A lot of fun is about to go down in the MLB. It is Hot Stove season and while we are still a little bit away from the Winter Meetings, this free agent class is sure to build excitement.
Let’s start off in the nation’s capital. We all know by now that the Washington Nationals had their man in Bud Black. But at the end of the day, it turns out that Dusty Baker is now the man. The reports were that they offered Black a one-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $1.6-mill.
You can’t blame Black for walking away from that. The way the Nationals have under achieved in the — let’s name it officially — The Strasburg Era, taking a one-year deal as the skipper of this team is showing that the Nationals want a World Series appearance or Black would have been on the job hunt again. Pretty insulting to Black if you ask me, a manager who kept the Triple-A San Diego Padres way more relevant than they should have been.
That being said, Baker is a fantastic hire. He already has gotten pitching guru Mike Maddox to sign on as pitching coach to mentor a rotation that should have been vastly superior to anyone else… but wasn’t. Baker is also a verified winner, and that says a lot.
We also know that Baker can handle adversity and egos. Remember the Barry Bonds/Jeff Kemp dilemma in San Fran? Remember how he got them to the World Series? Baker is definitely the man to temper the egos of the babied Nationals youngsters, but this is the Mets’ division now. He has work to do.
Free agency is set. The market is open! And there has already been a trade!
The Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays exchanged six-players yesterday.
The Rays acquire Brad Miller, Logan Morrison and Danny Farquhar. The Mariners have finally given up on Miller. Maybe dealing LoMo shows they are ready to roll with super slugging prospect D.J. Peterson (who I wrote about at minorleagueball.com). I hope so.
The Mariners acquire Nathan Karns, C.J. Riefenhauser and Boog Powell (no, not that one). Both teams filled holes that they needed to, so the first trade of the offseason seems to be a good one. My colleague Quinn Barry further breaks the trade down at minorleagueball.com.
With names like David Price, Chris Davis, Zack Greinke, Jeff Samardzija, Alex Gordon, Jordan Zimmerman, Justin Upton, Jason Heyward and Yoenis Cespedes out there, we are in store for a great offseason.
Be sure you follow along with MLB Trade Rumors free agent tracker.
More to come, so stay tuned. I have a busy weekend of NCAA DII Women’s Soccer and Field Hockey tournaments to gear up for!