MLB In Full Bloom 1/13/2014

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32 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

79 – Number of days until Opening Day

For folks that did not see 60 Minutes last night you missed the big bombshell. I can't believe there is a baseball fan that did not watch it. But, this is not as much a baseball story, it is a sports story that has captivated the country. For those that did miss it, Anthony "Tony" Bosch, owner of Biogenesis finally came out and spoke about his involvement with Alex Rodriguez. Scott Pelley, 60 Minutes journalist, did a great job with the story. I thought it was thoroughly done and he was fair to all sides. It was alarming the detail that we learned during this interview. The biggest takeaway for me is that nobody looked good. Bosch certainly did not look good, Major League Baseball did not look good, and Rodriguez with 500+ text messages that 60 Minutes had needs to stop trying to convince us that he is not guilty. There were other stories in baseball - good stories to discuss so lets turn out attention to those stories!

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • MLBPA has yet to approve expanded replay & elimination of home plate collisions. It appears that there is no consensus from the player's union.  With replay in particular, what was agreed to in collective bargaining earlier about an expansion Major League Baseball is trying to go beyond what was agreed to so the player's union is basically sitting back on this issue.
  • Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals agreed to a one-year contract late last week. Strasburg avoided arbitration by agreeing to the contract. This would have been the first season Strasburg was eligible for arbitration.
  • Carlos Gonzalez had an emergency appendectomy surgery in Denver last Friday night after experiencing terrible stomach pain. Gonzalez has six weeks to recover and prepare for spring training.
  • Derek Holland (knee) injured his left knee in a fall at home. He underwent surgery earlier last Friday to repair the damage, which will likely keep him out until at least mid-season. It was reported that he was playing hockey when he injured his knee, but he was actually playing with his dog named Wrigley. Wrigley was chasing Derek and undercut him and Derek fell on his head and injured his knee.
  • Brian Roberts and the New York Yankees agreed to a one-year deal today. The deal was agreed to almost a month ago, but the Yankees had to wait for the conclusion of the Alex Rodriguez suspension appeal to officially add Roberts to their 40-man roster. He is taking A-Rod's roster spot and will be in line for a good amount of playing time at second base in 2014. Kelly Johnson is expected to start at third base.
  • Scott Sizemore and the New York Yankees agreed to a minor league contract. He is one of the options at third base for the Yankees. Sizemore has virtually missed the last two seasons due to a serious left knee injury as he tore his ACL twice. There is a reason he signed a minor league contract as there is not much of a guarantee there. Kelly Johnson, Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Ryan are other options for 2014.
  • Masahiro Tanaka is still on the market and a report over the weekend indicate that the Angels, Dodgers, and Yankees are the three favorites. It's unknown what Tanaka is looking for from this teams. Does he prefer the west coast over the east coast? Money is not the issue with these three teams, but the opportunity to win and where he feels the most comfortable are the driving forces.

MLB In Full Bloom 1/10/2014

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35 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

82– Number of days until Opening Day

A week that was highlighted by the Baseball Hall of Fame announcement on Wednesday that included Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas is coming to an end with concerning news about a future Hall of Famer. Masahiro Tanaka is still in Los Angeles and there is exciting news about a couple younger players. Let's go!!

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Justin Verlander will be out for six weeks after core muscle repair surgery. Verlander has made 30 or more starts in eight straight seasons. He is expected to be ready around Opening Day and the Tigers are extremely hopeful that is the case.
  • Mashiro Tanaka is still Los Angeles and had a physical yesterday. He has been meeting with teams and it appears that at least ten teams are in the mix. The Chicago White Sox are in this mix and they have to be listed as a "surprise" team. The Cubs, Mariners, Yankees along with the Dodgers and Angels are also meeting with Tanaka.
  • Johan Santana (shoulder) is being monitored by the New York Yankees as he continue to rehab from shoulder surgery. The Yankees are interested in his progress because if they miss out on Masahiro Tanaka they need to have other options.
  • Jayson Nix and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a minor league deal which includes an invitation to spring training. Nix was non-tendered by the Yankees in December after batting just .236 in 2013. He does have some speed and defensive versatility, but Nix will have to really battle for a roster spot this spring in Rays camp.
  • Jamey Carroll and the Washington Nationals agreed to a minor league deal which includes an invitation to spring training. Carroll will serve as a utilityman in 2014 for the Nationals as long as he shows that he has something left in spring training. He turns 40 years old next month and batted just .211 last year.
  • Manny Machado (knee) is expected to be ready for Opening Day according to Orioles manager Buck Showalter. Fantasy owners should still account for the possibility that Machado won't be ready for the beginning of the season, but this is certainly positive news in January.
  • Byron Buxton (shoulder) has been invited to major league camp by the Minnesota Twins during spring training. Buxton is widely considered one of the top prospects in all of baseball. He is coming off a 2013 season in which he hit .334 with 12 homers and 55 steals in 125 games between Low-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers. He is only 20 years old and odds are that the Twins will continue to let him develop in the minor leagues in 2014, but this experience in spring training will be valuable.
  • Happy Birthday to Willie McCovey who turns 76 years old today! McCovey was born in 1938.

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