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  1. Rangers table long-term extension talks with Mike Napoli

    Jan 4, 2012, 9:54 PM EDT

    napoli 1 getty

    According to beat writer T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers are no longer aiming to work out a long-term contract extension this winter with catcher Mike Napoli. Here’s general manager Jon Daniels: “We love Mike and we’re not closing the door on anything but right now we are focused on a one-year deal.” Napoli is entering…

  2. Marlins acquire Carlos Zambrano and $15 million from the Cubs for Chris Volstad

    Jan 4, 2012, 7:31 PM EDT

    Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs

    UPDATE, 7:31 PM: ESPN Chicago’s Bruce Levine says the deal is done. It’s Zambrano for Volstad, with the Cubs eating $15 million of the $18 million remaining on Zambrano’s contract. UPDATE, 7:12 PM: According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Marlins are sending right-hander Chris Volstad to the Cubs as part of the Big Z…

  3. Reds finalize one-year deal with righty Andrew Brackman

    Jan 4, 2012, 7:08 PM EDT

    brackman headshot getty

    According to the club’s official Twitter feed, the Reds signed right-hander Andrew Brackman to a one-year contract on Wednesday afternoon. The deal, which was first discussed last month, will pay Brackman the veteran major league minimum. It also carries some performance-based incentives. Brackman was selected by the Yankees with 30th overall pick in the 2007 MLB…

  4. Rays and Fernando Rodney finalize one-year deal

    Jan 4, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT

    rodney pose getty wide

    UPDATE: It’s a done deal. ========== TUESDAY, 11:56 PM: Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times hears that while a deal is not done yet, something is definitely in the works. It could be made official in the next day or two. TUESDAY, 11:30 PM: Not sure how everyone missed this given how we’ve been…

  5. Coco Crisp turned down Rays to re-sign with A’s

    Jan 4, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

    crisp getty wide

    Oakland paid a surprisingly steep price to re-sign Coco Crisp yesterday, giving the 32-year-old outfielder $14 million for two seasons, and I’m equally surprised to learn that the normally budget-conscious Rays finished runner-up for Crisp. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Crisp ultimately chose to remain with the A’s because he liked…

  6. Great Moments in lazy sexism

    Jan 4, 2012, 4:33 PM EDT

    astros logo

    Stan McNeal of The Sporting News wrote today about the Astros’ two front office hires.  The first one was Sig Mejdal, the Director of Decision Sciences I mentioned this morning. The other: Stephanie Wilka, the team’s new coordinator of amateur scouting.  But get how he describes Wilka in his article: Wilka, a former cheerleader at Harvard, has worked…

  7. Must-click link: long-time Red Sox P.R. flack dishes the dirt

    Jan 4, 2012, 3:40 PM EDT

    Click Here large

    Doug Bailey was a Boston Globe reporter. Then he was a P.R. man.  His P.R. firm repped Les Otten and Tom Werner, who went on to buy the Red Sox.  From 2001 through 2006 Bailey handled P.R. and communications for the Sox, and in his words, he “got to know these people pretty well over the…

  8. The Tigers are not — repeat not — shopping Jacob Turner

    Jan 4, 2012, 1:53 PM EDT

    jacob turner getty

    A couple of times over the past couple of weeks we’ve heard reports that the Tigers were willing to trade top prospect Jacob Turner for a veteran starter. Reports like this one from Buster Olney last week: Tigers have made it known to other teams that they are willing to trade Jacob Turner in a…

  9. Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki to work out for Brewers this weekend

    Jan 4, 2012, 1:13 PM EDT

    Aoki

    Milwaukee secured exclusive negotiating rights to Norichika Aoki with a $2.5 million bid, but before talking contract with the Japanese outfielder they wanted to get a first-hand look at him. According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that will happen this weekend in Arizona, where the Brewers will put Aoki through what general…

  10. Apparently “toughness” was the Red Sox’ biggest problem in 2011

    Jan 4, 2012, 12:29 PM EDT

    World Series Rangers Cardinals Baseball

    Word count in the latest column from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe about the new values Bobby Valentine plans to instill in the Red Sox: Some variation of the word “tough”: 26 Some reference to running out ground balls: 6 “grit”:  3 “Punto”: 2 Mentions of the quality of the starting pitching: 0 Mentions…

  11. Marlins have “little to no interest” in Joe Saunders or Edwin Jackson, but do like Matt Garza

    Jan 4, 2012, 11:48 AM EDT

    Joe Saunders

    Last month the Marlins were said to be looking at Joe Saunders to fill out their rotation and agent Scott Boras is still trying to find Edwin Jackson a lucrative new home, but Joe Frisaro of MLB.com writes that Miami “has little to no interest” in either free agent starter. However, according to Frisaro the…

  12. Fernando Rodney and the Rays have come to terms

    Jan 4, 2012, 11:32 AM EDT

    rodney pose getty wide

    We now know what Fernando Rodney has apparently known for over a week: he has a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. Per Enrique Rojas of ESPN, it’s for  $1.75M in 2012 with a $2.5M team option for 2013. If the option is not exercised, it’ll be a $250K buyout. As D.J. mentioned last night, Rodney…

  13. Joe Torre resigns from his MLB post to join in a bid on the Dodgers

    Jan 4, 2012, 10:22 AM EDT

    Joe Torre

    Major League Baseball just announced that Joe Torre is resigning from his post as Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations, effective immediately, to explore opportunities with a group that will pursue ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s had the job since last February. In that time he has dealt with umpires, replay and discipline for…

  14. Adam LaRoche’s status in Washington is unclear amid Prince Fielder rumors

    Jan 4, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    laroche swing

    Adam LaRoche has seen the reports about the Nationals’ pursuit of Prince Fielder, but the would-be starting first baseman told Bill Ladson of MLB.com that he understands if the team tries to replace him: All I can tell you is, I don’t hold any grudges either way. If [Fielder doesn't sign with the Nationals] and…

  15. Dodgers bid deadline pushed back

    Jan 4, 2012, 9:51 AM EDT

    dodgers logo

    If you had planned on spending a billion bucks but didn’t have time to get the paperwork together until after January 13, don’t worry: you have ten more days to put a bid in on the Dodgers: The Dodgers have extended the deadline by which prospective buyers must submit their opening bids for the team. Bids…

  16. The Astros follow Bill Simmons’ advice

    Jan 4, 2012, 9:07 AM EDT

    Astros logo

    Bill Simmons in 2006: I’m becoming more and more convinced that every professional sports team needs to hire a Vice President of Common Sense, someone who cracks the inner circle of the decision-making process along with the GM, assistant GM, head scout, head coach, owner and whomever else. One catch: the VP of CS doesn’t…

  17. Aubrey Huff is in the best shape of his life

    Jan 4, 2012, 8:20 AM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v St. Louis Cardinals

    The Giants called out Aubrey Huff after his miserable 2011 season was over, saying that their big money first baseman was out of shape.  Huff has responded thusly: “I think I’m preparing a lot better this offseason as far as Pilates. I’m feeling physically better this year. I know I’m making a lot of money to go…

  18. Ichiro opens up, says he ‘felt desperate’ in worst season

    Jan 4, 2012, 3:08 AM EDT

    Ichiro Suzuki

    Ichiro Suzuki, 38, had the worst season of his MLB career in 2011, notching career lows in average (.272), hits (184), on-base (.310) and slugging (.335) as his Seattle Mariners struggled to a 67-95 record and second straight last-place finish in the AL West. Ichiro talked about his disappointing year with the Nikkan Sports newspaper,…

  19. Yankees, Hiroyuki Nakajima unlikely to agree to deal before Friday’s deadline

    Jan 3, 2012, 9:30 PM EDT

    nakajima getty

    The Yankees and Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima have until Friday at 5 p.m. ET to agree on a contract, but Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger was told by “a person with knowledge of the situation” that a deal is unlikely. The Bombers were given a 30-day exclusive negotiating window with Nakajima last month after submitting a…

  20. Report: Marlins re-sign Greg Dobbs to two-year, $3 million contract

    Jan 3, 2012, 8:00 PM EDT

    Greg Dobbs

    Remember how it was a little weird when it was reported last week that the Marlins’ main objective was to re-sign Greg Dobbs? Well, they aren’t messing around. According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the Marlins have re-signed Dobbs to a two-year contract. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com hears that the deal is worth…

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