Well, we are basically halfway to February.
This is what I’m telling myself in the hopes that measuring time in half-month increments hastens the arrival of a new baseball season. These last few weeks are the longest. Now that we have seen the arbitration deadline pass, we can only wait on the signings of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, and await the hopeful avalanche of signings and trades that follow those names coming off the board. This is what we have to live for in these darkest days of the offseason.
Eat at Arb-y’s
As the arbitration deadline came and passed on Friday afternoon, news trickled in regarding deals the Tigers made with arbitration eligible players. Late in the afternoon, the two names we had yet to hear anything about were those of Nicholas Castellanos and Michael Fulmer. By the end of the day we had news on both. Castellanos ended up agreeing to a $9.95 million salary, which seems a bit on the low end of what was expected. Fulmer, on the other hand, remains a holdout. The word is that he and the organization are looking at a deal in the neighborhood of $3 million, but the two sides are about $600,000 apart.
Nick still on the block
It was good to see the team come to terms with Castellanos at $9.95 million for many reasons. One of those reasons, as Anthony Fenech of The Detroit Free Press points out, is that it moves things forward in the team’s effort to trade the young right fielder. Castellanos remains very much on the block, but with a variety of other more talented options still available at the position — looking at you, Bryce Harper — a trade may not be imminent.
Regardless of when it happens, Fenech remains optimistic that a Castellanos trade should bring back at least one solid prospect. I don’t know how many people share that optimism.
The big fish
Speaking of Mr. Harper, ol’ Brycey-pants and Mr. Manny Machado still remain frustratingly unsigned with a bit over a month before spring training gets rolling. The latest news is that, after a weekend meeting in Las Vegas, the Philadelphia Phillies might be switching their focus from Machado to Harper.
The reports on Machado are that the Chicago White Sox may now be the leading contender, as much as that sucks for the rest of the AL Central to hear. Talks are said to be dormant with the Yankees. With the Phillies possibly switching their focus to Harper, it could leave the Sox as the last team standing.
Stick around a while
In an interesting little exercise, Will Leitch of MLB.com takes a look at each team to try and figure out which one player is most likely to still be on the 40-man roster in 2025. I assumed the answer would be easy, because it feels like the team has Miguel Cabrera signed through sometime around 2040. As it turns out, he can only make it 2025 if he finishes in the top 10 in MVP voting in both 2023 and 2024. While that is not completely outside the realm of possibility, I don’t see it happening. Leitch puts his money on Jeimer Candelario, for what it’s worth.
Endings and beginnings
If you are looking for a little more clarification on the end of the longstanding broadcasting partnership of Mario Impemba and Rod Allen that turned into a bit of a goat rodeo sometime in 2018, Allen has taken the time to speak publicly about it for the first time. Fair warning: there’s not much here we didn’t know already.
As that partnership has ended, we approach 2019 with uncertainty around the final form of the 2019 broadcast team. Lynn Henning of The Detroit News says the team is close to announcing who the new play-by-play man is, and in Henning’s humble opinion, the team needs to hit a home run with whoever the selection is.
Around the horn
Baseball is awesome
This, my friends, is glorious.