My latest for The Athletic looks at free agents who signed after the offseason was technically over, listing both the richest contracts handed out after pitchers and catchers had reported to camp and the top performances by players who signed that late. I pitched the piece in anticipation of this spring yielding both the richest contract handed out after pitchers and catchers reported and the most contracts with a guarantee of at least eight-figures agreed to at such a late date. Both records were set while I was researching and writing it, and there will be more where those came from given the quality of free agents still remaining on the market now a week past pitchers and catchers. My goal here, as it so often is, was to put all of that in context.
Category Archives: My Writing
I don’t yet know the extent to which I will be taking part in The Athletic‘s baseball coverage this season, but I’m nonetheless very happy to have made my debut on the site. That comes via a ranking of the best batteries in baseball, in honor of pitchers and catchers reporting earlier this week.
This marks the first time that my writing has ever appeared behind a paywall online. That is no accident. I have long been an advocate of free access to content. However, given the realities of the industry these days, my frustration over the auto-play clutter burdening the articles at SI.com, and my strong belief in both The Athletic‘s approach to the written word and its presentation and the people putting that approach into practice, I had no hesitation in signing on to what they are doing.
If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can get a free one-week trial and 25 percent off for the first year. There may even be a free t-shirt involved.
Meanwhile, I’m already at work on my next piece for the site, due up early next week.
This is not my debut with The Hardball Times. I wrote a “Five Questions” Yankees preview for them way back in 2006. However, I always enjoy being able to dig into baseball history, and I’m particularly interested in the aesthetics of the game. Given my current free agency, I was thrilled to get a chance to nerd out with this look at the origins of the nicknames of every major league team. What acrobatic troupe was the source of a turn-of-the-century Dodgers nickname? How many American League nicknames originated in the National League? What the heck is a Phillie? Is Astro even a word? All the answers can be found here.
I made my first appearance on MLB Now’s new set in Studio 21 on Thursday in an abbreviated installment of the show (due to day games being broadcast on the Network). From the roughly 20 minutes of show we did, MLB has posted this clip discussing what was then the still-unofficial promotion of Kris Bryant on Friday.
For more depth on Bryant, here are the things I have written about him this spring at SI.com:
With what I’ve been calling Preview Week drawing to a close, here’s a catch-all post the various preview stuff I participated in this week, silly as some of it may be.
Why Your Team Won’t Win The World Series (with Jay Jaffe)
At SB Nation:
2003 MLB season preview: The unexpected (with the other Designated Columnists)
And while I’m at it, here are the other Hit and Run posts I wrote this week:
Oh, and I also wrote the post below this one, It’s Not Tim McCarver’s Fault You Hate Him.