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Quick Hits: Reds, Wheeler, Morel, Rays Ballpark

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The Reds had a longstanding curiosity in Zack Wheeler as each a commerce goal after which when the righty entered free company within the 2019-20 offseason.  Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer just lately revisited that free agent pursuit, which ended when the Phillies signed Wheeler to a five-year, $118MM contract.  In response to Nightengale, the Reds have been additionally prepared to spend past $100MM to signal Wheeler, however they could have been undone by geography extra than simply {dollars}.  Wheeler prioritized staying on the East Coast and nearer to his spouse’s dwelling state of New Jersey, giving the Phils the sting over each the Reds and the White Sox (who reportedly offered more than $118MM).

Evidently, signing Wheeler would’ve modified your entire trajectory of current Reds historical past, to not point out the Phillies’ final three seasons and their present berth within the 2022 World Sequence.  As Nightengale notes, the Reds went on to signal Nick Castellanos (for $64MM over 4 years) and Shogo Akiyama ($21MM over three years) after Wheeler left the market, and it isn’t recognized if both of these offers may’ve or would’ve nonetheless occurred if Cincinnati had made its massive funding in Wheeler’s contract.

Extra from across the baseball world…

  • Christopher Morel had a stable rookie season, hitting .235/.308/.433 with 16 dwelling runs over 425 plate appearances for the Cubs.  Past his contributions on the plate, Morel additionally began video games as a second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, heart fielder, and left fielder.  ‘There’s not many guys within the massive leagues that may do what he does, the consistency he’s proven at instances in every place,’’ Cubs assistant coach Jonathan Mota instructed Maddie Lee of the Chicago-Solar Instances.  An excellent-utility function would make Morel a worthwhile commodity on the roster, and each Morel and the Cubs appear dedicated to persevering with his prep work at a number of positions going ahead.
  • Tampa-area businessman Darryl Shaw just lately purchased 25 acres of waterfront land within the Ybor Metropolis neighborhood, and as John Romano of the Tampa Bay Instances explains, Shaw tried prior to now to work with the Rays in different ventures within the Ybor space.  Shaw’s new land buy would possibly due to this fact revive the concept of a brand new Rays ballpark in downtown Tampa, although Romano notes that this could possibly be an extended shot for a wide range of causes, together with an absence of dedicated civic funding and the Rays’ elevated curiosity in a brand new park (and accompanying “baseball village” infrastructure) constructed on the grounds of Tropicana Area in St. Petersburg.  Any variety of proposals involving Tampa, St. Pete, and even Montreal have been floated over time because the Rays search for a brand new dwelling, and it stays to be seen if any reply may be discovered earlier than the membership’s lease on the Trop expires after the 2027 season.  Rays crew president Matt Silverman stated that “metropolis and county officers on either side of the bay appear to understand the worth of baseball and are targeted on discovering an answer.  The discussions are happening concurrently in a parallel, non-competitive, non-adversarial means.  Everybody understands time is of the essence.”



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