I don’t know about you, but this time of year, especially right now, I start getting very excited about the future. Maybe it’s because of how cold it is (even though it’s unseasonably nice where I live, it’s still pretty darned cold) I start thinking about warmer weather, which naturally makes me think of spring, and spring training.
Believe it or not, spring training is only a month away from starting, which means teams are going to be getting into gear making any last-minute free agent signings and trying to lock down the players they’ll be inviting to attend camp in Arizona and Florida in February.
But the future is looking bright for so many reasons. International free agents are being signed, and though it feels so bizarre to get excited about signing teenagers, some of these kids may be powerhouse superstars one day. Certainly many of them have famous siblings they can ask for advice.
And then, too, we have the World Baseball Classic looming ahead as yet one more thing to look forward to. In a lot of ways it feels like the offseason just began, but spring is coming, and there are exciting things on the way.
Now on to today’s links.
- Jake Mailhot looks at how the new Comerica Park dimensions will help the Tigers’ up-and-coming sluggers.
- Leo Morgenstern tries to explain what went wrong with Bo Bichette last yearJay Jaffe makes a Hall of Fame case for Jered Weaver.
- Will Leitch has some ideas on veteran free agents who deserve another shot.
- Nick Groke and Levi Weaver have some wild and wacky ideas of future changes we might see coming in baseball. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Here are fresh young faces we may see more of in the future:
- Manny Randhawa goes position-by-position to determine which team is the best at each spot on the roster.
- Jesse Sanchez looks at where all the top-ranked international prospects are signing.
- This is also the only time of year we can report 16-year-olds signing bonuses worth almost six million dollars. (ESPN)
- The Athletic staff keep us up to date on all the international signings. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Home runs for a good cause:
Pete Alonso’s Battle for the Bay charity HR Derby was a huge hit. pic.twitter.com/HwM7MG4ZvJ— MLB (@MLB) January 15, 2023
- Carlos Correa speaks to Ken Rosenthal about his wild ride in free agency this offseason. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Nolan Arenado explains why he didn’t exercise his opt-out rights with the Cardinals. Story by John Denton.
- Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann will be stepping down from his role. (AP)
- Evan Drellich looks at the differing views on introducing a pitch clock to the postseason. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Two generations of ballplayers taking hacks:
And tomorrow will be a better day, Buster. Make it so.