Happy Sunday morning. I have recently discovered that after years of thinking I don’t like grits—soupy! flavorless!—I made some the other day and they were delicious. I guess I had only ever had bad restaurant grits? Anyway, my new favorite breakfast is cheesy grits with bacon and an egg cracked over the top. Such a good stick-to-your-ribs winter breakfast. Howsabout you cozy up with something of your own and take in today’s links:
In Mariners news:
- The Mariners have sent RHP Juan Then to MLB’s annual Rookie Development Program, which is all virtual this year. Then said he has particularly benefited from learning about how to manage his diet and being careful about taking supplements that might contain hidden banned ingredients. Then also spoke some about the difficulties of living in his part of the DR, Duarte Province, where the coronavirus hit the community hard and made it difficult for him to be able to train. Thankfully, his grandmother has a field behind her house he could use for workouts, and he was later able to hook up with Hanser Alberto’s trainer and work with the two of them.
- Former Mariner Andrew Moore is headed to the Tigers on a minor-league deal—the team he made his MLB debut against.
- Mariners coach Carson Vitale is running 10 miles a day and donating any money he raises to the United Way of King County, where he is also a volunteer. (Also, I did not know he was a British Columbia native! His hometown paper has a whole story here.) Carson has pledged .50 per mile in donations to the United Way; if you want to contribute to his cause, you can do that here. And you can keep up with Carson’s daily runs—he posts every day’s progress on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Around the League:
- The Mariners didn’t go to arbitration with any of their players, but that wasn’t the case for two other AL West rivals. Carlos Correa filed at $12.5M, while the Astros filed at $9.75M. Shohei Ohtani and the Angels will also be headed to arbitration; Ohtani filed at $3.3M, while the Angels offered $2.5M. Both these teams are reportedly “file-and-trial” teams, meaning there is no more negotiation beyond the initial filings. This will be the second time Correa heads to arbitration with the Astros; he defeated them in 2019, earning $5M.
- Speaking of soon to be former Astros, George Springer has indicated he would prefer to play near his home state of Connecticut. The Extremely Online Steve Cohen immediately popped up in the replies to the tweet, because of course he did. I would be extremely pro Springer heading to the Mets, if only so we don’t have to watch him hit a leadoff home run against the Mariners twenty times a year anymore.
- Kurt Suzuki reportedly turned down more money in other deals to sign with the Angels. I guess he’s just a real Orange County kind of guy.
- Martín Perez will be returning to the Red Sox after they declined his $6.85M option earlier this off-season. The deal is pending a physical.
- Former A’s pitcher Dave Stewart has submitted a $115M bid to buy Oakland’s share of the Coliseum site. If the proposed new ballpark at Howard Terminal doesn’t materialize, Stewart says he’s open to building a new ballpark on the Coliseum site.
- It might seem obvious, but Rob Arthur at Baseball Prospectus ($) finds that teams with more analysts on staff do “win” trades more often—and worse, those analyst-poor teams don’t seem to learn the lesson about trading with analyst-rich teams even after getting beaten in trades.
- The universal DH is still being debated, but it seems like seven-inning doubleheaders (yay!) and the courtesy runner in extras (boo!) are here to stay, per Bob Nightengale.
I love birds (apparently), and I love Prince, and I love love love this thread of “Prince as Birds.”