UPDATE: Well, this is no fun:
Much rather would have the intrigue, frankly.
Or maybe it’s a red herring …
[Drop it — ed]
1:58 PM: Forgive me for this, but I started watching the BBC series “Sherlock” the other day — I’m on episode five of the six episode run — and it’s pretty much the most amazing thing ever. And affecting. Since I began watching it I can’t meet someone on the street without immediately trying to determine if they have a suntan just below their collar, dog hairs on their pants and whether the their shoes are old but still well taken care of. Put differently: I’m seeing clues and tells and patterns in everything right now and I see no sign of it stopping.
As such, I find this little clue — passed along by Halladay’s Bicepts, who I am not at all prepared to make my Dr. Watson even if he has been helpful these past few days — to be most interesting. A removed page from the Dallas Morning News. Check the URL. Specifically, the “could be done tonight” part:
My abductive reasoning — and Holmes, Darryl Zero and all of my heroes use abductive, rather than deductive reasoning despite what they say — tells me that someone with the Morning News knows something. And had a story about it, however, briefly, before they were required to take it down due to some sourcing formality. Like, say, they weren’t supposed to say anything until 5pm. Or an editor hadn’t signed off.
So maybe — just maybe — Josh Hamilton is going to be a Philly soon. Maybe as early as tonight. Not quite elementary, but when you eliminate the impossible, etc. etc.
Oh, and the guy who wrote it had chicken salad for lunch, is in an unhappy marriage and recently purchased a blue blazer that is too large for him yet he still wears because despite his weight loss he still sees himself as a 46.
The Associated Press is reporting that the Cubs and starter Jake Arrieta have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $10.7 million salary for the 2016 season. That marks the highest salary on a one-year deal for a pitcher with four years of service, the AP notes. Arrieta and the Cubs were set to go before an independent arbitrator but now can simply focus on the season ahead.
Arrieta, 29, is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He had filed for $13 million while the Cubs countered at $7.5 million. The $5.5 million gap was the largest among players who did not come to terms with their respective teams by the January deadline. The $10.7 million salary is $450,000 above the midpoint between the two submitted figures.
Arrieta won the National League Cy Young Award for his performance this past season, narrowly edging out Zack Greinke, then with the Dodgers. Arrieta led the majors with 22 wins, four complete games, and three shutouts. With that, he compiled a 1.77 ERA and a 236/48 K/BB ratio across 229 innings.
Once a top prospect in the Orioles’ minor league system, Arrieta struggled in the majors but found immediate success with the Cubs in 2013 after the O’s traded him along with Pedro Strop in exchange for Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman.
Per Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, the Giants have signed infielder Conor Gillaspie to a minor league deal. Gillaspie was selected by the Giants in the supplemental round of the 2008 draft, then was traded to the White Sox in February 2013.
Gillaspie, 28, hit a meager .228/.269/.359 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 253 plate appearances between the White Sox and Angels during the 2015 season. Almost all of his playing time has come at third base but he can also play first base if needed.
The Giants, thin on depth, will allow Gillaspie to audition in spring training for a spot on the 25-man roster.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that free agent reliever Joe Nathan, recovering from Tommy John surgery, plans to pitch in 2016 according to his agent Dave Pepe. According to Pepe, Nathan’s workouts are “going well” and the right-hander is “definitely planning on playing this year.”
Nathan, 41, got the final out on Opening Day (April 6) against the Twins before going on the disabled list with a flexor strain in his right elbow, causing him to miss the next 161 games. He will likely be able to contribute out of the bullpen in late May or early June if he has no setbacks. On a minor league deal or incentive-laden major league deal, Nathan could make for a low-risk gamble.
Over a 15-season career that dates back to 1999 (he did not pitch in the majors in 2001 or 2010), Nathan has 377 saves with a 2.89 ERA and a 967/340 K/BB ratio over 917 innings.
On Thursday, we learned that the Diamondbacks were still considering free agent reliever Tyler Clippard. You can add the Rays to the list as well, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
The Rays traded lefty reliever Jake McGee to the Rockies in exchange for outfielder Corey Dickerson in late January, so Clippard would be able to slot right in behind closer Brad Boxberger. Clippard, 30, compiled a 2.92 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 31 walks over 71 innings in a season split between the Athletics and Mets. The strikeout rate was at its lowest since the right-hander become a full-time reliever in 2009, and his walk rate was at its highest since 2010, which may be a factor in his still being a free agent in February.