The Rundown: Mesa to Hold WS Rally, Shohei Otani Out of WBC, Chris Carter to Ohio?

Anybody else looking forward to real baseball? Only two more weeks until pitchers and catchers report and a little over a month before the World Baseball Classic. Since those two events provide some fodder for it, let’s go ahead and dive into today’s Rundown.

  • Mesa mayor John Giles announced Tuesday that his city will be holding a World Series rally for the Cubs on Friday, February 24, the day before Spring Training play opens. I’m hoping there’s just a typo in that article and that Giles didn’t actually say “the city of south Chicago.” Regardless, it sounds like a cool deal and I hope those of you headed out for the start of the spring season will be out for it.
  • I’m actually going to be out in Arizona a couple weeks after the rally, a time that serendipitously coincides with the Cubs’ split-squad game against the Asian WBC pool winner. While it certainly wasn’t a guarantee, my hope was that Shohei Otani and Japan would emerge victorious and would be taking on the Cubs. Half of that equation could still come to pass, but Otani has reportedly been ruled out with an ankle injury.
    • Pooooooooooooooop.
    • There’s still some good news, though, as Cubs Insider is planning to host a meet-up following the game. The exact time and location are TBD (maybe Yucca Tap around 5pm MST?), but we’ll be holding a charity raffle for some Cubs Insider swag and you’ll have the opportunity to get a picture with your favorite Cubs Insider writer. Oh, Jon and Brendan could be there too.
  • Otani might not be playing for Japan, but a recent report from Ken Rosenthal says that slugging ex-Brewer Chris Carter might be playing in Japan. Dave Stewart, who has returned to his role as an agent after flaming out as Arizona’s GM, said his client may have to consider heading overseas if MLB offers don’t materialize. Wait, didn’t this dude just hit 41 homers last season? Yep, but he also hit .222 with 206 strikeouts. A couple quick notes on Carter’s value:
    • This marked the second consecutive season he was non-tendered, which tells you something. Even though the Brewers are pretty cheap and are rebuilding, the fact that they’re unwilling to pay even a projected $8 million in arbitration tells you a lot.
    • Also telling is Carter’s representation. I kid a little here, but Stewart’s eye for talent (Shelby Miller is basically a $200 million pitcher) has glaucoma and you wonder how great a job he’s doing shopping his client.
    • When you think about it, Japan might be a perfect place for Carter to boost his future value. Eric Thames, who the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million deal, did just that in Korea. Carter could be an absolute kaiju in NPB, which might lead to some bigger offers next season.
    • Yes, I know it’s “ohayo.” Right?
  • Despite the common refrain to avoid reading them, Jon Strong (CI’s co-owner) would really like to see more comments on these articles. So maybe drop us a line or something. But no mean stuff and no alternative facts.
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