Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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It’s Jan. 19, we’ve got our Hall of Fame results, and Jose Bautista has signed. There is about a month before anything else meaningful goes down in baseball. That is, unless a couple more of these notable free agents sign before spring training begins, which isn’t necessarily a given. They are out there, though, these players who can still help teams, and you don’t have to squint to see them. Matt Wieters had a down year at the plate, but he’s still Matt Wieters behind it. Mark Trumbo led the majors in homers with 47, and even if he slips from his strong 2016, he can still be a useful bat even at first base. Mike Napoli was the first baseman on the AL’s World Series representative last year, and hit 34 dingers. Chris Carter led the NL in homers, and while the Brewers cut him because his defense is nonexistent, there are teams who could still use a DH upgrade.
Chase Utley had some issues at home and in the second half, but he still showed power on the road and late in 2016 — he’ll be 38, but that also means he’ll be inexpensive. Pedro Alvarez is a DH who can hit righties, and slugged over .500 in 2016. There are still lots of pitchers whose names you know left out there, like Doug Fister and Brett Anderson and Jon Niese and Jake Peavy, all of whom might not have much left to offer, but hey: it’s mid-January. Finding out will be cheaper than usual, and pitching depth is a requirement.
So sure, we’re past the super exciting point of the winter, outside of seeing if the Rockies come to their senses and sign Mark Trumbo or Chris Carter to send baseballs into orbit on the reg. The offseason isn’t over both in the sense of where we are on the calendar and who is left to sign, and there are enough free agents left that we’ll probably still be talking about some of them when camps open up next month. Whether that’s good or bad news depends entirely on whether you’re waiting for your team to upgrade some more or not.
- Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Clearing three names from future ballots is a good thing, considering how overstuffed they have been of late.
- Ivan Rodriguez’s reaction to his election will make you feel things.
- Grant Brisbee broke down the best and worst of the 2017 Hall of Fame vote. Spoiler: they could have added even more than three players.
- They nearly did, with Trevor Hoffman falling just one percent short of election, and Vladimir Guerrero wasn’t too far behind that. Next time, probably.
- They weren’t quite as close, but Edgar Martinez, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds all gained ground in the vote, and their elections don’t seem impossible anymore.
- Seriously, though, Ian Desmond should not play first base for the Rockies.
- Over the Monster peered into the future to see how many Hall of Famers the Red Sox might have.
- The Orioles’ middle infield might not be as good as they think it is.
- The Indians have had an impressive streak of offseason moves, with Brandon Guyer the latest.
- The A’s recent signings make a lot of sense, even if they aren’t exciting.
- The Royals are taking a calculated risk with their $65 million Danny Duffy extension. Will any other Royals sign long-term deals?
- The Yankees haven’t had a superstar for a while — at least, not one who was still playing like one — but that could change soon.