Today's New York Times has an article on the upcoming Major League Baseball season. The author, Tyler Kepner, proposes that teams have opening, closing and closed times in their baseball lives and projects on all the teams, including, of course, our own Kansas City Royals.
Executives are more realistic. Under the last collective bargaining agreement, and the new one reached last fall, Major League Baseball is designed for teams to win and lose in cycles. Only the savviest organizations find a way to contend every year. Most understand that they have a distinct window to win — and that once it closes, it’s time to nail boards over the glass and remodel.
Free agency looms after 2018 for so many star players — Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Zach Britton, Andrew Miller, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Harvey and possibly Clayton Kershaw and David Price. More than ever, perhaps, teams feel urgency to win now or risk a long wait for another legitimate shot.
With that in mind, let’s take a spin around the majors to see which teams’ windows are open, opening, closing or closed.
What he has to say on our boys in blue:
The Royals have always known when to strike and when to hold back. Their discipline to cultivate a certain style of play — and their patience to grow the right players to implement it — led to a title in 2015, boosted by bold deadline deals. They’re clinging to contention now, trading veterans (Wade Davis, Jarrod Dyson) but getting major leaguers, not prospects, in return. The death of Yordano Ventura in a car crash last month was devastating, but this is a resilient group that wants to win again before Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas test free agency next winter.
"Wait 'til next year!"?
Additional NYT/baseball link:
Baseball’s Newest Hall of Fame Class Links to the Past