MLB In Full Bloom 2/6//2014


0 – Number of days until the Diamondbacks pitchers and catchers report

2 – Number of days until the Dodgers pitchers and catchers report

9– Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

53 – Number of days until Opening Day

Today's installment of MLB In Full Bloom features the latest player news and we look at what MLB and the Players Union are discussing while the Texas Rangers may have just started an alarming trend. The Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers and catchers are reporting today with the first workout scheduled for tomorrow! The Dodgers pitchers and catchers report in two days and then the remaining teams report in nine days!


  • Albert Pujols has enjoyed a normal offseason according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Pujols has been hitting baseballs since October and has not had any setbacks from the partial tear of the plantar fascia in his left foot.  Pujols was limited to 99 games in 2013 due to the injury and is looking for a big rebound year.
  • Bronson Arroyo appears to be willing to accept a contract offer that is less than three years. To this point, Arroyo has stood firm in his request for a three-year contract, but with training camps about to open, he has backed off that request and is willing to accept a two-year contract.  The Diamondbacks, Dodgers, and Orioles are believed to be the primary contenders for Arroyo, who posted a 3.79 ERA in 32 starts last season for the Reds and has been the most durable pitcher in baseball over the past nine years.
  • Ivan Nova and the New York Yankees avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year contract on Wednesday. Nova is slated to be fourth in the Yankees' rotation, after the team re-signed Hiroki Kuroda and won the bidding for Masahiro Tanaka behind CC Sabathia.
  • Masahiro Tanaka received his work visa to pitch for the New York Yankees and could be on his way to the United States as early as Sunday. Tanaka has been working out in Japan and feels that he is in better shape than  in past seasons.
  • Jerome Williams and the Houston Astros agreed to a one-year contract on Wednesday. He becomes one of the Astros' better starters and should be a mainstay in Houston's rotation in 2014. Williams had a 4.57 ERA in 169 1/3 innings with the Angels last season.
  • Justin Turner and the Dodgers agreed to a minor league contract with the Dodgers on Wednesday, which includes an invite to spring training. Turner, 29-years old, heads to Los Angeles in hopes of earning a utility infield role. It's a good fit for both sides, as Turner gets a chance to play for a contender, and the Dodgers get some cheap insurance behind Alex Guerrero.
  • MLB and the Players Union are currently meeting to go through their annual look at the Joint Drug Agreement (JDA). At this time, the JDA calls for a 50-game suspension for a first time offense, 100-game for second offense, 80-game suspension for a third offense, and a possible lifetime ban for a third or fourth offense. The current JDA is not strong enough in my opinion. I would like to see a 100-game suspension for a first time offense and a lifetime ban on the second offense. In addition to the 100-game ban on the first offense, I feel strongly that teams should have the right to tear up the current contract with that player and re-negotiate a lesser contract upon his return from suspension.
  • The Texas Rangers announced that The Ballpark in Arlington in now called Global Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers sold the rights to Global Life Insurance, which will work with the Rangers Foundation according to Rangers owner Ray Davis. The multimillion deal is for ten years. This has me wondering when Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and Wrigley Field will no longer be known by those historic ballpark names.
  • Happy Birthday to the Sultan of Swat - Babe Ruth. Ruth was born on this day in 1895 and would be 119 years old. Bob Marley and Ronald Reagan were also born on this day.

MLB In Full Bloom 2/5//2014


2 – Number of days until the Diamondbacks pitchers and catchers report

3 – Number of days until the Dodgers pitchers and catchers report

10– Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

54 – Number of days until Opening Day

Today's headlines are interesting to say the least. There are some big signings and there are some wacky headlines in the news. We also wish a Hall of Famer a happy 80th birthday today. Let's go!!


  • Freddie Freeman and the Braves avoided arbitration and agreed to an 8-year $135 million contract on Tuesday. Freeman, 24, is now locked up with the Braves through his prime years and when we compare this contract to Joey Votto's 10-year $235 million deal, Freeman's contract looks like a steal. Freeman is coming off the best season of his young career, but he doesn't have the elite power that's typically desired at the first base position in fantasy, and there are signs that a regression is possible in 2014. That said, Freeman has proven durable and is already one of the leaders in the Braves' clubhouse.
  • Jayson Heyward and the Braves avoided arbitration and agreed to a two-year deal for $13 million on Wednesday. Heyward is currently due to hit free agency at the conclusion of this two-year deal. The Braves have tried to extend Heyward to a long-term contract, but talks between the two sides were unsuccessful and it will be interesting if the Braves are able to have two players with $100+ million contracts now that Freddie Freeman is locked up.
  • David Robertson says he is not going to over analyze his role to replace Mariano Rivera as the Yankees closer.  Robertson is moving from an eighth inning setup man to closer following Rivera's retirement. Robertson spent the 2013 season dominating in the set-up role and has the potential to be an elite closer. But, he is stepping into the shoes of the best closer ever and it will be interesting to see how Robertson handles a couple blown saves.
  • Cory Luebke will need a second reconstructive surgery on his left throwing elbow after an MRI showed a tear in the ulner collateral ligament. This will be the second straight season Luebke will miss most or all of the season. Luebke has already had a tough road to recovery, so the Padres were targeting him for a relief role to begin the season, but unfortunately that will not happen in 2014.
  • Sam Fuld and the Athletics agreed to minor league contract Tuesday, which includes an invite to spring training. After three seasons in Tampa, Fuld will head out west in hopes of earning a roster spot with Oakland. Fuld provides little fantasy value and should not be considered in any fantasy format.
  • Tracy McGrady has retired from the NBA as a seven-time All-Star, but he is going to try and follow Michael Jordan's path and try baseball. McGrady plans to try pitching for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. That is the same team that Roger Clemens pitched for a couple years ago. McGrady says that he has made enough money to live comfortable the rest of his life and this is purely for the love of the game.
  • Happy Birthday 80th to Hank Aaron today! Anyone that loves the game should go on Baseball Reference and admire Aaron's career numbers. His numbers are phenomenal. Babe Ruth had 11 consecutive seasons of 40 or more home runs and Aaron had 8 seasons of 40 or more home runs. The consistency and the ability to play every day was incredible. What Aaron went through to battle to get to 715 home runs and all the racism and everything he went through. I can't even begin to imagine what how he did it. Truly a living legend. In his 23-year major league baseball, Aaron's total earnings were $2,118,500.

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