The latest from around MLB...
- Outfielder/DH Bobby Abreu isn't too pleased about the crowded Angels' roster, which figures to squeeze him out of regular playing time this year. The outfield currently goes Vernon Wells, Peter Bourjos and Torii Hunter (with top prospect Mike Trout waiting in the wings), and the DH spot will primarily go to one of Mark Trumbo and Kendrys Morales. From Abreu: "I will not be on the bench knowing that I can play. If the Angels don't have a position for me, then the best thing is to trade me. It would be the correct [thing] to do. I won't be able to do nothing sitting in the bench. I want to play, and I believe I can help this team. But if there is no spot for me, then I would prefer to play somewhere different." The problem for Bobby, though: when, for example, Johnny Damon can't find a job for cheap, there isn't going to be much of a trade market for Abreu. The soon-to-be 38-year-old will make $9 million in 2012, the final year of his deal with the Angels. Getting paid $9 million to not work? Doesn't sound so bad.
- Even if the BBWAA wanted to strip Ryan Braun's MVP award, second-place finisher Matt Kemp wouldn't want it. "I feel like that would be by default," the Los Angeles Dodgers' star told ESPN. "I wish I would've won it just by them voting me and me being the MVP. That would be special. But hopefully, I will have the same type of year or even better and win it straight up this year, with us making the playoffs." There was always an argument that Kemp should have won the award anyway, so I'm sure this hasn't been an enjoyable time for him.
- The Mets think Johan Santana, who didn't pitch in 2011 thanks to late 2010 shoulder surgery, will not only be ready to start the 2012 season, but will back to being his old self. Given that Chien-Ming Wang and Mark Prior are the only two other pitchers to have the kind of surgery Santana had, the Mets' optimism should probably be tempered.
- Yu Darvish is in Rangers' camp, throwing dazzling bullpen sessions. The Rangers committed a total of $107.7 million to Darvish over the next six years, so "dazzling" is undoubtedly the Rangers' required baseline.
- The Yankees have added a couple role players, Raul Ibanez on a one-year, $1.1 million deal (with incentives that could push it to about $4 million), and Eric Chavez on a one-year, $900K deal, which also includes incentives. Chavez will be the team's backup at the corner infield spots, and Ibanez - who turns 40 this year - will be the primary DH against righties.
- A *brilliant* read on the iconic ‘Simpsons' episode, Homer at the Bat (the 1992 episode with all the ballplayers), from Deadspin. How did the producers pull off having nine MLB stars in one episode? Who was a jerk? Who was cool? Is Steve Sax better known for being on 'The Simpsons' than, you know, playing baseball?
- Ever want to see all of those bad Spring Training pictures that beat writers Tweet out to the world without a sense of the poor quality or low utility? Ever want to see them subjected to someone's biting wit? Enter Bad Spring Training Twitpics.