Just because it's Christmas Eve doesn't mean the hot stove is taking a holiday. Let's check out some links….
- Washington's signing of Matt Capps takes one more option off the table for the Chicago Cubs, writes Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune.
- Within today's blog entry, ESPN.com's Buster Olney notes that none of the remaining teams in need of a closer (Florida, Pittsburgh, and Detroit) have the payroll flexibility to spend $8-10MM on Jose Valverde. Valverde will probably have to settle for significantly less money than he is asking for, and could potentially even be forced into a setup role somewhere.
- David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News breaks down the options for the Phillies' bullpen.
- The longer Matt Holliday and Jason Bay remain unsigned, the more the rest of the league is asking the Red Sox and Yankees to swoop in, according to Yahoo's Jeff Passan. Sam Borden at LoHud.com understands that logic, but is skeptical about the conclusion.
- Amidst talk that the Pirates are engaged in discussions with Kevin Gregg and Octavio Dotel, Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wonders if Joel Hanrahan could be the answer as the team's closer.
- If you want a full summary of the road to the Roy Halladay trade, Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun has you covered. Elliott offers an extended look at the rumors that led to the deal, and the trade's aftermath. Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times breaks down the most interesting piece of info from Elliott's account, involving Mariners prospect Michael Saunders.
- Rob Neyer of ESPN.com isn't a big fan of the Angels' offseason so far, and questions whether the team even has room to make additional moves.