Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Michael Weiner has been an inspiration to everyone that works in his office, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Weiner, who is living with an inoperable brain tumor, handed his role of general counsel to David Prouty last week. “Mike has handled this whole situation with incredible grace and incredible humor, too,” Prouty said. “That’s the way he’s handled everything. So in a way, we’ve all been inspired by him. More generally, Mike is always an inspiration to be around in terms of being a colleague and an executive director who cares about players and about the game.” Here's more from today's column..
- The Nationals and others continue to keep an eye Javier Vazquez, who is recovering from minor knee surgery. Washington’s interest may be piqued by Gio Gonzalez’s alleged link to the Miami PED clinic. The Nationals have faith in Ross Detwiler, but Vazquez would give them depth.
- There was thought that a team would sign Grady Sizemore and wait until he recovers from his latest knee surgery, but so far, they are staying away. “It’s hard to take the risk, even if it’s minimal,” said one exec whose team needs outfield help. “At this point, I think you wait until he feels he’s ready and then you look. If someone beats you to it, so be it.”
- Bud Norris is one of the last remaining assets on the Astros and should become one of the most sought-after pitchers before the season or at the trading deadline. The Astros haven’t said they’d deal him, but they didn't indicate they would move Jed Lowrie either before he was sent to the A's. The Cardinals and Orioles are two teams to watch on Norris.
- The Red Sox were willing to part ways with Kelly Shoppach in part because of his attitude.
- One scout thinks one of the best under-the-radar moves this winter was the Rays obtaining Yunel Escobar, who was traded twice this winter.