1. With Jason Heyward signing with the Cubs, I don’t hear too many people complaining about losing a second draft pick in the 2016 MLB draft. And I don’t think you will hear anybody complain about it. In fact, it’s going to lighten the Cubs Central draft coverage quite a bit this spring and summer. Who am I kidding – it all but eliminates it until the week of the draft. No one is going to want to hear about who the Cubs will pick with the 28th pick in the second round (except me).
2. I still think the Cubans are in play before Spring Training. In reality, a lot of when the Cubs can sign Cuban players, like Yasiel Sierra and Norge Ruiz, depends upon when MLB declares them to be free agents. We are just sitting and waiting for players like “Lazarito” to be eligible to sign. This may take up until the July 1 deadline in 2016. In lieu of not having any draft picks, their talent level is equal to or exceeding of those in the first three rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft.
3. With the majority of the position players signed through at least the 2018 to 2021 seasons, I think the Cubs begin to use some of those prospects at AA and AAA to acquire more Major League talent. The Cubs are still in need of a reliever and maybe another starting pitcher. Next year’s free agent class is all about Strasburg. After him, it doesn’t look so good.
4. It’s not that the Cubs starting pitching staff is old, but it’s not young either. There seems to be a finite window when this starting rotation can compete. After Lester, whose contract runs through 2021, Arrieta is still under control for a two more years. Kyle Hendricks has three, but Jason Hamel is only signed on for one more, and Lackey will be done in two years. Right now I like how these contracts are staggered to allow for future free agents and prospects to slide right in to a spot.
5. I like the fact that the Cubs pretty much stripped AAA Iowa of half its players. While some are on the 40 man, the affiliate still has a lot of spots left to be filled in with prospects who are getting pretty close. I like that McKinney, Contreras, and Almora will be able to develop and play every game this year in Des Moines.
6. I Still think the Cubs need to go out and get a center fielder for one year, but it will not be Dexter Fowler. I think we might be surprised on who it is. Then again, the Cubs may just stick with Heyward.
7. I am getting a little geeked up for my Cubs Convention tickets to arrive in the mail. It takes place on January 15-17. For someone, who is a little agoraphobic (that would be me), I think I can make it through the Saturday sessions. The vibe this year should be ecstatic!
8. I am beginning to fill up my minor league baseball calendar. I have several short one hour trips to the Quad Cities, Clinton, Iowa, and Kane County to see South Bend play. It looks like I’ll also be making my way to Tennessee this summer to see the Smokies for the first time, and then on to Cincinnati to see the Cubs for a couple of days. Hopefully, I can see four games in six days in late-June.
9. Is going to be 60° out on December 12. I Find that just as amazing as the Cubs signing Jason Heyward.
10. Friday was just unreal, unreal! The 2016 Cubs will score a lot of runs. But you knew that already.