On this day in 2006, the Cubs signed Alfonso Soriano to an eight-year, $136MM deal. In five seasons with Chicago, Soriano has a slash line of .266/.320/.498 and has averaged 129 games per year. Here are some links for Sunday afternoon..
- Mark Townsend of Yahoo! Sports is surprised at what teams are paying for sure-handed middle infielders. Specifically, he says the Twins and Dodgers paid role players like final pieces to the puzzle and are counting on them for too much (referring to Jamey Carroll and Mark Ellis, respectively).
- Eric Young Jr. decided to play in Venezuela this offseason in order to gain more experience playing second base, writes Rafael Rojas Cremonesi for the Denver Post. Young played second base just seven times for the Rockies last season, and is 6-for-20 with three steals in his first six games.
- Luke Scott would be open to negotiating a new deal with the Orioles if he's non-tendered, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Scott is projected to earn $6MM in arbitration.
- Bobby Valentine expects to meet with Red Sox GM Ben Cherington on Monday and could emerge as the favorite for the job if his meeting goes well, a source tells Jeff Passan of Yahoo (via Twitter).
- Astros owner Jim Crane is prepared to make a swift decision on the futures of president Tal Smith and GM Ed Wade, writes Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle.
- There are team executives who are furious with aspects of the new labor agreement, writes ESPN.com's Buster Olney. Some believe that MLB's new draft structure hurts the league's small-market and mid-market clubs. One GM told Olney that the changes don't solve any problems and actually make some worse.