Good morning, and Happy Pi Day.
Today we have the Brewers handing out money, Brennan Boesch being freed from his Tiger cage, and Texas looking into an injury-plagued reliever. Also, the government gets in on the Biogenesis action, Greinke's return is up in the air, and Tommy John consumes another victim.
Finally, a brief look at the pros and cons of the new pope.
The Big Three
1. The Brew Crew handed out a three-year, $24 million extension to center fielder Carlos Gomez yesterday. The speedy outfielder was set to be a free agent at the end of 2013, so the deal buys out his first three years on the market. Pretty much considered a bust after two sub-par seasons in Minnesota -- and the expectations of being worth Johan Santana -- Gomez went to Milwaukee in exchange for J.J. Hardy three years ago and has been not so terrible. Gomez put up an OBP above .300 for the first time last year (which is kind of like complimenting someone for not completely sucking), but also swatted (swat?) a career high 19 home runs and played stellar defense in center, so the extension is understandable. A lot of center fielders came off the market for good this winter, so the Brewers are probably smart to lock a relatively young one up -- even if he is average at best -- while they're able.
2. The Tigers opted to release outfielder Brennan Boesch yesterday, giving clubs free reign to pursue the lefty slugger. Boesch had been prevalent in trade rumors over the last several months, so I'm going to operate on the assumption that Detroit was just unable to get anything to their liking in return for him. Several teams have shown interest in Boesch since his release -- including the Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets -- so it's likely he'll find a new home before the week is out. Still just 27, Boesch has the potential to be a solid bench bat and/or platoon outfielder wherever he ends up, especially if his down 2012 season ends up being an anomaly.
3. The Texas Rangers are reportedly scouting Yankees right-hander Joba Chamberlain because, you know, why not? Chamberlain, who somehow is still just 27, spent most of 2011 and 2012 recovering from Tommy John surgery, so he would fit nicely into Texas' bullpen alongside Joakim Soria and Joe Nathan, but he doesn't really seem worth the risk. Joba kicked ass in his first season-plus with the Yankees -- back when you couldn't escape talk of "Joba Rules" (ugh.) -- but he's been pretty mediocre ever since. Over the last four years Chamberlain owns a 4.43 ERA and 2.31 K/BB ratio, which isn't terrible but also is not typically worth trading for.
In Other News...
1. MLB is pretty powerless when it comes to investigating things. A big reason they have much of the PED info that they have is because of cooperation with the government. Well, if MLB wants to do anything about the Biogenesis scandal, they've gotta hope that the Florida Department of Health, who just opened an inquiry into Anthony Bosch, will agree to give them some info. Otherwise, they're pretty much SOL.
2. Zack Greinke's elbow issues may still take a turn for the worse. The right-hander has no idea when he expects to return to the mound and could end up missing his first start of the season. You can bet the Dodgers are nervous.
3. Indians right-hander Frank Herrmann underrwent Tommy John surrgery on Wednesday. The middle reliever will all of 2013. I'm guessing this is the first of at least 12 TJ operations for MLBers this year. You take the over or under?
So, in the off chance that you haven't been anywhere near a TV, the internet, or other human beings in the last 24 hours, I should probably let you know that a new pope was elected last night.
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, an Argentine Jesuit of Italian descent, became Pope Francis yesterday after the conclave did their thing with the smoke. Finally, after all these years, they've put an old white guy into a position of power. About time, right?
I think "humble" is probably close to the last word I'd use to describe someone who sees him- or herself as qualified to be the leader of 1.2 billion humans, but apparently that's what people are going with:
"The new pope is a very humble man," said the Rev. Eduardo Mangiarotti, an Argentine priest. "He takes public transport every day."
Apparently congratulations are in order for everyone who's ever taken the bus. Automatically makes you humble. Who knew?
Anywho... I don't know much about poping, or Catholicism for that matter, but here's the pros and cons I've gathered so far:
He doesn't look like Emperor Palpatine.
His name is, essentially, Papa Frank.
...that's all I've got.