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  1. Phil Plantier is a hitting coach? Really?

    Oct 31, 2011, 1:17 PM EST

    Phil Plantier

    In case you missed it, the Padres announced over the weekend that they had hired Phil Plantier as their new hitting coach, replacing Randy Ready. It was a pretty meteoric rise for a guy who was coaching at Point Loma Nazarene University three years ago. Plantier was the Mariners’ minor league hitting coordinator in 2010…

  2. Derek Lowe traded to the Indians

    Oct 31, 2011, 12:59 PM EST

    Braves starting pitcher Lowe raises his glove over his face after a run scored in the third inning by Phillies Oswalt in Atlanta

    We weren’t expecting that. Jon Heyman reports that the Braves have traded Derek Lowe to the Cleveland Indians. Buster Olney says that the Braves will eat $10 million of the $15 million left on Lowe’s contract and that the Indians will send back “second tier” player(s) in return. UPDATE: The player going from Cleveland to…

  3. Carlos Zambrano scheduled to make nine starts in Venezuela

    Oct 31, 2011, 12:48 PM EST

    zambrano getty wid

    Carlos Zambrano will participate in the Venezuelan winter league in an effort to catch up on all the pitching he missed while suspended by the Cubs, with Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reporting that he’s scheduled to make nine starts for Los Caribes de Anzoategui. Zambrano’s last game action came way back on August…

  4. Next year’s odds: Too soon?

    Oct 31, 2011, 12:33 PM EST

    gambling poster

    At what point do the Phillies fans stop eating crow over their team’s failure to fulfill the championship expectations of which they were all convinced and move on to that blind, “we’re number 1!” stuff for 2012 that we know will come and love so very much when it does? Heck, why not now?  Gambling…

  5. Pirates decline 2012 options on Maholm, Snyder, and Doumit

    Oct 31, 2011, 12:16 PM EST

    Paul Maholm

    In a trio of expected moves the Pirates have declined their 2012 options on left-hander Paul Maholm, catcher Chris Snyder, and catcher/outfielder Ryan Doumit. Maholm was due $9.75 million and has failed to develop into more than a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter at age 29, so Pittsburgh will instead give him a $750,000 buyout. Snyder was…

  6. Braves pick up option on Eric Hinske; decline option on Nate McLouth

    Oct 31, 2011, 12:03 PM EST

    Nate McLouth

    The Atlanta Braves just announced that they have picked up the club option on Eric Hinske and declined the option on Nate McLouth. This is not surprising. McLouth’s 2012 option price was $10.65 million and, in case you’ve been living under a rock, you know that McLouth is not a $10 million player. Heck, he…

  7. Indians bring back Fausto Carmona, cut loose Grady Sizemore

    Oct 31, 2011, 11:51 AM EST

    Grady Sizemore

    Fausto Carmona will stay with Cleveland in 2012 after the team exercised his $7 million option, but the Indians made Grady Sizemore a free agent by choosing a $500,000 buyout rather than pay him $8.5 million following another injury wrecked season. Once upon a time Sizemore was one of the best young players in baseball…

  8. Did the Yankees lowball Sabathia?

    Oct 31, 2011, 11:34 AM EST

    CC Sabathia

    The Associated Press said yesterday that the Yankees have made Sabathia a new offer in an attempt to get him to forgo opting out of his deal. Yet, he appears to be opting out. Today Buster Olney speculates that they may have lowballed him, at least in terms of years: Let’s say that the New York Yankees’ extension offer to CC…

  9. Nationals name Davey Johnson full-time manager

    Oct 31, 2011, 11:19 AM EST

    Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

    As expected, the Nationals have decided to stick with Davey Johnson as manager. General manager Mike Rizzo went through the interview process with other candidates, but various reports pegged Johnson as the man for the job for weeks now and the Nationals simply held off making things official until after the World Series. Rizzo said…

  10. So who replaces La Russa?

    Oct 31, 2011, 11:09 AM EST

    La Russa closeup

    Wanted: Baseball manager.  Will replace legend. There is no way you can possibly top what happened last year. Possibility you won’t have the best player on the team next year.  Must have reliable transportation. So who bites at that? On the one hand, replacing Tony La Russa might be a tough thing for a guy…

  11. Marlins trying to talk Javier Vazquez out of retirement

    Oct 31, 2011, 10:47 AM EST

    Florida Marlins v Washington Nationals

    Javier Vazquez has repeatedly indicated that he plans to retire despite being a free agent coming off a very good season, but Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that the Marlins may try to talk the 35-year-old right-hander into pitching at least one more season. Capozzi writes that playing close to his home…

  12. Going out on top: Tony La Russa announces retirement

    Oct 31, 2011, 10:17 AM EST

    2011 World Series Game 4 -Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals

    Last week every indication was that Tony La Russa planned to return for his 17th season as Cardinals manager and even today when the Cardinals announced a press conference few people suspected it had anything to do with the manager. Turns out he’s decided to go out on top, with La Russa making the surprise…

  13. Yep, this is the new Marlins cap

    Oct 31, 2011, 9:40 AM EST

    Marlins cap

    They denied it when it was first leaked a couple months ago and they continue to say that we have to wait until November 11th to know for sure, but yeah, this is the new Marlins cap logo. We know this because the New Era store in Buffalo, New York is selling them. George Richards…

  14. Was this the greatest postseason of the wild card era?

    Oct 31, 2011, 9:13 AM EST

    2011 World Series Game 7 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals

    Last week Chris Jaffe rated the top postseason series of all time. It proved to be a pretty spiffy and pretty popular post.  Today Chris has an update to that, using the same methodology, but attempting to figure out which postseason as a whole was the best of the wild card era. 2011 ranks fifth.…

  15. UPDATE: Cardinals press conference: La Russa news?

    Oct 31, 2011, 8:45 AM EST

    molina_yadier

    UPDATE:  Now the tweeterbugs are speculating that the press conference is not about Molina, but about La Russa.  The betting is the announcement that he’s going to return next year. That would make more sense than a retirement announcement. For one thing he’s flying to New York today to do Letterman tonight and if he…

  16. Into the offseason we go

    Oct 31, 2011, 5:56 AM EST

    Autumn

    As is always the case at this time of year, I’m at a bit of a loss. My brain and body still think it’s baseball season. The hot stove stuff doesn’t seem very real yet. And, even though we’ll totally get into it like crazy now, it does feel like a step down from where…

  17. Aramis Ramirez declines mutual option, becomes free agent

    Oct 31, 2011, 12:05 AM EST

    Aramis Ramirez

    Desiring another multiyear contract at age 33, Aramis Ramirez declined his half of a mutual option to remain with the Cubs on Sunday, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Ramirez would have made $16 million under the terms of the option. His decision means the Cubs are off the hook for a $2 million…

  18. Giants exercise Jeremy Affeldt’s $5 million option

    Oct 30, 2011, 9:00 PM EST

    Jeremy Affeldt

    The Giants are looking at a pretty expensive 2012 bullpen after locking up two of this year’s top free agent left-handed relievers on Sunday. Hours after agreeing to terms with Javier Lopez on a two-year, $8.5 million contract, the Giants exercised fellow southpaw Jeremy Affeldt‘s $5 million option for 2012. Affeldt would have received a $500,000…

  19. Report: CC Sabathia set to opt out of contract

    Oct 30, 2011, 7:12 PM EST

    CC Sabathia

    As widely anticipated, CC Sabathia is planning to opt out of the remaining four years of his contract prior to Monday night’s deadline, SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports. The Associated Press says that the Yankees have made Sabathia a new offer in an attempt to get him to forgo opting out. Sabathia has $92 million left on the…

  20. Red Sox exercise Marco Scutaro’s $6 million option

    Oct 30, 2011, 7:01 PM EST

    Marco Scutaro

    One of the few Red Sox who failed to wilt in September, Marco Scutaro was rewarded Sunday when his $6 million option for 2012 was picked up by the club. The move is the first made by Ben Cherington since he replaced Theo Epstein as Boston’s GM. Scutaro hit .387/.438/.581 with 21 RBI in 93…

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