We’re deep in the doldrums of the offseason. Some moves have been made, but it’s not as exciting as it could be. And because of that, some of the teams and players who are anxious and sick of waiting this offseason have asked me for advice and guidance. Luckily for them, I’m here to give them some.
GOOD PITCHING IS HARD TO FIND
Dear Stacey: Our team has a problem with its starting rotation. As of now, it is incomplete and there are two open slots. The first issue for us was that the hot stove season wasn’t that exciting and there weren’t many options to choose from. The second issue was that the players who were available this offseason weren’t great. They wouldn’t make an impact on a team who would like to have an impactful player. So how do you think we can improve our rotation? — LACK OF PITCHING, BRONX, NY
Dear Lack of Pitching: It looks like you’ll either have to have some of your young players audition for the two available spots or make a trade. You stocked up your farm system this past summer. Maybe you can use it as leverage. I hope everything works out for you, and thank you for the note.
ANGER PROBLEMS INVOLVING SHARP OBJECTS
Dear Stacey: We just traded for a player who is really good at what he does—he’s a Cy Young caliber pitcher—but he has exhibited rather frightening anger issues involving scissors in the past. We are a little worried that if we suggest that he wears a throwback uniform on his start day that he’ll try to chop up our poor mascot. What do we do? — ANGER PROBLEMS, BOSTON, MA
Dear Anger Problems: Hide your scissors, hide your silverware, and whatever you do, do not make this player wear uniforms he possibly wouldn’t like. Make him happy, by all means necessary. He is your new ace and you should treat him as such. Hope this helps.
OUR FANS ARE NEVER SATISFIED
Dear Stacey: No matter what we do, our fanbase is never happy. We’ve made the playoffs two years in a row and we made the World Series in ‘15, but if we re-sign a player, they can’t even be happy about it. They immediately bring up the fact that we didn’t trade a different player on the team. A player they may not like. And it’s not like we’re not necessarily trying; maybe no one wants him! How can we get our fans to stop being whiny brats? Please help, we’re desperate. — DESPERATE, QUEENS, NY
Dear Desperate: I hate to tell you this, but there is nothing you can do. Your fanbase is so used to being downtrodden that even making the World Series in a year when no one expected it to happen isn’t good enough for them. It stems from constantly functioning with an inferiority complex. The other team in your town, no matter what happens, always gets top billing and that annoys your fanbase. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help, but good luck this season, and I hope you find a suitor for the player that everyone wants to see traded.
WITHOUT A HOME
Dear Stacey: I’m a big-time free agent. I hit dingers. I flip my bat better than practically everyone in the Majors and I’m still unsigned. I’m a little worried because it’s already January 8. What’s the deal? —HOMELESS, TORONTO, ON
Dear Homeless: It has been an odd offseason so far, and I think the fact that you are unsigned may be a product of that odd offseason. Also, and no offense to you, you’re on the wrong side of 30. Frankly, you’re also on the wrong side of 35. Your skills, while still pretty good, are diminishing—naturally—and there aren’t a lot of teams who want to risk signing someone your age for a certain number of years when there’s an obvious downturn in your numbers. Maybe someone will surprise you in the coming weeks. Or maybe you’ll remain where you have been since 2008. Good luck either way.
WITHOUT A HOME TOO
Dear Stacey: I, too, am without a deal. I, too, hit dingers, though I don’t flip my bat as much as others when I do it. I hit 47 bombs last season, and somehow I also do not have a deal yet. I’ve heard whispers that the team I was with in 2016 is interested in keeping me but as of now, there’s no deal. Can you tell me what the heck is taking people so long to sign me? I am getting a little worried. —HOMELESS, BALTIMORE, MD
Dear Homeless (also): Don’t worry your little head off, Homeless. Someone will sign you. And the good news is that if you stay with the team you played with in 2016, you’ll have access to some of the best crab cakes in the country. Or so I’ve heard. I don’t eat seafood. Just sit tight. Someone will sign you eventually.
If you are an MLB team or player that needs advice, feel free to get in touch with me. It’s a hard world out there, and I will do my best to help every forlorn free agent and terrified team executive that I can.
Stacey Gotsulias is a contributing writer for Beyond the Box Score. You can follow her on Twitter @StaceGots.