Barry Shlachter of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that we’ll know today whether Mark Cuban is in or out of the August 4th auction of the Texas Rangers. The bidders are meeting today, Shlachter reports, and he has all the details in the increasingly technical and slightly boring sale of the Texas Rangers.
Not boring is Cuban, however, and today Maury Brown has a look at Mark Cuban: potential owner over at FanGraphs. It’s well worth a read, though I think Maury is being way too hard on Cuban here, and far too credulous of Major League Baseball’s assertions regarding the desirability of the Chuck Greenberg Group as owners.
Maury talks about how Cuban would be a distraction as Bud Selig focuses “on growing MLB’s business instead of chasing maverick owners around,” but that ignores the fact that Selig and his gang have always put provincial and clubby loyalty concerns above business considerations when it comes to choosing ownership groups. It also ignores the fact that the biggest “maverick” of an owner baseball has ever seen — George Steinbrenner — is probably more responsible for “growing MLB’s business” than Bud Selig and the types of owners he has favored in recent years put together.
Not that Cuban is any sure-fire MLB savant. I just think that his track record — which Maury accurately notes — entitled him to a little more deference than the “crazy Mark Cuban!” treatment he usually gets.
Per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Jake Arrieta‘s agent Scott Boras says they’ll discuss a potential contract extension with the Cubs when they meet in January to hammer out arbitration figures.
Arrieta, 30, is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility after earning $10.7 million in 2016. The right-hander followed up his Cy Young Award-winning 2015 campaign by going 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA and a 190/76 K/BB ratio in 197 1/3 innings during the regular season. Arrieta pitched well in the postseason, helping the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908.
While Boras clients tend to go to free agency, it’s not always the case. Stephen Strasburg inked a seven-year, $175 million extension with the Nationals earlier this year.
Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports, citing a source as well as Nikkan Sports, that reliever Koji Uehara is close to signing a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Cubs.
Uehara, 41, finished the 2016 season with a 3.45 ERA and a 63/11 K/BB ratio over 47 innings. He missed some time in the second half with a strained right pectoral muscle. When Uehara returned from the disabled list on September 7, he tossed 11 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts and two walks through the end of the regular season. So there’s at least some evidence, albeit in a very small sample size, that Uehara has stuff left in the tank.
The Cubs recently acquired closer Wade Davis from the Royals. Uehara would join Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards, Jr., Justin Grimm, and Mike Montgomery in what is once again a very deep bullpen.