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  1. Victor Martinez likely out for the season with torn ACL

    Jan 17, 2012, 3:33 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers

    Detroit’s status as the AL Central favorites has taken a big hit before the Tigers even arrived at spring training, as designated hitter/catcher Victor Martinez suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during offseason conditioning. No decision has been yet made regarding surgery, but if Martinez needs to go under the knife he’d likely…

  2. Rangers “expect to sign” Yu Darvish, but also adding Prince Fielder is unlikely

    Jan 17, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT

    darvish wide getty

    There have been some reports about roadblocks in the contract negotiations between the Rangers and Yu Darvish, but according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com they “expect to sign” the Japanese right-hander before tomorrow’s late-afternoon deadline. There’s also been some speculation that the Rangers could sign Darvish to a huge long-term deal and then add Prince…

  3. If you think players make too much money via arbitration …

    Jan 17, 2012, 1:55 PM EDT

    stack of money

    Yesterday and today the site has been overrun with posts about arbitration-eligible players and teams avoiding hearings with one-year contracts, which has led to an incredible number of comments basically complaining about the money players are paid. That’s not an uncommon sentiment expressed in the comments section here year-round, but it’s particularly prevalent today as…

  4. Whitey Herzog was in intensive care for 23 days

    Jan 17, 2012, 1:40 PM EDT

    Herzog

    The good news: Whitey Herzog is OK now and was at the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-up talking to reporters; The bad news: He spent 23 days in intensive care starting in September after a nasty fall at his house left him with bleeding on the brain. The “good” news: He was colorful — dare I say…

  5. Francisco Rodriguez takes $3.5 million pay cut to avoid arbitration with Brewers

    Jan 17, 2012, 1:14 PM EDT

    Francisco Rodriguez

    Francisco Rodriguez was paid $11.5 million last season and when the Brewers tendered him a contract for 2012 they were risking his possibly being awarded a similar figure in arbitration, but the two sides have avoided a hearing with a one-year, $8 million deal. That’s still probably more than Milwaukee wanted to pay for a…

  6. Cameron Maybin changes agents, puts long-term contract talks with Padres on hold

    Jan 17, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

    San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves

    Last month the Padres were said to be interested in working out a long-term contract extension with Cameron Maybin, but Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the 24-year-old center fielder recently switched agents and the two sides have “tabled” all negotiations. Maybin won’t even be arbitration eligible for the first time until next offseason, so…

  7. Braves and Michael Bourn avoid arbitration for $6.845 million

    Jan 17, 2012, 12:37 PM EDT

    Michael Bourn

    The Braves and center fielder Michael Bourn avoided arbitration today, agreeing on a $6.845 million deal for 2012. That’s a raise from the $4.4 million he made in 2011. He’ll be a free agent after the season. Bourn was acquired from Houston last summer in exchange for Jordan Schafer and some minor leaguers. Expected to…

  8. Phillies and Cole Hamels avoid arbitration with $15 million deal

    Jan 17, 2012, 12:23 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds

    Cole Hamels is entering his final season of arbitration eligibility and the 28-year-old left-hander will avoid a hearing by agreeing to a one-year, $15 million deal with the Phillies. Hamels earned $9.5 million last season as part of a three-year, $20.5 million deal that bought out his early arbitration eligibility and would have been in…

  9. The Cubs are making scouts take the subway!

    Jan 17, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

    Cubs logo

    Well, they don’t call it the subway in Chicago. It’s the L. But that’s not important right now. What’s important is that the Cubs’ owners are being compared to Marge Schott by Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times: For instance, a big-market team that just committed $3.5 million a year to a newly created position…

  10. Orioles hire Rick Peterson, but not as pitching coach

    Jan 17, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    Rick Peterson AP

    As expected, the Orioles hired former A’s, Mets, and Brewers pitching coach Rick Peterson, but he’ll fill the role of pitching development coordinator rather than pitching coach. Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com says that’s actually a new position created by the Orioles, who’ll keep Rick Adair as their pitching coach and have Peterson work primarily with…

  11. Setup man Juan Carlos Oviedo gets $6 million from Marlins to bypass arbitration

    Jan 17, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    Leo Nunez - Juan Carlos Oviedo

    Juan Carlos Oviedo–formerly known as Leo Nunez–has avoided arbitration with the Marlins with a one-year, $6 million deal. Oviedo earned $3.65 million last season while saving 36 games, so he would have been in line for a sizable raise via arbitration. However, paying $6 million for a setup man is awfully expensive, particularly since the…

  12. If you’re the Rangers you pick Prince Fielder over Josh Hamilton, right?

    Jan 17, 2012, 11:10 AM EDT

    josh hamilton getty

    There has been increasing talk about the Rangers being interested in Prince Fielder.  Today Richard Justice of MLB.com has a column talking about the ins-and-outs of that.  Particularly what it would mean for Josh Hamilton: Fielder’s signing would come at a time when Hamilton is approaching the final year of his contract. Last week, Hamilton…

  13. Giants avoid arbitration with Melky Cabrera for $6 million

    Jan 17, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    Melky Cabrera

    Kansas City traded Melky Cabrera to San Francisco last month because they got good value in return, but also presumably because they recognized he was coming off a career-best season that would be difficult to duplicate and was about to get pretty expensive. Sure enough, Cabrera and the Giants have avoided arbitration by agreeing to…

  14. Craig Counsell retiring, joining the Brewers’ front office

    Jan 17, 2012, 10:32 AM EDT

    craig-counsell-brewers-spring

    Craig Counsell don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows.  With no interest in his services this offseason, he has decided to retire and will take a job with the Brewers’ front office. Counsell is 41, which even though he’s been around forever, is older than I think of him as. That’s…

  15. Andre Ethier gets $11 million from Dodgers to skip arbitration

    Jan 17, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    ethier getty wide

    Andre Ethier has avoided arbitration with the Dodgers, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $10.95 million. This is Ethier’s final arbitration eligible season, so barring a contract extension with the Dodgers he’ll be a free agent next winter at age 31. He earned $9.5 million last season while hitting .292 with 11 homers and a…

  16. Today is arbitration salary exchange day

    Jan 17, 2012, 9:50 AM EDT

    Tim Lincecum

    You probably noticed yesterday that there were a lot of “so-and-so-avoids arbitration-by-signing-a-one-year-deal” posts.  Those all happened yesterday — and will continue in to trickle in today — because today is the day arbitration-eligible teams and player exchange salary proposals. Once numbers are exchanged, negotiation becomes way more constrained, as people are sort of pegged at…

  17. Brian Wilson will start spring training at full speed

    Jan 17, 2012, 9:20 AM EDT

    brian wilson getty wide

    Know what we did all last winter but haven’t done at all this winter? Talked about Giants closer Brian Wilson.  How zany he is and all of that. Really, I haven’t thought about him at all since the last “BECAUSE I”M BLACK OPS!” Taco Bell commercial aired during the World Series.  Guess that happens when…

  18. NBC SportsTalk: The Montero-Pineda trade

    Jan 17, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

    Michael Pineda

    I was on NBC SportsTalk last night, talking with my buddy Russ Thaler about the Jesus Montero-Michael Pineda trade. Video below.  Watch for the moment when I called Jose Campos “that fireballer” because my brain locked and I was terrified that I was going to call him “Jorge Campos” and knew that wasn’t right but…

  19. A great interview with Robert Creamer

    Jan 17, 2012, 8:20 AM EDT

    Old team

    Graham Womack of Baseball Past and Present conducted an email interview with venerable baseball writer and author Robert Creamer. Creamer, who began following baseball as a kid in 1931 and began covering it for Sports Illustrated in 1954, provided a zillion fascinating answers all around, including his takes on steroids (you bet your bippy Babe…

  20. Report: Reds and Ryan Ludwick agree to one-year, $2.5 million deal

    Jan 16, 2012, 10:31 PM EDT

    Ryan Ludwick AP

    Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Reds and outfielder Ryan Ludwick have agreed to a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2013. He’ll be reunited with Walt Jocketty, who was the general manager during his time in St. Louis. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, Ludwick will make a $2.5 million base salary…

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