Sunday Snack-Sized Applesauce: Free Agent Updates, Park Factors, Identity Fraud and ITBSOHL™!

It was a quiet Saturday in Flushing, so there's really nothing new to talk about with the Mets this morning. Here's your Sunday look around the league.

At Beyond the Box Score, Amazin' Avenue's own Bill Petti tries to figure out how park factors affect team success.

The Times has an article up about the issue of identity fraud among Dominican players in baseball, in which Sandy Alderson is quoted a number of times.

ITBSOHL!!!! You know that it's getting close to spring training when the "In The Best Shape Of His Life™" articles begin cropping up and it looks like we're at that point right now. The Braves' Jason Heyward, the White Sox' Adam Dunn and the Twins' Joe Mauer all insist that they are currently in the best shape of their life.

As we reach the end of January, there are still a few big names out on the free agent market. Roy Oswalt has been rumored to be negotiating with the Cardinals the last few days but the team has denied that it has anything in the works with the veteran right-hander. Meanwhile, an article in the Dallas Morning News says that Oswalt is scheduled to meet with the Rangers on Monday. They also mention that the Red Sox and the Astros are in the running as well.

Edwin Jackson, meanwhile, is drawing more interest now and is said to have multiple three year offers on the table, according to Ken Rosenthal.

In other free agency goings-on, the Giants agreed with infielder Ryan Theriot on a one year, $1.25 million contract that will reunite him with former Cubs' and LSU teammate Mike Fontenot. Meanwhile, Brad Penny has a team interested in him--in Japan. The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have offered Penny a contract, which the big righty is supposedly weighing (pun intended).

It looks like Bud Selig is ready to step in to decide the still unpaid Theo Epstein compensation that the Cubs will send to the Red Sox.

This is interesting. Apparently, Jim Thome has a handshake agreement with White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf that once the slugger retires, he will go to work with the White Sox.

The Safeco Field roof broke down at Mariners' FanFest yesterday, as two of the panels in the roof could not move due to a broken wheel and axle. Looks like the team is not the only thing in need of repairs (Ba-Dum-Tish! I'm here all week, folks. Try the veal!).

And finally, Phillies' GM Ruben Amaro says that the Ryan Howard contract still looks good to him, mainly because he didn't have to give him 9 or 10 years. Right. So I guess it's better to pay the 17th best first baseman in the majors the highest annual salary for a first baseman for five years than to actually have a good first baseman. Okay, enjoy your albatross!

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