Chicago Cubs: A new statistic from BP; the latest from the Hot Stove

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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This week, Baseball Prospectus offered a new way to evaluate players and we’ve got the latest update on the Chicago Cubs and Hot Stove rumblings.

With just days left until the calendar flips over to 2019, the Chicago Cubs are yet to fill virtually any need outside of bringing in veteran infielder Daniel Descalso to replace the departed Tommy La Stella. That’s not exactly the most encouraging feeling in the world, but we’re hoping things pick up soon.

But, to be fair, until some of the biggest chips fall, it’s hard to imagine the Cubs making moves. Why? All signs point to the oft-mentioned budget crunch impacting what Theo Epstein and the front office are capable of doing this offseason. Instead of shoring up a bullpen in desperate need of improvements with names like Andrew Miller, the Chicago Cubs will instead be bargain shopping come late January.

More from Cubbies Crib

That is unless they can find a way to move a bad contract – and they’ve got plenty of those to go around in Tyler Chatwood, Jason Heyward or even Brandon Kintzler, who opted into his player option for the 2019 season after struggling with the Cubs.

As far as the two biggest of the ‘chips’ I just mentioned, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, don’t expect much movement on that front until the New Year.

Machado has said as much publicly and it stands to reason the same logic applies for Harper. Of course, the latter is who Cubs fans have circled on their wish list – but the team is a long-shot, at best.

Here’s the latest from social media and the Web to get you caught up heading into the weekend.

Cubs on Twitter

These & Other Stories You May Have Missed

How one new statistic values the 2018 Cubs differently – The Athletic (sub required)

Moving money won’t be easy for the front office – Cubbies Crib

Bryant hopes to bounce back in 2019 – MLB.com

Cubs trying to unload Heyward’s contract this winter? – Cubbies Crib

Chicago now the ‘favorite’ to land superstar Harper? – Cubbies Crib

dark. Next. Looking ahead to this June's amateur draft

What’s Next?

The Chicago Cubs have fairly clear remaining needs as 2018 draws to a close – namely bullpen depth. With Brandon Morrow questionable, at best, when it comes to health, and the losses of Jesse Chavez and Justin Wilson – this team has to shore up the pen before Opening Day.