Here are several links from the past week that will make your post-Thanksgiving Monday a bit more bearable:
- The Twins will have two free agents in their 2014 starting rotation: Ricky Nolasco (four years and $49 million) and Phil Hughes (three years and $24 million). John Bonnes of Twins Daily breaks down the acquisition of Hughes, while Baseball Nation’s Rob Neyer analyzes the Nolasco pickup.
- Jason Vargas agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with the Royals, but that’s not what is making Craig Brown of Royals Review shake his head. In a post entitled ”A real Black Friday,” Brown expresses his displeasure at the two-year contract extension given to general manager Dayton Moore:
Actually, given how the team finished the season with 86 wins, it would have been shocking if this extension hadn’t happened. Glass was never going to let the “lame duck” tag hang on his general manager. That’s not how this works. A GM without a contract beyond the current season is doomed to even more second guessing and examination. Moore is already under much scrutiny from everyone without the last name of Glass. Besides, the Royals saved Moore’s bacon by going on a second half tear following an underwhelming first half. Moore seemed peeved at the press conference announcing the Ned Yost extension that there hadn’t been talks about his own situation, but today that seems just theater. There was no way Moore was going to be the GM in 2014 without a contract beyond. This is the least surprising Royals news of the winter.
But just because we knew this was going to happen at some point doesn’t mean we have to stand by and accept it. This is a bad baseball move. We have a track record that says so.
Ultimately, there’s only one man to whom Moore needs to convince he’s a worthy leader and builder of baseball teams. This contract extension is simply a wink and a nod by Glass. Carry on, Dayton. You’re doing a heckuva job. Done deal. Glass sees progress. He sees trades that moved this team from the bottom of the Central to a position somewhere close to contention in 2013. He sees this as momentum. A step in the right direction. And he has decided to reward that progress. Nevermind the trades were made to cover up the fatal flaw of the Royals brain trust under Moore: A colossal failure to develop starting pitching. One step forward, two steps back. Whatever.
- Beyond the Boxscore’s Bryan Grosnick wonders if the time has come for relief pitchers to “start” games.
- Writing in Sports on Earth, Marc Normadin offers up a detailed look at what might be next season’s Dodgers rotation.
- Who were this past season’s RE24 (situational hitting) all-stars? Doug of High Heat Stats has the details.
- Greg Maddux is among those former players newly eligible for induction into Cooperstown. Eric Karabell and David Schoenfield of ESPN’s SweetSpot TV analyze the first-timers.
That’s it. Have a walk-off week!