For a few days at the start of the lockout, I had almost convinced myself that we’d be able to find enough to write about to keep things flowing through at least the end of the year. While that has generally been the case, momentum is clearly stalling as we approach the height of the holiday season. There are worse things than allowing yourself to take a mental break, so I suppose part of me is happy there’s nothing new from the baseball world these days.
Ah, but we are still getting updates on old stories that could again become new stories once the lockout ends. One of those is the scuttled deal that would have seen the Cubs acquire first baseman Eric Hosmer and his remaining four years at $59 million, along with a high-end prospect to offset the money. Unlike the Yu Darvish/Victor Caratini deal in which the Cubs picked up several very young players, this move could have involved a much more advanced prospect.
According to Dennis Lin of The Athletic, Padres’ No. 2 overall prospect Luis Campusano was discussed as part of that potential Hosmer deal as the Padres “have shown a willingness to discuss Campusano in trade talks” with other teams. A 23-year-old catcher, Campusano has seen limited action in each of the last two seasons and is expected to be ready for a more integral role in 2022.
The Padres, however, already have Austin Nola, Jorge Alfaro, and Caratini on the 40-man roster and may see Campusano as the best way to sweeten a salary-dump trade. The Cubs would obviously be interested because Willson Contreras is in the final year of his rookie deal and the two sides have yet to engage in extension talks. What’s more, top catching prospect Miguel Amaya has only played about three weeks over the past two seasons and will miss all of ’22 following elbow reconstruction.
Over four minor-league seasons, Campusano has a .301 average and .840 OPS with 37 homers. He batted .295 with a .906 OPS and 15 homers across 326 plate appearances at Triple-A El Paso this past season after spending almost all of 2020 at San Diego’s alternate site. That followed a 2019 High-A campaign during which he hit .325 with a .906 OPS and 15 homers. Dude is very good and very consistent.
Given that the talks occurred prior to the trade deadline in July, this latest revelation may give us a clearer view of the Cubs’ plans for Contreras. The situation is obviously different at this point, but potentially trading for an MLB-ready prospect and signing Yan Gomes to the largest free agent deal they’ve given to a position player since Jason Heyward doesn’t signal a plan to keep Contreras long-term.
Once they sign Carlos Correa, we can stop using J-Hey’s deal as the measuring stick for all others.
Do you Hear What I Hear?
I wasn’t able to make it up for Cubs Christmas caroling party, but it looks like the crew had a pretty fun time. Organized by Danny Rockett of the Son Ranto podcast, the annual event sees festive fans singing carols with a Cubs twist. One such tune subbed “Correa come play in Chicago” for “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” which caught the attention of the free agent shortstop.
Happy Holidays to you all 🎄💙 https://t.co/lWVlFqKtEf
— Carlos Correa (@TeamCJCorrea) December 18, 2021
Correa to Cubs, confirmed.
As for the song referenced in the header, I only recently learned that it was actually written as a call for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I love adding little bits of trivia to my limited library of knowledge.
I’ve seen a couple different versions of this stat, but it remains very cool. Marcus Stroman was the only pitcher in MLB to get 20 or more swinging strikes on each of four different pitches. He got 104 whiffs with his slider, 91 on his sinker, 76 on the splitter, and 68 on the cutter. That no one else even got as many as 20 of each is really saying something for his ability to mix and match.
Slider, sinker, splitter, cutter….
No MLB pitcher in 2021 got 20 or more swinging strikes with each of these four pitches.
Except for Marcus Stroman, that is.
Slider —> 104
Sinker —> 91
Splitter —> 76
Cutter —> 68
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) December 19, 2021
This is also big when it comes to projecting Stroman’s value over the downside of his age curve, since he doesn’t rely on velo to get outs. I really think this deal is going to end up looking like a tremendous bargain when all is said and done.
Cubs looking for R&D help
The Cubs are hiring research and development analysts who will specialize in one of five key areas: amateur scouting, biomechanics/performance science, international scouting, MLB advance scouting, and pitching development. You can check out the specific responsibilities for each area and apply through the link above, which I would consider doing if I met more than one of the required qualifications.
Though I do consider my written and verbal communication skills to be top-notch, my educational background and abject lack of coding knowledge would rule me out immediately.
Deadlift challenge off the rails
And you thought pitchers lifting big was dangerous…
Is this guy a Cubs pitcher or something? pic.twitter.com/SGcgLP0OA6
— Evan Altman (@DEvanAltman) December 20, 2021
Apropos of nothing
This has nothing at all to do with baseball or the Cubs, but I got a really cool sports-adjacent gift for Christmas.
My old high school renovated the gym and tore out the old floor, so people were able to come and collect the wood. This cutting board was made from some of that reclaimed floor by a kid who’s on the basketball team now. pic.twitter.com/RRrG6LlDhG
— Evan Altman (@DEvanAltman) December 19, 2021