A lot happened today so let’s skip past the introductory paragraph and get to the happenings.
IT IS JUST A GAME
Kenley Jansen had heart surgery today. I dislike the LA Dodgers and I jeer Jansen when he comes onto the mound to pitch against my team. This a reminder that baseball is just a game. Best wishes go out to Mr. Jansen for a speedy recovery and many more seasons of being jeered.
ATLANTA BRAVES PUT NL EAST ON NOTICE
The day started with news that Atlanta native Brian McCann is going back to where his career started with the Braves, but that was not the Braves big news.
Josh Donaldson was also signed by the Braves to 1-year deal worth a surprising $23M. Nolan Arenado is in his last year of arbitration and is expected to break Donaldson’s arbitration record total with MLB Trade Rumors projecting $26.1M. Makes you wonder what “The Bringer of Rain” would have signed for if he was healthy. Also makes you wonder what the Braves will do with incumbent third baseman Johan Camargo (114 starts at 3rd last season). Is Donaldson’s former Toronto Blue Jays boss Alex Anthopolous making a decision with his heart instead of his brain? The team needs a right fielder, this signing does nothing for that issue. This reeks of the Dodgers trading for Manny Machado even though what they really needed was more pitching. Hopefully this works out better for AA and company.
Now we wait for the counter moves by the rest of the division. We know the Miami Marlins are not going to be in the playoff hunt and have heard the New York Mets are looking to sell (err trade) Noah Syndergaard. The Nationals may lose their franchise fielder in Bryce Harper, and the Phillies are attached to Harper rumours (along with every other big name free agent). From the outside looking in that is three teams looking at a downward turn, so with today’s moves the Braves may become the trendy pick to win the NL East. If you had them repeating as division champs before today’s infusion of veteran talent, you are truly counting on the analytical world of baseball not catching up to Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies as it did to Dansby Swanson.
TWINS TRY AGAIN WITH 1ST BASEMAN FREE AGENT SIGNING
C.J. Cron signed by the Minnesota Twins. Look at it as a mulligan on last years Logan Morrison signing. With Joe Mauer retiring you knew the Twins would be looking to fill at-bats at first base but let’s be clear here. IF Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano do not recover from horrendous 2018 seasons, any move the Twins make during the duration of the MLB Hot Stove will be akin to putting lipstick on a pig.
INFIELD FREE AGENCY GETS TWO NEW NAMES
Cory Spangenberg jumped onto the scene in with a short audition in 2014 with the San Diego Padres. In 2015 he never garnered Rookie of the Year consideration but played well enough many thought he would be a part of the Padres for a very long time. The Opening Day starter in 2016, a quad injury reduced him to 14 games and expectations pushed forward a year except he did not make the 2017 roster out of training camp. The light dimmed and as baseball does so often, the light shone on others. After being designated for assignment last week, Spangenberg was released today.
Ronald Torreyes was the odd man out when the New York Yankees signed Parker Bridwell. Torreyes was designated for assignment after three years in the Bronx. Arriving after the departure of Derek Jeter, Torreyes watched as Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar shot past him on the depth chart. He was at the right place at the right time but failed to capitalize.