Marwin González agrees to deal with Twins
Although he wasn’t one of the huge names lingering in free agency, Marwin González was one of the most talked about players remaining. He’s short of being a star, but he can play all over the diamond and thus can realistically be fit onto just about any roster in baseball. It was strange that it took him so long to find a new deal, but the wait came to an end on Friday. The former Astros infielder agreed to a two-year deal with Minnesota worth $21 million total. That is a great deal for the Twins, even if you are expecting some decline from González over the next couple of years. That versatility mentioned above is a huge value as it allows you to roster a specialist or two in other areas since he can back up just about every non pitcher/catcher position. With the Twins specifically, he should be able to serve in an everyday role moving all around the diamond. Minnesota is not going to be the favorite in their division, but with Cleveland not taking the steps to address their clear weaknesses they are leaving themselves open to disappointment in the AL Central with a bad break or two. If anyone can usurp them in that division, it will be the Twins. This helps get them one step closer.
The pitch clock is coming to spring training
For what seems like decades but as really only been a few years, one of Rob Manfred’s biggest pet projects has been getting the pitch clock implemented in the majors. The league formally proposed the idea to the Players Union last year, and that gives them the authority to unilaterally implement the rule for one year in 2019. It is still unclear whether or not it will be added in the regular season, but it will be there in spring training. Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports has the details. We’ve discussed this numerous times in the past years, so I won’t go too deep into it again. My basic stance is that I don’t think most would notice a huge difference with the pitch clock and it’s generally made the minors slightly better. I wouldn’t be mad at the implementation in the majors. That said, the majors and minors are different things and acting as though slow pitchers are a bigger driver of pace-of-play problems than, say, long commercial breaks is naive at best. Either way, I don’t know that the pitch clock will be necessary in the next three, five or ten years. Once the majority of the pitchers have already gotten used to it in the minors, one would imagine the pace of pitching in the majors would naturally speed up, clock or no clock.