Ben Brown – Pic via Chicago Cubs Twitter Account
The 2022 trade deadline took us all for a roller coaster ride of emotions. Once it was done, I took some time to think about it and I’m still a little bit undecided about the whole turn of events. That includes the return the Cubs got back and also for who the Cubs did not trade. Here are 10 thoughts about those two things.
1. The whole Willson Contreras thing leaves me feeling a little bit incomplete. I’m happy that he’s going to be a Cub for the rest of this season, but the incompleteness is more about what lies beyond. Will there be an extension? Will he except a qualifying offer? If he turns down the qualifying offer, will a team be willing to give up a draft pick to sign him? We can not get the answers to any of these for at least three months. Personally, I’d like to see him stay on for a few more years as a mentor to all the young players the Cubs have coming up. He would be a good DH and we might see him catch once every five days. We’ve seen him do wonders with Christopher Morel, I’d like to see more.
2. The least surprising thing was that Ian Happ was not traded. With a year and two months left on his contract, the Cubs asking price was probably pretty high because he was more than just a rental. Whether the Cubs offer him an extension is something I highly doubt because of the outfield depth coming in the minors.
3. The Cubs went all-in acquiring big armed pitchers. Three of the four will be in AA and AAA which reshapes the upper parts of the system a little bit.
4. I really like Ben Brown. He looks to be a guy that’s just starting to come into his own as a pitcher. 35 Ks in 23 IP last month.
5. One thing I keep thinking is just exactly what these pitchers are going to be like “AFTER” the Cubs pitching infrastructure makes a few tweaks.
6. I was pretty excited to see Caleb Kilian debut at Iowa this year and now I’m equally excited to see Hayden Wesneski debut in Des Moines this week. I think we could see Wesneski at any point in Chicago the next two months.
7. I’m not quite sure what to think of Raynel Espinal right now. He’s going to be a free agent at the end of the season. Cubs are taking a flyer here.
8. Claiming Kervin Castro off waivers and then seeing MLB Pipeline put him in the top 30 to replace Nelson Velasquez perked my ears quite a bit Then he debuted last night….Oof!
9. I wonder what the long-term role of Saul Gonzalez is going to be. He was a starter and now he’s a reliever. If the Cubs tweak a few things, do they think he can start again?
10, The last part of talent acquisition season has pretty much been postponed but it’s strange that the Cubs have not signed one single nondrafted free agent. Considering the success they’ve had the last two summers going out and getting guys like Mervis and Leeper, to name a few, I wonder if they just don’t want to add anybody at this time or they don’t want to cut anybody at this time?
With all those thoughts and questions out there, we’re going to see how many of them we can have answered over the next two months. I’m pretty excited to see the new guys pitch on a regular basis, not just once, but a body of work to better evaluate their talents.