Here is a quick look at a few developments around the majors:
The Bobby Crosby era has seemingly come to an end in Oakland. The once highly touted prospect has been replaced by the signing of Orlando Cabrera. Cabrera, one of the last of the remaining free agents not named Manny, took a large pay cut over his $9 million last year as the market just wasn't there. Rumors had been swirling that the shortstop was headed to Toronto, but Oakland, who has been negotiating with Cabrera for a while, got him for $4 million.
Crosby has had injury problems over the years and never could increase his plate discipline and has a disappointing .239 lifetime batting average with a low OBP. He seemed to make some progress last year when he had 39 doubles in playing the whole year for a change, but the batting average and OBP did not improve. The A's love patience at the plate and have lost patience with Crosby. Cabrera should be a huge upgrade and inches the A's that much closer to contention in a somewhat weak division.
Remember Bruce Chen? The oriental left-handed pitcher from Panama, who has been around for quite a while now and has played for nine teams over his major league career, signed a minor league contract with the Rangers.
Chen had that one good year with the Orioles in 2005 when he went 13-10. But he was awful the year after, going without a win in seven decisions with a gaggle of baserunners. The Orioles dumped him after that and Chen did not make it at all to the majors last year. The Rangers really need pitching and took a flier on Chen.
As the Fan stated earlier in a recent post, guys like Adam Eaton will always find a job. The Phillies recently dumped the oft-injured pitcher after another in a series of terrible years even though they will still have to pay him $9 million this year. Once he cleared waivers, any team could sign him for the major league minimum and the Orioles couldn't resist and once again, Eaton has a job. Amazing.
A recent MLB.com headline proclaimed that the World Baseball Classic is eagerly anticipated. Uh. Not here in the FanDome. Although it is cute that A-Rod is playing for the Dominican Republic and all, the WBC is a dud for this Fan who can't wait for it to be over. The Fan likes the WBC about as much as teams starting their year over in Japan.
Wang, the Yankees pitcher, threw two scoreless innings in his first Spring Training outing yesterday. That has to please the Yankees who were really upset that their pre-Sabathia ace was hurt (after a great start) running the bases in interleague play last year. Losing Wang did mean a lot of starts for guys named Rasner which couldn't have helped the team's first year missing the playoffs since before the Torre era. If Wang can stay healthy and effective, the Yankees will be a tough team.
The Tigers got good news when Jeremy Bonderman's shoulder showed no damage after an examination. Detroit needs pitchers like Bonderman if they are to have any chance at all in their division.