The regular season is under way at last, and in this post we’ll have a look at some of the exciting new signings to watch out for in 2014. As the season progresses, fans can keep up with news and odds on their favorite teams at http://www.
The Yankees had a busy offseason, and the Washington Nationals also did some good business, but first we’ll look at the Orioles’ signing of Ubaldo Jiminez, 2013’s most feared pitcher. The 30-year old Dominican will be seen by Orioles fans as the man to keep them in contention in the AL East. After a spell with the Colorado Rockies, which was affected negatively by the altitude, Jiminez was disappointed not to be awarded a new contract with the Cleveland Indians last year. His $12.5m a year, 4-year contract with the Orioles should go some way to alleviating that pain.
Jhonny Peralta’s $53m, 4-year deal with the St Louis Cardinals has come as a surprise to some, given his less-than-amazing performances over the last few seasons and his involvement in the Biogenesis drug scandal in 2013, which led to a 50-game suspension. The Dominican shortstop will be watched closely, but Cardinals insiders are insisting he’s paid the price. “I am a forgiving person”, said Matt Holliday. “I’m happy to have him as a team mate.”
Yankees fans will be happy with the signing of Puerto Rican outfielder Carlos Beltran. The 36-year old has had 3 excellent seasons in a row, avoiding injury and performing brilliantly in the playoffs. His 3-year contract is worth $45m and will allow him to plug a hole in the team’s lineup. Beltran is also involved with a Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico, which was part-funded with his own money.
The contracts we’ve looked at so far are dwarfed by that of Shin-Soo Choo, who’s moved to the Texas Rangers. A 7-year deal will earn the 31-year old $130m, and Rangers fans can expect several great seasons from the southpaw South Korean. However, questions have been asked about the length of the deal. Few players are still performing as well as Beltran by their mid-thirties.
Finally, the Washington Nationals, whose slightly disappointing season last year may well become a distant memory with the signing of Doug Fister from the Detroit Tigers. The 30-year old starting pitcher is 6’ 8” tall and runs 10 miles a day when not playing. His best season so far was 2013, and he managed to avoid injury in 32 starts.