Patrick Mooney of NBC Sports Chicago reports that the Cubs have made $17.4 million qualifying offers to starter Jake Arrieta and closer Wade Davis. They will have 10 days to accept or reject it. Both are expected to reject it.
Arrieta, 31, is coming off of a season in which he went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio across 168 1/3 innings. He is arguably the top starting pitcher available via free agency. Given that, he is expected to command a hefty multi-year deal.
Davis, 32, saved 32 games with a 2.30 ERA and a 79/28 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings in 2017. While $17.4 million may be what he ends up procuring annually, the right-hander is almost certain to receive a multi-year deal which is why it’s a foregone conclusion that he will turn down the Cubs’ qualifying offer.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: