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Craig Calcaterra

  1. The Pirates have "zeroed in" on Octavio Dotel

    Jan 8, 2010, 10:16 AM EDT

    On December 23rd, I reported that the Pirates had made a $3 million offer to Octavio Dotel to be their closer. The team denied it. Today, however, Dejan Kovacevic says that “Dotel is one of several relievers the team has offered a contract,” and that they have “zeroed in” on him.  He notes that that…

  2. Mike Lowell is "on a mission"

    Jan 8, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

    If I had any skills I’d create some sort of interactive bingo card for the right-hand margin on which we’d put chips every time a player is reported this spring to (a) be in the best shape of his life; (b) be working on a new pitch that he thinks will make the difference; (c)…

  3. Boras bluffed the Cardinals

    Jan 8, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    I and others suspected that the Cardinals were bidding against themselves in the Matt Holliday negotiations. Ken Rosenthal suggested yesterday that they had some help via some Boras bluffing: Would Scott Boras have pulled an Adrian Beltre with Matt Holliday, taking a one-year deal in search of a better free-agent market next off-season? The Cardinals…

  4. The Royals may sign Scott Podsednik

    Jan 8, 2010, 9:21 AM EDT

    9:21 A.M. UPDATE: Rosenthal now reports that Podsednik is saying he has a deal with a club and that the Royals are saying they have a deal with an outfielder and that we should “put 2 and 2 together!”  UPDATE: Now Jerry Crasnick has a source confirming this and that a formal announcement will come…

  5. Remember the Expos

    Jan 8, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    On the occasion of Andre Dawson’s election to the Hall of Fame, Tyler Kepner of the New York Times has a nice story up about the Montreal Expos.  Definitely worth checking out.  I rarely get too nostalgic about the Expos — in their latter years they were most bothersome competition for my Braves — but…

  6. Great Moments in Delusional Thinking

    Jan 8, 2010, 7:56 AM EDT

    “Our view of it is that with our ballpark coming online, there’s no question in my mind we’re the team of the Americas.” – Florida Marlins’ President David Samson, getting a little too excited about playing a random series in San Juan instead of the Miami suburbs this June. I’m not at all certain that…

  7. Jose Valverde is getting offers

    Jan 7, 2010, 5:31 PM EDT

    After a couple of months of looking like the guy who would be left without a seat in the great closer musical chairs game of 2009-2010, Jose Valverde finally has some offers according to Yahoo!’s Tim Brown. Four to be precise, including one from the Tigers and one from the Diamondbacks. MLB Trade Rumors notes…

  8. Report: the Rangers have offered Vlad Guerrero $7 million — or maybe $5 million

    Jan 7, 2010, 5:21 PM EDT

    UPDATE: A source tells Jerry Crasnick that, no, the Rangers aren’t going any higher than $5 million on Vlad.  I love this: battling ESPN stories. I met both Crasnick and Arangure in Indianapolis. Crasnick has the reach, but Arangure is no doubt quicker.  Anyway, even $5 million is a good offer for a guy in…

  9. The Mets are interested in John Smoltz

    Jan 7, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

    Because the sign-the-former-Brave strategy worked so well with Tom Glavine, the Mets are taking a look at John Smoltz, according to Matt Cerone of MetsBlog.com. OK, that’s not fair. Smoltz is someone the Mets should be looking at.  Lots of upside and very little risk, I would imagine.

  10. This is what Blyleven is up against

    Jan 7, 2010, 3:32 PM EDT

    It’s generally accepted that having fallen five votes short this year, Bert Blyleven’s induction in 2011 is a foregone conclusion.  That’s certainly the sensible position. And if I had to bet, I’d wager that he makes it. Part of me still wonders, however, if we haven’t seen his candidacy’s high-water mark — that place where…

  11. Yankees, Red Sox still in on Aroldis Chapman

    Jan 7, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT

    Remember when I said that the Yankees and Mets should be treated like movie slashers when it comes to the pursuit of a free agent? That you can’t count them out until they’re truly, truly dead, and that even then you should pour gasoline on the corpse and light it just to be sure? I…

  12. Report: Jack Cust signs with the Athletics

    Jan 7, 2010, 2:31 PM EDT

    Jack Cust knows that it’s hard out there for a DH. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, he’s about to re-sign with the A’s for $2.5 million with incentives that could take it up to $3 million.  He made $2.8 million in 2009. Cust was non-tendered by the A’s.  If he had…

  13. Brandon Webb, feeling good, keeping an eye on free agency

    Jan 7, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

    ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick caught up with Brandon Webb, who’s down in Arizona preparing for a comeback season with the Diamondbacks. He says he feels fine and is ready to pitch, but of course guys always say that.  We’ll see once he starts to face live hitters in spring training. More interesting were the Kentucky native’s…

  14. Jonathan Papelbon is awesome

    Jan 7, 2010, 1:45 PM EDT

    Jonathan Papelbon sat down for an interview with ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes and the subject of his soon-to-arrive son came up.  And I gotta tell ya, I’m really starting to take a shine to Jonathan Papelbon: Papelbon’s wife, Ashley, is pregnant with the couple’s second child, a brother for toddler daughter Parker. The child is…

  15. When the Astrodome was swingin'

    Jan 7, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

    If you wait long enough, even the lamest stuff becomes cool again.  Tell me Astros fans, wouldn’t you give up the comforts of Minute Maid Park if you could hang out in a place like this during a ballgame, drinking brandy Alexanders and Gibson Martinis and stuff?

  16. Let's not worry about the weather at Target Field

    Jan 7, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

    Everyone’s favorite complaint heading into the 2010 season will be about how cold and rainy and icky it’s going to be in Target Field and why oh why they didn’t put a roof on the joint. Baseball Daily Digest’s Joe Hamrahi throws cold water on that talk, however, noting that of all of the cold…

  17. Comment of the Day: How to rationalize Dawson's enshrinement

    Jan 7, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

    Commenter ralphdibny was a young Cubs fan in the late 80s and supports Dawson’s enshrinement even if he agrees that maybe he falls a smidge short, objectively speaking. He may be on to something with this: Perhaps there should be a line on his plaque that reads “While his statistics aren’t quite Hall of Fame…

  18. Kevin Towers is shacking up with the Yankees

    Jan 7, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

    Any of you ever had to pay alimony?  And watched your ex move in with some rich flame? But they don’t get married, and even though you’re making minimum wage and he/she is eating steaks every night you still have to cut the check?  Yeah, that’s the Padres and Kevin Towers: While former San Diego…

  19. Maybe the most admirable thing about Andre Dawson

    Jan 7, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

    Like I said yesterday, Andre Dawson is not necessarily my definition of a Hall of Famer on a statistical basis, but I’m fine with his induction because he was, by all accounts, a great guy, he did a lot of unmeasurable stuff that made baseball come alive in Montreal, if only for a while, and…

  20. Mark McGwire: Cardinals pinch hitter

    Jan 7, 2010, 10:50 AM EDT

    Mark McGwire may not change anyone’s mind about his Hall of Fame case simply by talking, but what if he hits a pinch hit home run to win the 2010 NLCS?  Tony La Russa: “If we’re in contention, we’ll put him on the roster Aug. 31. It’s a nice little dream.  Is it likely? Probably…

  21. Quote of the Day: Murray Chass

    Jan 7, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

    Murray Chass is one of those guys who will write something one moment that will make you want to pull your hair out, and then the next moment will make a razor-sharp observation, the sort of which that makes so much sense that you’ll wonder why you’ve never heard anyone say it before. He did…

  22. So which cap does Dawson wear on his plaque?

    Jan 7, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

    UPDATE:  Still read the discussion below because it applies to other players too, but for the record, a few minutes ago MLB.com’s Hal Bodley walked into the Waldorf Astoria ballroom where they’ll have Andre Dawson’s press conference later today and noticed that they have a big portrait of him in an Expos uniform set up. …

  23. The Marlins have "conceded defeat" in the Aroldis Chapman bidding

    Jan 7, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    So tweets Marlins beat writer Clark Spencer. As was reported yesterday, Florida wasn’t really able and/or interested in matching the money Chapman is being offered from the Angels and the Blue Jays. Instead, they were hoping that the home-away-from-home culture of Miami would help lure the young Cuban to south Florida, making up for the…

  24. Rick Morrissey knows a non-roider when he sees one

    Jan 7, 2010, 8:57 AM EDT

    Stellar Hall of Fame reasoning from Rick Morrissey of the Sun-Times: Dawson, who played 11 years with Montreal and six with the Cubs, was wiry strong his entire career. He looks very much the same today–the same ridiculously skinny waist holding up the same solid upper body. He had one season that popped out–49 home…

  25. The Cardinals will be paying Matt Holliday until 2029

    Jan 7, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    When the first reports of Matt Holliday’s deal came out they said that the contract was not backloaded. I suppose that’s technically accurate in that he’ll receive the same amount of money for all seven years of the active part of the deal, but that doesn’t exactly tell the whole story: The St. Louis Cardinals…

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