I was really hoping to wake up this morning to a new wave of deals around baseball, either very close to completion or ready to be announced. But thanks to Jeff Passan’s report this morning, it’s really hard not to be discouraged. And I don’t just mean about not having activity to follow and analyze and have fun with. I mean the dwindling hope that this weird offseason would wind up fine in the end for the players, just delayed. A free agent stalemate that drags on into Spring Training at a grand scale will unquestionably be bad for the players and bad for the game, and will presage a significant labor fight that already seems virtually certain.
We often talk about “winning” a trade, and, sure, you like to see your team do really well in a trade. But the best trades are always the ones that both sides wind up very happy about – the short-term “win” may not be worth the long-term costs associated with being the a-hole who’s always ripping others off. The CBA was clearly a huge win for the owners. We thought it the day it was announced – specifically, that the luxury tax cap would become something much closer to a salary cap than the game has ever seen – and it’s all the more clear now. The owners “won” those negotiations in blowout fashion. The question now is whether, in the long run, it was worth it to win so one-sidedly. We’ll see what happens in the coming years. I’m nervous.
- Patrick Mooney writes about the turnover on the Cubs’ coaching staff from the perspective of the team’s two best hitters, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, each of whom will miss the guys who left, but can see positives in change. Hitting coach John Mallee didn’t really do anything wrong to lose his job – and he was immediately scooped up by the Phillies – but the Cubs were simply excited about the prospect of adding Chili Davis.
- Keith Law’s top 100 prospect list came out this week, and he added a small group of “just missed” prospects, which includes a Cubs youngster. The short version of Law’s take? Jose Albertos has everything you’d want to see in a top 50 type prospect … he just hasn’t pitched competitively enough for us to actually know whether he’s that guy. The 19-year-old righty with incredible stuff figures to be featured in South Bend’s rotation this season, so hopefully we’ll now get lots of looks at him.
- This is a great idea, and I’d love to watch … but it would probably only make things even worse between management and players:
Rather than airing Bad News Bears and Brewster’s Millions, @MLBNetwork should broadcast the full slate of arbitration hearings. Tremendously valuable live content and great opportunity to engage fans and to promote the game with an inside look at the business of baseball
— Jeff Berry (@JeffBerry71013) January 26, 2018
- We wrote about about Cubs minor league outfield signee Wynton Bernard here, but Emily Waldon has a whole lot more on the story behind the player here, from a few years ago:
— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) January 25, 2018
"Hey Theo, remember that rainout where it didn't rain? Now, I am the storm." pic.twitter.com/ZvOSiQEZDm
— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) January 26, 2018
- Time is a flat circle:
Are you ready?
MIL traded Cain years ago, netting them Greinke.
Eventually traded Greinke to LAA in a deal that netted them Segura.
Eventually traded Segura to AZ in a deal that netted them Diaz.
They just traded Diaz to MIA in Yelich deal, the night they signed Cain.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) January 26, 2018
- Huge Deal of the Day at Amazon today on certified refurbished iPad Pros. I don’t really need one, but I am so tempted.
- For more Cubs-specific stuff, the Cubs store at MLBShop is 20% off all orders today.
- Vince McMahon announced that he’s bringing the XFL back, which got me thinking about the XBL, which I am immediately starting:
Gonna start the XBL (X Baseball League). Rules:
– 1-second pitch clock
– All bats require barbed wire, can be used in the field
– 23% of baseballs are explosive
– Tighter pants
– Bunt = ejection
– Bases are made of trampolines
– Mandatory steroids
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) January 25, 2018
- I am open to your completely and totally serious XBL rules suggestions down there in the comments.