In Major League Baseball’s offseasons, patience is often rewarded with both free agents as well as general managers.
This one is not likely.
As you would expect, free agents are leaving the market and trades are moving at a rapid pace after MLB’s 99-day lockout which froze the league’s transactions for over three months.
The action was intense with less than four weeks before opening day.
Oakland’s trade of All-Star first baseman Matt Olson from the Braves to Atlanta for four players included promising young outfielder Cristian Pache was Monday’s biggest news. This deal means that Freddie Freeman, the Braves’ star first baseman, is likely to move on in free agency.
Many other teams have been getting in on the action these past days as they prepare for the opening day of the tournament on April 7.
Andrew Friedman, Dodgers president and CEO of baseball operations, said that it was like drinking from a firehose.
After two consecutive last-place finishes and a huge sell-off at the trade deadline last season, the Nationals came out of lockout with a flurry, adding reliever Steve Cishek, DH Nelson Cruz and other players.
The Twins traded pitcher Sonny Gray to the Mets, while the Mets traded for All-Star right-hander Chris Bassitt. The Yankees traded third baseman Josh Donaldson to the Yankees. The Giants signed Carlos Rodon and Jakob Junis, and the White Sox added Joe Kelly to their bullpen.
These are only the highlights.
In an offseason, the development of trade markets and free agency is often slow. There are often unfounded rumors, long negotiations and lengthy negotiations between players and teams as they try different strategies and test out the market.
This is not the case nowadays. For a week or so, don’t expect things to slow down.
Mike Rizzo, Nationals General Manager, stated that “with all the agents and other team members, I think there is a lot more directness to try to get a contract done sooner rather than later.” “There are not many people on the market. We are able to exchange ideas and offers much sooner than in an ordinary offseason.”
TATIS OUT FOR UP TO 3 MOTHS
For a significant amount of time, the San Diego Padres may be without their star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.
General manager A.J. Preller said that the 23-year old will need surgery to repair a fractured left wrist. He could be out of work for up to three months. Preller said. Preller said that the shortstop had apparently suffered the injury in the offseason, and it was felt when he started preparing for spring training.
In December, reports surfaced that Tatis had suffered injuries to his knee and hand in a motorcycle accident in Dominican Republic. Tatis claimed that he felt some pain in his wrist soon afterward but believed it was due to bruises.
“It’s bad. It’s terrible. Tatis stated that everyone feels disappointed, particularly me. As a team, we have a good chance. I want to be there for my teammates as well as the fans.”
This is a difficult development for a team that was perhaps the most disappointing in baseball last year. They had legitimate World Series hopes when they started the year, but fell apart in the last few months and finished 79-83.
Tatis sustained a series injuries to his left shoulder in 2013, but still led the NL in home runs with 42.
ALONSO’S CLOSE CALLE
Pete Alonso, Mets slugger, said that he was not injured in the accident in Tampa, Florida over the weekend.
The 27-year old said that his car had flipped three times. A man ran a red light and T-boned him. He was so thankful that he was alive. “I am so thankful to be healthy. “I’m so thankful to be here.”
After hitting 53 homers, Alonso was named the NL Rookie Of The Year for 2019. In the shorter 2020 season, he hit 16 homers and had 37 longballs.
DEGROM WILL OPT OUT
Jacob deGrom, Mets’ ace, stated that he will exercise his right of opting out of his contract in an effort to diffuse any drama.
Two-time NL Cy Young champion would be willing to give up a salary of $33.5 million for 2023 as part of a deal that includes a club option worth $32.5 million for 2024. The Mets’ 33-year old right-hander is keen to stay.
DeGrom stated, “I’m excited for this team, and it’s something I’ve already said before, I love being part of the Mets, and it would be really cool if I could be one for my whole career,” “But we plan to use that option and remain in constant contact with the Mets, Steve Cohen and the front offices in the offseason.”
DeGrom’s 2021 season was one of the best in baseball, provided he was healthy. Over 15 starts, he was 7-2 and had a 1.08 ERA. He also struck out 146 batters in 92 innings.