Chicago Cubs: Why aren’t any of the free agents signing?

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Many of the top tier free agents remain unsigned, and the Chicago Cubs have been in on a few of them throughout the winter. But yet, very few have signed. Why are we still waiting for so many of them to sign deals?

When looking at the top free agents in this years class, it’s pretty clear that the numbers aren’t going to be there for them. The Chicago Cubs have been linked to Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb. But it seems that the numbers have reached levels that have turned the Cubs–and others–off of said free agents. So is it the money? The years they want? With 15 of the Top 20 free agents remaining, something has to be going on, right?

From the start, even with players like Darvish and Arrieta available, the class of potential free agents has had flaws. Arrieta has regressed and also lost a few miles off his fastball. Darvish struggled in the World Series, although it was said that he was tipping his pitches. But for the few of the top guys that did sign? They hadn’t gotten anywhere near what they wanted before the offseason started.

Stage fright from Heyward?

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The Cubs might also be skeptical of handing out the big contract thanks to Jason Heyward. While he hopes to be the Cubs’ 2018 MVP, he’s been a dumpster fire at the plate in his first two seasons.

If not for the fire extinguisher that is his Gold Gloves, it would be a complete train wreck of a contract. The Cubs doled out a hefty deal to Jon Lester, but he’s made his money, so to speak. At least compared to Heyward.

There have been rumors as to why the market has been cold. Next year’s class looks much more intriguing, at least as of now.

$150 million whiffs?

Plus, when you look at the last $150 million contracts that have been handed out? It’s not pretty. Players like Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, David Price and others are on that list. All aging superstars owed A LOT of money for the remaining years. Didn’t Alfonso Soriano and Alex Rodriguez teach us anything?

For the Cubs, it seemed simple when they wanted Cobb. Three years, $42 million. But once he rejected it, the Cubs appeared to move away from him. Darvish and Arrieta both want longer deals, as well. But the Cubs might be holding out hope they can get one of them on a three-year contract. Unlikely, but the Cubs aren’t forced to make a move. At least right now.

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When this CBA comes to an end in 2021, we should all be scared. The owners continue to make money, regardless of what product they put on the field. Could this type of behavior by the owners lead to a strike or a lockout? The money just keeps going up, making it hard for the blue collared workers of Chicago to catch a game without taking out a second mortgage. Something’s gotta give, but it won’t be soon.