I wonder what Baker Mayfield and Carson Wentz did to people at ESPN to merit the cheap shots they have been dealt. It’s beyond me that they can be called immature considering they are championing Deshaun Watson, who is facing 22 civil charges and just escaped being indicted on criminal charges.
Now, that the baseball lockout is thankfully over, big trades and free agency are occurring again. I know that I said last week that I would wait until the dust settled until making predictions but then realized that it needed to be done as soon as possible.
The defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves lost Freddie Freeman to free agency but traded for Matt Olson to replace him. Olson is largely unknown to the public due to playing in Oakland for years, but he can hit and fit in the Braves’ offense. A healthy Ronald Acuna, Jr. can help replace Freeman’s production. The key to repeating is the rotation and whether Mike Siroka can return from his long injury absence and Charley Morton can keep his late-career resurgence going.
The New York Mets, with the exception of the mid-1980s teams, have focused on developing their pitching staffs more than their everyday line-ups. This trend continues with the signing of Max Scherzer to go with a hopefully-healthy Jacob DeGrom. The offense needs a rebound year from Francisco Lindor among others to go with Pete Alonso.
Actually, I/m going with the Philadelphia Phillies for second. They aren’t a great defensive team but they have a better offense than the Mets led by Bryce Harper and Aaron Nola and Zach Wheeler anchor the rotation.
The Miami Marlins get fourth on default. They are stuck in a pattern of developing players only to have to trade them away and now Derek Jeter has left the organization.
The Washington Nationals have a younger version of Harper in Juan Soto, but they have lost virtually the rest of the 2019 World Championship teams and are in a rebuild.
Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o “Jeff’s Sports Corner” P. O. Box 781, Athens, WV 24712.