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The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

MLB Season Preview

Jack Martin
Mets Stadium Citi Field before a big game

The MLB season kicks off on March 20th when the Dodgers take on the Padres at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea. New Dodgers signing Shohei Ohtani is expected to play, after signing a 10 year, $700 million contract. The Dodgers are the main story of the offseason where they spent $1.2 billion on free agents, and they made various trades between teams. According to CBS Sports, signees such as Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yammamoto, and Tyler Glasnow have pushed the Dodgers to be favorites to win the 2024 World Series. 

Opening day for the rest of the teams occur on March 28th, starting with the Brewers and Mets at Citi Field at 1:10 pm. The level of excitement for this game is very high from fans, and some other major games include Braves at Phillies, Giants at Padres, and Yankees at Astros. Charlie Quinn ‘27 says “I am beyond ecstatic for Opening Day, and I am very excited to see all these players in new uniforms and I am even more excited to see the young generation start to step up.” recently came out with a Top 100 prospects list, with the Orioles’ Jackson Holliday taking the top spot, and he was followed by the Brewers’ Jackson Chourio, and the Pirates’ Paul Skenes. 

Local favorite teams in the New York Mets, New York Yankees, and Philadelphia Phillies are in very different positions coming into the year. First the Mets, who are coming off of a very disappointing 2023 season finishing with a 75-87 record. They have refreshed the front office, bringing in Carlos Mendoza to be manager and David Stearns as President of Baseball Operations and he is acting as General Manager. Stearns, a successful general manager at the Milwaukee Brewers organization, has Mets fans excited for the upcoming season. Mets fan Ben Bailian ‘27, says “I’m very excited to watch the Mets go out and compete every day.” Though the Mets had a bit of an underwhelming offseason from the fans perspective compared to other years, they hope Stearns will be able to work some of his magic during the season this year and send the Mets to the playoffs. 

The Yankees, who are also coming off a disappointing 82-80 season, have had a very eventful offseason, where they traded for superstar outfielder Juan Soto from the Padres. They also traded for outfielder Alex Verdugo, and signed pitcher Marcus Stroman. Though they made these big moves this offseason, they are headed into a tough division where they finished 4th last year even though they had a winning record. 

The Phillies are coming off of a second consecutive season where they made it to the National League Championship Series, which is a step before the World Series, that they made in 2022. They made two major moves this offseason, where they signed star pitcher Aaron Nola to a 7 year $172 million contract. They also signed star pitcher Zack Wheeler to a 3 year $126 million contract extension, which is the MLB record for AAV (average annual value). 

Another big story coming out of spring training this year is the new uniforms that have been provided for the players by the MLB. The uniform name and number is significantly smaller than in years past but Fanatics, which is the company that is making these uniforms, says that these new jerseys dry 28% faster and provide 25% more stretch. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward told The Athletic that “it looks like a replica” and “It feels kind of like papery. It could be great when you’re out there sweating, it may be breathable. But I haven’t had that opportunity yet to try that out. But from the looks of it, it doesn’t look like a $450 jersey.”

A huge story coming out of the offseason this year is the player’s not signing until recently and some haven’t even signed yet. Agent Scott Boras has sparked an interesting conversation regarding his clients and the decisions that they have made this offseason. Four of his clients this year were very good players and worth some money. Those players are Cody Bellinger, Matt Chapman, Blake Snell, and Jordan Montgomery. Only Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman have signed so far, and they just signed within the last two weeks. Snell and Montgomery however, still haven’t signed with only a couple weeks until Opening Day. A big question is if they are going to sign with a team and be able to get ready for opening day, but that window may have closed.

The 2024 MLB All Star Game will take place in Arlington, Texas on July 16th. The MLB’s biggest stars will square off at Globe Life Field for a game of fun and competition. A fan favorite event, the Home Run Derby will have fans captivated as the game’s most powerful stars compete for the Derby Trophy and $1 million. Other events that occur during the All Star Game weekend include the MLB futures game, featuring the games next biggest stars, and the Celebrity Softball game where celebrities compete in a fun-filled softball game.

Excitement levels for the 2024 MLB season are rising and rising as Opening Day gets closer, and for good reason. There are big powerhouses like the Dodgers and Braves, and with their big offseason the Dodgers look to win the World Series. Local teams like the Mets, Yankees, and Phillies look to improve upon past seasons. Debates to look at going into the season are the new uniforms, and the free agent signings. After one of the most historic offseasons of all time, hopefully the regular season will be just as historic and exciting for all MLB fans.

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