Here's what's been happening these past couple of days in the realms of Major League Baseball:
Twins' Brian Duensing agrees to $2.7 million contract; Twins payroll over $100 million - Duensing is a decent lefty reliever for the Minnesota Twins, but the big news here is that the Twins payroll is over $100 million. That's a high number for that franchise, and it will be interesting to see what is projected to be the second-highest payroll in team history ends up actually paying for.
Yankees reject Alex Rodriguez's mea culpa meeting request after Biogenesis scandal - "We'll see you in Spring Training" said the Yankees. Of course, A-Rod is going to be quite the story this year, and the Yankees need to figure out where he fits into the grand scheme of things, as he doesn't have a permanent position in the field at the moment. He could realistically soak up a lot of at-bats at Designated Hitter, as he is technically atop the depth chart for DH on MLB.com.
The question is if he'll be any good, and Garrett Jones will certainly get a few at-bats there, as well. Not to mention the Yankees will want to rest Carlos Beltran and other veterans by using them at DH. It will be a very, very interesting proposition to see how much playing time A-Rod really gets. And of course, there will be plenty of off-field stories, as well. Let the drama begin...
Ichiro a good fit for Marlins, but Marlins not a good fit for Ichiro - via Mike Axisa of CBS Sports - Mike's take on the Miami Marlins' signing of Ichiro Suzuki is pretty much exactly how I see it. It's a very solid baseball move, but it won't help Ichiro reach the 3000 career hit milestone. Of course, he doesn't need that number to get into the Hall of Fame; he's going to get in regardless, especially due to the time he spent in Japan.
Ichiro probably won't play much at all as the Marlins have a strong young outfield in Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and of course, GIancarlo Stanton. But it's the National League and you'll need pinch hitters, pinch runners, and reserves for double switches. Ichiro is more than still serviceable in a reserve role, but wow, it will be weird seeing a Marlins uniform on him!
Giants Re-Sign Ryan Vogelsong - via MLB Trade Rumors - After being courted by the Houston Astros, Ryan Vogelsong elected to simply resign with the Giants. He had a decent 2014 with the Giants after a disastrous 2013 and he provides solid rotation depth for the Giants. That's just the thing, though - the Giants have a full five-man rotation. Then again, it leads you to wonder just how confident the Giants still are in Tim Lincecum, who is currently slated to be their fifth starter after Madison Bumgarner, Tim Hudson, Matt Cain, and Jake Peavy. Sixth starters tend to be pretty useful in the long run so I like this signing. It does make you wonder what happened between Vogelsong and the Astros, though, a team on which he would have technically been a better fit.
Braves To Sign Jonny Gomes - via MLB Trade Rumors - Gomes had a lousy 2014, so bad that he was a throw-in with Jon Lester for Yoenis Cespedes in last year's well documented trade between the Red Sox and A's. He was even worse after the trade. The Sox are pretty happy with that trade now, of course, getting 1.5 WAR from 51 games of Cespedes plus a year of Rick Porcello.
Gomes was exactly replacement level for the Sox in 78 games, then was worth -0.5 WAR for the A's in 34 games "replacing" Cespedes. Yes, Lester was tremendous down the stretch, but Gomes did detract from that a bit. As far as what Gomes can do for the Braves, it depends on what you think of Zoilo Almonte as the strong side of a left-field platoon. Gomes isn't any sort of plus defender - that's an understatement. I don't hate the signing, because he does kill left-handed pitching - though the power wasn't there last year. Jonny's still useful, of course, and is a great clubhouse guy. But between him and Almonte, left field for the Braves currently looks like a replacement level or below black hole.
More MLB quick hits coming soon!