Spring Training Kinda Starts Now, Big Schedule Changes Coming, the Quiet, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Spring Training Kinda Starts Now, Big Schedule Changes Coming, the Quiet, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

So I stayed up into the week hours of the morning just in case the floodgates opened, but of course they did not. And now I’m very, very tired for nothing. But at least I’m still happy.

I tend to think there’s a combination of reasons why things didn’t explode immediately, from teams being more honorable during the lockout than we thought, to lowball offers kicking things off, to the biggest names/teams holding things up, to front offices want to make sure they fully digested the new CBA, etc. The action behind the scenes – internally and calls/texts – was undoubtedly feverish. The moves have to happen eventually. The question is only when the dam breaks. Probably sometime today. Hopefully not before I can get these Bullets out … (ope, as I was typing the Bullets, the latest Carlos Correa-Cubs rumor broke) …

•   The mandatory reporting date for Spring Training is Sunday, but players can start reporting as soon as today. I figure a lot of Cubs players who were already in Arizona will be showing up at the Cubs’ facilities and we’ll probably get some very happy visuals today. Also: GET THOSE 40-MAN ROSTER PROSPECTS TO THE FACILITIES ASAP!!!

•   One thing I think we WOULDN’T have seen yet in terms of the flurry, but that I do think is probably happening: Given the condensed timeline and coming signings, I wonder if we’re about to see a MASSIVE volume of 40-man players put on waivers. Like almost immediately, a deluge. Teams will have to clear space, and they’ll want the waiver period resolved ASAP. Tentatively, I would expect a ton of players to hit waivers this weekend, and then maybe another big wave at the end of Spring Training.

•   This is indeed a VERY interesting nugget:

•   Every team plays every other team in at least one series each year? That’s freaking awesome. Obviously I like the rivalries, and I also like that a weighted schedule can disproportionately benefit the Cubs when they are good and their division is not, but I like the idea of getting to see the Cubs face every team even more. With the universal DH, I imagine this became a much easier sell.

•   Speaking of future scheduling bits, MLB still wants to get more global:

•   The Cubs do get to do a special event this summer already: the Field of Dreams Game against the Reds. Remember that?

•   Better hope you got all the juice out of your system: the drug testing agreement is now back in place, which means as soon as guys arrive to Spring Training, they’re getting tested.

•   If you were curious about the pre-arbitration bonus pool, and how it gets paid out (also that ROY 2nd is supposed to be $500K):

•   Ladies and gentlemen, we did it:

•   I kid, but it is unquestionably true that, at the margins, the virtual unanimity of messaging on social media would’ve had an impact on the players, other employees, and traditional media. And that stuff, collectively, would’ve had a modest impact on the owners’ positions and the CBA negotiations as a whole.

•   Something Commissioner Rob Manfred said yesterday as the deal was announced, which I hope and wish will be true, but I am dubious:

“One of the things I’m supposed to do is promote a good relationship with our players. I’ve tried to do that. I have not been successful in that,” Manfred said. “I think it begins with small steps. It’s why I picked the phone up after the ratification and called (union head) Tony (Clark) and expressed my desire to work with him. It will be a priority of mine moving forward to try to make good on the commitment that I made to him on the phone.”

•   To that end, this tweet is not ENTIRELY a joke:

•   Stro is ready:

•   I joked (ish) about Andrew Chafin, and the guy is just so thoroughly himself that I love it:

•   It would have to be a very bad team that believes it can get enough organizational value out of the hype to offset the likely lack of even remotely useful production:

•   The players are back:

•   Cory Abbott, history maker:

•   I chatted before things get/got/will get nuts:

•   Michael wants to give you a bat:


•   And Obvious Shirts is 30% off of literally everything right now:

•   I spy a Cubs cap on QB1 – might even be a South Bend Cubs cap, actually:


•   Speaking of the Bears, they, uh, did something A LITTLE major yesterday, sending Khalil Mack to the Chargers. It happened right after the CBA was agreed upon, so that was a wild effing hour of feverish texting and writing and editing. Because of the baseball stuff, I still really haven’t even had a full chance to digest what it means for the Bears in 2022 and beyond, though Luis will be getting into that more this morning.

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.