Don't miss Jim Caple's piece on Yu Darvish. As Jim points out, the biggest adjustment Darvish will have to make if he signs with the Rangers is switching from pitching about once per week to every fifth day. Also, many games in Japan are played in climate-controlled domed stadiums, a big difference from the nasty summer heat in Texas.
ESPN Insider Dan Szymborski asks: How much should Darvish be paid?
Baseball Time in Arlington has more thoughts on Darvish.
The Common Man has some idea on reforming the Hall of Fame voting process. We'll be doing several posts on the Hall of Fame before the official announcement on Jan. 9, but my quick comments about the Common Man's post: (1) Clearly, the Hall of Fame executives don't believe the BBWAA elects enough players, thus all the various formations of a Veterans Committee through the years to elect more members; (2) Bert Blyleven is really an outlier, a player with obvious, above-and-beyond credentials who struggled to get elected; (3) I'm a big Hall guy, but I don't think knocking the BBWAA for not electing Tim Raines necessarily proves the system is flawed.
Insider Buster Olney also writes about the Hall of Fame, steroids and the logjam that will occur on the ballot beginning next season.
Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork reports that Roy Oswalt is willing to take a one-year deal, but the Yankees remain uninterested. I'm a little surprised at the lack of interest in Oswalt. Yes, he battled a bad back and made just 23 starts in a mediocre season for him (3.69 ERA, career-worst 1.34 WHIP and career-low 6.0 K's per innings). While 2011 could have been Year 1 of his decline phase, remember that in 2010 he led the league in fewest baserunners per innings and 2011 was the first season he hadn't made 30 starts since 2003.
Jerry Crasnick on how and why Jimmy Rollins ended up returning to the Phillies.
Over at Grantland, Rany Jazayerli looks at the first moves of new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and wonders if he's off to a shaky start.
Finally, Ben Lindbergh at Baseball Prospectus has an interesting piece on front offices, asking a philosophical question of sorts: If every team has a smart GM ... does anyone have a smart GM?