It is finally here. The next season of Major Baseball is only two days away. As with previous seasons, fans and experts can’t wait to see their favorite teams/players hit the diamond. As for the teams, this is where all the preparations and off-season moves will face the long, 162-game test.
From acquisitions to extensions, to anticipated rookie debuts, these are just a few of many reasons why few can patiently wait for the 2019 MLB Season to begin.
2019 MLB Season: Big Money = Big Production??
This past offseason has seen gigantic amounts of money thrown down to bring in or keep big names. But can this equate to equally large production? This will be called this the “JD Martinez Effect”. Why JD? Well, Martinez signed a six-year, $126 million contract with the Boston Red Sox last season, and almost won the AL batting Triple Crown. Not to mention Boston won the World Series. Can lightning strike for these names as well?
Angels fans have a lot to cheer for since their star player is staying an Angel for life. Trout and Los Angeles agreed to a 12-year, $430M extension: the largest signing in North American sports. But pressure piles on both parties to produce. Mike Trout is already seen to go down as one of the best players in MLB history. But all that money would be for nothing if injuries come about. As for the Halos organization, the time is now to win a World Series. For a while, Trout’s efforts have been in vain due to the lack of playoff success.
The league’s best third-baseman will not be leaving Colorado for a while. The Rockies and Nolan agreed to an eight-year, $260M extension. With Colorado’s steadily rising success, it seems that the deal came at the right time. Not to mention more players are stepping up, so Arenado will have less of a load to carry. With the Rockies’ upward climb, Arenado can cement his stardom, while Colorado seeks their very first NL West Division pennant.
Alex Bregman had a breakout season in 2018, with 31 home runs and 103 RBI. The Houston Astros did not let this go unnoticed, signing him to a five-year extension worth $100 million. As Houston looks to continue their dominance over the AL West, Bregman will look to continue what he started last season. If he can replicate, or even exceed his numbers, Bregman could be an Astros legend for years to come.
Bryce Harper & Manny Machado
Not so long ago, both Harper and Machado were the most talked about free-agents this year. Now, each has signed long term contracts with new teams for the 2019 campaign, both 10 plus years and $300 million plus a piece.
As for Bryce Harper, he will most likely see success earlier than Machado, due to Philadelphia’s busy offseason. Hopefully, both the Phillies and Harper can capitalize and get back into playoff contention. The key here is how the chemistry between Harper and his new cohorts can propel Philadelphia upwards.
Meanwhile, Manny Machado is facing a steeper climb in his new San Diego home. The two-way All-Star will need to learn patience, since playoff appearances won’t come easy for the Padres. But San Diego does have a great farm system that could bring the team into potential playoff contention about in the future.
2019 MLB Season: Rookie Watch
The San Francisco Giants are liking what they see out of their rookie catcher, Joey Bart. In his first spring Training run, Bart has a .350 batting average, along with seven RBI. He and Buster Posey can be a one-two punch from not only the catcher position, but also in the batter’s box.
Meanwhile, White Sox fans are waiting to see what Eloy Jimenez brings to the table. In his Spring Training run, he has two home runs and five RBI. Though some experts see Jimenez making Chicago’s 40-man roster, the 22-year old needs to continue to prove that he deserves a spot at this age.
Featured image courtesy of ESPN.com
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