72 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report
119 – Number of days until Opening Day
I hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving and time with family and friends. We took about a week off at BEONDECK and Buehler's Day Off. My wife and I traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina and spent time with the family. I ate my first fried turkey, which was tremendous. I found time to visit Cameron Indoor Stadium on the campus of Duke University and got to check out the home of the Durham Bulls. But, now its time to get back to work as we are just a week away from the MLB Winter Meetings.
MLB NEWS & NOTES
Rickey Nolasco and Phil Hughes agreed to deals with the Minnesota Twins. The Twins were a team that had virtually no starting pitching last year- 5.26 rotation ERA which was the highest in the majors. Their rotation struck out only 477 hitters last year and when you compare that to Yu Darvish had 277 strikeouts all by himself, adding Nolasco and Hughes is certainly an upgrade for the Twins. They did not lose draft picks or have to trade any young talent to get either free agent pitcher. The problem is that both pitchers are below average in ERA and neither is a #1 or #2 starter. Hughes should benefit from being in a bigger field, but he has some work to do beyond changing ballparks. Both are worthwhile gambles, but will the high expectations be met by either of these guys.
Robinson Cano and the New York Yankees seem to be closing the gap on a long-term deal. The two sides seem to still be $80 million apart which is alot of money to bridge. But, at the same time its not that something that cannot be done. A deal is not imminent and with the number getting closer to $200-$250 million, we may see other teams jump in at some point.
Ryan Vogelsong and the San Francisco Giants agreed on a one-year contract this past weekend. Vogelsong went 4-6 with a 5.73 ERA in 19 starts and 103 2/3 innings during an injury-shortened season. He broke two bones in the right pinkie area of his pitching hand and also dislocated a knuckle on a swing May 20 and underwent surgery the next day. He is certainly a candidate for a bounce back season in 2014.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired catcher Chris Stewart from the New York Yankees for a player to be named later or cash considerations. He'll be in the running for the backup job behind Russell Martin in Pittsburgh.
Ted Lilly announced his retirement after 15 years of pitching because of further problems with his shoulder and back. His body told him it was time to shut it down. Lilly is a two-time All-Star with a 130-113 career record with a 4.14 ERA. He pitched for Montreal, Oakland, Toronto, the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Dioner Navarro and the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a two-year deal this morning pending a physical. Navarro had a pretty good year with the Chicago Cubs last year in a back up role. It appears the Blue Jays will move forward with Navarro and Josh Thole and will look to trade J.P Arencibia. Arencibia has continued to struggle at the plate with a low on base percentage, high strikeouts, and low batting average. He puts up big home run numbers, but there are a lot of questions about Arencibia game overall. We'll have to see what the demand is on the market for him.
- Today is the deadline for arbitration eligible players by midnight tonight. There are a lot of them and most of them will get tendered. But, there are some players that are beginning to make some money or maybe overvalued that teams are not going to want to keep on their roster. There will be some interesting players that are not tendered, which will provide some interesting moves this offseason.