This MLB offseason has been dismal at best. To stay relevant, the league must have more interesting winter months.
Throughout these cold winter months, one thing that usually keeps us baseball people warm is the flames that come off that “hot stove” of the MLB offseason.
But this winter has seen no such things.
To say this offseason has been dismal would be an understatement. It has been underwhelming in every sense of the word. At various points throughout these winter months, there are times that we seem to forget that from February to October, there’s baseball on TV.
And that right there is the problem.
In other sports, the offseason is a time to swap players and sign big free agents. As we’ve seen recently in the NBA, the offseason was almost more interesting than the season itself and it’s been that way for years now. LeBron James‘ multiple “decisions”. The Kevin Durant free agency decision during the summer of 2016 created the primetime rivalry of KD and Russell Westbrook. People couldn’t wait for them to go head to head. This past summer saw free agents going to every part of the NBA map and the Kyrie Irving saga.
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In the NHL, free agents are signed and moved July 1st , the first day of free agency. Trades are made, free agents move quickly, and storylines are created.
The MLB has had the exact opposite this offseason.
Pace of play is consistently harped upon in baseball. The game is getting slower and people’s attention spans are craving things that are faster. A younger generation of fans are entering into the baseball world with a desire for speed and drama.
Since baseball can’t really provide the speed aspect, it shouldn’t be a problem to provide the drama. The problem is that this year, there have been next to no storylines created.
There was Giancarlo Stanton going to the New York Yankees to play alongside Aaron Judge. That’s a cool storyline for their rivalry with the Boston Red Sox. In that rivalry, when one team makes a big move, the other teams matches it.
But the Red Sox have done no such thing yet and it’s January 7th. They have an offer on the table for slugger J.D. Martinez but no real progress past that has occurred.
Even crazier is Spring Training is almost a month away and most of the top free agents remain unsigned.
Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, and Jay Bruce all are still not signed with their 2018 team. Teams are “showing interest” in all of them. Some were even edgy enough to offer them contracts.
The bottom line is that the offseason is moving too slowly. Nothing is happening, storylines aren’t being made, and baseball continues to do everything at a snail’s pace.
MLB is just going through the motions right now and that’s a pretty dangerous move.