Cubs News Update: CBA Status, Solar Sox Tied for First in AFL, Maddon Wins IBWAA Manager of the Year

The hot stove season is here and yet it feels a lot like the just barely warm stove if you ask me. None of the big-time free agents have been signed yet, not that there are all that many this offseason, and there’s no indication that a big signing will happen soon. So what’s the hold up? Well, first, the hot stove season just started so give it some time, will ya?! Second, there’s the whole issue of the MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement that’s set to expire on December 1.

  • With the CBA set to expire soon, it’s thought that many teams are standing pat to find out what, if any, big changes will come out of the new CBA. There’s a good read over at the Boston Globe that talks in more detail about this topic. The gist is that most of the big market teams will wait for the new CBA to be in place so they know what the new luxury tax threshold will be. The threshold is currently $189 million but it’s expected to increase to somewhere in the $200+ million range.
  • Another impact the delayed CBA agreement is having is that several Dominican and Venezuelan players are not holding showcases until a new agreement is reached. In fact, a recently scheduled showcase in the Dominican Republic was cancelled (article in Baseball America) due to international trainers insisting that their players would not participate. At issue is the signal from MLB that they may implement an international draft, along with other proposed international reforms, which will lead to international prospects getting paid less and that hurts them and their trainers. There’s a very informative article here if you’d like to learn more about the issue.
  • In case you missed it, Joe Maddon finished in second place in the BBWAA Manager of the Year voting to first-year coach Dave Roberts. However, Joe won the IBWAA (Internet Baseball Writers Association of America) Manager of the Year so he does deserve kudos for that.

  • This week marks the final week of play in the Arizona Fall League with the Championship Game set for Saturday at Scottsdale Stadium. The Mesa Solar Sox, the Cubs affiliate team, beat the Salt river Rafters yesterday by one run (Box Score) and are now tied with them atop the AFL East division (Standings). The Solar Sox, hold their final two games today and Thursday with both at Sloan Park starting at 12:35 PM Arizona Time.
  • For the Cubs in the AFL, Ian Happ (2B) is leading the way offensively with a .250/.386/.426 slash line and 2 home runs in 68 at-bats, while Eloy Jimenez (OF) is slashing .250/.328/.481 with 3 home runs in 52 ABs, and Victor Caratini (C) is hitting .220/.338/.271 in 59 ABs (click here to see all Mesa Solar Sox stats).
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