Cubs

Ridiculous factoids from Kris Bryant's MVP season

Ridiculous factoids from Kris Bryant's MVP season

Kris Bryant is your 2016 National League Most Valuable Player.

In the wake of his big win, check out some wild factoids surrounding the Cubs' third baseman, the team's first MVP since Sammy Sosa won in 1998.

Players to win a World Series and MVP in their Age 24 season or younger:

— Tris Speaker, Red Sox (1912)*** 
— Lou Gehrig, Yankees (1927)^^^ 
— Dizzy Dean, Cardinals (1934)
— Hank Greenberg, Tigers (1935)
— Joe DiMaggio, Yankees (1939)
— Hal Newhouser, Tigers (1945)
— Willie Mays, Giants (1954)
— Mickey Mantle, Yankees (1956)
— Henry Aaron, Braves (1957)
— Denny McLain, Tigers (1968)
— Cal Ripken, Orioles (1983)
— Kris Bryant, Cubs (2016)

***League MVP known as the "Chalmers Award"
^^^League MVP known as the "League Award"

Players to win Rookie of the Year and MVP in consecutive seasons:

— Cal Ripken, 1982 and 1983
— Ryan Howard, 2005 and 2006
— Dustin Pedroia, 2007 and 2008
— Kris Bryant, 2015 and 2016

Players to win Golden Spikes Award, Rookie of the Year and MVP:

— Buster Posey
— Bryce Harper
— Kris Bryant

[SHOP CUBS: Get a Kris Bryant jersey right here]

Cubs MVPs:

— Frank Schulte (1911)
— Rogers Hornsby (1929)
— Gabby Hartnett (1935)
— Phil Cavarretta (1945)
— Hank Sauer (1952)
— Ernie Banks (1958)
— Ernie Banks (1959)
— Ryne Sandberg (1984)
— Andre Dawson (1987)
— Sammy Sosa (1998)
— Kris Bryant (2016)

MVP, World Series and home run in the All-Star Game in the same season

— Lou Gehrig, Yankees (1936)
— Joe DiMaggio, Yankees (1939)
— Mickey Mantle, Yankees (1956)
— Ken Boyer, Cardinals (1964)
— Kris Bryant, Cubs (2016)

Multiple Cubs fnishing in Top 4 of NL MVP vote

— 1. Kris Bryant | 4. Anthony Rizzo (2016)
— 1. Ryne Sandberg | 4. Rick Sutcliffe | 5. Gary Matthews (1984)
— 1. Phil Cavarretta | 4. Andy Pafko (1945)
— 1. Gabby Hartnett | 4. Billy Herman (1935)

Kris Bryant on the road

2015: .243/.333/.360, 5 HR, 40 RBI, 110 K
2016: .308/.393/.587, 22 HR, 61 RBI, 75 K

Kris Bryant vs. lefties

2015: .246/.345/.452, 6 HR, 53 K/19 BB
2016: .314/.419/.641, 14 HR, 36 K/24 BB

More Kris Bryant accomplishments:

— 121 runs were most by a Cubs player since Sammy Sosa's 122 in 2002
— Bryant is first Cubs player to lead NL in runs since Sosa in 2002
— 14 home runs off lefties were the most in the National League
— in Jake Arrieta's 2016 starts, Bryant hit .413/.497/.777 with 32 runs scored, 11 home runs and 37 RBIs
— first player in Cubs history with 30-plus home runs and 100-plus runs scored in age 24 season or younger
— three games with four-plus hits, four-plus runs and four-plus RBIs this season, first Cubs player with three such games in a season since Hack Wilson in 1930
— first Cubs player with multiple five-hit games in a season since Mark DeRosa in 2007
— first Cubs player to homer on July 4 in consecutive seasons since Bobby Murcer in 1977 and 1978
— second player in Cubs history with five extra-base hits in a game (June 27), first since George Gore on July 9, 1885
— Cubs franchise record 16 total bases: three home runs and two doubles on June 27
— first Cubs player with five hits and six RBIs in a game since the Ryne Sandberg Game on June 23, 1984
— hit three home runs and played three positions (third base, right field, left field) on June 27, only player since at least 1913 to do that
— Bryant led NL with 7.7 Wins Above Replacement, first Cub to lead the league since Greg Maddux (9.4) in 1992
— Bryant was first to lead NL in position player WAR since Ryne Sandberg (8.5) in 1984
— Bryant was first Cubs player to score a run in the World Series since Peanuts Lowrey in Game 7 in 1945
— Bryant was first Cubs player ever to hit a home run and steal a base in a World Series game (Game 5)

Cubs aren’t trading Yu Darvish this winter, despite reported inquiries

Cubs aren’t trading Yu Darvish this winter, despite reported inquiries

Whether the Cubs trade a member of their position player core this winter — i.e. Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras — is to be determined. Both have been fixtures in rumors this offseason, and the Cubs may make a deal to replenish their barren farm system and retool their roster with the organization’s long-term stability in mind.

Yu Darvish, on the other hand, is a different story.

No, the Cubs won’t be trading Darvish this winter, despite the inquiries they received at the Winter Meetings this week, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

A year ago, this would be an entirely different conversation. Darvish was coming off a disappointing debut season on the North Side in which he made eight starts and posted a 4.95 ERA in 40 innings. He didn’t throw a single big-league pitch after May 20 due to a lingering arm issue that led to surgery last November.

2019 was only Year 2 of the lucrative six-year contract Darvish signed in February 2018. But between the injury and his struggles before it that season, the narrative entering 2019 was shifting towards Darvish being a potential bust.

The narrative around Darvish is obviously much different now, thanks to the stellar second half performance he put together last season. In 13 starts, the 33-year-old delivered a 2.76 ERA, striking out 118 batters compared to a mere seven walks in 81 2/3 innings.

Not only was Darvish walking the walk, but he was talking the talk. He was determined to turn things around after posting a 5.01 ERA in the first half, asking then manager Joe Maddon to start the Cubs’ first game after the All-Star break. The result? Six innings of two-hit, no-run ball with eight strikeouts and one walk. Darvish's comeback was officially on.

Bust? Darvish is far from it now. He opted in to the remaining four years of his contract earlier this offseason, calling the Cubs "perfect" for him.

If the Cubs were entering a rebuild, fielding Darvish trade offers would make plenty of sense. He's owed $81 million through 2023, a bargain compared to the deals Gerrit Cole (nine years, $324 million — Yankees) and Stephen Strasburg (seven years, $245 million — Nationals) earned this offseason. Darvish's contract is desirable, and trading him would help alleviate the Cubs' notoriously tight payroll situation, freeing up money for them to put towards other needs.

But the Cubs aren’t rebuilding, and trading Darvish would create a tremendous hole in a rotation with plenty of uncertainty after next season. José Quintana is set to hit free agency after 2020 and Jon Lester could join him, if his 2021 option doesn’t vest (he must pitch 200 innings next season for that to occur). Heck, even Tyler Chatwood's deal is up after 2020.

In one season, Darvish has elevated himself to the No. 1 pitcher in the Cubs rotation. The Cubs won't be better next season if they trade Bryant or Contreras, but they'd still be competitive and acquire assets for the future.

One player doesn't make a team in baseball, but the Cubs need Darvish in their rotation, not someone else's. Unless they're absolutely blown away by a trade offer, Darvish isn't going anywhere.

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Sports Talk Live Podcast: MLB 2019 Winter Meetings come to an end

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NBC Sports Chicago

Sports Talk Live Podcast: MLB 2019 Winter Meetings come to an end

SportsTalk Live is on location in San Diego for the final day of the MLB Winter Meetings.

0:00- Chuck Garfien, Tony Andracki and Vinnie Duber join Kap to recap the Winter Meetings. Tony was right-- the Cubs didn't make a move. Plus, should the White Sox have done more in San Diego?

12:00- Legendary baseball writer Peter Gammons joins Kap and Chuck. The talk about the price for pitching and what the Cubs might do with Kris Bryant. Plus, Gammons talks about a text he received saying the White Sox were talking with the Red Sox about Andrew Benintendi and David Price. Would that make sense for the Southsiders?

20:00- White Sox World Series winning closer Bobby Jenks joins Kap to discuss his emotional article in The Players Tribune. They discuss his injuries with the Red Sox, the back surgery that almost cost him his life and then his downward spiral into addiction.

Listen here or via the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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