The Pace of the Offseason Could Provide Spring Training Signing Surprises and Other Bullets

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The Pace of the Offseason Could Provide Spring Training Signing Surprises and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

We wanted to give the kids a chance to do something different with the snow this week, so we brought a bunch into the tub in the house so they could play with it, paint it, whatever. We also played outside, of course, but we thought this would be a little something silly and different.

… except there were apparently too many little sticks and leaves in the snow, so when it melted, it completely jacked up our tub. Draino didn’t help, and my digging down into the drain didn’t help … so I’ll be talking to a plumber today. D’oh.

  • Patrick Mooney has made his debut at The Athletic, writing about the Cubs’ patient approach to the offseason and the potential for a late splash. Sources tell Mooney what we’ve been speculating is going on: “[T]he Cubs are weighing multiple options, staying involved in the conversations around Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb to see if one of those pitchers falls within their price range.” I don’t want to belabor this too much, but as we’ve said before: if the rebuilding clubs are not going to splurge, and if teams like the Dodgers, Yankees, and Giants are not going to go over the luxury tax cap, the Cubs are best served by remaining patient on those three starting pitchers (if they’re equally comfortable with all of them on the right contract). It can be frustrating for fans, but the Cubs have no reason to jump right now, especially when the rotation wouldn’t be a disaster if the Cubs had to enter the season as is.
  • Mooney’s piece made reference to the surprising Spring Training return of Dexter Fowler in 2016, which got me all misty-eyed and wistful:

  • I was lucky enough to be there in Mesa for that moment, and it’s something I’ll always remember.
  • So, are we going to see a surprise reunion in Spring Training this year? BAH GAWD, THAT’S JAKE ARRIETA’S MUSIC!!! … obviously it’s unlikely. It took a pretty flukey contract snag (well, I guess it’s not ever “flukey” when it’s the Orioles) to leave Fowler open to an affordable return to the Cubs, and that’s probably not going to happen for Arrieta. Then again, given that we’re now just a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting, it’s possible guys like Arrieta don’t sign until other players are already in Mesa … so you might have arrivals like this all across Arizona and Florida in a month.
  • If you missed it last night, there was a signing in baseball! Rene Rivera won’t be returning to the Cubs (in a Spring surprise or otherwise), as he’s signed on with the Angels. Must really want to catch Shohei Ohtani. I can’t blame him.
  • … not that the Rivera signing got the stove ignited or anything:

  • Grant Brisbee sums up the state of the offseason in the way only Grant Brisbee can: by researching and listing every ERA that has never happened in an MLB season. Some are obvious – achieving a 0.01 ERA requires allowing a single earned run over 601 innings pitched (only second half 2015 Jake Arrieta could have done it). But some are less obvious: why has there never been a 1.05 ERA? Or 6.74? Or 9.01? It’s silly, weird, and fun.
  • Kyle Schwarber, doin’ work:

  • Careful, Anthony! They have lots of teeth:

  • Meanwhile, over in the Bears’ world, this would make me very happy about the setup for the new coaching staff:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.