Chip Buck over at our Red Sox blog, Fire Brand of the AL, explains why the Clay Buchholz deal is sweet for the Red Sox.
I'm with Chip. Buchholz's contract calls for a salary of $12 million in 2015 (in what would have been his first free-agent season) with option years at $13 million in 2016 and 2017. Buchholz doesn't have to pitch as well as last season for this to be a good deal for Boston. Put it this way: They get his first three free-agent years at $37 million ... or $1 million more than the Mets paid Oliver Perez. If Buchholz remains healthy, the Sox will get a positive return on their investment.
Alexi Ogando makes his second start for the Rangers today and ESPNDallas.com's Richard Durrett has a piece on his long, strange road to the Texas rotation.
Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com wonders if the Angels are overusing their aces, after Jered Weaver threw 125 pitches on Sunday and Dan Haren pitched in relief on Saturday. It's a fair question, considering it was a career high for Weaver and there were only 25 starts last season of at least 125 pitches. The Angels, however, will need to ride those two; their bullpen isn't very deep, and top setup guy Kevin Jepsen was just sent down to the minors after a bad start. Weaver has never had any arm issues, so I wouldn't read too much into one 125-pitch start.
Back to the Red Sox: Josh Beckett was terrific Sunday and Troy Patterson explains that Beckett's curveball was working again.
Jonah Keri writes that improved defense has fueled Cincinnati's revival.
Baseball Time in Arlington's Joey Matschulat has been impressed with Matt Harrison's fastball and the team's defense.
Mike Stanton feels OK at the plate but is still having trouble running.
Mariners fans are already fed up and disgusted. I can't blame them: Adam Kennedy hit third on Sunday and he actually may have deserved to.
Unlike me, Buster Olney tells Mike & Mike he's not ready to count out the Rays just yet. He also suggests Manny Ramirez may fall off the Hall of Fame ballot altogether.
Joe Posnanski weighs in on Manny's retirement.