Just a few notes and links on this fairly quiet Saturday…
Or it was fairly quiet until news broke that Ryan Braun tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Braun has denied any wrongdoing in statement.
• Good job by the guys over at River Ave. Blues, who actually got Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker to translate the Hiroyuki Nakajima article I linked to earlier today. “I thought ‘Whoa!’ I got a bid from a great team,’” Nakajima said. The article went on to say it’s likely he’ll sign because he badly wants to play in the states.
• The Yankees have re-signed minor league right-hander Kelvin Perez.
• Found this old post from a Nationals blog about Yankees Rule 5 pick Brad Meyers. The guy walks almost no one, and injuries slowed his progress in the upper levels of the minors.
• New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine says setup man Daniel Bard will be prepped as a starter – not as the team’s next closer — when Boston reports to spring training.
• Smart move by the Rays to lock up young starter Matt Moore to a reasonable deal. Obviously there’s risk involved, but Moore’s awfully good, and this is the kind of move that lets a smaller market team like the Rays stay competitive.
• Aggressive move by the Diamondbacks, who traded their top pitching prospect in a package to acquire Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow. Arizona clearly sees an opportunity to win now in that weak National League West.
• Manny Ramirez is officially back on the market. Major League Baseball approved his reinstatement.
• Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson were introduced during a fairly wild press conference in Anaheim. “It took me a couple of days to think about it,” Pujols said. “I felt it was time to make a decision, and at the end, I know it was a tough one.”
• Jimmy Rollins is still out there, but the Cardinals went ahead and signed Rafael Furcal to a two-year deal.
Assocaited Press photo