The 2019-20 baseball offseason is already much more exciting and interesting than it was a year ago, when transactions and activity were virtually frozen until Bryce Harper and Manny Machado signed. And that didn’t happen until late February, when teams had already reported to spring training camps.
Meanwhile, the NFL and NBA make free agency an event which fans and media follow with excitement. MLB still isn’t there, but at least top free agents like Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg are now signing in December as expected. Baseball’s winter meetings — essentially the sport’s signature offseason event — is meaningful again.
Cole’s nine-year, $324 million (!!) contract with the New York Yankees was the main topic for Wednesday’s WISE Sports Radio baseball segment with Pat Ryan:
Parents, raise your kids to play baseball — and play it well. There’s a whole lot of money being thrown around out there. The New York Yankees are trying to avoid paying Jacoby Ellsbury the $27 million they owe him for 2020, while the Seattle Mariners just agreed to pay $24 million to a 23-year-old prospect who hasn’t yet played above the Double-A minor league level.
Pat Ryan and I discuss that and more on Monday’s WISE Sports Radio baseball segment, including the Chicago White Sox making a push toward contending next season and the Atlanta Braves’ wasting no time in making additions for 2020.
Now that we’re into baseball’s offseason, a story that should be getting a lot more attention is getting noticed.
A month ago, Baseball America reported that Major League Baseball was considering a proposal to eliminate 42 teams from its minor leagues, presumably based on geography, attendance, and the condition of its facilities. The New York Times followed up with both reaction from some of the clubs that could be affected and, most importantly, a list of the teams that could have their major league affiliation taken away.
That took up a big chunk of my WISE Sports Radio baseball segment with Pat Ryan. We also discussed MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addressing the sign-stealing allegations against the Houston Astros and look at the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot.
The Houston Astros seem to be sinking deeper and deeper into their sign-stealing scandal. How far up did this go in 2017? Well, reports have the team’s special assistant to the general manager directing scouts to film signals from the opposing dugout. The exec in question also happens to be a former baseball writer, something I covered for Awful Announcing.
Also on WISE Sports Radio‘s Monday baseball segment, Pat Ryan and I discussed the future of the Washington Nationals and a very nice payday they’ll be getting, along with the Pittsburgh Pirates hiring a new general manager.
Stepping into controversy, sign-stealing, and life-stealing on The Podcass!
First, a brief response to an Awful Announcing article I wrote (02:41). Then, baseball talk on WISE Sports Radio with the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal and MLB awards (09:18). We change it up with a review of Bong Joon-Ho’s new film, Parasite (24:39). And close it out with sports radio football chatter, digging into Colin Kaepernick’s workout and other Week 11 NFL headlines (31:34).
If it’s true that you ain’t tryin’ if you ain’t cheatin’, the Houston Astros have apparently been trying very hard as they’ve become one of the best teams in baseball. According to former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers, there was a whole lot of trying, in terms of stealing signs from the opposition, in 2017 when Houston won the World Series.
That’s just one of the topics Pat Ryan and I discussed on Wednesday’s WISE Sports Radio baseball segment. We also talk about the Manager of the Year award winners and look ahead to the Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player announcements.
[Note: There was a glitch in the recording around the 13:10 mark, some kind of hiccup with my internet connection. Sorry about that.]
Baseball’s offseason essentially begins today, with free agents now allowed to negotiate with any team and the General Manager Meetings beginning in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Among the topics Pat Ryan and I discussed on WISE Sports Radio: Why is the MLB Players Union mad at Atlanta Braves’ GM Alex Anthopoulos? Is Nolan Ryan angry with the Houston Astros? The San Francisco Giants have a new GM. And what are some big trade rumors to watch this offseason?