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  1. Ivan Rodriguez won’t re-sign with Nationals, eyes backup role

    Dec 8, 2011, 11:31 AM EST

    Ivan Rodriguez

    Agent Scott Boras told reporters at the winter meetings yesterday that Ivan Rodriguez won’t be re-signing with the Nationals, saying: “I think their plan at the moment excludes him.” Rodriguez backed up Wilson Ramos this year, but the Nationals still have Jesus Flores around and there are a couple intriguing catcher prospects coming up through…

  2. Angels sign C.J. Wilson to five-year, $77.5 million contract

    Dec 8, 2011, 11:05 AM EST

    C.J. Wilson

    This morning I dismissed the idea that the Angels could get both Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.  As always, ignore whatever I say, because Joel Sherman just tweeted that the Angels have landed Wilson too.  Jon Heyman reports that it’s for five years and $75 million.  UPDATE:  it’s actually $77.5 million. Allow me to observe…

  3. Astros take Rhiner Cruz from Mets with top pick in Rule 5 draft

    Dec 8, 2011, 11:03 AM EST

    rhiner cruz mets

    This morning’s Rule 5 draft wasn’t very exciting, as a total of just 12 players were selected from an available talent pool that nearly everyone seemed to agree was somewhat underwhelming. With the No. 1 pick the Astros selected right-hander Rhiner Cruz from the Mets. He was originally signed by the Tigers as a teenager…

  4. Don’t hate on Pujols for taking the money and running

    Dec 8, 2011, 10:57 AM EST

    Albert Pujols

    We’ll talk soon about whether it was wise for the Angels to give Albert Pujols a friggin’ quarter of a billion dollars, but for now, let’s look at this from Pujols’ perspective. As soon as the news hit the wire I saw people — Cardinals fans mostly — starting to slam the man they’ve cheered…

  5. Francisco Rodriguez accepting arbitration has already cost the Brewers LaTroy Hawkins

    Dec 8, 2011, 10:47 AM EST

    Hawkins_LaTroy

    By accepting arbitration last night Francisco Rodriguez shook up the Brewers’ offseason plans, forcing them to potentially step away from other free agents like Aramis Ramirez and Takashi Saito because he takes up so much of their remaining payroll space. That could change if the Brewers end up trading Rodriguez or ownership signs off on…

  6. James Loney was arrested last month

    Dec 8, 2011, 10:30 AM EST

    James Loney

    Here’s a palate-cleanser from the hot stove league:  TMZ reports that James Loney was arrested last month after crashing his Maserati into three cars and spitting at a police officer. In other news, people have paid James Loney enough money to play baseball over the years that he can afford a Maserati. That’s fair. According…

  7. Pirates release arbitration eligible pitcher Ross Ohlendorf

    Dec 8, 2011, 10:15 AM EST

    ohlendorf_ross

    Ross Ohlendorf was arbitration eligible for the second time and would have earned around $2 million even after a miserable season, so the Pirates decided to release the right-hander. Ohlendorf was much better than his 1-11 record in 2010, posting a 4.07 ERA in 108 innings, but his ERA ballooned to 8.15 ERA in 39…

  8. Albert Pujols signs 10-year, $254 million contract with Angels

    Dec 8, 2011, 10:01 AM EST

    St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds

    Last night the buzz coming from the winter meetings was that Albert Pujols wasn’t anywhere near making a decision, but either that was wrong or things changed dramatically overnight. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that Pujols has agreed to sign with the Angels, getting a 10-year contract worth between $250 million and $260 million.…

  9. The Angels want both Albert Pujols AND C.J. Wilson

    Dec 8, 2011, 9:46 AM EST

    Angels logo

    When you hear about a team being in on two big free agents it’s usually an either/or situation, with one of them being the fallback.  We’ve seen the Marlins want it all so far, but now another team is going all Veruca Salt: the Angels, who Ken Rosenthal says want both C.J. Wilson and Albert…

  10. The Rule 5 draft is this morning

    Dec 8, 2011, 9:40 AM EST

    Houston Astros v New York Mets

    I got all excited last year and went to the Rule 5 draft. Within three minutes of it starting I realized that it really wasn’t worth it. If you’re a total prospect nut it has a lot of intrigue I suppose, but for most of us it’s only meaningful a couple of years from now…

  11. The Tigers will sign Octavio Dotel

    Dec 8, 2011, 9:14 AM EST

    dotel getty

    It was reported last night that the Tigers were “closing in” on signing Octavio Dotel. Now they got him. A one-year deal with an option. He had a great run in the playoffs and as long as you keep him away from lefties he’s OK. Still, he’s a 38 year-old non-closer reliever, so it’s not…

  12. The Marlins are still interested in Prince Fielder

    Dec 8, 2011, 9:05 AM EST

    Prince Fielder

    Because we haven’t talked about the Marlins in, like, five minutes, here you go: Jon Heyman says they’re still interested in Prince Fielder. At this point, why not? They’ve already signed everyone else, why not Prince Fielder too? Whether he’d want to go to Florida given (a) the big dimensions of that new park; and…

  13. Greetings from the last day of the Winter Meetings

    Dec 8, 2011, 8:06 AM EST

    Brisket

    We’re never going to have any resolution on Albert Pujols, I feel. He will have multiple ten-year offers waiting for his decision until the end of time and, in the meantime, he’ll play on barnstorming tours. For a mystery barnstorming team. It’s just fitting. The lobby of the Hilton Anatole has gotten simply punchy by…

  14. Deducing Albert Pujols’ mystery team

    Dec 8, 2011, 3:28 AM EST

    Albert Pujols

    ESPN’s Jayson Stark surmises that the mystery team chasing Albert Pujols is a club with an established first baseman that it would need to trade in order to make room for a shiny new three-time MVP. So, let’s run through the league to see who might qualify. I’ll exclude the Cardinals and Angels — the known…

  15. UPDATE: Angels, mystery team make run at Albert Pujols

    Dec 8, 2011, 2:30 AM EST

    Albert Pujols

    2:30 a.m. EST update: ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that no decision from Pujols will come in before the Winter Meetings conclude Thursday. Again, if you missed it, Pujols is believed to be deciding on similar 10-year offers from the Angels and Cardinals, as well as a possible offer from a mystery team (perhaps the Cubs).…

  16. Yu Darvish announces that he will be posted on Thursday

    Dec 8, 2011, 1:19 AM EST

    darvish getty square

    Courtesy of Google’s Japanese-to-English translation service (hey, we’re doing what we can here people) comes this announcement from the personal blog of Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish: This time, having decided that Darvish posting system to use. The announcement will convey to everyone here, because most of the fans. The baseball team Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters I really…

  17. Astros hire Jeff Luhnow as general manager

    Dec 8, 2011, 12:41 AM EST

    astros logo

    According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, the Astros have hired Cardinals executive Jeff Luhnow to be their next general manager. Luhnow had been serving as the Redbirds’ vice president of scouting and player development, and was instrumental in turning around a Cardinals farm system that was once devoid of quality depth. It’s a great hire for…

  18. Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez decline arbitration from Phillies

    Dec 8, 2011, 12:24 AM EST

    Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves

    As expected, shortstop Jimmy Rollins and outfielder Raul Ibanez have declined arbitration from the Phillies. This according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. Rollins is in search of a five-year contract, so the decision on his part was a no-brainer. With Ibanez, it’s a bit trickier. He’s unlikely to score a significant deal on the open market…

  19. UPDATE: Kelly Johnson accepts arbitration from Blue Jays

    Dec 8, 2011, 12:09 AM EST

    Kelly Johnson

    That free agent Kelly Johnson would no longer cost signing teams a first-round pick was supposed to enhance his market, but he’s leaning towards accepting arbitration from the Blue Jays anyway, MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports. The general aversion most teams have to spending big at second base seems to be playing a role here. Johnson…

  20. Prince Fielder just wants to hit home runs

    Dec 7, 2011, 11:55 PM EST

    Prince Fielder

    Scott Boras, holding court at the winter meetings, had a nice quote about client Prince Fielder tonight. Asked if geography would influence Fielder’s decision-making this winter, he replied: “I just think he likes fences that are short to home plate. That’s geographics he likes.” Boras might half been half-kidding, but it certainly bodes better for the…

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