With the Hot Stove officially underway, news is coming in at a rapid fire pace. Here’s just a few things you may have missed:
– Angels owner Arte Moreno has awarded general manager Tony Reagins with a long-term contract extension.
Specifics were not announced, however one club official said it was at
least as long as the three-year contract Reagins signed in 2007 after
replacing Bill Stoneman. The Angels have won the American League West
in each of Reagin’s first two seasons at the helm.
– Cameron Maybin will undergo surgery to repair a partially torn left labrum on Monday.
The injury caused him some discomfort during the season, but he was
able to play without any limitations. He should be ready for the start
of spring training. With the trade of Jeremy Hermida this week, Maybin
is expected to have an everyday role with the club in 2010. The
22-year-old batted .250/.318/.409 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 176
at-bats for the Marlins this season, but put together a .319/.399/.463
line in 82 games with Triple-A New Orleans.
– The Twins have exercised Michael Cuddyer’s $10.5 million option for 2011.
The team had five after the World Series to decide on the option, or
otherwise pay Cuddyer a $1 million buyout. It seems counter to the way
the Twins usually operate, since Cuddyer simply isn’t worth that kind
of money, especially with his below-average defense in right field.
Cuddyer, who turns 31 years old next March, batted .276/.342/.520 with a
career-high 32 homers to go along with 94 RBI and an .862 OPS in 2009.
– According to Tim Dierkes at MLB Trade Rumors, the Diamondbacks are discussing a trade that would send oft-injured catcher Chris Snyder to the Blue Jays.
On the surface it makes sense since Rod Barajas is about to hit free
agency, but Synder is coming off back surgery in September and has two
years and $11.25 million left on his contract. With top-prospect J.P.
Arencia nearly ready for the majors, color me skeptical.
– And finally, the Nationals have declined Austin Kearns’ $10 million option for 2010, while the Rockies have declined a $4 million option on Yorvit Torrealba.
Ben Badler of Baseball America Reports that Major League Baseball has cancelled its Dominican national showcase, which was scheduled for today and tomorrow. Why? Because, Badler reports, trainers and players in the Dominican Republic planned to skip the showcase in protest over Major League Baseball’s push to implement an international draft.
The kicker: Major League Baseball explored bringing in lesser prospects to serve as replacement players for the showcase. MLB, you might recall, has a poor track record of getting replacement workers to fill in for picketing players.
As Badler noted recently, the international draft proposed by Major League Baseball is, despite whatever MLB says, all about paying international players less money. From the Players Union’s perspective, it’s all about selling out amateur players to the supposed benefit of current union members. The allegedly altruistic justifications for the draft simply don’t hold water.
They certainly don’t fool the Dominican players who, even if they are ultimately powerless to stop MLB from stripping them of their bargaining power, will not give it up quietly.
The Game: Chicago Cubs @ Cleveland Indians, World Series Game 2
The Time: 7:00 PM EDT
The Place: Progressive Field, Cleveland
The Channel: FOX
The Starters: Jake Arrieta (Cubs) vs. Trevor Bauer (Indians)
We get going an hour earlier tonight due to the threat of rain. As of now, that still looks like it will be the difference between getting this one in or not, as the chance of rain looks to be a lot higher after a 7pm game would reasonably end:
Still, it’s going to be dicey and the conditions will be less than ideal. It will be especially less-than-idea for Cleveland if the game is delayed early and they have to go to their bullpen earlier than expected tonight. Andrew Miller escaped some jams last night and did his job, but he used a lot of pitches to do it — 46 — and may be pretty limited tonight, if he’s available at all. That puts a lot on Trevor Bauer’s shoulders. Or, actually, his fingers, including the pinky finger on his pitching hand which is full of stitches. Those stitches not holding cost him his ALCS start. Terry Francona is hoping to get a lot more out of his starter tonight. Given how little he has pitched in the playoffs he should have the energy as long as his finger holds up.
As for the Cubs, teams that have lost Game 1 of the World Series are 40-70 and, in recent years, have a worse winning percentage than that, losing it all in 12 of the past 13 years. Eh, not too impressed with that stat as it doesn’t actually deal with the series at hand. At hand, the Cubs have superior starters set to go in each of the next two games, starting tonight with Jake Arrieta. He’s not been fantastic in the playoffs this year, but he’s capable of dominating a game any time out.
The Cubs figure to have a better night at the plate now that Corey Kluber is out of the way. Particularly a lefty like Anthony Rizzo, who is probably happy to see Bauer. Jason Heyward will likely be back in the lineup as well. They had better have a better night. Being down 1-0 is not a death sentence in the World Series, even if it has looked like one recently. Being down 2-0 is not something Chicago wants to chance.