The Rundown: Arenado Rumors Seem Laughable, Schwarber Ranked as Top 10 Left Fielder, Sunday Baseball Notes

I took a day-long break from baseball and social media yesterday and missed all of the shenanigans revolving around Nolan Arenado and a potential trade to the Cubs. Whichever team acquires Arenado is going to have to include a young catcher in the deal. Because Chicago has more catching depth than any team in baseball, including Willson Contreras, Victor Caratini, and Miguel Amaya, it’s not surprising that a marriage between the Cubs and Rockies seems like kismet to some.

But before you get too excited, you should probably pump the brakes just a bit.

First, Arenado has a full no-trade clause and he signed an extension with the Rockies last year because he genuinely loves playing in Colorado. He can also opt out of his contract after the 2021 season, which leaves the Cubs in potentially the same situation they are with Kris Bryant.

Then there’s Chicago’s payroll, and, in case you haven’t been reminded enough, the Cubs have yet to hand out even one dollar of guaranteed money this winter.

Oh yeah, the Cardinals seem to be pretty hot for Arenado, too.

An incredible offer by St. Louis, if true. It doesn’t solve the big black hole at catcher for the Rockies, though.

Now let me whet your appetite a tiny bit. How would you like to see a Cubs lineup that has Arenado at third and Nicholas Castellanos in right field? I don’t believe for a second that Theo Epstein believes Bryant can play center field, so any notion that the North Siders could enter the 2020 season with both Bryant and Arenado in the same lineup seems preposterous. But if you include Jason Heyward and a prospect or two — say Chase Strumpf and Adbert Alzolay — in a trade with the Rockies using Amaya or Contreras as the bait, sign Castellanos, and then trade Bryant for a starting pitcher and a center fielder, things start to get interesting.

Of course that probably falls shy of the reported offer from St. Louis. To match that, the Cubs would need to include Brailyn Marquez or Brennen Davis, which I hope would be a non-starter.

Then again, in my head, heart, and within the deepest depths of my soul, I truly believe the Cubs’ opening day lineup in Milwaukee this March will look almost the same as the one that started the 2019 season in Texas.

Cubs News & Notes

Apropos of Nothing

Colin Cowherd had a 1/1024 chance of this happening, according to my math.

Updates on Nine

  1. Though the White Sox have had an impressive winter, and even assuming they are good enough to win the AL Central or make the playoffs as a Wild Card entry, are they still good enough to compete with AL juggernauts like the Yankees and Astros? Lucas Giolito was the only starter with an ERA+ that was better than league average last season. Dallas Keuchel and Gio González offer two positive reinforcements, but the staff could be similarly mediocre in 2020 if Giolito regresses. For those who don’t remember, the White Sox originally drafted González in 2004.
  2. Nationals ace Max Scherzer is 35 years old and entering his 13th season. He’s thrown 37,253 pitches in his career and that type of usage amplifies with age. Still, Scherzer has been training in Florida since Christmas and announced he’s ready to go for 2020.
  3. Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman has a unique offseason workout plan that includes proximal stability exercises.
  4. Folks in Colorado believe that an Arenado trade is inevitable at this point. I’ll admit it’s odd that the Cubs have been connected to the superstar third baseman as much, if not more, than any other team, but potential suitors also include the Cardinals, Nationals, Braves, and Yankees. The Rockies need a catcher, so I’d imagine Contreras is what keeps Chicago in the Arenado lottery. It might be easier to simply extend Bryant.
  5. Stephen Strasburg wasn’t exactly thrilled with the MLB video release that recaps the 2019 World Series. “Clearly, the [narrator] thought Houston was gonna win.”
  6. Though the Nationals lost third baseman Anthony Rendon to the Angels in free agency, team GM Mike Rizzo believes current options options at the hot corner, including Starlin Castro, Asdrúbal Cabrera, and Carter Kieboom, can keep the team competitive enough to contend this season. All are more accustomed to playing middle infield, however.
  7. Gerardo Parra commemorated his participation as a member of the 2019 World Series champion Nationals with a very unique tattoo that includes the championship trophy and Baby Shark wearing red-tinted glasses. Parra will be playing in Japan this season.
  8. The Cardinals and A’s are reportedly showing interest in free agent catcher Matt Wieters.
  9. Boston owner John Henry believes that higher spending clubs like the Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, and his Red Sox need to reset their CBT limits at least every three years. “This focus on CBT resides with the media far more than it does within the Sox,” Henry said. “I think every team probably wants to reset (the luxury tax) at least once every three years — that’s sort of been the history.”

Extra Innings

They Said It

  • “Obviously you want more guys like Kris Bryant on your team to make this the best team [the front office] possibly can this year and long term.” – David Ross
  • “Theo and I are talking all the time, and certainly when he and ownership want to discuss [a Bryant extension], our ears are open, no doubt.” – Scott Boras

Sunday Walk Up Song

Feel it Still by Portugal. The Man – This playful song sits at number four on my top 10 of the decade and, despite 271 million YouTube views, is one of those tunes that one tends to know and not know at the same time. That it is equally forgettable and unforgettable is a testament to the sorry state of music and its general failure to market its better artists.

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