There's understandably a lot of people focused on hockey today, but let's not forget that March starts tomorrow and Spring Training games kick off this week! Here's a look back at the past seven days as baseball is just around the corner:
- A couple weeks back, I asked why Felipe Lopez didn't have a job yet after a fantastic 2009 season. That question is no longer up for debate. Lopez signed with the Cardinals on a one-year, $1MM deal with an additional $1.2MM in easily-reachable incentives. It's a tremendous deal for a player of Lopez's versatility. The Cards did well to wait it out an ink him at their price.
- Another free agent struggling to find work after a productive 2009 was Jonny Gomes, but he too found a home this week. Gomes re-signed with the Reds on a one-year, major league deal with an option for 2011.
- Another signing of note was righty Chan Ho Park agreeing to a one-year, $1.2MM deal with the Yankees. Park struggled in the Philly rotation last season but was terrific out of the bullpen. He'll need to continue to keep his flyball numbers down as he has the past two seasons, but it's a low-risk move that helps the Yankees on paper.
- The Braves signed 18-year-old Dominican shortstop Edward Salcedo for $1.6MM this week. Salcedo's a big kid, at 6'3", which leads to some doubts about his future at shortstop, but he's considered to have tremendous offensive upside. As Tim points out in the article, landing Salcedo takes off some of the sting felt by Atlanta from surrendering their first round pick for Billy Wagner and not receiving a pick for Rafael Soriano.
- Brad Wilkerson must've been kidding when he retired the first time. He's back on a minor league deal with Philadelphia. Another minor league deal of note was Livan Hernandez re-signing with the Nationals. He should have a good shot at helping to fill out the back-end of their rotation.
- With this offseason winding down, it's never too early to start looking at the next one! Some of the big storylines could include Aramis Ramirez and his 2011 player option, Carl Crawford and his future in Tampa Bay now that his extension talks are on hold until after the season, and (if he's still there), Adrian Gonzalez, whom we heard won't be taking a discount for his hometown Padres.
- Sad news this week as the Rangers were forced to void Khalil Greene's contract when it was learned that he would not report to camp due to his continuing battle with social anxiety disorder. Best of luck to you, Khalil.
- Baseball America posted their annual list of the game's Top 100 Prospects; check it out, and of course, voice your opinion.
- Updates to the Offseason In Review series this week included the Tigers, White Sox, Indians, and Blue Jays.