A Free Agency for the Books?


Kieran Aug

Noah Bushlow ’20 thinks the Mets have a chance to do some damage in their respective division, given their newfound talent.

Regarded by many as one of the most influential off-seasons in Major League Baseball (M.L.B.) history, this year’s 2019 free agency has certainly not lived up to the hype. Populated with colossal names such as RF (Right Fielder) Bryce Harper and SS/3B (Shortstop/Third Baseman) Manny Machado, teams were expected to be engaged in a no-holds-barred war for possible signings. Yet, there was a lack of teams willing to offer hundreds of millions to boost their talent. Just recently, Machado stunned fans after he signed a ten-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres—a team lacking talent, in a desperate attempt to cash out while he could. Following this, Harper accepted a record-breaking contract of $330 million for thirteen years from the Philadelphia Phillies, one of the few teams willing to offer.

Below are some popular teams that have made moves in free agency to improve their chances this season.

The New York Yankees

The large market of New York and the historical success makes the Yankees a desirable team to root for. Girls’ Varsity Softball player Pema Lama ’20 said, “Given the close proximity to our school and their talented team, it’s not a surprise that most kids here root for them.” The Yankees have quietly added established veterans to their roster in the hopes of bringing a 28th championship to New York. Their notable acquisitions include: SP (Starting Pitcher) James Paxton, one of the A.L.’s (American League) top aces last season, 2B (Second Baseman) D.J. LeMahieu, former N.L. (National League) batting champion, RP (Relief Pitcher) Adam Ottavino, a key piece in the Rockies pitching rotation last year, and SS Troy Tulowitzki, an aging veteran with five all-star appearances. Key re-signings include: SP C.C. Sabathia, SP J.A. Happ, and RP Zack Britton, all of which played big roles in their pitching rotation last year. Until now, they have been a top contender willing to shell out money for a young superstar. However, their recent signings indicate the direction they intend to go in. All of these new acquisitions are age thirty years or older, making it clear that the franchise is in win-now mode. Adding these seasoned veterans will surely contribute to the lasting impact RF(Right Fielder) Aaron Judge, DH (Designated Hitter) Giancarlo Stanton, and the rest of the Bronx Bombers left last year in a strong, 100-win season.

The Boston Red Sox

Beantown capped off a historic 108-win season last year by raising the World Series trophy in triumph, and came into this off-season looking to keep their core intact. Although their batting order looks to be secure for next season, a big part of their pitching core remained intent on testing the market. Losses include: RP Craig Kimbrel, arguably one of the best closers of all-time, and RP Joe Kelly, a fastballer in their bullpen who showed the ability to win important games. Just recently, SP Steven Wright was suspended for eighty games for the use of PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs). Although Boston is sure to remain a powerhouse in the A.L., it will be interesting to see them scramble for new pitching options.

The New York Mets

After nine seasons under Sandy Alderson, the Mets signed former agent Brodie van Wagenen to be their new General Manager. He wasted no time in trading washed-up OF Jay Bruce and some prospects for eight-time all-star and five-time silver slugger 2B Robinson Cano, and talented RP Edwin Diaz. Additionally, the decision to resign RP Jeurys Familia and to sign C (Catcher) Wilson Ramos and CF (Center Fielder) Rajai Davis indicate that they are looking for a swift turnaround into competing for a pennant. Varsity baseball player Noah Bushlow ’20 has high hopes for a successful campaign this year.“They finally made a splash in the off-season. Given the big market of New York, we fans can really get behind them this year because they look really talented. Finally, they are a competitor again to win the N.L. East pennant,” Bushlow said.

While it is unsure which teams will emerge as possible powerhouses, the baseball landscape will undoubtedly change with the immense amount of talent signing with new teams. Yet, fans across the world are less than enthusiastic due to the perception that some of the brightest stars are amassing unnecessary fortunes. We hope to see these players prove their worth on the big stage.