A season with 162 games will be played for each club under a new collective bargaining agreement, interesting player changes and the designated hitter as the norm for both the National League and the American League.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
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Leer en español: Así será la temporada 2022 en el béisbol de las Grandes Ligas
This coming Thursday, April 7, will be the Opening Day of the 2022 Major League Baseball season, after long talks in the midst of a player strike to reach a contractual agreement that benefited both parties and thanks to which the Atlanta Braves will defend their title in the midst of many changes that have occurred in the preseason.
Although the calendar is modified, the traditional 162 games will be held after what was resolved between the MLB and the Players Union (MLBPA). The new Collective Contract will be valid for five years until the 2026 campaign while the preseason games, better known in the jargon of this sport as Spring Training, were held between March 18 and 29.
One of the first measures established to achieve the 162 games is for each team to play a series of three games at the end of the regular season and nine-inning doubleheaders, while the playoff format was expanded to 12 teams, with three division winners and three wild-card teams in each league, with the top two division winners earning automatic entry to the Division Series, the same format used in the National Football League (NFL).
In turn, the minimum salary for players who are not eligible for salary arbitration went from $500,000 to $700,000.
In addition to the universal rule of having a designated hitter in both leagues -until last season this condition was always established for the American League- which adds a more offensive character to the championship, the Pan-American rule of the runner on second base will remain starting from extra innings, which marks then, a slight change at the last minute as requested by the same managers.
Venezuelan communicator Carlos Velarde, a specialist in the field, shared with us his vision of the upcoming campaign, emphasizing the current monarch. “In the National League, champion Atlanta once again looks like a great candidate by acquiring the services of closer Kelly Jensen and keeping Dominican slugger Eddie Rosario, who is proven in the majors. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies I think will be their main competitors."
Velarde also assured that the Milwaukee Brewers in the center and the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres in the west start as the favorites in the rest of the divisions of the so-called old circuit. Regarding the American League, "I believe that the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays are the three candidates to win the Eastern Division along with a very prepared and dangerous Toronto Blue Jays, who I think can make a big difference in that sector."
The communicator indicated that in the center the Chicago White Sox should repeat while in the West he opted for the Seattle Mariners after the arrival of Venezuelan slugger Eugenio Suárez and Jesse Winker.
Two Latinos, the Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera and the Dominican Albert Pujols, are very close to retirement and both are looking for important marks in their successful careers. In the case of the former, he is very close to 3,000 hits, a figure that would make him only the eighth player to achieve the feat. That mark is expected to be knocked down by the first half of May.
In the case of the Dominican, he signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, the first team with which he played in the majors and which opens the doors for him in 2022 to use him as a designated hitter and as a pinch hitter. Pujols needs 21 homers to reach the 700-homer mark, and while it looks tough, the 42-year-old slugger will try.
The most striking changes.
These were the main moves that were made during the break: The most influential, without a doubt, was the one made by the Los Angeles Dodgers by acquiring the first baseman of the champion Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman, one of the best hitters in major baseball and leader undisputed offensive player for the “Tomahawks” during his tenure with the SunTrust Park team.
Puerto Rican slugger Carlos Correa went to the Minnesota Twins with a three-year contract in exchange for 105.3 million dollars and has just hit the most home runs of his career in the 2021 season, while on defense he received his first Gold Glove. Won the World Series in 2017.
Regarding this last movement, the Venezuelan journalist from the baseball source, Wilfredo Guzmán, pointed out that despite not being aggressive in hiring a shortstop of a better level than Gleyber Torres, the New York Yankees are the favorites of the League American, even passing up the possibility of hiring the recently mentioned Correa and Puerto Rican Javier Báez, regulars at that position.
Also, they highlight the arrival of the champion with Atlanta, Jorge Soler, to the Miami Marlins, that of the slugger Kris Bryant to the Colorado Rockies, that of the outstanding pitcher Zack Greinke to the Kansas City Royals, and not to mention the powerful left-handed bat of Antony Rizzo, now with the Yankees. Finally, there's first baseman Luke Voit with the San Diego Padres.