The latest from around MLB...
- This weekend, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Diego Padres bought themselves some security, locking up young center fielders Andrew McCutchen and Cameron Maybin, respectively, to long-term deals. McCutchen, 25, gets six years and $51 million (plus a club option at the end for $14.75 million), which buys out his final pre-arbitration year, his three arbitration years, and his first two free agent years. Maybin, 24, gets five years and $25 million (plus a club option at the end for $9 million), which buys out his final pre-arbitration year, his three arbitration years, and a year of free agency. Both deals are being hailed by FanGraphs as good moves for the teams involved, assuming the players continue along the tracks they've laid and stay healthy. That's the thing with these long-term, pre-arb extensions for young stars: the team gets a theoretical discount in exchange for guaranteeing a large chunk of dollars up front. The player gets life-changing money and security in exchange for giving up the hope of mega dollars.
- From the "Crazy Things Happen in Spring Training" file: Atlanta Braves' top pitching prospect Julio Teheran, believed by many to be ML-ready, gave up six hits in just two innings of work yesterday against the Tigers. Bad enough, right? No, it's worse. All six hits were home runs. That's never happened in a "real" game before.
- From the "Crazy Things Happen in Spring Training" file, part two: The Giants/Diamondbacks tilt yesterday was delayed because of a swarm of bees. The grounds crew eventually solved the problem using cotton candy and lemonade. Not a joke.
Teen heartthrobMilwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart will undergo knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, and will miss three or four weeks, which could put his availability for Opening Day in jeopardy. Good thing they got Ryan Braun back.
- Ryan Howard's long road back from a ruptured Achilles is getting longer after a serious infection at the location of his surgery forced the Phillies to immobilize their big first baseman. He was scheduled to return in May, but that could be pushed back even further now.
- Stephen Strasburg made his Spring debut yesterday, throwing 2.2 innings, striking out three, and giving up a couple earned runs on three hits.