Happy Wednesday one and all, I hope this shortened week is treating everyone well and you’re getting excited about the start of spring training games just around the corner.
As we wait for baseball to kick into gear we’re already seeing discussion of next year’s free agency (Manny Machado’s announcement that he will elect to opt out of his contract is obviously the most buzzy news of the pre-season, and I’m sure many teams are already checking their couches for spare change).
We’re seeing a lot of prospect coverage if that’s your jam, but mostly the stories are all about getting pumped for the season around the corner, wondering where superstar players (like Aaron Judge) might find themselves in the field, and trying our best to make predictions of just how well or poorly our favorite teams are going to do.
So without too much preamble, let’s jump into today’s links.
- Leo Morgenstern looks at a season of stealing home.
- Anthony DiComo wonders if the moved fences at Citi Field will be just what it takes to get Pete Alonso to 60 home runs.
- Did the Brewers mess up a good thing in arbitration? Jay Jaffe walks us through the situation with Corbin Burnes.
- We’ve seen teammate siblings before, but the Giants have united actual twins in their bullpen. What a missed opportunity for Minnesota. Story by Andrew Baggarly. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Terry Francona is well known for his annual rousing speech to his club, but this year Mandy Bell looks at the things that almost got in the way.
- Former Mets coach Phil Regan is suing the team for age discrimination. (ESPN)
- Just when I thought I’d seen every theme night possible.
The Captains have some fun promotions scheduled this season but Dick Night has gotta be my favorite. pic.twitter.com/Q7R4RNuxvP— Stephanie Metzger-Lawrence (@7thInningSteph) February 21, 2023
- Dan Szymborski tries to determine what the Pirates might do with their best player.
- Manny Machado is planning to opt out of his contract at the end of the season, but AJ Cassavell notes that the Padres don’t plan to let him go without a good effort.
- Thomas Harrigan has some outlier teams who might just surprise us in 2023.
- Jayson Stark determines which exiting free agents may just be truly irreplaceable for their teams. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Paul Lukas explains why the new Reds uniform ad is the worst one yet.
- Well this is just adorable.
“Why doesn’t baseball market it’s stars better?”— Aram Leighton (@AramLeighton8) February 21, 2023
LOOK AT THESE ANSWERS pic.twitter.com/OHrsnKzfx4
- Tom Verducci is as pumped about Jared Kelenic’s upcoming season as Mariners’ fans are.
- Aaron Judge doesn’t mind playing left field if that’s where the Yankees think he should go. Story by Marly Rivera.
- Emma Baccellieri takes a look at a new hand signal umpires will have to begin using this season.
- Tim Britton looks at the insane payroll of the Mets and what it might mean for baseball going forward. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- This might just be the first time Nick Castellanos has embraced the famous meme he launched into left field.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.