If you’re experiencing some Cubs/baseball non-playing-story fatigue right now, know that it’s mutual. We just went through an offseason of more player-league angst, free agent concerns, budgetary limitations, and ugly stories surrounding Addison Russell, the TV Deal, and Joe Ricketts, among other unsavory things.
And of course, that was preceded by a painful ending to the 2018 season, which saw not one, but two teams celebrate in front of the Cubs at Wrigley Field – a season in which the Cubs’ best young player, Kris Bryant, and latest big-time free agent signing, Yu Darvish, were injured. And of course all of that came after another offseason that was, at a league-wide level, similar to this one.
I’m just happy Spring Training is here, because actual baseball is an overdue distraction. Here’s some news from around the league.
- Jon Heyman is still out there sharing Bryce Harper rumors (his favorite hobby), most recently intimating that short-term interest is just not going to cut it: “Harper is only considering long-term deals. 1 interested GM said Team Bryce made clear that teams had to profess they’d go long to even get a meeting.” Maybe that’s what happened when the Cubs reportedly checked in.
- Heyman later added that there’s been some increased action out in California, including from the Padres (I’d LOVE it, but I just can’t see it, to be honest), Dodgers, and Giants. Or maybe this is all a big smokescreen to get the Phillies to put their offer over the top:
So, the Phillies should definitely increase their bid to seal the deal, and they are totally not being played into bidding against themselves. https://t.co/3VwGTojg4r
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) February 26, 2019
- Yeah, I think it’s probably that one.
- About a week ago, we noted that Carlos Martinez (shoulder) was shut down and could miss the start of the season with an injury, and that situation hasn’t improved with time. According to Mark Saxon, Martinez was seen walking around with his arm in a sling, which is reportedly because of a PRP injection he received last night. According to Derrick Goold, he’ll be unable to throw at all for at least two more weeks:
Carlos Martinez was not at #Cardinals camp Monday as he sought a second opinion on his shoulder issues. Results to be clearly Tuesday, but team has already prepared for possibility he’ll contribute as a reliever or his throwing program will be delayed. https://t.co/xiWXfkt7xu
— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) February 26, 2019
- In genre-related news, Clayton Kershaw apparently “didn’t feel great” after playing catch yesterday, which comes after his shoulder “just didn’t feel right” a couple days before. Both Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie are out with injuries, too, and could even miss Opening Day. Spring Training injuries, man, they really suck.
- And one more on shoulders, while we’re at it:
Jimmy Nelson on his comeback from shoulder surgery: "I honestly believe I’m going to be better than I was in ’17. The goal was never to get back to ’17. It was always to be much better."
— Tom (@Haudricourt) February 26, 2019
- Never knock a guy for optimism, especially after such a long road back.
- According to both city and team officials, the Los Angeles Angels have been contacted by Long Beach to move the team away from their home in Anaheim. And although these talks are in the *extremely* preliminary stage, it’s worth noting that the Angels’ presence in Anaheim currently exists only on a one-year lease extension with the city. In other words, a move is not out of the question.
- The Athletic retells the story of Leonys Martin’s near-brush with death and return to the big leagues: “I was fighting for my life,” Martín said. “When you get into a situation like that, it teaches you to enjoy every single moment of your life.” It’s worth your time, and the former Cub is going to be worth your cheers this season.
- Yasiel Puig is an absolute enigma to me – as a player, as a person, as whatever. I can see, now, why people both love and hate him, even as he *has* performed well most recently. Take his recent comments, for example: “I never worked hard,” Puig said about his time in L.A. and transition to Cincinnati after an offseason trade. “Maybe that’s the reason why I didn’t have my better years. The last couple years, I didn’t work hard because I still have a contract to go. Now I think I’ll work hard more than any year in my life.”
- I love ya Puig, but … are you saying you’re going to work hard now that it’s a contract year? That, uh, probably won’t help you next offseason when you’re a free agent, my dude.
- Padres GM AJ Preller reportedly delivered some kind of stirring address to his team about their talent and motivation and expectations for 2019 that really stuck with everyone in attendance. “We really haven’t heard him talk like that,” pitcher Eric Lauer said. “It showed his passion he’s put into it for so long is really starting to come out and he can’t hold it in anymore and he has to get it out and push it on us. It’s like he’s telling us, ‘We’ve got trust in you take the reins from us. Run with it and be winners.'” Psh … was it even a rain delay?
- Okay, LOL:
- And lastly, this is an oldie, but a goodie … because who the heck knows what a balk really is anyway:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) February 26, 2019