That weekend weather sure was a tease. I mean, I’m not complaining – I live in the Midwest, I know what I signed up for – but even after all these years of existence, it’ll still never not bug me fiercely when I get 70 degrees immediately followed by 35. I switched to t-shirt, no-hoodie mode this weekend and I’M NOT GOING BACK.
• As I discussed this morning, it is not reasonable to expect a deal on the CBA by tonight’s new “deadline.” But *if* a deal were to happen, Jeff Passan reports that Spring Training’s first reporting date could come as soon as Friday. That would mean Wednesday and Thursday could be an absolutely feverish pace of players and teams trying to finalize deals so that new players could come to camp on the first reporting day, or soon thereafter. If that’s the entire length of Offseason Part Two – just a couple days – then I think it’s a lock that a whole lot of the transacting is going to spill over into Spring Training, which in turn means that some guys will have only a very brief time to ramp up with their new organization and new teammates. Which sucks. But you already knew that a lot of this sucks.
• … at least we, as fans, would theoretically get an absolutely bonkers transaction window to follow. Not that I’m getting my hopes up. NOPE.
• In the meantime, the MLBPA set up a training facility in Arizona for locked out players who want to train right now with other big leaguers, and among the Cubs mentioned in attendance are Nico Hoerner and Patrick Wisdom:
Miss seeing MLB players & spring training? The Athletic toured the state-of-the-art Players Association facility in Mesa, Az today and watched players from more than 10 teams work out.
Here’s what it was like: https://t.co/lbZnOG6z7s
— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) March 8, 2022
• “It’s nice to be in the sun on a real field around other major-league players and that’s hard to replicate,” Hoerner said, per The Athletic. “Today you started to see like twice as many guys out here and I think that will just increase as people hear about this facility and what the PA has set up for us, what a resource this is. Just to be able to do everything in the same place is a big deal for us. I know guys have all been talking about just driving place to place (to get all of their work in), and to be in one place and see other guys working out, it’s really nice.”
• Over at the new CHGO Sports, Brendan Miller takes a deeper look at the Cubs’ organizational effort to elevate sinkers, a counterintuitive but potentially useful proposition:
Now look at their individual sinker heat maps. Interesting…Hendricks, Alzolay, Nance, etc are hammering the top corner quadrant.
These aren't your "ground ball" sinkers. 3/4 pic.twitter.com/HHxG8kvxq7
— Brendan Miller (@brendan_cubs) March 7, 2022
• A very random thing that I find extremely interesting – a scaled comparison of the available market sizes (for revenue purposes):
Interesting stray thing – last CBA calculated market scores for each market (basically a way to compare size of the markets relative to each other for revenue-sharing purposes). If 100 is average, you can really get a good sense of which markets are big/small, and by how much. pic.twitter.com/jt1QLJhk9S
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 8, 2022
• Note that while the Cubs are in the third “biggest” market, the difference between them and the two markets at the top is VASTLY larger than the difference between the Cubs and the rest of the “big markets.” It’s also really eye-opening to see how few teams are in “average” markets. It’s basically half the league that is in a really small market, relatively speaking.
• Also, New York clearly needs a third and fourth team …
• Mobile sports betting is back in Illinois, so make sure you check out the re-launch offers at that link while they’re available.
• Former Cubs and Rangers exec Shiraz Rehman is now out of baseball and likely getting PAAAAID:
Former Cubs and Rangers AGM Shiraz Rehman has joined DL Trading, a company, pending licensing from state regulators, that will provide pricing and risk management services to licensed sports betting operators. Co-founder David Frohardt-Lane briefly consulted w Cubs R&D in 2013-14
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) March 7, 2022
• Obvious Shirts with a lockout sale until the lockout is over: