5 Chicago Cubs arguments that need to be debunked immediately

Baseball uses a lot of numbers and stats which makes it very easy for your friends to make declarative statements that no one could possibly argue with. Here's how you argue with them.

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The Cubs have made the right decisions in the past when their players have signed massive contracts with other teams, trust the process. 

This comment is generally directed to when the Cubs traded away their core in 2021.

Players like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber, and Willson Contreras have all moved on to new locations and have signed for far more than the Cubs were willing to offer and they’ve all struggled to some extent.

The first counter to this argument is that these players may have been amenable to negotiating prior to free agency and potentially even prior to their arbitration years.

However, the Cubs front office (including then GM Jed Hoyer) was disinterested in those negotiations and in the case of Kris Bryant actively diminished his value by holding him down to start the 2015 season to get an additional year of team control out of him. 

Even if we disregard the emotional component and the fact that the men in the front office didn’t value the contributions of these players enough to keep them around long-term, it’s important to look at those players compared to the players the Cubs currently have. 

Anthony Rizzo had 0.5 WAR at first base for the Yankees last season despite a concussion that limited him to nearly non-existent power and just 99 games played. Compare that to the first basemen the Cubs played last season Jared Young (-0.1), Patrick Wisdom (0.3), Eric Hosmer (-0.5), Jeimer Candelario (0.1), Matt Mervis (-0.4), and Trey Mancini (-1.4) and Rizzo was a better player by 2.5 WAR. Even if you include Cody Bellinger who had a 4.4 WAR but spent the majority of his time in the outfield, Rizzo still would have been a valuable player.

Willson Contreras was a 3.4 WAR player last season despite everyone universally thinking that it was a good thing that the Cubs let him walk and laugh when the Cardinals took him off of the catcher for a few days. He was expensive and a defensive liability. The Cubs' combination of Yan Gomes, Miguel Amaya, and Tucker Barnhart combined for 1.0 WAR.

Since Kyle Schwarber left the Cubs he’s had more WAR over those four seasons (6.0) than he did in his six seasons with the Cubs (5.8).

Bryant and Baez have obviously struggled mightily and in those situations, the team may have done the right thing by not extending them but three out of the five players listed above would have helped the 2023 team make the playoffs, something they didn’t do.

Response: That's a little bit of revisionist history, and a little bit of confirmation bias mixed together to make a pretty gross cocktail.