There is only ONE MORE Spring Training game before the start of the regular season. We are almost there.
Here’s some news from around the league …
- Although the free agent deals for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, along with the long list of star-player extensions has squashed some of the bad vibes league-wide, it’s important to remember a very simple, very unusual fact:
Two days from opening day, and Dallas Kuechel and Craig Kimbrel don’t have teams. That’s nuts. https://t.co/wp0TLmTD3V
— Jared Wyllys (@jwyllys) March 26, 2019
- Craig Kimbrel Dallas Keuchel are both tied to draft pick compensation – and could wait to sign until June to rid themselves of that complication – but I just can’t see that being the reason they’re not signed right now. Somebody is going to get them … right? Remember, Greg Holland signed with the Cardinals the night before the regular season last year. (Of course, that sure didn’t work out well for Holland and the Cardinals.)
- I still think the Cubs would be wise to stretch any dollar they could to get Kimbrel – if he’s willing to take a short-term/pillow contract – even if Pedro Strop is healthy and rocking. It’s probably just not going to happen, but it would make me feel so much better about this team, and would also keep him away from the Brewers. And, of course, it’s important to preserve some flexibility to address the needs of the team mid-season, but considering how often the Cubs use that flexibility to add a reliever … well, it’s not crazy to say just do it now. Doing it now might cost more dollars, but it costs less in prospects *and* you get a full season of production, versus half-a-year.
- The Mets are a lightening rod of unusual, combative situations with players. The latest? A standoff between the team and catcher Devin Mesoraco, a non-roster invitee who appears to have been promised a path to the Majors if Travis d’Arnaud proved unready for Opening Day, which he is. Instead of giving Mesoraco the big league job, however, the Mets assigned him to Triple-A, where he does not intend to report.
- And now, because of that, the Mets are putting him on the restricted list, so as not to “set a precedent.”
Mets are putting Devin Mesoraco on the restricted list. He declined to go to minors. Mets must feel like if they released him, as he’d prefer, there’s some chance he could catch on elsewhere. They say they don’t want to set precedent. @AnthonyDiComo and others are on top of this.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 25, 2019
- From the sound of it, though, Mesoraco is threatening to retire and this is all just a big mess, like everything the Mets touch. They should probably just release him – especially if they’re really close to a deal for backup catcher (and former Cub) Rene Rivera – and let him sign elsewhere.
- Remember that video of Giants President and CEO Larry Baer in a physical altercation with his wife? He was just suspended a long time for it:
MLB announces Giants President and CEO Larry Baer has been suspended without pay through July 1. He will have no involvement of operation of the club and an interim control person will be appointed. Full release: pic.twitter.com/Adij1RnU5J
— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) March 26, 2019
- Chris Paddack is the San Diego Padres’ 5th best prospect, which makes him the 34th best prospect in baseball, overall according to MLB Pipeline. And yesterday, he made his last Spring Training start of the year. But this start was an unusual one. After getting 49 pitches into a 75-pitch planned outing, Manager Andy Green came out to the mound to take Paddack out of the game. As the infield converged on the mound, Green asked first baseman Eric Hosmer if he had any plans on Sunday. Hosmer responded “Playing behind this guy.” Paddack found out he made the team and would be starting for the Padres this weekend like that – on the field, with his teammates, as a surprise. THAT.IS.SO.COOL.
- Here’s the moment:
— Cut4 (@Cut4) March 26, 2019
- MLB.com took their best guess at predicting the 2019 AL and NL MVP, Cy Young, Rookie, and Manager of the Year awards and did a mostly good job. I think there’s no reason to doubt that Mike Trout is the MVP front runner in the American League and it’s hard to argue that Nolan Arenado isn’t one of the premier candidates in the NL. But I think it’s going to look pretty silly to have Kris Bryant out of the conversation – almost entirely – and so far down the list. If he’s healthy, he is going to be in the mix. I did think including Kyle Hendricks in the “also receiving votes” for NL Cy Young was a nice touch, though. Ditto Joe Maddon with Manger of the Year.
- Ryan Braun … eye roll:
The #Brewers will be without Ryan Braun for the two games in Montreal against the Blue Jays. Sounds like he thought he had his passport with him but turns out he didn't. So, couldn't come to Canada.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) March 25, 2019
- I have always loved the guys behind “Cespedes Family BBQ” and now, we’ll get even more of them. This year, Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman will host an MLB highlight show for the streaming service DAZN, which recently agreed to a rights deal with MLB.
- Another way to look at the many extensions by division:
Recent contract extensions by division:
HOU: Bregman, Verlander
CHW Sox: Jimenez
MNT: Kepler, Polanco
Red Sox: Sale
StL: Goldschmidt, Mikolas
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) March 26, 2019
- I couldn’t fit any more extensions into that post, but it’s worth pointing out that it’s missing at least Aaron Hicks and his seven-year, $70M deal. Who else (notable) got one this winter? It’s tough to keep up.
- Reds top prospect Nick Senzel (#6 overall in MLB) left yesterday’s Minor League game with a right ankle sprain. He’ll be in a boot for 1-2 weeks, but will certainly need some time to heal and get back up to game speed after that. And speaking as someone who’s sprained both of their ankles … those injuries come back, man. You might think the Reds are bummed about this – I’m sure they are – but they did just get a great excuse to hold him down until they’ve secured an extra year of cost control, even after the injury to Scooter Gennett. Senzel, 23, slashed .310/.378/.509 in his first trip to Triple-A last season.