MLB players perfect their skills in spring training

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MLB players perfect their skills in spring training

Bryce Harper makes his first official hit as a player on the Philadelphia Phillies after spring training.

Bryce Harper makes his first official hit as a player on the Philadelphia Phillies after spring training.

MLB.org

Bryce Harper makes his first official hit as a player on the Philadelphia Phillies after spring training.

MLB.org

MLB.org

Bryce Harper makes his first official hit as a player on the Philadelphia Phillies after spring training.

Zach Lustbader, Staff Writer

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The offseason for the MLB is about to end as the season is about to begin.  The off season is the part of the year where players and teams can work on deals and trades to sign new players.  While the offseason is coming to a close, that does not mean that the excitement of free agency has died down.  In fact, over the past few weeks, the free agency market has been as hot as ever.  

With the headliners of course being super stars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, other notable transactions were also made throughout the past months.  These included catcher J.T. Realmuto signing with the Phillies, Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp being traded to the Reds, and Paul Goldschmidt agreeing to terms with the Cardinals.  In addition, other transaction is Wilson Ramos, Edwin Diaz, Jed Lowrie and Robinson Cano all being acquired by the Mets.  With all this being said, the most notable signings were Manny Machado to the Padres and Bryce Harper to the Phillies.  Many people are skeptical as to whether these transactions will create a positive impact for the team going forward. 

However, junior Justin Kingsley is quite confident in the Phillies addition of Bryce Harper.  

“I truly believe that Bryce Harper going to the Phillies was a huge addition and was just what they needed to get over the hill as a top contender in their division, and even in the whole league.  With this being said, I expect the Phillies to go very deep into to playoffs this upcoming season,” said Kingsley.

With expectations surrounding teams like the Phillies being so high, it will be very interesting to see how everything falls into place this year.  However, expectations for the other blockbuster dealing of Machado are a lot more complicated.  Many believe that he will impact the team positively on the field, but other fans are a lot more skeptical of what he will bring off the field.  

“I personally feel that this move is bad for the Padres because they spent an enormous amount of money for not even the most talented third baseman, who in my opinion is Nolan Arenado,” said sophomore Chris Chang.  “In addition, it seems as if he will bring a bad reputation to the locker room because of his personality and past behavior.  However, the team will definitely improve on the field because Manny Machado is still one of the best players in the league.” 

Obviously, many people have different views as to how these free agency moves will work out, with some believing that it will be very exciting to see them unfold this season.  On the other hand, others feel like their teams are under the radar due to these big free agent signings in their divisions.  For example, the National League East is stacked with juggernaut teams like the Phillies, Braves, Nationals, and Mets.

“This free agency has gotten me worried about the season,” said sophomore Michael Scotto.  “With everyone talking about the Phillies with Bryce Harper and their other new additions, the Braves with their star-studded young phenoms, and the Nationals with their dominant pitching staff, no one is paying much attention to the Mets.  As a Mets fan, all this attention to the other teams being amazing may not end up being true, as they could easily not live up to their expectations.  Since everyone is only thinking about the upside, the Mets are being put in the rearview mirror when talking about teams that can make a playoff push, which I believe they are capable of.” 

Overall, fans have many different views on the free agency saga this offseason and how it will play out this season and through the playoffs.  The only way to know is to wait until opening day, which is on March 28, only a couple of days away!

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