Cubs GM Jed Hoyer joined Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquetter of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM today, and among the topics they discussed were a possible extension for Jake Arrieta and the health of Wade Davis following last season’s pair of trips to the disabled list (audio link via Soundcloud). Hoyer kept it general when speaking of Arrieta for the most part. “Obviously when it comes to free agency, there’s a lot of factors involved, a lot of things pulling both sides in different directions,” said Hoyer, after voicing a preference to keep the details of talks close to the vest. “You have to weigh a lot of factors, but at the end, obviously, this guy’s been terrific for us. He was a huge part of us winning the World Series, a huge part of us even getting to the playoffs in 2015, and certainly that’s not something we take for granted.”
Regarding Davis, Hoyer suggested that the heavy workloads Davis racked up when appearing in back-to-back World Series in 2014-15 — Davis threw 25 postseason innings in addition to 139 1/3 regular-season frames across those two years — is something of which the Cubs are cognizant. The Cubs plan to be judicious with the workload of Davis and the relievers who shouldered large workloads for Chicago in last year’s deep World Series run this spring, per Hoyer.
A few more items pertaining to the division…
- It’s already been documented that the Reds aren’t planning on going with a traditional one-inning closer this season, and Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the team is going to lean heavily on right-handers Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen in the late innings. Both pitchers could end up exceeding 100 innings, writes Buchanan, as the plan is to utilize each in a high-leverage, multi-inning role. Both Iglesias and Lorenzen have recent experience as starters and are embracing a role that’s been uncommon in recent years but was far more normal a generation or two ago in Major League Baseball. Other teams around the league will be keeping a watchful eye on how the experiment plays out, as well. Milwaukee GM David Stearns spoke to Buchanan about the blurring line between starter and reliever, while Oakland GM David Forst stated that Cincinnati does indeed have “good candidates” for that type of multi-inning role. “I’m as curious as anyone to see how it plays out,” Forst said to Buchanan.
- David Freese originally came to the Pirates on a mid-March, one-year deal last offseason, but he figured out quickly that he hoped to remain with the Pirates beyond the 2016 campaign, writes Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Freese tells Biertempfel that he told his agent last summer to initiate the extension talks that led to his two-year, $11MM deal with the Buccos. “It all started with talking to me understanding this is the place I want to be,” says Freese. The corner infielder adds that the market has begun to change for players like himself, who are closer to average than to stars: “Older guys are not going to find that kind of deals that were there a few years ago.” Freese’s teammates are thrilled to have him back, as both Gerrit Cole and Josh Harrison laud his quick emergence as a quiet leader in the clubhouse. Cole referred to Freese as “one of the better teammates, if not the best, that I’ve played with.”