The latest from around MLB ...
- Zack Greinke is clearly the best arm available on the free agent market this year. So many teams are desperate for starting pitching. The new CBA shifts dollars that might otherwise have been spent on the amateur side to the big league side. Many teams are flush with - or expect soon to be flush with - huge new revenue streams thanks to improved TV deals. Combine all of those facts, and you've got every reason to believe that Greinke is going to become the highest paid right-handed starter ever ... but is he worth it? Matthew Pouliot looks back at the numbers over the last three years for the top pitchers on the free agent market, and wonders whether Greinke is worth all the fuss. There's certainly an argument to be made, though I'd point out that, even by the more standard statistics, Greinke still looks like he's on top. And, by most advanced metrics, Greinke takes out the rest of the class pretty easily.
- Speaking of top free agents, most think the guy on the positional side is Josh Hamilton. He's started floating his demands to interested teams: $175 million over seven years. I could see him getting $25 million per year, but it's hard to imagine a team going to seven years given his age (32 next year), his durability issues, his erratic performance, and his potential for off-the-field concerns.
- Just nine players received qualifying offers on Friday, which means the free agent market isn't going to be nearly as impacted by the specter of draft pick compensation considerations as it had been in the era of offering arbitration. The list of free agents who received a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer from their current team, and who would cost their signing team a first round pick (or second round if the team's first round pick is in the first 10 selections): Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, Hiroki Kuroda, Adam LaRoche, Kyle Lohse, David Ortiz (already re-signed), Rafael Soriano, Nick Swisher, and B.J. Upton.
- Speaking of that Ortiz signing, the soon-to-be-37-year-old (DH-only, coming-off-an-Achilles-injury) got two years and $26 million from the Red Sox. Certainly a portion of that money is related to his standing among fans in Boston, but it makes you wonder what kind of value someone like Alfonso Soriano might actually have.
- Beyond the Boxscore dug into Tommy John surgery data to, among other things, compile a chart of the total number of Tommy John surgeries performed on players on each team/in each organization over the past 30 years (the data are admittedly not perfect). The Braves come in at the high end with at least 26 Tommy John surgeries, and the White Sox come in at the low end with just six. The Cubs are near the middle, but in the lower half, with 15.
- The Angels are set to go with a Mike Trout - Peter Bourjos - Mark Trumbo outfield from left to right next year, after declining to give Torii Hunter a qualifying offer. A humorous aside? Those three starters in 2013 will make, combined, less than 1/10th the amount of the guy sitting on the bench behind them, Vernon Wells.
- The Astros have new uniforms, which go for the "classic" look.