It has not been a fun past few months for me, with a big move, trying to find work, and the Chicago Cubs’ ever-growing championship drought (thank goodness for 2016, eh?) all bearing down on me. There are plenty of baseball items, of course, that don’t involve my own life issues that you really don’t care about, so let’s get to those.
For one, the Cubs are already knocking on the door of the top tier of the luxury tax penalties, and that is even before they bother signing anyone else, including Bryce Harper. My point of view is that they might as well just keep spending, but then you look at the roster and think…hey, if everyone is healthy, and start hitting like we know they can, maybe they don’t need any more big signings. Then again, how confident are you in wagering that everyone comes back healthy and productive? Baseball is not exactly a sport for the risk-averse, and so it seems like the Cubs should do something even with the hopes for a bounceback and an already formidable young core of talent to work with for the next few seasons before free agency hits like a sledgehammer again.
The other thing that will happen very soon is learning who the Cubs will protect in the Rule 5 Draft, which will take place next month during the Winter Meetings. The deadline for adding minor leagues to the 40 man roster is Tuesday, so there isn’t a lot of time left to make the decisions. As far as I can tell, there are 39 players currently on the Cubs roster, and that doesn’t include Addison Russell (whom I think won’t be a Cub soon anyway), who is not on the roster due to his off-field issues landing him on the restricted list. There are going to be more than one player to be protected from the pillaging of other teams, so the Cubs will have to clear some space through the trading or non-tendering of some folks. There are plenty of articles out there about who the Cubs are more likely to protect, but what they actually do will remain a mystery until the deadline.
The final thing that we can ponder before eating turkey is the Hall of Fame ballot. I’ll think about this more at a later time, but my immediate thought is that Mariano Rivera and Edgar Martinez will for sure get in, while everybody else might be up in the air. Maybe the voters will feel generous and get Mike Mussina in too?
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!