.@Dodgers This is blatant handism and I'm filing a hostile workplace grievance— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) December 30, 2015
Then they reportedly came to an eight-year agreement with former Hiroshima Carp righty Kenta Maeda, which seems to derail that particular plan (although the specifics of Maeda's contract cast some doubt on his staying power, but more on that in a bit).
Regardless, the brief development prompted MLB.com's Tracy Ringolsby to see how teams fared with extremely lefty-heavy rotations, which is of import for White Sox fans. Looking at the talent on hand, the Sox are set to start a minimum of four left-handed starters, unless both Erik Johnson and Jacob Turner have something to say about it.
Ringolsby's assessment is wider than it is deep. You're not going to get any conclusive answers about the effectiveness of such an imbalanced rotation, as he doesn't isolate the pitching from overall team success (recent White Sox teams show up multiple times in the losing column, but without references to the flaccid bats).
The good news is that the first glance yields no news ...
An abundance of starts by left-handers has resulted in mixed results. Five of the top 10 teams in terms of starts by lefties since 1901 have had a winning record.
... since that means the other half of those teams posted non-winning records. So, yeah, it's far from conclusive, but simply finding the teams provides a good starting point for those of us who wish to dig a little deeper.
Speaking of Maeda, color me extremely intrigued by the few details of the contract we have.
If it matters, heard guarantee on Maeda’s deal with #Dodgers is 8yrs at $25M, not $24M. Gambling on self with tons of performance bonuses— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 2, 2016
Considering the Yankees guaranteed Masahiro Tanaka seven years and $151 million a couple winters ago, the Dodgers must have significant questions about Maeda's ability to take the ball, while Maeda has to get paid if he holds up.
EIther that, or opt-outs. It's probably opt-outs. Opt-outs are to contracts as blades are to razors.
Periodic White Sox outfielder search update: Nothing since this Bob Nightengale tweet from Friday:
The Chicago #WhiteSox want to sign free agent OF Alex Gordon or Yoenis Cespedes, but only if they're willing to take 3-year deal or less.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 1, 2016
Which would seem a lot sillier and more objectionable if there were evidence that other teams had made aggressive bids. But there isn't, so until there is, we can merely take this as the White Sox' way of playing hard-to-get, much like the Orioles saying that Yoenis Cespedes' agent was calling them, and not the other way around.
MLB Trade Rumors collected all the signings from January and later over the last five seasons, and Prince Fielder is the only position player who ended up getting nine figures.