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Vlad Guerrero Jr. ‘pushing himself hard’ during offseason workouts

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Blue Jays CEO Mark Shapiro told Toronto’s 590 The Fan this morning that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. “couldn’t be pushing himself harder” in offseason workouts. He’s apparently trying to trim down and strengthen that large-ish frame of his.

Touted as the top prospect in baseball, Guerrero hit .272/.339/.433 with 15 home runs and 69 RBI over his first 123 major league games and played a less-than-great third base. He’s obviously super talented and one strongly suspects that, even if he did not do anything to get in better shape, he’ll be an excellent hitter in the big leagues for a long time. His track record in the minors speaks for itself.

Still, baseball history is loaded with would-be studs who petered out early or never panned out entirely due to poor conditioning or what have you. Sounds like Vlad is determined not to have that happen to him, and that’s a good thing.

Let us not, though, put this into Best Shape of His Life Land, however. I feel like it’s just way too premature to do that. Mostly because the guy is friggin’ 20 years old and thinking of someone — anyone — having to work to get into The Best Shape of His Life at 20 is depressing on multiple levels. Not least of which is that it serves as a reminder that I spent my 20s and 30s in, probably, the worst shape of my life before tightening stuff up in my late 30s. Just saying that working a stress-filled job that encourages a lot of drinking and fatty meals while pulling 60+ hour work weeks — all while having babies at home that encourages no exercise and even more convenience eating — is not a recipe for great health.

Anyway: don’t waste a BSOHL so young, Vlad! Get as fit as you can and win some MVP Awards, then get a bit bloaty in your 30s like everyone else, THEN do a BSHOL thing and give yourself that final push of mid-late 30s excellence that puts you into the Hall of Fame.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.