MLB In Full Bloom 12/9/2013

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65 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

112– Number of days until Opening Day

The Winter Meetings have begun in Orlando for the next four days. Everyone in the industry is there to take part in what really is a trade show. On this first official day of business there have been some big stories that are already breaking so let's not waste any time.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Roy Halladay announced his retirement after 16 seasons. He will sign a one-day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays and retire in the uniform of the team that drafted him as a first rounder back in 1995. Halladay is an 8-time All Star with 203 career wins. He is a two-time CY Young Award winner and he threw a perfect game on May 29th, 2010 against the Marlins. He has the fifth highest winning percentage of all time. He had a great career and it seems like yesterday that he was the most feared pitcher in the game and now he is gone.
  • Carlos Beltran and the New York Yankees agreed on a three-year deal for $45 million. Beltran always had his sites on the Bronx and its quite possible that he just preferred to play for the Yankees.
  • Mike Napoli and the Boston Red Sox agreed on a two-year deal for $32 million. It's a nice raise for Napoli who earned just $5 million on a one-year pact from the Red Sox in 2013 after hip issues caused his original deal to fall through. Napoli will continue to function as the Red Sox primary first baseman.
  • Hiroki Kuroda and the New York Yankees agreed on a one-year deal for $16 million. Kuroda had debated heading back to Japan, but has opted for another one-year pact with the Bombers instead. He was the most consistent starter in the Yankees rotation last season, posting a 3.31 ERA  in just over 200 innings.
  • Garrett Jones and the Miami Marlins agreed to a two-year deal. Jones is going to platoon at first base and right field for the Marlins and will provide decent run production.
  • Chad Qualls and the Houston Astros agreed on to a two-year deal for $6 million. After tough 2012, Qualls rebounded to post a 2.61 ERA and 1.23 as a middle reliever with the Marlins this past season. Qualls could also see some late-game action with Houston.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers have expressed their interest to the Tampa Bay Rays in regards to a David Price trade. It makes perfect sense the Dodgers would have these discussions, but the odds of it happening are low. They don't have many top prospects and any deal for Price is going to come at a premium price.  Price is also drawing interest from the Mariners, Angels, Pirates, Rangers, Diamondbacks and Blue Jays.
  • Congratulations to Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, and Joe Torre for their election to  the Baseball Hall of Fame this morning. It's well deserved for all three of them.

MLB In Full Bloom 12/6/2013

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68 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

115– Number of days until Opening Day

My seat is hot because the hot stove has been on fire this week. This is unbelievable what is happening right now. Robinson Cano to the Seattle Mariners, Curtis Granderson to the New York Mets, Scott Feldman to the Houston Astros, and rumors of other big names are flying all over the place. The money that teams are spending is staggering right now and this hectic pass is going to keep going as the Winter Meetings begin on Sunday afternoon. All I can say is television money is good. Really good!

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Robinson Cano and the Seattle Mariners agreed to a 10-year $240 million deal this morning. It's a staggering turn of events after reports surfaced this morning that talks had broken off between the two sides late last night. Cano is 31-years old and will be 41-years old by the end of this contract. How often do these long deals pan out? Almost never. These signings always sound great on the first day, but what will we be saying in the years to come? The bottom line is the Mariners had to do something to turn this franchise around as they have lost over million paid customers since 2007 and they have a $2 billion dollar television contract coming up. Its mind blowing that Cano turned his back on the New York Yankees to move to Seattle. Now the Mariners have to build a team around Cano. The Mariners are not done yet as they still need several pieces to be put around Cano to be competitive. The Mariners need to get Cano some protection and Nelson Cruz is on their radar. They need a closer and to add depth to the starting rotation.
  • Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Mariners' next move will be making a trade for David Price. It makes sense, as the Mariners have been connected to Price and now appear ready to go for broke following the Robinson Cano signing. The Mariners will have to include top prospect Taijuan Walker in any deal along with some other pieces to make the deal work.
  • Curtis Granderson and the New York Mets have agreed on a four-year deal for $60 million. Where were the Cubs and White Sox?  The Mets needed to make a splash and they did it by adding Granderson. He is a legitimate power guy in the middle of the lineup that will provide a respected bat behind David Wright. The Mets would have preferred to sign Granderson to a three-year deal, but how often this offseason have we seen teams have to add years to a contract to get players.
  • Scott Feldman and the Houston Astros have agreed to a three-year deal for $30 million. It's an interesting deal for the Astros because they are at least a couple of years away from playoff contention. However, the Astros were in desperate need of more pitching after last year's starters combined for a 4.72 ERA.
  • Rafael Furcal and the Miami Marlins have agreed to a one-year deal for $3 million plus incentives pending a physical. Furcal is coming off Tommy John surgery and not what he once was, but he brings energy and he is going to be able to mentor Adeiny Hechavarria. Hechavarria is going to be a really good player and to learn from Furcal will be invaluable to his future success.
  • Ronald Belisario and the Chicago White Sox agreed to a one-year $3 million contract on Thursday. The White Sox lack depth in the bullpen and had to do something to get the ball to Addison Reed in the ninth.  Belisario should help bridge that gap to Reed, and could even find himself pitching in the seventh or eighth inning.
  • Jarad Saltalamacchia and the Miami Marlins have agreed to a three-year deal for $21 million. The market for Saltalamacchia turned out to be softer than expected for Salty and the Marlins swooped in with a very reasonable three-year deal. The move isn't good news for his fantasy value, as he'll be on a poor offensive team and in a big ballpark.

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