My main man over at Forbes, Howard Cole (who also happens to be the president of the IBWAA of which I’m a member) recently wrote a piece predicting the landing spots of the top 20 free agents. Within the article, he has some interesting landing spots for some notable Chicago Cubs interests.
Alex Cobb: Baltimore Orioles, four years, $44 million
The Baltimore Orioles seem to be somewhat lost. Many think they were one of like four teams that didn’t bid on Shohei Ohtani, and it looks like they are rebuilding. Why would they toss $44 million at Cobb in the middle of a rebuild?
This would be a huge dropoff from the estimated three-year, $42 million deal the Cubs reportedly offered Cobb. Yes, this deal is a year longer, and technically more, the Cubs AAV was $14 million whereas this is only $11.
Greg Holland: St Louis Cardinals, two years, $20 million
The Cubs only had a toe or two in on Holland, and I really think it was only to mess around with the Cardinals by increasing their offer. Still, I feel like this is a lowball offer to Holland since he was offered the same deal Wade Davis was offered and turned it down.
Three-years, $52 million.
What was Holland thinking?
— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) February 2, 2018
If the Cardinals were to get Holland for a mere $10 million AAV it would be amazing for them. But it doesn’t make sense that Holland would sign for so much less than Davis did – and it would be especially crazy that he’d sign for less than Brandon Morrow‘s three-year deal with the Cubs.
Yu Darvish: Texas Rangers, five years, $125 million
I don’t trust any news when it comes to Yu Darvish. It was the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers, then the Chicago Cubs, then the Minnesota Twins, then back to the Dodgers, then The Milwaukee Brewers. My fingers are tired just typing all of that.
I have been pretty set on Yu coming to the Cubs and was even excited when it appeared the Rangers were out. Heck, I even really believe that the Dodgers and Yankees chatter was a negotiating ploy on Darvish’s team to get more money.
But if Darvish were to go anywhere other than the Cubs, Texas makes the most sense. As it is, the Twins and Brewers can’t offer as much as the Cubs can – but the Cubs aren’t offering enough to get Yu’s John Hancock on a contract. So if he were to go back to Texas, it would make sense.
Jake Arrieta: Chicago Cubs, four years, $80 million
So there is some poetic justice in both Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta returning home. Again though, I think Howard is off on the contract. If, and this is a big if, Arrieta signs a four-year contract, it won’t be for $20 million AAV.
I can still see a way for the Cubs and Arrieta to come back together. It would take Darvish signing for a below average deal. I also think an Arrieta deal with the Cubs would have to happen after Spring Training has already started. Which, if that’s the case, he might need to accept a $20 million AAV type of deal.
In any account, if the well gets this dry (which is strange saying $20 million a year is dry) I’d expect it to be a much shorter deal. Maybe a one-year deal for $20 million? Jake has bet on himself in the past, maybe he does it once more?