Fortunately, I’m still riding high from watching my team win the World Series last October. If it hadn’t been for the 2018 Red Sox gifting us a boatload of memories to cling to throughout this offseason — plus, you know, the Patriots going to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five years — it’s hard to tell exactly how bored we would be right now.
In terms of free agency, this offseason has been an all-time disappointment. It had been hyped for years and was supposed to be one of the most exciting free agency periods ever, with huge names like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado headlining it all. This free agent class even included our very own Craig Kimbrel, and former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, not to mention a former MVP in Josh Donaldson and arguably the best catcher in baseball being available via trade.
How could this offseason not be epic? Well, we’re now three months into it, and it seems like nothing has happened yet. We’re going to crown a Super Bowl champion before we find out which teams will be landing Harper and Machado.
And the craziest thing of all is that spring training is literally right around the corner, and there’s still so much talent available. During an offseason in which the hot stove was supposed to burning hotter than ever, it has never been colder.
One of my good friends is a humongous baseball geek, and he basically plans his entire year around MLB free agency. At this point, I’m convinced he enjoys the offseason more than the actual baseball season (as a White Sox fan, who could blame him?) He spent the entire 2018 regular season bending my ear about how pumped he was for the offseason because of the upcoming free agent class; in particular, he couldn’t wait to see Chicago finally make a run at a superstar player.
But now? My friend is just sad and depressed. He had his heart set on Machado months ago, and now he’s just trying to figure out what he did to deserve being put through this agony. When MLB free agency fails to deliver the goods, he pretty much feels like he’s been stabbed in the back.
At this point, it’s very hard to blame him. Even I had bought into the hype. After the Red Sox clinched the World Series at Dodger Stadium, I started becoming more and more intrigued every week. Where would Harper end up? What about Machado? Or Keuchel? Or Kimbrel?
Honestly, I was just praying that Harper stayed away from the Yankees. They stole the show during last year’s offseason with their acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton, and it was the biggest story in baseball leading up to spring training. This year, I just didn’t want to deal with three months of “Harper is finally wearing pinstripes” stories.
But now February is upon us and nobody has done anything, and I would almost welcome those stories at this point. Heck, the Red Sox just won the World Series, and they beat the Yankees on their way to doing it. Maybe Harper, or even Machado, going to New York wouldn’t be that bad right now. At least SOMETHING would be happening.
All I know is that this offseason has been an absolute snooze-fest, and I’m very close to completely losing interest. Maybe that’s just the way it needs to be. If we all stop watching Harper and Machado like hawks, maybe they will actually do something. Worth a shot, right?