Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: February 17, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

The Major League Baseball owners made a couple of offers to the Player’s Association that would’ve delayed the start of spring training and cut the regular season schedule to 154 games. Now the Player’s Association turned down those offers; so believe it or not spring training actually opens today.

Like always it’s just pitchers and catchers that have reported to Arizona and Florida respectively, but it won’t be long before the position players report and before you know it baseball season will be upon us.

It was a bit of an odd off season free agent market and there are still a few starting pitchers available that could really help a teams rotation. It will be interesting to see if and or when these pitchers find a team to pitch for.

I’m a little surprised that Jake Odorizzi, Taijuan Walker and Julio Teheran didn’t sign with a team before spring training camps opened, but there didn’t.

Odorizzi will turn 31 years old next month and while he only made 4 starts last season do to injury he’s coming off of a 2019 season where he went 15-7 with an ERA of 3.51. With the exception of last season Odorizzi has made his starts for whichever team he was pitching for. Odorizzi has made 28 or more starts every season from 2014 to 2019 in that same timeframe he has pitched anywhere from 143 1/3rd innings to 187 2/3rd innings. It’s difficult for me to believe that there’s not a team out there that can’t use Odorizzi as their third starter, but as of right now he’s still a free agnet.

Walker is another interesting case. He’s never seemed to reach the level that teams thought he might, but after being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays last season he seemed to find something. Walker went 2-1 with an ERA of 1.37 in 6 starts for the Blue Jays. Now Walker did pitched just 3 games in 2018 and just 1 game in 2019 as he was injured, but Walker is just 28 years old and won’t turn 29 until August; so he’s young enough to have been able to completely recover from those injuries. Walker would be a nice add as a back of the rotation starter for any team that needs a little pitching help and he’s still a free agent.

Teheran is another available starter that could help a team, but he might be hurt because he doesn’t light up the radar gun like most if not all pitchers do in today’s game. Teheran turned 30 years old last month and already has 8 major league seasons under his belt; so he’s definitely what you’d call a veteran starter. Teheran struggled badly with the Los Angeles Angels last last. He appeared in 10 games with 9 of those being starts. He posted an 0-4 record with an ERA of 10.04, but before that when he was with the Atlanta Braves he made no less than 30 starts from 2013 to 2019 and he threw no less than 174 2/3rd innings in that same timeframe. It’s hard to believe that one bad season in a tear that was just a mess anyway would keep teams away from looking at Teheran, but he’s still a free agent.

The other player that still out on the free agent market and I don’t think anyone knows why is Jackie Bradley Jr. After the New York Mets missed out on landing the two big free agents on the market it looked like they might turn to Bradley Jr. as their guy, but they went a different route.

A week ago the Mets added outfielder Albert Almora and then just two days ago the Mets came to a contract agreement with Kevin Pillar. Now both of those players are quality centerfielders and even though they might not be in Bradley’s league defensively they’re both top defenders. Since the Mets starting outfield looks set with Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimo and Domenic Smith set to start it looks like Almora and Pillar will be counted on for late inning defense and to give those three starters days off, but it also looks like a full outfield with no room for Bradley.

With it looking like the Mets out of the picture you have to wonder what other teams might have an interest in Bradley. A team would be getting a Gold Glove defender in centerfield and he’s also shown that he can hit for power, but he is just a .239 career hitter; so that might be keeping some teams away depending on what Bradley’s contract demands are.

So now it’s your turn. Where do you have Odorizzi, Walker, Teheran and Bradley signing? And what might be more important; do you have them signing with a team in time to get some spring training work in?

Now don’t forget to listen to the live edition of the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do miss the live edition of the podcast just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

  1. Bradley is a decent outfielder but a sub par hitter. He might sign with someone in spring training but I don’t think he’ll get what he’s looking for in salary.


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