MLB In Full Bloom 11/21/2013

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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.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • 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.

MLB In Full Bloom 11/20/2013

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84 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

131 – Number of days until Opening Day

On Tuesday, there were not stop the newspaper moves, but we saw established big league players on the move. Along with a few signings, the offseason rumors are swirling and the Hot Stove that is the MLB offseason is heating up.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Carlos Beltran and the Boston Red Sox have had "serious dialogue", but there does not appear to be a deal anywhere close to getting done. This news comes on the heals of the news that the Red Sox, Yankees, and the Orioles were engaged in talks with the outfielder.  Beltran to the Red Sox makes a lot of sense because at Fenway Park he can play left field which does not require a lot of running around with the Green Monster. Beltran has no reason to rush his decision and in the end it will pay off.
  • David Murphy and the Cleveland Indians have agreed on a two-year $12 million deal. Murphy is coming off a very disappointing season that saw him bat only .220 for the Rangers, but he hit .291 and has averaged nearly 13 homers per season the three years prior to 2013. This is a huge loss for the Rangers because he is a reliable guy who you knew what you would get every day. Great pick up for the Indians.
  • Josh Johnson and the San Diego Padres agreed to a one-year deal for $8 million deal. Johnson is coming off a 2-8 season in just over 81 innings in 16 starts. A 6.20 ERA in 2013 was far from his career best in 2010 with the Miami Marlins. There is an interesting twist to Johnson's deal in that if he makes fewer than seven starts in 2014, the Padres get a $4 million club option for 2015. Obviously, the Padres have concerns that Johnson may not pitch, but sometimes this risky moves work out well.
  • Chris Young and the Washington Nationals agreed to a minor league contract and if Young makes the team he will make a $1.5 million base salary. The veteran right-hander is an interesting signing for a team that has power arms with Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman, Gio Gonzalez, and rumors are swirling about the Nats being in the mix to trade for Max Scherzer.
  • Cory Hart missed the entire 2013 season after needing knee surgery and now he is looking for a one-year deal in hopes of proving his health and testing the market again next year. Hart was on MLB Network Radio on Tuesday and said that the Red Sox, Rays, Rockies, and the Brewers have all shown interest this offseason. Like Josh Johnson, Hart could get a one-year deal and be primed for a big season if healthy.
  • Miguel Cabrera (groin)has started groin rehab following his groin surgery last month and he expects to be plans ready for spring training. Cabrera's lingering injury sapped his power down the stretch, as he had just one homer in the month of September. Despite the injury, Cabrera was able to win his second consecutive American League MVP award.
  • Chicago White Sox General manager Rick Hahn said he expects Paul Konerko to make a decision on whether to return to the White Sox by Dec. 9. The White Sox have no need to rush Konerko to make a decision with Jose Abreu serving as the team's big offseason signing who will be the Sox everyday first baseman.

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