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  1. Mariners could make Brandon League available

    Dec 21, 2011, 6:29 PM EDT

    Brandon League

    Even though Ryan Madson, Francisco Cordero and Brad Lidge remain available in free agency, much of the recent closer talk has been regarding trade possibilities. Now perhaps Brandon League can be added to the list of available closers that includes Andrew Bailey and maybe Joel Hanrahan. According to FOXSports.com, the Mariners are getting hits on League…

  2. PSA: Joe Buck is on Twitter

    Dec 21, 2011, 5:21 PM EDT

    Joe Buck

    Hey guys, you can quit talking smack about Joe Buck in our comment threads. If you have any smack to talk about Joe Buck, tell the man himself at his new Twitter account: @Buck. So far it appears to be him and not some assistant doing PR tweets. Which is always a plus.  And he…

  3. Royals sign Twins castoff Jose Mijares for $925,000

    Dec 21, 2011, 4:50 PM EDT

    Mijares_Jose

    Non-tendered by the Twins last week, Jose Mijares has quickly found a new home in the AL Central. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the 27-year-old reliever has agreed to a one-year deal with the Royals, who plan to use him as a left-handed specialist. Mijares had a terrible 2011 season, walking…

  4. Cubs and Reds agree to Sean Marshall-for-Travis Wood swap

    Dec 21, 2011, 4:33 PM EDT

    Chicago Cubs v Colorado Rockies

    Last night Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago broke the news that the Cubs and Reds were working on a trade involving Sean Marshall and Travis Wood, and now he’s reporting that the two sides have agreed to a deal “in principle.” According to Levine the Cubs will send Marshall to the Reds for Wood and…

  5. Cubs to hire Bill Buckner as Single-A hitting coach

    Dec 21, 2011, 2:44 PM EDT

    "The Summer of 86: The Rise and Fall Of The World Champion Mets" Premiere

    Bobby Valentine wanted to add Bill Buckner to his Red Sox coaching staff, but the team’s upper management reportedly balked at the idea and now Buckner has taken a minor-league gig elsewhere. Jeremy Schaap of ESPN.com reports that the Cubs have hired Bucker as their new hitting coach for the Single-A Boise Hawks, which makes…

  6. The Cubs are on track for “a complete and total rebuild”

    Dec 21, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein speaks at a news conference at Wrigley Field in Chicago

    Still thinking the Cubs are going to get in on Prince Fielder? Think again. David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com reports that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are looking to completely blow things up and that Fielder is not in the offing: “After speaking with several baseball sources over the past few days I am hearing that a…

  7. Brewers sign infielder Cesar Izturis to minor-league contract

    Dec 21, 2011, 1:20 PM EDT

    cesar-izturis-orioles

    Milwaukee replaced Yuniesky Betancourt with Alex Gonzalez at shortstop and the Brewers have added some more middle infield depth by signing Cesar Izturis to a minor-league deal, according to Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com. Izturis lost his starting job when the Orioles traded for J.J. Hardy last offseason and missed all but 18 games with injuries…

  8. The BBWAA makes a second attempt at an official statement

    Dec 21, 2011, 12:56 PM EDT

    Winner of J.G. .Taylor Spink Award Sportswriter Bill Conlin speaks at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown

    Yesterday’s official statement by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Bill Conlin was a dud. So they’ve tried again. This time an actual writer — BBWAA president Bill Shaikin — puts his name to it: “We were shocked and saddened to learn of the allegations involving Bill Conlin and we extend our sympathies to…

  9. Andy LaRoche agrees to minor-league deal with Indians

    Dec 21, 2011, 12:48 PM EDT

    Andy LaRoche

    Cleveland has been adding some formerly intriguing names as minor-league depth and the latest is Andy LaRoche, who agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training. LaRoche, whose brother Adam LaRoche is the Nationals’ first baseman, will join guys like Felix Pie and Jose Lopez in competing for a spot on the…

  10. The Mets are dropping a minor league team

    Dec 21, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

    mets logo

    Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger reports that the Mets are dropping one of their minor league teams: “For 2012, we will be conducting our three Rookie League teams in Kingsport, TN and out of our facility in the Dominican Republic and will not operate a team in the Gulf Coast League,” read a statement sent…

  11. Prince Fielder to the Orioles “just isn’t going to happen”

    Dec 21, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

    Prince Fielder

    Baltimore has been linked to Prince Fielder at various points this offseason, but locally their odds of actually signing the free agent slugger are perceived as very slim. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes that “the Orioles aren’t going to give eight or more years or $18 or more million per year to a…

  12. Ex-manager Edwin Rodriguez says Marlins will “have a tough time” moving Hanley Ramirez to third base

    Dec 21, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

    hanley-ramirez-edwin-rodriguez

    Edwin Rodriguez, who was fired as Marlins manager in part because of his poor relationship with Hanley Ramirez, appeared on MLB Network Radio today and was asked about the team’s plan to move the career-long shortstop to third base following the Jose Reyes signing. Not surprisingly, Rodriguez thinks it may not go over particularly well…

  13. The top ten HBT posts of 2011

    Dec 21, 2011, 11:31 AM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez and Cameron Diaz

    Gleeman and I spend a lot of time chatting during the day, and one of the few recurring topics of conversation that doesn’t involve Coen Brothers movies is the correlation between meaningful stories and stories that get a lot of traffic. While we don’t set out to write about things that will make people click…

  14. Cubs re-sign outfielder Reed Johnson to one-year contract

    Dec 21, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    Chicago Cubs' Reed Johnson watches a 2-RBI against the Boston Red Sox during their MLB Interleague baseball game at Fenway Park

    Free agent outfielder Reed Johnson has agreed to a one-year contract with the Cubs, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Johnson has always been an ideal fourth outfielder because he can handle all three spots defensively, puts up strong numbers versus left-handed pitching, and isn’t totally overmatched versus right-handers once in a while. At age…

  15. The hit and run play: is it worth it?

    Dec 21, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    Third Base Coach

    The hit and run play: when it works and the batter pokes a single through the right side of the infield resulting in runners on the corners and nobody out, boy, it’s a thing of friggin’ beauty.  When it doesn’t and results in a strike-em-out/throw-em-out double play it’s the most maddening thing on the planet.…

  16. Runner-up Blue Jays bid more than $50 million for Yu Darvish

    Dec 21, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    darvish getty japan

    Texas secured exclusive negotiating rights to Yu Darvish with a $51.7 million bid and apparently Toronto finished runner-up for the Japanese ace, as Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star reports that the Blue Jays submitted a bid in excess of $50 million. General manager Alex Anthopoulos predictably declined to give any details about the Blue…

  17. BBWAA members don’t seem terribly pleased by the BBWAA’s statement on Bill Conlin

    Dec 21, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Bill Conlin

    As Matthew noted last night, the BBWAA issued a statement in the wake of the Bill Conlin ugliness.  It was strange to see it and, in my mind, pretty ill-advised. Why say anything now? Given the gravity of the allegations, who gives a damn about what it all means for the Spink Award?  While I…

  18. Orioles turned down Braves’ offer for Adam Jones

    Dec 21, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles

    Two weeks ago there was a report that the Orioles were willing to listen to offers on center fielder Adam Jones and now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that they turned down the Braves’ offer of Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado, and an unnamed “pitching prospect.” It’s tough to evaluate that offer without knowing…

  19. Carlos Beltran expected to sign this week

    Dec 21, 2011, 9:50 AM EDT

    Carlos Beltran

    Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Carlos Beltran is expected to sign this week.  He apparently has multiple offers of between two and three years. Among the teams in play: the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Rays, Cardinals and one other NL team. Guess that one other team isn’t the Braves. Because that…

  20. The Red Sox and “several other teams” have expressed interest in Andruw Jones

    Dec 21, 2011, 9:18 AM EDT

    Andruw Jones

    Mark Feinsand says that, despite the fact that everyone assumed Andruw Jones would be back with the Yankees in 2012, talks have sort of been going nowhere and now other teams — including the Boston Red Sox — are calling on Jones. And why not? Jones hit .247/.356/.495 with 13 homers and 33 RBI in 222…

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