It’s not quite The Little Girl’s third birthday, but today is the party. Bracing for screams in 3, 2, 1 …
- Alex Rodriguez has voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit against MLB and the MLBPA regarding his Biogenesis PED suspension for the 2014 season. He could refile – sometimes these voluntary dismissals are procedural maneuvers – but it sounds like folks expect that this really is the end of the fighting, and he’ll now just accept his suspension. Maybe there was some kind of settlement reached, or it could have been something more informal – ESPN New York reports that Rodriguez hopes to be able to do some baseball-related things in his post-playing career (broadcasting or partial team ownership, for example), and he feared a continued lawsuit would lead to a permanent blackball.
- The job: Ever wonder how you can tell which of the many betting sites out there is the right one for your special needs? Check out Sports Betting Dime for precisely that.
- Shawon Dunston, Jr. had a quietly very successful 2013 season (well, Luke didn’t keep it too quiet), and the Kane County Chronicle has a piece on Dunston and his chances of starting the year with the Cougars. I love that he walked more last year (28) than he struck out (25). Dunston just turned 21 a few days ago, so you’d like to see him playing a full year at Kane County, hopefully playing exceptionally well, to put himself back on the prospect radar. You may recall that Dunston was among the Cubs’ crop of over slot draft picks from the 2011 draft, when the Cubs wooed him away from a Vanderbilt commitment.
- In his latest mailbox, Jim Callis takes on everyone’s favorite tough question about The Big Four: who’s most likely to be a star, and who’s most likely to be a bust. The answers shouldn’t surprise you, but it remains tough to say for sure which of the four is most likely to be a productive big leaguer, and which of the four is most likely to not even make it. They’re all still that good.
- (Speaking of Callis’s piece, by the way, the more I read about expected number one pick, Carlos Rodon, the more annoyed I am that the Cubs couldn’t out-duel the Astros at the crap show last year.)
- Tony Andracki on the relentless positivity of Rick Renteria.
- Ben Reiter with a fascinating piece on the file-and-trial strategy some teams employ when it comes to arbitration (i.e., once numbers are exchanged, the team will no longer negotiate, and will proceed to arbitration). Having that kind of policy in place could have helped the Cubs in their Jeff Samardzija negotiations (on the theory that his ask – $6.2 million – may have been lower if he knew there was no wiggle room for settlement after that), but the Cubs aren’t a file-and-trial team. Players and agents don’t like the policy, and human relationships are a part of this thing. If you don’t let yourself get hosed in the negotiations, then it can still be just as productive to allow the exchange of numbers, and then negotiate right up until the hearing (in Samardzija’s case, it’s Monday).