Thunderstorm in February, eh? Well, since it could’ve been ice or snow instead, I’m not going to complain. It’s just weird to be woken up in the middle of the night by thunder in February is all I’m saying.
• We are through the looking glass, people. Carlos Correa is negotiating via his glove:
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) February 22, 2022
• Correa, whose name starts with the same letter as both “Chicago” and “Cubs,” is seen wearing a blue glove with red Rawlings accents. He poses in front of a fire alarm and a sign that says “play ball,” because he wants the Cubs to know they need to be on high alert and ready to play ball immediately when the lockout ends. Moreover, the glove appears to say “Kyle,” which naturally is a reference to notable Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks, behind whom Correa would like to play at shortstop. Furthermore, Correa is smiling with ten teeth showing, indicating he wants to make sure the Cubs are ready to go to ten years on their offer (the word “teeth,” of course, also being suspiciously close to the word “tenth”).
• Today is 2-22-22 on a Tuesday, so pick your preferred Cubs number 2: Nico Hoerner? Tommy La Stella? Ian Stewart? Ryan Theriot? Vance Law? Mike Tyson (seriously, but not that Mike Tyson)? Me, I’ll go with CUBS LEGEND Carlos Gonzalez:
• It would be nice to see more stolen base attempts in baseball, because I think they are fun. I think most fans do. But it sure seems like teams and players have gotten better and better at understanding the math behind when it makes sense and when it doesn’t, optimizing success rate, and overall developing players NOT to be needlessly risky stealing bases. The byproduct is improved success rates, but much fewer attempts:
— Jason Collette (@jasoncollette) February 21, 2022
• Ultimately, it’s going to take rules changes to get the running game going again in baseball, and that’s why a number of things have been tested in the minor leagues, including slightly larger bases and limited pick-off attempts. By and large, those experiments were viewed as successes, so we might see some movement on this front in time. Not that it’ll be in 2022, since rules changes are not actually going to be discussed in the CBA negotiations.
• MLBTR uses its arbitration projection system to look at who would qualify for arbitration if the Super Two pool were increased from 22% to 80%, as the players have requested, and how much they would make in 2022 (for the Cubs, the only additions are Alec Mills ($1.7M), Brad Wieck ($1.1M), and Rowan Wick ($1M). It’s actually not a huge dollar amount for teams to be adding in 2022 – under $80 million – but the real cost comes in so many guys getting four total arbitration years instead of three, since the salary growth through the arbitration years is cumulative (of course, some of those guys would wind up getting non-tendered for year four if the growth was too much, but that wouldn’t necessarily leave them much worse for the wear). This is a major, major issue for both sides, and it has ALWAYS seemed like an increase in the size of the Super Two pool was the most likely outcome … it’s just frustrating that it’s taking so long to get to a number that works for both sides.
• As for the talks today:
Sources say that the tone of the MLB labor talks yesterday was much improved, more about problem-solving than stance restatements.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 22, 2022
• I would love that to be the case, obviously, and to continue into today. But I’ll also stand by my concern that until and unless there is SIGNIFICANT movement on the luxury tax, I don’t see how much else matters, cordial or not. We’ll see if the topic even comes up today.
• Respectfully waited for the umpire to get out of the way before engaging in the flip:
— Stephen Schoch (@bigdonkey47) February 22, 2022