It’s cold. The news landscape is barren. The Mystery Teams are here. But their identities are still a ... mystery, thus the, uh, name, uh, I got nothing. It’s too cold to think. Bryce Harper has not signed anywhere. Neither has that Manny Machado guy. Washington hasn’t done much over the last few days, but they did a lot early this winter, so that’s not too surprising. So go catch up on what news that is out there and stop bothering us, please. And look, we didn’t put Bryce Harper’s name in our title today, so quit complaining...
Scouts’ Takes: Analyzing the Nats offseason, what’s to come and what to watch for – (The Athletic - $$$$)
“'They’re scary, particularly if Strasburg can stay healthy,' said a rival scout. 'His fastball velocity was down some, so that’s a concern.'"
Bryce Harper wants Tony Romo to predict his future after AFC championship game - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Bryce Harper has been having a little fun on Twitter lately with his fans, who are still anxiously waiting to hear which MLB team the coveted free agent will sign with this season."
What to watch for on Hall of Fame election night - (MASN)
"The hot stove league may be tepid right now, but at least baseball is providing us something us to get excited about later today: the Hall of Fame election announcement."
Examining the role of 'Mystery Team' as the Machado and Harper markets drag in a stagnant MLB offseason - (CBSSports.com)
"The first thing you should know is that Mystery Team has been in on every single big-name free agent since Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally challenged the reserve clause and became MLB's first batch of free agents, back in 1975."
Trade Retrospective: Tigers trade Doug Fister to the Nationals - (Beyond the Box Score)
"The Nationals were coming off a bit of a disappointing season the year after their first ever division win and playoff appearance. They lost the division by ten games and missed the playoffs by four."
The only thing getting warmer on baseball’s tepid hot stove is the tension - (WaPo)
"But now, the winter of 2018-19 has come and almost gone — spring training camps open in a little more than three weeks — and the free agent market is as cold as the January weather."
NL EAST UPDATES:
Phillies appear off the mark in evaluating Aaron Nola’s financial value - (Philly.com)
"In case you missed it, Nola’s agents and the Phillies exchanged arbitration numbers earlier this month. Nola is seeking a 2019 deal worth $6.75 million. The Phillies’ counter offer was $4.5 million."
Update on Marlins' plans with J.T. Realmuto - (MLB.com)
"Miami is asking for a lot in return -- basically a top prospect and more -- for arguably the best catcher in the game. Even with pitchers and catchers reporting on Feb. 13, there is still plenty of time to work out a deal."
Edwin Diaz anchors Mets' 2019 bullpen - (MLB.com)
"In terms of win probability added, the Mets' most significant offseason move may have been landing Diaz in the seven-player trade with the Mariners that also netted them second baseman Robinson Cano."
Ozzie Albies plans to make adjustments - (MLB.com)
"Having had a few months to dwell on what was his first full Major League season, Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies acknowledges he'll need to harness his aggression in order to repeat the All-Star experience he enjoyed last year."