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Cubs News and Notes: El Mago is tops, third base market, Brandon Kintzler, Hot Stove, more


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Baez has quick hands and a quick bat (Jim Young - USA Today Sports)
Baez has quick hands and a quick bat (Jim Young - USA Today Sports)

CUBS NEWS AND NOTES

Next Game: Next Game: 44 days – Saturday, February 22, 2020: Athletics vs Cubs (Sloan Park)

Opening Day: 77 days – Thursday, March 26, 2020: Cubs vs. Brewers (Miller Park)

If it’s not enough that I’m not reminding you every day, the Cubs are now on the bandwagon (No pun intended.

El Mago: What does baseball need, besides a new metric? I’m actually OK with this one, called Outs Above Average. I haven’t had time to figure it all out yet, but Javier Baez leads the thing in its maiden year, ranking above all other MLB infielders.

Javy says…

He’s gonna get a lot out of these players, just by his personality. Just the fact that he comes in hungry everyday…” -Tommy Hottovy on David

Ross.

Now pitching for the Marlins…: According to Craig Mish of SiriusXM Radio, the Marlins are hunting for relievers and former Cubs Brandon Kintzler and Pedro Strop (along with Hector Rondon) are on their radar.

Have I mentioned recently that re-signing Brandon Kintzler would greatly behoove the Cubs? I can understand them bypassing Pedro Strop after last year’s performances, but to deny Kintzler? After a half-season in 2018 that went horrifically bad, Kintzler wisely exercised his $5M player option last year, then turned it around to become the best player in the bullpen.

I have no objection to the Cubs looking at becoming a younger and more controllable team, but they’re going to need veteran leadership in the bullpen. Due to his closer role, I’m not sure Craig Kimbrel is that guy, making the re-signing of Kintzler all the more important.

Third base watch: Fans are already getting a little optimistic over trade rumors that say Nolan Arenado might be the man for Chicago… Even with a picture, I’m still not seeing it!

Then again, other fans do see that Kris Bryant doesn’t seem to be the answer- not sure why this guy called him Kris K… I continue to maintain that despite the All-Star Game appearances and a 2016 MVP Award, Kris Bryant’s offense is not all that great. Yes, he’s come up with some clutch hits, but consistency remains a problem.

An MLB Network radio poll on SiriusXM asked which Cub fans would be most willing to trade. Kris Bryant won this poll, but in fairness, the other choices were Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez.

Cubs history: Today’s lesson: Ernie was the man.

Cubs’ Birthdays: Celebrating yesterday were ex-Cubs James Russell (34), Bruce Sutter (67), and posthumously, Geremi González (45), Marv Rickert (99), and Walker Cooper (105).

Baseball Quotes: “There are so many people who tell you that you can't. What you've got to do is turn around and say, 'watch me.” -Bryce Harper

MLB and the Hot Stove

NL Central News:

Brewers: Milwaukee has signed manager Craig Counsell to a three-year extension (good through 2023).

Reds: The Reds have designated OF Nick Martini for assignment, to make room for Shogo Akiyama. Martini was a waiver claim from earlier this winter.

From the Rest of MLB:

Tigers: Detroit has outrighted IF/OF Brandon Dixon to Triple-A Toledo. The team has also acquired catcher Eric Haase from the Indians for cash. To make room, they designated RHP Daria Agrazal for assignment.

Gerrit Cole: Even Cole’s teammates realize Cole is getting some serious money:

Indians: Terry Francona (Indians’ manager) says don’t believe the rumors about Cleveland trading Francisco Lindor. Francona says, “We can’t control the trade rumors. I would say from this winter, 99.9% were false.”

Diamondbacks: Arizona has reached a deal to sign RHP Hector Rondon. This is a one-year deal worth $4M and an additional million in incentives.

Yankees: NY has signed RHP Nick Tropeano to a minor league deal.

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