Sports Illustrated – Stephanie Apstein: There were a lot of moving parts to the San Diego Padres finally signing Manny Machado. Now that the deal is done there are less moving parts and things have become much clearer. One thing that has crystallized, the Padres knew who they were getting and already understand the ways he has made their club better. Another certainty is that Manny knows that he’s elite, and it’s about time the few doubters still remaining wizened up to just how great the 26-year-old has been and will continue to be.
Baseball America – J.J. Cooper ($): Big changes are coming to Major League Baseball. It’s not a matter of if anymore, rather it’s a question of when. This past week MLB announced an official partnership with the independent Atlantic League to test out various innovations prior to them seeing the light of an MLB day. No official tests have been announced, but it is widely speculated that the ALPB mounds will be moved further back and that Trackman technology will be used to replace human umpires behind home plate. These are important to test out, but I’m left wondering if this is a good thing for the players in the ALPB who are banking on strong performances in the ALPB to make it back to MLB?
CBS Sports – R.J. Anderson: The Pittsburgh Pirates have long been thought of as a stingy organization with a knack for finding undervalued players. Both things are true, but many Pirates fans have started to wonder if the team is now far too on the stingy side. Team owner Bob Nutting rakes in profits in lieu of spending on his team. Attendance has declined, petitions have been struck, and yet, Nutting is staying the course of not spending on his team. A trend that is all too prevalent in today’s MLB, and as long as the team continues to make a profit Pirates fans are going to have to keep hoping for a few diamonds in the rough to take them back to the playoffs.
Lead photo courtesy of Jonathan Dyer – USA Today