With Opening Day less than two weeks away, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. WBC Update
The World Baseball Classic continues tonight as Puerto Rico takes on Mexico in the quarterfinals. Marcus Stroman will take the mound for Puerto Rico, while Julio Urias will start the game for Mexico. To this point in this series, Mexico has been lead by Randy Arozarena (1.714 OPS) and Joey Meneses (1.263 OPS) while Puerto Rico is lead by Francisco Lindor (1.129 OPS) while also featuring All-Star Javier Baez. Puerto Rico, of course, will be without closer Edwin Diaz, who required surgery on the patellar tendon in his right knee yesterday and will likely miss the entire 2023 season. Tonight’s game, which will begin at 6pm CST, will air on FS1.
2. Relief Market Update
Following Diaz’s injury, all eyes are on the Mets as they decide whether to stick with their internal relief options like David Robertson, Adam Ottavino and Brooks Raley or pursue external additions. Meanwhile, two possible options on the free agent market are holding workouts in attempts to get signed to big league deals: Zack Britton held a showcase yesterday, which the Mets were in attendance for, while Ken Giles will do the same this morning for multiple teams, according to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman. Both Britton and Giles have worked out for teams already this spring, but as Opening Day approaches are doing so again, perhaps to ease the nerves of teams who are put off by each player’s lengthy recent injury history.
3. Voit Opt-Out Decision Looming
The Brewers signed slugging first baseman Luke Voit to a minor league deal earlier in the offseason, but Voit reportedly has an opt-out of the contract that he intends to exercise if the Brewers do not add him to the 40-man roster. The Brewers had until midnight last night to do so before Voit was able to opt-out, but it’s possible Voit could stay in camp with Milwaukee for a little while longer, as noted by MLB.com’s Adam McCalvey. Should Voit opt out of his contract, he would re-join the free agent market as one of the top remaining bats available, behind only the lingering Jurickson Profar.
Otto and D-Rob are 37 and past peak. Still good, but not prime versions of themselves. Rawley is 35 with a career 88 ERA+. Without Diaz, this pen could unravel quickly with any drop in effectiveness from that group of relievers. They really should explore a trade. Not sure they have enough in-house at the moment.
As long as they’re one year deals past peak doesn’t matter if they can perform this season which is what teams can determine from these showcases.
I’m not a Mets fan but I do like to see the top players in the game. Diaz will be missed not only by Mets fans.
Agree that the likelihood of the aging D-Rob and Otto holding it down deep into the season with the extra high leverage innings piled on them by the absence of Diaz is sketchy as best. Mets will be extorted if they try to pursue a trade for an impact bullpen arm now though. I think they wait until July and see if there is a salary dump deal for a closer on a bad team to be made.
The Mets should reach out to bloom about Jansen. There’s virtually no chance they get extorted by that FO genius…
Having been signed as a FA, Jansen is not eligible to be traded until the halfway mark.
I thought it was sooner than that
It’s only money to Cohen anyway so they can take on a bad contract for a young reliever.
So, technically, the U.S. has two teams in this tournament. Could end up with a U.S. vs. U.S. final.
I mean, if they don’t have a Star on the flag…are they really?
Also, I’d be glad to swap Virginia and P.R. for state/not-a-state status.
That’s what happened in 2017.
Profar situation fascinating. He’s not a particularly good player at this stage, but the complete lack of market for him suggests an imbalance between ask and offer….or maybe there are no offers.
you have to think his market was overplayed by him and agent boras, and now he must be holding out for a non-minor league deal with a competitive team, otherwise a deal would have been consummated for a guy with even the limited upside profar carries
Yep he opted out of 7M (taking a 1M payout). He needs to make 6M this year to break even from his opt out. I’m guessing Boras is asking for 9-10M.
For multiple years. Some clubs have signed veterans who produce similar results for one-year deals. Profar clearly opted out seeking multiple years again. That’s not happening. He’s too inconsistent.
If Voit re-enters the market i would think the Twins may hsve interest as could the Rockies (as a DH)
Rockies have too many DHs right now.
C Yards Jeff
Back to the Nationals
Does anyone know if there’s a good source out there to find out if guys on minor league deals have opt outs like Voit does? That would add context to some of the spring roster battles as well as how deep teams are once the season begins.
Hope the Mets make the Pirates an offer they can’t refuse for Bednar. Small market teams should take advantage of big market teams who are desperate whenever possible.
The Bucs aren’t trading Bednar. He’s the poster boy for the ‘new’ regime along with Cruz.
If Bednar is the poster boy, then trade Reynolds and let’s move on to another won’t-die rumor.
Nobody’s getting traded unless the Pirates are ten or more games below .500 at the deadline. I think they’ve made that pretty clear with the stance on Reynolds.
I’m not really a fan of players switching who they play for in the WBC. Personally I could play for half a dozen different countries with my ethnicity (although I realize none of those have teams in the WBC besides team USA). If you were born and raised in the USA that should be your only option. For me I see no need for a WBC as the big leagues in the USA represent the majority of the best players during spring training the regular season and playoffs every year.
That’s one of the great things I think about this country. You can be an American and still celebrate your heritage. The WBC team you play on isn’t indicative of what country you’re loyal to as much as a way to spread interest in the game. I think it’s done well in that regard, but it can come at a great cost as we saw this week with the Diaz and the team that pays him.
Eppler should sign Ken Giles, pending medical staff clearing him.
Mets sign Luke Voit as a RIghty DH
Roberto Osuna has been dominating Japan and Mexico last couple years. Eppler should buy him out of his NPB deal, quick replacement for Diaz.
If the Brews let Voit walk they’re insane. He’ll give you 30/90/.265 and he won’t be a statue at 1B if needed. Give him 300 ABs and stand back.