The New York Mets and first baseman Lucas Duda avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $4.2 million contract, Jon Heyman reports.
Duda requested $4.7 million from the Mets and was offered $3.75 million when arbitration figures were exchanged on January 16. This was his first time in arbitration.
Duda hit 30 home runs and knocked in 92 RBI in 153 games last year. So it’ll also be his first time for a spring training in which people won’t constantly be asking how much playing time he’ll get, where, etc.
Chase Utley posted this on Instagram yesterday. Apparently from a beach Super Bowl party he was having. Former teammate Pat Burrell is the star. Naturally, Pat the Bat does not spill a drop of his drink:
Nothing else going on in baseball now, so Nick Cafardo proposes making the DH universal:
New commissioner Rob Manfred will hear, and already has heard, plenty of suggestions on how to increase offense, and he has thrown out a few ideas himself. And while Manfred probably doesn’t have the backing of the National League, the old standby is always there: make the designated hitter universal.
His rationale is offense. As in, if baseball needs more offense, eliminating pitchers batting is a good way to start. He’s not wrong about that as far as it goes. Pitchers have become even worse batters than they used to be, likely due to the fact that teams accept them being poor batters from the get-go and don’t want to waste important development time for young pitchers on them maintaining whatever hitting skills they had as high schoolers.
For what it’s worth, Manfred has stated recently that, given the sentiment about the DH among National League owners who would have to approve such a change (i.e. sharply negative), it’s not happening any time soon. He is also on record saying that having the DH in one league and not having it in another does not cause him personal dissonance. Probably because he’s an intelligent person who can process competing realities without getting all worked up. Which is sort of rare in sports, actually.
As I’ve stated here a number of times, I have a personal preference for pitchers batting. It’s not based in logic or reason or anything like that. It’s just one of those subjective things people feel. Like preferring dark chocolate to milk chocolate. Despite that taste, however, I think it’s inevitable that, one day, baseball will go with a universal DH rule and that it probably should go with a universal DH rule given the increased amount of interleague play, fairness considerations and that fact mentioned above about pitchers not being able to bat worth a spit anymore.
Not that that keeps people from arguing DH vs. no-DH as if it were something objective as opposed to one’s personal tastes. It’s become a religious subject more than anything else.