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As a winter storm prepares to bear down on the upper midwest, The Stack is here to remind those in Minnesota and the Dakotas to stay safe today and into tomorrow.  Now having got that out of the way, let's see what made "the stack" for today, Wednesday, December 4:

Jacoby Ellsbury joins the Yankees

They don't call it the "Hot Stove" for nothing.  Lots of deals going down in baseball free agency yesterday, but the biggest one by far is outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury bolting the World Series champion Boston Red Sox for their arch rival New York Yankees (this could make for an awkward meeting when he receives his ring).  Ellsbury reportedly will sign a seven-year $153 million deal.  It's a big addition for the Yankees.  Is this a move made thinking they will lose Robinson Cano?  Perhaps.  Regardless, this is a big signing by the Yankees.  Ellsbury is a good bat and plays solid defense.  Jumping from the Red Sox to the Yankees is a Babe Ruth-Johnny Damon type move, but one the Yankees are hoping pays off big time.

In other MLB free agent news...

  • The Detroit Tigers and closer Joe Nathan are close to agreeing on a deal, meaning Nathan will be back in the AL Central and I'm guessing when he signs, he's going to want to save every game he can against his former team the Minnesota Twins.  
  • The Boston Red Sox have signed catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year $8.25 million deal according to reports.  And the reason they signed is Pierzynski is because...
  • The Miami Marlins signed former Red Sox catcher Jason Saltalamacchia to a three-year $21 million contract according to reports.  The Red Sox have lost a few players critical to their World Series run.  They must have a plan to replace them.  Hope the Marlins are using their money wisely.  Well, it's not like their owner spends that much money to put a quality product on the field right?  Maybe he will spend more money for this year.

More big free agency news is certainly bound to happen in the next few days.

 

Marcus Mariota staying at Oregon

The great quarterback class of the 2014 NFL Draft has shrunk by one as Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota announced yesterday that he will return to school for his junior year to focus on his degree and play for the Ducks another season.  It's a smart move in my estimation.  Mariota can improve his game across all aspects.  He's a good quarterback now and an even better athlete, but he can potentially become great.  Plus, it's not like he was going to be one of the top two or even three quarterbacks picked in the first round.  Heck, he may not even have been picked in the first round.  Why not go back to school, earn your degree, and hone your skills more so you can be more of a sure-fire pick in a year or two?  Sounds like a smart move to me and Ducks fans have to really like the decision.  They'll be a really good team once again next year.

 

Yeah that's pretty much it for today's blog.  More may be added later...

Coming up Thursday: TNF preview plus other top stories and headlines from the sports world 

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