MLB…More from the Hot Stove.

MLB…More from the Hot Stove.
I love this time of the baseball off-season. I can’t help it. The trades, the free agent signings, the surprises, the intrigue…I just to find it to be a lot of fun, and its’ kind of like the walk-up music to spring training.
First up is the heating-up of a trade between the Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies for closer Jonathan Paplebon. Several sources in the baseball spectrum have confirmed that talks are taking place.
I had reported last week on the comeback attempt of two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana. He had been shut town by his team in the Venezuelan League due to arm fatigue. Luckily for Santana, an MRI revealed no damage, and he is expected to resume throwing soon.
Former New York Yankee and now free agent outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is close to a one-year deal with the Miami Marlins. The Marlins are quietly building the core of a good team, and Ichiro Suzuki will be a good player for the young Fish to learn from, plus he will not exactly hurt ticket sales, either. Suzuki is 41 years-old and currently has amassed 2,844 hits with the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees. I would like to see him play long enough to collect his 3,000th hit.
Even though this does not involve on-the-field talent, it is important baseball news. Baltimore Orioles Executive Vice-President Dan Duquette is closing in on a deal that will see him go to the Toronto Blue Jays and take over as President and CEO. Orioles owner Peter Angelos has stated that he believes that Duquette will stay with the team.
Free agent outfielder Johnny Gomes has reached agreement on a one year / $4M contract with the Atlanta Braves. It is believed the Gomes will platoon in leftfield with Zoilo Almonte.
The Chicago White Sox were busy tying up loose ends heading into spring training by signing C Geovany Soto and P Brad Penny to contracts.
The San Francisco Giants DFA’d IF Marco Scutaro, but said they plan on retaining and working with him while he rehabs from spinal fusion surgery which could be career-ending.
In a piece of news that I thought was interesting, P Dontrelle Willis has reached agreement on a minor league contract with and invitation to spring training with the Milwaukee Brewers. Willis has not appeared in the major leagues since 2011. It is interesting to note that Willis was one of the better-hitting pitchers in baseball, and if he catches on in Milwaukee, he could be an added surprise.
Another interesting story involves the Boston Red Sox. The team is not really sure about what they are going to do with OF Allen Craig this year, so they are considering playing him at third base for a few games. In the minors, Craig’s primary position was at 3B until 2008.

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