100 - Number of days until pitchers and catchers report
147 - Number of days until Opening Day
The rumor mill is heating up in Major League Baseball this week with General Managers and Owners meet in Orlando next week.. With much of the focus on the NFL, Heisman Trophy discussions, and whether Oregon or Florida State should be #2 in the BCS standings behind Alabama, lets turn the page and get refocused baseball hot stove news.
Below are my five headlines that I will be watching this offseason.
1. Robinson Cano - Where will he land and how much will he get? My guess is the New York Yankees and the first number in his new contract will be a two.
2. Alex Rodriguez - Will his 211-game suspension be held up? We won't know until sometime in December but the Yankees are anxious to know because if AROD is suspended they get a credit on his salary and could use that money to fill other roster needs.
3. David Price - Will he be traded? He will be the most talked about player this offseason that could be traded.
4. Masahiro Tanaka - Casual fans have probably not heard of this 25-year old future ace. Last season, Tanaka went 24-0 with a very low ERA. Once he gets posted there is going to be alot of action by several teams to get this guy.
5. Mystery Teams - I can't tell you who they will be, but every offseason there is a team or teams that make the offseason very interesting. Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton to the Los Angels Angels were moves that nobody saw coming at the beginning of the offseason. Jayson Werth to the Washington Nationals and Prince Fielder to the Detroit Tigers are two more examples of teams that swept in and offered huge contracts to those players.
News & Notes
David Price's name is already being and he has two years of club control left with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays know that Price will bring back alot of talent in a trade. The Rays could wait one more year, but with his salary rising to $13 million range, he could be on the move. Remember, the free agent market for starting pitching is extremely thin and the difficulty to get star caliber players is tough. The question will be which team will jump out there and meet the Rays high demands.
- The Detroit Tigers hired Brad Ausmus over the weekend to be their next manager. This is a surprise hire by the Tigers because Ausmus has no major league managing or coaching experience. For that matter, he does not have minor league managing or coaching experience. All he has done is coach Team Israel in the WBC and they did not even qualify for the tournament. Ausmus is highly regarded as a player and look at the success that Mike Matheny has had in St. Louis. The difference is that Ausmus does not have the familiarity with the Tigers that Matheny had with the Cardinals.
- The Oakland Athletics have played in O.co Coliseum for a long time. The Coliseum is in bad shape and very old. Right now, the Athletics do not have a deal to play there next season. There was a report over the weekend that if the city of Oakland or whatever stadium commission can take charge and put some money into the Coliseum, Major League Baseball is threatening to put the Athletics across the bay in the San Francisco Giants stadium. The question is whether or not this will really happen. There are nine dates that are conflicting between the A's and the Giants schedule and that will be tough to correct. Lets not forget that the current Giants ownership was going to take this team to Tampa Bay and play in the Thunder Dome, but they stayed in San Francisco. They decided to stay because one of the parts of their deal was San Jose would be a non-compete territory. The Giants have a legitimate argument, but they have to figure out a way to make this work.