Here are several go-to links to make your Christmas Eve a bit less hectic:
- According to the defensive-runs-saved metric (DRS), created by John Dewan of ACTA Sports, the Blue Jays and Braves were the top teams in the field in 2012, while the Rockies had the most porous defense.
- Nick Swisher agreed to a $56 million, four-year contract, including a fifth-year vesting option, with the Indians. Let’s Go Tribe’s Jason Lukehart appears cautiously optimistic based on current player valuations.
- The Cubs inked Edwin Jackson to a $52 million, four-year deal shortly after giving Carlos Villanueva a two-year gig valued at $10 million. CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney points out:
Jackson is still young enough that he can be a factor when the Cubs project they’ll really start being contenders. But this at least makes the next two bridge years more interesting.
- In the press conference following Seibu Lion Hiroyuki Nakajima’s signing a $6.5 million, two-year contract with the A’s, the 30-year old shortstop revealed that he was interested in Oakland because he found general manager Billy Beane “extremely sexy and cool.” Perhaps he had the Moneyball general manager confused with Billy Bean?
- The Diamondbacks agreed to terms with Cody Ross in an agreement worth $26 million over three years, to which the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro sagely responds, “Huh?”
- In other select free agent news, Ichiro Suzuki elected to remain in the Bronx, Francisco Liriano signed with the Pirates, A. J. Pierzynski joined the Rangers, and Raul Ibanez will be on the Mariners roster for a third time.
- There were two trades of note over the past several days: Seattle sent Jason Vargas to the Angels in exchange for Kendrys Morales, while Joel Hanrahan went from the Pirates to the Red Sox in what appears to be a six-player deal. As to the fomer deal, Albert Chen of Sports Illustrated notes the Mariners’ offensive woes — the team scored a miserly 619 runs last season — and comments: “[General manager Jack] Zduriencik wasn’t going to find a power hitter of Morales’ caliber on the free-agent market, so this was a move he had to make.”
- I’ll have what Tim Marchman of the Wall Street Journal’s having: “The Mets Lineup Can Compete With Dodgers . . . Stop Laughing.”
- This is über-cool: On his personal site, Mark Willis dreams up what the AL East uniforms would look like if they were actually soccer jerseys.
Via Nationals Enquirer, is that really you,
- According to Jacksonville police, former Reds player Ryan Freel, 36, committed suicide last week with a shotgun blast to the head. His big-league career as cut short by a series of injuries, including several concussions. May his memory be for a blessing.
That’s it. To those who celebrate, have a walk-off Christmas!