2019 Baseball Season

Blue&White
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2019 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:26 am

The 2019 season officially opens today with a game between the Mariners and A's in Japan.

Due to the distance, MLB allowed the teams to carry 27 men on the squad instead of the standard 25. The logic was that if they had an injury or went into extra innings and needed an extra pitcher or two, it wasn't realistic to have a minor leaguer make the trip to Japan in time. I guess they could have just flown people out with them as insurance but MLB went with the slightly expanded roster.

The Mariners used one of their extra spots to give a job to 45 year old Ichiro. This is it for him, though. He gets to play these last games as a major leaguer in front of his home countrymen, and I was watching a little at the gym and the fans there gave him a standing ovation when he came on to the field and then when the Mariners took pulled him later in the game. When the teams fly home and have to cut their rosters back to 25 men Ichiro will be cut form the squad and officially retire. It was great of the Mariners to let him go out this way and let him play one last time in Japan.

Ichiro is, hands down, one of the best players I have ever seen. He is a first ballot Hall of Fame player and comprable to Pete Rose in every way. In fact, given the choice of having either one on my team when they were in their prime, I'd take Ichiro. All the talent and none of the attitude.

Anyway, I'll do my annual predictions that highlight I know absolutely nothing late in the week. I'm sure you are all on pins and needles for that one. :)
Is it football season yet?

Blue&White
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Re: 2019 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:24 am

Image
Is it football season yet?

Blue&White
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Re: 2019 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:52 am

Astros extended Alex Bregman. $100M for 6 years. They basically bought out his 3 arb years (he wasn't eligible until 2020) and his first 2 years he's eligible to be a free agent. He's going to turn 25 end of this month so the Astros bought him out on the cheap until he's 31, and then he should have enough left in the tank to sign another good contract. Or, if he gets hurt, $100M means he is still set for life.

That is a smart move by a smart front office. Kid is literally an MVP player. He is not even in his arb years yet and they buy him out. There is no way the Astros can win a bidding war for him in a few years so they make him a good offer now - below his true value - and he takes it because otherwise he leaves a lot of money on the table for the next 4 years. And, in return the Astros get him cheap for his first 2 years of free agent eligibility. It's watching teams do moves like this one that make it so tough to be a Mets fan. The Wilpons simply do not do these types of things. Very cheap and stubborn owners. And, very frustrating as a fan.
Is it football season yet?

Blue&White
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Re: 2019 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:25 pm

White Sox have signed prospect Eloy Jimenez to a long term deal: 8 years for an estimated $70M plus incentives. So, they are buying out his non-Arb years, his Arb years and his first 2 years as a free agent, basically locking him in until he's 30. Kid has never taken an at bat in the majors and already signed a contract that can be worth up to $80M.

That is a risk by the White Sox but I think it's a shrewed move, although I think the money is a bit high for a completely unproven kid. But, I wish the Mets would do things like this - lock up young players with a lot of upside years before they have a sniff of a free agent contract. You need to be smart about it and you obviously don't want to do it with all your prospects, but if you can pick the ones that show a really high ceiling I think it can work out very well. The player does it because they get paid a lot more than if they wait, but risk giving up big money in the early year. The team does it to hold control and get a bargain when the player would otherwise be a free agent.
Is it football season yet?

psu_dad
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Re: 2019 Baseball Season

Postby psu_dad » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:00 pm

The story around here is that when Mookie Betts first became arbitration eligible after the 2017 season, the Red Sox offered him an 8-year/$200M extension. He turned it down. Barring a Stupid Money offer, he apparently has every intention of going to FA.
Fire Alex Cora

Blue&White
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Re: 2019 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:16 pm

I saw that story, too. I like Betts but, man, that is a serious risk. How do you turn down $200M?
Is it football season yet?

psu_dad
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Re: 2019 Baseball Season

Postby psu_dad » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:35 pm

Your average sane person wouldn't turn it down. That's enough money to keep your family wealthy for generations. But most baseball players don't think like that, particularly elite ones. Their egos won't permit them to accept less than other elite players they consider to be their peers.
Fire Alex Cora

Blue&White
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Re: 2019 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:55 pm

That's certainly true of a free agent player, or at least the majority. But, Betts is not a free agent and the Red Sox contorl him for 3 more years. That means he is going to get paid below his value for the next 3 years. Even if the Sox and Betts come to an agreement on his salary for 2020 and 2021 (I assume they either agreed to something or he went to arbitration for 2019), it's still going to be less than what a free agent Mookie Betts would get. That's just a fact. So, he basically agreed to be underpaid for 3 seasons in the hope that he can make back that money when he's a free agent. That is a gamble. Especially when someone waives $200M at you.

If he stays healthy and hits the free agent market in November of 2021, he should make that money back. But, shit happens. Just ask Matt Harvey. You think Harvey would have taken a buy out of his arb years if it was offered to him? I don't. I think he always had his eye on his 2019 FA year and he looked at guys like Scherzer and Price and thought "I am going to get an even better deal than they got!".

And then he had ended up with a debiliating injury that basically ruined him. And, that was after TJ surgery. He's a shell of what he was, and it is not in any way his fault. Shit happens.

The difference between Harvey and Betts, other than one is a pitcher and one is a hitter, is Harvey is a douchebag and it's tough to feel too sorry for him. But, by all accounts Betts is a stand up human being. So, I hope it works out for him. But, man, that is a lot of money to turn down.
Is it football season yet?

psu_dad
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Re: 2019 Baseball Season

Postby psu_dad » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:20 am

Gamble or not, he's not budging. He's been interviewed about it recently and he apparently has no intention of putting off FA for anything less than FA money. And winning the MVP means he's not going to get totally hosed in arbitration. He's getting 20M for 2019.

Ultimately, I think he's gone. Someone more desperate than the Red Sox will offer him Stupid Money and that will be that.
Fire Alex Cora

Blue&White
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Re: 2019 Baseball Season

Postby Blue&White » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:32 am

Well, given what Trout and Harper got, it's a sure bet he's going to do well. I think he's better than Harper. Maybe not as good as Trout but, when you look at the totality of their games, I think even that is debatable. But, he is absolutely a more complete player than Harper, and he got $330M. So, I think this will pay off for him.

Unless he gets hurt. That's the gamble.
Is it football season yet?