Welcome to the bullpen. This is Gregg Snyder and I will be your tour guide as we chat about the latest news surrounding Major League Baseball. Have a seat along the bench and at the end, feel free to comment with your questions and/or comments...
The new CBA between the owners and players is nearing completion. It's refreshing to finally have a deal put together without too much arguing. Commissioner Bud Selig announced the approval of the sale of the Houston Astros. As part of the sale, it was required the team move to the American League. The move to the AL will result in each league having an odd number of 15 teams.
Due to the odd number, Interleague Play will happen throughout the entire season. Houston will join in AL in 2013.
Another change will be the addition of two more wild card teams. Each league will add a wild card team, resulting in five teams from each side making the playoffs. The two wild card teams in each league are expected to play a one game playoff prior to the League Division Series round. This puts more emphasis on winning your division.
Three of the more historic teams in baseball will have new managers this coming season. The St. Louis Cardinals have hired Mike Matheny after Tony LaRussa announced his retirement after winning the World Series. The Chicago Cubs and new GM Theo Epstein have hired Dale Sveum. Epsteins former team, the Boston Red Sox are still going through the search to replace Terry Francona.
Toronto Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo will have a second interview with Boston. Others mentioned as potential managers in Boston are Detroit third base coach Gene Lamont, Sandy Alomar Jr., and Bobby Valentine.
Big Name Free Agents
Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols are the two biggest names on the free agent market this year. Both have received offers from the Miami Marlins. Reyes was offered a six year deal while Pujols was offerend nine. While the two are unlikely to accept their initial offers, it is quite possible they sign with new teams.
The Mets believe Reyes will give them a chance to match any other offer. St. Louis has said in the case of Pujols signing elsewhere, don't expect the Cardinals to pursue free agent Prince Fielder.
The Mets have made it known Daniel Murphy is available to be had on the trade market. New York had brief talks with the Rockies about a trade involving Huston Street and Mike Pelfrey.
There seems to be plenty of interest in free agent DH David Ortiz, including division rivals Toronto and Baltimore.
While C.J. Wilson is the biggest pitching name available, White Sox free agent Mark Buehrle could be in demand. Buehrle has at least 13 teams showing interest.
Wilson and his agent has asked the Yankees for a meeting in New York. The Yankees told the lefty they will get back to him. They may feel his price is too high at this time and will wait.
New York has prospects to deal in a trade if they can not find a free agent pitcher they like. The Yankees have shown interest in pitchers like Matt Garza, Gio Gonzalez, and John Danks. They could also resign Freddy Garcia.
Veteran shortstop Rafael Furcal apparently has eight teams showing interest. Four of those teams however are interested in Furcal moving to second base. The veteran is seeking a multi-year deal.
Thank you for joining us for some Bullpen Chatter. You can catch more sports new from Gregg at www.doublegsports.com, or stay right here at www.sportspagenetwork.com and enjoy!