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MLB podcast: Spring training preview series – Part 4 (Wild Card-ers)

Welcome to Expand the Zone, theScore’s weekly MLB podcast hosted by Jonah Birenbaum and Michael Bradburn.

Find the show on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher. Be sure to rate, review, and subscribe, too!

In the fourth episode of our five-part spring training preview series, we’re getting you ready for fake games by breaking down the 2019 outlook for the league’s projected second-place teams, while identifying some notable players to watch throughout the Grapefruit and Cactus League seasons. (Plus, some Manny Machado talk!)

Clubs discussed in this episode are:

  • Boston Red Sox (schwing)
  • Minnesota Twins (hmm)
  • Los Angeles Angels (ugh)
  • New York Mets (woah)
  • Chicago Cubs (yep)
  • Colorado Rockies (bah)

Listen to Part 1 (Bottom-feeders) here.
Listen to Part 2 (Also-rans) here.
Listen to Part 3 (Middle-of-the-packers) here.

Fun flashback moment: Sale fans Machado to cap 2018 World Series title for Red Sox

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Manny Machado Padres: Rob Manfred happy star went to small market

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was pleased with Manny Machado’s decision to sign with the Padres on Tuesday, and cited his happiness regarding one of baseball’s biggest stars landing outside a premier market.

“The Padres were active last year,” Manfred told reporters. “It’s good for baseball to have big stars present in smaller markets.”

Machado signed a 10-year, $300 million deal with San Diego on Tuesday. The Padres signed Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract in Feb. 2018, but ranked No. 24 in payroll last season. They were one of 11 teams to spend under $125 million in 2018, while the Red Sox led all teams with $227 million worth of contracts, per Spotrac.

San Diego finished last in the NL West at 66–96 in 2018. The Padres haven’t reached the playoffs since 2006 and have ended the year with a losing record for eight-straight seasons. 

Manfred also commented on the controversy of service time manipulation and how players are feeling about the current state of free agency.


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