Juan Soto isn’t the only one coming to the Bronx this offseason. So is MLBbro Trent Grisham.
On Wednesday night, the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres put together a blockbuster deal to send young superstar Soto to the Bronx along with Grisham.
The Padres received right-handed pitchers Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez, Drew Thorpe, and catcher Kyle Higashioka.
Who Is MLBbro Trent Grisham?
Last season, the Padres had one of the highest payrolls in the majors; however, they underperformed.
Grisham put up steady numbers but struggled to recapture his all-around game. He batted 198. for the season and knocked in 50 RBIs and 13 home runs.
In five seasons (rookie season spent with Milwaukee Brewers) Grisham has accumulated three campaigns of double-digit homers and stolen bases, so he’s a weapon that the Yankees don’t have in abundance.
The centerfielder now has a new home until his contract is up in two years. Grisham could have better numbers like his outfield counterpart Soto, but he may consume the depth role. Grisham is not shy to be available. In his last two seasons, he played almost every game. Coming off the bench might be an adjustment for the outfielder, as he started nearly all of the games last year for the Padres.
With the hopes of Grisham embracing the bench role, he put together a solid career thus far. Grisham was drafted in 2015 in the first round by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 15th pick.
After being drafted, Grisham was sent down to the minors.
Grisham played double-A and triple-A for the next three years. In that time in the minors, he put together solid stats and showed signs of a promising young star.
In 2019, he got the call-up by appearing in 51 games that year. In those games, Grisham finished with a 231—batting average.
This showed the potential.
Milwaukee traded Grisham to the Padres. He spent the next four years as San Diego’s starting centerfielder. Those next four years would be an up-and-down adventure as Grisham remained a starter but couldn’t find his footing at the plate. During the Covid-shortened season, he would manage a career-best .251 batting average. Through it all, Grisham has produced some exciting moments, flashed great potential and out in work off the field.
How Does Grisham Fit With Yankees?
With Grisham coming over in this trade, it puts the Yankees in a good spot to make the offseason. There are numerous ways the Yanks can use him. He might get put on the bench along with others, like Isaia Kinner-Falfa, the utility player.
Grisham will round out the bench perfectly and provide a winning mentality in the locker room, which is something the Yankees could use. Yankees teams in recent years have often struggled with its share of egos and injury.
A new exciting piece could provide everybody with a revamped mindset. Grisham has two years left on his contract, and it’s not expensive. $4.2 million is what Grisham is going to be owed in his deal. This allows the Yankees to make him an affordable piece they could potentially move for upgraded pitching later on in the game.
In a recent interview with the YES Network, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said:
“We want the best team possible; after this trade, we think we can compete for a championship,” Cashman said.
This could mean Grisham can be traded again before the season starts or at the end of this year. However, the scenario plays out: the Yankees have improved their chances of competing for a World Series and Trent Grisham can become a crucial piece to this New York clubhouse.
Just ask LA Angels first base coach Bo Porter and MLB Network.
Pitching is the key to success at all levels of baseball, especially in MLB, where elite arms are pivotal to teams with an opportunity to compete for a World Series title against some of the best hitters in the world.
Marcus Stroman is one of those elite pitchers still on the free agent market and waiting to be signed by a team. The former Chicago Cubs pitcher is a 2017 Golden Glove recipient and two-time All-Star who has been dealing with the best of them the past two seasons. With Baseball’s Winter Meetings underway (Dec. 3-6) in Tennessee, teams will be moving and shaking and trying to improve for next season.
Stroman is coming off a 2023 season that in his first 16 starts as a pitcher saw post a record of 9-4 with an ERA of 2.28. Despite his success, the Cubs didn’t step up to get a contract done with Stroman, so he opted out of his deal, leaving $21 million on the table. Injuries have been the only concern with Stroman, who has proved to be an adequate workhorse despite some stints on the DL.
Stroman was willing to bet on himself as this year’s pitching free agency class is considered weaker than in years past. One team that could use a pitcher is the Baltimore Orioles who finished with 101 wins last season, and whose current pitching rotation looks to be made up of a group of unheralded guys: Grayson Rodriguez, Kyle Bradish, John Means, Dean Kremer, and Cole Irvin.
Some of the pitchers on the market from their team last year are MLBbros “Black” Jack Flaherty andMychal Givens, and Jorge Lopez to name a few. Their best starting pitcher from last season, former All-Star Kyle Gibson, signed with the St. Louis Cardinals on a one-year deal worth $13 million.
So why does Stroman make sense for the Baltimore Orioles?
There were rumors around the 2023 trade deadline that Stroman would be a great trade piece for the LA Dodgers who lost key arms to injury, age and legal problems.
However, that never materialized and now Stroman is free to sign with any team he wants.
Stroman gives the Orioles needed depth in their pitching department. Outside of Bradish, the Orioles pitching crew leaves a lot to be desired and Stroman can come in immediately and be one of the team’s best pitchers.
Means is a solid starting pitcher but he’s recovering from Tommy John surgery and who knows how effective he will be. Also, losing Gibson who pitched 192 innings for them last season, leaves a big hole that needs to be filled at the top of the rotation.
Besides the rib cartilage fracture, which Stroman suffered on August 16 that kept him sidelined until September 15, Stroman’s been durable enough to help impact the standings.
Stroman fits the Orioles’ style of pitching as he utilizes the ground ball 46% of the time, which he did last season according to Pitcher List. He’s more than just a ground ball pitcher as he’s also capable of using the four-seamer, slider, curveball, and cutter to show his versatility as a pitcher which is what the Orioles desperately need.
Reports say Stroman is looking for a multi-year deal of two to three years totaling around $50-75 million as he embarks on his 10th MLB season.
The Orioles currently have the lowest total payroll ($30,111,668) out of all the 30 MLB teams according to MLB team payroll tracker. So, they definitely have a bag to throw Stroman’s way.
in all of baseball have a projected payroll of just $60 million which should allow them to sign Stroman for what he’s looking for.
There will be other teams as well Stroman would fit nicely with from the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Cincinnati Reds, but the Orioles make the most sense due to their need at the position, being in contention, and many available pitches for the two-time All-Star.
Wherever Stroman ends up, he will immediately immerse himself in the community and be a great inspiration for kids and the fans.
Long-time right fielder Jason Heyward is back for another one.
The 14-year veteran has reportedly re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a one-year $9 million deal. Heyward will enter the season at 34 years old and will have the chance to add to his stellar career.
J-Hey Is The Consummate Pro
Prior to his ongoing stint in Los Angeles, Heyward spent seven seasons with the Braves, Cardinals and Cubs. With the Cubs, Heyward secured an eight-year $184 million deal that, despite winning the World Series, he was unable to sustain. In the seven seasons prior to joining the Dodgers, Heyward struggled and was only able to notch a .245 batting average with just 62 home runs.
Early in his career, with the Braves and then the Cardinals, Heyward was a budding star, batting nearly .300 in his single season in St. Louis, and winning Wilson Defensive Player of the Year with Atlanta. He was even anointed as baseball’s next big star by the legendary Hank Aaron.
In his last two seasons with Chicago, Heyward plummeted, batted .214 and .204, respectively — leading the World Series hero to be released a season early with $22 million remaining on the books.
Heyward Makes His Comeback
After contemplating retirement, he signed with the LA Dodgers last season. At that point, he was only able to notch a minor-league deal, having to work his way up if he wanted to get back to the majors. After fixing his swing prior to 2023 Spring Training, Heyward did enough to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster and it paid dividends.
In a revived 2023 season, J-Hey put up a five-year high in batting average with .269 as well as an .813 OPS — his highest full-season mark since 2014. These numbers allowed him to cash the aforementioned $9 million check with Dave Roberts’ perennial World Series contenders.
When it was all said and done, they chose to serve.
Despite the racial inequities they received on and off the field, they chose to serve. Whether it was World War I or World War II, whether it was the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines, they chose to serve.
When this country was at war, hundreds and thousands of African-Americans chose to serve. This included the players and officials of the Negro Leagues. While an accurate number account isn’t completely available, it’s safe to say that much like their white MLB counterparts, the players of the Negro Leagues also left their mark on the war effort.
MLBbros Are A Big Part OF Veteran’s Day
As we reflect on Veterans’ Day and honor the endless contributions of fallen heroes, MLBbro.com takes a look at how the Negro Leagues and its players contributed to the war effort throughout the late 1800′s to the 1940′s.
As far back as the Spanish American War, Negro Leaguers like C.I. Taylor were part of an Army battalion. The South Carolina native did his tour of duty before his longtime managerial career with the Birmingham Giants and Indianapolis ABCs.
In fact, several late Hall of Famers including Monte Irvin, Leon Day, Larry Doby, and Jackie Robinson were among the many Negro Leaguers who performed their military service.
Following the 1943 season, Day joined the Army. He served two and a half years in an amphibian unit that landed on Utah Beach during the Allied invasion of France. Also, like many ballplayers during that era, Day kept his competitive edge sharp in exhibition games. One notable game would come in Germany at Nuremberg Stadium.
In a game that matched Negro Leaguers against white Major Leaguers, the right-hander tossed a four-hitter in a 2-1 victory. The game was played in front of a crowd of nearly 100,000 servicemen.
Day was later discharged in February 1946. He returned to the Newark Eagles that season in style by tossing an Opening Day no-hitter against the Philadelphia Stars.
One of Negro League baseball’s early stars, Spottswood Poles served as an Army sergeant in World War I. At the age of 30, Poles enlisted in the 369th Infantry and earned five battle stars and a Purple Heart while fighting in France.
In the late 40s, Poles managed a high-level amateur team which was often called the Harrisburg (Pa.) Giants in honor of its lineage. In 1906, Poles made his professional debut for the Harrisburg Colored Giants as he played outfield under Colonel William Strothers.
A native of Virginia, Poles had lived and played youth league ball in Harrisburg’s Springdale neighborhood, which was bounded by Walnut, State, 13th and 18th Streets.
During World War II, several Negro League teams, despite war-depleted rosters, remained to barnstorm the United States during that era. Among the many areas of the country that hosted these games was Harrisburg.
According to the Afrolumens Project of Central Pennsylvania, Negro League baseball appears to be the highest quality of baseball played in Island Park during the war years of 1943 through 1945 and beyond.
Former player Rap Dixon and Bud Marshall, a local pharmacist promoted these games. Many Negro National League games and exhibition games between Negro League teams and local military teams took place at Island Park.
The military teams were often composed of major and minor league players. These games were often fundraisers to help the war cause. Examples of such teams were Olmstead Air Force Base, New Cumberland Army Base, and Indian Town Gap.
Many Negro servicemen were stationed at the Gap for Quartermasters training. These servicemen often came to town and observed Negro baseball games. The Army was still segregated at the time. Since many of these soldiers were from the South, it was their first opportunity to see teams in integrated contests.
In 1943, the Harrisburg-St. Louis Stars were scheduled to compete in the Negro National League. However, they withdrew shortly after the season began to tour the country to raise money for the war effort. The Stars toured with a team managed by Honus Wagner that featured Dizzy Dean as a three-inning pitcher.
Negro Leagues Contributions To War Effort
On and off the field, the Negro Leagues made several contributions to the war effort during that era as well. The sale of war bonds was promoted through special events at league games.
Monies were raised for the Army and Navy relief funds through special ballpark promotions. The 1942 East-West All-Star Classic game in Cleveland donated all proceeds to the USO.
The 10th annual game was won by East 9-2.
Team owners admitted military personnel to league games either free, or at reduced prices, and several Negro League players teamed with other celebrities from the black sports and entertainment industries to entertain troops abroad with touring USO troupes.
How Ironic: Some Negro League Players Died Fighting For Country
As mentioned early, Negro Leaguers were represented on the battlefield by numerous players who replaced their baseball flannels with military uniforms, several of whom lost their lives in the conflict. One player in particular who made the ultimate sacrifice was William “Speck” Webster. A dominant catcher who spent the majority of his career with the Brooklyn Royal Giants from 1912 to 1917, Webster served as an Army captain beginning in 1919.
However, the New York native was killed shortly after his tour of service began. He died in France during World War I. He like many players before and after him did their part for the war effort despite the inequities that they endured on and off the field.
Their sacrifice and dedication cannot and will not be forgotten.
NOTE: The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, The Complete Book of Baseball’s Negro Leagues, and the Encyclopedia of Negro League Baseball contributed to this article.
Betts is looking to become the second player in MLB history to win an MVP award in both the American and National League. The last player to do so was MLBbro great Frank Robinson. There’s no question that Betts will be a Hall of Famer when his career is done, and he’ll continue to rack up awards and accolades and represent for the Black Knights of baseball.
The 31-year-old appeared in over 150 games and made an impact at the plate and in the field, continuing to build on his record-breaking career. Betts hit .307 which was his highest average dating back to 2018 when he hit .346. He also hit a career-high 39 Bro bombs.
Mr. Versatility: Mookie Plays OF and Infield
While he was one of the best hitters on his team and in the league, his defense is what separated him from the rest of the crowd. You can make a strong case that Betts was more valuable to his team on defense than any other player in the league. He appeared in 70 games at second base and 12 at shortstop. The Dodgers needed someone, and Betts took on the challenge and exceeded.
We all know how exceptional of a right fielder Betts is, but he could be an everyday middle infielder if he wanted to. He only made five errors this season playing all three positions.
Marcus Semien has stamped himself as the greatest second baseman in Texas Rangers history after completing the mission to bring the franchise their first ever World Series championship along with his half a billion-dollar double play mate, two-time World Series MVP Corey Seager.
“Everything I ever worked for was for that moment,” said Semien when talking about his clutch bomb in the 9th inning put the game away for good.
“I had to simplify, see the whole field first. I am a pull hitter but needed to stay on the baseball longer.”
After the ball flew over the wall, the team’s quiet leader let out a mighty roar. Semien never shows emotion, whether good or bad. His even demeanor is a constant reminder of the teams “next play” mentality.
He’s also an iron man in today’s game. In 2023, he was MLB’s workhorse. When you combine his postseason, regular season and the All-Star Game, he played in 180 games and recorded an MLB-record record 788 plate appearances.
Marcus Semien Is MLB’s Most Durable Player
Over the last three seasons, Semien has missed just one game.
He never wants an off day, but for the time being he will finally get to enjoy some quality off time atop of the baseball mountain.
Texas Rangers Dynasty?
The Rangers will be returning almost all of their core pieces from this World Series team and with the best middle infield in the game together for at least five more years, championships and championship opportunities could become common practice in Arlington, especially after slaying the dragon known as the Houston Astros.