With just days to go before the start of spring training, the MLB has entered a lull. But big-name free agents remain on the market, meaning there's plenty of buzz still being made in the league.
It's not all free agent news either, with this little tidbit making obvious headlines.
Latest Updates on Michael Bourn
Michael Bourn remains the top remaining free agent, but interest in the center fielder remains minimal.
Currently, the New York Mets are the only team pushing for Bourn's services, which includes a nice chat with David Wright. Per the New York Post's Kevin Kernan, Wright said of Bourn:
I just wanted to let him know that he would be a great addition here and he’d obviously be welcomed here.
I talked to him a couple weeks ago, and I told him, ‘You’re always in the right place at the right time, your work counts.’ I’ve always had great respect for him and the way he plays the game and have always kind of chatted with him when he gets to third base.
The big speed bump of course is cost, with MLB Trade Rumors reporting the Mets currently offering in the vicinity of Angel Pagan's four years and $40 million.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Scott Boras claims to have offers from plenty of other teams, and the Mets are pushing for proof of said offers since no other teams seem interested.
The only other team name that's been whispered is the Cleveland Indians, with ESPN's Buster Olney tweeting:
Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN
Indians among the teams that might have interest in Michael Bourn if his price tag dropped A LOT. Lots of clubs trolling for bargains now.2/5/2013, 8:01:35 PM
But a Scott Boras asking price coming down is practically out of the realm of possibilities.
So as long as the Mets stand their ground—and these other teams really are phantoms—then they remain the most likely destination for Bourn.
Cardinals' Rotation Situation
Tough news for the St. Louis Cardinals this week, with general manager John Mozeliak announcing this week that Chris Carpenter will miss the entirety of the 2013 with a should injury (h/t CBS Sports).
It's highly speculated that the 37-year-old will lean toward retirement, with CBS Sports' Danny Knobler tweeting:
Danny Knobler @DannyKnobler
Cardinals announce Chris Carpenter "can't continue to throw" at this point. Not yet a retirement announcement, but it doesn't sound good2/5/2013, 7:32:38 PM
The Redbirds' rotation remains anchored by Adam Wainwright—with young studs like Shelby Miller on their way—but losing Carpenter is still a blow.
If you think St. Louis would turn toward free-agent pitcher Kyle Lohse, think again. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted this week:
Joe Strauss @JoeStrauss
Cards interest in Lohse "negligible at this time."2/5/2013, 8:54:51 PM
Even though Lohse had Cy Young numbers in St. Louis, the team has the chance at a compensatory draft pick by letting the 34-year-old go.
That, combined with the Cardinals' young talent, and it's safe to assume the team stays put with its current starting options.
Elvis Andrus Gives Mixed Signals on Future
In a very short time, Elvis Andrus has grown into one of the top players at the MLB's thinnest positions. It seems a no-brainer that Texas would want to hold on to him.
But with an increasing wealth in the infield (namely Jurickson Profar), the Rangers have plenty to gain—and not much to lose—by moving Andrus.
Andrus came through the Texas system and has seen tremendous success there. It would make sense for the 24-year-old to want to stay.
In a recent interview with The Ben and Skin Show on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM, Andrus said of a long-term deal:
I think everybody has to be on the same page to get there. I’m happy. I’ve still got two more years on my contract, and then we’ll see what happens. We’re still talking about it. That’s all I can say.
It seems the shortstop would enjoy staying in Texas, but is in no rush for a long-term deal since he wants to "see what happens." Not to mention that he's a Scott Boras client.
Seeing how well things went with the Rangers and other big free agents in the past, letting Andrus test the market could mean losing him.
At least they have him for two more years.
Ryan Braun and PEDs, Again
Last year Ryan Braun was named the National League's MVP. Not long after, he was linked to a positive test for PEDs by the MLB.
Braun took his case up with the MLB and won.
Once again Braun has been linked to PEDs in baseball. In a recent Yahoo Sports article by Tim Brown and Jeff Passan, it was reported that Braun's name had been listed in records of a PED clinic.
Braun later released a statement (h/t CBS Sports) in which he said:
During the course of preparing for my successful appeal last year, my attorneys, who were previously familiar with Tony Bosch, used him as a consultant.
There was a dispute over compensation for Bosch's work, which is why my lawyer and I are listed under 'moneys owed' and not on any other list.
Braun's story makes sense, but it still raises questions after being linked to PEDs a second year in a row.
Leading up to spring training, it will be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out.