Happy Turkey Week. Everyone is coming to my house this year and I’m expected to be the cook. So I’m stressed.
I’ve had an ESPN+ subscription for a while, but I’m curious to find out if anyone is signing up because they’ve signed up for Disney+ and it comes cheap if you bundle it and Hulu. I think it’s only a dollar more a month to add on ESPN+ if you have the other two services.
- Jeff Passan has an update on MLB’s investigation into the Astros sign-stealing scandal and reports that MLB is talking to several players and promising them leniency if they tell the truth about what happened. Basically, the NCAA strategy. We can’t make you talk, but if we find out from someone else that you’re lying or holding something back, we’ll bring down the hammer.
- Tim Brown muses on all the problems that MLB is going to have on deciding on the penalties for the scandal, but says it’s important to take action anyway.
- Ben Lindbergh writes that the evidence that the Astros were stealing signs is overwhelming. But the evidence that they were actually benefitting from the scheme is harder to find.
- Marc Carig profiles the internet personality known as “Jomboy” who has been producing those videos with the evidence of the Astros sign stealing. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- There’s an Astros sign-stealing bobblehead now.
- Buster Olney argues that MLB’s plan to contract the minor leagues is penny-wise and pound-foolish. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- The Braves have signed free agent catcher Travis d’Arnaud to a two-year, $16 million deal.
- Matt Martell argues that the Braves’ aggressive signing of free agents this winter is a sign that we won’t have another “Cold Stove” this winter. And that’s a good sign for labor peace in the near future.
- On the other hand, the Yankees are refusing to pay released outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury the remaining $26 million they owe him, saying that Ellsbury saw an “unapproved” physician during his rehab. That will go over well with the Players Association.
- Buster Olney looks at Ellsbury’s contract with the Yankees and its place among the worst free agent deals of all time. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- Pete Caldera believes the Yankees deal with outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will be an albatross on the team for years to come.
- The White Sox signed first baseman José Abreu to a three-year, $50 million extension.
- Bradford Doolittle looks at the White Sox signing of catcher Yasmani Grandal and how he fits in with the plan to bring the South Siders back to contention. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- Mike Petriello looks at exactly what Grandal can do for the White Sox, both at the plate and behind the plate.
- Mariners minor leaguer Evan White has signed a new six-year, $24 million deal. White, the 17th pick of the 2017 draft, has not played above Double-A yet.
- Kiley McDaniel examines the deal where White gave up a lot of potential earnings for security now. He asked one agent about this deal and he responded with a vomit emoji.
- Will Leitch has every team’s biggest free agent after the upcoming 2020 season.
- R.J. Anderson has four suggested trade destinations for Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor. Man, I’d love to pair Lindor as a double-play combo with his buddy Javy Baez, but it’s not going to happen.
- The Dodgers signed team president Andrew Friedman to an extension.
- Hannah Keyser notes that the owners made a big change in media rights. MLB was rather opaque as to what this means, but it sounds to her (and me) that it will allow teams to stream their broadcasts in-market. So you’ll still be blacked out of watching Cubs games on MLB.tv if you live in-market, but the Cubs would have the right to sell you a separate package that would let cord-cutters watch the games. At least if she’s reading this right. Al will have a full article on this at 11 a.m. CT.
- The Yankees hired Rachel Balkovec to be a roving minor league hitting instructor, making her the first female full-time hitting coach.
- Sad news as a 21-year-old pitcher in Korea’s KBO died after he fell from the roof of a nine-story building. It’s believed to be an accident. (He landed not on the ground but on a seventh-floor balcony.)
- The longest home run for every team in the Statcast era (since 2015).
- Kenneth Kelly uses board games and game theory to look at how randomness affects who wins and loses baseball games.
- And finally, this appears to be a celebration after a win for the Tigres del Licey, a team in the Dominican Winter League. But it’s a totally bonkers celebration.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.