I’ve been saving everything clever that I could put up here for BCB After Dark, so you’re just going to have to live with some meaningless filler up here.
- The Cardinals signed their legendary former player Albert Pujols to a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
- Pujols immediately announced that 2022 will be his final season as he joined Cardinals camp. So the Cardinals make their final appearance at Wrigley this year from August 22 to 25. I’d imagine there’s going to be some sort of ceremony. Maybe the Cubs will present him with all the bleacher seats he destroyed over the course of his career.
- This one kind of blew my mind that I never noticed it before. Jayson Stark reports that MLB is going to move the position of second base in the minor leagues this year. (The Athletic sub. req., but here’s a summary story that’s not behind a paywall.) Stark explains what the move is and why there are doing it (increase stolen bases and more close plays at second) but what’s mind-blowing is that second base has been in the wrong place for over a hundred years and almost no one noticed. “Wrong place” is subjective, since MLB can put second base wherever they want, but it hasn’t been 90 feet from first or third in a very, very long time.
- The Diamondbacks and second baseman/outfielder Ketel Marte have agreed to a five-year, $76 million extension.
- Ben Clemens evaluates Marte’s extension and declares it a fair deal for both sides.
- In a sign that some things didn’t change after the new collective bargaining agreement, the Pirates sent shortstop and top prospect Oneil Cruz down the minors to “work on stuff.” That’s not an exact quote, but pretty close.
- The Twins have signed right-handed pitcher Chris Archer to a one-year, $3.5 contract, although the deal has incentives that could raise the total to $9.5 million.
- The Dodgers traded first baseman Matt Beaty to the Padres for minor league pitcher River Ryan.
- That will probably come as a disappointment to one Dodgers fan who just got a tattoo of Beaty’s signature earlier in Spring Training.
- The Phillies traded outfielder Adam Haseley to the White Sox for minor league pitcher McKinley Moore.
- Jim Salisbury explains what Haseley’s departure means for other Phillies outfielders trying to make the team.
- Mariners prospect right-handed pitcher Connor Phillips was sent to the Reds as the player-to-be-named-later in the deal that sent Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez to Seattle.
- In a sign of an MLB team doing something really good, the Dodgers re-signed outfielder Andrew Toles. Toles has not played since 2018 as he is battling serious mental health issues. This move by the Dodgers will allow Toles to continue to receive health insurance and other access to mental health services.
- Astros manager Dusty Baker is experimenting with where to bat José Altuve in the lineup. Baker says Altuve is willing to bat leadoff, but he’s not comfortable there.
- Zach Crizer has a summary of what the various statistical models predict for the final standings of the 2022 season.
- David Schoenfield has a grade for the offseason of all 30 teams. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- R.J. Anderson has five “under-the-radar” free agent signings that could end up being great deals for their teams.
- Anthony Castrovince ranks the ten best bullpens for 2022.
- Mike Axisa has some career milestones that seven players will be chasing in 2022.
- C. Trent Rosecrans has a look at Joey Votto’s new bat with a “hockey-puck” knob. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Tom Verducci reports that MLB is going to crack down harder on checking pitchers for sticky stuff. The feeling is (and the data indicates) that pitchers got better at hiding sticky stuff as the season went on last year.
- Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer has sued The Athletic and sportswriter Molly Knight for defamation.
Does Bauer realize that for all these lawsuits he files he’ll have to sit for depositions? Because it’s a curious choice for someone in his position to do that.— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) March 29, 2022
- Bradford Doolittle makes (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) excuses for why each MLB team failed to make a necessary move this winter. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- The city of North Little Rock and the Double-A Arkansas Travelers are in disagreement as to who should pay for the upgrades to the park that are mandated by MLB in the last Professional Development Contract. If the improvements aren’t made, the team says they may have to move. Sounds pretty familiar.
- Former manager Ozzie Guillen is no fan of robot umps.
- New Mariner Jesse Winker tried to do play-by-play in Spring Training but quit rather than call a Mariners pitcher give up a home run.
- The Nationals unveiled their City Connect uniforms. They’re cherry blossom-themed. What do you think?
- And finally, former Mets and Giants outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo, also known as “BIGBOSS,” was presented as the new manager of the Nippon Ham Fighters and it has to be seen to be believed.
Japan's Tsuyoshi "Big Boss" Shinjo just entered the game on a hover craft for his managerial debut with the Nippon-Ham Fighters pic.twitter.com/3xCWFb2dZR— Farm To Fame (@FarmToFame_) March 29, 2022
We were promised jetpacks, Buster.