In order to avoid a giant, smelly present somewhere in my house this morning, I had to brave the cold and take my dog, Henry, out to do his business. Fortunately, I tossed on some pretty serious hunting gear and it wasn’t *too* bad.
Preparing to go outside, though, felt like something between a space walk and that scene from ‘A Christmas Story.’
Here’s some news from around the league …
- The Reds may yet add J.T. Realmuto to their lineup before Opening Day, but they’ve already added a couple players (Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp) to a potentially solid offensive core: Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett, and Eugenio Suarez (each of whom finished 2018 with a wRC+ above 125). Their bullpen, meanwhile, may have lost Dylan Floro, but it remains anchored by closer Raisel Iglesias and set-up men Jared Hughes (1.94 ERA in 2018), David Hernandez (2.53 ERA), and Michael Lorenzen (3.21 ERA), among others. Perhaps the story, then, is that they’ll go only as far as their rotation can take them.
- That said, the Reds haven’t been shy in adding to the rotation this winter, either. Even if none of Sonny Gray, Tanner Roark, or Alex Wood offer the same upside of Corey Kluber or other previously rumored trade targets, it’s still an impressive group with upside. Indeed, with those three on the roster, plus Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, Tyler Mahle and a handful of other familiar names, they might be able to surprise this summer. And if the voting at MLB Trade Rumors is any indication, most baseball fans believe that group has a chance of being good enough to keep the Reds in contention all season long. What do you think about those arms?
- No biggy, the Giants just need AN ENTIRE OUTFIELD on January 30:
The Giants have need for 2-3 outfielders, and continue to monitor market prices on veterans. They don’t have a lot of financial flexibility if they intend to avoid CBT tax.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 29, 2019
- May I offer you one expensive, but multi-Gold-Glove winning right fielder?
- Michael Kopech has been the White Sox pitching prospect to watch for a while now, but seeing as he’s expected to spend most of this upcoming season recovering from Tommy John surgery, attention has shifted to … former Cub Dylan Cease. Cease, 23, managed to make 10 excellent starts at Double-A last season (1.72 ERA, 2.39 FIP) and White Sox Director of Player Development Chris Getz said he’s ticketed for Triple-A to start the year, so it might not be too long before we see him in the big leagues. “At the end of the day, I’m trying to make it up as quick as I can, just like everyone else,” Cease said. “But I’m controlling what I can control. I’m trying to execute pitches, and I’m leaving it at that. And whatever happens happens.”
- Speaking of top pitching prospects, the Cardinals’ Alex Reyes is working hard to come back for the second time in his extremely young career (elbow and shoulder injuries/surgeries ended each of his last two seasons). But if he can make it back, unfortunately for other NL Central contenders, the sky really is the limit: “There’s reason for hope. When you boil it down, he just hasn’t been healthy for two years,” Cardinals President John Mozeliak said. “The reason we’re still so excited is, when he’s healthy, he has an electric arm.” Even though he’s been limited over the last two years, I think most Cubs fans remember what he looks like when he’s on. When healthy, Reyes really could be one of the more dominant arms in baseball. We’ll see which version we get this summer, though.
- Good news: Clint Frazier has been cleared to return to the Yankees after a chronic concussion sidelined him throughout 2018. Scary news: Frazier explains that the concussion left him with black holes in his memory and it’s not entirely clear if everything will be okay, forever: “I felt like I wasn’t physically there, like something I couldn’t get out of. I was scared,” he said, via the New York Post. “There were times I’d be driving, like I was on auto-pilot or something. I’d look around and think, ‘How did I get here?'” Concussions are very scary, man. I wish Frazier the best.
- Reliever Jenrry Mejia has been allowed back into baseball, despite a lifetime ban for three positive drug tests, and has signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox. The deal gave free agent reliever Peter Moylan the perfect set-up:
— Peter Moylan (@PeterMoylan) January 30, 2019
- Another reliever, Shawn Kelley, has signed with the Rangers for $2.5M with another $0.5M in incentives plus a $2.5M club option in 2020. Given that the Cubs have added Brad Brach (plus, to a lesser extent, George Kontos and Junichi Tazawa), I’m not as desperate for another addition as I once was, but it would be nice to get one more established arm. I was really holding out hope for Greg Holland, given the way he finished out 2018, but he signed with the Diamondbacks earlier today.
- Neil Walker has signed a $2M deal with the Miami Marlins, their infield options now include Walker, Starlin Castro, JT Riddle, Martin Prado, Peter O’Brien, Miguel Rohas, and Brian Anderson. It’s not going to happen, but I would be so happy to see the Cubs trade for Starlin Castro and stuff him at second base with Javy Baez at short. But right now, it seems as though Addison Russell is going to be a part of the Cubs future.
- This is just, LOL:
“What’s that…you can’t pitch left handed if we’re in a pinch? You’re just not what our analytics team is looking for. Sorry, but it’s gonna be a no for us, Marv.” https://t.co/rt8N1BTBzi
— Collin McHugh (@Collin_McHugh) January 29, 2019
- I’ve sat through some cold games at Wrigley Field, but I don’t think I’d have braved it through something like this:
In honor of the #PolarVortex….
— Cut4 (@Cut4) January 30, 2019
- I have done this ax throwing thing before – holy crap is it fun – but I don’t have the arm of Yasiel Puig:
BREAKING: @YasielPuig reveals secret workout routine.
1) Throw axe. ⛏
2) Dance about it. 🕺🏼 pic.twitter.com/rHcDJaRALS
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) January 30, 2019
- BaSeBAlL pLaYeRS ArEn’T AtHlETEs:
We’re still speechless watching these plays. 😳 pic.twitter.com/hk1GAEDCsE
— MLB (@MLB) January 29, 2019
- And finally:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) January 30, 2019