Digging into today's random links...
- Joel Sherman looks at what went wrong for the Yankees this year. Did they fall too in love with their farm system?
- At least six teams have called the Pirates about third baseman Andy LaRoche in recent weeks. If LaRoche pans out and Pedro Alvarez comes aboard, the Bucs could have a surplus at some point.
- Craig Harris examines the rise of D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes.
- Eddie Bajek updated the Elias rankings for the AL 1B/OF/DH category. They're fluctuating wildly. Eddie also did catchers for both leagues; Ivan Rodriguez is headed into Type B territory. Gregg Zaun lost Type B status.
- Mike Hindman conducted a roundtable asking what kind of contract the Rangers should offer Milton Bradley.
- 29 teams passed on Rays reliever Grant Balfour last spring. Now he has a 1.62 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 50 innings. Balfour's been through a lot.
- Joe McDonald and Sean McAdam don't see the Red Sox signing A.J. Burnett (or any big-name free agent starter).
- Padres CEO Sandy Alderson scoffed at the idea of a $40MM payroll for '09. I never heard that figure tossed around; Buster Olney suggested the $50MM range.
- Maury Brown heard a rumor that Thomas Ricketts won the bid for the Cubs.
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