The Urena Express: 3/12/22

Steven Urena
“Don’t you know we’re riding on the Urena Express…”

By Steven Urena

The lockout put a screeching halt to free agent signings.There’s a lot of great players out there ready to sign for some big bucks. Let’s talk about free agents and the few that have recently signed. 

Carlos Correa
There’s rich and there’s crazy rich. Correa is about to be on a whole new level. In terms of what a franchise wants, Correa’s got it all. Hit for average, hit for power, good defense, rocket arm, star power, cocky, young and good looking. If not for the Astros sign-stealing scandal, Correa would be coveted by every single MLB team. He’s good enough to build around, good enough to make a pretender a contender and the guy to get those borderline teams over the hump. Correa is a stud.

Who will land the superstar? I can’t get past the feeling that Correa will be a Yankee. They’re a big market club, they got the money and who cares if everyone hates him, everyone already hates the Yankees! New York will be the perfect place for him. The Dodgers might be another team in the mix. The Dodgers also have money and just lost Corey Seager. Yes, they have Trea Turner ready to fill in but who wouldn’t want what Correa brings to the table? I heard rumblings that the Astros might sign him to a one-year deal worth a lot of money. Makes sense but it’s not ideal. Especially when there are buyers out there for him. 

Clayton Kershaw
There were two scenarios. A one year deal or the Rangers. It looks like Kershaw still wants to win another ring. Kersh took the one year deal. I am assuming it’s a great payout for one year. I am a little surprised. I thought Kersh was walking. I love the deal. It’s one year and Kersh is looking to be the No. 4 guy (assuming Trevor Bauer comes back).

Kershaw is not the fireballer we grew to love but he’s much wiser and much more crafty. The Dodgers are not sure what Kersh has left in the tank but a one year deal gives everyone a lot of comfort. If he stays healthy, he’s a great piece of the puzzle for LA. If Kersh has a good year I firmly believe he will earn a 2 year deal and then retire as a Dodger or play with the Rangers for one year.

I am glad we got our guy back. If he’s on, it’s good for the Dodgers. If he’s a bust, it’s a short term problem. We love you Kersh!

Freddie Freeman
It’s crazy to think that the Braves are not willing to pay Freeman. He won the MVP in 2020 and was a key part of the 2021 World Series team. On top of that, right now Freeman is Mr. Brave. He’s their franchise. It’s much easier to walk away from the franchise that gave you so much after you win the World Series. At that point, it’s kind of a square deal. Just like Verlander and most other veterans, Freeman wants two things. He wants to get that last big paycheck and he wants to try to win another ring. The Dodgers look like the prime landing spot for Freeman. Max Muncy’s recovery is slow (torn UCL) and the universal DH is a done deal. The Dodgers have the money to give Freeman what he needs and his consistent bat will fill many holes in the Dodgers order. As a Dodger fan, I love the move. Freeman is a great clubhouse guy and he flat out rakes. Yes, please.

Trevor Story
It must be because Story plays in Colorado. He’s underrated. Story had a “down” year this past season. He hit .251 with 24 home runs and 75 RBIs. Story got off to a slow start but finished the second half of the season with good numbers. In his best full seasons, Story hit over .290 and had over 35 home runs. On top of his offense, Story is also a good shortstop and he can steal bags. Easily a top 10 shortstop and he’s not number 10. I think Story will either end up with the Cardinals or the Phillies. 

Kyle Schwarber
The Red Sox had to have liked what they saw from Schwarber this past season. Especially in the playoffs. Schwarber is the guy you do not want to face in October. He’s clutch and he hits the ball a mile. Schwarber is looking for a big contract and I think he’s gonna get it. Especially with the universal DH. If the Red Sox make the mistake of letting him slip away, the best places for him are the Dodgers, Phillies, Cardinals or Yankees. A healthy Schwarber is a dangerous one.

Mike Trout’s bags are packed and he’s ready to go…To Tempe Diablo.
(Photo by Joe T.)

Nick Castellanos
Castellanos has shown potential in the big leagues. Especially the past 2 seasons. I predict the next couple of years he’ll be close to but slightly below a .300 BA, 30 home runs and 100 RBIs. At 29 years old, he is worth a handsome 5-7 year contract. My guess is he will get somewhere around $20 million a season. It’s hard to say where Castellanos will play in 2021. If I had to guess I would say the Cubs. They expected much more production out of Joc Pederson so they might have a hole to fill. Aside from the Cubs, he’d be a good fit for any team that is in contention.

Carlos Rodon
Rodon was one of the best pitchers in baseball at the start of the season. Fatigue and soreness late in the season slowed him and the ChiSox down. When he was healthy, he looked like an All-Star. When he’s hurt, well, he’s just another guy. I’d take a chance on Rodon, a very modest chance on him. 

The Giants are taking the leap of faith at 2 years and $44 million. When Rodon is healthy he has shown he can be one of the best in the show. When he’s not, he’s just another guy. If Rodon pans out the Giants look good. If he does not then it’s going to be an expensive mistake with almost nada in return.

Anthony Rizzo
There’s still a good chance Rizzo ends up with the Yankees. He played well with the Yanks and the short porch in right field was made for a hitter like Rizzo. Rizzo is a veteran, he’s smart and he wants to get paid. He’s got the ring, now it’s time for the money. My guess is he will go to the highest bidder. Contender or not. Rizzo’s still got some gas in the tank and clubs know that. 

Nelson Cruz
The ageless wonder! Nelson Cruz, even at 41 years old, is still a 30 homer guy. Cruz provides pop in the line up, he’s a veteran presence and, you guessed it, the universal DH will give him more opportunities to sign with a club. Cruz is going to get a good deal. He will be sought after by many clubs. He is going to get paid but he will most likely sign a one-year deal. Cruz is 51 homers shy of 500 for his career. He’ll stick around long enough to reach the milestone and maybe get ring too.

Tangent Dreams & Temple City & The Company of The Ages are available at Amazon. (Clic pic)

Contact Steve Urena at:
Twitter/IG: @theurenaexpress

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