Two orders of Tim Lincecum, please. Extra caviar

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There’s a fun article in the New York Times that has almost nothing to do with baseball. Rather, it’s about how big time chefs smoke a lot of marijuana and how the stoner culture is affecting both the attitude and, in many cases, the cuisine in today’s top restaurants.  I link it here, however, because it details a new dish you can get at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco if you’re so inclined:

To serve slow-cooked quail eggs and caviar, he places them atop plastic
film that tightly covers a white porcelain serving bowl. Then he fills
the vessel with smoke from grated Japanese cedar packed into the bowl of
a fan-driven bong he buys in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. The smoke
escapes when the diner lifts a small spoon covering a hole in the
plastic.

He calls it the Lincecum, after Tim Lincecum, the star pitcher for the
San Francisco Giants who was arrested last fall after police found
marijuana and a pipe in his car.

Sounds fancy. I’m guessing that Lincecum is like the rest of us, however, and prefers a nice Taco Bell run after partaking.

The rest of those horrible stoners, I mean. Not the rest of “us.” Because drugs are bad, mmm-kay?

(thanks to reader, um, man, I forgot his name because I was kind of spacing, who shot me the link in the comments)

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Getty Images
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The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
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The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.