It’s supposed to flirt with 70 degrees today in Seattle. And that’s pretty awesome. Who doesn’t love sunshine and mild temps in early spring? You’d have to be crazy to complain about that, right?
Well, allow me to enter the nuthouse.
My apartment faces straight west. And in the Pacific Northwest, the concept of “air conditioning” simply doesn’t exist in the home. It exists in places of work, bars, restaurants, stores…but not the home. So on days like today, the difference in temperature from my residence to the outside world is most likely a 10-15 degree swing when the sun starts to set. So like, whatever, I guess. Enjoy your stupid sun.
Also, I think we should start calling it a “sun descent” instead of a “sunset.” The latter doesn’t give the Sun it’s due. It lacks punch. It lacks pazzaz. But “descent…” man, that adds a certain something for a perfectly round star filled with hot plasma that consumes over 600 million tons of hydrogen per second.
Who do I contact about this?
Well, he did it. He signed. When I wrote about the Cubs former Ace last week, a lot of you commented that you thought he’d end up with the Phillies. Guess what, smarty pants? You were right!
On first glance, it looked like the deal was going to be an utter disappointment for a guy and his agent who were reportedly looking for deals similar to that of Max Scherzer (seven-year, $210 million). But the three-year, $75 million contract really is a big win, not only for the Phillies, but also for Arrieta.
For Philadelphia, they get a guy that can compliment Aaron Nola at a price and timeline that isn’t out-of-this-world scratch-your-head insanely expensive and long. For Jake, while he doesn’t hit his exact target, he gets some interesting control in a year where the market simply didn’t play out like everyone thought:
Arrieta salaries are 30M, 25M and 20M. Can opt out after two. Deal could go to 5 years and be worth 125M to 135M. #phillies
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 11, 2018
phillies can void the arrieta opt out by triggering a 2-year extension that starts at 20M per year, rises to 25M based on games started in first 2 years, or up to 30M based on cy young finishes. 135M possible. #phillies
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 11, 2018
As one of my buddies said, “That’s some creative negotiating by Scott Boras.” And he’s exactly right. Jake is able to take his destiny into his own hands here. Either he underperforms (or performs adequately) in his first two years and has one more year of making star money until he signs (what could be) his final contract for his career. OR he out-performs in those first two years, opts out, and either stays with Phillies as they continue to rebuild or he’s able to sign for more money with a strong contender. Win-win.
“Why didn’t the Cubs do this deal?”
Saying that this offseason has been weird would be an understatement. The market simply didn’t materialize like most thought it would. Are (1) more teams using the “tanking” philosophy? Are (2) player’s and team’s expectations simply not aligned? Or (3) is collusion happening amongst the league? Who knows… But I’d venture to guess it’s a little bit of 1 and a lot a bit of 2. But that’s beside the point. Let’s talk about Jake and the Cubs real quick.
First, I think it’s important to rely on smart people. Look at what Keith Law said in reaction to this deal:
Arrieta went from an eight-win pitcher in 2015 to producing just over five WAR over the past two seasons, as the ridiculous command he showed in his Cy Young season didn’t (and perhaps couldn’t) last, while his slider has gone from the most effective in baseball to a below-average offering. He doesn’t throw it for strikes as often as he did two years ago, and when it’s in the zone, hitters hit it more often than they did.
His average fastball velocity is down 2.5 mph (per Fangraphs) in the same span. He also had huge trouble with left-handed hitters last year, giving up much more hard contact to lefties, mostly because they could sit on his fastball. He hasn’t been hurt — he has made 30 or more starts in three straight years — but perhaps he’s wearing down from heavy workloads and the cross-body delivery that has also made him so effective against right-handed batters.
Simply put, Jake was really good for a really long time. But at the same time, he’s 32 and has had a bit of a decline in his performance. So for the Cubs, it’s time to get younger. Hence, Tyler Chatwood (who, by the way, is still an excellent option and more than capable replacement). In doing this, they’re able to remain relatively flexible going into next year where the free agent class contains some top tier players (BRYCE BRYCE BRYCE!!!!!!).
Free Agent Dominoes
Names like Lance Lynn (Twins), Mike Moustakas (Royals), Jonathan Lucroy (A’s), and Carlos Gonzaez (Rockies) all started to sign late last week and into the weekend. But again, the story line wasn’t necessarily where they signed. It was for how much and how long.
- Lynn: one-year, $12MM
- Moose: one-year, $6.5MM
- Lucroy: one-year, $6.5MM
- CarGo: one-year, $8MM
That’s a lot of one-year deals. Maybe you expect that with both CarGo and Lucroy. Maybe. But Lance Lynn and Mike Moustakas? That makes me scratch my head a bit more. In particular, when I heard the news of Moose’s deal, I simply couldn’t wrap my head around it:
Mike Moustakas’ deal has a $5.5M salary in 2018 with $2.2 million in performance bonuses. There is a mutual option for $15 million in 2019 with a $1 million buyout.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 9, 2018
$15MM option after a base of $5.5MM?!?! I DON’T UNDERSTAND. But my dismay doesn’t stop there:
Eric Hosmer‘s guarantee is 22 TIMES LARGER than Moustakas’s. Look, I get that Moustakas has warts, but wtff.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 9, 2018
Remember, Moose turned down a $17.4MM qualifying offer from the Royals when the offseason started. Woof.
This offseason has been weird and confusing.
It’s almost here! 17 more days until the start of the MLB Opening Day. I cannot wait. And neither can you. Because we all love baseball, and that’s pretty neat.