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  1. Valentine has been on the Red Sox’ radar for some time

    Nov 18, 2011, 8:59 AM EST

    Bobby Valentine

    It sure seemed like a change in plans when it was revealed that the Red Sox were talking to Bobby Valentine yesterday. But as Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports, this is not a new development: Bobby Valentine has been a candidate for the Red Sox manager job from the early stages of the team’s…

  2. Yes, Virginia, the Yankees do have a budget

    Nov 18, 2011, 8:26 AM EST

    Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees

    If you Googled the phrase “buy a championship,” I suspect that the words “New York Yankees” would appear in approximately 92% of the results that came back.  For non-Yankees fans it’s simply part of the brand now. The assumption, held for years, that money is no object in the Bronx. Except money is an object.…

  3. Jocketty: Reds “not close” to extension with Brandon Phillips

    Nov 17, 2011, 10:03 PM EST

    Cincinnati Reds v Washington Nationals

    Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips told reporters back in late-September that he would not be offering a “homeboy hookup” to Cincinnati once it came time to discuss terms for a new contract. And he certainly seems to be sticking to that. Reds GM Walt Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com on Thursday that the two…

  4. Rockies sign Brandon Wood to minor league contract

    Nov 17, 2011, 8:51 PM EST

    Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates

    Brandon Wood is like a left-handed reliever: despite years of poor results, he just keeps getting chances. From Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com comes word that the Rockies have signed the 26-year-old infielder to a minor league contract. He’ll be paid $100,000 over the major league minimum if he manages to land a spot on the…

  5. MLB’s players and owners reach new labor agreement

    Nov 17, 2011, 7:38 PM EST

    mlb logo

    Great news, Major League Baseball fans. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, MLB’s players and owners have reached agreement on a new labor deal that will be officially implemented on Monday and will last for the next five seasons. Full details of the agreement have not yet been released, but we’re expecting two major changes:…

  6. The eroding free agent catcher market

    Nov 17, 2011, 6:57 PM EST

    Ramon Hernandez

    Thursday saw the fifth free agent catcher come off the board with the Tigers’ signing Gerald Laird and perhaps a sixth, with Jose Molina and the Rays reportedly nearing an agreement. Here’s the list of those off the market: Rod Barajas: Pirates – one year, $4 million Henry Blanco: D’Backs – one year, $1.2 million Matt…

  7. Bryce Harper, Wil Myers finish among AFL’s top performers

    Nov 17, 2011, 6:00 PM EST

    2011 XM All-Star Futures Game

    The Arizona Fall League regular season came to a conclusion Thursday, so let’s take a quick look at some of the stats. Here are the OPS leaders: 1. Jedd Gyorko (3B Padres): .437/.500/.704, 5 HR in 71 AB 2. Mike Olt (3B Rangers): .349/.433/.764, 13 HR in 106 AB 3. Wil Myers (OF Royals): .360/.481/.674, 4 HR in 86…

  8. So who gave Ian Kennedy a first place Cy Young vote?

    Nov 17, 2011, 5:34 PM EST

    Ian Kennedy

    I am a much older and wiser man than I used to be and thus I no longer make a big fuss out of the actual vote tabulations when it comes to awards voting and that sort of thing.* But some things are confusing, such as how Ian Kennedy got a first place vote for…

  9. C.J. Wilson to meet with the Angels

    Nov 17, 2011, 5:09 PM EST

    C.J. Wilson Getty

    Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com says that C.J. Wilson will visit the Angels on Monday. And he’ll no doubt meet with many other teams. But I gotta say, Wilson on the Angels would be intriguing.  Because if he does — and if he does it at something approaching the $120 million figure it’s reported he wants…

  10. Red Sox owners have met with Bobby Valentine

    Nov 17, 2011, 3:41 PM EST

    valentine in suit

    Remember last year when Bobby Valentine was rumored to be in the running for every single managerial job there was?  Yeah, that was fun.  Well buckle up, because here we go again. Ken Rosenthal reports — confirmed by Gordon Edes — that Red Sox ownership has reached out to Bobby V. and that the interest is mutual.…

  11. The Dodgers are looking Kuroda, Harang, Capuano and Francis

    Nov 17, 2011, 3:24 PM EST

    dodgers logo

    The Dodgers have a Cy Young Award winner in their rotation, but they’re looking to round it out with some more moderate talent.  Specifically, as Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports, they are wanting to sign either (a) Hiroki Kuroda; Aaron Harang; Chris Capuano; or Jeff Francis. None of them — with the…

  12. Cubs officially hire Dale Sveum as manager

    Nov 17, 2011, 2:39 PM EST

    Dale Sveum

    Well, it’s officially official. According to ESPN’s Gordon Edes, the Cubs have announced that Dale Sveum will become the team’s next manager. He’s to be introduced at a press conference scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday in Chicago. Sveum was offered the job on Wednesday evening after a second in-person interview, then issued his official acceptance on Thursday…

  13. Report: Theo was the one who leaked Boston’s dirty laundry last month

    Nov 17, 2011, 2:33 PM EST

    Theo Epstein

    Of course you remember the Boston Globe report from last month in which the beer and fried chicken thing — not to mention Terry Francona’s divorce and pain medication issues — came to light.  Since it came out people have been saying that it was a “front office leak,” and have been blaming ownership for…

  14. Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw captures NL Cy Young Award

    Nov 17, 2011, 2:07 PM EST

    kershaw getty wide

    The Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced Thursday that Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw has been voted the National League Cy Young Award winner for 2011. Kershaw, 23, registered a sparkling 2.28 ERA in 33 starts this year, striking out 248 batters and walking only 54 across 233 1/3 innings. He snagged 27 of 32 possible first-place votes…

  15. Red Sox, Cubs table Epstein compensation talks

    Nov 17, 2011, 1:45 PM EST

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

    Remember that Nov. 1 deadline for the Theo Epstein compensation to be worked out? It’s going to take a whole lot longer. The Red Sox and Cubs have decided to halt their talks until after the Rule 5 draft takes place on Dec. 8. The Boston Globe reported today that the Red Sox are still…

  16. Cubs expected to introduce manager Dale Sveum on Friday

    Nov 17, 2011, 1:18 PM EST

    sveum getty large

    As reported late last night, Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum has been offered the Cubs’ vacant managerial position. He hasn’t officially accepted, but the expectation is that he will at some point Thursday evening, with a Friday press conference to follow. Here’s the Chicago Tribune‘s Phil Rogers: Sveum, 47, went 7-5 as an interim skipper for the…

  17. Astros sale approved, team will move to AL West in 2013

    Nov 17, 2011, 12:41 PM EST

    astros logo

    MLB commissioner Bud Selig announced Thursday afternoon that the sale of the Houston Astros from former owner Drayton McLane to new owner Jim Crane has been unanimously approved. This according to CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler. As part of the agreement, the Astros will be moved to the American League West in 2013, with Crane getting a $70 million discount…

  18. UPDATE: Tigers sign Gerald Laird to one-year deal

    Nov 17, 2011, 12:30 PM EST

    Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals

    UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Tigers and Laird have agreed to a one-year deal, pending a physical. 12:30 PM: It’s backup catcher day here on Hardball Talk. Thanks for joining us. Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com hears that the Tigers are “on the verge” of bringing back veteran backstop Gerald Laird. They were…

  19. The Mets’ search for investors is moving slowly

    Nov 17, 2011, 12:03 PM EST

    File image of New York Mets chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon talking to reporters at a news conference in New York

    When David Einhorn backed out of buying into the Mets, the Mets announced that rather than finding one big sugar daddy that they’d look for multiple sugar babies instead. Investors looking to give them, say $20 million a pop.  The search for such beasts has been ongoing, but it’s not going quickly: At this point,…

  20. Phillies re-sign backup catcher Brian Schneider

    Nov 17, 2011, 11:40 AM EST

    schneider phillies

    UPDATE: It’s a done deal. Heyman reports that Schneider will make $800,000 next season with the chance at an additional $200,000 with incentives. He doesn’t specify, but we can assume this is strictly a one-year deal. 11:40 AM: Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Phillies have re-signed catcher Brian Schneider, pending a physical. We…

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