Good morning, hope all is well in your part of the world. Nathan is off this morning so I'm grabbing the breakfast links to kick off the day.
Here's what you shouldn't miss from yesterday:
The Big Three
1. Down goes another team in the Justin Upton rumor saga! This time it's the Padres denying a possibility that a Chase Headley trade with this year's biggest rumor monger (not us, you fools, the D'backs) is in the works. That Upton no-trade clause continues to be the biggest issue, since apparently every team that could or would want him is on it. Good work by Reynolds (his agency) there, increasing Upton's leverage in every situation. I do think we could be approaching that grey area where he's hurting his own eventual cause, but I'm no agent and I can barely negotiate double coupon days, much less multi-million dollar contracts.
2. The Mariners could be getting closer to locking up Felix Hernandez. A report yesterday has the team considering at least a 4-year, $100 million deal. Considering the Mike Morse trade, the Justin Upton vetoed trade, and the rumors swirling around the Seattle clubhouse, it's hard to get a grip on exactly what Jack Z is doing up there other than going all-in. Hard to imagine a team about to fire him would let him use future assets to lock King Felix up unless it's a very, very team-friendly contract, though.
3. The Nationals continue to be one of the more intriguing teams of the offseason, first because they already had a pretty solid and complete roster, second because they're still doing things that show they're not waiting to get better even if that means focusing on the margins. Their recent signing of Rafael Soriano means that they could look at moving either or both Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen to help in their effort to find a lefty for the bullpen. I wouldn't rest on these guys.
- The Phillies signed Delmon Young to a 1-year deal. Could be a bounce-back year for him, and while it's a friendly contract at less than a million, it does have performance bonuses that could work well for both sides.
- The Brewers signed Bobby Crosby to a minor-league deal. Remind me to tell you some time about my thoughts on how minor league contracts are being used to manipulate and expand major league rosters, which hurts peripheral free agents. Also, expect more movement on the free agent utility guy front over the next week or several. This is where the action is at baby!
- Speaking of peripheral free agent infielder types, the Blue Jays signed Mark DeRosa to a 1-year deal. While I love what they've done with the roster this season (especially Reyes and Dickey), there's a bug in the back of my mind questioning whether cobbling this thing together the way they have will backfire. Worth a try in that division, I say.
- H.P. Lovecraft, when not creating the most disturbing fantasies of his time, was creating a list of do's and don'ts for young writers. Please dear Cthulhu, don't let Mr. Lovecraft anywhere near my pithy attempts at writing, but if you have any kindness in one of your nine demonic hearts, guide our readers to this advice. The internet has ruined us all.
- Minimalist pictographic/infographic depictions of film and events, of course. I think reductionism has its place in the world, but some of these are reduced to meaninglessness, which might perhaps be the point (but why bother?).
- If you love beautiful, comforting architecture like I do, check out the works of Keisuke Maeda. This is a picture of the 'Pit House,' and I want to go to there. Stunning and beautiful.
The big question
We're getting ever-closer to pitchers and catchers reporting, and while there's still weeks ahead of us, I think we can pretty much see how rosters will probably shake out for whenever Opening Day arrives. That said: