Major League Baseball has been free, at least for now. The MLB’s new business model includes a $30-per-year subscription that allows users to watch games on the go and download them to their devices.
The “mlb free agency” is a time in which players are not tied to their current team. They can sign with another team and the team they leave behind gets compensation. This year, there will be a lot of new signings.
It took the Chicago Cubs four years to rebuild from the bottom up last time, in 2012, and it paid off when they won the World Series. The front management has promised Cubs fans a more faster procedure this time. On Wednesday, they took the first step toward meeting that vow by inking free agent pitcher Marcus Stroman to a three-year, $71 million deal.
Stroman, 30, was one of the more capable pitchers on the market this season. He’ll join Kyle Hendricks and newcomer Wade Miley in a reworked 2022 rotation in Chicago. They don’t have an ace in the traditional sense, but the rotation is much better today than it was yesterday.
And, perhaps more importantly for the Cubs’ expectations of their standing in the greater baseball picture, the contract contains a two-year opt-out clause, which will inspire Cubs supporters to assume a contender is on the horizon. If you’re not striving to win, why spend so much money in the short term?
Jed Hoyer, the president of baseball operations, said he wants to construct “the next great Cubs club” by being agile and calculating. Stroman is a natural match for Hoyer’s strategy in this regard. He’ll earn a good yearly wage, but it won’t be for very long, particularly if he decides to leave. Stroman’s annual compensation was almost identical to that of free agents Robbie Ray and Kevin Gausman, but they both received five-year contracts. Stroman’s lesser contract allows the Cubs to be more flexible as they go through their mini-rebuild — or “retool,” as Hoyer like to refer to it after ripping the Band-Aid off the team that earned him and the organization the World Series in 2016.
Hoyer has a blank slate to work with now that stars Anthony Rizzo, Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, and Kyle Schwarber have all left the team. He still has a lot of gaps to fill, but he’s determined to do it in a systematic manner. To put it another way, the Cubs aren’t going to purchase a title. This will be a one-on-one situation. And Stroman is a great place to begin.
If Hoyer makes some more trades — or a few of young guys rise up — and the club becomes competitive in the near future, it will have a very excellent pitcher leading them. If not, Stroman’s contract will expire soon, and Hoyer will have to seek for a new one. The experienced right-hander allows the club to be more competitive than it was at the close of last season while without tying up the franchise’s finances for years.
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There are still some unanswered issues in the rotation after Stroman, Hendricks, and Miley. Adbert Alzolay, Justin Steele, and Keegan Thompson, as well as veteran Alec Mills, will most certainly be relied upon by the Cubs. The signings are unlikely to be enough to win a title or even make the playoffs, but they are a start.
And the Cubs have a number of guys who should continue to grow as the season progresses. Nick Madrigal, acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the Craig Kimbrel trade, is a contact hitter. Infielder/outfielder Nico Hoerner is in the same boat. In 2021, Patrick Wisdom and Frank Schwindel were interesting characters, but the club still lacked outstanding players with MVP pedigree. Signing shortstop Carlos Correa would be even more of a statement that the Cubs are on the move, but there’s been no hint that they’ll go all-in on free agency. Correa is looking for a big commitment, something the Cubs are unlikely to offer him right now.
Hoyer indicated the team would spend this offseason, so Miley and backup catcher Yan Gomes’ early signings came as no surprise. Stroman, on the other hand, suggests a higher outlay. Since Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood before the 2018 season, he is the first player to sign a three-year contract. That should be enough to convince Cubs supporters that they want to compete again.
There’s still work to be done, but this seems like the proper place to start for Hoyer’s strategy — and the duration of the deal is crucial. The Cubs have a solid pitcher who will help them to achieve their long-term objectives.
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The “when does mlb free agency end” is a question that many baseball fans have been asking. The MLB season starts on March 30th, and the MLB free agent market closes on July 31st.
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