Happy Friday, everyone.
Strap yourselves in, folks, Thursday was a doozy. Here's what went down:
The Big Three
1. Congratulations, guys, we made it. We're finally in post-Upton trade America. That cloud of uncertainty that has hung over our collective conscience for months -- nay, years! -- is no more. From here on out, everything is unicorns and gumdrops and not even Scott Boras can muck up our... what's that? The D'Backs said they traded Upton because why? Because he wasn't gritty enough??? Are you serious?
But it's 2013... A team wouldn't really be crazy enough to trade a player just because he didn't look like he was about to have an aneurysm every time he ran the bases or chased down a fly ball. Someone who actually has a bit of grace and beauty when he plays. Would they? They would. And they did.
And now that I ponder on it, that line of thinking helps their Trevor Bauer deal make a certain sort of sense. Bauer is a very hard worker as well, but he uses his brain and knowledge of kinetics, not grit and fierceness, whatever the hell that is. He didn't fit "the mold" either. NL West teams, take note.
Also, this is fantastic:
2. The market for Michael Bourn appears to be heating up... or maybe not. The New York Mets are considering making a run at the speedy center fielder, but only if their petition to Major League Baseball about protecting their top draft pick is accepted. Jon Heyman listed a bunch of potential suitors for Bourn in an article yesterday morning, but other than the Mets, Mariners, and Rangers, every team listed was emblazoned with the "longshot" label, and Texas made it known they were out of the running (for him and Kyle Lohse) by the afternoon. That seems to leave the Mariners in the driver's seat on Bourn, which is almost too perfect. Bourn is a very good player, but of all the top free agents this winter he is the most likely to become Chone Figgins 2.0. What better place for him to end up than Seattle?
3. The New York Mets finally made their presence known on the free-agent market yesterday, not only by picking up their pursuit of Michael Bourn, but also by signing right-hander Shaun Marcum to a one-year contract. The dollar amount involved in the deal is still unknown 24 hours later, which is sort of weird but not really cause for concern. So long as the Mets haven't agreed to pay him a ridiculous sum of money this is a really good deal for them; certainly light years better than any of the alternatives they had been mulling as an R.A. Dickey replacement.
The Not-So-Big Three
1. The Tampa Bay Rays have re-signed righty reliever Kyle Farnsworth and Ol' Muttonchops Luke Scott to one-year deals, filling the club's needs in the bullpen and at DH in the span of an hour. Scott didn't have much luck his first time around in St. Pete, but perhaps with a year of good health he can turn things around this season.
2. Not happy with just completing the monster trade they made earlier in the morning, which you may have heard about, the D'Backs started talking with the Tigers about a deal for right-hander Rick Porcello and stated their determination in working out a long-term deal with new third baseman Martin Prado.
3. Nyjer Morgan is taking his eccentric self to Japan on a one-year deal with the Yokohama BayStars. The game seems to be much more of an extravagant spectacle over there, so Morgan's larger than life personality will hopefully fit in nicely.
-New Secretary of State John Kerry made a statement yesterday claiming that "foreign hackers" are the "21st century's nuclear weapons." Not domestic hackers, mind you, just those damned foreigners. I don't know about you but I must have missed the day when actual nukes were wiped off the face of the earth. Is that why we're sanctioning Iran up the ass? They've got a lot of hackers?
- Kenesaw Mountain Landis is "a snarling, wisp of a man" and should not be in the Hall of Fame, so says Jack Moore. Perhaps, at this point, the folks in the Commissioner's office should start thinking about constructing a Hall of Infamy to accompany the regular Hall. That way there's a designated spot for the Pete Roses, Joe Jacksons, Sammy Sosas, and Landis' of the world that no one has to feel uncomfortable about.
- The many faces of Honus Wagner. This is great and you should read it.