Baseball’s current CBA expires Thursday and according to Jon Heyman talks between baseball and the Players Association will resume Sunday in Dallas.
Heyman reported that there are “high hopes” that an agreement will be reached on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement before Thursday’s deadline. But the pace of negotiations have not picked up and a possibility of a lockout as not been ruled out.
According to Jon Heyman, Commissioner Rob Manfred believes the two sides will reach an agreement.
Commissioner Manfred indicated at the GM Meetings earlier this month that if a new CBA was not in place then baseball “would proceed under the old CBA until a new agreement is reached” according to Nick Cafardo.
Reports of a possible lockout made headlines before Thanksgiving and turned what was expected to be just a technicality into a full-blown concern. Would baseball actually have a work stoppage for the first time in over two decades?
Most in the game think an agreement will be reached between MLB and the Players Association by Thursday even if some of the issues have to be tabled. The two sides can agree to continue those talks throughout the off-season and in Spring Training with the understanding that the issues will be resolved.
“Draft pick compensation in free agency, draft pool signing limitations and the possibility of an International draft remain major issues for the players.” According to Nick Cafardo, “Owners feel these limits are necessary to keep costs down and stay under MLB’s luxury tax threshold.”
Other issues include the luxury tax threshold, roster size, the schedule and travel over the course of a 162-game season.
Cafardo reported that the schedule “is a real issue for the players.” The players “want more days off” and do not like how 162 games are “jammed into six months.” Travel has become a problem, especially with day games in the next city following a night game.
According to Jon Heyman, an offer has been made “to eliminate direct compensation in the form of a draft pick lost for signing top free agents that would, in effect, take the legs out of an onerous qualifying offer rule.”
MLB wants an International draft for several reasons but it is “more about cleaning up a historically messy system” than the money teams would possibly save and allocate elsewhere.
MLB and the MLBPA have a lot of work to do over the next five days to keep baseball running without a lockout.
David Ross is supposed to meet with Theo Epstein to discuss a possible role with the Cubs. Ross said a couple of weeks ago that he would talk to Epstein after Thanksgiving.
According to Nick Cafardo, Ross will talk to his agent after the holiday weekend “to go over the overtures he’s received.”
Ross has been contacted about broadcasting jobs, coaching and managing positions and opportunities to be a scout.
David Ross said he wants to remain in the game. He’s not sure in which capacity at this point. Ross would like a job in baseball that allows him to spend more time with his family. He is not expected to take a coaching or managing position right away. Most in the game think Ross will be a big league manager in the next five years.
The Yankees are considered the frontrunner for Aroldis Chapman. The Yankees would like Chapman back to close games and he has stated publicly he would like to re-sign and pitch in New York.
Chapman will pass Jonathan Papelbon and Mariano Rivera for the biggest contracts ever signed by a relief pitcher.
The Cubs are not expected to be in the final mix for Chapman. It is believed the Cubs acquired him from the Yankees purely as a rental to help the team win The World Series. And he did what he was brought to Chicago to do.
Nick Cafardo reported Saturday that the Yankees, Giants, Nationals and Dodgers “are emerging as possible destinations for Chapman.” Cafardo, unlike most, is “not completely sure whether the Cubs are out of the picture.”
Aroldis Chapman is expected to sign at least a five year contract in excess of $85 million. Chapman could reach or even pass the $100 million contract that he is reportedly looking to sign this winter.
News, Notes and Rumors
• The Cubs are one of six teams that are projected to pay the luxury tax this year under the $189 million threshold according to Nick Cafardo. The Yankees ($27 million), Dodgers ($25 million), Red Sox ($6 million), Tigers ($3.9 million), Cubs ($3.7 million) and Giants ($3 million) are the six teams that could be taxed if the luxury tax is not increased to at least $200 million as expected.
• Cubs’ prospect Chesny Young was added to the Escogido roster in the Dominican Winter League. Young went 0-for-4 in his first game in winter ball on Saturday. (Correction: Young went 2-for-4 in his first game Saturday)
• Justin Masterson says he is healthy and ready to pitch again. Masterson is “piquing the interest” of teams like the Marlins and Twins according to Nick Cafardo. Masterson is 31 years old, turns 32 on March 22 and has not pitched in the big leagues since 2015. Masterson was 14-10 in 32 games, 29 starts, with a 3.45 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 3.35 FIP for the Indians in 2013.
• Joel Sherman explained how the Yankees roster should look if they stick to Hal’s plan.
• Pat Hughes has a special edition of his Baseball Voices Series set to be released. And the edition to his incredible series will be a must-have for all Cubs fans. Pat Hughes has put together audio highlights and created the radio story of the 2016 World Series Champion, Chicago Cubs. Click here to order Mr. Hughes’ new CD from Baseball Voices.
• Marc Topkin provided an update on the Rays off-season as deadlines and the Winter Meetings approach.
This Day in Cubstory
2012 – Cubs signed free agent Scott Feldman
2001 – Cubs signed free agent Mickey Lopez
2000 – Cubs released Micah Bowie
2000 – Cubs released Jose Molina
2000 – Cubs released Jerry Spradlin
1996 – Eloy Jimenez, born
1996 – Cubs signed free agent Ryne Sandberg
1983 – Jason Berken, born
1961 – Cubs selected George Gerberman from the Braves in the First-Year Draft
1961 – Cubs traded Jerry Kindall to the Indians for Bobby Locke
1955 – Cubs selected Monte Irvin from the Giants in the Rule 5 Draft
1955 – Cubs selected Vito Valentinetti from Toronto of the International League in the Rule 5 Draft
1955 – Cubs selected Johnny Goryl from the Orioles in the Minor League Draft
1944 – Ron Tompkins, born
1923 – Bob Schultz, born
1920 – Johnny Schmitz, born