Yinz guys need to figure this out
One of the fascinating subplots of the off season has been the Andrew McCutchen saga in Pittsburgh. It started at the Winter Meetings, where it seemed like a McCutchen trade was a near certainty. Afterward, the dust settled and McCutchen was still a Pirate. This was followed by Pirates general manager Neal Hutchinson providing a terrific soundbite, basically saying that McCutchen is not not available.
"Our intent coming in here was to have Andrew McCutchen in our lineup going forward. No one changed that," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. "It's unlikely that someone changes that going forward. We're not going to close the door, but we're not going to be making calls."
So, is anybody going to bite?
The issue isn’t that McCutchen is a bad player. I think he will bounce back from a down offensive year. It’s that he is a terrible center fielder who still thinks he can play center field. Not to mention, the Pirates are valuing him as such. If a team can convince him to play a corner outfield position, there is plenty of value there.
This is incredibly cliché, but I also believe it:
Scout predicts "monster" year for McCutchen. "Hardest worker. Most determined kid in game"— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 27, 2016
Fond memories of simpler times
Here’s a reminder that Mark Buehrle pitched in a World Series game after drinking more than a couple beers.
Gifts for everyone
I didn’t say how big
Last season, league salaries went up their lowest amount since 2004, which sounds bad. However, it was heavily affected by the sheer number of injuries. The average MLB salary is still almost $4 million.
Minor league thoughts
For your free time.
Classic offseason fodder: what would you rename baseball teams today? These are surprisingly well done. The physics of Derek Norris throwing from his knees. How college bowl games fit into MLB stadiums. More changes are coming to help pace of play.