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Tag Archives: The Athletic

2018 Season Previews

Thursday is Opening Day of the 2018 Major League Baseball season. In anticipation, I took a look at “the best of everything” in the American and National Leagues, one piece for each league, naming the best lineup, rotation, bullpen, player, pitcher, manager, and much more, including best team (my de facto pennant picks) and the corresponding runners-up.

Get ’em while they’re hot, the season will likely change many of these rankings, and first pitch, from Jose Ureña of Marlins, is at 12:40 pm EST!

The Best of Everything: American League

The Best of Everything: National League

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Posted by on March 28, 2018 in My Writing

 

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Not Quite Preview Content

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.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2018 in My Writing

 

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The Athletic: Ichiro, the Mariners, and the history of late-career reunions

I somehow managed to get a Detroit Wolverines reference in the last two pieces I’ve had published. This one concerns the late-career returns of Hall of Fame-caliber players to the teams with which they formerly starred. I compiled a list of 53 such players stretching back to the 1893 Giants and found that such reunions aren’t always as depressing as you might think. However, at 44, Ichiro Suzuki is among the oldest of all of them.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2018 in My Writing

 

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The Athletic: Manny Machado, shortstop

My latest for The Athletic looks at Manny Machado’s move to shortstop for his walk year, the impact it could have on the Orioles’ wins and losses this season, and the impact it could have on Machado’s potentially record-breaking free agency in the fall.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2018 in My Writing

 

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The Athletic: Did the Twins do enough?

The Twins came into the offseason with a clear need for pitching and a stated desire to go big in the pursuit of it. As we move into March, the Twins have added five arms (six if you include Rule 5 pick Tyler Kinley, a 27-year-old righty reliever out of the Marlins’ system who struggled in Double-A last year), but have they done enough to fend off the Angels and return to the Wild Card Game? My latest for The Athletic digs in to find the answer.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2018 in My Writing

 

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The Athletic: Minding Jake Arrieta’s Gap

My latest for The Athletic addresses Jake Arrieta’s ongoing free agency and the gap between his asking price and actual value, which appears to be one of the key factors behind his continuing unemployment.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2018 in My Writing

 

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The Athletic: Big names with something to prove in 2018

The one seemed easy enough. Find a few notable players coming off injury or poor performance who had something to prove in 2018 and explain what they had to prove and why. It didn’t take long for me to put together a list of more than 50 players, but it took a lot longer for me to whittle it down. So, if you think someone’s missing from the six names I wound up with . . . you’re right!

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2018 in My Writing

 

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