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MESA http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-giancarlo-stanton-jersey , Ariz. (AP) — The Chicago Cubs received good news on closer Brandon Morrow and reliever Pedro Strop, who have both been slowed this spring by injuries.Morrow threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session Monday, his first time off the mound this spring. He was limited to 35 games last season with the Cubs and did not pitch past July 15. He underwent a debridement on his right elbow in November. Morrow was expected to miss the first month of the season.“It’s a big step to get back up and off the slope,” Morrow said Tuesday. “To take that step, everything was good. There’s nothing to report other than I felt great. It was just like a normal bullpen. I felt in rhythm mechanically after a few pitches. It was all good.”Strop, who was projected to fill in as closer for Morrow, has been sidelined this spring because of a mild right hamstring strain. He threw a bullpen Tuesday for the first time since he was injured.“There’s a chance he may be ready (for the season opener),” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Strop. “Like I told him, don’t push it right now. We were talking about the first series of the year. I’d much prefer that we don’t have to deal with some issues during the course of the year. He gets it. We’ll see how it plays out.”If Strop isn’t available, the Cubs’ closer options include Steve Cishek, Carl Edwards Jr., Brandon Kintzler and Brian Duensing.“I think we’re pretty well set up,” Morrow said of the closer situation. “Every arm helps. I think people get nervous about quote-unquote closers. We’ve got a lot of guys who can handle it.”Morrow said his rehab will include about six bullpen sessions, then a couple of live batting practice sessions before beginning a minor league rehab assignment.NOTES: Maddon said third baseman Kris Bryant has looked strong this spring. Bryant played a career-low 102 games last season because of soreness in his left shoulder. “He’s ready to roll,” Maddon said. “He’s smiling easily http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-giancarlo-stanton-jersey , nothing is forced. I think because he does feel so well, I anticipate good.” … Maddon has yet to announce the Cub’ rotation for the opening series against the Texas Rangers other than Jon Lester will start opening day. Extending Francisco Lindor would be the best deal of the week"With the Winter Meetings in full swing, everyone’s mind is on deals. Will the Indians trade a starter? Will they trade Edwin Encarnacion or Yandy Diaz? Will Michael Martinez get another contract (this was just for you folks playing bingo)? I’m just as curious about those other moves as anyone, but I think the Indians should do something less expected. Something that would not make a difference next year, but might make the biggest difference of any deal at the Winter Meetings.The Indians should extend Francisco Lindor.The 2019 season will be Lindor’s age-25 season and his first arbitration-eligible year. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to rival Kris Bryant’s record first-time arbitration salary of $10.85 million, valuing Lindor at $10.2 million. In order to extend the smiling shortstop, the Tribe has to buy three more arbitration years in order to gain control over anything beyond his age-28 season. No matter how you approach this, it’s obvious that a Lindor extension at this point will require the largest financial outlay in team history. The Indians will finally have to give out a nine-figure deal to make this happen.But Lindor declined a $100 million deal as recently as 2017, so why would he accept that money now, after adding 13.4 fWAR to his career total?Per FanGraphs dollar values, Lindor has been worth $182.1 million already in his four-year career. If we assume that he is reaching his peak this coming year, matching the average aging curve, he’s likely to produce more value in 2019 than ever before. But, no matter our affection for Frankie, I think it’s safe to assume the Tribe is not going to top Giancarlo Stanton’s average annual value ($26 million per Spotrac) for 2019 Dellin Betances Jersey , and matching FanGraphs’ valuation for his contract would be a fool’s errand.Though he was a top 6 player by fWAR last year and projects to be the best player on the team in 2019, I don’t think the Indians have the resources (or intestinal fortitude) to even put Frankie among the top 15 highest-paid players (all above $25 million AAV) right now. If that’s the case, what’s a reasonable deal for both sides?Lindor’s representative will surely be looking to best Bryant’s first year salary and eventually top Josh Donaldson’s final arbitration year salary. Doing that, at minimum, might look something like2019: $11 million2020: $14 million2021: $18.5 million2022: $24 millionThis could be a likely path for the Tribe whether or not they reach an extension, paying $67.5 million through the end of Lindor’s arbitration years. If they want to purchase any years beyond his age-28 season, they need to pay more up front. Let’s say they allocate $75 million for the arbitration years and then tack on $60 million to get two additional years of control. In this deal, Lindor is earning more than he might have in arbitration, getting an AAV for his age-29 and -30 seasons of $30 million (which seems likely close to what Harper and Machado will get in free agency), and maintaining the ability sign another large contract at 31. It could break down by year, something like2019: $12.5 million2020: $16 million2021: $20.5 million2022: $26 million2023: $30 million2024: $30 millionAt $135 over six years, this deal would be less than Patrick Corbin, a lesser player, scored this offseason, but it would pay Lindor in excess what his arbitration salaries would Matt Holliday Jersey , making this fairer for both sides. has won the World Series while committing more than 20 percent of it’s payroll to one player since 2003. The closest the Indians would come with these projected payrolls is in 2023, when Lindor would make an estimated 19 percent of the payroll.Of course, by making these assumptions about payroll, I run the inherent risk of making an ass of myself, especially because the team is actively seeking payroll help ahead of the 2019 season. But even if the payroll numbers are low, extending Lindor beyond his arbitration years is smart business — if Lindor is willing to go along with it.Smart business is what the Indians are best at, evident in the well below average contracts locking up Carlos Carrasco and Jose Ramirez through 2023. To put those savings toward keeping Lindor in Cleveland long-term would be more of the same, even if the cost is much (much) higher. It is something the Tribe does not have to do to win next season, or in 2020, but it’s the kind of move that would speak volumes about the value of the franchise player, which could certainly pay off with fans.
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