Don't look now but the regular season starts in less than a week!
Red Sox 7 Phillies 6 - Jackie Bradley made a strong case for a roster spot with the Sox yet again Sunday, mashing a two-run shot off of Cliff Lee. The young outfielder is now hitting .423/.508/.615 in 52 plate appearances this spring.
The Big Three
1. Desperation has a name, and that name is Vernon Wells. The Yankees did the unfathomable Sunday night, acquiring Vernon Wells from the Angels and agreeing to cover $13 million of the remaining $42 million he's owed. Yes, New York has had some unfortunate injuries take hold over the last several weeks, but do they really expect Wells to give them any more production than some combination of Juan Rivera, Brennan Boesch, and Thomas Neal? There's really no one else they could have gotten for $6.5 million on a one-year deal? Just a terrible deal not matter how you look at it (unless you're an Angels fan). Ichiro and Wells alone are owed $26 million over the next two years. Gross. As difficult as it was for anyone to be able to trade Vernon once with that contract, to do it again is a miracle. All hail Jerry Dipoto.
2. While the Yankees were busy making themselves look foolish, the Cubs got some bad news concerning their rotation. Chicago knew they were taking a chance when they inked Tommy John rehabber Scott Baker to a one-year deal, but they probably hoped to get more than half a year out of him. The right-hander has been diagnosed with a strain in his surgically-repaired elbow and now isn't expected to make his rotation debut until some time in July. Another recent acquisition, Carlos Villanueva, seems the most likely candidate to jump into the rotation in Baker's absence.
3. Now that we're just a week from Opening Day, Kyle Lohse seems to be getting a little more reasonable in his contract demands. The right-hander was thought to be looking for something in the Ryan Dempster range (two years, $26.5 million), but now it appears that he and agent Scott Boras have resigned to taking the Edwin Jackson approach. Lohse is now looking for a one-year deal for around $14-$15 million, guaranteeing him at least a little more than his qualifying offer and putting him back on the market following the 2013 season. Teams still seem to be reluctant to even give him a deal at that price, though with the money the Angels just freed up by trading Vernon Wells away, they could become a factor very quickly.
In Other News...
1. The Houston Astros have signed Ronny Cedeno and plan to put him at shortstop right away, leaving Tyler Greene on the trading block. The Cardinals' trash is the Astros' treasure, apparently. Cedeno is a long way to fall from Jed Lowrie. At least he's not Betancourt?
2. Brian McCann's surgically-repaired shoulder is still acting up on him. The Braves backstop isn't expected to play in even a minor-league game until mid-April, meaning that he'll likely be sidelined into May. Gerald Laird will start in the meantime.
3. More injury news, this time from D'Backs camp. Center fielder Adam Eaton has been diagnosed with a UCL strain in his elbow and will miss at least two months. At least they've got Justin Upton and Chris Young out there, right?