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Friday, April 17, 2020

Five Soon-to-Be Free Agents With the Most to Lose From a Postponed Season

At the end of January, back when the pandemic had yet to become a pandemic, I took the bold step of ranking Mookie Betts No. 1 on my way-too-early list of next winter’s top free agents.

Oh, what an innocent time it was.

Less than three months later, the context for my free-agent rankings has completely changed. It was written under the assumption that baseball would begin as usual, giving players such as DJ LeMahieu (No. 5), Trevor Bauer (No. 3) and George Springer (No. 2) the chance to boost their value in a contract year. Now we don’t know if there will be any baseball this year.

Let’s highlight the five upcoming free agents who have the most to lose from a drastically shortened or canceled 2020 season.

 


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Spring Training Stats Only Almost Mean Nothing

All winter long we wait for spring to arrive so that baseball may begin again. And then once it starts and our precious stat columns begin being filled in Florida and Arizona, we spend most of the preseason assuring each other that none of it matters: The success is a mirage, achieved against a lower caliber of pitching, and the struggles are the result of experimentation and readjustments.

No need to panic. No need to celebrate. Let’s all just sit here in the sun and be happy that baseball has returned, while making sure to maintain an appropriate emotional response to afternoons full of practice games. Stat farming, percentage calculating, theory formulating, tantrum throwing, sadness having; that’s all for the regular season, as the nightly pace of baseball wears us down to the nub.

Here in spring training, we’re safe from such things. Unless! We cross that arbitrary threshold that we’ll say is right about now. Context is important in the preseason, if nothing else is, and in the case of two veterans, their spring performance has made the regular season in front of them a little more interesting.

Let’s just say it: Chris Davis looks amazing. And to echo what’s probably being said in his own head, who even cares why? Davis has to muscle his way out of a deep, deep hole into which the Orioles threw a base salary of $23 million last season as part of his seven-year, $161 million deal that will see him make over $1 million a year through 2037.

In certain regards, the same points could be made about minor league statistics, at least in the sense that their meaning is far different than it is at the MLB level.

 

QLE Posted: March 12, 2020 at 01:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: chris davis, didi gregorius, spring training, statistics

 

 

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