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The long wait is over. Gerrit Cole has finally been traded from the Pirates to the Astros, because that’s just what the defending champions needed: more pitching. Ken Rosenthal wrote about the deal for The Athletic, examining how quick people were to bash the trade from Pittsburgh’s point of view and how (in his opinion) it’s too soon to do so. Houston traded Joe Musgrove, Michael Feliz, Colin Moran, and Jason Martin. They didn’t part with any of their top prospects, but the Pirates felt no other team was offering better prospects. The Yankees, who were also linked to Cole, apparently weren’t going to part with Gleyber Torres and even players like Miguel Andujar and Estevan Florial weren’t made available. Whatever the case, the deal looks like a good one for the Astros, who appear very ready to defend their World Series title.

Now that they’re out on Cole, the Yankees are still in on Yu Darvish, or at least that’s what John Harper of the New York Daily News thinks. Harper wrote Sunday that two sources told him general manager Brian Cashman’s “interest in signing Darvish is very real.” There was a strange he said/he said episode starring Yankees broadcaster and ESPN Radio personality Michael Kay on his show and Darvish himself on Twitter. On Thursday, during his radio show, Kay said that the Yankees offered Darvish a seven-year, $160 million deal. Darvish took to Twitter and denied it. Then he denied that the Yankees even made him an offer, before amending that statement to say that they had but that the numbers were wrong. It made for a better soap opera than General Hospital.

The bottom line is that Yu Darvish is still available and it’s possible the Yankees could still get him. They’d have to move around some money to make it happen, but when Cashman really wants to get something done, he usually does.

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The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Josh Donaldson, who set a new record for arbitration-eligible players with a one-year deal worth $23 million. It broke Bryce Harper’s record of $21,625,000. Donaldson is now the highest-paid Blue Jay, passing both Russell Martin and Troy Tulowitzki, who earn $20 million each.

Poor Kris Bryant looks like a pauper in comparison. He only got $10.85 million in arbitration, but it did set a record for a player eligible for arbitration for the first time. He surpassed the $10 million earned by Ryan Howard in 2008.

The Nationals avoided arbitration with all three of their players who were up raises. Anthony Rendon got $12.3 million, Tanner Roark $6.475 million, and Michael A. Taylor will get $2.525 million in 2018, which is a nice bump from the $557,900 he made in 2017.

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The Padres extended left-hander Brad Hand with a three year, $19.75 million deal that was officially announced by the club on Saturday. General manager A.J. Preller also said that the team is looking for a veteran middle infielder to serve as a backup for Freddy Galvis. Alcides Escobar is still available.

Actually, it’s January 15 and lots of guys still available for lots of positions. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Jake Arrieta, J.D. Martinez, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb, Logan Morrison, and Todd Frazier, just to name a bunch.

This offseason has been so boring and has gone by so slowly that I forgot about Evan Longoria being traded to the Giants and thought I was hallucinating when I saw someone refer to him as a San Francisco Giant. Baseball. Please come back.

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