Cubs Insider

Cubs mailbag: From Javy Báez to Carlos Marmol to Jed’s DMs

Cubs Insider
Pedro Strop
USA Today

You had questions. We have answers.

Which is more than we can say the Cubs had for Marlins pitching a few weeks ago.

Which, in turn, brings us, however painfully, to our first Cubs Mailbag of an offseason that might not look like any we’ve seen in baseball history as the industry reels from revenue losses — and as teams such as the Cubs struggle to plan for an uncertain 2021.

Holy crap. Might have to consider a question limit at the next mailbag staff meeting. On the other hand, this release of pent-up frustration and search for answers might be the perfect first “question” to open this Cubs winter with, so we’ll do our best:

DJ LeMahieu, yes, no, correct (although that’s not a question) and good luck with that.

*Whew*

No way to be sure. But you could always try to slide into the general manager’s DMs and ask him: @JedHoyer_ (don’t forget the underscore).

Judging by your Twitter pic and handle, you’re obviously referring to Carlos Marmol. But I have a better idea: The Cubs should bring back Pedro Strop in 2021 on a low-cost, one-year deal.

Strop, the fan favorite with a 2.90 ERA in 6 1/2 seasons with the Cubs through 2019, finished the season in the organization after the Reds released him at the end of August. And although he has pitched in only 54 games the last two seasons because of hamstring, groin and hip injuries, it’s not crazy to think Strop could find success for a year at 36 if he’s healthy in the familiar comfort zone of Chicago.

 

If the cost-cutting Cubs are convinced his arm is healthy, you can count on that conversation happening.

Is that a question?

Depends on how you define the “core,” because Ian Happ and Nico Hoerner aren’t going anywhere if the front office has its way. If you’re talking about guys who were part of the 2016 lineup, Javy Báez might be the likeliest to stay — maybe even on a backloaded extension.

On the other hand, the front office looked a lot like its hitters last winter when it came to wheeling and dealing from its core — as in a lot of swinging and missing in trade talks.

This time around, the mandate to cut after steep revenue losses is more urgent, so Kris Bryant ($18.6 million in 2020 before salaries were prorated) and Kyle Schwarber ($7.01 million) could be front and center on a crowded trading block.

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