The Rundown: Slow Weekend, Forget About Cain and Cobb, MLB Social Media Hijinx, Lackey a Yankees Option?
How was your weekend? Mine was relaxing, thanks for asking. My New Year’s resolution (one week late) is to keep this column under 1000 words. Here goes…
I had intended to write about the ridiculousness of the Lorenzo Cain rumors, but Evan has it covered here and here, so with nothing much else to report I’ll focus on starting pitching.
The Cubs need a starting pitcher and the three obvious choices are Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, and Alex Cobb. According to Dan Clark on Twitter, Cobb’s agent is waiting for the other two to sign. That makes sense, because when you go from being the third choice to the only choice, you tend to have a little bit more negotiating leverage. I’m not sure I’d want to engage in that game of chicken, but, as my step-daughter says “You gotta do what you gotta do.” whatever that means.
The potential signing of Cobb by the Cubs gives me every bit of the warm fuzzies that the Edwin Jackson deal did in 2013. Not interested.
Frankly, I’m done with Cobb and his agent. In reading the broad-strokes of their initial negotiations with the Cubs, neither seems to be much sharper than the shape of their heads. In a nutshell, Chicago offered a contract similar to the one Tyler Chatwood signed; Cobb very nearly accepted; his agent had an epiphany that they might get more; and, he told Theo Epstein he’d get back to him.
If the Cubs offered $42 million and Team Cobb expects $70 million, I’d say thanks but no thanks and good luck. If some team wants to give him four years at $17.5 million AAV, bless their souls. Cobb would have earned $17.4 million this season had he accepted the Rays’ qualifying offer. All things considered, the Cubs’ offer wasn’t really that bad.
And maybe that’s what we are missing in this barren offseason. What exactly are these players worth? Obviously the disconnect between player agents and front office personnel is very telling and the market is stagnant because player values are overinflated. Someone will cave, but nobody is in a hurry to do so. My guess is the Washington Nationals will fall first. Scott Boras generally owns Mike Rizzo so let’s just wait for him to pull his very nervous trigger finger on Arrieta and Greg Holland and throw away any chance he has to re-sign Bryce Harper next season.
And what’s with all the three-year deals? Giving credit where credit is due, I think front offices have finally decided that the backsides of long-term deals just aren’t worth hamstringing their clubs’ futures. We need look no further than the contracts signed by Jacoby Ellsbury, Prince Fielder, and Albert Pujols mid-decade for proof. In fact, the Rangers would still be be paying Fielder $24 million per year through 2020 if he hadn’t agreed to a buyout. He last played in July of 2016. Caveat emptor.
Spring training starts in 37 days. Opening Day is 80 days away. I can guarantee two things will have happened well before March 28th: The Cubs will have a new member of their starting rotation and Cain will not be their leadoff hitter.
Cubs News & Notes
Nothing significant over the weekend except for a lot of non-verifiable stuff from the endless stream of Cubs bloggers, a couple of whom in my Twitter baseball feed really need to exhale a little. Defending a non-rumor to the death is a very unappealing look. You guys know who you are.
Using the potential Cobb signing as an example, even at $14 million per season I’m not sure the right-hander would be worth the acquisition cost, but I am not going to go toe-to-toe with a complete stranger to prove my point. We’re very quick to jump to conclusions about whether something is going to be good or bad. The reality is that most things really aren’t either. We’ll see.
If the Phillies really do want to move 3B Maikel Franco, this story about partying until 6am on gameday won’t help. Yeah, that’s clickbait. It was a Winter League game in the Dominican Republic. Those all-inclusive Punta Cana resorts are tough to say goodnight to. Been there, done that.
The Blue Jays acquired Yanegrvis Solarte from the Padres for a couple of minor leaguers.
Fallback free-agent starting pitching options for the Yankees include John Lackey. Not clickbait. Okay, maybe just a little.
The Yankees may look to trade David Robertson to create some financial wiggle room for other moves and stay south of the competitive balance tax threshold.
The Mets’ reported interest in Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen may have been a conduit to acquire Josh Harrison without giving up prospects.
The Twins are interested in Chris Tillman.
I found this interesting: The Rockies have committed $106M to the back end of their bullpen and now project to be seven wins worse than they were last season.
Big, if true: In case you missed it, there was an epic twitter chain on Friday from the very bored social media managers of most MLB franchises.
Monday Walk Up Song
Words by Missing Persons. Got this one done in 851 words.