Today we have the latest on the Cubs looking to move an expensive arm, the Rangers flip-flopping (again) on Kyle Lohse, and the Tigers overreacting to small sample size. We've also got a host of injury updates with Johan headed back to the DL, Furcal seeking a second opinion, and a new D'Back outfielder getting an MRI.
Finally, a brief discussion on sentient machines.
The Big Three
1. The Chicago Cubs have been looking to unload effectively wild closer Carlos Marmol for some time, getting thisclose to sending the veteran to Anaheim in a trade for Dan Haren in early November. While the Marmol rumor mill has been quiet for some time, it appears as though the Cubbies are still keen on moving the right-hander. A report from ESPN yesterday indicated that the club might move Marmol before Opening Day, with the Detroit Tigers being the most likely landing spot. Considering the multitude of scouts sent to watch Rick Porcello throw earlier this week, I wouldn't be surprised if Chicago and Detroit worked out a one-for-one swap with Porcello and Marmol. Porcello gives the Cubs some much-needed pitching depth with Matt Garza out indefinitely, and Marmol fits the "proven closer" mold that the Tigers are apparently seeking.
2. If I had to come up with a slogan that summed up winter and early spring, in re: baseball things, it'd probably be "Poor Kyle Lohse." The guy just can't buy a vowel. The Lohse rumor mill rose from the dead over the weekend with speculation that the Rangers could have interest in him now that Martin Perez is sidelined until May, and also with the news that Lohse is on the market for a three-year deal. Well... if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Turns out that Texas is still not likely to sign the veteran right-hander as they have no shortage of other options for the two-month stopgap they need. Perhaps Lohse should temper his expectations some. A one-year deal sounds more realistic at this point.
3. An addendum of sorts to the first of this morning's Big Three, the Tigers have reportedly exhausted all their patience with young flame-thrower Bruce Rondon, and are "pushing hard" to find an arm on the trade market. Hence, the Carlos Marmol and Jose Valverde rumors. That the Tigers are panicking after just 3⅔ innings of work from the young Rondon is absolutely ridiculous. The guy put up a 1.53 ERA in 53 innings of work between Single-, Double-, and Triple-A last year. Are you seriously going to throw in the towel after four appearances in exhibition matches? This is 2013, right? Sounds like Detroit has been drinking the Arizona Diamondbacks' Kool-Aid this week. Seriously though... STOP IT, Tigers. Rondon will be fine. Maybe great, even.
Other Injury News...
1. Oh, poor Mets. Not only is it looking likely that Johan Santana will start the season on the disabled list (which may be a long-term plus considering his $25MM vesting option for 2014), young right-hander Jenrry Mejia may join him there. Mejia has been sent for more tests after an injury was discovered in a physical last week.
2. Rafael Furcal will get a second opinion on his aching elbow from Dr. James Andrews, aka The Tommy John Master, at some point Wednesday. Furcal was thought to be healthy entering camp but that is definitely not the case.
3. New D'Backs left fielder Cody Ross was sent for an MRI on Monday to check on his left calf. The leg has been bothering him since Friday, and an attempt to return to action on Sunday was cut short because of continued discomfort. Good thing they've got Justin Upt... I mean Chris Yo... oh.
I stumbled across a website called the Flying Machine Area this week and was simultaneously fascinated and terrified by what I found.
Marketed as "a space where flying robots live and learn," I was immediately reminded of SkyNet, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the machines in the Matrix, and any other Sci-Fi in which the machines ultimately win.
Check it out for yourself:
If there's a use for these skills other than world domination, I don't see it.