D12: Ex-Rays have 213 million reasons to be thankful this year


Duk's Dozen, a selection of 12 morning-fresh links and items, has returned in 2011 to start your baseball news day off right. Got links? Send 'em here or via Twitter.

1. Now that Rafael Soriano(notes) has pulled in an unbelievable $35 million, Roger Mooney does the math and finds that it would have taken the Tampa Bay Rays $213 million to keep all eight of the players who left via free agency this year.

But only holding onto Dioner Navarro(notes) would have cost considerably less, of course. Rays Report

2. Jim Margalus is talking about his Chicago White Sox, but he's spot on when he says that the Rafael Soriano deal is Exhibit 1A why many teams won't deal with Scott Boras. Sox Machine

3. "Clearly money has ceased to matter in New York and Boston. While the rest of us suffer through economic woes and other teams try to downsize, the Yankees and Red Sox keep doing crap like this. And it's making baseball far less fun to watch." Rumors and Rants

4. Stephen Strasburg(notes) reports that he's in the best shape of his life. Well, except for that whole "can't pitch in a game for another year" part. DC Sports Bog

5. Vinny Castilla just held a teary retirement press conference. No really, he did. (Who knew that he was still playing baseball at the age of 43?) Hall of Very Good

6. All of Boston's offseason work could be rendered irrelevant if John Lackey(notes) and Josh Beckett(notes) don't bounce back from their supbar 2010 seasons. Over The Monster

7. Why, yes, I have always wanted to see Dire Straits' Walk of Life video with all of the non-baseball parts edited out. Thank you, Craig Robinson! Flip Flop Flyball

8. The Milwaukee Brewers might have their first division title since 1982 to win first, but that won't stop Mike Axisa from previewing next year's market for Prince Fielder(notes). MLBTR

9. Phillies prospect Phillippe Aumont(notes) is headed to the bullpen after not cutting it as a starter in the team's minor league system. Philly Inquirer

10. Previewing the Giants' gate giveaways in 2011. McCovey Chronicles

11. What features should a Trevor Hoffman(notes) statue at Petco Park have? Gaslamp Ball

12. This final link isn't baseball related, but it's a fine piece of work by our old friend Carl Skanberg and an accurate depiction of what we'll be seeing at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon. Bear down, everyone. Smells Like Mascot