Good morning. May you have a very merry holiday week. Teams looking to sign big free agents may want to stock up on the Kentucky Fried Chicken this week.
- We go from one Japanese superstar to another. Both the Mets and the Yankees met with NPB star Yoshinobu Yamamoto over the weekend as he decides where he will start his MLB career.
- Jeff Passan has a profile of Yamamoto and explains why teams are willing to pay dearly to have him pitch for them.
- Mike Axisa ranks seven teams by how much they need Yamamoto.
- For those of you hoping to see some movement on the free agent front:
Growing sense among teams bidding on Yoshinobu Yamamato is that a decision won't be made until after Christmas. Could stretch into the January 1-4 window.— Bob Klapisch (@BobKlap) December 19, 2023
- Jack Harris reports that some baseball business types think that Shohei Ohtani could be worth as much a $1 billion in revenue to the Dodgers.
- Tyler Kepner looks at the history of becoming the highest-paid player in baseball. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- The Padres are reportedly close to signing Japanese reliever Yuki Matsui.
- Jesse Rogers looks at the current state of the market for Cody Bellinger.
- Sarah Langs shows why she believes Rhys Hoskins could be a great free agent pickup for some team.
- The Pirates are bringing back Andrew McCutchen on a one-year, $5 million deal.
- The Buccos also added left-handed pitcher Martin Perez on a one-year, $8 million deal.
- The Giants have signed catcher Tom Murphy to a two-year, $8 million deal.
- Dan Szymborski evaluates what Murphy will bring to the San Francisco lineup.
- Andrew Baggarly notes that the signing of Murphy most likely means the end of Joey Bart’s time with the Giants. (The Athletic sub. req.) There was a time not too long ago when a false rumor that the Giants had traded Bart, their top prospect, to the Cubs for Kris Bryant drove Giants fans to get their torches and pitchforks. Now, Bart is either going to be claimed on waivers or released.
- Michael Baumann notes that it’s entirely predictable when the Rays are going to trade their newest pitcher, Ryan Pepiot.
- The Athletics have a free agent signing, inking reliever Trevor Gott to a one-year deal.
- The Yankees claimed shortstop Jeter Downs off of waivers from the Nationals. Which is the deal that launched a thousand bad headlines.
- Alex Eisert evaluates the Tigers deal with free agent right-hander Jack Flaherty.
- Anne Rogers recaps all the moves the Royals have made this winter.
- R.J. Anderson asks: are the Royals now good enough to win the weak AL Central?
- Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo have a list of the best tools in the 2024 MLB Draft.
- Jesse Yomtov has a way-too-early mock draft.
- Davy Andrews is fascinated by the option details in right-hander Tyler Glasnow’s new deal with the Dodgers. He wonders what the odds are that neither side picks up the 2028 option year.
- Matt Snyder has an interesting rant about where the extra two umpires stand during the six-man umpiring crews in the playoffs. He thinks they stand too close to the infield.
- Elise Berger is a member of the US Women’s National Baseball Team and is now committed to play baseball at the Division III level with Bard College. Hey, maybe Donald Fagen will go back to Annandale to see her pitch.
- And finally, Elizabeth Flores has a story about the tradition of major leaguers being upstaged by their adorable dogs.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. And a merry Christmas to all of you.