It’s that time of year again: America’s favorite pastime.
Spring training is about to start, with pitchers and catchers either having reported or will be reporting in the next few days.
During spring training, the MLB is divided into two leagues, the Cactus League and the Grapefruit League. Teams that are in Arizona for spring training are in the Cactus League, while teams in Florida are in the Grapefruit League.
Spring training is good to see which teams and players may perform this coming season, or how the younger players can be valuable to their respective ball clubs in the future.
This is the time that sports analytics start to predict which teams can make a World Series run. Will we see a team that has used the strategy of the last three World Series winners, Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros, who all broke down and rebuilt? Or will we see a powerhouse team like the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers? Perhaps a team that no one will think of? We know that we won’t see the Miami Marlins, with Derek Jeter trading away every well-known name on the roster. Maybe they are trying to break down and rebuild, but they don’t have a lot in return or to even build around what is left.
Spring training season consists of just over 30 games, depending on the team and their schedule.
The downfall of this year’s spring training, as of right now, is the lack of big-name players being signed to ball clubs.
Spring training is used for players to gel and grow relationships together. This is very important for pitchers and catchers, as they have, in my opinion, the biggest job during the game.
There are times that a certain pitcher likes a certain catcher to call the game and catch for them. Without having that time to grown and build relationships, they will not have that chemistry come game day.
Yu Darvish, who was the most talked about name this offseason, just signed a deal to go to the Cubs. The Cubs did offer a deal for Jake Arrieta to return, but he declined.
I hope now that with the signing of Darvish, other top free agents will sign. Players such as Arrieta, J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb to name a few.
It is not only the top free agents suffering from the lack of signing. There are players that should get major league deals that are getting minor league deals, and players are not even getting a minor league deal that should.
This all comes from team owners and general managers not wanting to pay players a big deal contract. Not every pitcher is a Clayton Kershaw or position player as Mike Trout.
Players are refusing to sign and are boycotting spring training until the issue is resolved and they can get paid what they think they deserve.
To me, you’re a professional baseball player, just take the deal and go play so this issue can be over with and spring training and regular season can actually feel like it is starting.