MLB In Full Bloom 1/2/2014

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43 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

90– Number of days until Opening Day

I hope you all had a safe and happy New Year! I'm excited to get the New Year underway and for the record, I am not a resolution guy. I have not done it for years so why start now? The calendar has flipped to a new year and there are still several big names still on the free agent market.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Mark Mulder and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a minor league deal on New Year's Day. This is an interesting signing and an interesting comeback. Mulder is 36-years old and has not pitched in the majors since 2008. He has not pitched with any regularity, a 30 start guy since 2005. He joins an Angels rotation that is still in transition. The five that make up the Angels starting rotation as of today is Jared Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Santiago, Richards, and Tyler Skaggs. There is no certainty for Santiago or Skaggs making the rotation in 2014 so it's possible that Mulder could win a spot in this rotation. He is going to try and make the team in spring training. This is a low risk move for the Angels and I really like this move.
  • Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes is taking longer than expected and will end January 24th. Major League Baseball (MLB) is on guard against the Rakuten Golden Eagles receiving a donation from Tanaka for improvements to the stadium or better facilities for fans and players. I'm not sure you can tell a player or a team how to spend their money. MLB wants to be vigilant and be sure that the Golden Eagles do not receive more than the $20 million posting fee, but there is only so much than can do to police these negotiations. Let's just get this guy signed and get him over here. I want to see him pitch!
  • Joaquin Benoit and the San Diego Padres agreed to a two-year deal. The deal also includes a vesting option for 2016 if Benoit finishes 55 games in 2015. Benoit excelled as the Tigers closer last year and should join Huston Street to form a formidable duo at the back of the Padres bullpen in 2014.
  • Jesse Crain and the Houston Astros agreed to a one-year contract. Crain posted a 0.74 ERA over 38 appearances in 2013, but didn't pitch after June 29 due to a right shoulder strain and had surgery in October to fix biceps inflammation. The Astros already added Chad Qualls this winter, but Crain is another option to close.
  • Yasiel Puig was arrested on Saturday in Los Angeles for reckless driving. Puig's 2013 Mercedes was clocked speeding through the Alligator Alley section of I-75 at 110 mph in a 70 mph zone. Puig had a similar incident in Tennessee last April, but those charges were eventually dismissed.
  • Vin Scully served as the Grand Marshall of the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade. Scully summed it up as "exhilarating". Scully is entering his 65th season as a broadcaster for the Dodgers and is regarded by many as the greatest play-by-play announcer in baseball history.