What’s next for Cubs, Marcus Stroman, Jed Hoyer during MLB lockout

It’s hard to put a positive spin on MLB’s first labor shutdown in 26 years, but at least it hasn’t cost games or spring training time — yet.

And despite a massive gap to bridge between owners and the players union, many insiders on both sides have stayed optimistic during dozens of private conversations over the past several months that next season will start on time.

So what comes next?

For now, the industry is recovering from the whiplash created by the screeching halt Tuesday night to a fast and furious late-November rush of free agent signings, including the just-under-the-wire signing by the Cubs of coveted starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (three years, $71 million).

Until the lockout by owners, teams spent a November record $1.7 billion on free agents, with almost $1 billion going to six of them in the final four days:

  • Corey Seager, $325 million (10 years) from the Rangers
  • Marcus Semien, $175 million (seven) from the Rangers
  • Javy Báez, $140 million (six) from the Tigers
  • Max Scherzer, $130 million (three) from the Mets
  • Robbie Ray, $115 million (five) from the Mariners
  • Kevin Gausman, $110 million (five) from the Blue Jays

Whether that says says more about how much money the owners have as they try to argue they need to keep caps on spending to protect themselves from themselves or whether it says more about the anxiety of players facing unemployment during a lockout, the only thing…

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