MLB In Full Bloom 1/23/2014

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23 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

70 – Number of days until Opening Day

All the buildup that came with the Masahiro Tanaka signing ended pretty anticlimactic early yesterday morning when Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was the first to report that Tanaka and the New York Yankees had agreed on a seven-year $155 million deal with an opt out clause after the fourth year of the contract. Tanaka was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year with the Golden Eagles who won the Japan Series title. Arizona, the Chicago Cubs and White Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Houston Astros were among the failed bidders. Tanaka joins catcher Brian McCann and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran on a re-vamped roster that lost Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Robinson Cano.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Masahiro Tanaka not only got that seven-year $155 million contract that averages out to $22.14 million per year, he also received additional allowances. He got $35,000 for moving allowance, $100,000 for housing allowance. Tanaka will also receive $85,000 for an interpreter, and four first class round trip tickets to Japan. So, not only are the Yankees going to pay him his salary, but Tanaka will also get all these allowances.
  • Grady Sizemore agreed to a one-year contract with the Red Sox on Wednesday. Sizemore had a deal fall through with the Reds earlier in the week, but he will be making his comeback to baseball in Boston. Sizemore has not played since 2011 with all his knee issues. It is an incentive-laden major league deal that guarantees him less than $1 million but can increase to $6 million if he performs well and stays healthy. The three time All- Star with the Indians, Sizemore will try to re-establish his career with the Red Sox. The Sox did lose Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason, so Sizemore will provide depth in the outfield and could certainly get some playing time if Jackie Bradley struggles in centerfield or if often injured Shane Victorino gets hurt.
  • Eric O'Flaherty (elbow) and the Oakland A's agreed to a two-year deal on Wednesday. O'Flaherty underwent Tommy John surgery last May, but says that he feels 100% and will pitch this year. He is targeting a return as soon as May and seems confident that he be back in the first half. A lefty specialist, he will look to fill the bullpen spot left by Jerry Blevins, who was traded to the Nationals in the offseason.
  • Lucas Duda and the New York Mets avoided arbitration on Wednesday when they agreed to a one-year deal for just over $1.6 million. Ike Davis is still with the Mets despite being mentioned in trade rumors this offseason, so Duda projects to begin the season as a backup first baseman/corner outfielder and left-handed bench bat.Fantasy owners in NL-Only league should consider Duda in the later rounds of drafts as a nice source of power as he hit 15 home runs in each of the last two seasons.
  • Chone Figgins and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training on Wednesday. Figgins was unable to make the Marlins out of spring last year, but don't be surprised if Figgins is used in a utility role with the Dodgers to start the season.
  • Ian Stewart and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training on Wednesday. Stewart, 29 years-old, has struggled mightily  to produce at the major league level. His latest stint was with the Cubs in 2012. Stewart was one a highly touted prospect, but he now owns a .232 batting average and will provide the Angels with organization depth. He has zero fantasy value.
  • SportsNet LA, the new exclusive television channel of the Los Angeles Dodgers will officially launch February 25th. SportsNet LA will televise Dodgers content 24/7 including live and classic games and a variety or additional Dodger programming. The network will be available to Time Warner Cable subscribers in Southern California, but the network is working on negotiations with DirectTV, Dish Network, and Verizon FiOS. All the programming will be lead with expert commentary led by the network's on-air talent team of Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra, Charley Steiner, Jerry Hairston, Alanna Rizzo and John Hartung.