Chicago Cubs need to find a sense of urgency with work stoppage looming

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

With the current collective bargaining agreement expiring on Dec. 1, the Chicago Cubs would be wise to act now and make some moves before a work stoppage ensues.

We all remember what happened to begin the COVID-shortened 2020 season. The league and MLBPA found themselves at a stalemate. If it wasn’t for commissioner Rob Manfred stepping in to force things along, odds are there would have been no 2020 season at all.

In the end, the only thing holding back the two sides was an agreement upon how much players should be paid based on the number of games that would take place for the season. The players wanted a longer season and prorated salary, the owners cried poor and wanted the players to help make up for the loss while fans grew impatient scratching their heads wondering when the game they loved could help ease their anxieties of a pandemic that was quickly sweeping across the country and globe.

It may have been one of the worst images baseball gave itself since the 1994 strike. Millionaires fighting over money is not generally something that bodes well with the general public. After all, fans just want baseball. Yet, here we are again with the two sides ready to go at it once more. That is where urgency must take hold, especially if you’re a rebuilding team like Chicago.

You hear the Cubs being connected to a number of players recently. Steven Matz just signed with the Cardinals. The Cubs had interest in Corey Seager who claims he wants to get a deal done as soon as possible to avoid all of the potential nonsense that is coming. If the Cubs can decide to get aggressive here, it is probably the best thing for them.

The current collective bargaining agreement between the players association and the league expires on Dec. 1, and though it’s Manfred’s job to say they are trying to work something out before the current deal expires, little progress has been made in coming to any sort of conclusion at this time.

Chicago Cubs need to act now to reduce at least some of the uncertainty

It’s really no secret the league and MLBPA do not get along well. In fact, out of any American sport, baseball far and away has the worst relationship between its league and players association. For many fans, during the 2020 season we found ourselves saying “OK, 80 percent of your salary, that’s still millions, stop being selfish and play! There’s people out of work in this country due to this pandemic. Nobody feels bad for you!”

On the other hand, you had owners doing their best Oliver Twist impressions with no fans in attendance and quite frankly, nobody cared about billionaires losing a few million here and there when they’re waiting in line for hours to buy a roll of toilet paper. It was just a mess all around.

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The long and short of it is simple: there’s a week to go until that work stoppage grinds the offseason to a halt. Now is the time for the Chicago Cubs to make a splash or two so they can enter that uncertainty with at least some feathers in their cap.