- The Reds and elite lefty reliever Sean Marshall agreed to a contract extension for 3 years/$16.5 million. Reds GM Walt Jocketty says that Marshall may take on the role of closer eventually.
- Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek has decided to hang it up. Our Fenway Fatales have feelings about this.
- Catcher Salvador Perez, who debuted with Kansas City last season, signed a 5 year/$7 million contract with the Royals. The contract includes three additional option years and a whole mess of incentives. In 39 games with the big club, Perez put together a .331/.361/.473 line.
- Yadier Molina, Cardinals catcher, signed a 5 year/$75 million extension with a $15 million option for 2018. An excellent defensive catcher, Molina also put together his best offensive season to date in 2011, posting a .305/.349/.465 line.
- The Padres and center fielder Cameron Maybin have agreed to a 5 year/$25 million extension, locking Maybin up through his first year of free agency. Though speed and elite defense tend to be undervalued, and Maybin’s offense is further suppressed by his home ballpark, this deal seems to be a winner for everyone.
- Center fielder Andrew McCutchen will be a Pirate for a good, long time. The All-Star has agreed to a 6 year/$51.5 million contract with a $14.75 million option for 2018, similar to those signed by Justin Upton and Jay Bruce.
The Phillies remain confidently perched in their throne atop the National League East, but the Mets, Marlins, and Nationals are practically neck-in-neck for the division bronze. Meanwhile, Atlanta is comfortably in second, buffered by several wins in either direction. Rivalries ignite among National League heavyweights, players make big turnarounds, and some come to terms with their off-the-field popularity; read on for more after the jump.