MLB In Full Bloom 11/22/2013


82 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

129 – Number of days until Opening Day

Major League Baseball lost a true leader on Thursday with the passing of MLBPA Executive Director - Michael Weiner. For those of us that did not have the privilege of knowing Michael Weiner, it's been amazing to listen and read the reactions from several players, General Managers and owners. You can truly get a sense of what a wonderful man he was and the impact he had on so many people. Before Weiner became MLBPA Executive Director, there had been eight work stoppages over the first 23 years between the Players Association and Major League Baseball. During Michael Weiner's  reign, there were three consecutive bargaining agreements without any work stoppages. It says a lot about how he brought players and owners into the conversation and how he kept the players unified. Today, I want to send out my deepest condolences to Michael Weiner's family. He was a true leader and visionary and he will always have my appreciation for the positive impact he had on baseball. 


  • Chris Young and the New York Mets agreed to a one-year deal pending a physical. Young is an interesting guy. He was an everyday player in Arizona for several years and then went to Oakland and became a part of the Athletics massive platoon system and never really fit in. Perhaps with the Mets, Young will get regular playing time or be more suited to a reserve roll. Young is a guy that provides power and could be worth picking up in NL-Only fantasy leagues.
  • Nelson Cruz remains in the mix for the New York Mets after the team signed Chris Young. It's no surprise, as the Mets need all the help they can get in the outfield. Cruz could settle in right field, though the problem with Cruz could be his price tag.
  • Jason Vargas and the Kansas City Royals agreed on a four-year deal. It is a surprising that Vargas got a four-year deal, but he has been a decent average starter and should be an adequate replacement for Bruce Chen. Vargas had that unusual blot clot in his arm pit, but he should be good to go come spring training.
  • Lance Berkman informed the Pittsburgh Pirates through his agent that he is leaning toward retirement after they had reached out to him. Its not It's not surprising if you've followed Berkman's comments to the media over the past couple of years. Berkman, 37, has battled multiple injuries with the Rangers this past season while batting just 242 with six home runs and 34 RBI in 73 games.
  • Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers announced on Thursday that Darvish's back issue has subsided and he should have no problems with his offseason workouts. Darvish dealt with a back issue for the final two months of the season, but a little rest has apparently knocked the injury out.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group is trying to find a way to bring Orel Hershiser back to Dodger Blue. According to a few sources, there have been conversations about Hershiser being the announcer to be the face of their new networkVin Scully, 86, will return to call games for the Dodgers next season, but perhaps the Dodgers are making plans for his eventual retirement.
  • Miguel Cabrera already misses Prince Fielder and Cabrera went to social media to let his friend know how much. Cabrera sent out several tweets on Twitter that was basically a timeline that showed how much fun they had together in Detroit.

MLB In Full Bloom 11/21/2013


83 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

130 – Number of days until Opening Day

The Hot Stove is expanded today after Alex Rodriguez stormed out of the court room in New York City and headed right to the WFAN 660 studios to talk with Mike Francesa. If that was not enough, we had our first blockbuster trade of the offseason and lost in the mix was the retirement announcement from Chris Carpenter.


  • The Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers were involved in the first blockbuster trade this offseason on Wednesday as Ian Kinsler was traded to the Tigers for Prince Fielder. This is a good trade for both teams. Kinsler should fit nicely in the Tigers lineup. It also allows the Tigers to resign players including Max Scherzer with the salary relief and they can move Miguel Cabrera to first base. As for Fielder, he is 29-years old and is primed to do big things in Arlington.
  • Chris Carpenter officially announced his retirement from the St. Louis Cardinals after a brilliant 15-year career. At 38-years old, Carpenter won the 2005 Cy Young Award, two World Series titles, and 95 wins in eleven seasons with the Redbirds.
  • Mike Matheny and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a three-year deal on Wednesday. Matheny was already under contract through 2014, but the Cardinals now have him locked up through 2017. He owns an impressive 185-139 record over his first two seasons as the Cardinals manager.
  • Javier Lopez and the San Francisco Giants agreed to a three-year deal on Wednesday. Lopez posted a 1.83 ERA over 39 1/3 innings and will continue to serve as late inning reliever for the Giants.
  • Tim Hudson (ankle) is on schedule with his rehab, and expects to have a normal spring training. This is good news for the San Francisco Giants who signed Hudson two-year contract earlier this week.
  • Dan Haren and the Los Angeles Dodgers have had preliminary discussions this offseason. The Dodgers reached out to Haren's agent and there appears to be mutual interest between the two parties. Haren had a 4.67 ERA over 169 2/3 innings this past season, but resembled his old form after the All-Star break.
  • The New York Mets have had internal discussions about Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. Until the Mets actually talk to the Brewers about Braun, there's little reason to take it seriously.
  • It appears the Arizona Diamondbacks are willing to trade Didi Gregorius this offseason. The Diamondbacks love Chris Owings and if the season were to start tomorrow, I think Owings would be the D'Backs starting shortstop. Owings hit .340 and had over 50 extra base hits at Triple-A this year. The two shortstops could battle it out in spring training, but if an opportunity presents itself for Gregorius to be traded this offseason, the D'Backs will do it.

Page 84 of 203