MLB In Full Bloom 11/18/2013

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86 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

133 – Number of days until Opening Day

It was a quiet weekend for the Hot Stove that is the offseason in baseball. Since I spent last week giving you my Top 15 free agents this offseason, I missed some headlines and transactions that did take place. Lets get caught up:

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Max Scherzer won the American League Cy Young Award last week and has had to answer questions about trade rumors that include him being shipped out of Detroit. Scherzer wants to stay with the Tigers after his contract expires at the end of 2014. Scherzer, went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA this season to make his first All-Star team this year.
  • Brian Wilson told the New York Yankees last week to cross them off their list this offseason because he will not shave his beard. Yankees GM, Brian Cashman, told reporters last week that he had reached out to Wilson to determine if there was any interest, but Wilson is unwilling to shave his beard.  Since the Yankees do not do beards that will not work.
  • Bryce Harper has proven to not be an average player - Rookie of the Year and an All Star in his first two seasons. However, he is still on his five-year $9.9 million dollar deal that he signed after being drafted #1 overall in August 2010. Its been reported that there is a clause in his contract that allows him an opt-out when he reaches arbitration eligibility, which should happen after the 2014 season. Harper and agent Scott Boras would pursue that opt-out via grievance hearing. It will not surprising if the Nationals and Harper come to an agreement on a new contract before the start of next year.
  • Carlos Ruiz and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to a three-year $26 million deal with an option for 2017. Ruiz, 34, hit just .268 with five home runs and 37 RBI in 92 games this year after batting .325 in 2012. He'll be the primary catcher again in 2014.
  • Chase Headley may be on the move sooner than most expect this offseason. The Padres seemed determined to keep Headley and look to sign him to an extension this winter. Those talks have not begun, so its possible to Padres have decided to move Headley. If they do try to trade him, they would be selling low as he is coming off a very disappointing 2013 season.
  • Brendan Ryan and the New York Yankees have reached an agreement. No specifics have been announced, but Ryan is coming off a miserable offensive season in 2013, but he is one of the best defensive shortstops in the game. Ryan will provide back up to Derek Jeter.
  • Cubs prospect Kris Bryant was was named as the 2013 Arizona Fall League MVP on Saturday. It was a great debut season for the second overall selection from this past June's draft. Bryant hit .336 with nine homers and 32 RBI in 36 games across three minor league levels. Then he hit .364 with six homers and 17 RBI in 20 games in the Arizona Fall League. Some think Bryant won't arrive at Wrigley Field until 2015, but with a glaring need a third base and the need to improve the Cubs offensively, I think Bryant will arrive in 2014.