You will notice a striking lack of Fowler-Coghlan-Brooks-crazy-day-yesterday-huh bits in the Bullets, and that’s because an entire separate set of Bullets is coming later today for all that stuff. Stay tuned for that.
- In non-Fowler rumors, Austin Jackson reportedly turned down a one-year, $5/6 million offer from the Angels. It’s crazy to think that it’s all he’ll be able to find this year, but it really might be the case – look at what Fowler wound up taking from the Cubs (effectively one year and $13 million).
- More on Jason Hammel’s offseason makeover here, including a full-on Jake-Arrieta-style beard. We talked recently about what a big year this is for Hammel and the Cubs, not just for the purposes of competing in 2016, but also for the rotation in 2017.
- A look at contact rates for third basemen reveals what we already suspected about Kris Bryant: he hits the ball in the air a ton, and, when he does, he hits it well. But he didn’t hit many liners last year, and his groundballs tended to be weakly hit. Bryant has worked on flattening out his swing, which could improve not only the quality of his non-fly-ball contact, but also simply could improve his contact rate overall. And as long as he can pull off that trick without sacrificing too much fly ball power, it’ll be a good thing.
- Newcomers Adam Warren and Rex Brothers talk about what it’s like to transition to a new team after a trade from the only organization you’ve known.
- I really enjoyed this discussion from Craig Edwards on the trickiness involved in trying to extend players who don’t yet have any service time (the current talk is that the Rays may want to try it with top pitching prospect Blake Snell).
- The Cubs have announced their promotional schedule for 2016, so check out your potential goodies here. I want that 1916 throwback jersey and the Rizzo Tarp Catch bobblehead.
- The Cubs spring games that will be available via MLB.tv is now out, and Michael wrote about it earlier. See the article for full details, or just throw caution to the wind and sign up for MLB.tv now.
- Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart recently implied that projection systems – which don’t project the Diamondbacks to be a playoff team this year – have it out for the Diamondbacks. Dave Cameron took on this … suggestion, and dug into exactly why the projections at FanGraphs are down on the Diamondbacks.
- In case you missed it, the Chicago Cubs have signed Shane Victorino to a minor league contract.
- A minor league team in Texas is adding a lazy river to its outfield, and I so want that to be the next addition in the Wrigley Field renovation plan:
— Baseball Is Fun (@flippingbats) February 25, 2016
- All right, one kinda sorta Fowler-related thing:
— FuzzBeed Eli (@EliGieryna) February 25, 2016
- And lastly, the one, sad, little video I was able to get yesterday from live BP in between the craziness and various commitments:
Lester throws to Soler, who strikes out looking (not really). pic.twitter.com/AZL6F17ZDA
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) February 25, 2016