On this date in 1955, the New York Giants signed 17-year-old prospect Willie McCovey as an amateur free agent. Four years later he was named the NL Rookie of the Year when he hit 13 home runs in 52 games. McCovey, now 74, went on to hit 521 home runs in his Hall of Fame career. Here are today's links…
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports looks back at the day in June, 1995 when the Yankees optioned Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter to the minors together. Rivera hasn't said whether this will be his last season as a Major Leaguer, but he told Morosi that winning another championship would be the perfect way to end his career.
- Even Rivera's teammates marvel at the closer's ability and accomplishments, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes.
- The Cardinals will stretch Lance Lynn out in case Chris Carpenter isn’t ready for Opening Day, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. Roy Oswalt remains available for a mid-season deal in case a long-term opening emerges in the Cardinals’ rotation.
- Carlos Guillen told George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press that he retired because his body wasn't keeping up with the daily grind of Spring Training. The 36-year-old retired last week.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that shortstop prospect Andrelton Simmons is opening some eyes in Braves camp. The 22-year-old hasn't yet reached Double-A, but some are wondering if he could win the Opening Day shortstop job from Tyler Pastornicky.
- Braves executives view Simmons as the long-term answer at short, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio tweets.