This long article written Thursday by Jon Heyman covers pretty much all of the current offseason standoff and is worth reading. In particular I want to call your attention to these paragraphs about Yu Darvish:
Darvish, who playfully hinted at interest with clever tweets only a couple weeks ago, has been thought to be getting closer to a deal in each of the preceding couple weeks, with none to be had. One team source suggested they offered $110 million over five years, and was surprised to be told “thanks, but no thanks.”
Darvish had been hoping to duplicate the $175 million, seven-year deal signed by Stephen Strasburg in-season, but there are signs, at least in his case, that he might be willing to consider something in the range of $130 million, or Johnny Cueto-money in baseball parlance.
I don’t see why the Cubs couldn’t make a 5/120 or 5/125 offer, with a sixth team option year with, say, a $5 million buyout. That sort of offer would still keep the Cubs well under the luxury tax threshold and would still leave room for a midseason pickup. It would be close to the $130 million noted in Heyman’s article.
The article doesn’t identify which team made the 5/110 offer; it could very well have been the Brewers, who were stated to have made an offer a couple of weeks ago.
Also Thursday, the rumors of that unsigned player training camp came closer to fruition:
Source: Signed players likely to appear at union-sponsored training camp for unsigned free agents as show of support. Appearances would occur before signed players report to their teams. Unsigned Scott Boras clients will not attend the camp, per @jcrasnick.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 8, 2018
Sources: Spring-training camp for unsigned free agents will be at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fl.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 8, 2018
According to E-mail sent to agents, training camp for unsigned free agents will be led by former #Astros manager Bo Porter. Players’ personal trainers will not be permitted. Travel and housing arranged by union. Players given daily per diem. General liability insurance provided.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 8, 2018
Unsigned free agents will be able to report to the spring-training camp on Tuesday. The first workout will be Wednesday. The site will remain open until March 4, but based on attendance, arrangements can be made to extend until the end of March.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 8, 2018
Scott Boras has no plans to send his clients to a proposed free agent camp. "Boras Corp has two sport fitness institutes with diamonds, cages and weight facilities,'' he said. "We have resources and staffing to make sure our players are prepared when they reach agreements.''— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) February 8, 2018
Not very convenient for the players who don’t live in Florida, even if the union pays travel and housing expenses. If an Arizona or California based player travels to this camp and then signs with an AZ-based spring training team, then that player has to go back west and find housing for the month in the Phoenix area.
I also find it interesting that Scott Boras clients won’t participate. Ken Rosenthal’s tweets indicate this camp could go all the way through the end of March; even if it doesn’t it will (apparently) be open for about four weeks.
Bradenton, Florida is the spring home of the Pirates and several other teams (Blue Jays, Yankees, Phillies, Orioles, Rays) train within easy driving distance. It’s not clear whether these workouts (or games, if they have any) will be open to the public.
This isn’t the way I think anyone wanted the 2018 season to begin.
A bit of humor:
I think #Cavaliers have now cleared enough roster and cap space to sign Yu Darvish.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 8, 2018
Another attempt by me at parody lyrics:
Yu Darvish would get quite the reception
If he joined the Cubs’ merry band
Cubs fans would give him so much affection
He’d be Joe Maddon’s No. 1 man
No, Yu can’t always get what Yu wants
Yu can’t always get what Yu wants
Yu can’t always get what Yu wants
But if Yu tries sometime Yu’ll find
Yu gets what Yu needs
Today’s song selection!