I generally like to focus on numbers. Stats are how I fell in love with the game of baseball in the first place, and when I’m looking for inspiration for something to write about a quick perusal of Fangraphs or Baseball Reference usually does the trick. Numbers are also generally pretty straight forward. I mean, we can and do argue about whether certain sample sizes are lucky or sustainable, but they are numbers. A 136 wRC+ means something tangible as does a sub 2.00 FIP.
Today, I’m going to let everyone else write about numbers.
Addison Russell was non-tendered by the Chicago Cubs Monday night and there are already a few dozen pieces about the numerical reasons for that decision. There are a lot of them: falling offensive performance and a rising contract primarily among them. I encourage fans to read those pieces and argue about those numbers, particularly since Theo Epstein’s statement makes it pretty clear that the Cubs decision to not tender Russell a contract came down to numbers:
We decided to non-tender Addison Russell today simply because the role we expected him to play for the 2020 Cubs was inconsistent with how he would have been treated in the salary…