Happy Thanksgiving everyone… Just a brief note today.
In an email exchange with a friend, the subject turned to Aaron Judge and his free agency. My friend pointed out that the focus on Judge and where he will wind up takes away from what he called “The Year of the Shortstop” in this year’s MLB free agency. I knew that Xander Bogarts and Trea Turner were “on the market”, but he informed me that Dansby Swanson and Carlos Correa were also available to the highest bidder.
My friend is absolutely correct; all four of those players would be quality additions for an acquiring team. I went and checked because I was not certain but indeed, all four of those top-shelf shortstops is under 30 years old as of this morning. I will try to follow the courting and signing of those four players this winter.
I pointed out that Justin Verlander was also a free agent coming off a season where he:
- Won the AL Cy Young Award
- Posted a record of 18-4
- Pitched to an ERA of 1.75.
Not bad for any pitcher let alone a guy who will turn 40 years old right around the start of Spring Training next year. I wonder if Verlander will get something like Max Scherzer got last winter from the Mets.
The biggest enigma of the free agent season to me is Cody Bellinger. He will be 28 years old in the middle of next season, so he should be in or near the prime of his career. In 2019, he was the NL MVP and had a spectacular year at the age of 23. However, his last two seasons have been poor – – not just by the standard of someone who was the MVP, those two years were poor for about any MLB player:
- 2021: Batting average = .165 He had 94 strikeouts versus 52 base hits
- 2022: Batting average = .210 He had 150 strikeouts versus 106 base hits.
That is all I have time for today. Guests will be arriving shortly, and I need to assemble the smoker I will be using to prepare the turkey for tonight’s festivities.
I hope everyone has a good time over this Holiday Weekend. Writing will be sporadic next week due to other guests and a travel day.
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………
2 thoughts on “A Brief Thanksgiving Note …”
Mark Belanger played 17 of 18 years with the same club, yet he only batted .228 lifetime. He had an excellent shortstop glove. When did it become expected for a gold-glove shortstop to hit as well?
When managers and GMs found that there were players who could field the shortstop position AND hit well, they began looking for them and considering them essential to roster building.
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