I neglected to mention how the aforementioned Aaron Hill contract affects the Blue Jays, and their plans at second base for the upcoming year. The Aaron Hill signing, paired with the Omar Infante extension, Jamey Carroll signing in Minnesota, and now today's news of Mark Ellis signing with the Dodgers, the already weak market at the 2B has just become weaker.
At the beginning of the offseason, I was fairly confident that the Jays would bring back Kelly Johnson, either by extending him, or by offering him arbitration and having him accept. Not only did I think that Johnson would believe that a 1-year deal would be better for him to re-establish value, but I also felt like nobody would give him a raise from the $6MM he made this past season, and would therefore accept arbitration, since he would pretty much be guaranteed a raise.
Now, I'm not so sure. If Aaron Hill can get 2/$11MM, maybe Johnson will be able to find a raise, even on a 1-year deal. Johnson is surely a better player than Hill, and is (barely) younger. The only real problem now is that so many teams have figured out their 2B need already in the last couple of weeks, that only the Rockies and Tigers should be in competition with the Jays if Johnson makes it to the market. The recent activity on the free agent market could very well force another team's hand if they really feel like upgrading at 2B, and we might see a multi-year offer to Johnson after all.
Apparently, the Jays think paying $50MM for a closer is absurd! This is good news! That link also provide some brief info on JP Arencibia, Colby Rasmus, Adeiny Hechavarria, and 2B options.
Related: The Pirates will listen on trade offers for Joel Hanrahan.
The Dodgers have signed Matt Kemp to a great big extension worth $160MM over 8 years. That actually sounds like a bargain. Joel Sherman tweets a little tidbit about that one. I'm not sure this will have any bearing on the Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols contract talks.
Jeremy Hellickson and Craig Kimbrel won the Rookie of the Year awards for the AL and NL respectively. Big whoop.
An awesome read with Michael Lewis, writer of Moneyball, and Billy Beane, Billy Beane of Moneyball.