Hoping for Negotiations, Arrieta’s Reportedly Large Ask, Cahill, and Other Cubs Bullets

I tentatively expect we’ll get a final deal today on the Nolan Arenado trade, and I FULLY expect it’ll look even more wonderful for the Cardinals when the details all come out. Voodoo bs and such.

•   As we’ve seen a dozen times by now, the cycle played out thusly: initial reports of MLB’s offer to the players to adjust the season looked extremely reasonable, and obviously should be accepted by the players; but then there was rattling that the players actually didn’t like it and were going to reject it; and THEN it came out that they had a lot of decent concerns about the offer, which doesn’t seem nearly as reasonable as originally reported. It happens. Every. Time.

•   So, then, the players are expected to formally reject the offer today, and the big question is whether they will (please) submit a counter this time (the last offer, from mid-December, was simply rejected with no counter):

•   Honestly, I think the players just know they are in the catbird seat on this one – the CBA is in place, and thus the owners don’t really have much leverage to insist on changes – so they’ve gotta get a big win if they’re going to agree to changes. Fine. They should. Owners have won every negotiation going on 20 years. But I do think we should recognize that there’s a version of adjustments that is better for the players/coaches on the health side, AND could be better for them on the financial side (if they get enough of a cut of the added postseason revenues). A mediator could probably settle this thing, but as we saw last year, the leadership in both units simply do not play nice together.

•   Relatedly, this doesn’t mean the plan to delay the start of the season will definitely be agreed to by the players, but clearly, Spring Training venues need to prepare themselves (and I’m sure they’d be very happy if things were punted a month):

•   If you missed the update later last night via Jesse Rogers, there is doubt that the Cubs and Jake Arrieta will match up on a reunion because of the dollars at issue, and Bruce Levine just said on 670 The Score that he hears Arrieta is looking for $8 to $10 million on a one-year deal. Which. Uh. Maybe it’s true, maybe it isn’t. But if it’s true, given the trajectory of Arrieta’s last few years, it’s really hard for me to see him getting anything close to that. As I’ve said, I love me some Arrieta and the idea of a reunion – not just for the nostalgia, but also for the attempt to remake him a bit in his mid-30s, and to get a badass type veteran into the mix with some younger pitchers – but if he has a market at that level, it would be understandable to see Cubs backing off. That seems especially true where they still have their eyes on other options like Jeff Samardzija, Mike Foltynewicz, Chris Archer, etc.

•   Speaking of random reunions:

•   Cahill might actually be a sneaky good reunion for the Cubs. He was quite good for the Giants last year after a rough 2019 (and was quite good in 2018). He can swing in and out of the rotation, which might be very handy in a year like this, when you’re going to have so many innings to cover. If he winds up able to find only minor league deal offers, why not from the Cubs?

•   Kevin Goldstein, who was a top dog at BP many moons ago before leaving to join the Astros front office, is now writing again. This time, he’s at FanGraphs, and I cannot wait to read his insights on the inner workings of front offices, and how deals go down. He has truly unique insights as a guy who was very high up in the Astros’ org (and yes, he does get into the sign-stealing scandal and his role in it).

•   If you are truly looking for a 50/50 shot, you can bet the coin toss in the Super Bowl.

•   At least it looks nice:

•   They got this right:

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Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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