Tuesday's coming. Did you bring your coat?
The Big Three
1. The Scott Boras monster finally emerged from its slumber yesterday, using its black magic to convince the Washington Nationals to dole out $28 million over the next two years for closer Rafael Soriano. The deal makes the Dominican right-hander the highest-paid relief pitcher in baseball (which is sort of ludicrous, yes?) and makes an already stellar Nationals squad even better. Look for Mike Morse to start packing his bags any day now, probably in exchange for some rotation depth (Porcello, perhaps?).
2. Word broke that the San Francisco Giants plan to discuss a "blockbuster long-term extension" with MVP catcher Buster Posey at some point this spring. Sabean and company are probably kicking themselves that they did not try to hash out an extension at the mid-way point this past season, when it became clear that Posey's ankle injury was a non-issue. Now the club must go through what is likely to be a very expensive arbitration hearing with the young backstop
3. Free-agent outfielder Scott Hairston is expected to make his decision on where to play in 2013 sometime this week. Rumors have the indicated the Yankees, Mets, Braves, and Phillies as possible landing spots for the righty slugger, who should probably be in a platoon role wherever he ends up. In my opinion, I'd be very surprised if he ends up anywhere but back in Queens, though Detroit is a potential dark horse candidate.
- With J.J. Putz now locked up through 2014, the D'Backs have opened extension talks with second baseman Aaron Hill. I'm no GM -- obviously -- but you'd think Arizona would want to figure out what the hell is going on with their outfield this year before throwing a bunch of money around for next season.
- The Rangers are still kicking the tires on Michael Bourn and Justin Upton. You get the sense that one of the two will end up in Arlington, but that Jon Daniels is hoping some other option will present itself at the last minute.
- A few rule changes for the 2013 season are awaiting final approval from the player's union. The three most notable stipulations would allow for a seventh coach in the dugout, for interpreters to be part of mound visits, and for the third-to-first pick-off move to be barred. Seems odd to ban a "trick move" that never tricks anyone, but oh well.
- The Blue Jays are still on the market for a late-inning reliever, which is likely an indication that Darren Oliver will not be returning to Toronto this year. Matt Lindstrom is probably the best arm out there that can also be had at a reasonable price.
- A great piece on "The Transactional Kenny Lofton," who is sadly off the HOF ballot after just one go.
- I really never imagined that Lance Armstrong would end up being the Jose Canseco of cycling... but here we are.
- The word of the day is: Perspective.
- BREAKING: Hollywood is stereotyping Arabs and Muslims in film and television... What's that now? They've been doing it for decades? Oh, right.