Monday’s Morning Links:

Steve O Speak

Marlins Land Vazquez with a 1-year deal: I love this move for Florida, as I believe that Vazquez was one of the best values on the Free Agent market. Yes, most fans will point to his awful 2010 with the Yankees, but prior to that Vazquez was consistently a very good pitcher year in, year out. While last year’s numbers concern me, I think Vazquez is well worth the risk, especially for National League teams where his stuff played up to the level of a borderline ace. I think Vazquez is a good value at $7 million, though I’m not a huge fan of giving out a full-no trade clause like the Marlins did. I fully expect Vazquez to be a quality pitcher for the Marlins this year, and for Vazquez to rebuild his stock for next offseason.

Gruden Staying on Monday Night Football: Jon Gruden quickly squashed the rumor that he would be a serious candidate for the Miami head coaching position. Now I don’t know if I would rule Gruden out entirely, and it wouldn’t shock me if he returns to coaching next season, but I think Miami will have to wait for his decision. Gruden is likely a front runner for a number of NFL head coaching jobs that will be available around the league; so it wouldn’t make much sense for him to grab the Hurricanes job without waiting to see what else was available. I don’t know if Miami can afford to be that patient to wait until potentially mid-January (or later) for Gruden to make his decision. With every day that goes by with Miami not having a big named head coach, they are losing out on recruits for next season.

Cutler and the Bears hold off the Eagles: It time to start considering the Bears as legit contenders. Sure they were at home beating the Eagles and they have had a few easy games on their schedule, but they are playing great football right now, and 8-3 is pretty impressive.  They are showing a more balanced attack than what most people expected, and their defense is playing great. What is most impressive about the Bears is that they are doing all of this with quite possibly the worst offensive line in football. Jay Cutler is running for his life basically every time he throws the ball, but still keeps Chicago in every game (though his 4 picks were the difference in that Skins game). Cutler killed the Eagles last night (despite being pressured) completing 2/3rds of his passes and throwing for four touchdowns. Coupled yesterday’s win with the Packers loss and the Bears are in the drivers seat for the NFC North.

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