With Spring Training of a month off, it is a good time for you to ask a few critical questions regarding each MLB team. We are going to take a look in the American League nightclubs with one key question out of fans to each of the 1-5 MLB.com beat writers within the AL emphasized, together with a URL to greater from that author’s most recent in box.
Angels: Why are the Halos a Freeagent”puzzle team” What would that mean for Mike Trout?
Rhett Bollinger,” Angels reporter: now , it could be very shocking if the Angels were also a”puzzle team” for Bryce Harper or even Manny Machado. The Angels are much more inclined to attempt and use their funds to sign Trout to a mega-extension until his current contract is up after the 2020 season. It’d be really hard to assume the Angels being in a position to sign Harper or even Machado and having the payroll flexibility to retain Trout.
Even though Harper and Machado are elite players, neither comes close to fitting Trout’s production, as he has been undoubtedly the most effective player in the Majors since his rookie season.
Angels general manager Billy Eppler, however, was mum on the status of possibly expanding Trout, as he declined to comment when asked about it throughout the Winter Meetings. Nevertheless, it’s clear it remains the priority for the franchise to maintain Trout.
Astros: Is Houston pursuing a significant commerce?
Do you believe the Astros will exchange Kyle Tucker along with Max Stassi for J.T. Realmuto? If the Astros exchange for a starting pitcher, that do you believe it may be?
Brian McTaggart, Astros reporter: I presume if the Astros were going to acquire Realmuto from the Marlins at a package that included top position-player prospect Tucker they would have done it already. Either they’ve chose not to exchange Tucker, or the Marlins have said”No thanks.” Naturally, if they chose not to exchange Tucker, they could always change their minds. Stay educated.
Athletics: Can be a Home Coming in store?
Do you believe there is a chance Gray can keep coming back to Oakland?
— Susan J., Castro Valley, Calif..
That doesn’t mean I think it will definitely happen, but there is a opportunity. From what I’ve heard, the A’s have kept tabs Gray all night. The Yankees have made it known they’d like to maneuver Gray plus it is unsure just how far, if any, their asking price has budged. Sources indicate it was high from the early going of their offseason, at least too much for the Earth’s.
I personally think a return to Oakland would be a fantastic move for Gray, who has a terrific relationship with director Bob Melvin and favors pitching at a smaller market. The A’s, obviously, might use him, so it could apparently be a win win should a deal be resolved. More >
Don’t the Blue Jays have to exchange an outfielder? Employing a Teoscar Hernandez/Billy McKinney platoon does not really feel only because they need to find out if both can be productive every day players.
— Christopher M., Richmond Hill, Ontario
At some point the Blue Jays have to create a decision, but it doesn’t always have to be straight away. There ought to be lots of at bats to bypass if Toronto puts with the outfield rotation that sees Randal Grichuk making some periodic starts in centre and Hernandez receiving occasional at bats in DH. With five players — including Kendrys Morales — for four spots, playing with time should not be that big of an issue.
In case McKinney and Hernandez have powerful decks and get off to hot starts, the Blue Jays may have an issue in their own hands, but it’s one they’ll be happy to deal with. Neither player would gain from still another stint from the Minors, so the Blue Jays might also see what they’ve got in the Major League level, even when it is not at the standard regular function. After all, Hernandez is already 26 and McKinney is currently 2 4. More >
Indians: Who’s on first?
Spring Training will help determine this, but my very best guess is it may likeWISe depend on the rest of the team’s offseason moves in the upcoming few weeks.
As of now, it seems safe to suppose that when Santana are at first base, Bauers will be penciled in as the designated hitter and vice versa. This rotation involving the two could work out for the Indians, particularly if Bauers gets away to exactly the exact same hot beginning at the plate that he did in 2018. But if Bauers will become necessary from the outfield, then things will start to get tricky.
With Bauers in corner outfield spot and Santana in the beginning, there are few other significant bats that the Indians have in their existing roster to fill in as a designated hitter. If the team can incorporate another violin via trade or free agency before Opening Day, that could make this technique a little easier, particularly if Cleveland does not get yet another outfielder. Santana might then be an regular first baseman to allow Bauers to help in the grass.
But when the team will not insert at least one outfielder and does not get a violin, then could bring about in Santana and Bauers splitting time or just having Santana shift to more of a DH job, leaving Bauers to man first.
Mariners: Can Be Kikuchi a premier prospect — or even a prospect?
Why is not Yusei Kikuchi rated among the Mariners’ top prospects?
— Dakota H., Bonney Lake, Wash..
Greg Johns, Mariners reporter: To thought of as a”prospect” by MLB Pipeline, players should have newcomer eligibility, which typically means less than 130 at bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues. But they do not comprise players that are 25 or older and have graduated in professional leagues in Japan, Korea, Taiwan or even Cuba. More >
Orioles: Can analytics lead Davis to a resurgence?
Will analytics help him?
— Rivka M., Baltimore
Joe Trezza,” Orioles reporter: The brief answer isthat data has the potential to put any player in a greater position to be successful, even when a few are reluctant to utilize it. The new, analytically inclined Orioles regime will make sure Davis has access to as much information as he wants, and that there are undoubtedly aspects of the game it sounds, at least in theory, more data could help improve. Think more high level scouting reports of pitchers, the way they strike him in specific counts, just how well he performs against certain pitches, matters like that.
Having said that, I’ve been sensing a hope among O’s fans that general director Mike Elias and company will be able to wave a magical analytics wand and instantly fix Davis. That’s not likely to occur. The amounts are not really a cure-all with no stretch, particularly for a new player like Davis, whose skills were diminished, in large part, with progressive statistics (think: changes ). I am more curious about the way they’ll be in a position to help him — stay with me — on the mental side.
Davis has admitted the way his optimism plummeted last summer, and that led to his own slump snow-balling in what it eventually became. After studying this, I am always drawn from what Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter went through last April. Carpenter wound up adding National League Most Valuable Player Award-type amounts, but when you rememberthat he began this season in a dismal slump. The 32-year-old struck .145 over the summer season’s first month, in which point Carpenter — that doesn’t dig data often — solicited St. Louis’ leading office for help. Was there any such thing, he asked, at the amounts that could explain his struggles?
The Cardinals returned with spreadsheets that essentially said, yes. But the identification was not dire. The difference between Carpenter’s expected stats and stats are wider compared to some other player’s in baseball. While a lot of players feel as though they are hitting bad fortune, Carpenter actually was, and the information demonstrated it. The Cardinals signaled he keep every thing in his swing exactly the same, to stay the course. Relieved, Carpenter listened. He wound up with one of the better seasons of any hitter in the NL at 2018.
I am not saying Davis’ issues were mental . But Carpenter’s narrative is an illustration of how analytics can at times supply a new player with something as easy as peace of mind, and how sometimes that translates into improved production on this field.
Rangers: What’s the offseason approach to finding projecting?
It seems that the past 23 decades, the Rangers signed at least three championships have been coming off serious injuries. Those pitchers had been nearly instantly ordained as starters. The track records are not excellent. History isn’t encouraging. Is your leading office hoping against hope it will continue to work out this time? Are they biding time and spending less in an effort to sign a proven starter or two next year when the new park opens?
— Jim C. Stephenville, Texas
T.R. Sullivan,” Rangers reporter: The Rangers’ strategy the previous two offseasons was quite obvious. Their farm system is bare of stars at the very top end, and they’ve an abnormally high number of openings at the Major League rotation. The Rangers are constant over the past 18 months in trying to restock their Minor League pitching and also have made significant progress. Nevertheless, it has required them to buy in bulk on the freeagent market to rebuild the big league rotation, and they have been required to take opportunities on pitchers with questionable physical and performance problems. In case the Rangers’ farm system can start being productive , they could get back to being more discerning and more aggressive in playing at the higher end of the freeagent market in the not too distant future.
Rays: Will Tampa Bay sign a powerful absolutely free representative?
Are the #Rays nevertheless at the combination for Realmuto and/or Jose Martinez?
— @theicchamp11 through Twitter
Juan Toribio, Rays author: despite the purchase of outfielder Avisail Garcia, the Rays will continue to find ways to boost, and that includes going after Realmuto, Martinez along with others. The Marlins are in keeping with their asking price, and it remains to be seen whether any club will fulfill their requirements. Tampa Bay will check off every box Miami’s asking price, which includes a young Major League player and a variety of top prospects. Realmuto is among the best catchers — or even the best — in baseball and the Rays will turn to acquire somebody of this quality in the event the offer fits their aims.
Additionally, it is well worth noting that Realmuto simply includes two years of hands, which might play a component in Tampa Bay’s pursuit. The Rays believe they could compete in 20-19 and’20, but in addition they do not want to exchange away too many of the younger players, as their goal is always to have continued success using their younger nucleus.
In terms of Martinez, it still remains to be seen whether St. Louis is willing to exchange him. With the accession of Paul Goldschmidt, it appeared that the Cardinals were going to get started shopping Martinez, but nothing has come to fruition on the past number of weeks. Martinez is under hands for four seasons, so the Cards are not forced to make any rapid decision .
Red Sox: Is 20-19 the entire year for a premier prospect’s debut?
Can it be possible hitting prospect Michael Chavis would play 2nd base in 2013?
— Roger, The Villages, Fla..
Ian Browne, Red Sox reporter: I think it’s more probable that Chavis will continue to obtain more vulnerability to first base. Mitch Moreland along with Steve Pearce both are eligible for free agency by the end of 20-19. In case Chavis includes a strong enough season, he could convince the Red Sox that he’s able to take over first base in’20. So far as second base, this could become an even realistic possibility if Dustin Pedroia has significantly more injury complications. But in this point, the Sox are optimistic that Pedroia can get back on the field. More >
Royals: Just how will the outfield shape up?
Jeff Flanagan, Royals author: This really will be considered a hot issue in Circle. Obviously, Alex Gordon along with Billy Hamilton possess just two places in the outfield. That will take rightfield? As previously mentioned, Phillips and Bonifacio have options, however, I might not be surprised if a number makes the 25-man roll and has enough playing time to warrant the choice. Soler, if healthy, is going to get most of the at bats in any right field/designated hitter rotation. That’s a Truth. I might still see them taking one more outfielder beyond Goodwin, though he could be a man that is dealt at some point as the Royals commence to look toward the future using No. 2 prospect Khalil Lee among others. More >
Tigers: too quickly for Mize’s call up?
Jason Beck,” Tigers author: Once upon a time, the notion of jumping a pitching prospect to the Majors quickly was not that far-fetched. Jeremy Bonderman opened the 2003 season in the Tigers rotation at age 20 after ending the preceding season in Class A ball. Rick Porcello did exactly the same six decades after. Justin-verlander made his Major League debut in 2005 barely a year after he was drafted.
Those movements rarely when happen anymore. Part of that is organizational planning: Teams attempt to time prospects’ arrivals in order they could construct a window to contend with young gift before players eventually become eligible for free agency. Part, too, comes from the way teams see pitchers’ innings from year to year in hopes of avoiding too big of a jump that could increase risk of trauma.
Therefore, while there is a strong possibility Casey Mize unlocks Spring Training at Major League camp for the experience like Alex Faedo did this past year, ” I really don’t expect him to make it to the big leagues before next year.
Twins: How would you describe exactly the Twins’ offseason strategy?
Do-Hyoung Park, Twins reporter: it is a balance between building for the future and making the most of an opportunity to contend. The American League Central is pretty weak right now, of course should the Twins get Bounce Back seasons in Miguel San-O along with Byron Buxton, this roll looks to have the ability to contend for the playoffs, and the front office is proceeding with recent movements for Nelson Cruz and Blake Parker.
Letting go of Aaron Slegers along with John Curtiss takes off two able arms for future years, but there’s organizational thickness to maintain the flying pipe-line populated dancing. Eleven of this Twins’ Top 30 prospects are pitchers, and Minnesota has numerous young pitchers that, like Slegers and Curtiss, are on the brink of setting themselves at the Major League level: Kohl Stewart, Stephen Gonsalves, Fernando Romero, Zack Littell, Adalberto Mejia, Chase De Jong along with Gabriel Moya, to name a few.
And if the Twins’ 20-19 push falls short? If that’s the case, Minnesota can deal a number of these players to competing teams for further prospects, just like it did in a season’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. More >
White Sox: Should the Sox pay big this offseason?
I don’t like to determine that the Sox willing to devote a large fraction of future spending to a location player. Remember that it was great starting pitching that got us exactly the 2005 championship. Even though we’ve several very excellent prospects planned, they are not a sure thing. Any massive contract for a standing player has to be one that will be traded away after if starting pitching will become necessary. Do you agree?
Scott Merkin, White Sox reporter: I don’t agree in this instance. You do not include a participant like Manny Machado or even Bryce Harper using the Notion of trading . These are players that you build winning franchises round. The White Sox targeted this offseason as part of the rebuild and also have a lot of citizenship versatility during the upcoming few decades. Pitching remains essential, but the White Sox are growing young hurlers and will add via free agency in the event the situation dictates. More >
Yankees: What’s the deal with Machado?
I have been dreaming about Manny Machado being the next baseman since his rookie year. Why is he not really a Yankee yet?
— Ruben E., Rockport, Texas
Bryan Hoch, Yankees reporter: A couple of years ago, when The Yankees were unloading veterans and adopting the”Baby Bombers” prior to the 2016 non-waiver Trade Deadline, it was easy to look at this offseason and wonder if they might spend a half-billion dollars to bring both Harper and Machado, perhaps in one wild Las Vegas Winter Meetings spending spree. That has not proven to be the circumstance.
It’s simple and incorrect to say that the team isn’t spending — gian-carlo Stanton‘s mega-contract struck the novels a year before, and they are on the right course to exceed the luxury tax brink in 20-19 — but general manager Brian Cashman has said a few times this offseason that the taste would be always to”field the best team that you possibly can, in a cost effective price if at all possible.”
Those words are ringing in my head over the previous couple weeks, as the chances of a Machado bargain seems to have faded and they’ve appeared to stand outside the Harper sweepstakes. Once we learned using Stanton, it’s prudent not to say not. I’ll believe they’re truly outside when Harper and Machado have news conferences supporting other teams’ jerseys.