Good morning. Pitchers and Catchers who intend to play in the World Baseball Classic report to Spring Training one week from today.
- The Dodgers announced that they will retire the number 34 in honor of left-handed pitcher Fernando Valenzuela as part of a three-day celebration from August 11 to 13. No Dodger player has worn the number since Valenzuela.
- Bill Plaschke says “It’s about damn time.” He also explains why the Dodgers reversed their unofficial policy of only retiring the numbers of Hall of Famers.
- Fabian Ardaya writes the honor was “overdue” (The Athletic sub. req.) and gets reaction from around the Dodgers community.
- More Dodgers offseason news: Team president Stan Kasten spoke with the media and said the front office was “unanimous” in the decision to release Trevor Bauer.
- The Dodgers also signed infielder Miguel Rojas to a two-year contract extension with a team option for 2025.
- MLB is reportedly forming an economic study group to formulate a strategy to deal with the forthcoming bankruptcy of Diamond Sports Group, the Sinclair subsidiary that owns the Bally Sports regional sports networks.
- Sad news as longtime Twins scouting director Mike Radcliff died at age 66 after a four-year battle with cancer. Which sucks. Our condolences go out to his family and friends and the Twins organization.
February 3, 2023
Just crushed to hear about the death of longtime @Twins scout Mike Radcliff. If there was a more respected or more liked scout in the game, I don't know who it was. Not sure how many hours I spent talking & learning with Mike, but they were many & I enjoyed them all. RIP, Mike.— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) February 3, 2023
- Braves left-hander Max Fried has reportedly lost his salary arbitration case. He’ll only make $13.5 million this year instead of $15 million.
- And Marlins infielder (and AL batting champion) Luis Arraez won his arbitration case. He’ll make $6.1 million this year instead of the $5 million the Marlins offered.
- Right-hander Zack Greinke re-signed with the Royals on a one-year, $8.5 million deal with another $7.5 million in possible bonuses.
- Did you know that Greinke is one of two remaining active major leaguers who played against the Expos?
- The Orioles have declined a one-year lease extension on Camden Yards. Their current lease runs out at the end of the year. They will try to negotiate a longer-term deal.
- Former outfielder Carlos Beltrán will join the Mets front office as a special assistant to the general manager.
- More Mets news. After passing on a deal with Carlos Correa after a failed physical, the Mets signed pitcher Kodai Senga to a five-year deal after a reported “iffy” physical. I suppose the difference is that Senga was “only” making $75 million as opposed to $315 million.
- Anthony DiComo examines how much money it would cost the Mets to sign first baseman Pete Alonso to an extension.
- Bob Nightengale speaks with Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy, two architects of the early-teens Giants dynasty, as they set out to prove they’re not “dinosaurs” in their new jobs with the Yankees and Rangers, respectively.
- R.J. Anderson has four pieces of unfinished business yet this winter.
- Bob Nightengale and Gabe Lacques give every team a grade for the offseason. A “B+” for the Cubs, a “C-” for the Cardinals and an “F” for the White Sox.
- Will Leitch has the five MLB teams who are most likely to improve this year. The Cubs are on the list.
- Michael Baumann convinces himself that outfielder Adolis García is the key to a big season by the Rangers.
- Leo Morgenstern examines the curveball of Tigers right-hander Alex Lange and how he throws it more than any other pitch.
- Former outfielder Cameron Maybin is joining the broadcast team at Bally Sports Detroit. He will still be in studio for Marquee Sports for selected Cubs games, as well as on the MLB Network as well.
- Manny Randhawa speaks with five outstanding outfielders on how to rob a home run.
As @CleGuardians fans remember the man behind the drumbeat that energized their team for close to five decades, John Adams’ legacy will also live on at the @baseballhall, where a pair of his drum mallets will be preserved forever in Cooperstown. https://t.co/Tq2Po02tz8— Jon Shestakofsky (@Shesta_HOF) February 5, 2023
- Cesar Brisio tells the story of how the integration of the major leagues meant the death of the Negro leagues.
- Bill Ladson has the unsung hero of the 1973 National League champion Mets: backup rookie catcher Ron Hodges.
- Gregg Doyel checks in with Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts as he competes in the U.S. Open Championships in bowling. Doyel notes that Betts is doing everything he can to not call attention to himself.
- And finally, Mike Petriello documents this 1996 game between the Dodgers and Rockies at Coors Field, which they’ve determined was the wildest game in MLB history.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.