I got the Wife a gigantic card for Valentine’s Day. It was funny. I win at marriage.
- The White Sox picked up Kosuke Fukudome yesterday on a one-year, $500k contract (with a $3.5 million option for 2013 and a $500k buyout, so it’s more like a one-year, $1 million deal), and everyone is eagerly pointing out how much less that is than the Cubs paid Fukudome over the past four years. That doesn’t really bother me for at least two reasons: (1) the man who signed Fukudome is no longer in charge, and (2) multiple reports had the White Sox offering Fukudome *more* money than the Cubs when he was originally signed. What does bother me about the signing is that the White Sox are getting Fukudome for less than the Cubs are paying Reed Johnson ($1.15 million). I like Reed for a number of reasons, but I’m not sure that the White Sox didn’t just get themselves a hell of a deal.
- Players keep arriving to Spring Training early, which is swell. The most recent group (at least in terms of names we haven’t heard yet) includes Marlon Byrd, Steve Clevenger, and Jason Jaramillo, as well as Trey McNutt, Casey Weather, Chris Carpenter, Joe Mather, and Dave Sappelt. Off the top of my head (this is very rough, and by no means exhaustive), some of the bigger names we’re still waiting on include Geovany Soto, Starlin Castro, Alfonso Soriano, Reed Johnson, Welington Castillo, Bryan LaHair, Anthony Rizzo, Brett Jackson, Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood, and Randy Wells (again, that’s rough – some of them might be there already, but we just haven’t heard).
- Hardball Talk takes a look at the Cubs’ roster heading into the 2012 season, and the short conclusion is that the rotation looks deep (if not good), the bullpen looks deep (if not good), and the lineup looks bad (definitely not good).
- Carrie Muskat’s recent Q&A underscores one big thing that will have to shake out in Spring Training: the Cubs have six plausible outfielders on the roster – Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, David DeJesus, Reed Johnson, Tony Campana, and Dave Sappelt – and will likely be limited to carrying just five. Unless there’s a trade, it could be a Sappelt/Campana battle. The former likely has a better bat and slightly better defense, but the latter offers unmatchable, game-changing speed off the bench.
- My second set of MLBullets over at BCB, featuring a Marlins’ PR gaffe, bullpen rankings, and Dodgers sale info, among other things.
- With Spring Training around the corner, I just know you want to be ready to sport your official Bleacher Nation apparel. You should check it out here. /sales pitch.