Breakfast Links: Wells planning to cash out, Mets ALMOST had Upton and Bourn, Lohse to Texas?

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Tuesday is here. Hope you brought your coat.

Today we have some dirt on Vernon Wells heading for early retirement, the Mets playing out depressing "what if" scenarios, and the rare positive Kyle Lohse rumor. Also, we've got the Blue Jays making more claims, the Tigers searching for a failsafe at closer, and the Orioles doing nothing, sort of.

Finally, a brief discussion on music to unwind by.

All your baseballs are belong to us!:

The Big Three

1. Vernon Wells gave a surprisingly candid answer yesterday when asked about his future beyond 2014: he plans to retire. Vernon has struggled mightily the last two seasons, and has taken a lot of flak over the last few years for his monster contract -- he will make $21 million each of the next two years to be the Halos' fourth outfielder -- but it's still surprising when a player makes the decision to end his career at 35. Wells stated that he wants to go home and be more active in the lives of his two sons, which is very admirable. I admit I was pretty ticked off at Wells for the first year or so he was in Anaheim, but I now feel that my anger was misplaced and uncalled for. It's not his fault the Blue Jays offered him a seven-year contract. He who would turn down $126 million guaranteed, cast the first stone.

2. Hey everybody! It's time for another game of horseshoes and hand grenades with your favorite recurring player, the New York Mets! GM Sandy Alderson made headlines yesterday when it was reported that he really expected to sign either Justin Upton or Michael Bourn last month. At one point the club was apparently toying with the idea of sending Daniel Murphy and Ruben Tejada to Arizona in return for Upton, but then Atlanta swooped in. Oops! Just couldn't quite will it to happen, I guess. Well, the road to hell is paved with Sandy Alderson's offseason, and now the Mets must push forward with an outfield of Lucas Duda and a horde of guys you and I have never heard of. Should be fun.

3. The closest thing in months we've had to a positive Kyle Lohse rumor comes in the form of speculation from a rival GM, who told Nick Cafardo that "probably have the best shot" of obtaining him. Which would be great and all, if they actually wanted him. But if reports from less than a week ago are any indication, they don't want him. The rival GM also speculates that the Rangers would be the "most motivated" to sign Lohse because they "missed out" on everyone else this winter, but unless Tony Reagins took over in Arlington while I wasn't looking, I really doubt that'll happen for those reasons. Now if one of Texas' starters goes down during camp... then we'll start talking.

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In Other News...

1. If there was a prize for most waiver claims in an offseason, I think the Blue Jays would deserve a life-time achievement award for this winter alone. Toronto made another acquisition yesterday, claiming Lars Anderson from the White Sox. Anderson will probably act as a third wheel in the event that Adam Lind or Edwin Encarnacion go down.

2. Nick Cafardo is rumor-mongering again, this time speculating that Brian Wilson could find his way onto the Tigers' roster if Bruce Rondon struggles out of the gate in the closer role. Wilson is still on the mend from Tommy John and may not be game ready when the season opens. File this one under "highly improbable."

3. The Orioles are hoping to solve their DH dilemma with an in-house option, despite their apparent lack of options. Right now, Wilson Betemit and Chris Davis top the depth chart at the position, but they also top it at first base as well. The club also has Conor Jackson, Steve Pearce, and Travis Ishikawa in camp as non-roster options. So... not much.

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Tuesday Tunes

When I went to college, I had the big idea that I was going to be a composer. I joined the music department as a voice major, but planned to hop over to the non-performance side once I had enough theory under my belt. What the hell I planned to do as a classically-trained composition major in the 21st century I really don't know, but I wanted to do it!

Well, then all sorts of stuff happened and in the end I found myself with a degree in political science and minor in music. While I didn't get all the theory and composition classes I wanted -- and I am still terrible at most musical instruments -- I did get quite the musical education.

Before college my knowledge of music went about as far back as Elvis and the Beatles. But after three semesters of music history and countless choir rehearsals, the breadth of my knowledge expanded exponentially.

I still loathe most things prior to the late Classical era -- looking at you, Handel -- but often after a really long day I still like to unwind with some of my favorite Classical and Romantic pieces.

Here's one for you from the master of orchestration, Maurice Ravel (ignore the weird anime characters):


What's your go-to music when you need to unwind?

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