With Opening Day just four weeks away, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. Rodriguez to make spring debut for the Orioles:
Top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez will be making his spring debut for the Orioles today, the team as announced. Rodriguez has long been considered one of the very top prospects in the game, and is now fully healthy after missing three months with a lat strain in 2022. Orioles GM Mike Elias has made clear that Rodriguez will have every opportunity to make the Opening Day rotation in 2023, leaving this outing as the beginning of Rodriguez’s quest to both rise to that challenge and stay healthy in doing so. Rodriguez’s start, which will be caught by fellow star youngster Adley Rutschman, will come at 12:05pm CT this afternoon.
2. Lefty Relief Market Update
The market for left-handed relievers seemed to be kicking into gear at the start of Spring Training, when Andrew Chafin and Matt Moore landed in Arizona and Anaheim, respectively. That never fully came to fruition, though, as Zack Britton, Will Smith, and Brad Hand all continue to linger on the market. Each lefty has a long track record of success and plenty of late inning experience, but struggled to some extent in 2022: Britton with injury, Smith prior to his trade to the Astros, and Hand down the stretch.
Britton held a workout for six teams last month, potentially revealing some insight into his market. It’s been quieter on Smith and Hand, though speculatively speaking, the Guardians could show some increased interest in any of the remaining southpaws after reliever Sam Hentges was shut down due to a shoulder issue. Hentges, who had a breakout showing in 2022, was the only lefty locked into a spot in manager Terry Francona’s bullpen.
3. Offseason In Review Series
As MLBTR’s Offseason In Review series continues, a pair of team-specific chats are set to be held today: one regarding Anthony Franco’s review of Arizona’s offseason, and one regarding Darragh McDonald’s review of the Angels offseason, which will be posted later today. Anthony’s Diamondbacks chat will take place at 5pm CT, while Darragh’s Angels chat will be at noon CT. Those links will allow you to submit a question in advance, take you to the live chats when they begin, and allow you to read the transcripts once they have been completed. Be sure to keep an eye out for both chats this afternoon!
the great bambi
It would be interesting to see one of those lefties go to Cleveland. Preferably Britton, imo. wasn’t that big on Hand first time around.
Agreed, he has lost his stuff. I’d take Britton or Smith though.
I prefer Smith – Britton has hardly pitched the last two seasons.
Steve Cohen Owns You
Go get ‘em, Grayson. Excited to watch the O’s this year.
The Mets are going to be pretty exciting to watch too.
Will 2023 be the inverse of 1969? Juggernaut Mets and scrappy Orioles in WS…but this time, it’s the Orioles that come back down 3-0 and take 4 straight games to win it all…
Nah, spring makes me an optimist, not delusional, lol
Steve Cohen Owns You
That’d be great to see! Lol
Baltimore making the playoffs this year
Where the hell are the Mets with one of these lefties? I’d actually sign all three. I don’t care if it costs 20 mil.
If only one of them works out, it’s going to be crucial for us in close games. Especially come playoffs. So if we’re seriously about contending —which clearly we are .. then what’s the holdup?
I wouldn’t expect Britton to join a team that Buck is running. I think there’s still some bad blood after Buck refused to use him in the playoffs.
As to the lefty reliever market, teams have already spent most of their money, so these guys must be looking for too much. At this point, they should all be open to either minor league deals or small guaranteed salaries, like 1-3M .
Didn’t Brad Hand sign with the Rockies?