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  1. Mets sign Jon Niese to five-year, $25.5 million contract

    Apr 4, 2012, 4:16 PM EDT

    Jon Niese

    Jon Niese‘s long-term contract with the Mets is now official, with Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger reporting that the five-year deal is worth $25.5 million in guaranteed money and covers all three arbitration eligible seasons plus his first year of free agency. It also includes a sixth-year team option for $10 million and…

  2. ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume explains why he picked the Astros last year

    Apr 4, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

    Astros logo

    Last year, ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume famously picked the Houston Astros to win the NL Central.  They then proceeded to lose 106 games.  Missed it by thaaaaaat much. Today Berthiaume explains the thought process behind the pick that caused him so much grief: I had written a piece for this website in September of 2010 and felt…

  3. A’s place first baseman Daric Barton on disabled list

    Apr 4, 2012, 3:49 PM EDT

    Baltimore Orioles v Oakland Athletics

    Daric Barton isn’t sufficiently recovered from September shoulder surgery, so he’ll begin the season on the disabled list while the A’s go with Brandon Allen and Kila Ka’aihue at first base. Barton was once firmly established as Oakland’s long-term first baseman and had an underrated, All-Star caliber season in 2010 with a .393 on-base percentage…

  4. Brandon Belt makes the Giants roster

    Apr 4, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

    Brandon Belt

    It seemed crazy that Brandon Belt wouldn’t make the Giants roster, but for a while there during spring training it seemed like a possibility. Aubrey Huff and Brent Pill were getting a lot of starts at first base and the Giants fan base was rather freaking out. Today Bruce Bochy let ’em off the hook.…

  5. Zack Greinke no longer without an agent, hires Casey Close

    Apr 4, 2012, 3:15 PM EDT

    greinke getty

    Zack Greinke dropped his agent in December and said in February that there was “no reason” for him to hire a new one, but the Brewers right-hander has done just that by hiring Casey Close of Excel Sports Management. Close previously worked for Creative Artists Agency, which is the representation that Greinke left in December.…

  6. Quote of the Day: Tiffany Simons on the Marlins’ fish tanks

    Apr 4, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

    Tiffany Simons

    I was just down in the basement studio taping tomorrow’s HBT Extra. You know what the best part of doing that is? While the technical people are getting the technical things squared away, Tiffany Simons and I just talk about stuff. The news, the weather, whatever. We have often talked about how it would be…

  7. Indians send Ryan Spilborghs to Triple-A, release Felix Pie

    Apr 4, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    Ryan Spilborghs

    This was a tough day to be a veteran outfielder trying to crack Cleveland’s roster, as the Indians sent Ryan Spilborghs to Triple-A and released Felix Pie. Spilborghs signed a minor-league deal with the Indians after being non-tendered by the Rockies, but lost a camp battle with Aaron Cunningham to be the right-handed-hitting backup outfielder.…

  8. And the Red Sox’s new closer is … Alfredo Aceves

    Apr 4, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

    Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays

    Mark Melancon seemed like the obvious closer fill-in for the Red Sox following Andrew Bailey‘s thumb surgery, but manager Bobby Valentine announced today that Alfredo Aceves will begin the season with ninth-inning duties. Melancon saved 20 games for the Astros last season, whereas Aceves has just four career saves, and while Aceves is certainly capable…

  9. San Jose is no panacea for the Athletics … how about New York?

    Apr 4, 2012, 1:30 PM EDT

    oakland athletics small logo

    The A’s have been waiting about three years for Major League Baseball to clear their way to San Jose. At this point I’m wondering if it will ever happen. But even if it does, Neil deMause explains that San Jose is no pot of gold for the Athletics. That’s because (a) the A’s would probably…

  10. Corey Hart had two hits in spring debut, is ready for opener

    Apr 4, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

    corey hart getty

    Corey Hart essentially missed all of spring training following knee surgery last month, but finally saw his first game action yesterday and notched a pair of hits while declaring himself ready for Opening Day. In addition to the two hits Steve Gilbert of MLB.com notes that Hart also looked fine in right field defensively and…

  11. ESPN has 49 experts making predictions

    Apr 4, 2012, 12:32 PM EDT

    crystal ball

    I thought it was kind of excessive that four of the HBT writers offered our predictions earlier. But that’s nothin': ESPN has 49 experts doing picks. There’s nothing so crazy as Steve Berthiaume picking the Astros last year — this year his craziest thing is the Marlins in the NL East — but if you peruse…

  12. Jason Marquis to build up arm strength in minors after time away from Twins to be with injured daughter

    Apr 4, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    Jason Marquis

    Jason Marquis was away from Twins camp for two weeks to be with his family after his seven-year-old daughter was hospitalized following a bicycling accident. He’s back with the team now–and she’s recovering well from significant injuries, thankfully–but because Marquis wasn’t able to stay on his usual throwing program to build up his pitch count…

  13. Sean Rodriguez beats Reid Brignac for Rays’ shortstop job

    Apr 4, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Reid Brignac, Sean Rodriguez

    Reid Brignac‘s foot injury opened the door for Sean Rodriguez to overtake him on the Rays’ shortstop depth chart and sure enough manager Joe Maddon announced that Rodriguez will open the season as the primary starter. Brignac (.742 OPS) and Rodriguez (.743 OPS) had nearly identical production this spring, but Brignac was limited to just…

  14. A book about fathers and sons learning to love baseball after the steroids scandals? Hoo-boy.

    Apr 4, 2012, 11:36 AM EDT

    syringe

    Via Baseball Think Factory, we learn of the existence of a new book about fathers, sons, baseball and … steroids: Freelance writer Jim Gullo loves baseball and he wanted his son Joe to love it too. So, in the spring of 2007, he bought seven year old Joe a glove, a bat and a ball, and…

  15. Indians finalize $16.5 million deal with Asdrubal Cabrera

    Apr 4, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    Asdrubal Cabrera

    Asdrubal Cabrera and the Indians have agreed to a two-year, $16.5 million contract extension, with an official announcement today that he’ll make $6.5 million in 2013 and $10 million in 2014. Cabrera was already under contract for $4.55 million this season after avoiding arbitration with a one-year deal and would have been arbitration eligible for…

  16. The top storylines of the 2012 season

    Apr 4, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

    Rays' Evan Longoria runs to home plate as his teammates crowd around after his 12th inning home run to defeat the Yankees during their American League MLB baseball game in St. Petersburg, Florida

    We have used the word “storylines” around here a whole lot lately. Sorry about that. Until the games start later, it’s all about the narrative.  We can get back to our more natural state — reacting to cool stuff that happens rather than speculating about what will — not long after the Cardinals and Marlins…

  17. Chipper Jones aims to return from knee surgery next week

    Apr 4, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    Chipper Jones AP

    Chipper Jones underwent knee surgery just eight days ago, but the future Hall of Famer told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he hopes to be back in the Braves’ lineup at some point next week. April 13 has been the targeted return date, which is the Braves’ home opener against the Brewers,…

  18. Matt Bush, Brandon Guyer sued for $5 million each

    Apr 4, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

    Matt Bush mugshot

    The family of Tony Tufano, the man who was hit by pitcher Matt Bush has sued Bush — and Brandon Guyer, who owned the car Bush was driving — for $5 million each, according to the Tampa Bay Times.  The family’s lawyer says that it’s possible that the Rays themselves will be added to the…

  19. Josh Hamilton is “kidding, kidding, kidding, kidding”

    Apr 4, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Josh Hamilton Reuters

    Once upon a time the Rangers regularly avoided playing Josh Hamilton in center field because they hoped moving to a corner spot would help keep him healthy, but those plans are out the window now. Hamilton is slated to be the primary center fielder for the first time since 2009 and because he prefers center…

  20. Your inaugural Power Rankings

    Apr 4, 2012, 9:55 AM EDT

    Joe Girardi

    The only thing sillier than predictions about who wins each division several months before the season ends is judging which team is the best before any games are played.  But hey, that’s never stopped me before, so let’s have a Power Ranking, shall we? And yeah, there is that big of a gap between the…

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Travis (3901)
  2. J. Hamilton (3391)
  3. R. Castillo (3245)
  4. J. Garcia (3207)
  5. L. McCullers (3149)
  1. H. Ryu (2974)
  2. C. Dickerson (2951)
  3. J. Reyes (2951)
  4. Y. Puig (2920)
  5. J. Werth (2872)