Monday started off with a case of the Mondays, but activity around the baseball news- and rumor-sphere picked up nicely as the day progressed.
Here's what you need to know:
The Big Three
1. The Arizona Diamondbacks jumped into the bidding for Detroit Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello yesterday, joining the Mariners, Orioles, Angels, Pirates, and Padres. The Tigers also named their price for the young starter, making it known they're in pursuit of a shortstop, late-inning reliever, or righty-hitting outfielder in exchange for Porcello. If the Tigers had the AL Central wrapped up yesterday, the addition of Justin Upton should/would/could cause their division counterparts to just stay home this year and take their chances in 2014. Sorry, Dayton Moore.
2. The Oakland Athletics came to an agreement on a two-year contract extension with manager Bob Melvin, locking up the Bay Area native through the 2016 season. The A's surprised everyone by taking the AL West in 2012, and if Billy Beane is to believed, their "modern-day" manager was a big reason for their success. My father taught me to never trust a man with two first names, but perhaps Melvin is the exception to the rule.
3. The Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers have begun asking around about right-hander Shaun Marcum. The veteran right-hander has some injury concerns -- he has a balky elbow -- but he still has two legs up on Kyle Lohse, who is being weighed down by both draft pick compensation and Scott Boras. I'd put my money down on Marcum going to the Rangers, where at least he'll have a shot at the playoffs.
- The Pirates are still trying to work out an agreement with left-hander Francisco Liriano, who hurt his non-throwing arm over the holidays. The Bucs should just cut the cord and go after Marcum instead, who would much more value for about the same price.
- The D'Backs extended closer J.J. Putz through the 2014 season at $7 million. A solid deal for a solid reliever.
- Because they haven't spent enough money this winter, the Los Angeles Dodgers have started looking into Scott Boras client Rafael Soriano. Signing Soriano would make less than no sense for the Trolley Dodgers, who already have Brandon League and Kenley Jansen in late-inning roles.
- Behold, the greatest introductory sentence in the history of serious news-writing, courtesy of the BBC:
A German student "mooned" a group of Hell's Angels and hurled a puppy at them before escaping on a stolen bulldozer, police have said.
- You know what Star Wars was missing? Samurais.
- How in the hell did Hunter S. Thompson live at long as he did?