These days it takes more than a dollar to get a can of soda from a vending machine. Back in 1936, a dollar represented the late Bob Feller's signing bonus with the Indians. Pretty nice bargain for the Tribe on that one.
Onto tonight's links…
- Orlando Hudson is running out of suitors, but ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill suggests the Blue Jays could be a potential match, with Aaron Hill moving to third base to accomodate Hudson at second. Hudson was originally drafted by Toronto in 1997 and played four seasons for the Jays before being dealt to Arizona following the 2005 season.
- The White Sox are pushing their payroll to new heights, and ESPNChicago.com's Doug Padilla suggests they might consider trading Edwin Jackson to create some salary breathing room.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com (Twitter link) has the breakdown of Cliff Lee's annual salaries with the Phillies. Lee will earn $11MM next season, $21.5MM in 2012, and then $25MM per season from 2013 to 2015, plus the previously-reported vesting option for 2016. Rosenthal tweets that Lee's $27.5MM vesting option in 2016 becomes a club option for the same total if it fails to vest, but in such a situation it seems a lock that Philadelphia would just pay Lee the $12.5MM buyout.
- There was no pressure put on Lee by the players' union to take the largest contract offer, says Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman (Twitter link). "As long as a player makes an informed choice, we're happy," says MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner.
- Jesse Crain spoke about his all-but-official contract with the White Sox in an interview on KFAN 1130 AM in Minneapolis, and MLB.com's Scott Merkin reports on the highlights of the chat. Crain said he was swayed by the chance to close games and Chicago's offer of a three-year deal, also noting that "the Twins didn't really make an offer" to re-sign him.
- Washington GM Mike Rizzo says Oakland's offer for Josh Willingham was better than any of the offers he received for Willingham before last year's trade deadline, tweets MASNsports.com's Ben Goessling.
- The Tigers have the young pitching (Andy Oliver or Jacob Turner) and middle infield prospects (Danny Worth, Will Rhymes, Scott Sizemore) to meet Kansas City's asking price for Zack Greinke, writes Steve Kornacki of MLive.com. Count me as skeptical — it's hard to see the Royals dealing Greinke to a division rival unless they got an absolute monster of an offer, and they'd probably ask Detroit for both Oliver and Turner just as a starting point.
- ESPN's Keith Law covered such topics as Jay Bruce's extension, the 2011 amateur draft and the spate of multi-year contracts for relievers in an online chat with fans today.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com outlines ten of the major holes that various contending teams still need to fill this winter.