Baseball is back! Here at Big League Stew, we'll take a quick dash around the league each morning in an attempt to keep you updated on all the springtime storylines.
• For a long time, it has seemed more likely that Heinz would cough up the list of its 57 secret ketchup ingredients before the Pirates would ink an All-Star to a smart big-money contract. But we were all proven wrong late Sunday night when the Buccos handed Andrew McCutchen a six-year, $51 million deal that buys out the rest of his arbitration years as well as his first two years of free agency.
That's a lotta Limburger, but it's simply the going rate for a franchise cornerstone talent that the 25-year-old center fielder brings to the table. As Dave Cameron notes on FanGraphs, the contract is almost identical to the ones signed by Jay Bruce and Justin Upton.
• Whiplash warning! Atlanta pitching prospect Julio Teheran gave up five home runs in the minor leagues last season. He gave up six against Detroit on Sunday and though the wind was reportedly on the hitters' side, it does create some cause for concern. Teheran surrendered four homers in just under 20 innings of big-league work last season.
• Here's video of one of those shots, Prince Fielder's first homer in a Tigers uniform.
• The Mets universe went through a scare on Saturday when it was reported that first baseman Ike Davis had contracted Valley Fever disease, a condition that derailed the career of Conor Jackson. But Davis attempted to calm the masses a bit by saying he wasn't experiencing any symptoms like extreme fatigue, shortness of breath or coughing up blood. You know, all conditions that Mets fans will be suffering from by the third week of April.
• Cameron Maybin inked his own big extension over the weekend, agreeing to a five-year, $25 million deal with the San Diego Padres. As you can see from the video below, Cam's young son celebrated appropriately.
• If nothing else, you have to admire Joel Zumaya's resolve. The fireballer with the perpetually blown-out arm told the Twins on Sunday that he'll opt for Tommy John surgery instead of an early retirement.
• Given the choice between sitting on the bench in the bigs and getting more at-bats in the minors. Brandon Belt says to send him back to the bush. It's really kind of crazy that an offensively challenged team like San Francisco could go through another year of this.