Latest posts by Yusuf Nakhooda (see all)
- Ten Things We Learned From The Conference Championships - January 22, 2018
- Willie O’ Ree’s Journey To Break The Color Barrier In The NHL - January 21, 2018
- Why Trae Young Is The Real Deal At Oklahoma - January 20, 2018
The calendar has flipped to the new year, and with the change, the baseball world can only hope that one of the slowest offseasons in recent memory begins to pick up steam.
With Opening Day still more than three months away, there are a number of intriguing and unanswered questions that need to be figured out before the games can truly get underway.
With 2018 officially upon us, here are five burning questions to begin the new year:
Will the Marlins continue to clean house?
Since taking over the Marlins in October, CEO Derek Jeter and his front office have been adamant about cutting payroll to $90 million. So far, they’ve taken no prisoners in attempting to reach their goal. Miami traded reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Staton, 2015 batting champ Dee Gordon, and 124-RBI man Marcell Ozuna. Including projected arbitration numbers, the Marlins already appear set to begin next season under their goal, but will they continue their purge now that Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto are unhappy with the club? Miami appears willing to deal the pair, but only if suitors will overpay.
Is Baltimore actually done shopping Manny Machado?
When it was reported that the Orioles were shopping Machado in early December, General Manager Dan Duquette’s phone was surely ringing off it’s hook. Why wouldn’t it? A player with Machado’s talent doesn’t hit the trade block every day. With Machado in his walk year and no one offering up a tasty enough trade for Duquette to pull the trigger, the 25-year-old remains with the team. Although it appears Machado was taken off the market amid lackluster offers, the Orioles are reportedly still fielding calls about the three-time All-Star. Will Machado begin next season in Baltimore? Or will a suitor such as the Cardinals or Red Sox be able to pry him away?
Will the Red Sox sign J.D. Martinez?
Speaking of the Red Sox, no team has been linked to a particular free agent as much as they have been to Martinez. Boston has been after the slugger for most of the offseason and it appears to be a stare down between Dave Dombrowski and Scott Boras, Martinez’s agent. Boras reportedly wants more than $200 million for his client over seven years. The Red Sox have been burned by recent long-term contracts (Carl Crawford, Pablo Sandoval), but Martinez appears to be the perfect fit for a Boston offense that sorely missed a major run-producer last season.
Are the Yankees done adding pieces to their roster?
The Evil Empire is back, but will they add more pieces to their stacked lineup? They’ve already acquired Giancarlo Stanton and re-signed CC Sabathia, but interest in Gerritt Cole, Josh Harrison, and Yu Darvish has surfaced recently. Adding any of the three would only bolster the Yankees’ already strong chances of reaching the World Series for the first time since 2009, but the MLB’s luxury tax could be a hurdle in them turning into a complete money-spending monster like Yankee teams of the past.
Where will Yu Darvish Land?
The market for Darvish, arguably the biggest free agent available, hasn’t been booming, but he’s still garnered interest from a number of clubs, including the Yankees, Cardinals, Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, and Chicago Cubs.
The 31-year-old is one of MLB’s most electric pitchers when he’s on (11 SO/9 and 3.42 ERA during his five-year career). However, Darvish has also has some bad moments on his resume, including his past World Series’ performances for the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he allowed eight earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.