As I shop for Christmas:
Conversation I had with @MollyTimmers— Josh Timmers (@Cubsminorswrap) December 22, 2019
MT: Let's get the wrapping paper with the birds on it.
me: No. They're ugly. Get the candy canes.
MT: OK, fine. (short pause) What was wrong with the birds?
me: They're cardinals.
MT: So? (very long pause) Oh. I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking.
- This news broke late last evening so you may not have heard yet, but free agent left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu has agreed to a four-year, $80 million deal with the Blue Jays.
- Clients of agent Scott Boras have now agreed to deals worth over a collective $1 billion this winter.
- Free agent former Cy Young Award-winning left-hander Dallas Keuchel has joined the South Siders on a three-year, $55 million deal.
- David Adler explains why new White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal could be the perfect battery mate for Keuchel.
- David Schoenfield examines whether or not the offseason moves by the White Sox make them a contender in the AL Central.
- Schoenfield is unconvinced, but Mike Axisa thinks that the White Sox are the most improved team in the majors and could still get better. He thinks the Pale Hose will give the Twins a good battle in 2020.
- The Blue Jays have signed infielder Travis Shaw to a one-year, $4 million deal.
- Ken Rosenthal reports that the Blue Jays are trying to add Red Sox left-hander David Price as Boston looks to shed salary. (The Athletic sub. req., although non-subscribers can read about it here.) Rosenthal notes that the two sides aren’t close in terms of money yet, but the Blue Jays are interested in a reunion with Price if Boston would eat enough of his salary. (I wrote this before the Ryu news broke. I’m guessing the Blue Jays are out on Price now.)
- Buster Olney writes that Rays pitcher Charlie Morton could be an attractive trade target if Tampa Bay decides to move him (and they will move him for the right price). (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- Andrew Simon looks at the evolving trade market for Diamondbacks pitcher Robbie Ray.
- The Tigers signed a pair of ex-Twins as both Jonathan Scoop and C.J. Cron agreed to one-year, $6.1 million deals with Detroit.
- Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes agreed to cut his salary for 2020 from $29.5 million to $6 million after the Mets questioned the circumstances of Cespedes’ injury on his ranch last summer. Cespedes will earn a $20 million bonus if he gets 650 plate appearances this year, which means there is no way in the world that he will get 650 plate appearances in 2020.
- The Cardinals traded outfielder Adolis Garcia to the Rangers in exchange for the much-travelled cash considerations. Garcia had been designated for assignment earlier in the week.
- Marc Carig asks teams how they are evaluating free agent hitters in light of the inflated power numbers of the past two seasons. (The Athletic sub. req.) Mostly, they’re just assuming the ball will travel just as far in 2020.
- Manny Randhawa has the “top 40 breakout players” for 2019.
- Michael Augustine examines the cut fastball of new Reds pitcher Wade Miley and explains why it should be a much better pitch in the coming year.
- MLB saw a record revenue of $10.7 billion in 2020. That’s all? No wonder they have to contract the minor leagues.
- Padres infielder Ian Kinsler has retired. The 14-year veteran finished with 1999 career hits. He will join the Padres front office as an advisor.
- Reds (and former Dodgers) pitcher Alex Wood talks about pitching in Game 4 of the 2017 World Series and the complicated set of signals (The Athletic sub. req.) they were using to prevent the Astros from stealing them. Wood said that the Dodgers had “heard whispers” that the Astros were illegally stealing signs.
- Michael Clair explains why the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has one of the greatest collections of baseball cards in the world.
- And finally, I’ve disagreed with and even mocked Bob Nightengale in these pages, but I think everyone here can agree on his choice for the sports story of the decade. It came on November 2, 2016.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Happy Holidays.