Good morning. The groundhog saw his shadow on Friday, which means there will be six more weeks of not signing Cody Bellinger.
We should nickname Corbin Burnes “Third Degree,” as in Corbin “Third Degree” Burnes. That’s a shout out to the 1982 film Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. Maybe they could even get Diane Lane to throw out a first pitch in Baltimore.
- We are still dealing with the fallout of the Brewers trade of right-hander Corbin Burnes to the Orioles on Thursday. Jake Rill has seven “facts” about Corbin Burnes.
- David Adler has three adjustments that Burnes made in 2023
- R.J. Anderson grades the Burnes trade. An “A” for the Orioles and a “C” for the Brewers.
- Ben Clemens explains just how big a difference Burnes will make for Baltimore this year.
- Eric Longenhagen evaluates the players the Brewers got back for Old “Third Degree” Burnes.
- Ken Rosenthal tells why he thinks the Brewers had to deal Burnes. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- R.J. Anderson examines what’s the next step for the Brewers after the Burnes deal.
- The White Sox also made a couple of deals on Saturday, sending right-hander Gregory Santos to the Mariners and they got rookie outfielder Dominic Fletcher from the Diamondbacks for 20-year-old right-handed prospect Cristian Mena.
- The Twins signed DH/1B Carlos Santana to a one-year deal.
- The Angels signed right-handed reliever José Cisnero to a one-year deal.
- Believe it or not, the Athletics made a move. Two, in fact. They acquired right-hander Ross Stripling from the Giants for a minor league outfielder and they signed free agent left-hander Alex Wood to a one-year deal.
- Adrian Beltré announced that he would go into the Hall of Fame with a Rangers cap on his plaque. Manager Jim Leyland said he would go in with a logo-less generic cap. There wasn’t much doubt about what cap Joe Mauer or Todd Helton would wear on their plaques.
- Dodgers two-way player Shohei Ohtani says he’ll be ready to DH by Opening Day. The Dodgers also said that the door is open for Clayton Kershaw to return if he wants to pitch this year.
- Dodgers’ right-handed starter Walker Buehler will not be ready to pitch on Opening Day. Like Ohtani, Buehler is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
- Dylan Hernández opines that the Dodgers handled their first test of “Ohtani-mania” at Dodgers Fest this weekend deftly, but bigger challenges are yet to come.
- Many Dodgers players also turned out for the Mookie and Brianna Betts charity bowling event this weekend.
- Jonathan Mayo has the MLB Pipeline All-Time Prospect Team.
- Will Leitch looks at who was the best player to debut for each season of the past 20.
- This is kind of Cub Tracks news and kind of not. Jon Lester talks to Bob Nightengale about retirement, the Cubs and the Red Sox. He says he’s not going to worry about if he gets into Cooperstown or not.
- Former Twins, Red Sox, Mets, Cubs and Pirates pitcher Pat Mahomes was arrested over the weekend for driving while intoxicated. For some reason, they think this is an NFL story and not an MLB story.
Distance between MLB teams and their spring training facilities - sorted longest to shortest pic.twitter.com/ImPIK8nTjQ— Jay Cuda (@JayCuda) February 4, 2024
- Bob Nightengale also notes the influence that longtime Dodgers scout/executive Ralph Avila had and still has on the Caribbean Series.
- Anthony Castrovince looks at how Larry Doby and Don Newcombe became trailblazers for Japanese baseball when they signed to play over there. He also writes about the role of Negro Leaguers in expanding the popularity of baseball in Japan before the war.
- Ricardo Montes de Oca reports on how baseball is continuing to grow in popularity in Mexico, and how MLB plans to support that growth.
- Here’s a story by Casey Drottar about Mathieu Silva, a 13-year-old Italian baseball player who is spending nine months at a baseball academy in Louisiana to pursue his major-league dreams.
- Yesterday (Sunday) was 2/4/24, or officially “Willie Mays Day” in San Francisco.
- Twenty-four “amazing” stats about Mays.
- Mays said that he always knew he was going to make “that catch” off the bat of Vic Wertz in the 1954 World Series.
- Michael St. Clair has the story of forgotten baseball broadcasting pioneer Jocko Maxwell, who was the first Black sportscaster in radio history.
- And finally, it was NHL All-Star Weekend in Toronto, so as a good Canadian, free agent (that sounds weird) first baseman Joey Votto attended to get selfies with every NHL mascot. Except for the Flyers’ Gritty, who is “NOT friendly,” according to Votto.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.