After Brett wrote up the most recent MLBits, we heard your complaints. “He’s so boring.” “Michael’s way cooler.” “Please bring back Cerambam.” “I didn’t even know there was more than one writer here.” Well, fear not, I have returned and will restore balance to the bits and there’s nothing Brett can do about it (muahahaha) – except, you know, edit all of this out. [*Brett inserts this edit, cracks knuckles*]
Let’s check in on some news from around the league…
- According to MLBTR, the Kansas City Royals have committed $178.5 million in future payroll dollars this offseason. With two new $70 million contracts on the books, that leaves the 2016 team with a payroll upwards of a $130 million. For any team in baseball, that’s a healthy sum. For the Royals, it’s enormous. So how can they afford to support such a large payroll? Well, in short, according to them, at least, they can’t. Not without a deep playoff run, they say. There are, of course, many factors to support their increased spending, recent success notwithstanding, but it would seem that they tentatively need to be good in 2016 to healthily support their commitments. That’s not necessarily a good place to be.
- Matt Garza, who is due $12.5 million each of the next two seasons, is promising a strong return to the Brewers in 2016 after being removed from the starting rotation and returning home to California late last season. At 32 years old, Garza plans (and, apparently, wants) to stick around through the Brewers rebuild (he admits wanting out of the Cubs rebuild), to be there on the other end when the fruits are being enjoyed.
- Oddly, Garza plans on “pitching selfishly” in 2016, or, in other words, doing what’s best for him, overall. It’s a bit unclear what he means by that, even after he clarifies his statement, but I think it’s fair to assume he means well. Essentially, Garza’s comments boil down to the plan of coming back healthy, in full strength and for a long time, beginning in April 2016. Of course, if he does pitch well, he might find himself traded out of the rebuilding situation anyway.
- Also from the Brewers, Ryan Braun remains hopeful about playing on Opening Day. If you recall, the Brewers outfielder underwent surgery in the week after the 2015 season to relieve a bulging disk in his lower back. Although he was cleared for rotational exercises two weeks ago, he didn’t start swinging a bat until last week, and his firmly off schedule. Braun does not expect to be ready by Spring Training, but is confident he’ll be on the field by Opening Day. The Brewers open the season up against the Giants on April 4.
- If you missed it, the Binghamton Mets (NY Mets AA affiliate) tweeted: “On a cold night in Binghamton, is there anything better to do than #NetflixAndChill with your #BMets? No way!” The tweet has since been deleted, but holy crap is that hilarious. I honestly don’t know if it was on purpose, as a joke, or on accident, by someone who was unaware, but that is equal parts funny and so weird.
- And, just take a step back for a moment, and consider how unbelievably “2016” this story is. A minor league baseball team used a social media site to reference an online streaming provider in an innuendo used by millennials implying the desire to have sex. Just, what?
- The Yankees announced that they’ve claimed (former Cub) infielder Ronald Torreyes off waivers from the Angels, after designating outfielder Lane Adams for assignment to make space. This comes, of course, just a few weeks after they designated Ronald Torreyes for assignment, in order to make room for Lane Adams. It’s a curious/interesting set of moves, but there really isn’t too much here, once you dig into it. The Yankees are just doing what they can to keep both players, playing the DFA system to the best of their advantage. (Adams, for what it’s worth, is an interesting player and seems like someone the Cubs could try to pick up).
- Also, from the Yankees, first base prospect Greg Bird is having shoulder surgery and is going to miss the year. Bird, 23, was drafted in the fifth round of the 2011 draft and just reached the majors with the Yankees for the first time in 2015. In his 178 plate appearances, though, he made a big impact, slashing .261/.343/.529 with 11 home runs and a 10.7% walk rate.
- Exactly eight decades ago today, the very first Hall of Fame class was announced.
- If you missed it earlier, a discussion on tanking in baseball.
- Lastly, would you ever date a Cardinals fan? How about a White Sox fan? Of course not! But the problem is, it’s too hard to figure these important things out on a first date … until now! Match.com has teamed up with MLB to help people make better choices about their future significant other (er… sorta). Now, you can identify your favorite team and have that affiliation contribute to your search for the perfect mate. Have fun with that!