Craig Calcaterra

Miguel Cabrera AP

Miguel Cabrera probably won’t start spring training on time

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit News gives us an update on the health of Miguel Cabrera:

Cabrera underwent surgery last October to remove bone spurs from his right ankle and repair a stress fracture in his foot. He hit .313/.371/.524 with 25 home runs and 109 RBI over 159 games last season. Imagine what he would’ve done, you know, if his foot worked properly.

The Phillies have signed Jeanmar Gomez to a minor league deal

phillies logo
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The Phillies have signed righty reliever Jeanmar Gomez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Gomez, 26, was DFA’d by the Pirates last fall. Picking him up on a minor league deal is a good move for the Phillies. He’s no world beater, of course, but he’s been pretty decent out of the pen for the Pirates the past couple of seasons, going 5-2 with a 3.28 ERA in 78 games, 70 as a reliever. He doesn’t strike out a lot of guys and maybe he’s not a guy you want in your pen heading into the postseason, but he could fill a slot on a rebuilding Phillies team.

The Pirates have reached a four-year deal with Jung-ho Kang

jung-ho kang getty
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Jim Bowden of ESPN reports that the Pirates have reached a four-year deal with infielder Jung-ho Kang. The deal is believed to be worth around $16 million and it will also carry an option for the 2019 season. When you add the posting fee to that, the Pirates are on the hook for about $21 million.

Kang hit .354/.457/.733 with 39 home runs and 115 RBI in 116 games last season Nexen Heroes in Korea. Whether that will translate to decent major league hitting or whether Kang will even have a regular position with the Pirates is an open question. At the moment Pittsburgh’s infield consists of Neil Walker at second base, Jordy Mercer at shortstop, and Josh Harrison at third.

Ranking the top 25 general managers in history

Andy MacPhail AP
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Two incredibly smart dudes — one of whom is an occasional HBT commenter — have a book coming out. The dudes: Mark Armour and Dan Levitt. The book: In Pursuit of Pennants, which examines how front offices have historically found innovative ways to build winning teams. A process that, contrary to popular belief, did not begin with Billy Beane and “Moneyball.”  The book comes out April 1. You can pre-order it here.

In anticipation of the rollout of that book, Mark and Dan have a blog about it all, and today they have begun counting down the top 25 general managers in baseball history. Today is 25: Andy MacPhail. Here is an explanation of the top-25 project. Here is the post on Mr. MacPhail.

We analyze everything else in baseball, but front office moves — especially historical ones — are often overlooked because front offices usually aren’t as colorful as managers and players and the data not as readily available. It’s great that Mark and Dan are embarking on this project and that, come April, we’ll be able to read a book dedicated to a subject that has never been dealt with in such depth in one single place.

Tweet of the Day: Zany Roy Halladay strikes again

roy halladay getty
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Roy Halladay as a pitcher: serious. Cold as ice, and one of the fiercest competitors in recent baseball history. Roy Halladay in retirement: kinda hilarious, actually. His latest:

Given that baseball Halladay routinely killed the team I rooted for, I much, much prefer zany post-retirement Halladay.

(Thanks to Rik for the heads up)