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The Batting Order – Feat. Aroldis Chapman, Matt Williams and Adam LaRoche

A look around Major League Baseball and those interesting stories that don’t always get national coverage.

#1 2B – MLB TradeRumors: What are the New York Yankees getting for the $175 million they are paying for Masahiro Tanaka? If you believe Yankees GM Brian Cashman, it’s a pitcher who “has the potential to be a really solid consistent number three starter.”  However Tim Dierkes explains why that is a very conservative projection for Tanaka. Perhaps the better question is what will Tanaka do with all that money?

#2 3B – ABC News: Eli Saslow takes us into the bizarre life of Aroldis Chapman, where he sleeps until dusk and drives too fast for the fast lane, yet talks longingly of his simple life before defecting from Cuba.

#3 CF – Rantsports: Two years ago, Emilio Bonifacio was the darling jack-of-all-trades in Fantasy Baseball, but now he’s being designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals. Doug LaCerte explains why the Royals would chance losing Bonifacio for nothing.

#4 1B – Sportsnet: Shi Davidi takes a look at why teams are being hesitant to bring in Free Agents tied to Draft Pick compensation. Shi explains “…teams forfeiting draft picks in order to land free agents is nothing new. [T]he new system includes the double whammy of the loss of draft signing bonus pool money attached to the lost pick.”

#5 RF – ThinkProcess: I missed this one last week, but is the A-Rod’s suspension a good thing for baseball? Travis Waldron takes a look at all the problems with the Alex Rodriguez investigation and how it has damaged the image of MLB.

#6 SS – Great read from Marcus Hayes on the legacy and perception of an aging Jimmy Rollins. Hayes on Rollins: “His decreasing production and his increased salary have eroded his popularity, even though he finds himself a victim of circumstance and poor planning…. as stars begin to fade, replacements dovetail into the franchise’s framework and either obscure or delay the fading… Rollins enjoyed no such relief, no such camouflage from younger players.“.

#7 C – Denver Post: Any player can have a bobblehead night, but it’s only the special ones who get gnomed.

#8 LF – DC Sports Blog: Sarah Kogod looks at Adam LaRoche’s new favorite off-season hobby: Mountain Lion Hunting. Not many baseball players can pull off that pose so naturally…

#9 P – Washington Post: Adam Kilgore talks to Matt Williams about the unexpected challenges he faced in the darkest year of his life, and how working through them helped prepare him to be the manager of the Washington Nationals.

This day in Baseball History: Feb 12th 2002: Today is one of the darkest days in MLB history. It was on this date twelve years ago that  MLB unanimously approves the sale of the Florida Marlins to the former owner of the Montreal Expos, Jeffrey Loria. What a sad, and depressing day in baseball history.