Here's the latest from Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci….
- Though the Angels won their arbitration hearing with Jered Weaver, Verducci thinks the fact that the case went all the way to a hearing is "a bad sign" for Weaver's future with the Halos. It certainly doesn't help refute the purported hard feelings between the Angels and Weaver's agent Scott Boras.
- Verducci compares the contracts and basic performance stats of Weaver, Chad Billingsley, Jon Lester and Cole Hamels. Verducci guesses Boston saved at least $15MM by signing Lester to a multiyear deal before the 2009 season.
- Just three players (Todd Helton, Raul Ibanez, and Ichiro) aged 36 years old or older managed to play 100 games in the field last season and reach the league average OPS of .728, Verducci writes. This pronounced decline rate for older players is the reason the Cardinals are hesitant to pay Albert Pujols a $30MM annual salary into his late thirties.
- The Rangers are still "the best fit" for Michael Young. Verducci points out that Young should still be able to find lots of playing time with Texas, if not necessarily an everyday spot in the lineup. Given how thin the trade market for Young appears to be, Young also may not have a choice but to remain in Texas.