Marc Carig has a good piece over at Baseball Prospectus today. He talks with Reggie Jackson about Mr. October’s all-time strikeout record and how, in hindsight, Reggie wishes he had cut down on his mighty hack. Marc adds some analysis of his own comparing the guy who was once thought of as an insane whiffer to guys today that make him look relatively tame in the K department.
It’s good reading, but I’m not sure what to make of Reggie thinking he should have struck out less. I’ve always had this idea of Jackson as a guy whose primary strength and primary weakness were his brains — which were obvious — and his ego — which was also obvious. I picture him thinking “man, I don’t care how much I strike out, because these violent swings are what makes me me.” And I picture him holding on to those thoughts with even greater relish now that he’s aware that, for the most part, strikeouts aren’t as stigmatized today.
Has Mr. October started to doubt himself in his September years? Is he simply taking the another turn against conventional wisdom now that the conventional wisdom has caught up with him?
Whatever the case, the classics never go out of style. And I consider Reggie Jackson a classic piece of work, for all of the good and all of the bad that phrase means to me. Check it out.
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.