Quick Hits: Bruce, Dodgers, Astros, Cano

Jay Bruce had some interesting comments on the state of free agency in a piece authored by MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince.  Bruce noted that the extension boom will lead to greater team continuity, recalling the Reds' famed Big Red Machine. "Of course," he said, "if you had that today, you might have a $600MM payroll." Bruce continued: "Fortunately for us, the dollars have become so large that even when you're signing deals with your team early, they're still close to market. I understand the competitive market and not pushing the market down for players coming after you. I respect that, and that's a big part of keeping things on the up and up on our side. But I don't think that guys are just signing anything put in front of them. There's so much information out there that if you do any due diligence at all, you're going to understand [what's fair]."

  • Right-handed starter Chad Billingsley appears set to return to the Dodgers for a Wednesday start, reports Quinn Roberts of MLB.com.  With lefty Ted Lilly also making minor league rehab starts, the Dodgers will again have to shuffle their rotation.  Los Angeles moved one of their surplus starters earlier today when they shipped Aaron Harang to the Rockies for Ramon Hernandez.
  • The Astros are all-in on rebuilding, with a payroll that barely exceeds the $20MM the team has set aside for draft spending, writes Phil Rogers of the Boston Herald. GM Jeff Luhnow is preaching not "patience," but what he calls "discipline." According to Luhnow: "We all feel a sense of urgency to get this to the endpoint as quickly as possible. But to do that, we have to be disciplined about how we implement (our plan). That means not doing things that are going to give us an extra win or two this year at the expense of an extra five wins two or three years down the road."
  • Robinson Cano's agency swap is an admission that the contract pressure is getting to him, opines Bill Madden of the New York Daily News.  Madden feels that Cano wants to get his big pay day but also doesn't want to have it hanging over him.

 Zach Links contributed to this post.

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