I don't actually know whether there's going to five, but here goes:
Here's my article today at Hardball Times--it's on Bill Hall (big surprise, eh?). I look at the deal and compare it to a couple of other similar recent contracts.
- This is old news, but Tony Armas joins the Pirates. He'll compete with Shawn Chacon or something. Armas isn't a great pitcher and probably will never ever be above average, but I did point out in my Pirates preview that they desperately need more rotation depth. So this isn't an awful signing for Littlefield.
- With ten days till pitchers and catchers report, we're reduced to the Steve Trachsel watch. Rosenthal thinks Houston should sign him, sort of like the Pirates signing Armas, so that the Astros don't have to rely on a rotation full of kids. I may end up writing an column about that in the near future.
Marc Normandin looked at some first basemen this weekend, Prince Fielder among them. Marc points out that there was very little luck involved in Prince's stats last year, so we can expect him to continue at the same pace.
- Another Baseball Blog has part two of his report from an event with Doug Melvin
- As Roguejim pointed out in a comment, Rick Helling has retired. David Pinto points out that it's more like he was laid off. Such is the way of old pitchers. I'd be surprised, though, if nobody offered him at least a triple-A deal with an invite to spring training.
- Speaking of Triple-A deals, apparently three teams have offered them to Tony Batista. This is the same Tony Batista whose career OBP is about .012. (Okay, it's .298.) The dude got 110 RBIs in 2004 with a .272 OBP. Really. I bring this up because of the teams who might want depth at third base...well, we're among them. If it comes down to Batista or David Bell--well, that Graffasell platoon looks pretty good.