After some talk recently that free agent Jeremy Guthrie had priced himself out of the Royals’ range the two sides have agreed to a three year deal worth $25 million, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
Guthrie was a solid innings-eater for the Orioles, but things went horribly for him following a trade to the Rockies last offseason. He threw 91 innings for Colorado with a 6.35 ERA and .324 opponents’ batting average, at which point the Rockies dumped him on the Royals in exchange for Jonathan Sanchez.
And then Guthrie turned things around in Kansas City, starting 12 games with a 3.16 ERA to convince the Royals he was worth making a three-year commitment to at age 34. He’ll get $5 million in 2013, $11 million in 2014, and $9 million in 2015.
He’s thrown at least 175 innings in six straight seasons, but Guthrie has never managed an above-average strikeout rate despite good velocity and his career ERA as a starter is 4.21. He’s a solid, durable third or fourth starter entering his mid-30s and that type of player certainly has plenty of value, but a three-year, $25 million commitment seems awfully rich.
The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.
Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.
There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.
That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.
The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.
One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.
Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.