The reigning AL MVP Jose Altuve just got motherfucking PAID. Altuve signed a 5 year $150 million extension with the Houston Astros. That's definitley the most money a player under 5'10" has ever made in MLB history. Haven't fact checked that with Elias sports bureau, although I can basically guarantee that to be true. Altuve deserves every penny of the payday he got. What more could he possibly have to prove, he's clearly the best second baseman in baseball, so he got paid like it. Now he surpasses Robinson Cano for highest yearly salary by a second baseman. Who could've seen this coming, when Altuve was trying to break into the show he couldn't even get a tryout, now he gets paid $30 million a year, what a world.
This deal makes me very happy, not only because Altuve is a good guy and earned this payday, but the Astros are finally going to have to spend big money to keep their young players. This means the window is beginning to slowly close on them since at some point down the road they're going to run out of money in the payroll. Won't happen for years, still it's a step in that direction. See a team like the Yankees or Dodgers don't have that problem since they'll just dig into their wallets and overspend like they always have. The Astros haven't shown us that they'll do that, so this is the first contract to really start weighing on them. A lot of their players are very young still, which means they have dirt cheap contracts, however soon enough they're going to want to be paid just like Altuve.
Astros have now locked up Altuve for the foreseeable future. Altuve will start the season as a 28 year old, usually ball players don't see a drop off in their game until after 33, so the Astros should have him in peak form the next 5 seasons. With that being said a huge part of Altuve's game is his ability to run the base paths using his speed as a deadly weapon. I'm sure that'll fade a tad over the course of this contract, but when a guy is going to hit .330 every year, you get over that quickly. It should be a very happy day in Houston as a cornerstone piece of the franchise is locked in to stick around for at least another 5 years.
Baltimore Orioles season is off to hot start with the news that Mark Trumbo will potentially miss the first two weeks of the season. Trumbo suffered a grade 2 quad strain that will have him sidelined 3-4 weeks. If you have the ability to do basic math you'll be able to come to the conclusion that with the season starting in 14 days that Trumbo will ultimately miss the first couple series of the season. The Orioles, who solely rely on their offense to produce more runs than their pitchers let up to win games, need all the fire power they can get. Starting the season without one of their biggest bats could potentially dig them into a small hole that they'll never recover from. When you're in a division with the Yankees and the Red Sox you don't have room for setbacks, everything has to go perfect to even have a sliver of hope.
Trumbo is coming off a pretty lackluster season. He hit 23 homers, drove in 65 runs, and recorded a career low batting average of .234. This was after coming off the best year of his career when he led the league in homeruns and drove in over 100 RBI's. The Orioles need Trumbo to return to 2016 form if they want to compete for a wildcard spot. Let's just be honest, there's no fucking way this team wins the AL East, and in no way am I being biased. The fact Trumbo is starting the season with a quad injury is not a good sign of things to come for him this season. This is one of those injuries that seems to linger and come back throughout the season. Hopefully for the Orioles and Trumbo that's not the case, however I've seen this movie time and time again, usually ends up with a miserable season from the player.
The Yankees have signed second basemen Neil Walker to a one year deal. Walker has had a stint in New York before, just with the team across town. With the Mets, Walker was a solid second basemen when healthy, he hit for power, and he's a .270 hitter with a solid glove. The Yankees had the likes of Gleyber Torres, Tyler Wade, and Ronald Torreyes competing for the second base job in spring training, which ultimately will be handed over to Neil Walker now. That means the second base and third base position have now been filled and the Yankees won't be using their young prospects. That's why I hate this deal.
I know the Yankees are putting together the best team possible to win as many games possible, I totally commend them for that. As a fan I want to see some of our young guys flourish in a lineup that has some of the best hitters in the game. Miguel Andujar was crushing it in spring training proving to the world that he's a big league hitter. Gleyber Torres is one of the best prospects in baseball and has the potential to be one of the best players on the Yankees one day. Not getting to see those guys play this year is going to really blow. I'm sure Walker will get injured like he does every year and then Torres will see some playing time, but it's not the same. I know the Yankees are doing this for business reasons, by not playing Torres or Andujar at the start of the season they get to keep them on their dirt cheap deals longer. It's a business, Cashman knows the business very well, and that's why he's making these moves. I'd be an idiot to not trust Cashman and what he's doing so I'm just going to shut up and enjoy the 110 win team he has put together for us while keeping a stacked farm system. Thank the good lord for making me a Yankees fan where I get to complain about signing a former silver slugger.
The Philadelphia Phillies have signed Jake Arrieta to a 3 year $75 million contract. Arrieta is coming off his worst season with the Cubs as he finished the year with 14 wins, 10 losses, and a 3.57 ERA. Arrieta had won a Cy Young award and made an all star team in his 4 years with the Cubs, something no one expected from him when he was brought in. Arrieta surpassed expectations by a mile and helped lead the Cubs back to glory for the first time in 108 years. The Cubs made the right move in letting Arrieta walk away and using that money to reinvest into a new pitcher. Arrieta seems to be on the decline and $25 million per year is a lot for a pitcher that isn't in his prime. Phillies are getting a once Cy Young caliber pitcher at a Cy Young caliber pitcher price. The thing is Arrieta is no longer the pitcher he once was for that two year stretch where he was almost untouchable. Arrieta will bring Philadelphia some solid outings and will be their most consistent starter, but I hope they aren't expecting to get 2015 Jake Arrieta.
The Phillies can spend this type of money since they really have no where else to put it right now. They're rebuilding, which means they don't have many big contracts on the payroll. They added Carlos Santana and Jake Arrieta to held show their young guys how to be winners. By the time these young guys are looking to get paid since their rookie deals will be up, Arrieta and Santana will be off the payroll, so it's not going to effect the long term much, if at all. This is a solid signing for the Phillies, nothing that's going to get them over the hump, though. This team still has a long way to go before they're competing for a playoff spot.
The Mariners are close to a deal that would bring Ichiro Suzuki back to Seattle in 2018, according to MLB insider Jon Heyman. Ichiro hasn’t played for the Mariners since 2012 after spending the first 12 seasons of his MLB career there. Now, in his 18th season at the age of 44 he will rejoin the Mariners.
Ichiro will get a major league contract and be on the 40 man roster. How much will he actually play, well that depends on a few things. He’s clearly not going to be an everyday player, but he’ll serve in the 4th outfielder role giving guys nights off and filling in for injuries. I’d assume this is basically the Ichiro retirement tour and by bringing him back they’ll be able to sell more tickets.
Ichiro posted a .255 batting average, drove in 20 runs, and had a total of 50 hits in 136 games played last season. Safe to say he won’t be the piece to push the Mariners back to the playoffs for the first time since his rookie year. What a story that would be. The first year Ichiro joins the Mariners he takes them to the playoffs and then the last year of his career he does the same. The odds are super unlikely, however it’d be a dope way to send Ichiro off into the sunset.
I don’t know if Ichiro is ready to hang them up, though. I can see him being the modern day Julio Franco. I’m pretty sure that guy is still playing baseball somewhere. So, even if Ichiro does retire from the MLB after this season, I don’t think it’ll mean he’s retiring from baseball. 5k hits isn’t that far away...
Djack- Chief editor