MLB In Full Bloom 1/15/2014

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30 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

77 – Number of days until Opening Day

Today's blog is going to focus on the players not using PEDs. We are going to focus on the things that make baseball great! Several story lines from Tuesday and it feels like we are on the verge of several big signings soon! We're just 30 days until pitchers and catchers report!  Now that the Hall of Fame announcements are over the next thing on the baseball calendar is club's exchanging arbitration figures with players and that process begins on Friday, but players did file yesterday.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers continue to discuss an extension for the 25-year old left-hander. Kershaw's future in L.A. is a hot topic as he filed for arbitration on Tuesday afternoon. The Dodgers want to get a long-term deal done by Friday. The two sides have been negotiating for almost a year so why is it important to get a deal done in the next couple days? Well, the Dodgers feel that the exchange of figures - Kershaw requesting one number and the Dodgers offering another number will lead to a difference that is so big that it could create problems. Who knows where this may be going, but it would not surprise me to see Kershaw get a contract with an annual salary of $30 million a year for ten years. With Zack Greinke making $25-$26 million a year for the next five years, it's not hard to imagine Kershaw making $30 million a year.
  • Pablo Sandoval announced on Tuesday that he's lost 42 pounds this offseason. Sandoval is motivated as he enters his walk year. He also lost about 40 pounds in the winter prior to the 2011 season before going on to bat .315 with 23 home runs.
  • Josh Hamilton has gained 20 pounds this offseason. He dropped the weight last offseason after signing the big five-year contract with the Angels, but he's hoping that a return to his old weight will lead to better results. Hamilton hit just .250 with 21 home runs and 79 RBI in 151 games last season.
  • Seth Smith and the San Diego Padres avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year deal. Smith was acquired in December for Luke Gregerson and he is slated to start in right field for the Padres this year.
  • Michael Young appears to be inching closer to deciding if he wants to continue to play baseball or retire. Young has four teams that are interested in him and the offers are good enough. But, he is struggling with is the desire to stay at home and spend more time with his wife and three sons. All three boys are 8 years old or younger and he is strongly considering retirement.
  • John Buck and the Seattle Mariners agreed to a one-year deal on Tuesday. He makes sense for the Mariners as he will back up Mike Zunino. Buck's offensive numbers are not great nor are his defensive numbers, but he will be a good veteran presence for Zunino.
  • Cameron Maybin (wrist/knee) who began hitting off a tee last week, aims to report to the Padres' spring complex about the time pitchers and catchers check in on Feb. 13. On Monday, Cameron said, "There have been no setbacks." During the past few months, Maybin has slowly but surely tested out his recovering right wrist and right knee, with the knee already checking out OK. Now, the focus is building the strength back in his wrist.
  • Derek Holland's (knee) left knee surgery last week was a microfracture procedure. It certainly explains why the Rangers wasted no time announcing that Holland will miss the first half of the season. Holland, who was injured when his dog - Wrigley- tripped him as he was running up the stairs.