All winter, Burnett had been saying that he would retire or return to Pittsburgh, now he appears to be open to going elsewhere. I don't understand why players say silly things like that. What's the upside? With few other appealing options on the market, Burnett was never going to face much trouble finding a job. Any team that is scared to commit to a Santana or a Jimenez will probably jump at the chance to get Burnett for a year or two. He had to know this point would come eventually this offseason. All his comments have done is give Pirates fans a reason to hate him if he doesn't return. Well played, Burnett.
Chapman will cost the Reds $5 million in his first arbitration-eligible season and although that is a lot of money for a first-year-eligible reliever, it is still a bargain for Chapman. It might also be good news for Braves' fans. Atlanta is heading to arbitration with closer Craig Kimbrel, and he is asking for $9 million. Kimbrel has a better ERA and a sizable advantage in career rWAR over Chapman, but he had fewer strikeouts in each of the last two seasons and their career K/9 rates are very close. Arbitration panels don't really consider advanced metrics like FIP or xFIP which would help assert Kimbrel's superior skills, so this deal probably hurts his case.
Michael Clair asks a question that could shape the last few weeks of the offseason. Price could be a game-changer for someone, but it is hard to see who that might be. The Mariners were connected to him at one point and they still make the most sense. They have laid out a ton of money this offseason and they are still probably a fourth-place team. They also have high-ceiling prospects in the upper minors. Plenty of teams would love to have him, but finding one that really needs him, will overpay in prospects and can either sign him to an extension or live with him leaving in two years isn't easy.
Speaking of high-ceiling prospects in the upper minors, Tyler Drenon took a look at teh Cubs Javier Baez and his potential impact at the major league level. If their days in Boston are any indication, President Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer will be patient with Baez next year. By patient, I mean they will send him back and forth between the majors and Triple-A like a yo-yo until they can move one of the players ahead of him. Hopefully, he has a 80-grade sleeping- on-the-bus tool to go along with his other skills. I think Kevin Youkilis, Justin Masterson and Clay Buchholz formed a support group for this kind of thing if not.
Let's talk about the weather!
When did we start naming every snowstorm that happens? As a kid growing up in New England, I shoveled a lot of snow, but I don't remember every inch of snowfall coming with a moniker. It seems like a good trend though. Shaking your fist at the sky and yelling "Curse you Leon!" is far more satisfying that muttering profanities under your breath as you toss shovel-loads of snow to the curb.
Snowstorm Leon has brought the pleasures of sky-cursing to the Southeast, and since that region doesn't usually deal with snow, the impact is pretty significant.
Though snow in the south is certainly reason to fear the end of days, that isn't necessarily going to be the big weather story this week.
Today is a dream for ESPN because there is snow. Now they can act like the world is ending.— Bob Fescoe (@bobfescoe) January 29, 2014
Sure, officials at every city in the South Atlantic might be simultaneously goggling "snowplow rental" and getting distracted by Mr. Plow remix videos, but the real cause for panic is the potential that a few flakes might fall on a Super Bowl game. How on earth will a team from Denver and a team from Seattle play football in those kinds of conditions? Sure, no snow or rain is expected, but when have inconvenient facts ever stopped sports pundits from giving their turds a good somersault?
Will A.J. Burnett return to Pittsburgh?
Is Craig Kimbrel almost twice as valuable as Aroldis Chapman? Why or Why not?
Are you for or against a Super Snow Bowl?