However, there are many other spring stories to watch. Here is one for each team …
The sale was clearly not 100 percent at the end of last season, when his speed was low in the postseason and Alex Cora passed him to kick off David Price for a short rest in Game 5 of the World Series. Sale launched the final inning of that game (and beat the side), so perhaps all he needed was an offseason of rest. It is also entering its year of walking, which adds intrigue.
Yes, 108 wins and a World Series title will keep fans excited – even if Boston is a football city now.
Can you still play? Does it matter even if the Yankees sign DJ LeMahieu and can slide Gleyber Torres down to reach the shortstop and play LeMahieu on the second until Didi Gregorius returns? Any value that Tulo will provide is basically a bonus, but if he can play, he gives the Yankees more roster flexibility with LeMahieu playing more positions.
Yes, Yankees fans wanted Manny Machado or Bryce Harper. They still have Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Torres, Miguel Andujar, the best bullpen in the game and a spin that added James Paxton and J.A. Happ (for a whole season) on top of Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka.
The Rays are one of the most fascinating organizations, up to the secondary camps, where the superstud Wander Franco is a must see. In the field of the great league, the roster is incredibly deep but lacks a big star in attack (even if you keep eye on Tommy Pham, who snatched him after coming from St. Louis). The meadows, acquired by the Pirates last summer, have always been one of the best prospects despite numerous injuries. Perhaps everything will meet for him in Tampa.
Go see this team, Rays fans!
He could be the spring training history, given that the man-child prodigy (did not turn 20 until March 16) is preparing for his first major season of the season. Of course, the Jays will keep him in the minors for 10 days to work on his defense, but Vladdy will immediately start to impale baseball when he arrives in Toronto.
Outside of Guerrero, the Jays will need years of return from Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez to generate a bit of excitement on the field.
He is a new general manager in Mike Elias, a Maryland native who comes from the Astros. The new coach is the former Cubs bench coach, Brandon Hyde. Unfortunately, most of the players on a 115 loss team are the same.
In this division, they could lose 115 again.
Of course, the great story has just been interrupted on Friday with the calf injury of Francisco Lindor, but since apparently now missing most or all of the spring training, let's move to the outfield – that, to put it in a nice way, is a mess. FanGraphs projects in the Indians 29 ° in the left field WAR, 23 ° in the central field and 27 ° in the right field. The plan is to mix and match, but the Indians must really hope that someone like Jordan Luplow or the debutant Oscar Mercado will surprise in the field and prove better than the projections.
The Indians have the rotation to bring the team into a playoff point in a weak division, but there is not much margin for injuries. The inability to face the outfield or the bullpen – while cutting costs – has left the Indian fans frustrated despite three consecutive titles.
In 2017 they were worth 7.7 WAR, and the twins won 85 games and a wild card anchor. In 2018 they were worth a combination of 0.8 less WAR, and the twins went down to 78-84. They need to be both healthy in 2019 after fighting injuries.
The twins have not been completely inactive; they signed Nelson Cruz and Jonathan Schoop for a year's business without risk. The twins, however, still sit about $ 30 million below last year's payroll and $ 91 million below the luxury tax threshold without long-term commitments. They could play in the Harper / Machado market – or on the second level – and choose not to.
Miggy was actually quite productive last year – .299 / .395 / .448 – before breaking the biceps after 38 games and losing the rest of the season. He had back problems the season before. Even if he is no longer at the top of Miggy, the Tigers need a healthy Miggy.
Guess the old videos of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello who face the rotation of the Tigers.
. After striking .337 / .384 / .577 with 22 home runs on two levels of minors, Jimenez is ready for the South Side. He has power without much beating, which will make him an impact beater from the start.
The White Sox should be better – it would help if Yoan Moncada could figure out things in the pot – but this will only go up if the White Sox actually landed Machado after trading for his brother-in-law Yonder Alonso and for signing the 39; friend Jon Jay.
Yes, we're digging deep here, but do you remember Zimmer? It was the fifth general retreat in the 2012 draft, but could not remain healthy and never reached the majors. The Royal appointed him for the mission last spring, signed him back to a minor league contract and sent him to the Driveline baseball facility outside Seattle. He spent the whole season there, he returned to the Royals throwing 94 to 97 mph and now he is back on the list of 40 men.
This is a story to be rooted, but the Royals are still coming out of a season of 104 losses.
The Astros have signed Wade Miley and will transfer Collin McHugh to the rotation, but keep eye on Forrest Whitley and Josh James also to support Verlander and Gerrit Cole. Whitley is Keith Law's best perspective and should be ready to make an impact after a couple of months in Triple-A. We saw for the last time the James who threw a hard throw out of the bullpen in the postseason (where he broke 100 mph), and was able to win a job during spring training. Behind these two, you also have Framber Valdez and Cionel Perez.
We could have named Carlos Correa after his injury, tormented in 2018. He was a guy a guy who forgot last year and you know he's motivated to rebound.
The 21-year-old southpaw went through three levels of minors last season to become one of the best prospects for launching the game. If it can have an impact, perhaps the rotation of Oakland will not be as bad as everyone thinks.
I mean … A has improved 22 games and participation has risen to 1,200 fans in a game of 1,573,616 total. Which is nothing, but the A attracted only 2 million once in 2005. The offseason was a typical slew of low-budget maneuvers. Hey, it worked last year.
It is the last call for Felix Hernandez and, at least for a few weeks, Ichiro Suzuki, but if there is something to keep in mind in spring training, it is the guys the Mariners have acquired in the offseason: Justus Sheffield, JP Crawford, Justin Dunn, Erik Swanson, Shed Long (with Jarred Kelenic in the minor league), as well as Japanese left-handed Yusei Kikuchi. If all goes well, Kikuchi, Sheffield, Dunn and Swanson will all be in the rotation after the All-Star break. Or maybe this means that everything went wrong.
The Mariners fans did not exactly boast that Jerry Dipoto traded all his best players (except Mitch Haniger), but the smart guy understood the reasoning. Count the nights of King Felix; they could be at the end.
All we know at this point: will not jump in 2019 and will not be ready for the Opening Day. Beyond that, we hope for a quick return and 500 plate appearances as a designated hitter.
You can certainly argue that the Angels would have been better at bringing a famous player – imagine a left side of the infield with Machado and Andrelton Simmons – rather than the piecemeal approach with Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill, Cody Allen, etc. .
The Rangers are risking Drew Smyly (missing the last two seasons), Edinson Volquez (missed last year) and Shelby Miller (16 innings last year). They also signed Lance Lynn. So this could be a really good spin if you're playing a sim championship 2015.
Who are the Cowboys going to draft?
The Braves have signed Josh Donaldson, have called Brian McCann, and all the young starting pitchers – both those already in the majors and in those close – will be exciting, but in an offseason when the Braves refused to swing for the fences, it's all on Acuna. He immediately became one of the most addictive players in the game as a rookie, and after his monster in the second half – he was third in the OPS majors – there's a question: can he be MVP?
Imagine if they actually signed Harper or traded for J.T. Realmuto, as they should have done.
With a return to D.C. unlikely for Harper, the Nationals certainly did not hesitate to improve their roster: $ 140 million for Patrick Corbin, replacing the dead weight at the catcher with Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki, signing Anibal Sanchez and Brian Dozier; handle bullpen pieces in Trevor Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough. Mostly, I just want to see the shot of Juan Soto.
It is not an election year and the nationals look good on paper, but there will be a post-Bryce malaise. Win the division and Harper will be the news yesterday.
It's still Philly's big question, even after Realmuto's offseason additions, Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura and David Robertson.
Philly is a tough crowd and fans want Machado or Harper.
The Robinson Cano-Edwin Diaz trade was seen with mixed emotions by many Mets fans, who apparently saw Jarred Kelenic as the next Mickey Mantle or something. The Mets also signed Jed Lowrie and Wilson Ramos and acquired Keon Broxton. They are more profound than last year (although another initial launcher would have been nice) and certainly more interesting.
The new GM Brodie Van Wagenen exudes confidence, and is partly rubbing on the Mets fans.
In 2017, this sinking of a franchise had a lineup with the MVP of 2017 NL, the MVP of 2018 NL, plus Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon and Justin Bour. Now they have … umm, Austin Dean, JT Riddle and Peter O & Brien. Do not choose a player here, but take O Brien. Apparently he is the first starting baseman (although he might end up being Walker or Garrett Cooper), he is 28, and while he had an .8838 OPS in 74 PAs with Marlins in 2018, he hit 0.216 in minors. He hit .191 in minors of the first season. His strike rate during those two seasons was 34% – in minors. It will be another long season (although to be honest, the rotation could be almost respectable if all goes well).
There are a lot of things to do here, from the second base battle to Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes who potentially move from the bullpen to the rotation for Christian Yelich's MVP encore. But all eyes will be on Nelson, the team's best debutant in 2017 who lost all of 2018 after injuring his shoulder at the bases in late 2017. He recently tweeted: "I'm in the best place I've been in the past 17 months "and that has never been more excited for spring training.
They were a World Series victory last season, and the country's most underrated baseball city is set for a great summer.
The Cubs have lost the NL Central tie breaker game for the Brewers, and there's no doubt that with a healthy Darvish they would not have been in that game in the first place. Darvish had a stress reaction at the elbow and did only eight starts, but is already throwing the bulls in Arizona and said he felt good after a recent session of 45 shots.
Four direct playoff trips and an average of 97 wins per season, but 2016 seems like so long ago for a group of Cubs fans.
Yes, Paul Goldschmidt's business should give a nice boost, and Andrew Miller – assuming he can avoid the injured list – will strengthen the bullpen. But it will be curious to see how the ex-uber-prospect seems to be missing almost all the seasons. Although Reyes begins the season in relief, he has the potential to be the team's first place in the first place in the playoffs.
After missing the playoffs for three seasons in a row, a division title would be enough for Cardinals Nation.
In his second full season, Williams finished 14-10 with an ERA 3.11, including a remarkable comeback in the last 13 starts when he released an ERA from 1.29 and had eight outings without a score. It does not throw heavily or accumulate the strikeouts, so we'll see if it manages to repeat its successful success story. If so, maybe the Pirates have a chance to surprise.
I feel that in these days no fan is happier than that of Pittsburgh – and with good reason after the property has not done anything (yet) after a season of 82 victories while watching the other teams of the NL make moves. Participation decreased by nearly 500,000 in 2018, although the team was better and could shrink again. There are ramifications in keeping your money locked up in a bank vault instead of spending it on talent.
Unlike the Pirates, the Reds have had enough losses, and have done a lot of "win-now" moves, especially acquiring the contract between Puig, Alex Wood and Matt Kemp from the Dodgers. Top prospect Nick Senzel should be ready to make an impact as well. All eyes, however, will be on Puig. There is almost no bigger contrast in the cities than in L.A. and Cincinnati, and how does he fit and perform – will he pigtail or play with a chip on his shoulder? – it will be a story to watch throughout the season.
For the first time in five years, Reds fans are cautiously optimistic, but they know it's a difficult division.
I know, it's two things, but they're both important! The return of Seager from Tommy John surgery is obviously one of the greatest spring training stories. But I'm fascinated to see if Urias is ready to make a big impact; recalls, before his shoulder operation in 2017, it was probably the best launching point in baseball. He returned at the end of 2018 and the Dodgers put him on the playoff list, even though he only cast four innings in the regular season. He is only 22 and could be one of those many rotating pieces for the Dodgers.
It should be a 5, but Dodgers fans are doing a lot of whining for not signing Harper.
I'm a big Hampson fan, the fast infielder that hit .311 on two levels of minors while he slid 36 bases in 41 attempts. He also played a few games in the middle, and with Charlie Blackmon moved to the left, Hampson will definitely have some time in the outside court. Frankly, I'd like to see him out there and Ryan McMahon on the second (hold the fort until Brendan Rodgers is ready) and much less than Ian Desmond.
There are some frayed nerves waiting to see if Nolan Arenado will sign an extension, but after two seasons of straight wild cards, Rocky Mountain fans should be pumped for 2019.
The D-backs hope to get a coup with Kelly, similar to what the Cardinals did last year when they snatched Miles Mikolas from Japan. Kelly, a former Rays laborer, has spent the last four seasons in Korea, and will suffer a break in replacing Patrick Corbin in the rotation.
The franchise icon has disappeared. Corbin is gone. A.J. Pollock signed with a division rival. I would say this will affect participation, but Diamondbacks seem to attract from 2 million to 2.2 million, regardless of how good or bad the team is.
. The six-time All-Star should be ready for the Opening Day after hip surgery in August. The power of Posey has been weakened last season because he could not explode through the area with his swing, so the hope is that he will return healthy and hit again .300. Even when he was healthy for the last time in 2017, Posey only started 96 games at the catcher and 30 at the first base, so he is likely to split even more time between the two positions.
Giants are old and bad and their breeding system is weak. But Scottsdale in March is still a great place to go.
. Unfortunately, it was an offseason of a lot of talk and no action for the Padres. They were on Harper and Machado and questioned Realmuto, but their biggest move was the signature of Garrett Richards, who could not even place in 2019 while recovering from Tommy John's surgery. However, the Padres should have one of the most intriguing fields because of their first order breeding system (and Fernando Tatis Jr. in particular), as well as young people already in sight such as Franmil Reyes and Franchy Cordero.
The excitement was a bit mitigated by the lack of a big move, but the Padres are rightly the most hopeful they have been in years.
(Copyright © 2019 ESPN Internet Ventures, All Rights Reserved.)