Happy birthday to Kevin Youkilis (33), Jon Jay (27) and Leo Nun...er, make that Juan Oviedo (30). This is the first time Oviedo has been able to publicly celebrate his actual birthday in several years, as he kept a listed birthday of August 14, 1983 while living under the Leo Nunez identity.
Here's some news from around the major leagues as we head into Friday...
- Matt Cain's agent Rick Landrum tells John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that "we'll never give up hope" that Cain and the Giants can work out a contract extension before Opening Day. There hasn't been much progress in recent negotiations but the two sides "remain open for business," as Shea writes.
- In addition to Cain, there have been no new developments over the last week in Cole Hamels' extension talks with the Phillies, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
- Also from Olney (via Twitter), he hears from evaluators that there isn't much trade talk overall around the majors. Olney predicts things will probably pick up in 10 days or so, once teams start to sort out their needs for their Opening Day rosters.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto has had at least two face-to-face meetings since Monday with Erick Aybar's representatives, reports Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles. Aybar is believed to be looking for an extension of at least five years. Dipoto recently said that he thought an extension with Aybar was possible, if not necessarily by Opening Day.
- The Padres were discussing a one-year, $9MM contract with Francisco Rodriguez over the winter before the club saw an opportunity to acquire Huston Street, reports Scott Miller of CBS Sports. San Diego also talked to free agent Frank Francisco and asked the Athletics about Andrew Bailey.
- The Royals' extension with Alcides Escobar is the team's latest step in locking up its young talent, reports MLB.com's Dick Kaegel. "[Owners] Dan and David Glass are determined to keep as many of these young players together as we can, knowing full well that it has to fit within our salary structure and our payroll going forward," Moore said. "It's going to get a little sticky for us, it's going to get a little hairy as we get into 2014-15-16." Moore declined to comment on the progress of contract talks with another of Kansas City's young stars, Alex Gordon.
- The well-traveled Octavio Dotel shares some of his road stories with ESPN's Jayson Stark. Dotel will set a new Major League record once he plays his first game for the Tigers this season by becoming the first player to suit up for 13 different teams.
- "I feel comfortable we finally got to a level [where we] can be competitive every single year," Tigers owner Mike Ilitch told media (including MLB.com's Jason Beck) during a visit to Spring Training today. "That's always been my goal. I feel good about that. It would be hard to screw that up once you get there. You tell yourself you want to stay there now."
- The Orioles could be looking for backup catching help if Taylor Teagarden's back injury lingers into the season, reports CSN Baltimore's Rich Dubroff. Veteran Ronny Paulino is Matt Wieters' backup for now, but Paulino only just arrived in camp due to a visa issue.