Good morning everyone. Some interesting things being reported lately.

THE HEADLINE

The big story has to be the fact that it was reported on ESPN.com that the players and owners were close to signing a new collective bargaining agreement for MLB. According to the story:

This deal, however, figures to be especially historic, as baseball positions itself for the 21st century. Among other things, it will pave the way for realignment of the sport into two 15-team leagues, adding a second wild-card team in each league, spreading interleague play throughout all six months of the regular season and making significant changes to the draft, free agency and the so-called “Competitive Balance Tax.” – ESPN.com

The team that would be moved from the NL to the AL is rumored to be the Houston Astros, who would obviously be moving to the AL West. There are a lot of people that can’t stand the inter-league play concept, and I understand their point of view, but I’m all for it. The second wild-card idea is exciting because it makes it just a little bit easier to get to the playoffs, and we know all it takes is getting there and you have a chance to go all the way. The changes I’m curious to read more about are the changes to the things like the draft, free agency, salary structure, etc. I’m curious to see if any changes are made to the salary plan as it currently is where players do not hit arbitration until they have amassed three years of service time and free agency with six.

In the end, it’s such a huge announcement to make as fans have been bombarded with the NFL lockout this summer and now the NBA lockout which is turning out to be quite hopeless. MLB is doing the right thing by getting the deal done and getting it done on time.

THE BACK PAGE

  • Aramis Ramirez and his agent are not happy with the comments that Bob Brenly made early in the off-season when he called Ramirez a “Number’s grabber”. Gordon Wittenmeyer reported “For a broadcaster to come out and say that, I think it was very low class,” agent Paul Kinzer said Monday as the annual general managers meetings opened in Milwaukee. “Especially when a guy’s a free agent, to try to damage his [value]. … That bothered Aramis and bothered me a lot.” I like Brenly for always speaking his mind, but eventually he’s going to get in trouble similar to what happened with Steve Stone when he was critical of the players from the booth.
  • The Cubs announced that Shiraz Rehman joined their front office as an assistant to GM Jed Hoyer. I’ve never heard of him, but in Theo I trust.
  • Jerry Crasnick reports that the Cubs are one of eight teams interested in the services of Grady Sizemore. We wrote about Sizemore earlier in October, but I can’t see a use for him.
  • Jon Morosi is reporting on Twitter that “Cubs have had multiple discussions with the agent for Mark Buehrle, source says.” I had someone ask me on Twitter what I think and I explained that I like Buehrle if the price is right. His velocity is not high and if it were to go any lower as he ages, that seems like it would make him very hittable. He’s a winner, though.
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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail