Breakfast Links: Andrus not for sale, Papi out 'til May?, Madson and Baker shut down

USA TODAY Sports

Why, hello there.

Congratulations are in order for the Dominican Republic, who, as of last night, are the true champions of the world. Sorry, Giants.

Today we've got dirt on the Rangers standing pat at shortstop, Big Papi's Achilles turning into his... uh.. Achilles, and more bad news about two Tommy John recoveries. Also, the Cards have one less shortstop, the D'Backs are looking to hit the mother lode, and Stephen Drew is having noggin issues.

Baseball!:

The Big Three

1. There's a lot of sleight of hand and hearsay that goes on in the world of baseball rumors, so when the rare straight-forward, clear-cut statement emerges from a team's top brass -- and not a "baseball insider who heard it through a source" -- it's really quite nice. Allows for far fewer disclaimers and conditional phrases, anyways Rangers GM Jon Daniels did just that yesterday, telling @PGammo that his club is not interested in trading shortstop Elvis Andrus. And here I was worried it was the pancakes. Daniels told Gammons that he views the left side of their infield as one of their "biggest strengths" -- which it is -- and that he doesn't want to break that up. While that should settle things up the middle in Arlington for at least a little while, there's still that voice in the back of my mind that sounds a lot like Jurickson Profar and thinks Andrus could be gone by the trade deadline. If Profar mashes like Trout did early last year, it's going to be really hard for the Rangers to ignore him.

2. When camp broke in late February Ben Cherington was all like "Oh man, Papi will be fine. He's totally gonna be ready by Opening Day..." but now he's all like "Aw, crap." Tough break, Benjamin. David Ortiz will definitively not be ready come April 1 and now it's likely he'll miss the whole first month of the season. [/cue sad trombone] Leg injuries for the more, shall we say, "hefty" of ballplayers seem to take longer to heal than those of their more svelte teammates -- judging from the extremely small sample of Ryan Howard and Kendrys Morales -- so perhaps the Red Sox should have seen this delay coming. Boston is freaking out (yet), which is probably a smart move, but if Papi isn't in the lineup by mid-May, they should probably be a bit nervous. Carp, Gomes, Lavarnway, etc. can only be respectable at DH for so long.

3. Two Tommy John rehabbers were shut down indefinitely Tuesday with elbow inflammation. New Angels closer Ryan Madson has been resigned to long toss after feeling discomfort on the mound, while Cubs starter Scott Baker isn't even allowed to do that. Both teams knew they were taking a big risk when they signed these guys -- hence the incentive-laden contracts -- but it's gotta be discomforting nevertheless that neither could make it out of camp without their arms acting up. Doesn't really bode well for the rest of the year. I wonder when teams are going to start implementing preventative measures against Tommy John rather than just viewing it as a necessary evil they can't do anything about. Seems like the team who figures that out first is going to have a serious competitive advantage.

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In Other News...

1. Farewell, Ronny Cedeno, we hardly knew thee... The Cardinals have opted to push forward with their youth movement, giving the veteran shortstop the figurative axe on Tuesday in favor of roster space for Matt Adams. There's some speculation that St. Louis could add Yuniesky Betancourt in his place, but I feel like that's kind of like trading in your old Geo for a new Geo. It's still a Geo, and I'm pretty sure they don't even make those anymore.

2. The D'Backs are still discussing a multi-year contract with first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, though the timing is a little odd. The guy has just one season under his belt so there's no rush to get anything done, but Arizona seems pretty adamant about it. I guess they just know grit when they see it, even in the more tree-built, non-scrappy guys.

3. New Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew is having a troubling spring. The veteran got bonked in the head a few weeks back and is still suffering from post-concussive symptoms. Drew is set to meet with a concussion specialist in Pittsburgh, so hopefully he'll be able to get the infielder back to normal. Head injuries are scary, scary stuff.

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Wired Wednesday

In case you haven't heard, Google has opted to euthanize their RSS reader -- the aptly named "Google Reader" -- just before the All-Star break. See for yourself.

My brief eugoogly...

"You were unnecessarily confusing as hell and your format was almost as bad as the new Gmail, but at least you were sort of reliable for the two weeks that I struggled to use you.

"RIP Google Reader. And save room for Google Glass, he'll be joining you very soon."

What is your RSS reader of choice?

I use NetNewsWire and I'm pretty content with it. Definitely open to trying something new, however, if there're features I'm missing out on.

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