Some news items to take us into the weekend….
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer hears from some player agents that Joey Votto will submit an arbitration number between $8.5-$9.5MM, while the Reds' counter-offer will be around $7MM. Back in August, MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith suggested that Votto would ask for $7MM, but since then Votto has added a playoff appearance and the NL MVP Award to his resume. Of course, arbitration talk could be moot if Votto and the Reds agree to an extension.
- The White Sox don't have room in the rotation to bring back Freddy Garcia, says MLB.com's Scott Merkin as part of a reader mailbag.
- The Royals' agreement with Jeff Francis is "the best deal of the winter in free agency," according to Dave Cameron of Fangraphs.
- ESPN's Jayson Stark examines at the high number of expensive and/or long-term contracts signed this winter.
- Lance Berkman talks to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about his offseason training regiment and how much pressure he's putting on himself to perform for the Cardinals. "If I have a repeat of last year I'm probably out of the game," Berkman says.
- The top ten most favorable trades in Reds history are counted down by the Cincinnati Enquirer's Nick Hurm. Recent deals for Brandon Phillips and Bronson Arroyo are included, but it's hard to top the Cincinnati/Houston trade that installed Joe Morgan into the Big Red Machine.