I’m currently taking in Day Two of the Cubs Convention, listening to Tom and Laura Ricketts as I type. As expected, the early-morning session that has annually been among the most testy is now just a glowing love-fest. As it should be after the team wins its first championship in 108 years.
These Bullets will be a bit short as I’m absorbing the rest of the day. It’s just a crowded, happy place.
- Yesterday, the Cubs avoided arbitration with Jake Arrieta, Hector Rondon, and Justin Grimm, but they’ve exchanged salary figures with Pedro Strop. He requested $6 million, and the team offered $4.6 million. They’ll continue to negotiate and will likely come to an agreement for his 2017 salary, but, if not, an arbitration hear will take place at some point next month.
- Yesterday also saw the Cubs lose out on free agent Tyson Ross, who agreed to sign with the Rangers on a one-year, $6 million deal (plus incentives). From the sound of things, Ross simply preferred to be in Arlington, where he would be close to the particular sports medicine facility that he wanted to do his rehab work at (CSN). Now knowing that, it explains a little more why the Cubs brought Ross to Chicago to show him around the city and show off their rehab facilities. Clearly – and it makes a lot of sense – getting himself back to as healthy he can possibly be was the priority for Ross. And that’s not to say that couldn’t have happened with the Cubs, it’s just that he preferred the Rangers (and Arlington). I know you’re not used to it in recent memory, but it happens.
- From here, then, we’ll see if the Cubs look to bring back Travis Wood to fill a swing role, as has been rumored. As we’ve discussed at length, the Cubs’ 5th/6th/7th starter range right now is a bit concerning, so more depth is needed. On the other hand, the ideal depth in that regard is probably a guy who has minor league options remaining, and can be shuttled freely up and down from AAA.
- Jake Arrieta explained his now-infamous post-election tweet about “Hollywood” folks who said they’d leave the country if Donald Trump was elected. In sum, it was not, to him, a political tweet – he just wanted to call out those folks (ESPN). Arrieta will not, however, be going with the team to visit the White House on Monday, as he needs to attend to family health issues.
- The Cubs announced today that their banner-raising ceremony will be at the home opener on April 10, and the ring ceremony will be at the next game on April 12.