• HaroldHecuba: Mike Mussina is EASTERN EUROPEAN, not Italian....

Jay BruceReds OF Jay Bruce will start the year in the minors. Reds 1B Joey Votto could be heading there, too. Ditto for Rays 3B Evan Longoria and Rangers C Jarred Saltiama…Saltiamacch….you know, Salty.

Here’s what folks are saying about these moves:

Keith Law on Longoria and his replacement, Willie Aybar: “[W]hat the hell are the Rays doing with Willy Aybar? He’s not a good player to begin with. He missed 2007 with a substance-abuse problem. He was arrested less than two months ago for beating his wife, and only got out of jail because she didn’t want to pursue the charges, not because he was acquitted or cleared. And this is the guy you’re thinking of running out there instead of the best prospect in baseball? It’s stupid, uncharacteristically so for that front office.”

DRays Bay on Longoria: Seriously? That is going to be the excuse? He doesn’t hit breaking balls well?!?! And tell me, exactly how is he going to learn how to hit a major league breaking ball in the minors?

Rob Neyer on Longoria, Bruce and Votto: It doesn’t matter much if the Rays send Evan Longoria down, because they’re not a playoff team either way. But the Reds maybe have sort of a legitimate shot … if Bruce and Votto combine for 1,000 or more plate appearances (and yes, I pulled that figure from thin air).

Bugs and Cranks on Bruce: The question is, was this decision made before Patterson even made camp in an attempt to save money? If the Reds don’t call up Bruce until June, they get an extra year before Jay is arbitration eligible.

Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News, on Salty: To create the most value for the most catchers in a system stacked with catchers, Laird must play regularly. So must Saltalamacchia. The best way to do that is to have one catch regularly in the majors with no temptation to play the other. For now, that means Laird must play in the majors and Saltalamacchia in the minors. It’s just better for their values.

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