Hello everyone! Happy Tuesday to you all. Yesterday, the Dodgers made a move to acquire Logan Forsythe from the Rays. The trade all but shuts the door on the Brian Dozier trade rumors. Dozier was pretty much the only interesting storyline left in the offseason and it highlights something that not many people seem to be talking about: this was an exceedingly boring winter in baseball.
It’s easy to look past that if you’re a Mariners fan. Jerry Dipoto makes a transaction every other day. But for the rest of baseball, there hasn’t been a whole lot of movement.
Aroldis Chapman went back to New York. Mark Trumbo returned to the Orioles. Jose Bautista decided to continue flying the Canadian flag. Even Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Turner went back to their old teams. The biggest shake-up of the offseason was the White Sox-Red Sox trade that sent Chris Sale to Boston.
Outside of Sale, not many big-name players changed organizations. Dexter Fowler, Ian Desmond, and Edwin Encarnacion were the other major ones.
There were a number of rumors surrounding players like Jose Quintana, Andrew McCutchen, and Dozier. Ultimately, those players stayed put.
It probably shouldn’t come at a surprise that the offseason was lacking in huge contracts and blockbuster trades. The free agent class was historically weak. Kudos to Dipoto for finding a way to keep it exciting for Mariners fans.
Now, let’s see what else happened yesterday.
In Mariners news...
- Greg Johns pegs the Ichiro signing as the best free agent deal in Mariners history. That seems pretty indisputable to me, but what do you think?
- The M’s are making an Edgar-themed announcement at 2:30 this afternoon. The popular theory is that the team is planning to retire Edgar’s jersey number. Less optimistic fans think he might be leaving his post as the team’s hitting coach.
- This should hardly come as a surprise, but Dae-Ho Lee has opted to return home to Korea. The slugger agreed to a four-year deal with the Lotte Giants of the KBO. Lee played for Lotte between 2001 and 2011.
- Our favorite muscly Canadian seems pretty hyped for FanFest.
Around the league...
- Gerald Schifman at The Hardball Times notes that baseball is now much more interesting in September because more teams are in the playoff chase. This is certainly the case for the Mariners too. Seattle has played meaningful September ball in two of the last three seasons.
- Ryan Dennick at MLB Trade Rumors offers up a very interesting perspective on how important an MLB debut is to young players. I will never debut in the majors, but I imagine it’s a surreal experience.
- Nick Stellini at Fangraphs wonders who can close out games for the Nationals in 2017. The list includes a pair of former Mariners in Shawn Kelley and Fernando Rodney. He also offers the possibility of a starter serving as the team’s closer.
- Teams projected to finish with bad records hardly ever prove the pundits wrong, according to Jeff Sullivan. As much as people talk about all teams having an even record when the season begins, there are some teams you can pretty much count out right off the bat.
- Michael Bradburn at MLB Daily Dish calls out the Padres for tanking the 2017 season. Tanking is something that’s not often talked about in baseball. NBA teams tank all the time. Baseball teams don’t. The reason for this should be pretty clear: having a high draft pick in the NBA is much more important than having a high pick in the MLB draft. But I suppose San Diego really wants to stock up its farm system.
- George Dvorsky has this really interesting piece about the effect of jetlag on baseball teams. This story kind of relates to what I was talking to yesterday about time adjustment. Jetlag is something baseball players have to deal with almost every day, and it’s very seldom talked about.
- Friend of the site Conor Kelley, of Kelley Catching, has a blog post on what new HOFer, the hot-tempered Pudge Rodriguez, meant to a similarly hot-tempered kid:
It was around that time that I made the solemn decision that I was bored by shortstop and wanted to be a catcher. But there was a problem: I was nothing like Dan Wilson. He was Midwestern, cool, and stoic, and I was none of those things. I ran too hot, I yelled too much, I got too fired up. I didn’t have the constitution to be Dan.
This was, as these things go for young kids, a deep and painful truth, a problem I chewed on for a while. That is, until I saw you play.
Maybe it was because I grew up in Seattle, tucked away in our little corner—or more likely because I was weird—but it was years before I paid attention to other teams. It was years before I could, in my mind, make room for one single non-Mariner player. For my brother, it was “The Big Hurt” Frank Thomas. For me, it was you.
- Star Wars announced the name of its next episode yesterday, and everyone is talking about what it means. The title, the red letters, it’s all so mysterious.
- American women’s tennis player Coco Vandeweghe might not be a household name, but the unranked Australian Open competitor has fought her way into the semifinals by defeating top ranked players such as #1 Angelique Kerber and #7 Garbine Murguruza. Her next matchup will be no easy task, though. The 25-year-old must conquer Venus Williams in the semis.