Tony La Russa holds a grudge against Keith Law

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More fun from Tony La Russa’s book.  Not only does he still hold a grudge against Nyjer Morgan, but he holds one against ESPN’s Keith Law. Although, for reasons explained below, it’s a pretty misguided grudge:

That “single writer” who “looked at some metrics” is Keith Law, who infamously left Adam Wainwright off his Cy Young Award ballot (which only allowed for three votes at the time).  Except Law leaving Wainwright off the ballot did not cost him the award. Law — like many other voters — did not believe Wainwright was the best pitcher that year so he shouldn’t have voted him first. But even if he had voted Wainwright second or third, he would still have finished behind Lincecum.

So fine, go ahead and blame Law if you want to, La Russa, but just know it would only be the zillionth instance in your career when you got upset about something that is a product of your imagination.

UPDATE: As many commenters noted, La Russa has his facts wrong here anyway.  Law had Wainwright on his ballot. He was third. He left Carpenter off.  And this was 2009, not 2010.

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.”