MLB In Full Bloom 1/20/2014

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26 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

73 – Number of days until Opening Day

With the focus on the NFL over the weekend, it's likely that many people missed the headlines that Major League Baseball created the past couple days. Never fear, MLB In Full Bloom kept an eye on both the NFL and MLB! Masahiro Tanaka is still a free agent, but official offers have been submitted to the Tanaka camp. Let's get caught up!

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • The January 24th deadline for Masahiro Tanaka is looming and reports indicate that a number of bids for over $100 million. Reportedly, he has received offers from the Cubs, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Dodgers, and White Sox. Where he goes is anyone's guess, but it will be over soon. The Angels were not in the report, but there have been other reports that the Angels are in the mix. The Angels, much like the Yankees do not want to go over the $189 million luxury threshold.
  • Matt Garza remains a free agent and it's not only because of Masahiro Tanaka. An American League executive said that there "may be concerns about Garza physically."  Garza will eventually sign with a team, but he might not get the deal he entered the offseason thinking he would receive. The Angels and Twins are two teams that are known to have interest in him.
  • Ernesto Frieri and the Angels avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract. Frieri received a size-able raise and it was earned by his performance last year. Frieri racked up 37 saves in 41 chances for the Angels last season, posting a 3.80 ERA. He'll serve as the Angels closer again in 2014.
  • Jose Veras signed with the Cubs this offseason and manager Rick Renteria stated at the Cubs Convention that Veras will be the closer heading into spring training. Pedro Strop was expected to compete for the job, and considering that it's January, he still might, but it's probably not a big surprise that the new manager would give the inside track to the more-experienced Veras.
  • Carlos Santana expects to play third base for the Indians in 2014. It was reported that Santana was working during winter ball at third base, perhaps to function as a utility player to limit his time behind the plate. Fantasy owners should be excited about this news as owners of Santana will provide much needed roster flexibility. Third base is such a waste land for many fantasy owners so those who own Santana have to be pleased.
  • Mike Minor and the Braves avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract. Minor earned a very nice raise after putting together a 3.21 ERA and with 181 strikeouts over 200 innings last season. He will have to be a key piece again in 2014 if the Braves want to repeat as NL East champs.
  • Vernon Wells is drawing some interest by the Phillies. He was released last week by the Yankees. The Yankees and Angels are still paying Wells' salary in 2014, so he will be available for the MLB minimum by any team that signs him. He could be useful in a reserve role and make some starts against lefties.