MLB Week in Review (June 2-8)

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Bryce Harper made some headlines this week and it wasn’t for his fight a week ago as he served his suspension and was asked a big question.

The question was about his future in Washington and whether or not he wants to be a National when his contract expires after 2018.

To that question, Harper answered that he would actually like to play for the Cubs if he becomes a free agent after the 2018 season.

The answer left the door open for a return to Washington should the Nationals choose to extend him in the next two years.

It also says that Harper is not opposed to playing the free agent market after his contract does expire while the Cubs are now front runners to get one of the best hitters in the league.

It has started the speculation already about the star player on the Nationals despite the two seasons he has left to play under his current contract.

That could become a bigger topic of debate as the season moves on as well with the 2018 free agent class potentially being one of the greatest ever.

It has been talked about for years as some of the best players in the game could see their contracts expire after the 2018 season.

After a few years of fairly weak free agent markets, analysts are salivating over the potential debates that could be had with the potential free agents coming up.

Names like Josh Donaldson, Hanley Ramirez, Jean Segura, Manny Machado, Matt Harvey and Clayton Kershaw could all be available for the highest bidder.

There are plenty more names on the list as it marks one of the greatest group of names ever available.

It may seem far too soon to be talking about that free agent market two years ago but the talk has already been happening.

For years the talk has been about the upcoming free agent market and for some teams, it is a lot more than just talk.

Teams are preparing ahead of the free agent market as some have already begun looking to sign their big stars.

In letting some players go and not signing them to massive deals they are freeing up space for big contracts that are sure to come.

If some of these players are going to stay where they are right now the contracts are going to be big and there are a lot of teams will to shell out the money to sign one of these stars.

So the teams they are on are beginning to make decisions with some making them in the last free agent market when they let certain players walk away.baseball-sidebar

They will continue to prepare for the upcoming market as teams are heading into the trade deadline where some might consider a trade to free up some money.

Others might even consider a trade of one of those free agents, if they get the right price, knowing that they only have a limited time with them.

The MLB trade deadline is nowhere near as active as other places but the next two years could be interesting especially with the rumours that are sure to come.

As these teams get ready for that big free agent season they will also be looking to end the speculation as soon as possible.

Over the next two years, teams will be looking to sign extensions to keep their top players in their respective uniforms.

If they can sign extensions they know what the future will hold and the rumours of players leaving are less of a distraction.

A lot of players prefer to leave business until after the season and there may not be a lot of news in the next few weeks but the conversations are happening.

Teams don’t want to have to wait until these players get a chance in a “prove me” year where they can earn a lot more money in their next contract through their performance.

The free agent market in 2018 could be the greatest of all time and with the comments by Harper, the talk is only increasing.

For him, it seems more like a potential chance to play for a team that can win titles which the Nationals have struggled to do.

Much like other players that might simply want to move on for a chance at winning the World Series, there will be talk about their potential landing spots.

Then again a lot can happen in two seasons as Harper might win a World Series and maybe that will be enough to keep him in Washington.

If not he might move on but for now it is all speculation which fuels debate which is the lifeblood of sports.

 

Extra Innings

600 for Pujols

Albert Pujols solidified himself as one of the best power hitters ever this week when he hit his 600th home run. He becomes the 9th player in the history of the league to reach the milestone and hopes to add to the total this season. He also put himself within striking distance of a number of legends including Sammy Sosa (609) and Jim Thome (612). Continuing to move up the rankings will only help him to increase his name among the best home run hitters ever.

Fastest to 2,000

Another name was entered into the record books this week when Clayton Kershaw threw his 2,00th strikeout. A lot of people have earned that number but what makes this accomplishment so special is that Kershaw is the quickest to that number. He has earned his 2,000 strikeouts faster than anyone else giving him a legitimate shot at a top spot in the rankings. Nolan Ryan is a long way away at 5,714 but Kershaw now begins his true run.

Paying Penance

Kevin Pillar was on a tear in the month of May until he yelled a homophobic slur at the end of the month leading plenty of people to turn their opinions on him. He continues to try to make up for his mistake after serving a two-game suspension handed out from the team. His next step is to donate the money forfeited from those two games to LGBTQ charities as he hopes to make-up in a city that is one of the most diverse and one that embraces the LGBTQ community with one of the biggest Pride parades in the world.

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