I realize most new uniform tweaks on special occasions are met with derision, but I really do think that the caps the All-Stars will be wearing this year are kind of fun:
The press release says the caps were “[i]nspired by the 1970s era batting helmet of this year’s host club, the Minnesota Twins.” Which, yes. I wish, however, that they didn’t have the patch on the side too, as it makes a too busy mess out of the thing. The design itself is enough of a change from the norm, right? Still: pretty sweet caps for a one-off, even if I wouldn’t want to see most teams in them every day.
Just eyeballing it, though, I think the following teams would be better off with the All-Star Game designed version than with their every day caps: Nationals, Blue Jays, Rays, Diamondbacks and Rockies. A few others — Braves, Reds, Cubs, Astros and Pirates — would look good in these as occasional alternates, even if I wouldn’t want their normal caps replaced. The white panel designs are worse than the color designs, I think.
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.