The hot stove continues to blaze ...
- The big news over the weekend was the agreement on a trade between the Blue Jays and the Mets, in which the Mets would send R.A. Dickey, Josh Thole, and a lesser prospect to the Blue Jays for top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud, top 100ish pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, John Buck, and a lesser prospect. The trade is merely "agreed upon" at this point, as opposed to "consummated," because it is pending an agreement on an extension between Dickey and the Jays, with a 1pm CT deadline on Tuesday. Dickey, 38, will make just $5 million in 2013, and is coming off a Cy Young season in 2012. His skill set - that of a knuckleballer - tends to be one that ages well, so this isn't your average trade for a 38-year-old journeyman.
- Jeff Passan says that Dickey wields all the leverage here, and will probably use it to get an extension from the Jays better than the two-year, $26 million deal he was seeking from the Mets. Ken Rosenthal says it could be a painful deal for the Jays, but he understands why they're doing it - after they made the huge trade with the Marlins, they were committed. With the Yankees aging and the Red Sox retooling, the time to strike in the AL East is probably right now. Richard Justice says that, if the Jays pull this deal off, they will be so good on paper that you can't rightly pick any other team to win the AL East. Dave Cameron explains why this deal is not the same kind of thing as the Royals trading top prospects for James Shields.
- The Pirates have come under fire for having prospects in their organization train with the Navy SEALS, which has reportedly led to an injury or two. Pirates GM Neal Huntington defended the training, saying, "Collegiate and Olympic teams have gained valuable insight, gained valuable experience from the Navy SEALs. We‘re not alone in our belief that these techniques work. As a matter of fact, these are the scientifically proven techniques that help young men grow, that help young men develop."
- MLB has released 2012's final payroll numbers, which are the actual, final calculations of "40-man rosters and include salaries and pro-rated shares of signing bonuses, earned incentive bonuses, non-cash compensation, buyouts of unexercised options and cash transactions." The Cubs came in at number 10, with a total official payroll of $107,708,021. The Yankees were up top, with more than $223 million in payroll.
- Speaking of which, that payroll cost the Yankees an extra $18.9 million, thanks to the luxury tax. The cap was at $178 million last year, and will hold firm there for 2013 before increasing to $189 million in 2014.
- Looks like the Red Sox are going to pick up Stephen Drew on a one-year deal, per Jon Heyman. He'll try to rebuild some value, and they'll buy time for their shortstop prospects.