Good morning. While you are either still on winter break or just getting back into the swing of work, Jed Hoyer has been working hard this entire holiday season not signing anyone.
OK, that’s an unfair crack. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes and these deals take as long as they take. There’s still a lot of time and free agents left in the offseason for the Cubs to make a big splash. But even while it may be an unfair crack, it’s still pretty funny. And I’m still frustrated. I imagine Jed is as well.
- Suspended Rays shortstop Wander Franco was arrested in the Dominican Republic for ignoring a summons to appear for a meeting with investigators. That charge probably isn’t going to get Franco in trouble with MLB, but the underlying charge, if true, that the investigators want to ask him about definitely will.
- Michael McCann looks at the legal issues that MLB and the Rays face as they decide what to do about Franco. McCann writes that it won’t be easy for the Rays to void Franco’s contract.
- Now for some good news. Matt Gelb has a piece about how baseball is helping former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel recover his speech after a stroke. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Some news about a probable signing.
Korean righthander Woo Suk Go close to signing with Padres. Likely to be their closer.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 3, 2024
- The Padres earlier signed left-hander Yuki Matsui, and now we have more details about Matsui’s contract. Matsui will make more if he becomes the Padres closer.
- The Dodgers deal with Yoshinobu Yamamoto has two opt-outs in his 12-year deal that are tied to Yamamoto staying healthy.
- Ben Clemens evaluates the deal that sent left-hander Chris Sale from Boston to Atlanta for shortstop Vaughn Grissom.
- Ken Rosenthal examines why the Braves felt that the oft-injured Sale was worth the risk. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- R.J. Anderson has three stats that explain why the Braves traded for Sale.
- Leo Morgenstern checks in on the Blue Jays signing of a couple of defensive stars, Kevin Kiermaier and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
- Kyle Kishimoto checks in on the Mariners’ inking Mitch Garver.
- Manny Randhawa has five storylines as we enter 2024.
- Dayn Perry has ten New Year’s Resolutions for MLB teams. Honestly, the best one in the last one for the Marlins.
- Anthony Castrovince can only come up with eight New Year’s Resolutions for baseball.
- Will Leitch has eight things he’s looking forward to in 2024.
- A roundtable discussion on which teams have done well in the Hot Stove so far and which moves don’t make sense.
- R.J. Anderson hands out mid-winter grades for each team for the offseason.
- The best remaining free agents.
- Thomas Harrington finds a home for the top 11 remaining free agents.
- Juan Toribio explains how the Dodgers could get even better.
- Jim Callis and Sam Dykstra have the six international free agents from last year that have been the most impressive in their first year in professional ball.
- Bob Nightengale gives a platform to retired shortstop Omar Vizquel, who is trying to regain his reputation after a couple of ugly incidents that forced him out of baseball.
- In his newsletter (sub. req.) Craig Calcaterra writes about that piece about Vizquel.
As for the allegations against him, both by his ex-wife and the bat boy who sued him: he claims the former was a “smear” and that the latter was a “misunderstanding” or “clubhouse antics.” He complains that no one has acknowledged his side of the story, but he . . . doesn’t offer his side of the story. Not a single thing. Rather, he hides behind advice from his lawyers and says “my conscience is clean and clear that I’m not the kind of person that they are saying about Omar. I can look at everybody in the eye and said, ‘Man, do you really think that is accurate?’ Come on now.” It’s worth noting that that “do you really think I’m the kind of person my actions strongly imply me to be?” is textbook abuser shit. . . .Well, he can [expletive] off. And so too can Nightengale and USA Today for shoveling this [expletive].
- Fox News had to apologize after killing off former White Sox star Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas in their year-end retrospective.
- And finally, former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz had a gender reveal party for his upcoming fourth child. Unfortunately, he swung and missed the exploding ball.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.