I'm definitely stoked and excited at the Braves' acquisition for Justin Upton; the outfield of Justin and BJ, along with Jason Heyward just begs and screams to be likely the most exciting and talented outfield baseball has seen in quite some time, and I'm going to be very intrigued to see if it can top the fWAR totals of 2012's amazing Atlanta outfield.
But I'd be remiss to overlook that the cost of getting Justin Upton included none other than Martin Prado. As excited as I am to see Justin Upton suit up for the Braves, it makes me equally as melancholy feeling to know that Martin Prado won't be an Atlanta Brave any longer. Over the last few years, Prado epitomized the ultimate team-first baseball player, and was easily one of the more reliable bats in the Braves lineup as well as one of the most likeable personalities on the squad. It became impossible to not like Martin Prado in some facet if you were a baseball fan.
I remember seeing him in 2006, and not being very impressed with this guy who seemed like he could do nothing but hit groundballs to infielders. I actually thought Marcus Giles was better than him and cringed on days where Bobby Cox put him in at second instead of Giles, or even Wilson Betemit. His supposed first notable moment came when he dropped his bat and it stood upright on the barrel in 2007. I watched him play in Richmond, and was more interested in guys like Brent Lillibridge and even Brayan Pena. I admit that I favored Kelly Johnson over Martin Prado in those seemingly now ancient internet wars of "who's better?"
But then Martin Prado broke out midway through 2008, and never looked back. His bat became potent, and he became a threat to all parts of the field. His stroke when going the opposite direction was a thing of beauty, and baseline-to-baseline was he never not a threat to plop down a perfect double. In the tragic finale to 2009, I was furious with Matt Diaz getting picked off third before I was sympathetic, because Martin Prado was at the plate, and I knew, I KNEW, that he would have delivered, had Diaz just stayed put.
Bottom line is that Martin Prado fought his way into the hearts of Braves fans like myself and others, and now it's sad to see him go, regardless of the return. I just know Arizona fans are going to fall in love with him as most of us did, and I will be disappointed if on June 28th, when the Diamondbacks roll into Turner Field, fans are not up on their feet and clapping, when Martin Prado steps into the batter's box in his first at-bat opposing the Braves.
I think I can comfortably say I speak for most of Braves Country when I say, Martin Prado, you are loved, and will be missed. We will miss you and wish you nothing but success (except against the Braves unless it's in the process of Arizona getting blown out). Welcome back to the basement.
While Braves acquire Justin Upton, Phillies sign Dmitri Young to one-year deal - Crashburn Alley
Wait that fat guy is Delmon Young? The guy that was rated the #1 prospect in America back in 2006? The guy that threw his bat at the umpire in the minors? The guy who made anti-Semitic remarks? Boy, that guy got fat. And his defense sucks! (click link to see lol-worthy gif). Well, at least the good news is that the one-year contract will only cost the Phillies $750,000...
Except that there are a boatload of incentives based on Delmon's weight - Phillies Nation
See, this is BS. I'd be willing to wager a vast majority of men in America wouldn't mind shedding an extra ten pounds, but none of us are being dangled six carrots worth $100K a piece for dropping those ten pounds, and being able to gain five of them back for five more carrots worth $100K each. But such is the luxury of being a professional baseball player; Delmon Young will have six "completely random" weigh-ins, and if he's able to keep his weight to 230 or less for the first three, and 235 lbs or less for the second three, he will receive $100K for each successful weigh-in. I honestly think we have a story here that rivals the Mets and Bobby Bonilla's endless salary story.
Delmon should consult his big brother (link circa Jan 2012) for some weight loss advice, because for every pound Dmitri lost, Delmon apparently found.
Delmon Young hasn't been nearly as good as Domonic Brown - High Cheese
A laundry list of stats, ratios and trends comparing fat expensive Delmon Young with the guy he'll likely block, young athletic pre-arb Domonic Brown who's ball and chain of potential seems to get larger and more cumbersome as he fights to get his genuine chance to stick at the major league level.
So while Fat Delmon Young will essentially be assured a roster spot, Domonic Brown will have to earn one - Phillies Zone
Ruben Amaro claims he wasn't specifically talking about Domonic Brown, but there really aren't that many spots that are unresolved, and since Domonic Brown is not a relief pitcher, he pretty much kind of was. The condemning vernacular used in the statement is that if Domonic Brown could beat unproven Darin Ruf, the platoon-y John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix for the remaining outfield spot.
Antonio Bastardo avoids arbitration, signs one-year deal - TGP
The deal is worth $1.4M, and it's safe to assume that Bastardo is going to be one of the secure spots in the Phillies bullpen for 2013.
Shaun Marcum signs one-year deal with Mets - AA
Financial terms aren't available at the time I'm writing this because all outlets are too busy going nuts about the Braves getting Justin Upton, but it's worth mentioning One-year, $4M with incentives. This was probably possible for the Mets because Marcum is technically coming off of a down year with the Brewers where he made "just" 21 starts after being a pretty reliable workhorse the prior two years. Citi Field should really help bring down his HR/9 rates in general, after having pitched in two pretty hitter-friendly venues in Toronto and Milwaukee.
Mets are very interested in Michael Bourn - NY Daily News
Two things stand in their way however: cost (obviously), but are willing to explore options where they heavily backload the contract, and hope to get as much as they can out of him, and try to unload him later on. And then there is the rule about draft pick compensation...
Mets trying to get around forfeiting first round pick if they get Bourn - AA
In all fairness, the Mets have a legitimate case. They finished 10th worst, which should have gotten them the 10th pick of the upcoming draft, which would have been protected from going to the Braves if they signed Bourn. But because the Pirates failed to sign Mark Appel with the ninth pick in 2012, by rule, they get the tenth pick of the 2013 draft, which then shoves the Mets into 11th and unprotected. It's also not confirmed, so the Mets are waiting to see if they can still potentially sign Bourn without having to forfeit the draft pick.
The Mets would have to agree to sign Bourn before MLB bothers to investigate however - MetsBlog
Because you know, Bud Selig has so many important things to do. Although I actually agree with the Mets' stance, I'd wager money that it would be all too easy for Selig to simply state that the rule is the rule and even if the Pirates blew it in 2012, they're still entitled to that protected 10th pick while the Mets are SOL if they were to sign Bourn.
Ike Davis signs one-year deal, avoids arbitration - NY Post
A 162-game average of 28 homers over the his pre-arb years goes a long way for the strikeout artist, who in his first year of arbitration eligibility notches a $3.125M contract from the Mets, avoiding an arbitration hearing in the process. He will be relied upon to be one of the few power sources on the Mets going into 2013.
Because Scott Hairston is taking the money and running - MetsBlog
The Mets had offered the 20HR man a one-year deal for about $3M, but Hairston wanted to get paid. When the Cubs came a'knockin with essentially the same deal but two-fold, Hairston took the money and is leaving New York for Chicago.
Too bad the Braves don't have Matt Diaz anymore - AA
The poster boy of left-handed relief pitching overuse is returning to the Mets after a very forgettable stint on the other side of New York. Pedro Feliciano, whom I have the fondest memories of being haphazardly overused by the Mets returns to the Mets on a minor league deal, whom are probably hoping being in familiar territory might rekindle some of his old talent.
Bryce Harper apparently has competition for most obnoxious truck - Newsday
Zack Wheeler, Georgia native and top pitching prospect for the Mets also has an obscenely large pick-up truck, like guys like Bryce Harper and Chipper Jones. Wheeler also feels like he's got a shot to break camp with the Mets, despite the fact that everyone including the reporter on the story pretty much knows he's going to be stashed at AAA as long as humanly possible to preserve his precious service clock.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo honored as Executive of the Year - Nationals Journal
Honestly, this is kind of a no-brainer. What Rizzo has done with the Nationals organization since taking it over from Jim Bowden has been nothing short of a grand success story. Just about every draft pick has/is panned/ing out, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, free agent acquisitions, extensions of core assets, and the successful trade for Gio Gonzalez. He hasn't really pushed a really bad button in his tenure as GM.
Jordan Zimmermann only National to file for arbitration - Nats Insider
Seven players on the Nationals were arbitration eligible this winter; six of them have signed: Drew Storen (1/$2.5M), Ian Desmond (1/$3.8M), Ross Detwiler (1/$2.4M), Tyler Clippard (1/$4M), Roger Bernadina (1/$1.2M) and Craig Stammen (2/$2.25M). However, the Nationals were unable to come to terms with Jordan Zimmermann, the workhorse starter who notched a career year in 2012, and unless both parties can come to a conclusion within the next month, an arbitratration hearing is imminent.
Davey Johnson formally anoints Rafael Soriano as team's closer - Nationals Journal
This isn't really any surprise considering the Nationals are on the hook for him for $28M (plus deferred interest), may as well use him for the highest leverage situations.
To no surprise, Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard aren't necessarily enthused - Nationals Journal
Wade through the fluff about how both took the news of Soriano's arrival like professionals, but the truth of the matter is that Soriano's presence will undoubtedly affect the earning potential of both Storen and Clippard. I like the part where pitching coach Steve McCatty cites Mariano Rivera having to wait behind John Wetteland, but the Yankees didn't wait for Rivera to save 52 and 33 games before inserting Wetteland to take over for 2-3 years. Understandably both are not happy, and it would amuse me greatly to see one or both Storen and Clippard go all Mets JJ Putz on the Nats, relegated to pedestrian set-up roles.
Tyler Moore's chance to do more - MASN
With the trading away of Mike Morse, it not only saves the Nationals $6.5M on the season, but it also opens the door for former Carolina League MVP Tyler Moore to get more opportunities, as he will be the de facto backup first baseman for the Nationals behind Adam LaRoche.
Nationals to introduce fifth Running President this weekend - The Bog
Apparently FDR seems to be the most speculated, but the door really is wide open. But I kind of doubt it would be any president from within the last 4-6 terms, and probably one that's on a regularly seen denomination of currency.
I'd say "by great Lucifer's beard!" but that's kind of exactly what it looks like - Nats Enquirer
My whole life, I've never understood why there are so many people fascinated with beards. Like the beard culture has gotten to the point where cities, regions, and even the country has sanctioned and stringently judged beard-offs, to declare the greatest beards in the world. Either way, Danny Espinosa looks like he really wants to challenge Jayson Werth in 2013 to whom has the more epic beard, but considering it's teetering precariously close to Brian Wilson status, I'd have to say that anything but Espinosa.
Marlins scrape barrel's bottom, retrieve scraps - Fish Stripes
Simply needing warm bodies to fill their roster, the Marlins have aquired some medicore veterans to compete for roster spots. Pitchers Kevin Slowey and Mitch Talbot have sporadic major league experience, and Matt Downs, last sighted with the
2100-loss Houston Astros. Despite the fact that these guys would have a hard time cracking most organizations' AAA rosters, there's a chance that at least one of these guys makes the Marlins' 25-man.
MLBPA pretends like they'll do something if the Marlins don't spend money - Fish Stripes
Same song and dance, different year. Mentioned in this article is the obvious facts that even if the MLBPA succeeds in putting some pressure on the Marlins to spend some money, it likely wouldn't come into effect for at least one entire calendar year. That being said, the Marlins could march into the 2013 with a payroll around under $40M, and make almost that much on just profit sharing alone, not to mention that being in their own venue now, all of the money the park makes goes straight to the Marlins, and not JoeRobbieSharkplayerOhIGive up Stadium. It sounds about right, considering the Marlins had a sub $20M payroll in 2000, a sub-$15M payroll in 2006, so now's about right to abuse the revenue sharing and line Loria's pockets again.
No need to start off so big there, Webb - Palm Beach Post
Reliever Ryan Webb, the lone arbitration eligible player on the Marlins, settled for a one-year deal, worth up to a whopping $975,000 plus small incentives based on appearance numbers. This sub-$1M salary actually ranks ninth on the Marlins current payroll hierarchy.
Online petition! We've got an online petition here?
As of Wednesday morning, only nine people (too easy) had signed the petition. The petition needs 100,000 signatures by Feb. 21 to elicit an official response from the White House.
See? Nobody cares.
Logan Morrison raises over $50,000 for the American Lung Association - Palm Beach Post
Finally, some good news to associate with the Fish; Logan Morrison's Camp for a Cure baseball camp successfully raised over $50,000 for the American Lung Association. LoMo's father suffered and passed from lung cancer in 2010, and he has been running the camp every offseason in his honor since 2011.