Day three of Daddy-Kiddo-solo time will be a little trickier in terms of this place. The kids are home, and, since it’s a Saturday, that means ACTIVITIEZ. You should expect to see at least another post or two today, and if anything juicy breaks, I’ll be on that, too. Just don’t expect things to be as timely as a typical weekday. Or even a typical Saturday.
- Nick Cafardo reports that the Red Sox’s offer to Pablo Sandoval is five years and $95 million. It tentatively sounds like the two other primary suitors for Sandoval are the Padres and Giants, with their offers in the same ballpark. I don’t think there’s much here in the way of a rooting interest, because, for example, getting or not getting Sandoval is unlikely to impact the Red Sox’s pursuit of Jon Lester. They’ve got money and a need for pitching regardless. Instead, it’s just interesting to see how Sandoval’s market is proceeding. The crowdsourcing project at FanGraphs had Sandoval getting five years and $80 million (notably, the crowd was about $30 million shy on Russell Martin), while Jon Heyman’s projections (involving an agent and a GM) were closer to the range it looks like he’ll end up. The crowd, by the way, had Jon Lester getting about 6/$130 million. Heyman’s crew ranged from 6/$125 million to 6/$150 million. I’ll bet on the northern end of those projections.
- It’s official: the Cubs will play a couple Spring games in Las Vegas next year, March 13 and 14 against the A’s. Incidentally, Bruce Levine reports that, for the two Spring games they played in Las Vegas in 2014 – and the attendant promotion they did (I saw little Vegas signs on the fencing behind the bleachers at times last year) – the Cubs got $1 million from the city of Las Vegas’s tourism department. That is a mighty sweet deal. Single game tickets for Spring Training games go on sale January 10, by the way.
- Anthony Rizzo discussed a range of things with the media yesterday, and you can read a bit on it here, here, and here. Rizzo reached out to Rick Renteria when he was let go, and has also spoken with Joe Maddon (sounds like they’re on the same page). Rizzo hasn’t yet spoken with free agent Jon Lester, however – if he did, Rizzo would just tell him to see how exciting the Cubs are, and, also, Chicago’s a great city. Rizzo also mentioned his Laugh-Off for Cancer event, taking place just before the Cubs Convention on January 15. You can get details and tickets here.
- Even if the Cubs don’t make significant additions externally, Rizzo believes they’re going to win a lot more games than last year. I dig that, though obviously I hope the Cubs do make some nice additions externally.
- Lucky you: with the Cubs moving their Low-A affiliate to South Bend next year, there’s going to be a fringe benefit. Every South Bend Cubs game next year will be broadcast by WSBT radio in South Bend, and streamed online at WSBT.com and SouthBendCubs.com.
- If this Deadspin report is accurate, and there’s no reason to believe that it isn’t, then I just … I don’t … I can’t. According to Deadspin, ESPN has given Keith Law one of the Twitter suspensions it seems so fond of dolling out because he dared to correct colleague Curt Schilling’s public ranting on Twitter about evolution. It’s one of those situations where you feel like there has to be more to the story, because I can’t see anything that Law said or did that even remotely warrants discipline. I also wonder about how much clout Schilling carries with ESPN vis a vis Law. It’s just strange. As I said, I just … I don’t … I can’t.
- On Rule 5 roster deadline day (Thursday), the Houston Astros sent out their 40-man list in the evening, and it was missing power arm Michael Feliz, a 21-year-old who hasn’t pitched above A-ball. GM Jeff Luhnow was asked about the decision not to protect Feliz, and he told the Chronicle the success rate of pitchers going from A-ball to the big leagues was minuscule, so the Astros felt comfortable risking him. Meanwhile, pundits across the web started pegging Feliz as the clear-cut number one pick in the Rule 5 Draft next month. Then, just before the deadline, Feliz was added to the Astros’ 40-man roster, and Luhnow said he had to wait until late because the Astros were working on a trade that may have required 40-man spots. It was a strange evening, recounted here by the Chronicle.