Another former Lone Star state star is hanging up his spikes. Michael Young was very good player for much of his 14-year career, but he was also consistently overrated. His defense was always a problem and his consistently high batting average made his offense look like something more than the just-above-average production he usually offered. He also had the reputation for being an excellent teammate, which is the kind of thing that makes a certain ilk of sportswriter swoon. His career is not nearly as Hall-of-Fame worthy as Berkman's but he might get just as much consideration from the BWAA voters if that population still lists so many traditionalists among its ranks when the two hit the ballot.
I can't decide if the Royals enduring love of Bruce Chen is the puzzling thing here or if the total lack of respect from the rest of the league is. Chen is not great and at 36-years-old, he is not likely to handle a full starter's workload in 2014. He isn't terrible though. He posted a strong 3.27 ERA in 121 innings last year with the Royals and his ERA has been slightly above league-average in three of the last four seasons. When he isn't giving up home runs at a prodigious rate, he is a solid fifth starter.Certainly, he is worth the $3.25 million the Royals are paying for him. He should be able to command double that, actually. He is a solid value, but there is a reason other contenders with budget issues don't want to shell out a relatively insignificant amount of money for him.
Burnett has expanded his horizons from the Pirates or retirement to the rest of the baseball world and he is receiving interest from a few other teams. It look like the Pirates really blew this one. Burnett is now the best pitcher still on the market and he isn't going to settle for Bruce Chen-type money.
Andrew Albers might not be a household name outside of Saskatchewan, but he has a dizzying array of mid-80's pitches and deep blue eyes that make you just want to dive in and swim a few laps. Those pitches and those eyes brought Albers some brief success in the majors last season, but this year he will be mesmerizing players in the Korean Baseball Organization with his rugged good looks. Is Major League Baseball in danger of losing all its handsomeness to Korea? It is possible. Although, the NBP has taken Kevin Youkilis off our hands, so everything might be balancing out.
Scott Lindholm ask this important question over at Beyond the Boxscore. Anytime a player puts up the kind of number Puig did last season, it is a good bet they won't match them the next year. That is just life in professional baseball. Few players ever sustain a wRC+ of 160 over multiple seasons. The question is really how far will Puig regress and it might not be all that much. His power is real. His contact skill are real and could even improve some as he adjusts. His disdain for all cutoff men everywhere is very, very real. He's going to be just fine.
$4 million for 30 seconds
The Super Bowl is this Sunday and as someone who has spent far more time thinking about baseball players in the low minors this week than the big game, I have very little to add on the subject. I'll be rooting for Seahawks because I have a few close friends from the Seattle area and watching them suffer from sport-related traumas has gotten pretty unbearable.
Along with the big game comes the big ads. With fewer ways to reach truly massive audience, advertisers are putting everything into the Super Bowl and the prices for that ad time keep rising. For what it would cost you to get lost in Andrew Albers's eyes for five full seasons, you can buy just 30 seconds of airtime during the Super Bowl. If you are anything like me, you are going miss a large percentage of these ads between the process of acquiring beer and disposing of said beer, so it is nice to know that you can see these ads ahead of time.
Where will A.J. Burnett sign?
If you had $4 million dollars and you had to spend it on a Super Bowl ad, what message would send to all those people who went to the bathroom during the last commercial break?