News and notes: Indians prospects coming up big in winter ball

Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

A pair of Tribe prospects are putting up great numbers in the Venezuelan winter leagueAnc

1

If you check out Liga Venezuela Beisbol stats, you'll see that Indians prospect Jesus Aguilar has been killing the ball. He has 6 home runs and a .371/.438/..671 line through 18 games. Aguilar, a 23-year-old first baseman, spent 2013 with Double-A Akron.

Indians prospect Paolo Espino is one of five players FanGraphs' Carson Cistulli highlights in a look at five minor league pitchers who haven't gotten any real attention, but might be worth watching (including GIFs of a couple of Espino's curveballs). Espino is 26, old by prospect standards, but he finished 2012 with 38 strikeouts over 5 starts with Triple-A Columbus and has also struck out 20 in 14.1 innings in Venezuela.

2

Derek Jeter had a $9.5 option for 2014, which is more than he was going to get as a free agent, so the Yankees gave him a raise to $12 million instead. Confused? Don't be, it's just New York finding a loophole that will actually lower its luxury tax bill next season.

There are a ton of other transactions/roster moves of course. Among them, the Royals will make Ervin Santana a qualifying offer, Joe Nathan has declined his option and will become a free agent, and the Mariners have declined their option on pitcher Joe Saunders and outfielder LGFT Franklin Gutierrez, making both of them free agents. If the Indians non-tender Drew Stubbs, they could pursue Gutierrez to replace him, if they want a cheap signing with potential upside.

3

MLB has announced that instant replay testing will be conducted at the Arizona Fall League. Obviously it makes sense to run potential changes through real game situations, without wanting to do that during actual MLB games.

4

Will Leitch at Sports on Earth writes about a cool new website that allows fan to keep track of every game they've attended, "The Internet equivalent of a bottomless shoebox with every ticket stub I've ever had." The site then gives you data about those games, such as your favorite team's winning percentage, the best individual performances you've seen, etc. For now, the site is only active for basketball, but they plan to add baseball in the spring, with football and hockey to follow.

5

DId you know the Indians gave fewer at bats to rookies this year than any other team in baseball? I didn't, until I read Marc Hulet's look at every team's rookie usage in 2013.

6

I'm out of movie eras to look back at, so instead I'll look forward to the final couple months of this year, and the movies I'm most excited to see.

6) Anchorman 2 - The one Will Ferrell movie I have a soft spot for gets a sequel.

5) Inside Llewyn Davis - Anything by the Coen brothers has my interest.

4) The Hobbit: The Desolation on Smaug - Not gonna be as good as LOTR, but I've made my peace with that.

3) The Wolf of Wall Street - I'm a big fan of Scorsese, DiCaprio, and their collaborations.

2) 12 Years a Slave - Looks like powerful stuff, with great reviews pouring in.

1) American Hustle - I love the cast, and the preview drew me right in.

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