A few stray items to pass along on this Saturday evening …
- The Braves plan to increase their payroll over 2011's $87MM Opening Day figure, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Atlanta could bring back arbitration eligibles Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado, Michael Bourn, Tommy Hanson and Eric O'Flaherty, and still be able to increase payroll, but "trading one or more of those players would enable them to spend more," according to Rosenthal. We've already seen the Braves try to trade Jurrjens and Prado, but a potential deal with the Royals fell through.
- The sale of the Dodgers was one of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's final big chores before likely retirement after 2012, according to Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune. Next on Selig's to-do list, per Rogers: Deciding on whether to approve Jim Crane's purchase of the Astros; getting the Mets back in solid financial standing; and resolving the untenable stadium situations of the Athletics and Rays.
- The Indians have signed 17-year-old Venezuelan catcher Henry Lunar, according to ElTiempo.com.ve (Spanish link, translated by MLBTR's Nick Collias).
- Cubs president Theo Epstein will be the front man in the North Siders' efforts to secure funding for a $300MM proposal to improve the conditions of Wrigley Field, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.