Ortiz is signed for 2014, but he wants to keep playing and he is speaking with the Red Sox about adding another year to his deal. At 38, Ortiz is still an incredible hitter, batting 309/.395/.564 last year and putting up video-game-like numbers in the World Series, so it is not at all unreasonable to think he can play of two more years or even beyond that. The most interesting thing about his contract "demand" is his comments about how distracting it is to have to talk about it. Seriously? Then just. don't. talk. about IT! I guess he can't help. Also, note to AL East catchers: Ask David Ortiz about his contract status when he steps in the box. Beats any other strategy you have been using.
Big Puma is calling it a career after 15 seasons in the majors. These last two years haven't been kind to him and his counting stats are somewhat unimpressive, but he has a shot at being a Hall of Famer. I'm not big on any number being an automatic qualifier for the Hall but Berkman just misses a .300+/.400+/.500+ career slash line with a career line of .293/.406/.537 and for me, you really have be a special case to pull that off (or come this close) and not get my theoretical vote.
Seattle isn't finished with their rebuild, and they are looking at two of the top remain free agents. Who can blame them? With Nelson Cruz and Fernando Rodney on board, the Mariners could go from being a non-contender to being a slightly more expensive non-contender. Unless they see an upcoming boom in the outfielders-who-can't-really-play-in-the-outfield market in the next six months, I don't see what Cruz adds for them. Not Fun at All Fact: Cruz has hit.238/.299/.442 in Safeco in his career.
Yoon has been linked to the Giants, Red Sox, Twins and Cubs at times this offseason, but it is anybody's guess as to where he will sign. He is an intriguing player regardless of where he lands, however. Hyun-Jin Ryu 's success with the Dodgers is an encouraging sign for Yoon, but there are very few other players who have come from the Korean league to help teams understand how his numbers there will translate to MLB. Still, we have seen how well international free agents do in this market and Yoon figures to benefit from that trend.
Seattle is giving the former-Twin an incentive-laden minor-league deal that could add up to $4.25 million if he makes the big league roster and stays healthy. I love this move. Baker hasn't been healthy since 2011, but he was a good control pitcher with better-than-average strikeout ability before all the injuries. He has fly-ball heavy stuff too, so Safeco is a great fit for him. Of course, he has to stay healthy and that is not a minor caveat when talking about Scott Baker.
Infield depth seems to be the only thing the Reds have added this offseason.
Luckily, several record labels are interested in signing him. It is surprising that Arroyo has zero offers, but it might be connected to A.J. Burnett's indecisiveness. Any team that is going to take a flyer on a one-year deal for a pitcher in his late-30's is probably going to prefer Burnett. After Burnett signs, someone will settle for Arroyo.
8-bit Health Care
Nintendo recently announced that it will enter the health care business. There is no word yet on what they actually mean by that, but it is hard to imagine any non-awesome result coming from this. Maybe that cheeky Wii balance board I have stashed under my couch will be able to tell me what this strange rash on my thigh is in the near future. Maybe large mushroom-shaped boxes will deliver our prescription medications from now on. I don't know about you, but I could stand for instantly becoming twice as tall and capable of throwing fireballs.
I'm probably being way to optimistic, actually. If every other health care plan in existence is any indication, this will probably just mean notices reading "Sorry Mario, but your doctor is in another plan."
Lance Berkman: Hall of Famer?
Who should the Mariners sign?
Where will Suk-min Yoon sign and how long will it take for someone in the sports media world to make an extremely inappropriate joke about his name?