Monday, March 4, 2019

Frankenset Page #43

At this point in the MLB offseason, I've usually begun the process of making predictions ahead of opening day, a date that is just over 3 weeks away. However, for the 2nd year in a row, players and teams are refusing to budge on contract negotiations, leaving dozens of starting lineup caliber players still unsigned.

The major 2 available free agents, as of the time I'm writing this post, are Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel, and they're far from the only guys left unsigned. Adam Jones, who hit a respectable .281 last year, could be a much-needed veteran presence for a young team, and he wouldn't even cost too much money.

Only 32-years old, it's perplexing to me that Adam Jones remains a free agent with roughly 3 weeks to go until opening day. Then again, when I look at who else remains unsigned as well, it all makes sense; the free agent market is not kind to players over 30.

I even posted my offseason predictions for this years' exciting free agency, and I'm 0-7 thus far with the 3 players I mentioned above still up in the air. I understand that stars like Craig Kimbrel want and deserve their money, but the contract he originally desired is totally irrational. 

No team wants to take the risk and give Kimbrel, a 30-year old closer, a 6-year contract worth around $100 million. However, if Kimbrel or any current free agents want a job come March 28th, there will need to be compromises made on both sides.

So, while we continue to await the signing of multiple big-name free agents, I'll postpone my predictions until further notice. Instead, I have the 43rd page of my frankenset ready to go, showcasing cards #379-387.

#379 1998 Bowman Julio Ramirez
For the sake of the game of Baseball, I pray that the Orioles and Marlins don't finish with as poor of records as they did in 2018. Combining to lose over 200 games, there were some pretty awful teams in 2018, including the White Sox and the Royals. Now, both Chicago and Kansas City made an effort to improve their record in 2019. The Marlins and Orioles? Not so much.

#380 2016 Topps Heritage Phil Hughes
Page #43 of my frankenset shows a lot of love to the Topps Heritage brand with 5 different cards from the product being featured. It's pretty fitting that this page includes so many cards from Heritage given the fact that I've been celebrating the release of the 2019 Topps Heritage set for nearly a week now, honoring the 1970 Topps design.

#381 2007 Topps Heritage J.J. Putz
An untraditional style of cards, the 1958 Topps design boldly features no "real" backgrounds on their cards. Instead, the cards feature a specific color in the background instead, effectively featuring no ballparks or other backgrounds that we've grown accustomed to seeing on a Topps Flagship Baseball card. 

I'm still firm in my belief that 1959 Topps is an enhanced version of '58 because of the backgrounds, but it was a bold effort by Topps, nevertheless.

#382 2018 Topp Big League Adeiny Hechavarria
Topps wasted very little time in announcing the renewal of the Big League product for another year in 2019, but they also decided to bring back Opening Day once again as well. Both Big League and Topps Bunt have been generally well-received as inexpensive, fun products geared towards kids, just like Opening Day. 

I simply don't understand why Topps won't just replace the boring product that is Topps Opening Day with a more interesting release, both in terms of design and checklist, like Big League.

#383 1983 Topps Ozzie Virgil
I probably separated the 2 1983 Topps cards on this page before I added the remaining cards from that set to my want list, but it's too late to remove them now anyway. Besides, I'm not missing a ton of cards from that set, and I'm hoping I can rely on trips to the Baseball card show and trades to finish it up completely.

#384 2016 Topps Heritage David Robertson
Thankfully, Topps finally removed the "ad panels" box toppers from Topps Heritage this year after being around for over a decade. Personally, I couldn't stand the ad panel cards simply because they made zero sense to me. 3 random cards were grouped into 1 single panel, and they weren't even consecutive cards in the product. 

I'd much rather have stamped original buybacks than some confusing ad panel as a box topper, especially with what hobby boxes cost collectors nowadays.

#385 1983 Topps Mike Easler
Almost every Pittsburgh Pirates cards in the 1983 Topps set shows a player in this exact uniform, and I couldn't be happier about that. Considering that the Pirates have some of the greatest and most iconic jerseys of all-time, it's pretty awesome to see 20-30 of these uniforms make an appearance in the '83 Topps Flagship set.

#386 2018 Topps Heritage Wil Myers
I'm genuinely interested to see how the San Diego Padres will perform this season with Manny Machado and Wil Myers leading a group of young players in a fairly tough division. San Diego has one of the best farm systems in all of Baseball, but they've consistently been a somewhat mediocre team for roughly a decade now.

#387 2007 Topps Heritage Aaron Rowand
The 43rd frankenset page will end with the 5th and final card from Topps Heritage, this once also from the 2007 set. Featuring a black background, Aaron Rowand's 2007 Topps Heritage card perfectly captures the potential of having 1-color backgrounds without ballparks being featured. With that being said, I don't know if I'd feel the same way if I were to collect the entire 500-card product.


  1. Those old Pirates uniform are awesome!!!

  2. Not the most inspiring page, but I do like the Virgil.

    Adam Jones was worth 0.2 WAR last year. Not sure I'd want my team offering him much.

  3. I actually did complete the entire 2007 Topps Heritage took me 8 years to finish but I have the whole thing (plus YL/YTL variations) in a binder. The backgrounds (especially the yellow ones) do get dull after a while. Also, the packs came with gum! It was sealed so the cards weren't stained, and it wasn't bad.

    Now that I think about it, maybe Topps should have done a cross-promotion with Big League Chew for their Big League set.