Afternoon Links: Granderson, Tanaka, Byrd

As I mentioned yesterday, this will be a busy baseball week thanks to the GM/Owners Meetings. We learned yesterday that Robinson Cano, Hiroki Kuroda, and Curtis Granderson rejected their 1 year $14.1 million qualifying offers. Today we learned that the Yankees are actually relieved that Granderson turned down the deal. Considering that they'd get 40+ home run potential on a short term contract for just $14.1 million, I'm a little surprised that they weren't rooting for a return. Jon Heyman goes on to explain that the Yankees are more interested in signing another outfielder, specifically targeting Shin-Soo Choo, followed by Carlos Beltran, and finally Jacoby Ellsbury. While I can understand why they'd prefer these players, they won't come nearly as cheap, but the Yankees seem to be deterred by Granderson's strikeouts. Also, in the case where the team signs a number of new free agents carrying draft pick compensation over departing ones, they'd lose just one first round pick (18th overall), and they would get to hold on to as many compensation picks as possible. Ken Davidoff reports that the MLB and NPB are very close on an agreement for a new posting system. In the revised blind bidding process, the winning team still gets exclusive negotiating rights with the free agent, however they only pay the average of the top two bids. Once this is finalized, Masahiro Tanaka will be posted and the Yankees will likely remain very engaged in the process.

In terms of departing free agents, the Nationals have interest in Boone Logan, the Blue Jays in Kuroda, and the Royals in Phil Hughes.

And finally, there have been a few minor re-signs and signings over the last couple of days, namely Brayan Pena to the Reds and Geovany Soto staying with the Rangers, but we had our first major free agent signing today. The Phillies have signed the 36 year old Marlon Byrd to a 2 year deal.