Gearing up for Spring Training
Johanna's View
by Johanna Wagner
Gearing up for Spring Training
This post was written by Johanna Wagner on January 18, 2013
Posted Under: Johanna's View

While the countdown is underway until pitchers and catchers report, teams are all getting ready in very unique ways.  The Tigers and Royals are doing their annual caravan, sending groups of players out to various locations to meet fans, and drum up excitement for the season.

Over the next couple of weeks, the Cubs, Royals, Blue Jays  and a few other teams will bring in their top minor leaguers for small camps to help those players prepare for the pressures of professional baseball life. One example of what teams do to help the players comes through this Paul Sullivan story, about Mark Prior talking to prospects about the highs and lows of being a “top prospect.”   Most teams have someone that they can bring in to speak about handling the pressures- and with each day, and the growing media coverage- that pressure gets higher.

The third thing that is happening as we speak are the arbitration negotiations. Agents and teams are preparing their cases, and for those players who hold great value to a team, the negotiations to avoid hearings are well underway.  Internal discussions are going on all day on each side, with some back and forth, and as we head into the last week of January will begin to dominate headlines.  Note this update from Mark Sheldon about Reds RHP Logan Ondrusek who avoided arbitration yesterday.  Not exactly a headline grabber, but certainly the beginning of a trend.

Just about 25 days left before pitchers and catchers report.  It is perhaps the busiest time in baseball, yet so much of it will go unreported.

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Reader Comments

Gorzelanny was pretty efcfiteve as well as versatile. If its choice between Slaten and Gorzelanny I’d go with Gorzelanny. Who else is there? Severino? I don’t think his time in the majors was stellar do you? Given his versatility I’d expect they will pick Gorzo over Lannan. With all the lefties someone is going to have to go.If they manage to sign CJ Wilson and as for trading for Matt Kemp. Why BinM? Where would you put him when Harper is ready? And he is close enough where you have to consider it. Its why Werth has been in CF for a lot of this latter part of the season and its likely where he starts off in 2012. Its going to be Morse on one side and a stand-in for Harper on the other side. I don’t see the Shark making it with LaRoche at first base Marerro returns to Syracuse as does Bernadina. Its likely they will sign a free agent stand-in for Harper to play right field. The infield is a good kind of mess with Rendon added to the mix. Harrisburg and the Syracuse with Rendon, Norris, Moore, and Harper in the lineup should be interesting. Yeah, if they must they will put Tyler Moore on the 40-man. That’s a lock.

Written By Eslam on January 27th, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

Forgive me if I bring up the Major-League roster for a few mtenius here, but it does have an effect on who we see in the minors in 2012. The Nationals’ roster currently stands at 43 players, with three players (Kimball, Ramirez, & LaRoche on the 60-DL). Those spots will have to be cleared in order to arrive at a true 40-man roster by the end of the World Series. That should be easy, since the parent club has nine players whose contracts expire at the end of the season (Pudge, Livo, Cora, Bixler, Nix, Ankiel, Wang, Coffey, & Slaten), and five (Gomes, Gorzelanny, Severino, Ramirez, & Kimball) who could be non-tender candidates. That takes the roster down to somewhere between 29-34 players. By my count, there are about 25 Nationals minor-leaguers who could be exposed to this years’ RuleV draft or minor-league FA; Some have been exposed & cleared in prior years, but others are new & still highly valued by the Orginization. One would think that players like Norris, Smoker, and possibly others will be added to the 40-man prior to the GM’s meeting in December, but maybe not. Thoughts, anyone?

Written By Takim on January 27th, 2013 @ 11:59 pm

You are absolutely right about this- but before the team decides who is getting those open 40-man spots, they all have to play. Some of those open to Rule-V may sustain big injuries, or will be traded during the season. The team will wait until October to determine who its most valuable are- but I applaud your long-term thinking. That is exactly what the teams are doing!

Written By Johanna Wagner on February 6th, 2013 @ 10:01 am

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