Spring Notes: Rebuilding and Retooling

At one point or another over the last five years all five of Chicago’s teams was rebuilding their roster of core players. However, on the North Side they were calling it a “retool” not a rebuild. The White Sox and Bears are both clearly rebuilding as I write this. So, because the Bulls are likely to rebuild for the second time in five years this summer today’s is an all Chicago Spring Notes column. The next one will be notes about the American League East going into the season.

Chicago Cubs

This spring the Cubs are 15 and 8. Three days after Spring Training Games started on February 23rd they officially brought Cody Bellinger back on a three year deal with two opt-outs. While this is wonderful because fans have been calling for it since October. However, the Cubs are two starting pitchers short in the rotation after news came out last week that Jameson Taillon will start the season on the ten day Injured List with back issues.

We are 10 days from Opening Day and there are still two start pitchers out there. Their names are Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery. I have pointed out many times since October that both have suffered a laundry list of pitching related injuries throughout their careers. Also, while the Cubs are going right up against the Collective Bargaining Tax (CBT) thresh hold they are expected to win 82-85 games this year according to many sports analysts. Right now, Jed Hoyer and General Manager Carter Hawkins need to be doing what they can to sign either Snell or Montgomery.

Here’s the thing folks: It is clear that Hoyer and Hawkins are expecting, their man, Manager Craig Counsell to depend on their young arms early in the season. Sadly, that could end badly just like things did back in 2003 when Jim Hendry and Dusty Baker were depending on Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, and Carlos Zambrano. All three suffered a boat load of injuries while with the Cubs and Prior ended up retiring after 2006 due to being so damaged.

What I am saying here folks is that if Hoyer is really ready to be all in he needs to show it by looking past injury histories of Snell and Montgomery and bring one of them in then get Jordan Wicks or Hayden Wesneski more seasoning in the minors rather then rushing them to the majors and saving money. Waiting for June or July to make a trade while a great idea will look much better if he can be flipping a veteran like Snell or Montgomery who will likely be willing to accept a two or three year deal at this point.

Chicago Bulls

With the season winding down the Bulls are sitting pretty having won six of their last ten games. They currently have the ninth seed which would give them at least one game in the Play-In tournament at the end of April. The Bulls have suffered a number of injuries this season. Including one last week when Coby White suffered a minor hip injury which looked like it was yet another serious injury at the time. He is expected back this week sometime and as long as he can stay healthy I see no reason why the Bulls should not be able to hold tight in the ninth seed or possibly even move up to the eighth seed with the injures the Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, and Atlanta Hawks are all suffering.

It is worth noting here that the Bulls will likely be rebuilding around Coby White and Zach LaVine this summer. Will they call it a “retooling” though? Only time will tell.

Chicago White Sox

Last week attention shifted away from Jerry Reindsdorf’s outrageous wishes to have the government pay to build the Sox another new stadium when Senior Vice President Chris Getz sent their Ace Dylan Cease to the San Diego Padres. It is very odd that Getz waited until Spring Training to admit he was rebuilding by making this trade.

However, it needed to happen. Before the trade the White Sox were expected to win 70-73 games. After the trade that has decreased significantly. They are now expected to win 61-64 games. There’s not much else to say here because since 2005 when the White Sox brough their winning draught and won the title they have made the playoffs only a few times and never got past the first round. More thoughts coming about the White Sox in a few days with my tour of the American League Central.

Chicago Bears

I do not follow football very closely since the Bears have been quite a miserable team to watch since they were in the Super Bowl in 2006. However, for the second year in a row they have a high draft pick. This year they have the first overall pick. In the last ten days Ryan Poles made two big trades. The second one coming a couple days ago when he traded Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Thanks to this trade the Bears are now expected to hold on to the top pick and draft Caleb Williams. According to at least two reports I heard though he might start out the 2024-2025 season as the backup to Tyson Bagent because the bears do not want to rush him and were impressed with Bagent’s performance when Fields was out injured last season.

With that… it’s time to watch the Chicago sports scene take off again.

If you cannot play with them, then root for them.

Share This Article