The action on the field will generate the biggest interest for the Cubs during Spring Training, but arbitration is another big piece of this puzzle. The Cubs were able to get a deal done with Ian Happ to avoid arbitration, but that was not the case with Wilson Contreras.
There have already been plenty of trade rumors regarding Contreras and the Cubs, and it does appear as he could be on his way out. Jed Hoyer has made it clear that the Cubs are not actively shopping the All-Star catcher, but they clearly don’t love him enough to lock him up to a long-term deal.
The lineup card on Tuesday might have been the most promising of the entire Spring as both Ian Happ and Brennen Davis were included. Happ has been missing time after having elbow surgery, and a pitch hit Davis, but the injury was not severe enough to keep him out of the lineup.
One cause for concern this week is that Frank Schwindel is dealing with some back tightness, which has kept him out of the lineup. Schwindel should play a key role on offense for the Cubs this season, but this back situation will have to get figured out.
Suzuki Set to Debut
Perhaps the biggest news of the week is that Seiya Suzuki is set to make his Spring Training debut on Friday. David Ross broke the news when speaking to reporters this week, and you can expect a large crowd to be in attendance to cheer on the newest member of the team.
Suzuki will be playing right field when he makes his debut, and that will be his position when the Cubs begin the regular season as well. This signing by the Cubs has not drawn enough praise or recognition with the national media as Suzuki is one of the best-position players to ever come from Japan.
“It’s Different Here”
This is also the time of year that the Cubs announce the slogan or “catchphrase” for the year, and that took place this week as well. The Cubs will be going with “It’s Different Here,” and that’s a phrase that will likely draw some mixed reactions from the fans.
This slogan would have made more sense a few years ago as the Cubs could have spun it to mean that more winning is done in Chicago than anywhere else in the National League. It’s unclear what is so different now about the Cubs, unless they are talking about the number of trades that are being made.
This is certainly not as good as “Fly the W” used just a few years ago, but it’s still a little better than “That’s Cub.” The results on the field will ultimately determine if this slogan will be a rallying cry or something to be made fun of.
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