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Baseball Hump Day Links

Happy Wednesday! Today marks the last Wednesday in January which means that February is only a few days away which means… Spring Training is about to get rolling! I have already seen some tweets by some minor league guys heading down to their facilities to get a head start. In most cities today in North America it looks nothing like baseball weather, Atlanta is shut down over a small snow storm and 12F weather, San Diego is a balmy 59F and up here Toronto we have a windchill of -17F/-27C!

All is well because we know the warm weather is not too far away and baseball activities will be starting soon! Now on to some great baseball links for the last Hump Day of  this cold mean January!

Over at MLBTR – A.J. Burnett Will Pitch in 2014, Test Open Market & Fangraphs –  A.J.: New & Best Option

Originally at the end of 2013 the belief was that AJ would retire or come back to pitch for the Pirates, it made sense as he apparently enjoyed his time with the Pirates and at 37 he still has something left but he wanted to consider his options and potentially retire. However the word now is that he plans to test the open market, which also makes a lot of sense since he will be a very attractive option for teams as he has no draft compensation and will most likely only demand a 1 year contract.

Dave Cameron at Fangraphs looks at – Spending $50 Million on Two Very Different Pitchers

“Early in the off-season, Ricky Nolasco signed with the Minnesota Twins for $49 million over four years. Over the weekend, Matt Garza signed with the Milwaukee Brewers for $50 million over four years. While these contracts are nearly identical, the two pitchers could hardly be more different.”

Rob Neyer – There will always be room for Jamie Moyer

Sadly this long piece is Rob’s last at, I have enjoyed is work and it was a huge win for SBNation to bring him onboard 3 years ago. No doubt he will be moving somewhere else but he was a great name for SBNation.

Another from SBNation – David Ortiz rumors: ‘Time to move on’ if Red Sox won’t offer multiyear deal

This is an interesting thought even though I doubt it happens, I can’t imagine him not play for the Red Sox. Despite Ortiz’s age (38) he keeps being productive and over the last few years we keep hearing a similar story from Ortiz that he is upset the Red Sox wont give him a multi-year deal or extension. He of course did get a 2 year deal covering the 13/14 seasons but he claims wants an extension or he will look to move on. Ortiz is on his 6th contract with the Red Sox since being signed back in 2003 but this is most likely just Ortiz pushing for an extension with treats.

From – MLB approves padded cap for pitchers

“We’re excited to have a product that meets our safety criteria,” MLB’s executive vice president for labor relations Dan Halem told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Tuesday. “MLB is committed to working with manufacturers to develop products that offer maximum protection to our players, and we’re not stopping at all.”

This development came almost 17 months after pitcher Brandon McCarthy, then with the Athletics, sustained serious head injuries after being struck by a line drive, an incident that triggered increased discussion about ways to protect pitchers.”

Interestingly enough Brandon McCarthy at this time does not plan on wearing the new padded hat. It is a great option to have as seeing a pitcher take one to the head is a terrible sight. Last year we saw JA Happ take a nasty line drive, amazingly his biggest injury was his knee, here is the video if you can stomach it:

Happy Wednesday! Bundle up if you’re not in San Diego and dream of warm weather and remembering what grass looks like. Sadly I have not seen my grass for about 7 weeks as its been covered in snow but I digress…