MLB In Full Bloom 12/18/12

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57 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

103 – Number of days until Opening Day

29   – Number of days until Opening Day of the California Winter League

 

  • The Oakland A’s and Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima have agreed on a two-year deal. The A’s lost Stephen Drew to the Boston Red Sox on Monday, but moved quickly to get the next best shortstop free agent on the market this year. Nakajima finished with a .311 BA to go along with 13 home runs in 2012. Nakajima won't bring much power to a lineup that is in need of some more pop, but he will pile up the walks and cause problems for the opposition on the bases.
  • The Cleveland Indians are hosting Nick Swisher today. Swisher arrived in Cleveland Tuesday night to get a tour of the Indians facilities. Swisher is an Ohio State alumni and reports are that he has alot of respect for Indians manager - Terry Francona. It could be a good fit, but at 32-years old I would be surprised if Swisher decides to call Cleveland home as the Indians are not close to being a contender in the AL Central.
  • The San Francisco Giants and Santiago Casilla agreed on a three-year, $15 million deal, pending a physical. The Giants are not able to keep up with the spending of the Dodgers, but they have done a good job keeping together a group coming off a championship season. With Casilla back in the mix, it means most of the team's top relievers will be back for 2013.
  • The Houston Astros and Carlos Pena agreed on a one-year deal. With the Astros' move to the American League, Pena will likely play first base against right-handed pitching, while enabling Brett Wallace to serve as Houston's primary DH.
  • The Los Angeles Angels and Luis Rodriguez agreed to a minor league contract. Rodriguez's contract includes an invitation to spring training, so he will get a chance to compete for a reserve infield spot with the team. Rodriguez did not play in a major league game last season, but his versatility, as a switch-hitter who can play every position except first base.
  • The Milwaukee Brewers and Donnie Murphy agreed to a minor league contract, which includes an invitation to spring training. Murphy played his last three seasons in Miami. Murphy will serve as a back up to the Brewers 22-year old SS Jean Segura.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers may be shopping Andre Either. It was just six months ago that the Dodgers gave Either a 5-year/$85 million contract that has not even kicked in. At best, this is a long shot, but if there are teams that are willing to take on Either's contract anything can happen. In his article, Rosenthal lists a few trade possibilities, but how about Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, Dee Gordon, and Either for Felix Hernandez???
  • THIS DAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY: On this date in 1990, the National League announced the six finalist cities for the two 1993 expansion teams. The locations included Buffalo, Denver, Miami, Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Washington, DC.