Turducken

HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I love Thanksgiving week. It brings back so many memories. Grandma’s turkey. Weird uncle Pete’s turducken. That time I learned about the Braves signing Andres Galarraga while I was sitting in the Charlotte, North Carolina airport waiting for a connecting flight . . .

  • It strikes me that the Derek Jeter saga is putting lie to that notion that baseball is truly cracking down on teams and agents using the press to negotiate this winter.
  • Jim Leyritz is acquitted of manslaughter charges. No joke here. Just don’t mess up the second chance you’ve been given, Jim.
  • Domonic Brown is learning that just because you’re sent to play winter ball doesn’t mean you actually get to play winter ball.
  • Oliver Perez is stinking up the Mexican League. This is probably a good thing. If he was pitching well down there the Mets would be tempted to start fresh with him next spring to see if he could snag a job. Now it’s way easier to simply release the guy.
  • The Marlins and Nats are both courting Javier Vazquez. It’d be nice if he stayed on the east coast this year, because if he gets to pitch in Citi Field it will allow some Yankees fans additional chances to boo him.
  • The bidding for Cliff Lee is expected to start at $120 million. I got this image of that “Saturday Night Live” sketch from the mid 80s when Christopher Guest was the auctioneer and he threatened to suffocate hamsters and shoot himself if the bidding didn’t go higher. I may be one of six people who remember that sketch.

Short week, kids. You can do this. Just pretend that today is Wednesday.

Spring training will be slightly shortened in 2018

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 15:  General view of action between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants during the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 15, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The A's defeated the Giants 8-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.

Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.

The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.

While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.

Report: Rays trade Logan Forsythe to the Dodgers for prospect Jose De Leon

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 4: Logan Forsythe #11 of the Tampa Bay Rays waits in the dugout to get on deck to bat during the third inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals on August 4, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Brian Blanco/Getty Images
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Update (7:05 PM EST): The Rays and Dodgers have both announced the trade.

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Update (6:57 PM EST): That was fast. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports the two sides have agreed to the trade. Forsythe for De Leon. An announcement is expected shortly.

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Dodgers and Rays are “deep into discussions” on a trade involving second baseman Logan Forsythe. Passan adds that the two sides have discussed pitcher Jose De Leon — the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect — as part of the return for Forsythe, but it’s unclear if he’s in the deal currently being discussed.

Forsythe, 30, hit a productive .264/.333/.444 with 20 home runs and 52 RBI in 567 plate appearances in 2016. He was even better the year before, finishing with an .804 OPS. Forsythe can fill the Dodgers’ obvious need at second base, but he also has experience playing third base, first base, shortstop, and corner outfield.

Forsythe is entering the second year of his two-year, $10.25 million contract extension with the Rays. He’ll earn $5.75 million in 2017 and his controlling team has an $8.5 million club option with a $1 million buyout for the 2018 season.