The latest from around MLB as players shake off the chocolate candy hangover or the pain of Valentine's Day rejection (bah - who's going to reject a pro ballplayer? Even Willie McGee found someone.) ...
MLB.com ranks the top ten bullpens in the bigs, though the rankings read much more like "top ten closer/setup guy combos." The Yankees take the top spot over the Braves, which is, to me, criminal. David Robertson is all-universe, but Mariano Rivera continues to age, and the Braves' pen is as deep as it is effective in the final three innings. The only issue there is potential overuse - Rookie of the Year closer Craig Kimbrel appeared in a stunning 79 games last year, and top setup man Jonny Venters threw 88 innings.
- What was supposed to be a nice story about Logan Morrison honoring his father has turned into a big of PR black eye for the Miami Marlins. The outfielder, who sports number 20, requested that he be permitted to wear number 5 in honor of his deceased father (who was a big George Brett fan). The number had previously been retired by the Marlins, as a way of memorializing the team's first president, Carl Barger, who served in that post from July 8, 1991 until his death in December of the following year. The Marlins apparently thought Barger's family was on board with the number un-retirement, but the family says no one ever contacted them about the change. Inadvertently failing to cross all of your T's and dot all of your I's rarely looks quite that ugly. (The Marlins finally reached out yesterday.)
Speaking of the Braves, with a rotation that goes six or seven deep, depending on how many of their ridiculous high-level pitching prospects make the jump to the bigs this year, they will continue to try and trade Jair Jurrjens, according to Danny Knobler. Jurrjens is young (just turned 26), inexpensive ($5.5 million in 2012 and one more year of control after that), and had superficially good numbers in 2011. But he also ended the year on the shelf with a knee injury, and has made just 43 starts over the past two seasons. To date, it sounds like the Braves want teams to pay them like Jurrjens is the guy who put up a 2.96 ERA last year ... but other teams are willing to pay only like Jurrjens is a frequently injury guy who put up a 4.23 xFIP last year, and has totalled a modest 2.7 WAR over the last two seasons.
Ken Rosenthal says Bud Selig must act within the next year if the Mets' owners' financial issues are not resolved. The Mets' payroll will drop an almost unthinkable $50 million in 2012.
Somewhat relatedly, the remaining bidders for the Los Angeles Dodgers will meet with MLB's ownership committee next month. An ironic member of that committee, who will help decide which prospective owner is most fit to own the Dodgers? Mets Chairman Fred Wilpon.
The Tampa Bay Rays have extended manager Joe Maddon for three years, and an estimated $6 million ... which would make him one of the highest paid guys on the team.
The Daily Dish lays out the latest 2012 Draft order. Only the Cardinals, Blue Jays, Brewers, and Red Sox have multiple first round picks.
Tony Gwynn has to have another cancerous growth removed from his mouth, and I'm sure everyone is rooting for a full and speedy recovery.
Brett Taylor is a Contributor at Bleed Cubbie Blue, and is the Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation.