In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that there were two disasters in the city of Toronto last year: mayor Rob Ford and the Blue Jays. Despite the high expectations, the Blue Jays fell flat and they'll have to rally back this season to re-energize their fan base. The Blue Jays are at a disadvantage, Cafardo writes, because players aren't always open to playing north of the border and tend not to realize how great it is until they're there. More from this week's column..
- The Brewers need a first baseman and Mike Carp of the Red Sox appears to be a good fit. Whether Boston would deal him remains to be seen, however, as they enjoyed his off-the-bench contributions last season. Carp has shown that he can play every day but he won’t get that opportunity with the Red Sox unless there’s an injury to Mike Napoli.
- While the Red Sox don’t believe they can carry another outfielder, they have expressed some interest in the Padres' Chris Denorfia, a righthanded bat with a little power who can play center field. The Red Sox might be able to swing a move like this, Cafardo writes, if they deal Carp or Daniel Nava somewhere.
- A few general managers think that a one-year pillow contract would make sense for free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz. It seems that he needs to reestablish his value and if he'd do a one-year pact, it could open more opportunities for him with clubs like the Mariners, Mets, Blue Jays, Orioles, and others. The 33-year-old remains one of the best power hitters out there, but teams are wary about PED guys after they’re off the stuff.
- Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp could still be trade bait as he starts to show what he can do in spring training. Said one scout familiar with Kemp, “I think he’s going to be a guy who will be OK this year, but you’ll get the best of Kemp the following year as he’s recovered completely from the ankle.”
- The Reds have been very quiet this offseason, but Homer Bailey’s name has come up quite often as possible trade bait. In fact, they could possibly bring back Bronson Arroyo if they can deal Bailey.