The new CBA agreement is close to being completed, and there have been few signs of problems in the negotiations. The players and owners are reaching a deal peacefully and without struggles, which feels like such a novel concept right now, no? And it's not like this new CBA doesn't feature some large changes; the Astros will be moving to the AL, and there will be a second Wild Card team added. It also sounds like there will be changes made to the Draft, but no exact details are out yet.
We tweeted about this yesterday, but Jake Larsen has an interview with Chaim Bloom -- the Rays' Assistant Director of Minor League Operations -- up over at Rays Prospects. His thoughts are always interesting to see, and his discussion of the ballpark in Venezuela was quite enlightening.
As John Gregg points out over at Rays Digest, Hellickson was the only successful high draft pick for the Rays from the 2005 class. Oh, Wade Townsend.
I missed this a few days ago, but Pat Burrell has all but announced his retirement. He has a lingering foot problem that won't let him recover to full strength, so he's contemplating hanging up his spikes for good. Pat the Bat, we hardly knew ye.
Remember that book written by James Shields that we've linked to in the past? There's a review of it up over at An Education In Baseball. Sounds like about what you'd expect.