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  1. Mets re-sign 40-year-old Miguel Batista to minor-league deal

    Jan 10, 2012, 1:21 PM EDT

    Miguel Batista

    As part of their ongoing effort to stockpile cheap pitching depth the Mets have re-signed 40-year-old right-hander Miguel Batista to a minor-league contract. Batista was called upon to make a spot start in the Mets’ season finale and shockingly threw a complete-game shutout against the Reds to lower his ERA to 3.60, but his overall…

  2. Report: Bud Selig to get a two-year extension

    Jan 10, 2012, 12:41 PM EDT

    Bud Selig

    Bill Madden hinted at this over the weekend — and of course, we always knew this –but Buster Olney is now reporting that Bud Selig is not going to retire at the end of 2012 as promised. Instead, he’s going to get a two-year extension to stay on as Commissioner.  The vote should happen this week…

  3. Buster Posey aiming to take batting practice and run the bases in early February

    Jan 10, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    posey wide

    Time for another update on Buster Posey‘s recovery from the broken leg that ended his sophomore season on May 25. Chris Haft of MLB.com reports that Posey has now progressed to 30- and 60-yard sprints along with additional agility drills and “mild distance running.” Posey has yet to go through live batting practice and isn’t…

  4. Chipper Jones is feeling his age

    Jan 10, 2012, 11:45 AM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals

    Over at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Carroll Rogers has a Q&A with Chipper Jones.  There’s some stuff in there about how he’s lost a bunch of weight and is eating better, but I can’t in good conscience say that he’s In the Best Shape of His Life.  Because Jones — who has always come off as…

  5. Cardinals to be honored by President Barack Obama at the White House next week

    Jan 10, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    Obama First Pitch

    To celebrate their World Series title the Cardinals are scheduled to be honored by President Barack Obama at the White House on January 17. Albert Pujols is not expected to be part of the visit and according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch the Cardinals may also head to Washington without their…

  6. Did Lou Whitaker’s presence hurt Alan Trammell’s Hall of Fame case?

    Jan 10, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

    Alan Trammell

    Larkin is in, Trammell is not, and likely won’t ever be.  This despite the fact that they were remarkably similar players.  Grant Brisbee takes that up over at SB Nation today and, after doing the standard statistical comparison, he adds a couple of new wrinkles to that now-familiar lament.  The first: Trammell suffered because Cal…

  7. Hiroyuki Nakajima returns to Japan after failing to sign with Yankees

    Jan 10, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    nakajima getty

    Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima failed to reach an agreement with the Yankees after they bid $2 million for his exclusive negotiating rights, so he’s returning to his old team in Japan. Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker notes that Nakajima has signed a one-year deal with the Seibu Lions worth around $3.6 million, adding that the…

  8. Quote of the Day: Jon Heyman on Jack Morris

    Jan 10, 2012, 10:33 AM EDT

    Jack Morris

    Jon Heyman has been a Jack Morris supporter for a long time.  And that’s fine. He’s in the majority — the two-thirds majority as of yesterday — in believing that Morris is a Hall of Famer. But he tweeted this a few minutes ago and it rather irks me: Look, if you like Jack Morris…

  9. Orioles sign Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen to three-year deal

    Jan 10, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    wei-yin chen

    Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen and the Orioles have agreed to a three-year contract with a team option for 2015. No official word yet on the money involved, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the deal is expected to be worth $11-12 million. Chen threw 165 innings with a 2.68 ERA and 94/31…

  10. Look! Up in the sky! It’s …Saber Boy

    Jan 10, 2012, 10:01 AM EDT

    Up in the sky

    Every superhero has an origin story. This is the origin story for Saber Boy.  The scene: last night, after Randy Miller of the South Jersey Courier-Post revealed that he was one of the nine Hall of Fame voters who submitted blank ballots. Friend of HBT, Bill from The Platoon Advantage, inquired about his voting approach on…

  11. Paul Maholm’s deal with the Cubs: one year, $4.25 million with a team option

    Jan 10, 2012, 8:56 AM EDT

    Paul Maholm AP

    As we passed along last night, Paul Maholm has agreed to a contract with the Chicago Cubs. We now know the terms of the deal: it’s a one-year, $4.25 million contract with a $6.5 million option for 2013. Given that Maholm had an option for over $9 million that the Pirates declined, this is a pretty…

  12. NBC SportsTalk: What do Bonds and Clemens face in next year’s Hall of Fame vote?

    Jan 10, 2012, 8:26 AM EDT

    Barry Bonds headshot

    I went on NBC SportsTalk on the NBC Sports Network last night to talk about the Hall of Fame vote. As you might expect, Larkin, Bagwell and the specter of a candidate backlog including guys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens came up. Also: I used the word “boned” on live television which in hindsight…

  13. UPDATE: Paul Maholm agrees to contract with Cubs

    Jan 9, 2012, 11:06 PM EDT

    Paul Maholm

    UPDATE: Paul Maholm just indicated on his Twitter account that he has agreed to terms with the Cubs: “Looking forward to seeing the fans at Cubs convention this weekend and getting to know all the guys. It’s gonna be fun.” 1:42 PM: Just days after trading Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins for Chris Volstad the…

  14. Juan Nicasio throws to hitters five months after broken neck

    Jan 9, 2012, 9:32 PM EDT

    Juan Nicasio , Bob Apodaca

    Rockies’ right-hander Juan Nicasio suffered a fractured C-1 vertebrae when he was hit by a comebacker last August, but he continues to show remarkable signs of progress. According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Nicasio has begun throwing to live hitters in a controlled environment. “He’s been throwing to hitters with an L screen…

  15. Rangers and Derek Holland table extension talks

    Jan 9, 2012, 8:25 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners

    We learned last month that the Rangers and Derek Holland were discussing a five-year contract extension with a club option for a sixth year. The two sides have made little progress in the past few weeks, so Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports that they have decided to table contract talks for now. This comes on…

  16. Cubs and Tigers “down the road” in trade talks regarding Matt Garza

    Jan 9, 2012, 6:57 PM EDT

    garza getty

    Citing “excellent baseball sources,” David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com reports that the Cubs and Tigers are “down the road in discussions” of a deal that would send right-hander Matt Garza to Detroit for a package of prospects. No word of the prospects being discussed, but Kaplan mentions right-hander Jacob Turner, third baseman Nick Castellanos and left-hander Casey…

  17. Darren Oliver’s deal: $4 million plus an option

    Jan 9, 2012, 5:44 PM EDT

    darren oliver getty

    Darren Oliver‘s signing with the Blue Jays — which we’ve known about for a while — was actually announced today, complete with terms: he gets $4 million for 2012 with a $3 million team option for 2013. There is a $500K buyout of that option, so his guaranteed money is $4.5 million. Not bad for…

  18. Must-click link: Remembering Greg Spira

    Jan 9, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT

    click here bigger

    I didn’t know Greg Spira well, but got a chance to see him each year at the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) convention and he was a great guy despite getting a raw deal health-wise. He’ll definitely be missed and Evan Drellich of MLB.com wrote a very nice remembrance of Spira and his baseball…

  19. Mets put former top prospect Fernando Martinez on waivers

    Jan 9, 2012, 4:36 PM EDT

    Fernando Martinez

    In need of 40-man roster spots after signing Ronny Cedeno and Scott Hairston the Mets have placed former top prospect Fernando Martinez on waivers, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. In his early days as a prospect Martinez was rumored to be the centerpiece of nearly every potential Mets trade and Baseball America…

  20. Nine Hall of Fame ballots were returned blank

    Jan 9, 2012, 4:23 PM EDT

    cooperstown

    There were 573 ballots returned to the Hall of Fame this year. Nine of them came in blank. Blank ballots vex me. If they are genuine assessments that no one — not one single candidate — on the ballot is worthy, they strike me as evidence of a voter whose standards are unreasonably high and…

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