- The Dodgers had their press conference to introduce Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Yamamoto said that he would have signed with the Dodgers even if the team hadn’t signed Shohei Ohtani. Maybe that’s true, but is he going to say anything different at a press conference at Dodger Stadium?
- Dylan Hernández reports that Yamamoto did say that Ohtani inspired him by telling him to “stop admiring” MLB players.
- Michael McCann and Robert Raiola look at the income tax ramifications for the deals signed by Ohtani and Yamamoto.
- R.J. Anderson has three more Japanese stars who will likely be coming to MLB in the upcoming seasons.
- Jon Hoefling has an update on the latest Hot Stove rumors, including ones on Cody Bellinger.
- Suspended Rays player Wander Franco did not respond to a police summons in the Dominican Republic. He also fired his lawyers so they could not represent him. Franco is being investigated for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a minor.
- The Reds have re-signed reliever Buck Farmer to a one-year, $2.25 million deal. And I continue to refuse to believe that “Buck Farmer” is a real name.
- The Yankees traded outfielder Estevan Flores to the Guardians for right-hander Cody Morris.
- The White Sox signed catcher Martín Maldonado to a one-year deal. The White Sox have an option for an additional year.
- The Pale Hose also inked southpaw reliever Tim Hill to a one-year, $1.8 million deal.
- Shortstop Andrelton Simmons announced his retirement. I realize he was awful for the Cubs and hasn’t played since they released him, outside of the World Baseball Classic. But in his prime, Simmons was the greatest defensive shortstop I’ve ever seen. Better even than Ozzie Smith, although Smith was better for longer.
- Mike Axisa has three MLB relievers whom he believes could be starters.
- I guess it’s that time of year where everyone does year-end lists and MLB dot com is no different. Here’s the best performance of the year for each team.
- Sarah Langs has one “incredible” stat for each team from last season.
- David Adler has the top plays of the year according to the Statcast data.
- Jayson Stark has the weirdest injuries of 2023. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- The top ten baseball stories of 2023.
- Anthony Castrovince has some early predictions for the BBWAA Award winners for 2024.
- David Schoenfield predicts the 2024 season by giving up one “make or break” statistic for every American League team and one for every National League team. (ESPN+ sub. req. on both of them.)
- Chad Jennings and C. Trent Rosecrans try to predict what one word or phrase will define 2024 in baseball. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Bradford Doolittle gives an in-depth examination of the Hall of Fame cases for Joe Mauer, Billy Wagner and Mark Buehrle. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- Joe Posnanski would like you to weigh in on who you think should be in Cooperstown with this survey.
- And finally, a bit of existential dread from (who else?) Joey Votto.
Being a free agent is like that scene from Gravity where Sandra Bullock detaches from the Explorer. You’re all alone, no one is answering your calls, and you don’t know if you’ll get back to base. Your only hope is George Clooney saving you.— Joey Votto (@JoeyVotto) December 28, 2023
Save me, George.
And next year will be a better year than this one, Buster. Happy New Year to all of you.