I’ve been a bit lax about updating this site with my latest pieces over the last couple of weeks, so here are links to three of my latest. These weren’t necessarily intended as regular-season-preview content, but they loosely function as such.
On March 16, I took a look back at this winter’s glacial free agent market. In doing so, I identified what some of the offseason’s free agent winners had in common, but the anchor of the piece is a list of the five free agents who were hurt most by the surprisingly stingy market. Note that this piece was written before the Orioles went off-script and gave Alex Cobb a four-year deal for a guaranteed $57 million. That contract recalls the Orioles’ similar belated overpay for Ubaldo Jiménez in 2014 ($50 million, 4 years, signed February 19), a deal which was included in my piece on post-pitchers-and-catchers signings back in February (and which I wrote up for SI.com in 2014). The Cobb contract should work out better for the Orioles than the Jiménez deal did, but it remains an inexplicable overpay, particularly in the context of this offseason, for a 30-year-old pitcher who has never made 30 starts or thrown 180 innings in a season and didn’t even make my list of the top 20 free agents back in November.
On March 21, I surveyed the seven teams who are considered locks for the postseason–the Astros, Cubs, Dodgers, Indians, Red Sox, and Yankees–and tried to determine which one of them is most likely to fall short of the playoffs based on the likelihood that at least one of those teams will fail to make it to the postseason.
On March 23, I presented my preseason Misery Index, ranking all 30 teams by how much misery they have brought upon their fans, with an emphasis on recent seasons (the Astros, for example, rank 30th).
Looking at those three topics together, they all seem to focus on the negative, but worry not, this week I’m focusing on the positive, and I’ll have links to those pieces tomorrow.