Happy Monday, everyone. And, of course, happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
With the way Dr. King is canonized today, it is easy to forget just how radical he was in his time and what an incredible impact he truly had on social progression in American society. (I suggest simply ignoring the baseless "what Dr. King would have been doing today" speculation in the fifth paragraph and focusing on the history part, which is very good.)
Anywho... on to baseball. After a crazy Friday filled with an overwhelming amount of players avoiding arbitration, the holiday weekend got pretty quiet. Here's the latest:
The Big Three
1. "Big" three might be a bit of an overstatement. "Only" three might be more appropriate in this case. Anyways, the biggest of the three is the Chicago White Sox's signing of righty reliever Matt Lindstrom on a one-year deal. The only MLB free-agent signing of the weekend, the Lindstrom deal has the potential to be a coup for the Chi Sox. The veteran right-hander put up impressive numbers for the Orioles and D'Backs in 2012 -- 2.68 ERA in 47 innings -- but then Arizona non-tendered him at the November deadline for no discernable reason.
2. The Cleveland Indians have taken a flyer on utility man Ryan Raburn, signing the former Tigers' swing man to a minor-league deal. I don't think there's any way for Raburn to be quite as terrible as he was last season -- when he managed to amass -2.0 WAR in just 66 games -- but there's no way he's going to rebound to his impressive and unexpected 2009-2010 numbers. It's hard to argue that Raburn is a better option than Mike Aviles, so he may spend some significant time at Triple-A this year.
3. It didn't take long for the first players to exchange salary arbitration figures with their clubs to find a happy middle ground. Lefty reliever Craig Breslow worked out a two-year deal with the Boston Red Sox while first baseman Ike Davis opted for just a one-year pact with the New York Mets. There is still a small army of players headed for arbitration -- most of whom seem to be Cincinnati Reds -- so keep an eye out for several more deals in the next week and a half. Most teams are going to go out of their way to avoid actual hearings.
- The Dodgers are moving ever closer to filling their coffers with the money they need to cover their exorbitant payroll. The only Los Angeles team actually in Los Angeles is nearing a television deal with Time Warner Cable worth around $7 billion, which should be just enough to fix the god-awful parking situation at Chavez Ravine. Maybe the ownership will decide to displace yet another low-income neighborhood to make it happen. Old habits die hard.
- We lost two great ones this weekend. RIP Stan "The Man" Musial and Earl Weaver. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the Musial and Weaver families.
- I think some people are taking this scouting prospects thing a little too far.
- Tim Marchman is really good at writing. Like really, really good. Here, he writes about Grover Cleveland "Pete" Alexander.
- You know who else is really good at writing? Joe Posnanski. Here's 3,300 words from him on Stan Musial.
- Always dreamed of being an astronaut? Don't miss your chance to go to Mars. Seriously.
- Warning: Irony ahead. If only those injured had guns to protect themselves.... oh, wait.
- And now... Jim Harbaugh:
Yeah... his team won.