The Rundown: Arrieta Signs with Phils, Cubs Reach Pre-Arb Deals, Happ’s Contract Renewed

I really wanted to see him go to the Brewers but Jake Arrieta is now a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Make sure you check out this tribute to the ex-Cubs pitcher, a fond remembrance of one of the team’s all time great players. Arrieta got a three-year deal for $75 million, but the contract is a little complicated as it contains options for both the team and the player after the second year.

The average annual value of Arrieta’s deal ($25 million) was the highest signed by any player since the end of last season.

I don’t do math well in the wee hours of the morning so keep checking Cubs Insider for more details if/when they emerge. So long, Jake, and best wishes in the City of Brotherly Love. A word of advice: leave the Santa Claus suit here in Chicago.

Cubs News & Notes

Yu Darvish was happy to see that Arrieta had signed.

“It’s really good that Jake has a new team, signing with the Phillies,” Darvish said through his translator. “I was aware of his situation. He really succeeded here with the Cubs. I was following where he was going to go. I am glad he ended up somewhere he wanted to go.”

Anthony Rizzo thinks the Cubs and the team’s fans should go all out to honor Arrieta when he returns to Wrigley Field this summer.

The Cubs renewed Ian Happ’s contract for $570,000 for the upcoming season, $25,000 above the minimum. Under MLB rules, players with 0-3 years of major league service time remain under team control and can be renewed at a minimum salary if an agreement with the club is not reached.

Despite not coming to an agreement, GM Jed Hoyer said that everything is fine between player and ball club. “There are zero hard feelings,” Hoyer said. “We couldn’t get to the right number. It’s OK. We’ve got a great relationship, and we’ll move forward.”

The Cubs finalized deals with all of their pre-arbitration players.

How About That!

Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel doesn’t believe that the reigning champs will suffer from World Series hangover, but history says he may be wrong, according to Barry Rozner of the Daily Herald.

Free agent pitcher Lance Lynn is headed to the Twins on a one-year deal.

Things can get old and boring pretty quickly at this point of spring training, so Nationals manager Davey Martinez had the team work on their walk-off home run trots.

Shohei Ohtani is in the midst of a brutal spring at the plate and may need up to 500 minor league at-bats to improve his mechanics. That won’t happen, of course, but Yahho’s Jeff Passan spoke with baseball scouts who have expressed doubt about Ohtani’s two-way potential.

Coming off a left knee injury, Eloy Jimenez delivered his first home run of the spring Saturday against the Cubs and followed that with another tater, a triple, a walk and two runs scored as the White Sox beat the D-backs, 6-5, at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona yesterday.

Facebook and MLB have reached an agreement that will allow the social media giant to stream 25 weekly games starting in 2018. These games will be distributed via Facebook Watch as part of MLB Live page, making this the MLB’s first digital-only distribution.

Hot Takes & Syrup

  • Pardon My Hot Take: Hundreds of Yankees fans at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL stood, applauded, and chanted Derek Jeter’s name as he emerged from his Marlins luxury box behind home plate on Sunday. Of course they did, he gave the Yankees Giancarlo Stanton for next to nothing in December. ​The new Yankees slugger is coming off a season in which he led the major leagues in home runs with 59.
  • Pardon This Obvious Hot Take: The Cardinals risk-averse strategy and pragmatic approach to acquiring new players makes St. Louis one boring team.
  • Pardon This Obligatory Hot Take: Mike Moustakas turned down the $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Royals and then agreed last week to a one-year deal for $6.5 million, and agent Scott Boras said he is a casualty of the system. I’d call it something else. Rumors persist that the Royals third baseman turned down a three-year deal worth $45 million, though Boras denies that.
  • Not a Hot Take, but certainly belongs here: The worst baseball joke of all time.

Monday Walk Up Song

Barstool Boys by Philadelphia band Marah. What? You were expecting Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John? You’ll like this song much better. Trust me.

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Michael Canter

Michael Canter is the CEO of Jivewired, a streaming television platform launching in January 2018 on Apple TV and Roku. "Cubs fan since I was five years old (1969): lover of classic rock and indie music; partial insomniac; detests the liberal use of the word 'albeit' by baseball writers; Nice guy, though somewhat brooding."

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