What took so long? Jesus Montero homers twice for Yankees in fourth career game

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Jesus Montero is progressing pretty nicely for the Yankees.

He went hitless in his debut, collected one hit in his second game, notched two hits in his third game, and homered twice against the Orioles today in his fourth game.

Not that there needed to be any more hype surrounding Montero at this point, but here’s a complete list of all the 21-and-under players in baseball history to homer twice in one of their first five games:

                   YEAR     AGE
Manny Ramirez      1993     21.096
Tom Brunansky      1984     20.234
Billy Conigliaro   1969     21.244
Don Money          1969     21.305
Curt Blefary       1965     21.286
Brian McCall       1962     19.248
Charlie Gilbert    1940     20.290

And now Montero, who is 21 years and 281 days old.

The Phillies plan to spend money and “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it”

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In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.

“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.

“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.

Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.

How novel.