You’ll never hear me repeating gossip. So you’d better be sure to listen close the first time.
Yep, that’s how bad this offseason has been. I’ve been reduced to stealing 50-year old jokes from Hee Haw. Be sure to tip your waitstaff on the way out.
- There is a rumor that talks between the Phillies and Bryce Harper are “intensifying.” However, no team has been told they’re out of the running, so nothing is imminent at the moment.
- There is also a report that the Padres have made big offers to both Harper and Manny Machado. They reportedly headlined their pitch to both free agents with “What can brown do for you?’ Lots of green, apparently.
- Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright is the latest player to blast the whole current free agent landscape. Wainwright admits that baseball players all make good money to play a kid’s game, but then asks how is that any different from actors?
- Alden Gonzalez talked to Dodgers’ players about the current free agent market and a lot of players expressed concern that things are not going in the right direction.
- New Diamondbacks reliever Greg Holland talked about going through free agency last winter and how miserable the whole experience was. Holland thinks signing late had a big impact on his poor 2018 season.
- Commissioner Rob Manfred thinks it’s Harper’s own fault he hasn’t signed yet.
- Manfred also denied that tanking exists. Really? That’s kind of like when Carl Everett denied that dinosaurs existed.
- Third baseman Mike Moustakas has re-signed with the Brewers on a one-year deal.
- The Padres signed left-handed reliever Aaron Loup to a one-year deal.
- The Yankees have signed right-hander Luis Severino to a four-year, $40 million deal. Jon Tayler explains why Severino agreed to the deal and why we’re likely to see a lot more of them going forward.
- Eric Stephen links the trend of players signing long extensions long before they are eligible for free agency to the weak free agent market the past two winters.
- Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman is open to signing such an extension but so far the Blue Jays haven’t even approached him about one.
- Sheryl Ring looks at the legal issues surrounding the disability claims of former pitcher Micah Bowie and placed the blame mainly on the union for neglecting to negotiate for better non-salary benefits, including disability plans. She does say that the current benefit plan has more than enough money to cover players in Bowie’s situation.
- Over the past few weeks I’ve been bringing you a bunch of top prospect lists. But Ben Lindbergh points out that young pitchers are far riskier than young hitters and it’s as true as ever that there is “(almost) no such thing as a pitching prospect.”
- Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner said he was joking when he said he’d leave the stadium if an “opener” started a game he was supposed to pitch in. Nevertheless, the Giants told him it would never happen anyway.
- Richard Justice has one reason for each MLB team to be optimistic.
- Jayson Stark polled 30 members of front offices, scouts or coaching staff about the burning questions about MLB as Spring Training opens. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris shaved off his facial hair and now he looks pretty unrecognizable.
- The Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL celebrated a win with a mock home run, complete with a bat (stick?) flip.
- And finally, professional baseball may not have started yet, but we’re still getting some terrific fielding plays out of the NCAA in baseball and softball. Here’s Florida State outfielder Dani Morgan going over the fence to rob a home run in a softball game against Tennessee.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.