Odds & Ends: Alfaro, Brewers, Byrnes, Giambi

Monday links, as we await a flurry of players avoiding arbitration…

  • The Rangers signed 16-year-old Colombian catcher Jorge Alfaro for $1.3MM, reports Jesse Sanchez of MLB.comClick here to watch video, courtesy of Kiley McDaniel.
  • The Mariners agreed to sign 17-year-old righty Kevin Quintanilla out of El Salvador.
  • Here's a link to Jon Heyman's latest at SI.com, where he ranks which teams have had the best offseasons so far.
  • ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Yankees did not make an offer to Jerry Hairston Jr., nor have they had recent contact with Johnny Damon.
  • Olney also says the Rockies "are staying in contact with Jason Giambi, but they are considering other options first."
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel names the Brewers' arb-eligible seven, while also noting that GM Doug Melvin "remains in touch with the agents for free-agent lefties Doug Davis and Jarrod Washburn."
  • Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes about the Blue Jays' six arb-eligibles, noting that GM Alex Anthopoulos will not negotiate beyond Tuesday's deadline.
  • Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner believes Eric Byrnes is a fit for the Ms, though he acknowledges that the team already has several injury-prone players.  Cameron would be willing to pay about $1MM for Byrnes.  Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic looks back at the positive side of Byrnes' Arizona tenure.
  • In a FanGraphs article, Cameron says the WAR stat does value relievers correctly, and teams are just overpaying for closers.
  • WEEI's Rob Bradford wonders if Jonathan Papelbon's 2010 salary will lead to Theo Epstein's first arbitration hearing.
  • White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko told MLB.com's Scott Merkin that he wants to stay with the team beyond 2010, the last year of his current contract.
  • Yahoo's Jeff Passan examines the Athletics, who he feels are set up to contend in 2011.
  • At the Cubs Convention over the weekend, GM Jim Hendry said fans can "expect to have two new faces" before Spring Training.  The Cubs seek a reliever and a bench bat.