Cubs News and Notes: I’ll take Hoerner, Quintana in, Holland out, 2016, Hot Stove, more
Orlando Ramirez - USA Today Sports

Cubs News and Notes: I’ll take Hoerner, Quintana in, Holland out, 2016, Hot Stove, more

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Q in; Holland out: As predicted, the Cubs have officially accepted the option on Jose Quintana, while showing Derek Holland the door. I’m not sure many fans will shed tears over Holland’s dismissal, as he failed to show anything that (in my mind) qualified him as a right-handed specialist.

Quick note- exercising their team option on Q doesn’t mean he’ll be back in 2020, as the Cubs could trade him this offseason, however, between money issues and past performance, I think Q nails down the #4 spot this year.

Trade target: One of the Cubs potential trade targets from 2018 and mid-2019 has now exercised his player option with the Giants. Lefty-reliever Tony Watson (age 34) has cashed in on his $2.5M player option, which could blossom to $7.5M with incentives.

Robo Umps: As the umpires grow continually worse, more and more fans are hoping that MLB will begin using the Robo-Umps. The number of blown calls in 2019 seemed to be the worst I can ever recall, but I still have some mixed emotions about going robo.

The human error factor has always been a part of baseball, and I think over time, the calls probably even themselves out – if not, they’re certainly close. The other big issue for me is that old saying, “Live by the sword, die by the sword.” The Cubs will win some games via the Robo-Ump, but it’ll cost them some games as well. Look at Kyle Hendricks who makes his living on the corners; do you think he doesn’t get a lot of calls in his favor? This is going to cost him and others on the team a ton of Ks while bringing walk rates up sky high.

Vote of no-confidence: In another ESPN 1000 poll, the question asked how many games the Cubs would have won, if this year’s series was the Cubs vs Astros. The fans’ answers weren’t pretty.

Cubs’ Birthdays Celebrating yesterday were former Cubs Orlando Merced (53) and posthumously, Bill Connors (78), Jesse Flores (105), Johnny van der Meer (105), Ed "Dutch" Zwilling (131), Clem Clemens (133), and Otto Williams (142).

Baseball Quotes: “My goal is to win. It doesn't matter how I do. I want to do well, but I just want the team to win.” – New Mets’ manager, Carlos Beltran

MLB and the Hot Stove

Free agency in the NL Central:

While you don’t see a ton of interdivisional trades occurring, anything is possible when it comes to signing free agents. The Cubs stand to lose some quality players (as well as some dead weight) to free agency, but other teams in the NL Central will also suffer losses, as the free-agent landscape is changing the look of the entire division. Money’s tight for the Cubs again this winter, but they’d certainly benefit from being able to sign at least a couple of these guys (potential targets, as I see them, are in bold).

Here’s the complete list of players who’ve now elected free agency in the NL Central.

Brewers: Catcher Yasmani Grandal, infielder Mike Moustakas , LHP Gio Gonzalez, RHP Jay Jackson, RHP Jordan Lyles, RHP Matt Albers and LHP Drew Pomeranz.

Cardinals: LF Marcell Ozuna , catcher Matt Wieters, RHP Adam Wainwright , LHP Tony Cingrani and RHP Michael Wacha .

Pirates: RF Melky Cabrera, LHP Francisco Liriano, and outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall.

Reds: LHP Alex Wood and shortstop Jose Iglesias .

In other NL Central Hot Stove news, Milwaukee has selected the contract of LHP Angel Perdomo; the Crew’s 40-man roster now stands at 32.

From the rest of MLB:

Twins: Minnesota has outrighted injured reliever Sam Dyson. Because Dyson had previously been outrighted, he’s refused the minor league assignment and entered free agency. Dyson is expected to miss all of 2020 while rehabbing his shoulder, following his surgery in September.

Nationals: Somewhat surprising, Washington has declined the options on Ryan Zimmerman ($18M) and Yan Gomes ($9M).

Adding insult to injury, Stephen Strasburg has opted out of his Nats’ contract, foregoing a guaranteed $100M over the next four years. The team says it will start renegotiating with Strasburg today. Strasburg is one of Scott Boras’ clients (as if you were surprised).

Oh, by the way…

Giants: The Giants have declined their option on reliever, Ferdinand Abad. Additionally, after being outrighted, Kyle Barraclough has elected free agency.

Mets: With Carlos Beltran now in place as the manager, the Mets are rumored to be looking toward former Mets’ manager, Terry Collins, to serve as Beltran’s bench coach.

Yankees: More than a few Cub fans were hoping that Aroldis Chapman and Theo Epstein would someday celebrate a reunion, but those hopes have now been squashed. The Yankees have worked out a deal to keep Chapman in the bullpen through 2022, at the cost of an additional $18M. Chapman had had two years and $30M remaining, bringing the total contract to three-years/$48M.

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