Is it just me, or does it seem like we’re going to pay this year for the reasonibly mild winter we had last year? Living in NC, we never really get snow other than a dusting that goes away by noon, but yesterday we had a freezing rain and over the weekend it was 35 degrees out. It just seems like an imminent sign of things to come this year and I’m not excited about it. Let’s, instead, focus on the hot stove.

  • Buster Olney recently posted a column about 10 potential bargain starting pitchers this off-season. As we know, these guys aren’t allpro type guys, but they are guys who tend to be low risk and medium to high reward if they pop and can be moved before the deadline for future talent. We’ve seen this become the model for Theo and Jed the last two seasons and I expect it to be the case again this year. It’s an insider piece, but a name on the list that most seems to fit the mold is Josh Johnson, who is coming of surgery to remove a bone spur last month. I like the model because it’s turned a guy like Scott Feldman into parts who can be useful going forward.
  • Apparently the Cubs continue to be interested in expanding their international talent pool with rumored interest in Masahiro Tanaka. I read a piece by Keith Law recently that he is less like Yu Darvish and more like Hiroki Kuroda. Personally, I’m not a fan of investing in international talent from Asia where it involves a posting fee. I’d rather focus on snatching up talent from Latin America for cheap when they’re 16 years old.
  • Theo recently came out and admitted they got out over their ski’s a little with the Edwin Jackson signing last off-season, but I actually disagree. Jackson gives you a guy who can take the ball every day and eat innings. His season last year was not good, but I think we’ll see him rebound this year across the board and given the fact that the rotation was so thin last year before the seasons started, I was OK with the move.
  • Quick, name the hitting coach for the Cubs last year. Admit it, you probably can’t do it. The answer is James Rowson and he has left the team to take a job with the Yankees. There are rumors that former Cub, Bill Mueller is a potential replacement. I’d love to see him get the job simply because he was one of my favorite Cubs when he was with the team. He’s a “professional hitter” as they say in the business.
  • Former Cub Matt Murton is signing an extension to stay in Japan, fresh off leading the league in hits for the third time in four seasons. Let the Murton supporters begin their rant about how he never got his chance and how if he’d only had a chance he could have been a star.
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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