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.
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.