The Baseball Thread Returns

Why yes, yes I have been very lazy about getting this post published. But we’re here now! So let’s roll with it. Who’s up for a third round of fantasy baseball this coming season with the rest of your favorite(?) Avocados? Last year’s group was:

CakeWithaJ (our champ!)
Canadave87 (runnerup!)
Emperor Snapper
Little Miss Giggle Fits
Snow Pigeon
Harvey Dent
Occam’s Blazer
Mexican-American Martian

Yes I’ll be tagging all of you in the comments so you can let me know if you want to continue or not (or just go to the league page and vote for your own name in the poll).

As always with this thread, any and all things baseball are up for discussion!

• Rumblings of a work stoppage (with this article from Ken Rosenthal delving into the details of that) once the current CBA expires have persisted. With Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remaining free agents through the start of spring training (and other notable names remaining out there) the showdown between the MLBPA and MLB seems to be looking closer than it has at just about any point since the infamous lost year of 1994.

• Machado and Harper did get paid though. Machado is headed to San Diego on a 10 year/$300 million contract (which he can opt out of after 5 years) while Harper goes to Philadelphia for 13 years/$330 million. Whether they alone will lift their teams into contendership, its too early to say but fanbases are energized as the season begins to warm up.

• Meanwhile other free agents that were hoping to cash in, particularly Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel, have remained on the outside looking in as March starts. Where do you see fits for these two?

• The Derek Jeter led firesale of the Marlins was completed with the trade of catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies for C Jorge Alfaro, two pitching prospects and international bonus slot money. A big upgrade for the Phils behind the dish and another reason for them to be excited for 2019. And for Realmuto an end to a near year long saga.

• The Dodgers wanted to cut their luxury tax bill. The Reds wanted to make a move to make them look more like a contender. And from that? We got the trade of Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Alex Wood to Cincinnati for Homer Bailey (immediately released) and two prospects. The Dodgers would later put their savings towards signing outfielder AJ Pollock for 4 years/$60 million. Will the Reds actually contend? That’s a tough call, the NL Central is a loaded division and its hard to say that they’re better than the competition but they’ve made themselves more interesting.

• Wrapping back around to CBA related concerns, we have the service time dilemma. Super-prospects like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Eloy Jimenez are projected to put up numbers superior to the players ahead of them on major league depth charts but will undoubtedly start the year at Triple A for their clubs so that they can secure that valuable extra season of service time in exchange for keeping them in the minors for a couple extra weeks (as we’ve seen with many past prospects). Fans want them to see them in the majors. Their agents do. In many cases their teammates do. As the end of the current CBA draws closer, the player’s union will undoubtedly look to see service time redefined in some way so as to not have these empty excuses that come with keeping these players in Triple A.

What else is on your mind? Any other notable news stories caught your eye this offseason? Or just plain excited?