I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and is ready to get back into business ...
- Despite being unloaded by the Mets after very reasonable contract extension demands weren't met, R.A. Dickey wanted to make sure the fans knew how he felt, so he wrote them a long letter on his way out of town. In it, he remains deeply thankful to the Mets for giving him a chance, and wishes he could keep pitching for the Mets' fans.
- We've already seen the final payrolls for 2012, but MLBTR breaks it down by division to see where the most money is being spent. As you may have expected, the AL East leads the pack at almost $130 million per team. The NL East came in second at $111.5 million, but the AL West was close behind at almost $110 million - a figure that could jump next year, depending on whether the Rangers reverse course on their failed bids. The NL West was next, at $98 million, but that will definitely jump next year with the Dodgers eager to sign everyone. The AL Central was second to last at $96 million, and the NL Central rounded things up at just $89 million. The Cubs will start to bring that number up in future years, but the figure underscores the opportunity laying ahead of the Cubs if and when they start to spend big.
- Buster Olney talks about the top potential 2013 story lines, leading off with the weighty expectations of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Andruw Jones signed a $3.5 million deal to play in Japan next year, but that could be in jeopardy after he was arrested on a domestic battery charge in the wee hours of Christmas morning.
- FanGraphs evaluates the Nick Swisher signing, and what it could mean to the Indians. He basically replaces Shin-Soo Choo in almost every respect, and the Indians picked up Trevor Bauer for Choo, so you could argue that the Indians are now better in the near-term and long-term with the twin moves.
- Mark Faller is leaving his Hall of Fame ballot blank as a protest to the steroid era and the league that turned a blind eye to it. Somewhere Craig Biggio is saying, "Man, you suck."
- Baseball Nation's "Best Of 2012" features a number of categories that are a bit different than what you might expect.
Brett Taylor is the Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and a Contributor here at Bleed Cubbie Blue.