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Aaron Gleeman

  1. Jose Tabata “worked out in the gym every day this winter”

    Jan 13, 2011, 10:21 AM EDT

    Neil Walker, Jose Tabata

    It looks like we can add Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata to the ever-growing pool of players “in the best shape of their life.” Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review writes that Tabata “has bulked up noticeably” during the offseason “and it’s muscle, not fat.” One teammate called Tabata “a beast” after getting a look…

  2. Reed Johnson rejoins the Cubs on a minor league contract

    Jan 12, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

    Reed Johnson, Russell Mitchell

    Reed Johnson, who spent 2008 and 2009 with the Cubs before playing last season with the Dodgers, has returned to Chicago on a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training. Johnson struggled for the Dodgers last season and has always been stretched as a regular, but he’s a good fit as a fourth outfielder…

  3. Ryan Raburn and Tigers avoid arbitration with two-year deal

    Jan 12, 2011, 3:41 PM EDT

    ryan-raburn-tigers

    Ryan Raburn and the Tigers have agreed to a two-year, $3.4 million contract, avoiding arbitration in his first season of eligibility. After three years as a bench player Raburn received a career-high 410 plate appearances last season while starting games in all three outfield spots plus second base and first base. He hit .280 with…

  4. Koyie Hill and Cubs avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Jan 12, 2011, 2:48 PM EDT

    koyie-hill-cubs

    Koyie Hill was arbitration eligible for the second time after earning $700,000 last season, but he’s avoided the process by agreeing to a one-year, $850,000 deal with the Cubs. Hill has spent the past four seasons with the Cubs after previously being let go by the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Yankees, but has hit just .211…

  5. Kevin Kouzmanoff thought “where do I fit?” while A’s pursued other third basemen

    Jan 12, 2011, 1:46 PM EDT

    kevin-kouzmanoff-as

    Last offseason the A’s acquired Kevin Kouzmanoff from the Padres in the hopes he’d be their long-term answer at third base, but after a career-worst season that saw him hit just .247 with a measly .679 OPS the team claimed Edwin Encarnacion off waivers and made a big offer to free agent Adrian Beltre. Oakland…

  6. Mariano Rivera could pass Trevor Hoffman for all-time saves lead this season

    Jan 12, 2011, 12:47 PM EDT

    Mariano Rivera

    Trevor Hoffman announced his retirement yesterday, calling it quits after an amazing 18-year career that saw the future Hall of Famer rack up an MLB record 601 saves. To put that staggering total in some context, consider that only one other pitcher in baseball history has even 500 career saves and with Billy Wagner joining…

  7. Twins are “optimistic” that Justin Morneau “will be ready for spring training”

    Jan 12, 2011, 11:44 AM EDT

    Morneau catch

    Initially expected to be sidelined for less than a week, Justin Morneau ended up missing the final three months of the season and the playoffs after suffering a concussion from a knee to the helmet while trying to break up a double play on July 7. There’s been little said about his status since the…

  8. Armando Galarraga could be odd man out for Tigers’ rotation

    Jan 12, 2011, 10:41 AM EDT

    Armando Galarraga

    Armando Galarraga might be the most well known starting pitcher without an actual rotation spot this season, as the Tigers signing Brad Penny to a one-year, $3 million contract yesterday likely pushes Galarraga out of the starting five. Galarraga is famous for his imperfect perfect game last year and will forever be linked to umpire…

  9. All-times saves leader Trevor Hoffman announces retirement

    Jan 11, 2011, 5:15 PM EDT

    trevor hoffman padres

    Trevor Hoffman has decided to retire after 18 seasons and an MLB record 601 saves, the future Hall of Famer told Barry Bloom of MLB.com today. As recently as last month Hoffman was looking for work as a free agent, but with no teams willing to guarantee him a shot at closing in 2011 the…

  10. Alberto Callaspo, Angels avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Jan 11, 2011, 3:45 PM EDT

    alberto-callaspo-angels

    Alberto Callaspo is eligible for arbitration this season for the first time, but he’s avoided the process by agreeing to a one-year contract with the Angels. Callaspo, who earned $460,000 last season, gets a hefty raise to $2 million despite hitting just .265/.302/.374 in 146 games last year. Acquired from the Royals in July for…

  11. Josh Hamilton hospitalized for “an early case of pneumonia”

    Jan 11, 2011, 2:43 PM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers, Game 3

    Josh Hamilton was hospitalized yesterday after being diagnosed with “an early case of pneumonia,” according to the ESPNDallas.com. He’s expected to be released from the hospital today or tomorrow, and the reigning AL MVP “should be able to resume his conditioning and baseball activities within the next several days.”  

  12. Details of Carlos Gonzalez’s seven-year contract with Rockies

    Jan 11, 2011, 12:44 PM EDT

    Carlos Gonzalez rockies

    Now that Carlos Gonzalez‘s seven-year contract extension with the Rockies is finalized Troy Renck of the Denver Post has the specifics of the $80 million deal: 2011 – $1 million 2012 – $5 million 2013 – $7.5 million 2014 – $10.5 million 2015 – $16 million 2016 – $17 million 2017 – $20 million Gonzalez…

  13. Who are the top free agents still available?

    Jan 11, 2011, 11:18 AM EDT

    carl-pavano-mustache-pitching

    Most of the big-name free agents are off the market with a little over a month to go before pitchers and catchers start reporting to spring training, but based on Matthew Pouliot’s ranking of the top 111 free agents here are the best players still available: 1. Carl Pavano (RHP, Twins) 2. Andy Pettitte (LHP,…

  14. Rockies sign reliever Sean White to minor league contract

    Jan 11, 2011, 10:22 AM EDT

    sean-white-mariners

    Colorado has at least five and possibly six bullpen spots locked in already, but the Rockies added some more relief depth yesterday by signing right-hander Sean White to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training. White struggled last season, but has a 4.16 ERA in 134 career innings spent with the Mariners and…

  15. Mariners sign Adam Kennedy to minor league contract

    Jan 10, 2011, 5:20 PM EDT

    Adam Kennedy, Chris Denorfia

    Adam Kennedy, whose $2 million option for 2011 was declined by the Nationals last month, has agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training from the Mariners. Kennedy started 85 games for the Nationals last season, including 75 at second base, but hit just .249 with a .327 on-base percentage and .327…

  16. Red Sox finalize one-year deal with Hideki Okajima

    Jan 10, 2011, 12:57 PM EDT

    Hideki Okajima

    Last week Hideki Okajima was said to be close to re-signing with the Red Sox and now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that the two sides have finalized a one-year contract worth $1.75 million in guaranteed money and another $550,000 in potential incentives. Boston non-tendered Okajima last month rather than pay what likely would have…

  17. Carlos Gonzalez expected to finalize $80 million contract today

    Jan 10, 2011, 11:44 AM EDT

    Carlos Gonzalez rockies

    Carlos Gonzalez and the Rockies agreed to a seven-year, $80 million contract extension last week and the two sides are expected to finalize the deal today after Gonzalez undergoes a physical exam in Colorado. Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Gonzalez flew in from Venezuela yesterday and will visit a doctor today, with…

  18. Can Mike Stanton hit 40 homers in his first full season?

    Jan 10, 2011, 10:22 AM EDT

    mike-stanton

    Mike Stanton hit 43 homers between the minors and majors last season, including 22 long balls in 100 games with the Marlins following his call-up in mid-June, which has Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wondering if he can break the franchise record for homers in his first full season. Gary Sheffield owns that mark with 42…

  19. Blue Jays “among most serious suitors for” Brian Fuentes

    Jan 7, 2011, 5:43 PM EDT

    brian-fuentes-twins

    Brian Fuentes has been linked to nearly a dozen teams this offseason while reportedly holding out for an opportunity to close and according to Ken Davidoff of New York Newsday the Blue Jays “rank among the most serious suitors for” the 35-year-old left-hander. Toronto signed Octavio Dotel to a one-year, $3.5 million deal last week…

  20. Nationals, Adam LaRoche finalize two-year, $16 million deal

    Jan 7, 2011, 4:11 PM EDT

    Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants

    Adam LaRoche and the Nationals made things official this afternoon, as Washington announced a two-year contract with the veteran first baseman. He’ll get $7 million in 2011 and $8 million in 2012, and the deal also includes a $10 million mutual option or $1 million buyout for 2012. In other words, he’s guaranteed $16 million…

  21. Edgar Renteria expects to be the Reds’ starting shortstop

    Jan 7, 2011, 3:39 PM EDT

    Renteria running

    Edgar Renteria‘s one-year deal with Cincinnati is expected to be finalized soon and yesterday he told ESPN Deportes that “the opportunity to keep playing shortstop full time … was the main reason to accept the offer from the Reds.” However, as Mark Sheldon of MLB.com notes earlier this week–and prior to reaching an agreement with…

  22. Ryne Duren: 1929-2011

    Jan 7, 2011, 2:41 PM EDT

    ryne duren yankees

    Ryne Duren, a three-time All-Star reliever in the 1950s and 1960s known for his blazing fastball, coke-bottle glasses, and effective wildness, has passed away at age 81. Duren didn’t get his first extended opportunity in the majors until he was 28, but he pitched nine seasons for seven different teams and was a dominant force…

  23. Chone Figgins is moving back to third base for the Mariners

    Jan 7, 2011, 1:07 PM EDT

    chone-figgins-mariners

    Last offseason the Mariners signed Chone Figgins and moved him to second base, a position he hadn’t played regularly since 2005. It didn’t go well, as Figgins compounded his disappointing production at the plate by struggling defensively, with Ultimate Zone Rating pegging him as 12.3 runs below average. Not surprisingly, with 2010 third baseman Jose…

  24. Andrew Bailey cleared to throw following elbow “clean up”

    Jan 7, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

    Andrew Bailey

    Andrew Bailey was shut down in September and underwent “cleanup surgery” to remove bone chips from his elbow, but Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that the A’s closer has been cleared to resume throwing. For now he’s throwing from 60 feet, but the plan is for Bailey to stretch things out to 120 feet by…

  25. Heath Bell says signing long-term deal with Padres “would be my dream”

    Jan 7, 2011, 11:17 AM EDT

    Heath Bell

    Once the Padres traded Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox with one season remaining on his contract the assumption has been that fellow impending free agent Heath Bell isn’t long for San Diego either, but yesterday the closer told Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune that signing a long-term extension “would be my…

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