MLB In Full Bloom 1/14/2014

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31 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

78 – Number of days until Opening Day

As we continue to wait to see where Masahiro Tanaka decides to sign this offseason, movement with other free agents remains at a snail's pace with some position players signing. The free agent pitcher's that remain are on the market remain in a holding pattern as they wait to see Tanaka signs for before they will sign. The good news is that Tanaka will sign by within the next ten days, so we're inching closer to that date.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Reports surfaced on Monday that the Yankees, Dodgers, and Angels were the three finalists for Masahiro Tanaka. However, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said Monday that the club did not meet with Tanaka while he was in Los Angeles last week. Tanaka did meet with 8-10 teams while in the states, but apparently the Angels weren't one of them. It doesn't necessarily mean they won't meet with him eventually, but that is certainly unlikely since they did not have that meeting while Tanaka was in town.
  • Dayan Viciedo and the Chicago White Sox agreed to one-year deal. The 24-year-old outfielder batted .265 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI last season. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn had stated earlier this offseason that they may look to trade Viciedo and that could certainly still happen even though  they signed him. If Viciedo remains with the White Sox, look for him to be a part of a platoon in the Sox outfield.
  • Delmon Young and the Baltimore Orioles agreed to a minor league deal which includes an invitation to spring training. Young should easily earn an Opening Day roster spot, as there's playing time available for him at designated hitter and possibly left field. He hit .260 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI between the Phillies and Rays in 2013.
  • Jeff Francis and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a minor league deal which includes an invitation to spring training. Francis had an ugly 6.27 ERA over 12 starts and 11 relief appearances with the Rockies last year. He will provide some insurance for the starting rotation.
  • Alex Rodriguez has sued Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association in federal court in an attempt to have his 162-game suspension overturned. It is shocking that Rodriguez would sue his own union. He thinks he is suing the legal team at the MLBPA that protects and provides for the players. They funded his arbitration and the research that was needed to get Rodriguez ready for this process. However, in reality, Rodriguez is suing each and every players because they pay dues for this support by the legal team. He just pushed every ballplayer to the side with this decision. Rodriguez is on an island now that has nobody on it. Rodriguez has made $350 million in his career and now he is going to sue the hand that fed him. He will lose support from all the players.
  • Fredric Horowitz, the arbitrator for the Alex Rodriguez case, came to the decision of a 162-game suspension for Rodriguez. Many have asked how Horowitz came to that number of games - why 162 games? What we learned is that Rodriguez used three different substances over three years and also made two attempts to obstruct the investigation that Major League Baseball was conducting of Biogenesis. The issue here was continued and prolonged use by Rodriguez as to an opposed single violation. So separate uses get separate penalties. Since Rodriguez used testosterone, human growth hormone, and insulin factor 1 - he received 50 games per substance plus 12 games for the obstruction.

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.

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