This one is going to be pretty short. There just isn't any real news in baseball going on right now, unless you consider Jesse Crain finding a team to be big news.
- The Astros signed Jesse Crain to a one-year deal.
- Bill Plaschke is worried about Yasiel Puig's immaturity. When it takes the form of driving 110 mph, he's worried that his immaturity might get someone killed. He also thinks it is the reason for his poor NLCS.
- Craig Calcaterra agrees that Puig needs to slow down, but thinks Plaschke is overreacting connecting his on-the-field play to his driving habits. That's kind of Plaschke's schtick though.
- Add Jeff Passan to the chorus of those who are worried about Masahiro Tanaka's pitch counts. He does add that we really don't know much right now about the connection between pitch counts and injuries, however.
- Add the Diamondbacks to the list of teams interested in signing Tanaka.
- Justin Klugh thinks that contrary to speculation, the Phillies are not interested in Tanaka.
- Dave Cameron says the market for Tanaka is showing that teams are now paying for future and not past performance. He also wonders how much the top minor league prospects in the game would be worth if they were free agents.
- Taking a cue from the 2013 Cubs and Rangers, the Yankees plan to blow the bank on international spending this year. They're willing to accept two seasons of signing limits in order to get all the top prospects this year. The Cubs and Rangers only sacrificed one season.
- Everyone, especially the Yankees, are awaiting the Alex Rodriguez decision. But the Yankees are apparently going to blow through the $189 million luxury tax limit, writes Ken Rosenthal.
- A look back at Derek Jeter's "nightmare" 2013 season.
- The Yankees are not interested in Stephen Drew.
- Jonathan Mayo thinks that the Cardinals 2009 draft was the best of the past ten years. Jim Callis thinks it was the Angels draft from the same season.
- New Year's Resolutions for all 30 teams.
- Dave Cameron, who is apparently the only baseball writer working this week, lists his Hall of Fame ballot, if he actually had one.
- Jay Jaffe does the same.
- The early returns say that Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine will get elected to the Hall of Fame this year. Craig Biggio and Frank Thomas also have very good chances.
- It's an ESPN Insider article, but Paul Swydan outlines how the Cubs can make the playoffs in 2015. ($)
- Rob Neyer looks back at Bill James' 2001 predictions for what baseball would be like in 2015. He got some things right and others not so right.
- The top baseball gifs of 2013.
- This is more of an NBA story, but Steve Aschburner looks back at the one season the Minnesota Timberwolves played at the Metrodome. As Mike Oz notes from the article, then Twins manager Tom Kelly was such a fan of the team that he would hang around the locker rooms (where his office was anyway) and sometimes do the team's laundry.
- Finally, for those of you who've always wanted to see Roy Halladay wearing a Cubs uniform, you finally get your wish. Unfortunately, you need to check out the name on the back of the jersey.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Happy New Year from me and everyone at BCB.