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.
MLB NEWS & NOTES
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 network. Vin 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.