Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s okay, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
* * *
Maybe things aren't going great in Jose Bautista negotiation land -- in the sense that there won't be any negotiations taking place there -- but hey, at least the Blue Jays have Edwin Encarnacion. The two sides are reportedly having preliminary extension discussions, and while those could go as south as Bautista will have to in order to find work in a year, for now, it's all about hope. Well, for now, anyway: Encarnacion plans to end extension talks if a deal isn't reached by the end of spring training. The clock is ticking, Toronto.
There is no word on how much money or how many years Encarnacion is expecting, but he'll be 34 years old after the 2016 season and is talking about ending his career with the Jays. From that, we can guess he is probably going to look for five years. As for the money? That's a little tougher to figure out, but given Encarnacion compares favorably to Chris Davis over the last four years -- Davis is the only player with more homers than Encarnacion since 2012, and Encarnacion has been more consistent than Davis in the rest of the offensive game -- you can bet that it's going to be a lot.
Davis signed a seven-year, $161 million deal with the Orioles. At his age, Encarnacion won't negotiate for those years, which, in conjunction with that consistency, should raise the average annual value he's looking for above the $23 million Davis ended up with. Five years, $125 million? Five years, $140 million? Who knows if the Jays would be interested at that price, but either way, they still have his 2016. That might be all they get -- for Bautista, too -- but that's no small thing in the present.
- So, Yoenis Cespedes has sent his $7,000 grand champion pig to the butcher, but apparently, it's because he had no choice in the matter. Florida law says you can't have a pig as a pet (... really?), so unless the governor steps in and lets Cespedes keep the pig while he's at spring training, he's dinner. And lunch. Probably breakfast, too. Pork is a versatile meat.
- The Brewers balked at the allegations that Hank the Pup is an impostor by insinuating that the dog might never have existed in the first place. They then doubled down on this by posting a photo of Hank hanging out with a Brewers' mascot and Santa Claus, with only the word "Believe" accompanying them. Just tell us what happened to the dog!
- MLB's suspension of Aroldis Chapman was as right as it could be from a policy point of view. With that being said, making it about policy means it wasn't entirely about dealing with domestic violence, and that's difficult to deal with.
- The expectations are rising for Jimmy Rollins and Todd Frazier, both of whom the White Sox need to produce in order to contend in 2016.
- The Royals extended Salvador Perez to get him away from the laughably team-friendly extension his old agent worked out. Not everyone agrees the Royals should have done this, though.
- The counterpoint to this is that Perez's deal is still team-friendly, just not as team-friendly as it was, and it's not as risky as you think.
- The Cardinals extended Kolten Wong with a five-year, $25.5 million deal with an option that buys out some free agency at a relatively low cost.
- David Ortiz thinks Mookie Betts will be a $250 million player if he keeps on the path he's on. Given Betts' increasing role as a team leader and dedicated worker, even at the young age of 23, Papi might be on to something.
- The Phillies got a control freak in the Ken Giles trade, and while he's not the biggest name they got back for their closer, he merits watching thanks to his low walk rate.
- Michael Cuddyer didn't simply call it quits and walk away like Ryan Dempster did a few years ago: the Mets still had to pay him a buyout in order to lose the rest of his contract.