The Rundown: Baseball Is Back, Stroman Woos Correa, Folden Having Impact with Young Hitters, Several New CBA Wrinkles
Baseball is back and the world is a much better place this morning. The owners and players came to an agreement that must have shocked the MLBPA board of executives because they voted 8-zip against it, and Scott Boras lost his bid to seize control of the game. He’s probably not happy front offices didn’t spend like spring breakers in Ft. Lauderdale when the new baseball season officially launched at 6pm CT yesterday.
Teams have a lot to do ahead of Opening Day, which will be April 7 if you’re not already aware, and the next 27 days are probably going to feel like 27 minutes. Fans are going to have to get up to speed quickly because teams still have to go through arbitration hearings and free agency. For you diamond-in-the-rough guys, there will be no Rule 5 draft this year.
Bloggers like me are going to have to get back into baseball mode, too. I’m happy to report I’ve got about 162 walk-up songs queued up and a preamble to match each and every one of them.
Source: The #Cubs, who engaged with Carlos Correa in negotiations before the lockout began, are among the favorites to sign him as the market reopens. @MLBNetwork @MLB https://t.co/rmnpEZcJYC
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 11, 2022
The busiest guys in town are going to be Carter Hawkins and his front office staff. The Cubs still need a shortstop and the Carlos Correa rumors should ramp up a bit. They may need an outfielder unless Clint Frazier is going to finally greet his potential with a warm hug, and a first baseman/DH type would be nice — Can you say Anthony Rizzo? — to round out the offense. Chicago will need to add to its relief corps, especially with Codi Heuer just coming out of surgical repair and down for the season, and Andrew Chafin might be an ideal replacement.
Another starter would be nice, though I’d be surprised if the Cubs add one. That said, we’ll get our first glimpses of Marcus Stroman and Wade Miley in Cubbie blue. I think we are all expecting a comeback season from Kyle Hendricks and a breakout one from Adbert Alzolay. A net positive is we won’t have Zach Davies to kick around anymore.
Obviously, there are enough compelling stories to fill a shortened hot stove and spring training schedule, so stick with us for all the merriment and disappointment. It’s good to be back, and this morning feels a lot more like spring than yesterday did.
Cubs News & Notes
- The Cubs are one of several teams that showed pre-lockout interest in J.D. Davis.
- The transaction freeze was lifted Thursday night, allowing the market to reopen and clubs to make trades. That also means Hawkins will have to decide whether to extend Willson Contreras or trade him.
- The Stroman signing could portend more big splashes in free agency in the new, shortened window.
- In fact, Stroman resumed his online courtship of Correa as soon as the new CBA was announced.
- Hendricks is “super-amped” about the team’s additions to its rotation.
- Because the new deal rewards high-performance “young” players, Patrick Wisdom could be the poster boy for the recently-ratified CBA.
- A left-handed power hitter should be at the top of the Cubs’ list of needs. Get Kyle Schwarber on the horn. Michael Conforto would be nice, too, but don’t forget the Mets qualified him before the work stoppage.
- Rachel Folden is making a positive impact on the team’s minor league hitters. Pete Crow-Armstrong said he doesn’t like facing her in BP very much.
- The Cubs sit at No. 24 in Bleacher Report’s first post-lockout power rankings.
Odds & Sods
Despite the new agreement, only New Yorkers are rooting for their teams. The rest of us pretty much want to see them fail.
Haven't done this in a while. Today's baseball-is-back pages: pic.twitter.com/h0XGMJhn86
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) March 11, 2022
Nice to see player faces over on the league’s flagship website. It’s also nice to read stories about current players for the first time in four months.
It’s equally wonderful to see the MLB rumor mill heating up. Cubs fans will love the predicted landing spot for Correa in this piece.
Multiple teams will quickly pursue Kris Bryant. That’s so obvious it’s not really news.
The new CBA has a number of rules changes, including a universal DH and expanded playoffs.
A 12-team playoff might be difficult for old-school fans to accept, but that’s been the debate since the game first went to a divisional format.
A number of minor league players who have been waiting on a chance to get to the bigs could benefit from the universal DH rule.
Senator Bernie Sanders has a number of issues with baseball’s new CBA, specifically the 30 league owners.
Cubs fans are going to love Stroman’s big energy.
Another year in the big leagues and only on on the rise. Funny to think how all the “analysts” labeled me as a one inning guy with a short career because of my stature. Oh how wrong you all were. Chase your dreams young kings and queens…and f*** what they have to say! 🗣🤷🏾♂️
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) March 10, 2022
They Said it
- “That is all I want from this whole thing. I understand the importance of having females on staff. I understand why it’s national news. I understand why you guys write the stories. I get it. And I take that responsibility very personally — I really do. But at the same time, the more I normalize it, the more everybody else is going to normalize it, right? I’m just standing on the shoulders of the giants that have come before me, right?” – Folden
- “Just really grateful for fans that are going to stick with us through this time, and I’m right there with you. I want to see great baseball being played, and we all want to play.” – Nico Hoerner
- “We need to improve, so I think we’ll certainly be active. But I think we need to be active in a way that we feel we’re getting the right value for the dollars we’re spending and we’re also making sure that we’re not hindering ourselves going forward with expenditures for right now.” – Jed Hoyer, before the lockout.
- “If they want to use me as an example, then by all means go for it. I just want to go out there and play my game. I’m going to let the business people take care of the business and the accounting stuff. It’s going to directly affect me. And I think at the end of the day it’ll all work out.” – Wisdom
Friday Walk-Up Song
Brand New Day by Sting – Baseball is back, baby.