So, Aaron Rodgers is going to be back for tomorrow’s win-and-you’re-in Bears/Packers game. That kind of sucks for the Bears, though – as a football fan, generally, you’d hope not to see Rodgers re-injure his collar bone, either. But, you know, hopefully he’s rusty or something. I’d like to see a team that I kinda-sorta am starting to care about make the playoffs.
- For your excitement file: Jason Parks, the lead prospect dude at Baseball Prospect says we’re going to see three Cubs prospects in the top 25 when BP releases its next top 101 list (early next year), and it’ll be Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Albert Almora.* Moreover, Parks noted that Baez will be in the top five. Given the guys in the top five range – Byron Buxton, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa – it’s pretty impressive to hear of Baez’s inclusion. That’s elite-elite, with a side of elite. Remember: these rankings not only after a season’s worth of performance and stats, they come after BP speaks at length with talent evaluators, organizational members, and other scouts about the prospects. In other words, it isn’t just Baez’s video game numbers season in 2013 that catapulted him up the rankings – it’s also what folks who’ve been watching him believe.
- *(Because I have allowed myself to become irrationally excited about Cubs prospects, “three in the top 25” initially disappointed me. Four in the top 30 is more impressive, but I’m guessing Jorge Soler will wind up somewhere closer to 40 or 50 because of the leg injury and limited season. BP has never been as high on C.J. Edwards as some other publications, so he might be down in the 60s or so. The choice for plaudit may have been “three in the top 25” or “five in the top 65.” The former is more impressive, I think.)
- Agent Joshua Kusnick writes about his experience at the Winter Meetings, and I’m instantly struck how the big victory moment for him was having one of his players – Adrian Nieto – selected in the Rule 5 Draft. It’s a reminder that the game isn’t just about the stars, and there’s a lot of hustling going on (in a good way). I suspect that the life of your average, non-superstar agent is a tough one, far more rewarding for its successes (like having a player taken in the Rule 5) than its payout.
- Beyond the Boxscore on whether payroll disparity is disappearing. Kinda? At least in terms of teams’ ability to spend big money.
- Some favorite baseball idiosyncrasies from BP, including Luis Valbuena’s epic bat flip.