Happy Monday, all. With the Winter Meetings starting today, there's nothing like a bit of a slow Sunday to make the new guy look like a hack. I'm sure I'll settle into a rhythm soon enough, but the first time is always a bit awkward, isn't it? I'm going to try to stick to this sort of basic approach of link & commentary, a la woodsmeister, but my style may evolve as time goes on. Anyway, here goes nothing.
Tribe's Cuban pitching prospect stuck in visa limbo, not actually a terrorist | Cleveland.com (Paul Hoynes) - Hoynsie reports that Leandro Linares, the right-handed 19 year-old out of Cuba, is back in Haiti still waiting for a visa to the U.S. after failing to make it to Goodyear this past fall. Apparently, part of the holdup was because his last name appears on the terrorist watchlist.
Masterson and Giambi recognized by Cleveland BBWAA | Indians.com (Jordan Bastian) - Justin Masterson takes home the Bob Feller Man of the Year award, while Grandpa Giambi snags the Good Guy award which, apparently is given to a player who "player who understands their job and is cooperative with the media." If those are the major qualifications, then why hasn't Evan won this thing every year in recent memory?
Indians looking for pitching at Winter Meetings | Indians.com (Jordan Bastian) - Bastian checks in with another "duh," quotes Antonetti as reiterating that last season's major moves were made in anticipation of this year's crazy market.
David Murphy ranked 88th, worth negative $5 | Fangraphs Fantasy (Brad Johnson) - For anyone interested in drafting David Murphy to their fantasy team, Fangraphs has a write-up with more detail than anyone ever realized they needed.
Hot Stove/Around the League
Price trade "not a matter of if, but when" | ESPN (Buster Olney) - David Price is a free agent in 2016, so moving him this offseason wouldn't be an unprecedented move for Tampa. It's not news at this point, but Olney breaks it down nice and simple. He reiterates what others have said by noting the Mariners, Dodgers, and Rangers as likely suitors. The Rays are looking for a return to include the likes of Jurickson Profar or Taijuan Walker. As an Indians fan, the mind boggles at the potential for misguided comparisons to the Sabathia and Lee trades if something goes down with Price.
Cano never a True YankeeTM says plumpest Jackass | Hardball Talk (Bill Baer) - Speaking of the most high-profile and high-cholesterol former Tribesman-turned-mercenary... according to him, the Yankee pinstripes "didn't mean that much" to former teammate Robinson Cano. Seems to me Cano's new contract is proof positive that he took the Yankee Way© to heart.
Ellsbury contract a "guidepost" for Choo | Twitter (Joel Sherman) - Aside from Price, Shin-Soo Choo is likely the biggest name to be on the move this winter. Sherman's unnamed source unsurprisingly points to the Ellsbury contract as the measuring stick for what to expect when Choo finally signs. Where Choo ends up is, for me personally, the most interesting story of the offseason.
Yankees shopping Ichiro | Hardball Talk (Drew Silva) - Even after Cano's departure and the Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran signings, the Yankees continue their attempt to dominate the news cycle by reportedly putting Ichiro and his last name on the trade block.
Still lots of potential activity at Winter Meetings | Hardball Talk (Craig Calcaterra) - Though the past week has been a flurry of activity, Calcaterra points out that there's still a lot of unanswered questions heading into the Winter Meetings. He also makes the point of discussing the easily forgotten potential for rule changes and the like.
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And that's the baseball world for today. Hope I didn't miss anything major. It feels cold enough here that I'm wracking my brain to do the Celcius/Fahrenheit conversions so I can tell if I'm being a total wimp or not. On that note, here's a fun Canadian fact for the day:
Canada has more donut shops per capita than any other country in the world. Check out this nifty infographic to learn more about Canada than you ever cared to!