Track #2: Money
Another major story from this Spring is not tied to performance. At least not entirely. However, if things continue, a couple players are going to be losing money.
With word coming out that Jake Arrieta wants a contract in the neighborhood of $200 million, many fans believe he is out the door. That is an honest possibility. However, his performance of late does not warrant that type of contract. Sure, he won a Cy Young in 2015, but even he has admitted to not performing as well now as he did them.
I won’t dive too much into numbers here, but 2016 was Arrieta’s third best full season with the Chicago Cubs. In 2015, he completed four games and had two shutouts. In both 2014 and 2016, those numbers were one each. His ERA in 2016 was over a half a point higher that in 2014. His wild pitches jumped to 16 after only 14 combined the previous years. He needs to rebound from a below average first performance this Spring.
Another player that is going to lose money is Jason Heyward. Right now, I hope he has direct deposit for his paychecks because he is stealing funds. Last year was a poor season offensively. In order to fix the problems, Heyward spent the offseason working on his approach at the plate. Yet, in 21 at-bats, he has two hits. Granted one was a home run, and he does have five RBI so far; however, .095 average is not what he needs.
It is a process, and this is just Spring Training. However, there is money on the line. And the chance at another World Series title.