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:
Shortly before our Monday baseball segment on WISE Sports Radio, Stephen Strasburg re-signing with the Washington Nationals hit the news machine. It’s an encouraging start to baseball’s winter meetings, which has traditionally been where big offseason news occurs but has been disappointingly quiet the past couple of years.
Pat Ryan and I also discussed the Modern Era Committee’s inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller. Not as flashy or controversial as last year, when Harold Baines was voted in. Miller, in particular, has been long deserving for his role in forever changing baseball’s economics.
So on Wednesday’s WISE Sports Radio baseball segment, Pat Ryan, Charlie Metcalf, and I look at which teams will be active in pursuing free agents, who really needs to make an impact signing, and some of the big names rumored to be traded this offseason.
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.
The WISE Guys were off on Monday, so Wednesday’s baseball segment was a bit longer than usual. That worked out just fine, since there’s already plenty to talk about with MLB’s offseason under way.
Among the topics Pat Ryan and I discussed on WISE Sports Radio were the New York Yankees apparently moving on from shortstop Didi Gregorius, the top free agents available this offseason, the Atlanta Braves bringing back outfielder Nick Markakis and buying out pitcher Julio Teheran, and the Modern Era Ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Detroit Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker is among the nine players selected and, yes, I had some thoughts on that.
The World Series begins Tuesday night, so my regular Monday appearance on Asheville’s WISE Sports Radio was a preview of the match-up between the Washington Nationals and heavily favored Houston Astros.
Last week, guest host Jordan DeVere (filling in for the vacationing Pat Ryan) asked me for an early prediction and I said the Astros would win in six games. Jordan gave me the opportunity to reconsider that pick. My rational mind says Astros, but my heart — my gut — says Nationals.