The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

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The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby spaincubsfan » Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:11 am

Hey all, as noted before my first thread on this site. Hope to contribute and discuss all that is Cubs related. For the purpose of this thread I wanted to pose the question TOR pitching. The FO has made it known that their goal is obtain 1 more TOR addition to slot in between Lester and Arrieta *My interpretation(. As we have seen the cost has gone up dramatically and you are know paying 25-30M per year for Ace or number 2 pitchers.
My out of the box suggestion if it has not been posted already is to go into the season with what we have and wait until the trade deadline.
The reason for this is twofold:

1. As noted above the price of both free agent and cost controlled pitching has soared through the roof and is not feasible.
2. The preferred route now should be to wait until the July trade deadline and let our prospects get even more development time so this increases their value and we can offer more in a trade package.
3. Hopefully by then some pretender contenders will be out of it and we can poach a TOR pitcher.

I have spewed this on other sites ad naseum but since I am new here this is what I hope for - The south siders are in the middle of I don't know what. One day they are all in and the next day it is a 3 year retool or rebuild. So if they are struggling and Hahn gets the green light they may opt to blow it up and put either Sale/Quintana on the block or both. We can then look at this and try to pounce if it makes perfect sense.
If they rebuild they will want prospects so McKinney, Almora, Contreras, Torres could be on the table as well as others.

Just an idea

Thoughts?

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby StylesClash » Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:25 am

If Baez isn't penciled into the everyday lineup, which unless Heyward stays in Right and Baez shifts to Center will likely be the case, he should be included in any package for pitching help. I've mentioned Baez for Strasburg for months and love the idea now more than ever.

Missing out on all their key free agent targets may cause the Nats to view 2016 in a more conservative fashion. Plus there's always the fear of a Strasburg injury being a legitimate possibility at any point, which would significantly alter his value. But if Strasburg's medicals came back clean I'd feel comfortable dealing Baez for Strasburg and the comp pick we'd receive if he left after the season.

Plus with Adam Warren as an insurance policy we could afford to treat Strasburg with kid gloves. Skip the occasional regular season start if need be. The goal with Strasburg should be to keep him healthy for October, where he can go head to head with any of the Met rotation options.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Fro » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:46 am

Baez is very valuable to the Cubs on the bench since he plays plus defense at multiple positions and has offensive upside plus huge power.

Basically if anyone gets hurt in the normal starting roster he's going to be playing FT.

You'd need a veteran to replace that spot on the roster if you trade him.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby spaincubsfan » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:48 am

StylesClash wrote:If Baez isn't penciled into the everyday lineup, which unless Heyward stays in Right and Baez shifts to Center will likely be the case, he should be included in any package for pitching help. I've mentioned Baez for Strasburg for months and love the idea now more than ever.

Missing out on all their key free agent targets may cause the Nats to view 2016 in a more conservative fashion. Plus there's always the fear of a Strasburg injury being a legitimate possibility at any point, which would significantly alter his value. But if Strasburg's medicals came back clean I'd feel comfortable dealing Baez for Strasburg and the comp pick we'd receive if he left after the season.

Plus with Adam Warren as an insurance policy we could afford to treat Strasburg with kid gloves. Skip the occasional regular season start if need be. The goal with Strasburg should be to keep him healthy for October, where he can go head to head with any of the Met rotation options.


That would be cool but from what I have read I think they want to acquire a cost controlled (4 or more years) TOR starter. The cost in prospects alone for Strasburg would be very high and you would have to have a guarantee from Washington on a window to negotiate an extension. With Sale or Quintana you already have incredibly team friendly contracts for up to 5 years each. Not a bad acquisition. But I know as most do that they are not really on the trade block now until the Sox are out of contention. Sale is quite the injury risk but when he is on there is no more dominating TOR pitcher in either league. He is an absolute K machine. Just my fantasy to get him to the North Side is all. :beg: :beg:

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Tim » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:52 am

spaincubsfan wrote:
StylesClash wrote:If Baez isn't penciled into the everyday lineup, which unless Heyward stays in Right and Baez shifts to Center will likely be the case, he should be included in any package for pitching help. I've mentioned Baez for Strasburg for months and love the idea now more than ever.

Missing out on all their key free agent targets may cause the Nats to view 2016 in a more conservative fashion. Plus there's always the fear of a Strasburg injury being a legitimate possibility at any point, which would significantly alter his value. But if Strasburg's medicals came back clean I'd feel comfortable dealing Baez for Strasburg and the comp pick we'd receive if he left after the season.

Plus with Adam Warren as an insurance policy we could afford to treat Strasburg with kid gloves. Skip the occasional regular season start if need be. The goal with Strasburg should be to keep him healthy for October, where he can go head to head with any of the Met rotation options.


That would be cool but from what I have read I think they want to acquire a cost controlled (4 or more years) TOR starter. The cost in prospects alone for Strasburg would be very high and you would have to have a guarantee from Washington on a window to negotiate an extension. With Sale or Quintana you already have incredibly team friendly contracts for up to 5 years each. Not a bad acquisition. But I know as most do that they are not really on the trade block now until the Sox are out of contention. Sale is quite the injury risk but when he is on there is no more dominating TOR pitcher in either league. He is an absolute K machine. Just my fantasy to get him to the North Side is all. :beg: :beg:

1) Welcome!

2) The White Sox have repeatedly said that they are not going to trade Sale. They just don't have the incentive to do so. The performance is great and the contract is friendly. They're also in a market where they don't feel they can afford to do what the Cubs did. Their fanbase is smaller to begin with and their revenue streams through a rebuild would dry up much more dramatically.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Tim » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:58 am

StylesClash wrote:If Baez isn't penciled into the everyday lineup, which unless Heyward stays in Right and Baez shifts to Center will likely be the case, he should be included in any package for pitching help. I've mentioned Baez for Strasburg for months and love the idea now more than ever.

Missing out on all their key free agent targets may cause the Nats to view 2016 in a more conservative fashion. Plus there's always the fear of a Strasburg injury being a legitimate possibility at any point, which would significantly alter his value. But if Strasburg's medicals came back clean I'd feel comfortable dealing Baez for Strasburg and the comp pick we'd receive if he left after the season.

Plus with Adam Warren as an insurance policy we could afford to treat Strasburg with kid gloves. Skip the occasional regular season start if need be. The goal with Strasburg should be to keep him healthy for October, where he can go head to head with any of the Met rotation options.

There's no way I trade Baez for a single season of an oft-injured pitcher. I understand you're looking to optimize the use of resources here, but if you're trading Javy you need to look at pitchers who have more years of control (and likely at better salaries)
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby spaincubsfan » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:13 am

Tim wrote:
spaincubsfan wrote:
StylesClash wrote:If Baez isn't penciled into the everyday lineup, which unless Heyward stays in Right and Baez shifts to Center will likely be the case, he should be included in any package for pitching help. I've mentioned Baez for Strasburg for months and love the idea now more than ever.

Missing out on all their key free agent targets may cause the Nats to view 2016 in a more conservative fashion. Plus there's always the fear of a Strasburg injury being a legitimate possibility at any point, which would significantly alter his value. But if Strasburg's medicals came back clean I'd feel comfortable dealing Baez for Strasburg and the comp pick we'd receive if he left after the season.

Plus with Adam Warren as an insurance policy we could afford to treat Strasburg with kid gloves. Skip the occasional regular season start if need be. The goal with Strasburg should be to keep him healthy for October, where he can go head to head with any of the Met rotation options.


That would be cool but from what I have read I think they want to acquire a cost controlled (4 or more years) TOR starter. The cost in prospects alone for Strasburg would be very high and you would have to have a guarantee from Washington on a window to negotiate an extension. With Sale or Quintana you already have incredibly team friendly contracts for up to 5 years each. Not a bad acquisition. But I know as most do that they are not really on the trade block now until the Sox are out of contention. Sale is quite the injury risk but when he is on there is no more dominating TOR pitcher in either league. He is an absolute K machine. Just my fantasy to get him to the North Side is all. :beg: :beg:

1) Welcome!

2) The White Sox have repeatedly said that they are not going to trade Sale. They just don't have the incentive to do so. The performance is great and the contract is friendly. They're also in a market where they don't feel they can afford to do what the Cubs did. Their fanbase is smaller to begin with and their revenue streams through a rebuild would dry up much more dramatically.


Hi Tim, thanks for the welcome dude! You are right that Sale is not on the block or that it is very likely. I just base my opinion on the fact that if the WSox flounder like last year and are out of it by July there will be a lot of pressure to try something else. The only other option is to reboot Cubs style. Their defense and hitting were both terrible last year and I am being kind. They could get absolute hauls in prospects for both Quintana and Sale if they made that decision later this year.
I am of the pragmatic approach to wait and see how the new core adjusts and works together through the TDL. As noted our prospects will be even more seasoned and have more value and the hope is someone will want to trade a TOR pitcher for a good haul which we should be able to provide. Apart from the injury risk Sale is in my top 5 in all MLB when he is on. His stuff is just filthy and he is a K machine.

GO CUBS

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Tim » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:24 am

Assuming we are near our payroll limit - I'm absolutely for standing pat right now, unless we can get a controllable arm for nothing but prospects. There is enough performance risk with Soler, Russell and Schwarber that I love having the quality depth that Baez provides. We have enough quality and depth in the rotation and bullpen that I'm more than happy to head to camp with what we have.

If the deadline rolls around and it looks like we need another TOR arm, then we can address it at that time. Hopefully there would be one available for nothing but prospects.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Tim » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:30 am

If we do still have payroll left, I'm intrigued by the idea of Cliff Lee if he could pass a physical.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby StylesClash » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:33 am

Tim wrote:
StylesClash wrote:If Baez isn't penciled into the everyday lineup, which unless Heyward stays in Right and Baez shifts to Center will likely be the case, he should be included in any package for pitching help. I've mentioned Baez for Strasburg for months and love the idea now more than ever.

Missing out on all their key free agent targets may cause the Nats to view 2016 in a more conservative fashion. Plus there's always the fear of a Strasburg injury being a legitimate possibility at any point, which would significantly alter his value. But if Strasburg's medicals came back clean I'd feel comfortable dealing Baez for Strasburg and the comp pick we'd receive if he left after the season.

Plus with Adam Warren as an insurance policy we could afford to treat Strasburg with kid gloves. Skip the occasional regular season start if need be. The goal with Strasburg should be to keep him healthy for October, where he can go head to head with any of the Met rotation options.

There's no way I trade Baez for a single season of an oft-injured pitcher. I understand you're looking to optimize the use of resources here, but if you're trading Javy you need to look at pitchers who have more years of control (and likely at better salaries)


The problem I have with Baez is I absolutely do not envision him being able to thrive not starting everyday. 23 year olds with very aggressive approaches, and quite frankly younger players in general, have a tough time excelling without consistent at bats.

So unless someone gets hurt, Baez will likely only receive sporadic playing time. I see this leading to bad stats, which will obviously hurt his trade value.

Also I'm not that high on Baez anyways. Baez strikes me as the type of player who could very easily endure Alfonso Soriano style cold streaks for long periods of time. For a team looking to win now Baez isn't a great fit in my mind. Baez needs everyday at bats from a team in rebuild mode. That way he can endure months of bad play, while still keeping his starting job.

As for Strasburg, his durability two of the past three seasons has been just fine. And my goal with Strasburg in the regular season is only to get 150 or so innings. The real need for him is in October, where the Mets still have the better rotation. Strasburg is the only realistic trade option that can go head to head with the Met best arms.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby David » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:35 am

If only the Royals rotation could matchup head to head with the Mets best arms.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby David » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:36 am

Will be great when the Nationals beat out the Mets in the east next year and the Giants and Pirates/Cardinals take the WCs.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Cubswin11 » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:47 am

At this point I'm completely fine going into the season with what we have outside of a few ST invites/minor league FA deals/International signings, then evaluate if we need pitching or anything else around the deadline and do a deal then. The only way I'd like to see us add a starter right now would be if we could do it for entirely minor league players.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby StylesClash » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:47 am

David wrote:If only the Royals rotation could matchup head to head with the Mets best arms.


The Royal pen was better than ours. The Royals also have more team speed and are better defensively. Also our strikeout prone lineup was ripe for the taking from a rotation filled with power arms. Even with Heyward and Zobrist the lineup will still punch out a ton.

But if you want to bank on a rotation with a 37 year old, a soon to be 32 year old, a pitcher who two years in a row has failed miserably in the second half, and one who blew by his career innings limit, that's your prerogative.

I simply like the idea of turning a super aggressive spare part into a power arm, with tolerable durability, and proven huge upside.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:50 am

An offer for Sale that has any chance of being accepted starts with Russell or Schwarber.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby BigbadB » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:51 am

StylesClash wrote:The problem I have with Baez is I absolutely do not envision him being able to thrive not starting everyday. 23 year olds with very aggressive approaches, and quite frankly younger players in general, have a tough time excelling without consistent at bats.


Baez had 80 PA's from the time of his September call up, which also included other call ups as well. With a fairly old guy playing 2nd base, a poor fielding left handed hitter in LF, a still relatively unknown hitter in RF and the ability to fill in at just about any position on the field, except catcher, he'll get plenty of at bats. He'll pinch hit, he'll DH, and he'll be a late inning defensive replacement when the Cubs build up big leads early with dongs. He'll give some guys a much needed day off and he is a great guy to plug in for a double header.

And as sad as it is to say it, one of these guys is going to miss a bit of time with an injury, and Baez is a great guy to have to fill that spot. Unless someone wows you to death with an offer, there is no reason to trade him.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:52 am

I wouldn't reject Baez for Strasburg plus comp pick out of hand. How much worse is a comp pick than Baez at this point? We still have strong reason to suspect Baez just cannot hit MLB pitching.

We're all just assuming he gets 500 PAs Zobristing next year if he's not the CF starter, but he could easily play himself out of that job in less than half that.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby BigbadB » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:56 am

Hairyducked Idiot wrote:I wouldn't reject Baez for Strasburg plus comp pick out of hand. How much worse is a comp pick than Baez at this point? We still have strong reason to suspect Baez just cannot hit MLB pitching.

We're all just assuming he gets 500 PAs Zobristing next year if he's not the CF starter, but he could easily play himself out of that job in less than half that.


He absolutely could. But so could Soler. And if Soler is the one that bombs, Zobrist to RF and Baez at 2nd is a nice back up plan. But, I'm also assuming Strasburg isn't being offered for Baez at the moment.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Cubswin11 » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:57 am

StylesClash wrote:
David wrote:If only the Royals rotation could matchup head to head with the Mets best arms.


The Royal pen was better than ours. The Royals also have more team speed and are better defensively.

Our bullpen had more total WAR by a slim margin 5.4 vs. 5.3 and we had more players with WARs over 1 than them 3 vs. 1. The narrative that Cubs had a bad bullpen last year or have a bad or questionable one going forward (outside of expected bullpen variance/unpredictability) needs to stop.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby David » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:58 am

StylesClash wrote:
David wrote:If only the Royals rotation could matchup head to head with the Mets best arms.


The Royal pen was better than ours. The Royals also have more team speed and are better defensively. Also our strikeout prone lineup was ripe for the taking from a rotation filled with power arms. Even with Heyward and Zobrist the lineup will still punch out a ton.

But if you want to bank on a rotation with a 37 year old, a soon to be 32 year old, a pitcher who two years in a row has failed miserably in the second half, and one who blew by his career innings limit, that's your prerogative.

I simply like the idea of turning a super aggressive spare part into a power arm, with tolerable durability, and proven huge upside.


It feels lazy at this point to say it so often, but it's the truth. We see it manifest itself every year and people still don't accept it. There is no building a team for the playoffs. And everytime there's a new champion that seems to get it done in some given way, then that becomes the new road to playoff success. Even if there is a way to build for them to some small degree, it is of marginal benefit. What I'm taking issue with is how you keep bringing up roster moves in regard to what happens in the playoffs. Here you're concerned with how we matchup with the Mets staff in a playoff series...in the Heyward thread you're worried about whether we should sit him against Kershaw. None of it matters. 99.999999% of our concern should be about getting there (the odds for which, admittedly, look as nice as they possibly can 3.5 months before opening day). Once they get there, you just hope the chips fall your way, but somewhere around 85% of the time (at least) they won't, no matter what the roster looks like and how built for the playoffs you might feel like it is. That's just what the nature of baseball and the playoff format we have dictate.

If you could build the most perfectly constructed playoff roster you could come up with, where would you put their odds at winning it all, assuming they've made it to the NLDS?

Anyway, with all those flaws you mentioned, the Cubs rotation still projects to be one of the best in the league. If they can strengthen it at a price that makes sense, then by all means, strengthen it. I'm not arguing against improving the team.

That said, no, I wouldn't trade Baez for Strasburg. And I'm pretty sure the Nationals don't make that trade, either.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Hairyducked Idiot » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:00 am

I feel like the idea that Baez might be awful is just an afterthought, which is weird. He was awful in 2014, and he would have been awful in 2015 if not for a .412 BABIP. Below-replacement awful.

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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby Tim » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:02 am

Cubswin11 wrote:
StylesClash wrote:
David wrote:If only the Royals rotation could matchup head to head with the Mets best arms.


The Royal pen was better than ours. The Royals also have more team speed and are better defensively.

Our bullpen had more total WAR by a slim margin 5.4 vs. 5.3 and we had more players with WARs over 1 than them 3 vs. 1. The narrative that Cubs had a bad bullpen last year or have a bad or questionable one going forward (outside of expected bullpen variance/unpredictability) needs to stop.

Our rotation also had a better ERA and FIP than the Mets. And we're replacing 35 starts from Wada, Richard, Beeler and others with a 3.5 WAR pitcher.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby SouthSideRyan » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:04 am

David wrote:Will be great when the Nationals beat out the Mets in the east next year and the Giants and Pirates/Cardinals take the WCs.


Predicting baseball results is a fool's errand, but I have a hard time not seeing 2 NL East teams given they get to play the Phillies and Braves 38 times.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby SouthSideRyan » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:05 am

Tim wrote:
Cubswin11 wrote:
StylesClash wrote:
David wrote:If only the Royals rotation could matchup head to head with the Mets best arms.


The Royal pen was better than ours. The Royals also have more team speed and are better defensively.

Our bullpen had more total WAR by a slim margin 5.4 vs. 5.3 and we had more players with WARs over 1 than them 3 vs. 1. The narrative that Cubs had a bad bullpen last year or have a bad or questionable one going forward (outside of expected bullpen variance/unpredictability) needs to stop.

Our rotation also had a better ERA and FIP than the Mets. And we're replacing 35 starts from Wada, Richard, Beeler and others with a 3.5 WAR pitcher.


Of course we didn't go into 2014 penciling 35 starts from Wada, Richard, Beeler, and Dan Haren's corpse either.
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Re: The TOR (Top of Rotation) pitching options

Postby David » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:05 am

SouthSideRyan wrote:
David wrote:Will be great when the Nationals beat out the Mets in the east next year and the Giants and Pirates/Cardinals take the WCs.


Predicting baseball results is a fool's errand, but I have a hard time not seeing 2 NL East teams given they get to play the Phillies and Braves 38 times.


Yeah but I still really want that to happen.

Padres and Rockies aren't quite as nice as that but should help pad some records too.
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