I’m not really in the mood for moral victories. In a sports fandom life that has me pretty much caring only about the Cubs and Michigan football these days, I could really use a win. Yesterday, Michigan came within a two-point conversion of giving me that win – one that probably would have sustained me for a few months, at least. But I’m not in the mood for moral victories, so I don’t want to hear about how impressive it was that Michigan hung with a juggernaut like Ohio State yesterday with a quarterback on one leg. I just wanted the damn win.
- Grant Brisbee wonders, if Ryan Braun were a free agent today, what kind of contract would he get? You’ve got the fantastic production and reasonable age stacked against the PR nightmare and PED suspension (and risk of performance decline related thereto). Brisbee argues (based in large part on contracts like the ones giving to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton) that, surprisingly, Braun would probably get more than the $116.5 million over seven years he’s currently owed. I think Brisbee’s probably right about that, but I’d still question whether that deal – or the hypothetical one he’d get – are a good investment for the team (especially the Brewers, who project to be crummy for Braun’s most valuable remaining years). If his deal is really all that under market, the Brewers should shop him aggressively. And if they can’t find a taker for the full contract who is willing to give up serious prospects for him, then the contract really isn’t all that under market after all.
- Over at the Message Board, folks are discussing whether Anthony Rizzo got too pull happy last year, and if it affected his ability to hit for power. Seems like fertile ground for an article at some point this offseason.
- Cubs Den’s new writer Mauricio Rubio writes about some of the lesser known Blue Jays prospects who could conceivably be included in a Jeff Samardzija deal.
- Baseball Prospectus on the hot rumors that didn’t come to fruition last year. Remember when the Yankees were going to get Chipper Jones to un-retire? Remember how Justin Upton almost got traded to the Mariners? No Cubs rumors make the list of mentions, though you remember the big one that almost-but-didn’t happen: the Cubs signing Anibal Sanchez for five years and $75 million. So what if Sanchez put up a near-Cy Young caliber season in 2013 for the Tigers? I’m totally not at all bitter …
- You can vote for Darwin Barney for the best defensive player of the year here at the Gibby Awards.
- Although it has nothing to do with the Cubs or MLB, and it isn’t even UM/OSU (to which I have a personal connection (on both sides)), you can’t talk about anything in sports today without mentioning the end of Alabama/Auburn yesterday. Calling it absolutely unbelievable doesn’t quite capture it.