I'm not sure anyone saw the Sasaki-to-Japan thing coming, but I have to wonder if there wasn't some indication. Looking back, Bavasi came after Guardado kind of out of the blue and strong, so it wouldn't surprise me if that wasn't right near ground zero on whatever pushed Sasaki back. There's going to be lots of speculation as to why Sasaki went back and I'm very curious if he'll pitch in Japan this season. Could the Mariners - Japanese owned, remember - essentially post Sasaki and get some cash back? Maybe a trade?
The pirates over at USS Mariner are certainly hoping that Bavasi does something intelligent with the $9m that fell into his lap, but neither Maddux nor Rodriguez really seem to fit well in Seattle. I think we'll see both of those remaining top free agents sign this week.
An excerpt from "Saving The Pitcher" - available now on Amazon - will run at BP this week. It's a research piece on Eric Gagne and was done by Blake Kirkman, who assisted with several things on the book. There's also a UTK done which may run Tuesday.
Lots of wild speculation about the numbers that Albert Pujols is going to give and get in arbitration. There's lots of eight digit numbers out there, but while Pujols is a special player, I don't think he's going to break the bank either. The Cards would be smart to settle and get a longer term deal done.
Finally, over at NetShrine - one of my favorite sites - there was a discussion about people re-upping for Premium. While I understand not everyone will re-up, I was a bit stunned to see several people nailing us for bad predictions. Both Joe Sheehan and I picked the Reds to win the NL Central (oops), but I'm really surprised that anyone would take those predictions seriously. I'm notoriously bad at predicting anything, which is why they keep letting me go to Vegas. I'll have to take those predictions more seriously, I guess ... but I'll probably still suck.