No Willson Contreras, no Ian Happ, no Plan for Cubs' next playoff run?

No Willson Contreras, no Ian Happ, no Plan for Cubs’ next playoff run?

Will the Cubs have Contreras, Hap, or a plan by the next homestand? Originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Congratulations to the Cubs’ front office, whose team returned to 100-loss momentum after a seventh consecutive defeat on Thursday that included two newly minted All-Stars among a half-dozen valuable trade-timeframe chips.

And if we take one look at the present and one on the future, as team president Jed Hoyer likes to say, those two facts suggest two compelling stories.

In the short term that includes whether All-Stars Wilson Contreras and Ian Happ will return to Wrigley Field in Cubs uniform after Tuesday’s All-Star Game—the only two against the Pirates left at home between that time and August— With the game series. 2 trading time frame.

The long-term story is even uglier: It is the role of the big-market Cubs—who charge the highest game day “experience” in baseball—in preparing the next blueprint for multiyear rebuilding, as they did for that three-year tank. Did it a decade ago.

Only two teams’ record in the Majors was worse than the Cubs after that Thursday’s loss, and if they finished in the worst three, they were assured the best possible odds for the top overall pick in next year’s draft. goes. Collective bargaining settled in March – and no worse than the No. 7 overall pick.

But back in the same year he was selected on trade consideration to the All-Stars:

Things like this used to be rare in sports for obvious reasons – in which by definition they are your best players.

And yet if the Cubs trade both Happ and Contreras before the deadline, it would mark the second year in a row they’ve had two All-Stars and then traded them both — something of the same Theo Epstein-Z Hoyer. Years later, the day before the 2014 selection was announced, the Front Office traded Jeff Samaradzija.

Prior to Summerziza, the Cubs had never traded a player during a season in which he made the All-Star team as a Cubs (when he was traded that year to 1941 All-Star Billy Herman in Brooklyn, It was early May, and he earned selection as Dodger).

Cubs manager David Ross said, “I love watching players succeed, so All-Star stuff is awesome.”

“Trading deadlines is part of the stuff business, especially when you’re not in a position to make the playoffs,” he said. “That stuff is part of the process that the front office takes care of.

“I think we’re going to be a really good team very soon. That’s what we’re trying to get at. If the pieces move around by then, I think that’s part of the business. The players understand that. I understand that.”

That doesn’t mean they like it. or that any person paying the price of the premium is bound to bear it.

This makes it part of the new blueprint for what you want to call this roster rebuild.

A decade ago, the Cubs became the first elite-revenue team to intentionally tank a full season to rebuild—along with the Astros, a wave of new-generation tankers that have plagued the sport ever since.

With a new generation of fans contending that this is the best way to provide competitive pricing for fans, the next step in this cold calculus seems to be a greater desire to send out top-priced players with short-control horizons. it happens. An increasingly inflexible policy of risk-averse contract arrangements (not unlike the file-and-trial arbitration policy, which contributed to Contreras taking Contreras to the last hour before the hearing last month).

The Cubs aren’t the only team to ship too many All-Stars last year—a phenomenal season for it.

Rangers traded two of their three All-Stars at the time limit: Joey Gallo and Kyle Gibson.

2019-Champion Nationals traded three: Max Schaezer, Tree Turner and Schwarber.

One difference: Rangers delved deep into the free agent market a few months later and signed Corey Seeger and Marcus Semien for half a billion dollars in mid-fielders.

One of the sport’s biggest young superstars, Juan Soto, got the Nationals back at work trying to assure his next championship with a $440 million contract extension offer.

Whether the Rangers’ investment pays off or the Nationals feel compelled to trade Soto, who reportedly declined the offer, those teams are urgently looking to invest in a plan to compete, at least in a near-term timeline. I promised.

In the meantime, it’s anyone’s guess what the Ricketts family owned and this front office will have for next year’s “game experience” after the next round of deadline roster purging.

What is in a name?

Not Keegan. Not Wilson.

A day after Justin Steele’s first child was born this week, the Cubs pitcher and his wife were still considering a name — which is to say they were still deliberating as Justin awaited a verdict. (with the names of teammates already out of the table).

That is, the race was on.

Will the little guy get a name before the Cubs rebuild?

It didn’t take long. The Steels won: Beau Brooks Steele.

So Jade and Carter are back on the clock – there are plenty of cool names available.

May we suggest Prudence? Parsimony?

The ever popular tank?

How about wealthy sellers?

Or, given the fact that we’ve seen it all before from the same Front Office family, August II.

Pitching Development from F to A

Who says the Cubs can’t scout and develop the pitching that starts the Farm System?

Indeed, that’s what almost everyone in baseball has said for most of the last decade.

But look at the man A chose for Tuesday’s game. Paul Blackburn. That’s right. A Cubs’ complementary first-round pick in 2012, he traded Dan Vogelbach to Seattle for Mike Montgomery in 2016.

Developing a domestic All-Star pitcher required all of the Cubs’ 10-year process and trading him to another team.

pressure is on

OK, Dan Kantrowitz, let’s see what you got.

The last five times the Cubs have had single-digit, first-round draft picks — consecutive from 2011–15 — Tim Wilkins and Jason McLeod have caught four future All-Stars with those picks, one of them (2014’s No. Kyle Schwarber) becoming an All-Star with someone else after being non-tendered by the Cubs in a cost-cutting move).

In fact, those four — including JV Baez, Kris Bryant and Ian Happ — combined for eight All-Star selections (Schwarber earns two of the two since his non-tendering), one MVP by Bryant and Baez. A gold glove in a nutshell by .

Third-year Scouting director Kantrowitz takes his shot on Sunday with No.

Who knows? Maybe if he lands another All-Star, the Cubs will keep the pick long enough that he’s still a Cubs when he makes the All-Star team.


The White Sox’s Dylan Cease (see: Cubs’ pitching development plan) may be the biggest thug in town when it comes to All-Star team selection.

But even the conflict between the Chicago players is no bigger than MLB’s knocking Cubs Patrick Wisdom out of the home run derby.

Have they seen how far this guy kicks the ball? His 461-foot shot in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago is the longest by a Cubs this season and was the 15th longest shot in the majors at the time—and more than any homer hit by half a man in the eight-man Derby field. long.

Two-time champion Pete Alonso and top seed Schwarber, along with Ruthian Bild and Thunderous Power, are undoubtedly worthy front-runners for Derby selection. But the intellect can sue someone else in the field.

Wisdom has no word for it (which isn’t roughly four letters).

douche of the week

The Kansas City Royals placed 10 players on the banned list for their trip to Toronto because they haven’t been waxed, and Canada won’t let them into the country – a 38-percent player shortfall that’s far more than other teams. . Blue Jays on the street.

It is 38 percent of the “individual decisions” that hurt the team on the field – and in some cases off the field. The Yankees have already backed their interest in Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi and possibly others, because of the revealed Wax position and implications for a Jays division rival.

Some might remember that the Yankees are one of only two teams this season (the Astros too) to send a fully waxed, intact roster to Toronto—and more so than any other in baseball. Have won more games (four) against one of the best home teams in the U.S. Rival.

And anti-Vax supporters can save specific arguments on this debate; Even Anthony Rizzo got his shot at a season in which the Yankees were in a position to earn themselves another ring.

So congratulations to the Royals’ “Personal Choice 10” on winning this week’s Dow.

(Also getting voted: Marquee Sports Network).

Past winners: Josh Donaldson (May 23), Marquee Sports Network (May 30), ESPN micd-up player department (June 6), Orioles rain delay department (June 13), late-night host Stephen Colbert (June 25), Cards Fan on Marriage-Proposal Cam (June 30), Rob Manfred (July 9).

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