Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times gives us the heads up to Clayton Kershaw’s offseason activities: he and his his wife are in Zambia working at an orphanage their charity foundation sponsors:
The small orphanage opened last year, and the Kershaws are there now with a team of 23, bringing additional donations, working on the site and interacting with the first eight orphans … The Kershaws are searching for additional sponsors for the orphans. They wrote that the current eight are sleeping in beds for the first time in their lives.
Kinda puts our complaints about the weather, our post-holidays weight, bowl games, the Hall of Fame and any number of other things in perspective.
If you want to follow the Kershaw’s activities and/or see what you can do to help them with the orphanage, go to their blog here, which is being updated by Ellen Kershaw.
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.