The Gold Glove winners were announced, so we will hit on that a bit. A former star who failed in the playoffs had surgery. The potential AL ROY basically told his team he’s never signing an extension with them. A 30-homer bat moved across seas. The Reds are trying their darndest to save every flippin’ penny they can as well. There’s more in here too.
Here are the winners.
Here’s a quick rundown.
The Cardinals made history, somehow winning five Gold Gloves. They had a good season, but you would have thought they would have been even better with such stellar defense, no?
Nolan Arenado, one of the five, has the longest Gold-Glove streak in baseball history for an infielder, and the only man ahead of him in the outfield, Ichiro Suzuki, had already played 951 professional games over nine years before coming to North America.
Arenado is now only behind two all-time legends at third base.
Yuli Gurriel is really old.
Marcus Semien sure showed his versatility as he entered 2021 with 29 games at second base.
HE HAD SURGERY
Alex Bregman hit like doo-doo in the playoffs, and now we know why. He not only was hurt, but he ended up needing surgery on his wrist.
He is expected to be fully recovered by Spring Training.
How much doo-doo did he toss out there? Well, in 16 games he went .217-1-7 with a .604 OPS. He was also 7-for-44 to end the post season. Yep, copious amounts of doo-doo. I never thought, when I woke up this morning, that I would get to use such a fun term as doo-doo so many times today. What a world.
REDS CHOOSING IMPLOSION?
Turns out the Reds were not joking when they said they were gonna be looking closely at the payroll. What has happened thus far.
1 – They extended a qualifying offer of 1-year, $18.4 million to Nick Castellanos which he will of course turn down and almost certainly means his career in Cincinatti is over. Why not sign him to an extension?
2 – They embarrassingly let Wade Miley go by simply waiving him to save $1 million which seems idiotic on the surface. When you consider that the club could have picked up his $10 million salary for 2022 and then traded him for something, it’s even dumber. He’s not great, but he’s a veteran lefty coming off a season of 12-7, a 3.37 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP and 163 innings, and you mean to tell me they couldn’t get anything for him on the market? Don’t believe the stories that no team offered them some prospect or something for him as I refuse to believe that. Instead, they got zero, nothing, nada. Honestly, if they were going to do this, why didn’t they move him at the trade deadline when they positively could have gotten pieces in return?
3 – Today’s news revolves around Luis Castillo.
He’s not a free agent in 2022.
He’s not a free agent in 2023.
He’s not a free agent until 2024.
He’s almost 29 years old, and after a horrific start to the 2021 campaign he did what hardly anyone does in that scenario – he rebounded and pitched well. We will see what the return is for his services, but they better get a hell of a lot for him if they decide to move on as it would mean that 2/5 of their starting rotation from 2021 would be gone.
THIS AND THAT
Randy Arozarena, fresh off a 20/20 rookie season, just told the Rays that he will not sign a contract extension with them – ever. How do I know this?
Andrew Heaney will have some suitors now that he’s a free agent.
J.D. Martinez decided to accept the $19.5 million option he had on his contract, so he will remain with the Red Sox. JDM led the AL with 42 doubles, and went .286-28-99-92 with a .867 OPS. It was a solid bounce back campaign for the 34 year old, though his performance in the second half wasn’t exactly scintillating (.268-10-37 over 64 games with a .787 OPS). That 2021 effort should be his baseline for 2022.
Renato Nunez went .244-31-90 over 151 games in 2019. In 2020 he went .256-12-31 over 52 games, or virtually the exact same pace as ’19. Last season he appeared in only 14 games after the Orioles release him. A lack of refinement and poor defense was enough for two organizations to say, nah, thanks for your 30-homer power, but we aren’t interested. Now Nunez is saying – nah, not interested – to Major League teams as he signed a 1-year, $1.6 million deal to join Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan. Will he star across the ocean and return to the Majors? Only time will tell.
Christian Vazquez will return to the Red Sox after they club picked up his $7 million option. The 31 year old is actually the longest tenured Red Sox at this point having first appeared with the club in 2014. Over the last three years, covering more than 1,200 plate appearances, he’s hit .270 with a .319 OBP and .422 SLG with 36 homers and 16 steals.
Mike Zunino will be a Ray next year after the team picked up his $7 million option. Zunino went .216-33-62 over 375 plate appearances. That was his first season in three years hitting above .165 and over his last 340 games he’s batting .193. He’s got power, but my goodness does he have holes in that game including a 36 percent K-rate the last four years.
FINAL WORLD SERIES NOTE
This is from Jayson Stark.
The Braves just became the 15th different franchise to win a World Series in those last 21 seasons. And would you like me to compare that to how it’s going in the other three major professional sports? Hey, I thought so!
FRANCHISES TO WIN A TITLE, LAST 21 SEASONS
MLB — 15 teams
NFL — 11 teams
NBA — 11 teams
NHL — 12 teams