Technically, the big news yesterday was that the Phillies are close to signing Ryan Madson to a 4 year, $44 million contract. Considering his last deal was for 3 years, $12 million, that "established closer" tag got him a heck of a payday.
The big news to me, though, was that the Florida Marlins are going streaking this offseason. With their new stadium as a selling point, the Marlins seem to be making a big push toward competitiveness. They met with Mark Buehrle yesterday and are meeting with Jose Reyes today, and they have sent a contingent to the Dominican to make a hard sell to Yoennis Cespedes. As Jeff Sullivan notes, they are essentially recreating their team this offseason, attempting to turn into a mid-market powerhouse.
Oh, and the Marlins have supposedly declared Logan Morrison "off limits"...except if trading for Shields. As Michael Jong fleshed out in the link provided, I'm not taking this rumor at face value. I think this is the Marlins playing hard to get, and trying to raise the value of Morrison in relation to Shields. The Rays likely want more than just LoMo for Shields, and the Marlins likely don't want to give up anyone else. The dance begins.
Things I had forgotten about: there is a contingent of major league players "barnstorming" in Taiwan.
If you read the first part of the Mikie Mahtook interview from Rays Digest, the second part is now live. Take it for what you will, but he raves about Tim Beckham's work ethic.