And just like that, Major League Baseball is back on schedule for April 7.

For the minor leagues, not very much has changed. We do get to see the minor league players that are on the 40-man finally get to Arizona and begin playing. Today we should see Ethan Roberts, Nelson Velasquez, Brailyn Marquez, Alexander Canario, Anderson Espinoza, and Alexander Vizcaino along with a few more guys finally begin their spring training.

For those of us that follow the minor leagues, there was one surprise that happened yesterday. That was the return of Arizona Phil at The Cub Reporter after a three month absence. For the first time since the middle of December, Phil got back to work. He is now going to be detailing what’s going on in Mesa in spring including the all important info on who is playing on which affiliate. I was very happy to see Phil return and hopefully he’ll be writing more in the coming days. Between Phil, Jon Antonoff, and Rich Biesterfeld, we should get plenty of details, video, and pictures of our spring training happenings.

I would not be surprised to see a trade happen in the next couple weeks before the season begins. Whether it’s going to be a major trade or not, I don’t know. The Cubs could be on either the receiving end of getting more prospects or the giving of prospects to either get MLB talent or to trade it.

One thing that still has to be finalized yet in the deal  is whether there is going to be an international draft. The two sides have until the middle of summer to figure that out. More than likely, if there is going to be an international draft. However, it likely will not be until 2024. 

In addition, no date for this year’s draft has been set. Last year, it took place in late July, just before the trade deadline. Many teams were not happy with that date, so look for it to take place a little earlier, but not too early. Maybe a late June/early July date would be good.

Update: the 2022 MLB Draft will be July 17-19, coinciding with the AllStar break.

In the meantime, I’ll be back Sunday with The Weekly and tomorrow I’ll actually be writing a piece on what the heck has gone wrong with college pitching this spring.

Lead picture of Alexander Canario by Todd Johnson