Pitchers and catchers have officially reported, and between spring training games and the World Baseball Classic, baseball will be back on our televisions before we know it.
Even though the start of the regular season is just a bit over a month away, teams around MLB are still making news as they look to improve their clubs or extend their current stars. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories over the last week around baseball.
Could This Be Machado’s Last Year With The Padres?
Between Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis, and Xander Bogaerts, the San Diego Padres have put together a collection of offensive talent that will likely challenge the Dodgers for the NL West crown. Still, Padres’ fans were disheartened a bit on Friday as one of those stars indicated this year might be his last in San Diego.
Machado told reporters on Friday that he intends to opt out of his current contract after the current season.
Machado is in the fifth year of a 10-year, $300 million deal that would see him leave half of that money if he indeed opts out.
At 30-years-old, Machado might believe that he can get one last mega contract in his career and intends to explore that possibility. Last year, in 578 at bats, Machado hit .298/.366/.531 with 32 home runs, 102 runs batted in, 100 runs scored, and nine stolen bases.
San Diego currently has the fourth-best odds of winning the National League at +500, and they have the sixth-best odds of winning the World Series at +1000.
Rangers Bring In Veteran Outfielder
On Friday, the Texas Rangers helped to solidify their outfield by bringing in veteran Robbie Grossman on a one-year deal worth $2 million (plus incentives).
Last season, the 33-year-old Grossman hit .209/.310/.311 with seven home runs, 45 runs batted in, and 40 runs scored between the Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves.
The Rangers may be considering the switch hitter for a platoon as he has hit lefties really well. While he hit just .163/.253/.509 against righties last year, he hit a whopping .320/.436/.879 against lefties.
The Rangers are trying to improve on a 68-94 record from last season, where they ended up trailing the division leading Astros by 38 games.
Texas has just the fourth-best odds of winning the AL West at +1000 this season.
Phillies Extend Pair Of High Leverage Relievers
The Philadelphia Phillies have one of the best bullpens in baseball, and it appears that they have locked up a couple of their high-leverage guys to contract extensions.
On Thursday, the club announced that they were in an agreement with Seranthony Dominguez on a two-year deal, with a club option for 2025. In total the deal guarantees him just over $7 million.
In 54 appearances during the regular season last year, Dominguez went 6-5 with a 3.00 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and had 61 strikeouts in 51 innings.
Elsewhere, the club also locked up lefty Jose Alvarado on a three-year contract worth $22 million. His deal also has a club option for $9 million in 2026.
Alvarado went 4-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 59 games last season. He also had a 1.21 WHIP and 81 strikeouts in 51 innings of work.
The Phillies are hoping to get back to the World Series this season, but have to battle through a really tough NL East. They have the third-best odds of winning their division (+300), and they have the seventh-best odds of winning it all (+1400).