Who else woke up this morning dreaming of the fresh cut grass down in Arizona or Florida? I know I did. Today, February 12, baseball is officially back and I could not be happier. Even though today is only pitchers and catchers, all just feels right with the world. But there is a sense of confusion and it all starts with the owners…
The season ended in October and free agency started right after, so why are three of the biggest free agents still unsigned? Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, and Dallas Keuchel all remain on the market, seeking a team. Harper and Machado are two of the biggest free agents of all time, so what is going on? In short, the owners. Again, I am not a conspiracy guy, but I will connect some dots…
These are two of the best players in the game, both seeking upwards of $300 million. We have had a few Machado offers leak, but they aren’t close to that number. Imagine being one of the best players in the game right now and you receive a 7 year 170 million dollar deal from the White Sox, the bad Chicago team. Then receiving a 7 year 210 million dollar deal from the Yankees. Obviously the Yankees deal is better, but they still aren’t close to what Manny deserves. To me, the owners all got together and decided to lower the market. They do not want to make the 10 year 400 million dollar mistake like the Yankees did with ARoid and Tex.
I also don’t understand why not one single team will take a chance, other than the Nats with Harper. Harper had one bad season, last year. But, plenty of teams need him and should pay him the money. For instance, the Yankees. Harper would be a final piece for New York as they enter the “win now” mode. Harper, along with Stanton and Judge, would provide a huge spark to this Yankees offense and it would allow them to also engage the market in trades. If they sign Harper, they can move Ellsbury, Frazier, and Andujar. This would be the assets they need to acquire a star pitcher (hint hint Kluber or MadBum).
So, to close, baseball is back but it feels empty right now. For baseball to fully be back, I need Harper and Machado on a team. That has to happen within the next two weeks, or baseball may have its first Le’Veon Bell situation.
Some maintenance things… starting on Sunday, I will preview each division in baseball every Sunday until the season starts. On the last Sunday, I will give my predictions for the year. On Opening Day, March 28th in Cincinnati, I may or may not be attending but I will have a blog on why Cincinnati is the only Opening Day that matters. So, be ready baseball fans. The season is near.