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Daily Links - The Spring Training: So Close I Can Smell It Edition

Just five days until Pitchers and Catchers report. The truck is rolling down I-95. Is it lame that I wore my Spring Training jersey around the house today? Don't answer that.

Link time!

In case you missed it, hours before the scheduled start of the arbitration hearing, the Red Sox and David Ortiz came to an agreement on Ortiz's salary for the 2012 season. Marc, in between dealing with his new Jeep dealership, covered the details here at OTM. The Providence Journal's Tim Britton also has the story on the deal which at this point has to be nothing but positive for both parties. The Red Sox avoided losing in arbitration (something that was a distinct possibility) and Ortiz ensured he'd get a raise over and above what the Sox offered him.

Over at Baseball Prospectus, Kevin Goldstein, fresh off his list of the top 101 prospects in baseball, has published the Top 11 Red Sox Prospects. The article is behind the paywall, but I don't think I'm giving too much away to tell you that Xander Bogaerts slots in at the top and is the only five star prospect on the list.

In less important but definitely stranger news, I made my debut at Baseball Prospectus today. My piece is about the travails of Roy Oswalt and it is part of the excellent ProGuestus series that BP runs. If you've read my stuff here (and if you're reading these words I'm guessing you have) then you probably know what to expect, but head on over and check it out anyway. It's free.

Allan at Joy of Sox has compiled predictions from some of the major publications about the 2012 baseball season. Unsurprisingly there isn't a whole lot of optimism about the Red Sox chances.

Friend of OTM Sam Miller of the Orange County Register notes that Vernon Wells is hard at work to erase last season's giant helping of suck. If only Wells were half as good at baseball as he appears to be at working out none of this would matter in the first place.

The unstoppable Alex Speier of looks at why financial flexibility could be an important key to the success of the 2012 Red Sox.

The A's signed Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes to a four year $36 million contract with the promise that he could become a free agent at the end of the contract. Jason Wojciechowski at Beaneball looks at what the signing means for the A's this season as well as providing a Daily Links: Cespedes Only Edition of sorts.

Jim Bowden is kind of a strange guy. (DC Sports Bog)'s Cliff Corcoran thinks the Orioles are the perfect team for Manny Ramirez. This may be so as there isn't any downside to Manny joining Baltimore. But the upside is limited when you're talking about a team like the Orioles or A's who won't contend even if everything breaks their way. Manny can be a DH and probably an above average one, but that won't help Baltimore or Oakland. Toronto makes more sense, though they already have Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind on the roster. Even if Manny's production would upgrade the position (which isn't for certain) the team would have to find a back room to stash one or both of Lind and Encarnacion.

Finally, if you were a kid in the 80s whose parents let you watch television occasionally, it's entirely possible this song is buried somewhere deep in the recesses of your brain clogging up space and preventing you from recalling more useful information. Yes, this could be the reason you can't remember your mom's birthday.