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Bill Baer

  1. Jeff Samardzija on extension talks with Cubs: emotional attachment “only goes so far”

    Feb 14, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT

    samardzija getty

    The Cubs and starter Jeff Samardzija recently agreed to a salary of $5.345 million for the 2014 season to avoid arbitration. It offered nothing in the way of progress between the two sides, who have been discussing a multi-year contract extension. The Cubs reportedly offered the right-hander $55 million over five years back in December,…

  2. Juan Lagares may be the odd man out in the Mets’ outfield

    Feb 14, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT

    New York Mets v Cincinnati Reds

    The Mets made a splash this off-season, signing Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract. They also picked up Chris Young on the cheap, and manager Terry Collins views him as a starter. That leaves one spot in the outfield between Juan Lagares and Eric Young, Jr. According to Mike Vorkunov of the Star-Ledger,…

  3. Taking a page out of the Yankees’ playbook, the Reds will enact a facial hair policy

    Feb 14, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

    reds logo

    The Yankees are well-known around the league for their rather stringent policies on grooming. Johnny Damon and Kevin Youkilis are just two of baseball’s cavemen who had to clean themselves up after signing with the Yankees. Not everyone is a fan. Rays starter David Price said last year he wouldn’t sign a long-term deal with…

  4. Abundance of “old school” types in Phillies organization intrigued pitching coach Bob McClure

    Feb 14, 2014, 8:04 PM EDT

    Bob McClure

    At the end of September, the Phillies said goodbye to longtime pitching coach Rich Dubee. Dubee had been with the club for nine seasons. In November, the Phillies announced they had hired Bob McClure to be their new pitching coach. McClure had previously coached for the Rockies, Royals, and Red Sox. Also during the off-season,…

  5. Braves minor leaguer Orrin Sears suspended 50 games after testing positive for PEDs

    Feb 14, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT

    braves logo

    Braves minor league catcher Orrin Sears has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for metabolites of Methandienone, reports David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His suspension will start at the beginning of the 2014 minor league season. The Braves selected Sears in the 24th round of last year’s draft. The 22-year-old hit .247 in…

  6. Rangers, Mitch Moreland avoid arbitration with $2.65 million deal

    Feb 14, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

    moreland getty

    The Rangers and DH Mitch Moreland have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.65 million deal for the 2014 season, reports Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports adds that Moreland can get an additional $25,000 each for reaching 470 and 525 plate appearances. Moreland was eligible for arbitration…

  7. Matt Kemp: “I’m not a fourth outfielder”

    Feb 14, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    matt kemp getty

    Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has played in 179 of a possible 324 regular season games over the past two years due to [background changes from night to day, summer to winter while I recount] a strained left hamstring, a right knee contusion, a frayed labrum in his left shoulder (which required surgery in October 2012),…

  8. Wandy Rodriguez says he’s ready for spring training

    Feb 9, 2014, 11:20 PM EDT

    wandy rodriguez pirates getty

    Wandy Rodriguez started off strong for the Pirates, posting a 3.47 ERA through his first 11 starts of the 2013 season. He retired just one batter in his next start on June 5 against the Braves, however, and soon after went on the disabled list with a strained left forearm. He would spend the rest…

  9. Nate Robertson is looking for a bullpen job

    Feb 9, 2014, 10:45 PM EDT

    Nate Robertson

    Jon Morosi of FOX Sports is reporting that free agent lefty Nate Robertson is looking for work as a reliever and has spoken with several clubs. Robertson, 36, hasn’t appeared in the Majors since September 8, 2010, when he allowed six runs in two-thirds of an inning for the Phillies against the Marlins. Robertson, however,…

  10. Orioles, Blue Jays among teams considering adding Ervin Santana

    Feb 9, 2014, 10:06 PM EDT

    ervin santana getty

    Orioles pitchers and catchers report on Thursday; Blue Jays pitchers and catchers report on Sunday. No one knows if free agent starter Ervin Santana will have a new home by then, but Jon Morosi of FOX Sports is reporting that the O’s and Jays have had discussions with Santana’s representatives at Proformance Baseball. Santana remains…

  11. Randall Delgado could wind up in the D-Backs’ bullpen

    Feb 9, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

    Randall Delgado

    Starter Bronson Arroyo inked a two-year, $23.5 million deal with the Diamondbacks on Friday. The signing displaced two pitchers in the D-Backs’ system: 2011 first-rounder Archie Bradley and Randall Delgado, one of the players acquired from the Braves in January 2013′s Justin Upton trade. The rotation can more or less be written in ink with…

  12. Johnny Damon still open to playing — or managing — but only in the Majors

    Feb 9, 2014, 8:20 PM EDT

    damon ap

    Last month, reports indicated that Johnny Damon was still interested in continuing his playing career. That hasn’t changed, but as Marc Topkin notes for the Tampa Bay Times, Damon would also be opening to managing. With either endeavor, however, Damon would only be interested in a job at the Major League level. Damon didn’t play…

  13. Rockies will retire Todd Helton’s number 17

    Feb 9, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT

    todd helton getty

    For the first time since 1997, the Rockies will have a full-time first baseman not named Todd Helton. Helton announced his retirement in September, ending a 17-year Major League career. His Hall of Fame case will be debated in earnest the closer we get to 2018. For now, as Troy Renck of the Denver Post…

  14. Paul Maholm willing to pitch out of the bullpen if necessary

    Feb 9, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates

    The Dodgers made a depth signing when they agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal Saturday evening. With Dan Haren suffering from back and shoulder issues over the past two seasons, and with Josh Beckett working his way back from shoulder surgery last July, the Dodgers needed a fallback option in the event either or…

  15. Bill Bray, battling back from injuries, wants to pitch in 2014

    Feb 8, 2014, 11:35 PM EDT

    Bill Bray

    Reliever Bill Bray had a tough 2013. He was able to accrue just 4 1/3 innings of work with Washington’s Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg due to back, groin, and shoulder injuries. He racked up just 8 2/3 innings in 2012 with the Reds as well. Bray, however, is hoping a team will offer him a…

  16. Josh Johnson is feeling good heading into spring training

    Feb 8, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT

    Josh Johnson Getty

    Padres starter Josh Johnson has been a Major League regular for eight seasons, but has been able to cross the 100-inning threshold just four times. The right-hander has famously had trouble staying healthy and it was the case last year after coming to the Blue Jays in a mega-trade with the Marlins. He made only…

  17. Orioles interested in free agents Joe Saunders and Chris Capuano

    Feb 8, 2014, 10:20 PM EDT

    Joe Saunders Getty

    Jon Morosi of FOX Sports is reporting that the Orioles are talking with free agent starters Joe Saunders and Chris Capuano. The Orioles had previously shown interest in A.J. Burnett; their newfound interest in Saunders and Capuano could indicate that they have moved on in their pursuit of starting pitching. Saunders pitched for the Orioles…

  18. Phillies could get creative to find room for Darin Ruf on the roster

    Feb 8, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

    New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies

    By weighted on-base average (wOBA), Darin Ruf (.354) out-hit every Phillie except Chase Utley (.356). PECOTA, the projection system found at Baseball Prospectus, projects Ruf to be more valuable than All-Star Domonic Brown in 2014. And yet, most are expecting Ruf to start the season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. It makes logical sense. The Phillies’…

  19. Red Sox showing interest in bringing back Joel Hanrahan

    Feb 8, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT

    Joel Hanrahan Getty

    Despite posting a 9.82 ERA in 7 1/3 innings and having to undergo surgery on his right elbow last season, the Red Sox are considering bringing reliever Joel Hanrahan back, according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford. The Sox traded for Hanrahan and Brock Holt in December 2012, sending Ivan DeJesus, Mark Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, and Jerry…

  20. Dodgers sign Paul Maholm to a $1.5 million Major League deal

    Feb 8, 2014, 7:17 PM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates

    There was some speculation earlier that the Dodgers and Paul Maholm were close to a deal, and now it’s official. ESPN’s Jim Bowden reports that the Dodgers have signed the lefty to a one-year Major League deal worth $1.5 million. Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reports that Maholm can up to as much as…

  21. Selig: Washington is a “prime candidate” to host the 2017 All-Star Game

    Feb 8, 2014, 7:05 PM EDT

    nationals park getty

    Commissioner Bud Selig says that Washington, D.C. is a “prime candidate” to host the 2017 All-Star Game, reports James Wagner of the Washington Post. The Lerner family, which owns the Nationals, has been making a concerted effort to bring the midsummer classic to the nation’s capital. Selig was light on specifics, but made a point…

  22. Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs settle, avoid arbitration

    Feb 8, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

    jeff samardzija getty

    Per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, starter Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs have agreed on a $5.345 million salary for 2014, avoiding arbitration. Samardzija had filed for $6.2 million while the Cubs filed for $4.4 million. Their agreed-upon salary is ever so slightly above the $5.30 million midpoint between the figures submitted by the two sides. Samardzija’s…

  23. Ryan Madson threw some 93 MPH fastballs in an audition

    Feb 7, 2014, 10:50 PM EDT

    Ryan Madson

    Completing the next step in his attempt to revive his Major League career, reliever Ryan Madson threw some baseballs in an open audition for about 15 teams today in Phoenix, Arizona. As ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports, the 33-year-old right-hander was able to get his fastball up to 93 MPH, which impressed the representatives of some…

  24. The Nationals could be a late suitor for A.J. Burnett

    Feb 7, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT

    A.J. Burnett Getty

    With spring training inching ever closer, the A.J. Burnett sweepstakes gathers more and more intrigue. The Phillies are reportedly very unlikely to land the right-hander, leaving the Pirates and Orioles as the most likely suitors. But as Jon Heyman of CBS Sports suggests, the Nationals could emerge as a late suitor: Though a person with…

  25. Former Rockies outfielder Ryan Spilborghs announced his retirement

    Feb 7, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Ryan Spilborghs

    In a column for the Denver Post yesterday, former Rockies outfielder Ryan Spilborghs announced that he has hung up the spikes, ending a seven-year career in the Majors. Spilborghs, now 34 years old, hadn’t played since 2011. He spent the 2012 season with the Triple-A affiliates for the Rangers (Round Rock Express) and Indians (Columbus Clippers).…

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