Cubs News and Notes: Nico Hoerner interview, 3B market, Predictions, Hot Stove, more


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Hoerner could be a key piece in 2020 (Jake Roth - USA Today Sports)
Hoerner could be a key piece in 2020 (Jake Roth - USA Today Sports)

CUBS NEWS AND NOTES

I hope everyone had a good time celebrating last night. Me? I worked on a project all day, then ate dinner, showered, and fell asleep on the couch at 7:00 PM. Boring, but no complaints here, I’m getting too old for celebrating, and the only balls that I want to see drop, will come off of the Cubs’ bats during the games. Bring on baseball.

Hopefully, 2020 will bring everything that you hope for, and with a little luck, that’ll include on the baseball diamond as well. As per my New Year’s resolutions, I’m standing 100% behind David Ross and his team, no matter what that team may look like, and I still have faith that Theo will finagle some helpful trades.

Next Game: Next Game: 51 days – Saturday, February 22, 2020: Athletics vs Cubs (Sloan Park)

Opening Day: 84 days – Thursday, March 26, 2020: Cubs vs. Brewers (Miller Park)

Nico Hoerner: The Cubs need to stockpile the clubhouse with winning attitudes this season, and Nico Hoerner thinks he can help. Hoerner says that he envisions being with the Cubs on Opening Day and sees himself as “a big contributor.”

Hoerner fully understands that the ultimate decision about where he will start the season will fall on David Ross and Theo Epstein. Still, if his spring is anything like his time with Chicago last fall, it would be a travesty for him to be bypassed.

Bryant to the Nats (after all)? The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma made some predictions before the stroke of midnight last night, the biggest being about Kris Bryant being traded. Not that a KB trade should surprise anyone at this point – hell, I’d be mad if they don’t manage to deal him – but Sharma gets pretty specific in his prediction.

“I tend to avoid predictions on signings and/or trades of specific players because I think they’re unlikely unless there’s a clear indication of movement… Sources indicate that the Nationals may be ready to make a run at trading for Bryant, but those could also be signals to push Donaldson to make a decision sooner than later.” -Sahadev Sharma

If the Nats want Donaldson instead of Bryant, they may want to hurry, as Minnesota’s reportedly made Donaldson a four-year offer.

Several of Sharma’s predictions revolve around KB being traded, including Bryant will contend for MVP in 2020 (if he stays healthy). On the downside, Sharma says that the Cubs’ third base situation will be “an ongoing issue all season,” though I strongly disagree with him on that one.

“Theo Epstein will have at least one major move in him before Cubs Convention.” -Sahadev Sharma

Sharma does predict that Jason Heyward will have his best offensive season ever as a Cub – something that I foresee as well, but we part ways again in our thought processes when Sharma predicts a “brilliant first half for Craig Kimbrel,” followed by Dirty Craig getting traded at the deadline. I think Kimbrel will have a bounce-back season, but I can’t see the Cubs letting him go unless Brandon Morrow has surgery to implant a bionic arm.

Kapman Poll: David Kaplan asked which Chicago sports team was the biggest letdown during the first score (20 years) of the century. The good news is that no matter how frustrated fans get with the Cubs, they appear to be the least disappointing, garnering only 4% of the vote. Who was the biggest letdown? Da Bears.

Ian Happ: Get your tickets to see Ian Happ and other swatting golf balls to support the First tee of Greater Chicago – a charity which “provides youth with educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.”

Cubs’ Birthdays: Celebrating yesterday, were ex-Cubs Rick Aguilera (58), Steve Engel (58), Jim Tracy (64), and posthumously, Dick Manville (94), Loyd Christopher (100), Fred Beebe (140), and Michael "King" Kelly (162).

Baseball Quotes: “I'm playing baseball and I'm doing what I love. How can I feel pressure doing what I love to do?”-Miguel Cabrera

MLB and the Hot Stove

Reds: The Reds are on a rampage. After reportedly signing Shogo Akiyama the other day, the team has now landed a deal with righty, Tyler Thornburg.

Twins: There was no early celebrating for Minnesota yesterday, as they managed to hammer out deals with starters Rich Hill and Homer Bailey.

Red Sox: New reports out of Boston say that the Sox aren’t “actively” shopping Mookie Betts.

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