With Opening Day less than two weeks away, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. WBC Update
The World Baseball Classic continues tonight as Puerto Rico takes on Mexico in the quarterfinals. Marcus Stroman will take the mound for Puerto Rico, while Julio Urias will start the game for Mexico. To this point in this series, Mexico has been lead by Randy Arozarena (1.714 OPS) and Joey Meneses (1.263 OPS) while Puerto Rico is lead by Francisco Lindor (1.129 OPS) while also featuring All-Star Javier Baez. Puerto Rico, of course, will be without closer Edwin Diaz, who required surgery on the patellar tendon in his right knee yesterday and will likely miss the entire 2023 season. Tonight’s game, which will begin at 6pm CST, will air on FS1.
2. Relief Market Update
Following Diaz’s injury, all eyes are on the Mets as they decide whether to stick with their internal relief options like David Robertson, Adam Ottavino and Brooks Raley or pursue external additions. Meanwhile, two possible options on the free agent market are holding workouts in attempts to get signed to big league deals: Zack Britton held a showcase yesterday, which the Mets were in attendance for, while Ken Giles will do the same this morning for multiple teams, according to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman. Both Britton and Giles have worked out for teams already this spring, but as Opening Day approaches are doing so again, perhaps to ease the nerves of teams who are put off by each player’s lengthy recent injury history.
3. Voit Opt-Out Decision Looming
The Brewers signed slugging first baseman Luke Voit to a minor league deal earlier in the offseason, but Voit reportedly has an opt-out of the contract that he intends to exercise if the Brewers do not add him to the 40-man roster. The Brewers had until midnight last night to do so before Voit was able to opt-out, but it’s possible Voit could stay in camp with Milwaukee for a little while longer, as noted by MLB.com’s Adam McCalvey. Should Voit opt out of his contract, he would re-join the free agent market as one of the top remaining bats available, behind only the lingering Jurickson Profar.