⇒ In the immediate wake of Anthony Rizzo’s exchange, Jesse Rogers was with Waddle & Silvy. Among his comments, the Cubs re-signing Rizzo changes after the season are better than, say, Kris Bryant. Likely? Probably not. But possible. As for what comes next, it’s still in the air on Kris Bryant, and it didn’t seem like Rogers thought it was close. Craig Kimbrel’s market was probably slowed down by NL West’s push to land Max Scherzer (which I also guessed).
⇒ Interestingly, Rogers shared an anecdote about how he was okie-doked by some Yankees scouts this week, who showed up and asked him about Kris Bryant … but it turns out they were apparently there to see Rizzo the whole way.
⇒ Gordon Wittenmyer has written about the end of the era today, and unlike Rogers, he hears that the Cubs have no plans to pursue Rizzo in free agency: “But sources say the Cubs view this as a final divorce, with no plans to revisit talks when Rizzo becomes a free agent. If watching the Cubs trade the franchise face on Thursday seemed disorienting, let this one sink in.
⇒ It’s really hard to read. I have no reason to doubt Wittenmyer’s sources, but it still looks like a situation we’ll see when we see the situation. I’m not going to panic about this today as we are months away from free agency and with a new CBA on the way. Even though the Cubs are now planning to move on, believing they know enough about Rizzo’s expected rate to know it’s over, who knows? Rizzo might find his market so weak, and might find a reunion in Chicago so desirable, whatever the Cubs’ plans. were, they decide to revisit. Or maybe something else changes between now and, say, January (the ABC could really hold things up for a while). I don’t think it makes sense to go too far today about a somewhat unknowable future.
That said, from where I’m sitting it’s hard to ignore the Cubs have Alfonso Rivas who broke out at first base in Iowa, and Patrick Wisdom started at first base today as well. There are probably some guys the Cubs will at least want to consider as internal options at first base next year. I think the free agent market – outside of Rizzo – will also be explored, and the presence of DH in NL will open things up a bit. I just tend to think it’s all a bit open, and since the guys who are traded so rarely come back and re-sign, I wouldn’t bet on that. That’s a big part of why today was so shocking, after all.
⇒ I didn’t have a chance to discuss this earlier, but what Acee is implying is pretty clear:
The only thing consistently heard over the past few weeks (and not later than last night) is that once the Cubs start dealing with the big names, the Padres will be on it.
So now that Anthony Rizzo left a hole on first base in Chicago …
– Kevin Acee (sdutKevinAcee) July 29, 2021
⇒ In other words, Acee heard that if / when the Cubs started moving pieces, they might be open to being the team to accept Eric Hosmer’s contract. As we discussed, it is rumored that the Padres want to move Hosmer and send prospects with him to get the contract. For the reasons discussed in this article, the Cubs * should * be a team on this if it means “buying” high-profile leads. And now, with Rizzo traded, it’s even more conceivable that you make the trade – mostly to get the outlook – and then, hell, see what Hosmer can do next year before you decide to cut the bait. (ORRRR, you acquire Hosmer to get those leads from the Padres, then you send Hosmer to the Red Sox to be their new first baseman, while eating the salary to also get a prospect from the Red Sox; boom, GM’d).