This MLB offseason has been one of the slowest I can ever remember, which is painstaking for big baseball fans. If it weren’t so cold, you would be able to hear the crickets chirping.
However, it looks like the dominos may start to fall. Last week, the Milwaukee Brewers signed Lorenzo Cain to a 5 year, 80 million dollar deal and also traded for Christian Yelich in a deal with the Miami Marlins. It appears the Chicago Cubs are the favorites to sign free agent starter Yu Darvish some time this week.
In past years, once the bigger free agents start to find teams to play with, it triggers a frenzy of signings and rosters start to shape up for the upcoming season. Still available are big names such as:
And that is just a sampling of players who still don’t have a team with the beginning of Spring Training less than three weeks away. I have a feeling things will finally start to give. Players and teams both will likely be more willing to compromise as time winds down.
Late this afternoon, baseball journalist Jon Heyman sent a tweet out that reported the New York Yankees and back-up catcher Austin Romine reached an agreement for a one year contract for the 2018 season, bypassing arbitration.
As one might predict, Twitter’s peanut-gallery came to life fairly quick with the usual barbs about Romine not hitting well and being an automatic out and other “interesting takes”.
I like the move. As far as I’m concerned he’s worth every penny of that 1.1 million salary, and I will list the ways.
– Romine is familiar with every pitcher on the Yankees staff and vice-versa. It’s obviously nice to have a catcher who can hit the way Gary Sanchez does, but in my opinion it’s imperative for catchers to put defense and working with pitchers first, gaining a pitcher’s trust and confidence. It can have a greater effect to the entire team, and Romine has always done this and done it well.
– The aforementioned Sanchez will benefit from Romine’s presence and mentoring. I think it’s safe to assume the 29 year old Romine has been and will continue to tutor the younger Sanchez in effort to make him better at his craft behind the plate.
– Work ethic. To this writer, it seems like Romine has been around forever. He first made his MLB debut back in 2011, and had to overcome numerous injuries, shuttling back and forth to Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre when healthy. Romine has outlasted follow backups Francisco Cervelli and John Ryan Murphy on the team and keeps coming back for more. After a season where Gary Sanchez’s worth ethic has been questioned, keeping Romine around at an inexpensive price was a wise choice.