There were baseball people this winter who pleaded with their teams to go after B.J. Upton as a free agent and to trade for his younger brother, Justin Upton. However, there also were those who said “over my dead body” would they have either, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. In fact, officials in one AL East organization were nearly unanimous in the opinion that neither Upton was a fit for them. The Braves obviously didn't share that view and will now enter 2013 with a remarkably athletic lineup thanks to the Upton brothers. Here's more from today's column..
- While Cafardo hears that the Mets' interest in Michael Bourn is minimal, that might be enough for them to land him eventually. Many baseball people are amazed that Bourn is the odd man out in free agency. The Mets, Mariners, and possibly Orioles are waiting for a bargain deal and one AL manager reasoned that if a team can get him on a one-year deal, they might juggle things around to make it happen.
- The Red Sox were among the teams that tried out Bobby Abreu. but sources say the Red Sox are unlikely to pursue him as the backup first baseman/outfielder that they’re looking for.
- Left-hander Ron Mahay has decided to call it a career. The 41-year-old says that he's now looking to get into coaching or managing. Mahay last appeared in the majors with the Twins in 2010. For his career, the reliever posted a 3.83 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 across 14 seasons.
- The Cubs' Alfonso Soriano is on the trading block and could still be moved before spring training, as teams like the Orioles and Rangers look to make last-minute upgrades.
- The Angels had some hope that Vernon Wells could be moved this winter, but those odds decreased after the Phillies signed Delmon Young. “I think people will look back on his career and wonder, how could a guy who came into the league with so much ability let this happen?” said an American League scout who once saw Wells as one of the most talented players in baseball.