The Cubs made a flurry of terrific free agent moves earlier in the week. That momentum has come to an abrupt halt as a lockout is currently in place by the owners of the baseball teams.
Cubs Must Sit and Wait
It has been a strange few months for the entire Cubs organization, and one that has been hard on Cubs fans as well. Things really started to turn around earlier this week on what was ultimately the final day of free agency for quite some time in baseball.
Landing Marcus Stroman was an unexpected move by the front office, but it signaled that the Cubs are ready to contend yet again. Stroman won’t turn the Cubs into a title contender, but it will help them get on the right track.
There was some hope that the Stroman signing would build some momentum for the front office, but that is no longer the case. The MLB owners vote to lock out the players beginning on December 1, and it stopped all baseball activities.
While this will affect each team in MLB, there are some pretty significant ramifications for the Cubs. For one, the Cubs have a young roster with some talented prospects, and the training facilities are now closed until lockout ends.
Any player that is needing to rehab an injury will also be forced to do so outside of the clubhouse. Baseball has gone so far as to remove the profile picture for every MLB player lister on a team site.
The Cubs sent out a letter to fans urging them to be patient during the lockout. Cubs fans are among the most patient in all professional sports, but a few months without baseball would be devastating to the league.
Too Many Issues to Name
The threat of a lockout was always looming over Major League Baseball, but there was some optimism that a deal would get done. In the end, there were just too many differing opinions about the future of baseball, and a work stoppage was the only route.
Money is clearly at the heart of these negotiations and the league wants to try to find a way for more parity. Players and the MLBPA would like changes made to the way arbitration is handled as well as finding a way for more teams to spend money.
The universal DH and expanded playoffs are relatively minor things that can be sorted out, but it won’t be that easy when it comes to money.
Correa Coming in 2022?
Even though the front office can’t negotiate with free agents during this lockout, you are still going to hear rumors about Carlos Correa signing in Chicago. Stroman has made it clear that he is going to recruit the shortstop, and he will likely be one of the first to sign after the lockout ends.
The details of the new CBA will determine how much money the Cubs are willing to spend, but there should be plenty of money to make a move of this magnitude. The hope is that the labor stoppage is not a long one and that the Cubs have a competitive team to begin 2022.