MLB News/Rumors: Rays player convicted of murder, Hand’s walking papers, 2020 Bloodbath, and more

William Parlee

Shocking MLB, Tampa Bay Rays former prospect Brandon Martin, who was taken in the supplemental first round of the 2011 MLB draft, was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder on Wednesday. He was convicted ironically using a baseball bat to kill his father, uncle, and a bystander in a California home. The murders took place in Corona, California, on Sept. 17, 2015, according to the NBC Los Angeles station.

The Tampa Bay Ray’s player was found guilty with the Riverside County Jury deliberating less than a day. He was, along with the murders, charged with auto theft, resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer, and injuring a police canine. He was found guilty on all counts and is awaiting sentencing in the Riverside County Court, scheduled for Monday morning.

Martin had a history of threatening and violence. Martin had been experiencing unspecified psychiatric issues and was admitted and evaluated at an emergency treatment facility of Riverside County’s mental health department on Sept. 17, 2015. Immediately after being released, he traveled directly to his father’s and arrived around 6 p.m. The father was at the residence with his brother-in-law, 51-year-old Ricky Lee Anderson, and Barry Swanson, a 62-year-old ADT technician who was consulting with Martin about installing a security system following his son’s threats.

According to prosecutors, Martin then grabbed a baseball bat once inside the house and beat all three men in rage. The father and technician died at the scene, while Anderson died after spending two days in a coma.

Offseason will be just as abnormal as the baseball season

This will probably be the strangest offseason in baseball history, as free agents face an evironment where MLB teams, for the most part, have no money to spend to hire those free agents. Teams everywhere are trying to cut costs going into the new season that is still unclear if fans will be allowed in the stands, and they again may suffer no revenue.

This situation shows just how drastic it is. The Cleveland Indians that are extremely cash-stapped are trying to unload a big part of their payroll by trading Francisco Lindor. They are dumping one of the best relievers in baseball, Brad Hand in an even stranger move. They didn’t give him a qualifying offer they put him on waivers so they wouldn’t even have to pay him his $1 million buyout.

The 2020 MLB financial Bloodbath

The New York Yankees suffered the worst losses in all of MLB. With revenue losses from no fans in the stands and no concession revenues, add to that security, Yankee Stadium upkeep, and front office and player payrolls, they lost an amount near $700 million. The Yankees, with 13 free agents, including pitchers Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ, only made one qualifying offer. That was too Silver Slugger Award-winning and 4th in the MVP voting, DJ LeMahieu.

With the coronavirus threatening the 2020 baseball season, Commissioner Rob Manfred stated that MLB could lose $4 billion. As it turned out, the season was completed and it is estimated that the 30 MLB teams lost $3.1 million in operating costs, putting on a 60 game season. Most of these losses were from no fans in the stands and other fan-related revenues. Manfred days ago said the teams has amassed a collective $8.3 billion in debt.

What MLB teams are likely to spend some money this offseason?

The reckless New York Mets, who have no money, are likely to spend and may big for a Trevor Bauer and or a Franciso Lindor. The San Francisco Giants that are close to completing the team’s rebuild may spend to turn that corner. The Detroit Tigers will most likely want to give new shamed manager A.J. Hinch more to work with and likely to spend at least modestly. One area they may address is the Detroit Tigers pitching staff with talent but lacks consistency and stability, Rick Porcello is a natural fit, and the Tigers may spend to bring him back.

Closer to home, the Toronto Blue Jays have been active each year trying to improve their team. They are tired of being ranked 8th in the postseason. They have a young and up and coming staff, and the Blue Jays will improve that by acquiring key players. The Minnesota Twins will want to maintain their dominance in the AL Central, and also are likely to spend to keep it that way.

The New York Yankees have cleared about $70 million from their payroll, including the end of Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract.  The Yankees will want to stay below the $210 million luxury tax threshold. They will most likely will spend to keep DJ LeMahieu in pinstripes for the next several years. They also have to address their pitching situation, which most likely will lead them to spend for a number 3 type starter and an extra hand in the bullpen.

Where will some of the most promising free agents land?

Don’t look for a lot of MLB action before Thanksgiving. After then the non-tenders will be known, and MLB teams can start looking in earnest on which free agents to go after. According to MLBTraderumors.com, here is where some of the top free agents will end up.

The number one guy, Trevor Bauer is projected to go to the Dodgers, but several other predictors say he will end up with the New York Mets. J.T. Realmuto will also land up with the Mets. George Springer to the White Sox, although others say he will be with the Braves.  They project that the Yankees DJ LeMahieu will land with the Blue Jays. As long as it is reasonable, the Yankees will outbid the Blue Jay to keep LeMahieu in pinstripes.  Marcus Stroman to the Angels.

Former New York Yankee and Philadelphia Phillies, Didi Gregorius, will go west and play with the Cincinnati Reds. The site also says that predicts that the Athletic’s Marcus Semien will be with the New York Yankees next season. The reasoning is interesting.  It’s unclear what Semien is at this point. That uncertainty makes him a prime target for the Yankees, who’ve had success in recent years picking up undervalued assets like Luke Voit, Gio Urshela, and LeMahieu and turning them into studs. Adding Semien would enable New York to move Gleyber Torres back to second base, the position he should be playing.