Who Says the Cubs are Playing for Nothing?
The Cubs are set to mercifully play their final game of the season against the San Diego Padres tonight. Other than the rather meaningless goal of Ryan Dempster hitting 200 innings, a win or loss could be the difference between drafting Ryan Braun or Wade Townsend.
As you probably know, the Cubs are in a September race of their own that has come down to the final day. Oh sure, nothing as immediately gratifying as the current wild card races, but depending on how the games play out tonight, the Cubs can do as well as the 5th spot in the draft or fall back as far as the 8th spot. The ramifications of which could be rather meaningful for next year's draft and upcoming Cubs seasons. Just going back to 1995, here's who was picked #5 through #8:
- 1995: Ariel Prieto, Jaime Jones, J. Johnson, T. Helton
- 1996: John Patterson, Seth Greisinger, Matt White, Chad Green
- 1997: V. Wells, Geoff Goetz, D. Reichert, JJ Davis
- 1998: JD Drew, Ryan Mills, Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez
- 1999: B.J Garbe, Josh Girdley, Kyle Snyder, Bobby Bradley
- 2000: Justin Wayne, Rocco Baldelli, Matt Harrington, Matt Wheatland
- 2001: Mark Teixeira, Josh Karp, Chris Smith, J. Van Benschoten
- 2002: Clint Everts, Zack Greinke, Prince Fielder, Scott Moore
- 2003: Chris Lubanski, Ryan Harvey, Nick Markakis, Paul Maholm
- 2004: Mark Rogers, Jeremy Sowers, Homer Bailey, Wade Townsend (O's)
- 2005: Ryan Braun, Ricky Romero, Troy Tulowitzki, Wade Townsend (Rays)
- 2006: Brandon Morrow, Andrew Miller, Clayton Kershaw, Drew Stubbs
- 2007: Matt Wieters, Ross Detwiler, Matt LaPorta, Casey Weathers
- 2008: Buster Posey, Kyle Skipworth, Yonder Alonso, Gordon Beckham
- 2009: Matthew Hobgood, Zack Wheeler, Mike Minor, Mike Leake
- 2010: Drew Pomeranz, Barret Loux, Matt Harvey, Delino DeShields Jr.
- 2011: Bubba Starling, Anthong Rendon, Archie Bradley, Francisco Lindor
Not that you can't get a good pick at #8, and it might even be better than the #5 pick, but you have to like your chances a lot better at #5. Had Soriano struck out yesterday like he normally does, it would have just been a battle for the 5th or 6th spot tonight.
The first four spots of the 2012 draft are locked as Seattle owns the tiebreaker over Baltimore to get the #3 spot. That tiebreaker is whomever had the worse record the prior season. The Cubs currently hold the 7th spot in the draft losing the tiebreaker to the Royals. The Cubs also lose the tiebreaker to the Pirates if they end up tied, but hold a tiebreak advantage over the Marlins, Rockies and Padres and thus can do no worse than the #8 spot in the draft. So here are the potential scenarios for the 5th spot with the number in parenthesis being the number of season wins in that scenario:
Cubs lose thus Padres win (71), Royals win(72), Pirates win or lose(72
or 73) = tie between Cubs and Padres and Cubs get the 5th spot
Cubs lose (71) thus Padres win (71), Royals lose(71), Pirates win or lose(72 or 73) = 3-way tie between Cubs, Royals and Padres with Royals taking the #5 spot, Cubs #6, Padres #7.
Cubs win (72) thus Padres lose (70), Royals lose(71), Pirates win(73) = Padres get 5th spot, Royals 6th, Cubs 7th, Pirates 8th, 9th or 10th depending on Marlins and Rockies game (Pirates own tiebreak advantage over both).
Cubs win (72) thus Padres lose (70), Royals lose(71), Pirates lose(72) = Padres get 5th spot, Royals 6th, Pirates 7th, Cubs 8th and doesn't matter what Marlins or Rockies do
Cubs win (72) thus Padres lose (70), Royals win (72), Pirates win (73) = Padres get 5th spot, Royals 6th, Cubs 7th, Pirates 8th, 9th or 10th depending on Marlins and Rockies games
Cubs win (72) thus Padres lose (70), Royals win (72), Pirates lose (72) = Padres get 5th spot, Pirates 6th, Royals 7th, Cubs 8th
I left Oakland in there, although they have no effect on the Cubs, but if you're curious they own the tiebreaker over Rockies, but lose it to Pirates and Marlins.
Ultimately, a Cubs loss means either the #5 or #6 pick and a Cubs win means either the 7th or 8th pick. A Cubs loss and Royals win is what we should all be rooting for tonight.
btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.
I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.
Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.
Here are some possible corresponding minor league moves we might see in the aftermath of the Chapman trade:
SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: OF Donnie Dewees and INF Bryant Flete
EUGENE to SOUTH BEND: OF Robert Garcia and INF Vimael Machin
There is really no reason to replace Billy McKinney at Tennessee because both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler are doing their rehab at Tennessee.
And there are plenty of pitchers at Iowa. No need to replace Warren at AAA. .
I am 70 years old. The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. I was born in 1946. I hate to lose a prospect like Torres, but when the opportunity is there to get that World Series ring, you go for it. This was the idea in stock piling all this young talent. I would like to see Reddick added now and the Cubbies should be done.
I would expect Richard to accept an optional assignment because based on how he's played this season, there is a decent chance that he won't find work elsewhere. Rather stay and potentially get a ring. Same goes for Coghlan since he's struggled mightily this year.
Edwards should not go down. He's pitched very well and Maddon is very impressed with him. I would expect Grimm to go down for Cahill so he can get back on track (he's pitched better in July, but he's not getting enough appearances).
chitownmvp01: Indeed Clayton Richard would seem to be odd man out once Chapman reports, but Richard might accept a minor league assignment if he is promised a return to Chicago on 9/1 when MLB Active List rosters expand (Richard has minor league ioptions left).
The only player in the deal that would cause me a second thought is Gleyber Torres.
McKinney and Crawford are decent prospects but both are redundant/replaceable in the system and Warren was really only a middle-reliever or #6 starter, so to me it's really just Torres for Chapman.
There is no Comp pick for players traded mid-season. 2+ months of Chapman is it.
to get one of the best you have to give up one/some of your best...but it's a bit painful to watch the system's best prospect walk for any 2-3 month rental, especially one that's not an everyday player.
I assume Chapman will replace Richard on the roster, but who goes down when Cahill gets activated? Maybe Grimm?
And when Soler and Coghlan get healthy, how do they fit them on the roster when they're ready to be activated?
We are giving up a lot, but it's not like we're trading Addison Russell for 2+ months of Jason Hammel. When impact players become available, they are going to cost you. The other bids could also have been high.
Having Chapman as a rental is potentially less disruptive than having him come in with an extension in place.
Billy McKinney had season-ending knee surgery last August and came to Minor League Camp this year somewhat restricted. (He was used mostly as a DH in Cactus League Minor League Camp games), and I'm not sure he's 100% right now (he's repeating AA, and his XBH numbers are way down, like he's not getting good rotation in his lowev half). That might have been part of the reason why the trade wasn't completed right away.
Rashad Crawford was a basketball star in HS (he was known as "Baby Jordan", and baseball was only his second sport) and he has plus-speed and athleticism, so when the Cubs drafted him (Keith Lockhart was the scout) he was seen as a long-term project.
I was at Fitch Park the day that Rashad Crawford became a LH hitter, He waa never a switch-hitter, He went directly from being a RH hitter to a LH hitter, which I had never seen before.
I'm with Rob G and Johann here. It's not about Chapman as a pitcher. I just don't want to have to block out a real problem (the domestic violence) in order to try to enjoy the frivolous ball and stick game.
ROB G & BOB R: You're right. The QO can only be extended if the player spends the entire previous season with one club, so only the Yankees could have offered one to Chapman (if he wasn't traded). If an Article XX-B FA is traded during the season, the new club can't offer a QO. .