With writers voting on Hall of Famers these days, there’s quite a bit of chatter on Twitter about fringe HOF candidates. That got me thinking: does Bernie Williams’ musical prowess put him over the top? I kid, of course…

  • It looks like Manny Corpas’ non-guaranteed, split minor league deal will pay him $1 million if he makes the big club out of Spring Training, with another $700k available based on his time on the roster, and another $200k in incentives. The Major League minimum is right around $500k, so it’s not as if Corpas will be tremendously expensive even if he does make the team. I dig it.
  • The Hardball Times takes a look at Jed Hoyer’s time in charge of the Padres and concludes, as many others have, that he was excellent at re-stocking the organization’s farm system in a very short time, and using a limited amount of Major League resources. Even most of Hoyer’s deals at the Major League level – frequently small deals with bounce-back candidates – worked out well for the Padres. Am I straining for optimism? Maybe. But it’s still there.


  • Reed Johnson talks about why he’s returning to the Cubs, and about the direction of the franchise. Reed enjoys playing in Chicago, as you might expect, in large part because he feels a lot of fan support. He says Hoyer told him the team is going to be even more focused on defense and base running, which was part of the reason they wanted Johnson back. Reed added that he hasn’t heard any talk of “rebuilding” (which, like, of course he hasn’t), and said that the Cubs, as a large market team, should be able to compete in 2012 while reworking the roster.
  • If they’re interested in trying to get a better deal on their games broadcasted on CSN Chicago, the Cubs may have to reach out across town to White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who owns 40% of the network.
  • Speaking of money, only one team in the top nine payrolls in 2011 saw a decline in payroll from 2010 to 2011. Yup, it was the Cubs (down from $142.4 million total end of year payroll in 2010 to $140.6 million in 2011). Only two of the top 15 saw a decline in payroll (the Tigers were the other). The payroll figure is expected to drop once again in 2012.
  • Jeff Passan’s top five baseball stories of the year. The Chicago Cubs appear exactly nonce. (I’d intended to use “nonce” there as a clever way of saying zero (you know, like, not “once,” but “nonce.” Turns out, “nonce” is British slang for pedophile. That ain’t cool. I’m leaving it, though, on the clear understanding that I’m not saying “The Chicago Cubs appear exactly pedophile.” That sentence doesn’t make sense anyway.)


  • BN’er Oswego Chris drops his early preseason power rankings for the NL and the AL on the Message Board. Actually, he dropped them a month ago, but I’m slow. They humorously rank teams based not on actual expected performance, but on their names. Let this serve as your reminder: if you aren’t on the Message Board, you’re missing out. Or, at least, you’re going to be a month late to the party, since I’m a bum who likes to leave interesting/humorous things open in Chrome tabs for months at a time.



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