When spring training kicked off a year ago, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remained unsigned. The drama this year will center around the Houston Astros: their cheating scandal, reactions from other players about the Astros’ cheating scandal, the possibility of other teams throwing at Astros hitters in spring training, the counter-reaction from Astros pitchers and the reaction to the counter-reaction. Fun times!
Oh, and Gerrit Cole is with the Yankees, Anthony Rendon is with the Angels and Mookie Betts is (we think) headed to the Dodgers. For now, Francisco Lindor is still with the Indians, Nolan Arenado with the Rockies and Kris Bryant with the Cubs. We’ll see if those three stars exit camp with those teams.
As pitchers and catchers report, let’s look at one major spring training story or player to watch for each team, along with the level of enthusiasm (graded 0-5) for the club entering the season.
National League East
Atlanta Braves: What happens at third base? The Braves signed Cole Hamels, Marcell Ozuna and Travis d’Arnaud as free agents, but wouldn’t dig deep to bring back Josh Donaldson. Austin Riley and Johan…