The Cubs have suffered two straight late-innings losses to the Nationals, settling in at the bottom of the NL Central standings with an 0-2 record. The struggles should come as no surprise given the lack of talent on the Northsiders’ 25-man roster and new president Theo Epstein’s implementation of a full-on rebuilding plan, but Wrigleyville bar owners were likely hoping that the team could stay afloat through … like … May.
From Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune comes the photo below of the sign this morning outside Murphy’s Bleachers, a famous watering hole across the street from Wrigley Field. “Gnats” is a nice touch.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.
Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.
Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.