Pitchers and catchers reported to Florida this week, and that only means one thing. Spring training is officially upon us. There is 42 days before the season starts and plenty of players unsigned as well as players who haven’t signed extensions. Here is a list of MLB headlines to pay attention to before the season begins.
Jacob deGrom extension
The 2018 NL Cy Young winner told the New York Mets he will not discuss an extension during the season. That leaves the team 42 days to work on extending their ace.
Last season deGrom went 10-9 with a 1.70 ERA, and 269 strikeouts. The Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen cannot allow for deGrom to start the season without an extension. Wagenen has decided to go all in instead of rebuilding and deGrom is the most crucial part of this team. Losing him in free agency would be a travesty that the Mets would be unable to recover from. Especially as the Philadelphia Phillies just extended their ace, Aaron Nola, yesterday.
Despite having Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler in the rotation, the NL East has become too deep to contend without deGrom.
Bryce Harper and Manny Machado
The two biggest names on the open market have yet to sign a deal. They both are more than likely going to be unsigned by the time position players arrive at spring training in a week. Machado and Harper have become very adamant about signing for over $300 million. This year’s free agency has been painfully slow and it does not appear to be anywhere near to heating up.
Rangers pitcher Shawn Kelley on where Bryce Harper will end up: "No idea. Talked to him the other day and he said it’s actually slower than you guys think it is."
— TR Sullivan (@Sullivan_Ranger) February 13, 2019
If this is the case, it might not be until a few days before the season starts that the two superstars find a home. Both are in no rush and don’t want to sign before the other. The baseball world waits to see where they go but, we may be waiting for a while.
Nolan Arenado extension
Arenado has become the best third baseman in the game and an icon in Colorado. He is due to hit free agency in 2019 and the Rockies need to do everything in their power to extend him before that. It has been reported that the New York Yankees covet Arenado more than Machado and are eyeing his free agency., Colorado does not want to get into a bidding war with the Yankees and needs to sit down with him now.
Arenado just made $26 million from arbitration, the highest arbitration salary in MLB history. The Rockies have already begun to show just how determined they are to have him stay. The Rockies owner stated after arbitration that, “I’m comfortable that we can get a number that we can get to. There are a lot of things that have to go through Nolan’s mind, too. But I’m confident that after we met, Nolan wants this to happen as much as we do.”
Vlad Guerrero Jr’s. Spring Training
The number one prospect in baseball and son of Hall of Famer Vlad Guerrero is set to appear at spring training and show why he’s the future for the Toronto Blue Jays. The 19-year-old was not called up at the end of the 2018 season and now has a chance to put on a show for the fans. Toronto has already announced that they won’t call up Guerrero Jr. until he cannot accrue a full year, which will push back his free agency and arbitration.
Because he won’t appear until May at the earliest, spring training is a chance for baseball fans to see why Guerrero is the best hitting prospect in baseball. Last year in the minors Guerrero Jr. hit .381 with 20 home runs and 78 RBI. Guerrero is the future of baseball and will put on a display in the next few weeks.
Feature Image From Wayne Cavadi
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