First thing’s first: we all witnessed history in 2021. Not just “normal” history like every MLB year. I’m talking about a year that will be discussed by the grandkids of our grandkids. The type of thing we can brag about seeing for the rest of our lives.
And yesterday the BBWAA did the only sensible thing. They awarded Shohei Ohtani the MVP in a historic unanimous vote.
While we here at CtPG have been rolling out our annual armchair GM series, real GM’s across baseball have been busy handing out some serious coin. Especially to pitchers coming off Tommy John surgery.
I wonder if kids 20 years from now will even know Tommy John was a pitcher. I’m betting they won’t know why cashiers are called cashiers. After all, they will likely never see cash.
The Angels handed out $21 million to Noah “Thor” Syndergaard. He’s two years removed from his TJ and hopefully back to health.
How did this unexpected signing happen? Angels GM Perry Minasian flew across the country, bought Thor dinner, and explained how they’d both use him and try to keep him healthy. He was so wooed he didn’t even give the Mets a chance to match the offer.
That’s a really great link there. Lots of information on both parties and another crack at the Mets. And while I definitely have my reservations regarding Thor’s health, these numbers below show the upside.
Speaking of the Mets, they can now welcome highly athletic football players as first round draft picks and relievers chosen solely for velocity. Yes, they named Billy Eppler as their new GM.
The Mets couldn’t call Eppler their first choice. Or second. Or third. But they did manage to call him “unbelievably competent” which is as underwhelming of a compliment as I’ve ever heard.
Justin Verlander, another pitcher recovering from Tommy John surgery, also declined to accept his Qualifying Offer. Instead he went back to the Asterisks for two years and $50 million. Unless, of course, you count his ability to opt out of the deal next Fall. So really it is one year and $25 million unless he sucks this year.
Interesting note. Back when Tommy John had Tommy John surgery it was estimated he had a 1% shot of returning to the majors. Now almost 85% of the pitchers who undergo the procedure are back after a year of recovery.
Not all news was about pitchers with new elbow ligaments. Jose Berrios signed a massive extension in Toronto.
Brandon Belt decided to stay with the Giants and was the only player issued a Qualifying Offer to accept it. With Buster Posey’s retirement, Belt is now the longest tenured Giant.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers are having a pivotal off season. The unresolved issue of Trevor Bauer is only complicating it. They have a loaded free agent class and $64 million owed to a guy who may or may not collect it.
If the Angels were to sign just one of the Dodgers free agents, which would you want? Seager, Scherzer, Taylor, Jansen, or Kershaw? In reality, Jansen. Spending like drunken sailors, though, I could argue either of the first two.
In more general baseball links, Cedric Mullins had a breakout 30 HR, 30 SB season for Baltimore in 2021. What did previous 30/30 guys do the following year?
I’m not much of a hockey fan but I’ll generally root for all teams Pittsburgh. That will change if the Roid Sux complete their deal to buy the Penguins.
Finally, he’s a cheating a-hole but he’s not wrong:
Enjoy your weekend and post anything I miss. If you have a side in USC/UCLA enjoy. Me, I’ll be watching a scintillating fight card on ESPN at 4 and the Crawford/Porter fight on PPV at 6. It is impossible for either of those two to be in a dull fight.