Mar. 21, 2019
HurricaneDij's MLB/NBA Roundup (03/11/2019)
A little over a year ago, I had made the claim that the Angels would be the best fit for then-free agent catcher Jonathan Lucroy. It turns out I was a year early on that one, so therefore I am going to try my hand at this thing again.
Still a free agent - Carlos Gonzalez, OF.
Best fit: Arizona. The Diamondbacks appear to be giving every opportunity for Steven Souza Jr. to bounce back from a poor first go-around in the National League in 2018 after swatting 30 home runs for the Rays in 2017. However, Souza's overall profile suggests that they should have at least entertained the possibility of other options in right field over the winter and heading into 2019. Over the course of his career, Souza has exhibited a career slash line of .229/.316/.416 and 53 homers against right-handed pitchers, not exactly otherworldly numbers, with more than half of those round trippers coming during his unlikely career year of 2017.
CarGo, a former Diamondbacks top prospect from the 2000's decade who was eventually shipped out for major league pitching, would if nothing else be a good platoon option with Souza in right. Last season in Colorado, Gonzalez hit .284 with 12 home runs and drove in 47 runs in 324 at-bats, still very good numbers. He would be moving from one hitter-friendly ballpark to another, and CarGo's career would have come full circle if the D'Backs were somehow to pull this off. Plus, it would give me more incentive to visit my Phoenix-area relatives during the July Arizona heat.
My outlook as a Cubs fan:
This quiet offseason comes as no surprise to me, given that our two major signings from the previous winter, Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood, have not exactly panned out yet. I know that many fans were disappointed by the team's lack of activity, but it was a winter that needed to happen nonetheless.
Personally, I think there was an unwarranted sense of entitlement playing in the biggest market in our division and having won a World Series in 2016. One could sense that there weren't too many folks in Wrigleyville that truly believe the Brewers could pass us for the N.L. Central title. Sure enough - They could, and they did. And we have no choice but to look up at them heading into 2019. It was the perfect message sent by our front office to not bring in any major reinforcements, and that any sense of entitlement won't be tolerated this time around, especially in a division where just about every team had improved themselves in a big way (Cincinnati, in particular, looks as if they are going to score runs in bunched with Kemp and Puig playing in a true hitters park for the first time in their respective careers). It is time for the guys in our clubhouse to put up or shut up, either produce or potentially be moved either at the trade deadline or next offseason.
I know there are plenty of frontrunners in the Chicagoland region, but the overall interest in Bryce Harper was quite baffling to me. This is a guy who in 2018 posted a dWar of minus-3.4 and a .249 average...Um, Duh! And you all wanted to give this idiot in excess of $330 million, with our already-bloated payroll as it was? Let's not be fucking retarded, Cub fans. Our needy fan base is precisely the reason we got saddled with the likes of Darvish and Chatwood as it is. The morons who wanted Harper on the Cubs are likely the same ones that wanted Prince Fielder when he was a free agent back in 2012, and we all know how his career played out, not to mention we never would have had Anthony Rizzo.
If there was one disappointment from my perspective on the Cubs' offseason, it was that more was not done regarding the Addison Russell situation. Yes, I get there are two sides to every story. He's young and he's made some really dumb decisions in his personal life up to this point, just as a lot of us have. However, this is Chicago. Negative noise like this in this market always has a chance to have an effect on the team. I kind of knew all along throughout the course of the 2018 season that this particular girl was a ticking time bomb, and sure enough that bomb exploded right smack dab in the middle of our playoff chase. I had been an advocate that Russell would have be better off in a smaller market such as Baltimore or Detroit, where he could focus more on baseball as less on the other bullshit in his life. As it stands, though, Theo and Jed and going to do their thing and attempt to squeeze any bit of value out of him.
A 2018-19 NBA Surprise: Rudy Gay, SF, San Antonio Spurs.
So much for the notion that Gay can't play for a winner. He is having a nice little career resurgence and on the season, the former UConn standout is averaging 14.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game in addition to connecting on a career-high 41.4 percent for three-point range. Gay in fact is playing a prominent role for the Popovich organization at age 32, as the Spurs are well on their way to an unprecedented 22nd consecutive playoff appearance after a mediocre 11-14 start.