Before we get into the links, The Associated Press is reporting some of the changes in baseball’s new labor contract.
NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball’s new labor contract includes more video replay, the chance for a longer All-Star break and a small, but likely welcome perk for players: the chance to get a private room instead of a roommate during spring training.
The Associated Press obtained the document that includes several changes, many of them starting next year.
Teams from the same division will now be allowed to meet in the playoffs before the league championship series. There’s also a ban on players getting tattoos with corporate logos and the possibility that major leaguers can wear microphones during games.
• In a reader poll over at MLBTradeRumors, the Yankees were picked as the favorites to sign Yu Darvish, but the Yankees themselves are creating the exact opposite impression, saying they like Darvish but don’t want to pay the lofty cost to acquire him.
I realize this seems odd coming from the Yankees, but this is the impression they’ve been making — both publicly and privately — all winter. Maybe it’s a misdirect, but right now this doesn’t look like a winter of heavy spending, and Darvish certainly counts as heavy spending.
• Lou Piniella is reportedly on his way back to the Yankees to serve as a special instructor in spring training and as an occasional analyst on the YES Network.
• Didn’t take Greg Golson long to land on his feet. The former Yankees outfielder — released just a few days ago — has already signed a minor league deal with the Royals.
• Speaking of former Yankees, Jose Veras has been traded from the Pirates to the Brewers for third baseman Casey McGehee (meant to mention this yesterday). Veras was pretty good for Pittsburgh last year, but the Pirates traded him before paying him more money through arbitration.
• The Twins have reportedly come to an agreement with Josh Willingham (or maybe they’re just close to an agreement) but you have to assume Willingham takes them out of the mix to re-sign Michael Cuddyer.
• I know how much all of you love Dallas Braden: He’s agreed to a one-year deal with Oakland, avoiding arbitration.
Assocaited Press photo