It’s been a busy time at school, which is all the more annoying given that we run a Chicago Cubs blog and the Cubs are about to start their exhibition slate. So, you will have to forgive us if we don’t automatically talk about every transaction as it is tweeted by the horde of beat reporters. That doesn’t mean we’re not paying attention to things like, for example, Pedro Strop sticking around for a while longer:
$5.85 mil for '18, $6.25 mil/500 club option/buyout for '19
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) February 24, 2017
That’s pretty cheap given the caliber of pitcher that Strop is, and if we check out the Cot’s salary tracker, the Cubs are looking very good against the current luxury tax threshold of $195MM. This is also a good time to remind everyone that a bunch of contracts come off the books after 2017, right at the same time as a bunch of very interesting players hit arbitration for the first time, and also when a new crop of free agents is available to reload what should be a perennial contender. Speaking of generating tons of revenue to pay these guys:
Wrigley's home plate seating looks more like a giant web than a place to watch baseball in 6 1/2 weeks. They'll get 'er done. pic.twitter.com/i3Mwt8hhax
— Wrigley Aerials (@WrigleyAerials) February 24, 2017
The April date looms close, but as the single-game ticket sales wore on, Opening Day tickets were sold out within 80 minutes. That’s OK, because even though I can’t afford to go to too many games anymore (curse you, really good team!), we were still able to snag seats for a day with a fun promotion.
While spring training isn’t going to get too many broadcast dates, we do see that most of the games are available on audio via MLB.com, and the broadcast slate includes a few games on the local Chicago stations as well as MLB Network, if you’re a subscriber to that channel. On Saturday, the Cubs have split squad action against the Bay Area teams, with the game against the Giants on MLB.com’s audio and the game at Sloan Park against the A’s on WGN. Sunday’s game, a quasi World Series rematch against the Indians, will be on The Score. We also get to see most of the regulars, including the post-David Ross catching tandem, in action, plus the fifth rotation spot battle as well.
So, welcome to baseball for the next eight months or so. We’re not complaining!