Quotes of the day: Jim Leyland

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Jim Leyland just sat for his press conference and had a couple of good lines.

When asked about what losing Placido Polanco to the Phillies means, Leyland said “He’s like an old shoe. You know, sometimes you wanna go out and get some shiny new shoes, but you’re not gonna have anything more comfortable than that old shoe, you know?” 

I’m not 100% certain, but I think Polanco should be flattered.

Next question was about how Curtis Granderson was going to do in New York.  Leyland:  “I’m kind of frustrated that you guys keep talking about players I used to have. Why don’t we talk about some players I have?”

I had all kinds of fun questions ready to ask about Miguel Cabrera, but figured that I don’t need to get kicked out just yet.

Cubs won’t make Kyle Schwarber available in trade talks

Kyle Schwarber
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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.

The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.

Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.

Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”