Free agents can start signing with new teams tomorrow ...
- Dan Haren, on whom the Angels hold a 2013 option for $15.5 million, is getting the feeling he'll be traded. And, if he's going to be traded, it's probably going to be today, since that option decision is due tonight at 11pm CT. Though Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs wonders whether the Angels might be better served picking up Haren's option (even if they have no intention of keeping him), and then shopping him later in the offseason when a team or two might be more desperate. That would also allow the Angels to have some rotation certainty while they wait out Zack Greinke's decision.
- Of course, the Angels already did trade one player on the verge of an option decision, Ervin Santana to the Royals. Rob Neyer questions the Royals' willingness to pay $12 to $13 million for one year of Santana, who was strikingly bad last year.
- So, with three straight World Series wins and three straight All-Star Game wins, has the NL finally overtaken the AL as the better league? No, says Bill Parker. It's just a small sample size. He points to the whoopin' the NL regularly receives in interleague play as evidence that it's still the AL on top. (To which I'd point out that the AL has a built-in advantage with the ability to keep a masher bat as a DH, while the NL teams are forced to use whatever guy they can find at the end of their bench to DH. Since pitchers as batters are roughly equivalent, whether they are in the AL or NL, that gives the AL a solid advantage in half of the games.)
- The Marlins have their replacement for Ozzie Guillen. It's Mike Redmond, who managed at the A-ball level the last two years. Given the rather large thumb under which the Marlins manager has to operate, it's no surprise that they had to go with a lesser known name this time around after the Ozzie experiment failed (to draw interest, that is). Redmond was a catcher with the Marlins for seven years, including their 2003 World Series championship season.
- The Rockies, on the other hand, are content to let their managerial search last into next week. It seems like the three finalists are Jason Giambi, Walt Weiss and Matt Williams.
- Rick Ankiel is contemplating a return to the mound, after he switched to a positional job in his mid-20s when he lost his command in a tremendously awful way (and then had Tommy John surgery).
- Not a single team has called the Yankees about Alex Rodriguez, says Bob Nightengale.