ESPN's Jayson Stark leads his latest column by explaining why realignment doesn't make sense, and how it'd be shortsighted to make changes based on the Yankees and Red Sox. On to his hot stove rumblings…
- One GM's rankings of the five 2011 free agent starters likely to sign multiyear deals: Cliff Lee, Javier Vazquez, Jorge de la Rosa, Aaron Harang, and Ted Lilly. Health risks and one-year deal types were considered separately. De La Rosa, who recently turned 29, will be an interesting contract year pitcher to follow. He makes his season debut Friday afternoon against the Padres.
- One exec explained that Bryce Harper is not in the same class as guys like Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. were when they were drafted.
- Why did Kiko Calero find little interest on the free agent market after a strong 2009? Said one exec: "The medicals are so bad that everybody's wary."
- An official of a big market club feels that Albert Pujols will ask for Alex Rodriguez money, rather than Joe Mauer/Mark Teixeira dollars. That exec feels it's obvious the Cardinals will find a way to sign Pujols, even at that price.