• Looks like the biggest news since I checked out of the hotel, got to the airport, went through security and finally got in the air is that Joba Chamberlain has signed a one-year, $2.5-million deal with the Tigers. Obviously Chamberlain is looking for a sort of fresh start, with a chance to reestablish himself as a potential setup man (or maybe even better). He struggled at the end of his time with the Yankees, and it was pretty clear that both the team and the reliever were heading different directions this winter.
• Here’s the Rockies take on Rule 5 pick Tommy Kahnle, who was drafted away from the Yankees: “We had a couple of above-average reports on him as it relates to projection,” the Rockies’ director of professional scouting told MLB.com. “He pitches at 96-98 (mph), a big, strong right-hander, good slider, attacks the zone very aggressively. He has a big, strong durable build. We felt with the power he brings, he could bring a nice complement to compete for our bullpen.”
• Of course, the Rule 5 pick that’s generated the most attention came in the minor league phase when the Rangers selected a second baseman named Russell Wilson, who happens to be currently playing quarterback — and playing it well — for the Seahawks. The Rangers saw it as an opportunity to become associated with Wilson in some way, even if it’s only to have him speak to their minor leaguers a few times. Pretty cool, I think. Can’t remember a pick quite like it.
• And just to clarify because I’ve seen some confusion in the comments and on Twitter: Players chosen in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 are basically gone for good. They don’t have to be kept on any particular roster. That means Ravel Santana, Mikey O’Brien, Kelvin Castro and Felipe Gonzalez won’t be coming back to the Yankees. Santana’s the biggest name of that group because of what he used to be, but the Yankees have not sounded optimistic about him for quite a while now.
• Joel Sherman reports that the Yankees current offer to Omar Infante is three years, $24 million. That seems pretty far from what Infante is looking for, but he’s obviously still on the board for a reason.
Associated Press photo