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Aaron Gleeman

  1. Pirates announce Joel Hanrahan will begin season as closer

    Feb 16, 2011, 1:13 PM EDT

    St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates

    Joel Hanrahan entered camp as the favorite to claim ninth-inning duties in Pittsburgh and the Pirates wasted little time making it official, announcing this afternoon that he’ll begin the season as closer. While his 3.62 ERA last season may appear mediocre, Hanrahan had a breakout season with 100 strikeouts and a .221 opponents’ batting average…

  2. Rickie Weeks and the Brewers agree to $50 million extension

    Feb 16, 2011, 12:14 PM EDT

    Rickie Weeks

    UPDATE: Rosenthal now says it’s a five-year deal worth $50 million, but the Brewers can void the fifth year if Weeks “is not an everyday player in 2013 and 2014.” That provision eliminates some of the health-related risks, but that’s still a huge investment in player who’s provided star-level value just once in five seasons.…

  3. Chipper Jones had “a good first day” at Braves camp

    Feb 16, 2011, 11:13 AM EDT

    Chipper Jones

    Chipper Jones fielded ground balls yesterday for the first time since undergoing season-ending knee surgery in August and also took 40 swings in the batting cage, telling David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that it was “a good first day.” I’m not going to go out here and try to make the club on…

  4. Frank Francisco favored to emerge as Blue Jays’ closer

    Feb 16, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    frank-francisco-rangers

    Frank Francisco, Octavio Dotel, Jon Rauch, and Jason Frasor are all candidates to close in Toronto, but new manager John Farrell told Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Star that he’ll settle on one guy rather than go by a committee approach because “it not only serves that individual but it serves the rest of the…

  5. UPDATE: Mets sign Jason Isringhausen to minor league contract

    Feb 15, 2011, 9:01 PM EDT

    Jason Isringhausen AP

    UPDATE: According to David Lennon of New York Newsday, the Mets have signed Jason Isringhausen to a minor league contract with an invite to big league camp. 12:50 PM: Last month Jason Isringhausen opted not to sign with the Reds after he threw a bullpen session for pitching coach Bryan Price, so today the 38-year-old…

  6. Rickie Weeks and the Brewers are working on long-term deal

    Feb 15, 2011, 4:48 PM EDT

    Rickie Weeks

    Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Rickie Weeks and the Brewers are trying to hammer out a long-term contract prior to their scheduled arbitration hearing Thursday. According to Rosenthal the contract would for at least three and possibly as many as five years. This season is Weeks’ third and final year of arbitration eligibility, so…

  7. Joel Zumaya is back from his latest injury and still lighting up radar guns

    Feb 15, 2011, 3:44 PM EDT

    Detroit pitcher Zumaya injures arm after pitching to Twins Young during their MLB baseball game in Minneapolis

    Three months ago, in the midst of recovering from a fractured elbow, Joel Zumaya cautioned that he was one more injury from “finding another job,” but the oft-injured reliever was much more optimistic yesterday after throwing his first bullpen session of the spring. Zumaya impressed onlookers with his velocity despite not throwing anywhere near maximum…

  8. Erik Bedard throws bullpen session, but “definitely not letting it rip” yet

    Feb 15, 2011, 2:46 PM EDT

    bedard-thumb-250x175-700

    Erik Bedard hasn’t pitched since July of 2009, but the oft-injured left-hander threw his first bullpen session of the year yesterday and reported no problems. Of course, as catcher Josh Bard told Greg Johns of MLB.com afterward: “He’s definitely not letting it rip, but nobody that is smart is at this point.” Bedard earned $1.75…

  9. Kelly Johnson and the Diamondbacks avoid arbitration

    Feb 15, 2011, 1:40 PM EDT

    Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks

    Kelly Johnson and the Diamondbacks had an arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow, but the two sides have avoided the process by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $5.8 million. Johnson requested $6.5 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $4.7 million, so they compromised at $200,000 more than the midpoint. Atlanta non-tendered Johnson last offseason rather…

  10. Jorge Posada “wouldn’t be surprised” if Andy Pettitte returns

    Feb 15, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

    pettite-and-posada

    Andy Pettitte announced his retirement on February 2, but today Jorge Posada told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if his longtime batterymate reconsidered and returned to the Yankees at some point in 2011. Or course, Wallace also writes that Posada “admitted he had no real reason for believing Pettitte might change…

  11. Kyle Blanks is “a long shot” to be ready for Opening Day

    Feb 15, 2011, 11:17 AM EDT

    Kyle Blanks high five

    Kyle Blanks showed immense potential as a 22-year-old rookie in 2009, smacking 10 homers with an .868 OPS in 54 games after joining the Padres in mid-June, but he hit just .157 through 33 games last year before undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery shortly after the All-Star break. Blanks dropped 10 pounds from his 6-foot-6,…

  12. Grady Sizemore’s status for Opening Day is uncertain

    Feb 15, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    sizemore

    Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that Grady Sizemore took batting practice and did some light jogging yesterday, but the center fielder hasn’t resumed full baseball activities yet nine months after undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee. Sizemore told Bastian that being in the Opening Day lineup remains his goal, but indicated that may be…

  13. Omar Infante had emergency gall bladder surgery in December

    Feb 14, 2011, 5:14 PM EDT

    Omar Infante

    This morning we learned that Angels shortstop Erick Aybar underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in October and now Marlins second baseman Omar Infante revealed that he had emergency gall bladder surgery in December. I’m not sure why neither team felt it was worth telling anyone about the surgeries until the players showed up for spring training…

  14. Giants turn to Brian Lawrence after minor league deal with Elmer Dessens falls through

    Feb 14, 2011, 4:19 PM EDT

    brian-lawrence-mets

    Last week the Giants signed Elmer Dessens to a minor-league contract that would pay $600,000 if he makes the team out of spring training. Or so they thought. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle now reports that the deal with Dessens “fell through” and the Giants won’t be signing him, instead inking former Padres…

  15. Joe Girardi says Derek Jeter will remain Yankees’ leadoff man

    Feb 14, 2011, 3:16 PM EDT

    Derek Jeter smiling

    This morning Joe Girardi made it clear that Derek Jeter will continue to be the Yankees’ leadoff hitter despite coming off a career-worst season that included a career-low .340 on-base percentage. Here’s what the manager had to say about leaving Jeter atop the lineup: We signed him to be our shortstop and we signed him…

  16. Are the Twins giving up on Francisco Liriano?

    Feb 14, 2011, 2:18 PM EDT

    francisco-liriano-twins

    Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune caused a huge stir in Minnesota last week by reporting that the Twins “don’t plan to sign Francisco Liriano long term” and added that he’s “surprised how open they are” to the possibility of trading Liriano, citing discussions with “team officials” after the two sides avoided arbitration with…

  17. Chien-Ming Wang expects to begin season on disabled list

    Feb 14, 2011, 1:45 PM EDT

    chien-ming-wang-03-08-10jpg-538a4e9e2d1da934_large

    Chien-Ming Wang threw from flat ground at Nationals camp today and has already tossed four bullpen sessions since re-signing with the team in December, but the rehabbing right-hander told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he expects to begin the season on the disabled list. Wang is still recovering from shoulder surgery that caused…

  18. Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher underwent surgery to remove cancerous growth

    Feb 14, 2011, 12:50 PM EDT

    mike-butcher-angels

    Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher had surgery Thursday to remove a cancerous nodule from his thyroid gland and is expected to make a full recovery, according to Mark Saxon of ESPNLA.com. In fact, Butcher was already back at work Sunday for the final team meetings before pitchers and catchers arrive at spring training, albeit while…

  19. Jered Weaver takes arbitration loss in stride … for now

    Feb 14, 2011, 12:18 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers

    History suggests that players who lose arbitration hearings don’t stay with the teams that defeated them for long, but Jered Weaver has “no hard feelings” after a three-person panel sided with the Angels last week. Weaver requested $8.8 million while the Angels countered at $7.365 million and the team came out on top after what…

  20. Albert Pujols and the Cardinals push back deadline by one day

    Feb 14, 2011, 11:13 AM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds

    Albert Pujols and the Cardinals are reportedly no closer to agreeing on a long-term contract, but the two sides have at least agreed to push back the superstar first baseman’s self-imposed deadline for negotiations by one day. Pujols initially told the team he would cut off all talks Tuesday, but because Hall of Famer and…

  21. Pirates haven’t been able to trade Ryan Doumit and his $5.1 million salary

    Feb 14, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    ryan-doumit-pirates

    Back in December the Pirates were said to be “trying hard to deal” Ryan Doumit, but Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that those efforts proved unsuccessful “even when offering to swallow a big chunk of his salary.” Doumit will make $5.1 million in the final season of a three-year contract extension signed…

  22. Erick Aybar had left knee surgery back in October

    Feb 14, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    erick-aybar-and-casey-mcgehee

    No announcement was made at the time, but the Angels finally revealed yesterday that shortstop Erick Aybar underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery shortly after last season ended. Aybar’s surgery was described by the team as a minor “clean up” operation and he’s already fully healthy. He originally injured the knee in mid-June when Casey McGehee…

  23. UPDATE: Nick Swisher has hired Dan Lozano, not Scott Boras

    Feb 11, 2011, 7:15 PM EDT

    swisher-101021

    UPDATE: OK, maybe not. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Nick Swisher has hired Dan Lozano as his new agent, not Scott Boras. Oh well. We’re pretty sure Boras will find a way to get along just fine without him. 11:27 PM: Robinson Cano switched agents last week, going from Bobby Barad to Scott Boras,…

  24. James Loney and Dodgers avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Feb 11, 2011, 5:10 PM EDT

    James Loney swinging

    James Loney and the Dodgers had an arbitration hearing scheduled for next Friday, but the two sides will avoid the process by agreeing to a one-year, $4.875 million deal. Loney requested $5.25 million and the Dodgers countered at $4.7 million, so they’re settling for $100,000 below the midpoint. Loney will be arbitration eligible again in…

  25. Edinson Volquez turned down a four-year deal from the Reds

    Feb 11, 2011, 4:18 PM EDT

    Edinson Volquez

    Cincinnati handed out new multi-year contracts to Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, and Bronson Arroyo this offseason, spending more than $150 million in the process, but the Reds’ attempts to do the same with Edinson Volquez were denied. Volquez told the Dominican newspaper El Caribe that the Reds offered him “a four-year contract, the…

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