Friday, April 19, 2024

Cubs’ GM Carter Hawkins Made Some Blaring Comments About Future

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The Chicago Cubs opened their spring schedule on Friday by hosting the Chicago White Sox. A sold-out crowd welcomed baseball back to the sports calendar on a beautiful spring day in Mesa, Arizona. While it was nice to see baseball back being played, the Cubs have much more on their mind.

Leading into spring training, the talk of the Cubs’ offseason has been a lack of moves made and options available. Most notably, the baseball world is still waiting for an answer on free agent Cody Bellinger.

There seems to be a standoff happening between the Cubs and Bellinger’s camp, led by agent Scott Boras. Boras has commented that the Cubs are unwilling to spend top dollar to acquire top talent. The Cubs, specifically Chairman Tom Ricketts, have said they would like to negotiate. But they believe Boras’ tactics and contumacy are getting in the way.

Ricketts, President Jed Hoyer, and General Manager Carter Hawkins stand united in the belief that the roster as currently constructed should be considered a legitimate contender. All three have said the division is open and believe they should be at the top. Outsiders disagree and question this roster without an anchor like Bellinger. But the Cubs seem to have a plan in place to move forward.

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Hawkins: Michael Busch Will Be Opening Day First Baseman

Hawkins sat down with Boog and JD in the Marquee Sports Network booth for the bottom of the fifth inning. During this time, he definitively said the plan is to have newly acquired Michael Busch be the Opening Day starter for the Cubs at first base.

The Los Angeles Dodgers traded Busch to the Cubs in January. He was considered one of the Dodgers’ top prospects moving up the pipeline. Busch was called up in September as the Dodgers coasted into the playoffs. He hit two home runs in the last month of play for the Dodgers in 2023. During that time, he made thirteen starts at third base and only four at first.

Being versatile, Busch can play just about anywhere on the infield. He is not locked into first base, but that is where the Cubs would like him to be right now. They continue to work Christopher Morel out at third base and hope he can be their long-term answer.

Hawkins Also Wants PCA Around For A While

When asked about Cubs’ top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong, Hawkins said he believes he will be one of the top fielders in the league and is looking forward to having him around for a long time. Crow-Armstrong went 1-2 in his spring debut with a first-inning double.

Crow-Armstrong was a product of the trade that sent Javier Baez to the New York Mets. He has destroyed opposing pitching through the minor leagues and has shown flashes of greatness patrolling center field. He was called up in September by the Cubs and made his major league debut.

While his short time in late 2023 did not look nearly like PCA’s success in the minors, you can’t put a lot of stock into it. He was not getting consistent at-bats when trying to hit major-league pitching for the first time. After working out in the off-season and a full spring training, he’s expected to be the Cubs’ center fielder on Opening Day.

Cubs Prepared For Bellinger Pivot

We could get notice of a Bellinger signing any day now, and the Cubs are still the heavy favorite to sign him. With Bellinger being a fielder and familiar with the Cubs organization, it would not take him long to get back into the routine of a baseball player. If he does not participate in full spring training activities, it should not impact his ability to be on the Opening Day roster.

But the front office for the Cubs is campaigning how good they feel about their young talent. They are doing their best to sell how they think about the idea of a Bellinger-less team. Their staff believes in Morel and Busch at the corners of the infield. They think PCA is the future of the Cubs in center field. If those three truly work out, where would Bellinger fit in?

If Bellinger signs with the Cubs, he will slot into either first base or center field, and the rest will figure itself out. When the two camps sit at the same table, it would be hard to believe the Cubs wouldn’t ultimately favor the idea of a former MVP and World Series champion being added to the roster.

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BearCub30
Feb 24, 2024 11:19 am

I hope Boras’s tactics will finally backfire on him this season and he has to come back and gravel to all these GMs he has been toying with. The Cubs definitely learned something from the Jhey signing. Fool me once Boras! Also the man who made me a life long cubs fan “Grandpa Chuck” always said give him a team with all rookies and he would be the happiest man alive. He loved the up and coming young players with that fire and love that haven’t been burnt out. That’s what I’ve been waiting for some time. I was actually… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by BearCub30
timgjerde56
Feb 24, 2024 11:03 am

Make this a purely financial issue and you can see exactly the problem. Merchants often have the nicest toys or items on the shelf, but their pricing is based on greed not the need of the public to buy them.

Eventually, you have to reach the market price not your artificially created one. That’s where Hoyer and the Cubs stand. It’s also why no other team has simply paid what Boras is asking.

It has nothing to do with Ricketts being cheap. “Caveat Emptor” is the principle here.

amv74
amv74
Feb 24, 2024 9:59 am

I have an old friend in Boston, so take this for what it is worth and probably just some smoke, but there is some thought that Devers wants out of Boston already, and the feeling may be mutual, he heard speculation of devers may be quietly shopped. Again, complete hearsay type stuff but given he spoke out, maybe a little fire to it.

amv74
amv74
Feb 24, 2024 9:56 am

He hate me, i don’t think this is just being stubborn by cubs or rickets being cheap, the market has spoken, and the cubs read it right. I like belly, but i wouldn’t tell anyone to sign him at 250 mill, half that for 6-7 years sounds about right. MLB teams seem to agree. This is a boras issue, he has miscalculated the market for his players, they all can be good, but have serious issues or concerns.

amv74
amv74
Feb 24, 2024 9:54 am

This is a GM firing shots at an agent that is backed into a corner. Hey boras, you idiot, we don’t need to sign bellinger, so it will be on our terms.

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