1. In the wake of Justin Upton finally coming off the board, much of the baseball news world spent Tuesday trying to drill down the mysterious market for Yoenis Cespedes, and mostly came up with...eh?
The Marlins are mostly cheap save for odd bursts, may or may not be trying to compete in 2016, and currently have three quality outfield starters, so perhaps eliminating them from this bidding war was not the most informative news bite.
A team that wound up signing a corner outfielder was also looking into other corner outfielders. At least this one sparked some brief panic that the Tigers care so little about their financial future that they would pursue both.
Rosenthal went so far as to float a theoretical five-year, $120 million deal the Mets should offer Cespedes with an opt-out after two years and deferred money. In doing so, Rosenthal includes the nugget that Cespedes' personal quirks include chain-smoking between innings, which is the type of bizarre semi-concern that will be fun to use when rationalizing why the Sox were never close to meeting Cespedes' demands anyway.
2. Things are even quieter around Dexter Fowler, a rangy centerfielder who has had five-straight seasons of above-average hitting. Fowler has also not drawn less than a 12% walk rate since 2010, and even started stealing bases last season.
Welcome to the fantastic world of having already talked yourself into Dexter Fowler, punting a draft pick over to the Cubs, and pushing Adam Eaton to a corner. It's wonderful here; Jerry Reinsdorf's profit line is protected, the air is clear because no one is chain-smoking, and there's Fetty Wap and Future booming over the speakers.
If waiting for Cespedes' market to crater is cagey, then pushing on Fowler, who hasn't been directly tied to anyone for a week or more, surely has some merit as well.
Or, I'm just impatient. Either way.
3. In extremely White Sox news, they hired Willie Harris to be the hitting coach for the Rookie League Great Falls Voyagers, which apparently is what the Sox were doing during the Winter Meetings.
Maybe I am growing soft in my old age and less willing to mock the Sox' love of hiring former players--though I would need video evidence of Jerry Reinsdorf telling Bobby Jenks to get lost before I believe there's a member of the 2005 Sox who couldn't get some kind of work if he asked for it--but Willie Harris played 12 years in the bigs and somehow popped 13 home runs in a single season despite being small enough to fit in an overhead bin. He might have a thing or two to say to these young kids.
4. Jordan Danks has signed with the Rangers on a minor league deal after a truly terrible season in the Phillies organization that saw him post a .686 OPS at Lehigh Valley. This probably isn't a great argument that they have now won the John Danks trade, but perhaps it offers some small solace.
It's crazy to look back at hot streaks of marginal players and realize they were actually career peaks masquerading as hot streaks. Jordan Danks got 61 plate appearances, almost exclusively with the platoon advantage in August of 2013 and hit .333/.377/.509, and we should have cherished it more when it was happening.
5. Antoine Randle El's harrowing chronicle of post-football difficulties include some wistfulness about wishing he had pursued his baseball career, sparking some optimism that baseball could be the recipient of the athletes who flee the horrific physical consequences of football.
Beyond this being grotesque, I would hope this doesn't serve as alternative to baseball addressing the problems choking out their talent pool. Pricing out kids in the US, failing to market their top stars or convey a culture identifiable by something other than nostalgia, and the various unnecessary hardships forced on minor leaguers are all things that need to fixed on their own.