We've reached the true dead period of the offseason. There's little to no action, as teams have already finished putting their rosters together and are merely mopping up some depth in the form of minor-league deals, and there isn't likely going to be any other large moves. Roy Oswalt will sign somewhere, teams will sign their final arbitration cases to contracts or extensions, and the season will creep toward us at a snail's pace. Yesss.
One of the biggest news stories yesterday was that the Yankees are hoping to trade A.J. Burnett in order to free up a bit of payroll space. If true, this throws yet another starting pitcher onto the market, and gives us yet another reason to not expect Niemann or David to go anywhere before the season. A cheap Burnett would be a good buy-low addition for a number of teams...and his departure would weaken the Yankees' rotation, so I'd be all for it.
But considering Roy Oswalt is still sitting out there on the market, I just don't see it happening.
- Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz both signed extensions with the Rangers over the past 12 hours. Neither deal buys out any years of free agency, but it provides both sides with some security.
- If you're looking to prepare for fantasy baseball season, FanGraphs+ (formerly known as The Second Opinion) is now available for purchase. It's only $5, but you get access to fantasy player profiles for over 1,100 players, access to ESPN Insider articles written by the FanGraphs staff, and access to a number of fantasy-related articles to help you prepare for this season.
- Oh, and also, if you're interested in playing fantasy baseball against Dave Cameron, he's joining his first fantasy league in ages this year in order to raise money for cancer research. It's a great cause with a great potential reward, so check it out.
- Keith Law ranked the Rays' farm system as the 2nd best in baseball. Considering that most other analysts had dropped the Rays down to around the #7-10 level, that's an exciting endorsement. And if you're into prospect lists, MLB.com released their own version of the Rays' top 20 prospects.
- As a follow up to his pieces on "Finding the Next Michael Pineda", Carson Cistulli created a table of starting pitcher xFIP by fastball velocity. The results are unsurprising -- yes, pitchers that throw harder are generally better -- but the size of the difference is rather dramatic.