MLB In Full Bloom 11/25/2013

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79 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

126 – Number of days until Opening Day

Its Thanksgiving week and we are in the middle of football season. The NFL is about to wrap up Week 12 with a Monday night showdown between the Washington Redskins and the San Francisco 49ers. College Football is inching closer to the tremendously long bowl portion of their season, but still there was enough baseball news over the weekend that non-baseball only channels were talking baseball!

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Brian McCann and the New York Yankees agreed to a five-year deal worth $85 million. This just seemed like too good a fit for the deal not to happen for both sides. The Yankees are getting a guy that is a perfect fit for their ballpark and he should do well in New York City. This is just the start of the offseason moves for the Yankees. Look for them to continue to be active.
  • Jhonny Peralta and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a four-year deal worth $53 million. Peralta The Cardinals were able to acquire Peter Bourjos and Peralta and they did not have to trade any of their young top pitching prospects. There has been strong reaction to Peralta's deal. Brad Ziegler, who serves as the Arizona Diamondbacks union representative took to Twitter saying that "it pays to cheat". Ziegler went on to say, "Thanks, owners, for encouraging PED use. We thought 50 games would be a deterrent. Obviously it’s not. So we are working on it again." Peralta served his 50-game suspension last season and came back for the final four games of the season with the Detroit Tigers and played during the postseason.
  • Joe Smith and the Los Angeles Angels agreed to a three-year deal worth $15.75 million. Smith immediately improves the Angels' bullpen, as he compiled a 2.29 ERA with 25 holds in 63 innings last season. The Angels have already named Ernesto Frieri as their closer next season but Smith may immediately take over the setup role. The Angels will continue to look to add pitching both for the rotation and the bullpen. The Angels appear to be pursing Bartolo Colon, but it does not appear that a deal is imminent.
  • Dan Haren and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a one-year deal worth $10 million. The Dodgers get themselves the right-hander they wanted to add this offseason as questions surround the health of Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett. Ned Colletti did say last week that he is feeling good about both Billingsley and Beckett and if they do return to the rotation, Haren adds more depth.
  • Jose Molina and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a two-year deal worth $4.5 million. At age 40, this is a good deal for Molina. He batted just .228 during his two years with the Rays. The Rays value him for his game calling and pitch framing, though. He figures to split time with Jose Lobaton in 2014.
  • Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported over the weekend that top Japanese baseball executives will fly to New York this week in an attempt to finalize a new posting system with MLB. The two sides appear to be moving in the right direction after months of no progress. With no posting agreement in place, one of the biggest fish on the free agent market, Masahiro Tanaka, is unable to be signed.

MLB In Full Bloom 11/22/2013

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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 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.

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