Only a couple of weeks from Opening Day! Things have been slowing down, but let's take a look at the highlights from the last week:
- We've been hearing for awhile now that Ivan Rodriguez would land with either the Astros or Marlins, and the rumors proved true. Pudge signed a one-year, $1.5MM contract with the Astros this week. He can earn another $1.5MM through incentives. Pudge said he was going to use the World Baseball Classic as a showcase, and while it's a limited sample, he accomplished his goal by going 10-20 with two home runs and 19 total bases.
- The Astros aren't necessarily done yet though. They're reportedly looking to acquire a third baseman in light of Aaron Boone's heart condition. Ed Wade received a call from a team saying they had a third baseman available. Personally, my first thought was Dallas McPherson, but there's lots of other teams out there. Mark Teahen? Brian Buscher? Scott Rolen? What's everyone think?
- John Lackey is less than excited about the Angels' extension offerings. It may be a down economy, but you have to wonder how much Lackey could fetch on the free agent market in spite of the market. If the Angels don't lock him up, he'll be the top starter out there. How much is he worth?
- The Nationals made two signings this week. First, they inked Joe Beimel to a one-year, $2MM deal. Later in the week, following the release of Josh Bard by the Red Sox, the Nats signed him to a minor league deal. Bard isn't far removed from a few good seasons with the Padres.
- Peter Gammons took a look at what we can expect for a price tag on Stephen Strasburg in this year's June draft. Gammons ventures that Scott Boras could demand a ridiculous six years, $50MM if the Nats take Strasburg first overall. Personally, I can't see any team ponying up like that. Strasburg had downright ridiculous numbers in 2008, and is continuing that pace in 2009, but that seems like too much to swallow.
- Offseason Review updates this week: Rangers, Reds, Indians, Diamondbacks, and Blue Jays.