On a day when Jonathan Papelbon switched teams and the Miami Marlins were officially born, the biggest and best news was unquestionably Wilson Ramos' rescue from kidnappers in his native Venezuela. Here are a few other items as we head into the weekend…
- The Astros' potential sale to Jim Crane is on the agenda at next week's owners meetings, reports The Associated Press. Two sources say Crane, Drayton McLane and Major League Baseball have "reached an understanding" on how the Astros could move to the American League in 2013.
- Crane could be getting as much as an $80MM discount off his original price for the team by agreeing to move the Astros to the AL, tweets Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman.
- Grady Sizemore is looking for a one-year contract so he can re-establish his value for a longer-term deal next winter, reports Jon Heyman (Twitter link). Heyman makes the comparison to the one-year deal Adrian Beltre signed with the Red Sox before the 2010 season, which saw Beltre have a big season and earn a multiyear deal with the Rangers last winter. Sizemore won't match the $10MM Beltre got from Boston, but a $6-7MM deal with incentives seems reasonable.
- Heyman says the Athletics are interested in Sizemore but are worried about his health and his asking price.
- With the Phillies reportedly interested in both Sizemore and Jason Kubel, Fangraphs' Eric Seidman argues that Sizemore is the better choice for the Phils.
- The Phillies want to sign Michael Cuddyer and re-sign Jimmy Rollins but the club finds both players' asking prices to be too high, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- Major League Baseball and the Players' Association are expected to "continue to negotiate amicably" about the new collective bargaining agreement over the weekend, reports Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Also from Rosenthal, he thinks teams take a major risk by hiring managers with little or no Major League managing or coaching experience.
- The Pirates' offseason moves will be influenced by the number of players on the roster who are out of options, writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.