Did you know that the 2018 regular season starts … this MONTH?! Yup. We’re less than four weeks away from the season opener in Miami!
… and Jake Arrieta is still a free agent.
- Notably, if Arrieta waits to sign a deal until after the draft in June (I don’t think this will happen and hope it doesn’t, but also realize that it’s a distinct possibility at this point), he would no longer be subject to draft pick compensation. That means that whichever team signs him wouldn’t have to give up draft pick(s) and IFA bonus pool space to sign him. Now, I can’t imagine that’d being the thing that prevents Arrieta from signing earlier (surely the team would prefer to have him for April, May, and most of June, right?) but maybe it’ll put someone over the top. Or maybe a huge need appears after an injury, etc.
- It’s also worth noting, however, that if this happens, the Cubs won’t be able to gain a draft pick of their own when Arrieta signs. So, pretty much anyway you slice it, our rooting interest is for Jake Arrieta to sign soon, preferably with a team outside of the NL Central, and net the Cubs that pick after the second round.
- At FanRag, Jon Heyman drops a ton of rumory notes, and he says the Cubs currently have “no plans” to go after still-a-free-agent closer Greg Holland. With only about $10 million of wiggle room under the luxury tax cap, even a tiny deal for Holland would squeeze the Cubs if they needed later to make a midseason addition.
- Among the more relevant other bits from Heyman is the Orioles’ apparent willingness to sign back Jake Arrieta; however, Heyman seems to believe that one of Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn are more realistic at this point. The Orioles, you’ll note, have already re-signed Chris Tillman and signed Andrew Cashner.
- The Indians are looking to acquire a right-handed hitting outfielder, but don’t expect the Cubs to come calling. Not only are there a ton of outfield options on the trade market (from Milwaukee alone!), with Yu Darvish in the fold, the Cubs and Indians probably won’t match up well. I can see the Brewers trying to spin one of their outfielders into Danny Salazar or Carlos Carrasco, but I doubt something so significant will happen at this point of the year.
- For what it’s worth, Heyman adds that the Brewers have been pushing hard to trade one of their outfielders (Domingo Santana, Brett Phillips, and Keon Broxton, specifically), but apparently, nobody is really looking for outfielders at this point. Broxton and Phillips both have minor league options remaining, so that’s a possibility while Ryan Braun plays first base, Eric Thames sits(?), and Christian Yelich/Lorenzo Cain/Domingo Santana take the outfield on most days – what a logjam.
- According to Heyman, the Dodgers last official offer for Yu Darvish was just short of $100 million, though Heyman has heard that they might’ve been willing to go a little higher if he truly preferred them to the Cubs. I’m glad it worked out the way it did. Meanwhile, the Yankees are still looking for rotation help, but it might be less significant than Cobb or Lynn.
- Speaking of Lynn, yikes …
Update from my latest podcast: #MNTwins offer to FA Lance Lynn was for more than 2/12ish. Nonetheless, it wasn't what he was looking for in February. There aren't any active discussions between the sides. pic.twitter.com/xS3dYXfEUJ
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) March 2, 2018
- For reference, MLB Trade Rumors predicted Lynn (the #9 free agent this winter) to get a deal in the four-year/$56 million range. Getting half that many years and a less than a fourth of that total dollar commitment would be quite the bummer. He’ll get more, though. I don’t love Lance Lynn’s whole profile, but two years and $12 million is an absolute steal for a 30-year-old who threw 186.1 innings with a 3.43 ERA last season. Even as a sign and flip (at the deadline) candidate, that has value.
- Adam Lind, who generally always hits righties very well, finally settled for a minor league deal with the Yankees.
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.