There will be posts later today on the Cubs’ coaching staff search, and, of course, the Lukewarm Stove. Until then, bullets…
- MLB and the Players’ Association are expected to announce a new collective bargaining agreement tomorrow, but some of the details have already leaked. Among the most notable changes that haven’t already been discussed? Blood testing for Human Growth Hormone (HGH), something the NFL has been doing for a while, and an increase in the number of Super Two arbitration-eligibles (increasing from the top 17% in service time among players with between two and three years service time to the top 22%, which could end up costing the Cubs a bunch more money on Starlin Castro). When the official, final deal is announced, I’ll have much more on the details, including the myriad of changes to the draft and free agent compensation.
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe – he of the continued ridiculous discussions about the Theo Epstein compensation issue – is now saying slightly less ridiculous things. He suggests the Cubs send Tyler Colvin to the Red Sox as compensation for Epstein, which is not insane, though still probably too much to pay. Even if you are of the mind that Colvin is not a future MLB regular (which is the way I lean), he has value as a cheap, cost-controlled, solid defensive outfielder with huge power. Value, that is, to both the Cubs and a future trade partner. Colvin, 26, didn’t get much of a chance to establish himself in 2011 after a breakout 2010 season, but, in what time he did have, he didn’t show much – Colvin hit a humbling .150/.204/.306 in 222 plate appearances.
- …and in the same article, as if to preserve the cosmic balance, Cafardo resumes saying ridiculous things like, “[Dale] Sveum’s personality wouldn’t have gone over in Boston. He’s a nice guy with great baseball passion, but very quiet and not someone who could take the attention away from his team and put it on himself, which is what managers need to do in big markets.” Translation: we didn’t get Sveum, and you did, but pfft, we didn’t want him anyway.
- The Arizona Fall League wrapped up this weekend. Josh Vitters and Junior Lake were recognized by the league for their performances, and DJ LeMahieu and Chris Carpenter also played well. Jeff Beliveau had only a limited time in the league, and Andrew Cashner was ineffective in his limited number of appearances. Trey McNutt’s performance was about average for the league, and Marcus Hatley didn’t do much to improve his stock with the Cubs.
- It sounds as though new Chicago managers Dale Sveum and Robin Ventura will have a bustin’-each-others’-chops kind of relationship.
- Sad news breaking this morning out of the Netherlands, where 24-year-old Mariners outfielder Greg Halman has died from apparent stab wounds. His brother is being questioned in connection with the death. Halman had played in 44 games over the last two seasons.
- MLB is finally moving along on the process to allow the Oakland Athletics to move to San Jose. That’s not to say MLB will ultimately approve of or assist in the move, but the A’s have started checking off the boxes necessary to determine whether a move is possible. The biggest hurdle? The San Francisco Giants don’t want a team in San Jose, which is further away from San Francisco than Oakland, but more easily-accessible by the traditional San Francisco market.
- Speaking of moves, Houston Astros fans are pretty upset about the move to the AL West – as many as 75% of fans oppose the move.