Back to work for the Cubs…

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So here we are, the day before we return to work after a few days of gorging ourselves with a large flightless bird and assorted side dishes and desserts.  The Chicago Cubs have been relatively boring thus far, but we’re still a week-plus away from the Winter Meetings, so it should ramp up soon.  In the meantime, I used the lull to catch up on most of the Harry Potter movies and Jessica Jones, so I think I’ve gotten my fair share of TV for a while.  I’m ready to switch back to the hot stove.

By now, you have all heard the news of Jordan Zimmermann‘s agreement with the Detroit Tigers, pending physical.  Crazy Uncle Phil says:

The annoying part of this is that Detroit was so bad last year that they actually had a protected pick, so the Cubs don’t even get to sneak a spot up, while the Washington Nationals snag a comp pick to push the Cubs’ second rounder down for the time being.  The Cubs, of course, have the 28th pick (so far) in next year’s draft, which probably won’t mean much since it’s so far down in the first round anyway, and will likely be lost if they actually go after Zack Greinke or Jeff Samardzija or any other free agents that received a qualifying offer and rejected it.  I also disagree in part with Phil Rogers…not going after Zimmermann doesn’t necessarily mean they are all-in on Price, because the consensus is that the Cubs aren’t going to throw money around like confetti anyway.  It doesn’t mean that the Cubs are out yet, because they can still be very creative in structuring a contract to fit the financial restraints.  There are also multiple issues with Zimmermann, including his past Tommy John surgery and some not-so-enticing drops in his peripherals, that would have given the Cubs pause anyway.

While the Cubs were suggested as a trade partner (again!) with the Atlanta Braves for Shelby Miller, I agree with Cubs Den that this isn’t necessarily the trade I’d want to pursue at the price suggested.  There are other trade targets to go after and the Cubs certainly have the system depth to go after those targets.  And although once upon a time I would have been all over this, Johnny Cueto might not be the best get this offseason and it sounds like the Diamondbacks are checking in on him anyway (doesn’t mean much, but…).  Quality pitching has become ludicrously expensive and will likely stay that way with Rick Porcello‘s extension having set the bar (even if he didn’t merit such a deal in my opinion).

The good news is that the Cubs have a solid-enough relief core and they have been busy looking for value and depth with minor deals so far this offseason, so most of the available fundage can be thrown at a guy like David Price.  I imagine we’ll find out soon enough what they are willing to do.  If the strategy is to wait out the David Price market, then we probably don’t see any major expenditures until Price agrees to a deal sometime around the Winter Meetings.  However, if the Cubs start using some of their funds now for medium-tier deals, then we can pretty much kiss that possibility goodbye.  That doesn’t mean the end for a team with a bright future; it just means they’re going in another direction, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s just not as sexy as we fans would like.  This isn’t about sexiness though, it’s about results, and I’m curious to see how the 2016 team will be pieced together around the parts we expect to stick around.

 

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About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

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