It is early December, Hanukkah has started, and Santa Claus is making his list and checking it twice. As I begin to craft this week’s My 2 Sense blog, it is 27° outside under sunny skies here in Northern New Jersey. Winter is here, and to coin a refrain from a popular song, baby it’s cold outside. It’s is a time where folks here in the Northeast begin to turn up the heat in their homes/businesses. It is also a time when Major League Baseball teams begin to turn up the heat on building/rebuilding/retooling their rosters for the following season, and let’s just say that members of the National League East have gotten a head start on everyone else. Here is a look…
The Braves threw the first log on the fire back on November 26 when they signed third baseman, Josh Donaldson to a one-year deal worth $23 million. There is no doubt Donaldson can play, remember he won the American League MVP award in 2015. The question now is, can he stay healthy enough to play? If so, then this young team loaded with talent will have just added a motivated middle of the order bat to the lineup. Atlanta also brought back one time Brave’s catcher Brian McCann.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) November 26, 2018
Were it not for a disastrous final 60 games of the season, in which they lost 38 of them, the Phillies may have won this division. Unfortunately because of their finish, they finished below .500 for the sixth straight season. General Manager Matt Klentak has vowed to be a big player in this year’s hot-stove season (hello Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, etc.). He struck early in a trade with the Seattle Mariners for a very good/underrated shortstop in Jean Segura.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 3, 2018
However, he was stymied in his next quest, as pitcher Patrick Corbin chose the nation’s capital (Washington Nationals – 6-years, $140 million), instead of the city of brotherly love. While there is still some heavy lifting to do, keep your eye on Klentak, he is determined fortify Gabe Kapler’s roster.
NEW YORK METS
When Mets ownership made the outside of the box decision to hire Brodie Van Wagenen as their new general manager, eyebrows were raised. What was this new direction the club was embarking on? How could someone who had never built a team suddenly be trusted to build a team? Well, BVW came out swinging in his initial press conference: “We will win now, we will win in the future. We’re going to develop a winning culture and a winning mindset. We are going to deliver this city and this fan base a team they can be proud of.”
The @Mets had a big press conference today to unveil the newest Metropolitans. The question now is: will they add enough offense so that Edwin Diaz actually has leads to protect at the end of a game? https://t.co/vLhU5FlNm4 pic.twitter.com/xzfzfGlsjQ
— More Sports Now (@MoreSportsNow) December 4, 2018
Judging from his first transaction, the blockbuster trade with the Seattle Mariners which brought Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to Citi Field, Brodie means business. Sure there is great risk in this move, like how much tread does Cano still have on his tires for instance, but he still pulled the trigger. Oh, and Diaz (only 24 years-old) just happens to be the best closer in the game presently. The question now is, can Van Wagenen strike again? The lineup he inherits is anemic offensively so he needs to bolster it. If not, his shiny new closer may not have too many leads to protect unfortunately.
So how does Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and now Patrick Corbin sound? To Nationals manager Dave Martinez, I’m sure it sounds great, but to opposing managers and hitters, not so much. Well, get used to it because earlier this week, Washington beat out not only the Phillies, but the New York Yankees, among others for Corbin’s services. While I think 6 years and $140 million for this player is lunacy, it was offered and accepted. By spring training, will Bryce Harper still be his teammate? Or will Scott Boras find a sucker, I mean suitor, to furnish him with a contract in the neighborhood of 10-years and $400 million (as he has often spoken about)? That my friends, we shall see.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) December 4, 2018
What about the Miami Marlins you ask? Well, yes the are still in the NL East. They just haven’t made a significant move yet. Yet is the operative term however. Word is Derek Jeter will move his stud catcher, J.T. Realmuto, and he’s already fielding offers. Might he move from one NL East team to another… Stay tuned.
Photo: Sports Illustrated