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Justin Smoak, possibly starting a trend, finds his 2021 money in Japan

Morning news and notes for Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020

San Francisco Giants v Seattle Mariners Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

I don’t know, I could be wrong. But the biggest story from yesterday, to me, felt like the news that Justin Smoak found a baseball team that would pay him $6-7M and that baseball team was in Japan.

Specifically, he is finalizing a deal with the Yomiuri Giants, who unlike their MLB peers, are not pretending to be poor. Unlike their MLB peers, they play in a country that took COVID-19 seriously. If there are more of these types of transactions in the coming weeks, it could become a worrying trend for MLB, and one that might be the kick in the butt that many of the team owners appear to need.

More news

• Oh, hey, look! A report that the Cubs (the Cubs!) would rather trade Willson Contreras than offer him the contract he desires.

• The Rays, Dodgers, and Phillies made a three-team trade. And I juuuust realized a second ago that those are the two teams the Rays have lost the World Series to.

• Yasiel Puig wants to show MLB teams that he can help them. They should already realize that.

• Jon Heyman says Trevor Bauer is looking for “a 5- or 6-year deal for $36M to $40M” per year. Trevor, of course, because he hates the media unless it’s one of his branded channels, denied this report.

• The Padres’ acquisition of Yu Darvish is official...

• ...which might mean our “IN” meme is dead.

• The Twins signed Hansel Robles for $2M.

• Thankfully, Terry Francona does not want to be called “coach” or “skip”.