"I would have guessed something would have happened here. And I would have been wrong. It hasn't gotten to the point where something had fallen through that I thought was going to get done."
-- Rangers GM Jon Daniels on potentially acquiring Justin Upton
Welcome back baseball freaks. Thursday is upon us along with a flurry of activity from yesterday. I literally have 30 minutes to do this and be on the road so here is your short but sweet Daily Hot Stove for Thursday. Today we've got Kevin Youkilis rumors (to the Yankees?!), Josh Hamilton rumors and Zack Greinke rumors. Pretty much all rumors and signings. Enjoy
- The Red Sox are making noise this week of the Winter Meetings signing Japanese reliever Koji Uehara. Despite a Tim Wakefield-esque fastball that tops out in the 80s, Uehara strikes everybody out and should shore up the Boston pen.
- RP Jason Grilli is reportedly very close to signing a two-year deal. The problem for us fans? His agent won't reveal what team it is. All we know is that the Giants are out. I'm not sure quite what the secrecy is but given today's digital and Twitter fueled environment, I don't expect that to be a secret for long.
- The Atlanta Braves signed OF Reed Johnson to a one-year deal. Johnson will provide a scrappy presence off the Braves bench and I'll always remember him for his ridiculous catch, robbing Prince Fielder of a homer at Miller Park a few years back.
- The Reds are still waiting on Ryan Ludwick to hear back on their offer. The 34-year-old Ludwick hit 26 taters for Cincinnati last season.
- Imagine Kevin Youkilis in pinstripes...it may not be such a far-fetched idea as the Yankees have reportedly offered the free agent a one-year, $12 million contract. Does Youkilis really want to be the next Johnny Damon and incur the wrath of Red Sox Nation? Only time will tell as the offer remains on the table.
- The Phillies may not have got Angel Pagan or BJ Upton but they did acquire OF Ben Revere for P Vance Worley. In true Piranha fashion, the speedy Revere played outstanding outfield defense and stole 40 bases for the Twinkies while Worley has been a serviceable pitcher for the Phillies. Win-win deal in my opinion.
- The Rangers signed P Randy Wells to a minor league deal. Cubs friends might remember Wells as some-freakin-how being the most consistent starter during the dark days of 2009.
- Speaking of the Rangers, it may be down to them and the Mariners for Josh Hamilton. Rumors say the Mariners are pursing Hamilton like, hard and the Rangers appear to be the only other team in contention for the perennial MVP's services. The wildcard? If the Rangers manage to nap Zack Greinke (almost assuredly for an astronomical price), they may not have the funds to afford Hamilton too. Keep an eye on this one, because there are a lot of pieces in play.
- Oh. and the Cubs have re-signed 3B Ian Stewart and...
On that note, I'm out.
Extra note: I was supposed to provide the Detroit Tigers recap and preview today but I wasn't able to finish it. The Detroit Tigers will come tomorrow morning.
Extra extra note: There are less than 110 days until pitchers and catchers report.
Extra extra note: Kate Upton everyone. Enjoy