has enough offense that Lucroy’s seemingly declining offensive skill set is a non-factor. But that doesn’t really matter now as he’ll remain in the AL West for 2019.
Speaking of the American League West, the Seattle Mariners are back in the news (imagine that). They’re reportedly not looking to move outfielder Mitch Haniger, another name we saw loosely tied to the Cubs earlier this offseason. But, given Chicago’s outfield depth, such a move seemed pretty unlikely unless it included bullpen pieces. And, at that point, it would be a major trade between the two clubs.
Here at Cubbies Crib, we broke down Victor Caratini‘s white hot bat in the Puerto Rican Winter League and how it could help him keep his job as Contreras’ number two behind the dish.
Meanwhile, despite an eventful offseason, manager Joe Maddon has all the tools to completely rewrite the script next season. Working hands-on with a young staff, he could reinvigorate both his coaches and players as the Cubs look to return to the World Series.
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These & Other Stories You May Have Missed
Caratini raking as he defends his role with the club – Cubbies Crib
Lucroy, Angels agree to one-year deal – MLB.com
Maddon will get the last laugh in 2019 – Cubbies Crib
Why Mitch Haniger is the new face of the M’s – Tacoma News-Tribune
Here’s the Cubs’ best outfield moment of 2018 – Cubbies Crib
As we head into New Year’s Eve on Monday, the baseball world continues to wait on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. For the Chicago Cubs? It’s business as usual – which, unfortunately means we’re stuck waiting and hoping for a payroll miracle.