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Aaron Gleeman

  1. Nationals sign Alex Cora to a minor league contract

    Jan 17, 2011, 12:50 PM EST

    Alex Cora

    Last week the Nationals were said to be targeting Jerry Hairston Jr. as their utility man replacement for Willie Harris, who signed a minor-league deal with the Mets. However,¬†according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com they turned their attention to Alex Cora because “some in the organization believe [Hairston’s] asking price would be too steep” and…

  2. Pablo Sandoval’s dieting tips

    Jan 17, 2011, 12:15 PM EST

    sandoval tweet

    After eating his way out of a starting job last season Pablo Sandoval has shed 20-30 pounds this winter, posting a picture of his slimmed-down self over the weekend that shows him looking like a new man. That led to a bunch of his Twitter followers asking Sandoval how he lost the weight, so he…

  3. Jose Veras chooses Pirates over Giants, Rockies, Twins, Marlins, and Rays

    Jan 17, 2011, 10:44 AM EST

    jose-veras-marlins

    Reportedly offered minor-league contracts by as many as a half-dozen teams last week, reliever Jose Veras has signed with the Pirates, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes. Veras chose the Pirates over the Giants, Rockies, Twins, Marlins, and Rays, with Rojas reporting that the right-hander will receive a base salary of $1 million if…

  4. Nationals GM “frustrated” and “disappointed” with failed attempts to improve rotation

    Jan 14, 2011, 4:21 PM EST

    Mike Rizzo

    This afternoon the Nationals held a press conference to introduce Adam LaRoche to the local media, who naturally asked general manager Mike Rizzo about the team’s various failed attempts to improve the starting rotation this offseason. They failed to sign Cliff Lee and Jorge De La Rosa, have apparently dropped out of the bidding for…

  5. Carl Pavano’s “decision expected Monday or Tuesday”

    Jan 14, 2011, 3:15 PM EST

    carl-pavano-mustache-pitching

    General manager Bill Smith said this afternoon that re-signing Jim Thome won’t keep the Twins from also bringing back Carl Pavano, telling Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “We’re very optimistic, very hopeful of bringing Carl Pavano back to this ball club.” Christensen reports that Pavano “is taking the weekend to think about the…

  6. Mets sign utility man Willie Harris to a minor league contract

    Jan 14, 2011, 2:14 PM EST

    willie-harris-nationals

    After three seasons in Washington the Nationals weren’t interested in bringing back Willie Harris and he apparently didn’t get any major-league offers thanks to a .183 batting average last year, so the 33-year-old utility man has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mets. Prior to falling apart last season Harris was a very useful…

  7. Nationals interested in Jerry Hairston Jr. as replacement for Willie Harris

    Jan 14, 2011, 1:17 PM EST

    Image (1) hairston%20scores.jpg for post 3384

    Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals will not be re-signing Willie Harris, who spent the past three seasons in Washington, and are interesting in signing Jerry Hairston Jr. as his utility man replacement. Harris and Hairston are pretty similar, with Hairston perhaps bringing a bit more defensive value to the table, and Ladson…

  8. Twins re-sign Jim Thome to one-year, $3 million contract

    Jan 14, 2011, 12:26 PM EST

    Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers

    After flirting with the Rangers while searching for a multi-year deal, Jim Thome has returned to the Twins on a one-year contract. According to Kelly Thesier of MLB.com he’ll get $3 million in guaranteed money, plus incentives based on playing time, which means the Twins got Thome at a bargain rate for the second straight…

  9. Rays will have 11 of the top 75 picks in this year’s draft

    Jan 14, 2011, 12:12 PM EST

    MLB First Year Player Draft

    This morning I noted that free agents departing the Rays this offseason have signed elsewhere for a total of $215 million and since then Grant Balfour raised that figure even higher by signing a multi-year deal with the A’s. While most of the focus has understandably been on the Rays losing so much major-league talent,…

  10. Angels, Twins, Rangers, Rays, and Blue Jays interested in Manny Ramirez

    Jan 14, 2011, 11:08 AM EST

    Chicago White Sox designated hitter Manny Ramirez smiles in the dugout during their MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim

    Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the Angels, Twins, Rangers, Rays, and Blue Jays are among “at least five teams” to express interest in Manny Ramirez, which is a surprise given how little speculation has surrounded him publicly throughout the offseason. Rojas writes that Ramirez has been training in Arizona in an effort to…

  11. Free agents departing Rays have signed for $213 million

    Jan 14, 2011, 10:18 AM EST

    Theo Epstein, Carl Crawford

    Following the Yankees signing Rafael Soriano to a three-year, $35 million deal last night Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune notes that the eight free agents departing the Rays this offseason have signed elsewhere for a total of $213 million over 19 years. That total will rise to $215 million for 20 seasons once Chad…

  12. UPDATE: Frank Robinson released from hospital

    Jan 13, 2011, 5:04 PM EST

    Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals

    UPDATE: Not only is Robinson already out of the hospital, he’s returned to the owners meetings. ========== Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Frank Robinson has been hospitalized “after experiencing dizziness and irregular heartbeat at the owners meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona.” According to Shaikin the 75-year-old Hall of Famer “was alert and…

  13. Dodgers general manager rules out signing Johnny Damon

    Jan 13, 2011, 4:50 PM EST

    Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees

    Yesterday manager Don Mattingly reiterated that the Dodgers won’t be bringing back Manny Ramirez and today general manager Ned Colletti also ruled out signing free agent Johnny Damon. Colletti also indicated that the Dodgers are unlikely to sign Scott Podsednik, telling Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that he’s instead focusing on right-handed-hitting options…

  14. Padres close to signing reliever Chad Qualls to one-year deal

    Jan 13, 2011, 3:57 PM EST

    Tampa Bay's Quallsthrows a pitch with the bases loaded with Kansas City base runners during their MLB baseball game in Kansas City

    Chad Qualls is “close to agreeing on a contract” with the Padres, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com. With a 7.32 ERA in 59 innings between two teams Qualls had a dreadful 2010, but most of that can be blamed on a .399 batting average on balls in play that was the worst in…

  15. Don Mattingly: “I don’t think Manny is a viable option now”

    Jan 13, 2011, 2:53 PM EST

    Mannywood sign

    Despite the Dodgers’ offseason-long search for a left fielder and/or middle-of-the-order bat, new manager Don Mattingly reiterated to Beth Harris of the Associated Press that Mannywood won’t be returning to Dodger Stadium. “I don’t think Manny is a viable option now,” Mattingly said, with Harris noting that he was “choosing his words carefully.” At this…

  16. Derek Jeter will report to spring training early to work with hitting coach Kevin Long

    Jan 13, 2011, 2:17 PM EST

    mlb_jeter

    Coming off the worst season of his career, Derek Jeter will report to the Yankees’ spring training complex in two weeks to get a head start working with hitting coach Kevin Long. Full squad workouts aren’t until February 20, but Long told Brian Costello of the New York Post that Jeter “wants to get going”…

  17. Ryan Howard listens to The Cranberries

    Jan 13, 2011, 1:13 PM EST

    the cranberries

    Ryan Howard told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that the ankle injury which caused him to miss three weeks last August and sapped his production down the stretch still isn’t 100 percent healed. More importantly, in doing so he said: I still get a little bit of stiffness every once in a while. I’ll take it…

  18. Cornering the market on scrappiness, Diamondbacks sign Willie Bloomquist

    Jan 13, 2011, 11:15 AM EST

    Willie Bloomquist

    Geoff Blum apparently didn’t fill new general manager Kevin Towers’ “scrappy utility infielder” quota for the offseason, so Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Diamondbacks have signed Willie Bloomquist to a one-year, $1.05 million deal with a mutual option for 2012. That means Diamondbacks fans will now be treated to months of newspaper articles…

  19. Jay Gibbons leaves winter ball team due to blurred vision

    Jan 13, 2011, 10:50 AM EST

    jay-gibbons-dodgers

    Jay Gibbons has been playing winter ball in Venezuela, but had to leave the team earlier this week because of blurred vision following November eye surgery to improve his sight from 20/20 to 20/15, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Dodgers trainer Stan Conte downplayed the seriousness of the blurred vision, telling…

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

    Jan 13, 2011, 10:21 AM EST

    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…

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

    Jan 12, 2011, 4:16 PM EST

    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…

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

    Jan 12, 2011, 3:41 PM EST

    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…

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

    Jan 12, 2011, 2:48 PM EST

    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…

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

    Jan 12, 2011, 1:46 PM EST

    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…

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

    Jan 12, 2011, 12:47 PM EST

    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…

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