The largest rodent in the world is the capybara, which can grow up to 150 pounds. Rodent. Wouldn’t that be quite an infestation! (We have been discussing rodents a lot because of the hamsters in the house.)
• The Rangers have signed Japanese starter Kohei Arihara before his posting expired:
Rangers in agreement with Japanese right-hander Kohei Arihara, source tells The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 26, 2020
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 26, 2020
• That deal is pretty much in line with what you see starting pitchers from Japan and Korea getting when they fit a certain profile: lots of success in NPB or KBO, not too old, but debatable whether the stuff/velo will translate to MLB. It’s a relatively low-cost bet that you might land yourself a couple years of a solid 4/5 starting pitcher, or maybe a guy who winds up a swing piece in the bullpen. The downside is that the stuff simply does not play in MLB at all, and the upside is limited. But it’s so low cost that I like pretty much all of these types of signings.
• As to whether this provides much context on other international/posted guys this year, I tend to think not really. We already expected a complementary bench guy like Hiruki Nishikawa would get a very modest deal if he signs, and I don’t think you can say Arihara’s price level says much about upper-tier guys like Ha-Seong Kim or Tomoyuki Sugano. They will get a lot more.
• Speaking of which, Ha-Seong Kim is reporting getting a whole lot of interest and I fear the Cubs are blowing it:
— Daniel Kim 대니얼 김 (@DanielKimW) December 25, 2020
• We know that the Blue Jays have been courting the 25-year-old shortstop, but the other pictured teams are either speculative, or haven’t been mentioned publicly in rumors. The Cubs have yet to be mentioned seriously in connecting with Kim since he’s been posted, and I am bummed. The Cubs’ winter of extreme austerity could cost them for five+ years if Kim winds up being a quality regular.
• Some very big losses in baseball this year:
They changed the lives of countless baseball fans, and forever left their mark on the game and on Cooperstown. On Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, @mlbnetwork looks back on the legends we lost this year. pic.twitter.com/EUt3cd11ne
— National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ⚾ (@baseballhall) December 24, 2020
• Eddy Julio Martinez’s time in Mexico has been very interesting:
• Through 88 PAs (so caveats aplenty), Martinez is hitting .298/.307/.548. He’s not walking *at all,* but he’s also not striking out much. Normally, when you see that much constant contact, you worry that the power is gonna go. But instead, Eddy is finally actually hitting for a lot of power in a fairly competitive league (AA-ish?). Martinez turns 26 next month, so his window of time to really translate the tools into production is pretty short at this point. He’ll have a wiiiiiide open shot this year to show he deserves regular starts at AA or AAA, and then produce to the point where he could be considered for a 40-man slot. But this might be the last year for the former big-time bonus player out of Cuba to do it while in the Cubs organization.
• I make jokes (still true today, too):
On this date in baseball history, the St. Louis Cardinals have never won a game. pic.twitter.com/tJsOd9PdZi
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) December 26, 2020