The Grapefruit League is sort of at a crossroads. Defections to Arizona have left the teams in Florida more geographically remote from one another, and it’s especially pronounced for the teams on the Atlantic coast. The dual-team complexes in Arizona have proved to be efficient moneymakers for teams that have them too.
Against that backdrop comes word that, in addition to a new complex for the Marlins and Cardinals, there is the possibility of a $100 million dual complex in Palm Beach Gardens for the Blue Jays and Astros.
In the article the general manager of Roger Dean Stadium — where the Cardinals and Marlins are currently — talks about how another nearby complex would benefit everyone in terms of travel savings, sharing of resources and use of a modern complex by local youth and amateur teams.
And it does all make sense, as anyone who has traveled around the Cactus League can attest. It’s all just a matter of who pays for it and how.
Fox 26’s Mark Berman reports that the Astros and third baseman Alex Bregman have agreed to $100 million contract extension. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart confirms a deal has been reached and adds that the deal is actually for five years, beginning after the 2019 season. The contract will cover all three of Bregman’s arbitration years and two years of would-be free agency.
Bregman, who turns 25 years old later this month, has quickly become one of the best third basemen in baseball. Across parts of three seasons, he has hit .282/.366/.500 with 58 home runs, 208 RBI, 224 runs scored, and 29 stolen bases. FanGraphs credited him with 7.6 Wins Above Replacement, tied with Francisco Lindor and Christian Yelich for the fourth-best mark among position players in baseball, trailing only Mookie Betts (10.4), Mike Trout (9.8), and José Ramírez (8.0).
This is obviously a smart move for the Astros, as this contract extension will secure Bregman’s age 25-30 seasons. With second baseman José Altuve also locked up through 2024, and presumed extensions to come for Carlos Correa and possibly Gerrit Cole and George Springer, the Astros have a core that they can build around for years to come.