Baseball fans are excited to say goodbye to winter storms, and hello to spring sunshine, as Major League Baseball’s (MLB) spring training will officially begin play on Feb. 23.
Cold weather is a rarity in Southern California. But blistering cold temperatures elsewhere in the country render us the lucky ones.
Imagine having to shovel snow every morning to get to your car or 45-mph winds and snow impeding your five block stroll to the office.
The daily grind of the elements can be exhausting. A day at the ballpark may be just the remedy, which is another reason why millions of fans are counting down the days until spring (training).
Not only has the weather been stark, so has the trade and free agent market. Aside from the reigning 2017 MLB home run champion Giancarlo Stanton joining the New York Yankees via trade and the Los Angeles Angels winning the sweepstakes for Japan’s coveted young superstar, Shohei Ohtani, blockbuster baseball news has been sparse.
Even the recent moves of Andrew McCutchen being traded to the San Fransico Giants, Curtis Granderson signing with the Toronto Blue Jays and the more surprising deal of Gerrit Cole moving to the Houston Astros, have not been enough to get many through the winter. But not to fret, there are plenty of high-value, impact players still available.
Starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner is still on the market.
Pitcher Yu Darvish, who had a disappointing 2017 postseason with the Los Angeles Dodgers, will be looking to bounce back in 2018 and make an impact on a playoff caliber team as a middle of the rotation arm.
And let’s not forget Alex Cobb, an underrated starter whose win/loss record may be skewed from playing six years in Tampa Bay.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that outfielder J.D. Martinez is sitting on a five-year deal from the Boston Red Sox. This acquisition would certainly address their need for power in the outfield this season, but Martinez may be holding out for a longer contract.
From the Kansas City Royals: Eric Hosmer (1B), Lorenzo Cain (CF/OF) and Mike Moustakas (3B) are all eligible for free agency. However, all three of these young talents still remain unsigned and hoping for great news in the very near future.
As fans, we crave the news. Maybe that’s just because we crave the game.
The rival team negotiating with a rival player. The satisfaction of seeing a perfectly manicured baseball diamond.
The smell of popcorn and hot dogs permeating the air.
The buzz of the crowd in anticipation of witnessing history. The sound of a 97-mph fastball getting turned around off of a maple bat.
The nostalgia of singing the 7th inning stretch in unison (almost) with tens of thousands of fans alike.
Yes, it may be prime-time for football season, but with pitchers and catchers reporting in just 19 days, baseball news should heat up sooner rather than later.
Have no fear baseball fans, spring (training) is almost here.