Some people will try to tell you that Christmas is the “most wonderful time of the year” but I’m here to correct that. The most wonderful time of the year, without question, is the week spring training starts in February.
This week is that week, and barring any delays or changes to the plan, we will begin to see the first team workouts of 2021 this week. The first photos of our most beloved players reunited, the first videos of players taking swings or throwing pitches. Call me a baseball romantic — you’d be right — but during a long, cold winter there’s nothing in the world better than getting to see the first signs of a baseball season.
With that to look forward to over the coming days, let’s jump right into Monday’s links.
- Kevin Goldstein talks about the excitement (and also the natural worry) of the approaching new season.
- Mike Axisa and the CBS baseball staff discuss whether or not the Yankees are the team to beat in the AL East.
- Taking a similar approach, Matt Martell looks at PECOTA projections and asks if the NL Central is the Cardinals to lose. (We’d like to think they will, indeed, lose.)
- Speaking of those pesky Cards, it will shock you to learn that Yadier Molina has re-signed with the team, writes Jay Jaffe.
- Since we’re already on the topic of the Cardinals (I know, I’m so sorry) Sarah Langs looks at what makes their signings of Paul Goldschimdt and Nolan Arenado so unique.
- On Saturday, Sara and I wrote about the layoffs of MLB’s IGC folks, and Andrew Bucholtz also shared information on the story.
- In the wake of some recent disturbing stores about the treatment of women in baseball, James Wagner writes about how baseball must work to confront and correct the ways it is failing women in the business.
- If you’ve got 23 minutes to spare, Jon Bois has a weird and wonderful video about strange baseball moments you should take some time to watch.
- Cut4 brought us some beautifully restored photos to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Negro Leagues. (There are more in the thread, it’s worth clicking through.)
In honor of the 101st anniversary of the formation of the Negro Leagues, we had some incredible photos from the era colorized. pic.twitter.com/Zkn4Jk4FjJ— Cut4 (@Cut4) February 13, 2021
- Dr. Fauci spoke to James Wagner about the upcoming baseball season, the precautions teams need to take, and whether or not he’d feel safe attending a game.
- Bob Klapisch looks at how Zoom is changing things for those who follow teams like the Yankees, and he doesn’t mean for the better.
- Buster Olney speaks to the shrinking time (and money) for the most recent crop of free agents in such an uncertain offseason market.
- We’ve heard a lot about minor league realignment, but what does it really mean? Now we have a little more clarity on what teams go where and how the levels shake out.
- ESPN also does a good job explaining the new alignment of minor league systems.
- Remember when Matt Harvey was the next big thing in pitching? Now he has a minors deal with the Orioles, writes Wilton Jackson.
- Could Mike Trout ask for a trade? Mike Axisa looks at four players who could potentially seek a move in the future.
- Kiley McDaniel rates all 30 farm systems.
- Awww, sometimes maybe baseball does love you back.
Happy #ValentinesDay! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/05wyiIy9Jr— Daren Willman (@darenw) February 14, 2021
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.