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  1. Royals exercise Ned Yost’s option for 2013

    Feb 14, 2012, 6:37 PM EDT

    Ned Yost

    Not wanting to give any impression that their manager was working under “lame duck” status, the Royals picked up the 2013 option on Ned Yost’s contract Tuesday. The 57-year-old Yost is 126-163 since replacing Trey Hillman as Kansas City’s manager in May 2010, good for a .436 winning percentage. Still, the team seems happy with…

  2. Running down the rosters: Chicago Cubs

    Feb 14, 2012, 6:13 PM EDT

    Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Marlon Byrd

    Forget about 2012 and probably 2013 as well; the Cubs are thinking long-term after luring Theo Epstein from Boston as their new showrunner. This year’s club won’t necessarily be one of the worst in baseball — the pitching depth could help it avoid that fate — but there’s also little in the way of upside…

  3. Dmitri Young worked out for the Pirates, but they didn’t make him an offer

    Feb 14, 2012, 5:07 PM EDT

    Dmitri Young Getty

    Dmitri Young shed a ton of weight as he tries to make a comeback at age 38, but he’s having trouble finding a team interested in signing him after last playing in the majors back in 2008. Young worked out for the Pirates yesterday and Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that “they…

  4. Jose Guillen still wants to play

    Feb 14, 2012, 4:27 PM EDT

    jose-guillen

    ESPN Deportes reports (sorry, Spanish) that Jose Guillen is training in the Dominican Republic and hopes to land a job with a major league club. Good luck with that, Jose. In his last season — 2010 — he was injured, ineffective, traded and then was busted for HGH shipments. What’s he gonna say at the interview? He…

  5. Must-click link: Looking back at the worst swings of 2011

    Feb 14, 2012, 3:51 PM EDT

    click here bigger

    Jeff Sullivan’s latest great thing at SB Nation is a look back at the 10 ugliest, most pathetic hacks of the 2011 season, complete with video evidence: The Ten Worst Swings Of The 2011 Season It’s pretty amazing.

  6. The Yankees may get in on the Jorge Soler action

    Feb 14, 2012, 3:29 PM EDT

    Yankees_logo-thumb-125x139-1687

    This morning we learned that the Cubs were going to sign Jorge Soler.  Apparently the fat lady hasn’t sung on that one yet: Sources: Yankees have serious interest on OFer Jorge Soler, among many teams. Cubs are not close to signing Soler, as has been reported. — Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 14, 2012   After…

  7. Jake Westbrook is in The Best Shape of His Life

    Feb 14, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT

    Jake Westbrook

    A few days ago I was lamenting the fact that we may be nearing the end of BSOHL season, but then I remembered that it really peaks when spring training starts and the writers tweet about players’ bodies a lot.  Like this: Jake Westbrook walked into Cards camp about 25 pounds lighter. Looks super trim.…

  8. Tommy Hanson changed his delivery on advice of Braves’ physical therapist

    Feb 14, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    Tommy Hanson

    After meeting with the Braves’ physical therapist Tommy Hanson has altered his delivery in an effort to avoid the shoulder problems that plagued him last season. Hanson described the change as “not drastic, but definitely different” and the Braves are also hoping it makes him tougher for opponents to steal bases on after he allowed…

  9. Rumors are swirling about the Cubs playing in U.S. Cellular Field in 2013

    Feb 14, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

    U.S. Cellular Field

    Not necessarily strong rumors. Not from any baseball insider types who usually chatter about goings on in MLB.  But this story from NBC Chicago about rumors of the Cubs moving to the south side to play in U.S. Cellular Field while Wrigley Field undergoes a renovation is interesting enough. To be sure, the story leads…

  10. Tony Gwynn has cancerous tumor removed from mouth

    Feb 14, 2012, 1:45 PM EDT

    gwynn-110109

    Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn underwent surgery today to remove a cancerous tumor from his mouth and may need “a nerve graft” from his shoulder or leg “to preserve facial functions,” according to Tom Friend of ESPN.com. Eighteen months ago Gwynn developed a malignant growth inside his right cheek, which he attributed to years of…

  11. Yankees-Indians are talking about an A.J. Burnett for Travis Hafner deal

    Feb 14, 2012, 1:31 PM EDT

    Travis Hafner

    UPDATE:  The talks are dead. 1:31 PM: This is interesting. Jon Heyman is reporting that while there is still optimism that the Yankees will trade A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh, the Angels and Indians have “checked in.” The Angels are probably a non-starter because they are one of the teams named in Burnett’s limited no-trade clause…

  12. Adam Jones and the Orioles had “preliminary discussions” about long-term deal

    Feb 14, 2012, 1:20 PM EDT

    Adam Jones

    Earlier this offseason there were some trade rumors swirling around Adam Jones, but now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles “have had some preliminary discussions about an extension” with the 26-year-old center fielder. For now the two sides are scheduled for an arbitration hearing Friday to determine if Jones will be…

  13. Matt Holliday and David Freese like to play squash

    Feb 14, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

    Squash

    Or: how you know that the offseason has dragged on long enough: 863 words on Matt Holliday and David Freese playing squash: Looking for a competitive alternative to add to their offseason workouts this winter, Freese and Holliday found squash. A cousin of racquetball, the game features a smaller ball with less bounce and tends…

  14. Angels GM on Bobby Abreu: “Right now, he fits our roster”

    Feb 14, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    Bobby Abreu

    Last week Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reported that the Angels would accept a “middling prospect” in exchange for Bobby Abreu and his $9 million salary, but yesterday general manager Jerry Dipoto downplayed the team’s chances of parting with Abreu. “Bobby is an Angel,” Dipoto told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. “Right now, he…

  15. The White Sox sign Kosuke Fukudome

    Feb 14, 2012, 12:02 PM EDT

    fukudome running bases

    The Chicago white Sox signed Kosuke Fukudome. The deal: one-year, $1 million contract with a $3.5 million club option for 2013. $500K of that $1 million comes in the form of a buyout of next year’s option, so he’s making basically nothing during the season. That’s pretty sweet.  Fukudome was overpaid once upon a time,…

  16. Brewers defeat Jose Veras in arbitration hearing

    Feb 14, 2012, 11:50 AM EDT

    jose-veras-marlins

    Milwaukee beat Jose Veras in an arbitration hearing held yesterday, meaning the reliever will earn $2 million this season rather than the $2.375 million he requested. Considering the small gap in submissions it’s odd that the two sides couldn’t come to a pre-hearing compromise, but instead the Brewers made their case to a three-person panel…

  17. Ryan Braun should know if he’s suspended by February 24

    Feb 14, 2012, 11:35 AM EDT

    braun getty

    There’s usually a 25-day deadline between a drug test appeal and a decision, but that time frame has come and gone with respect to Ryan Braun.  Tom Haudricourt reports, however, that MLB’s decision on whether to suspend Braun for 50 games should come no later than February 24, which is Braun’s deadline to report to…

  18. Kate Upton helps Justin Verlander, David Price, C.J. Wilson, and Jay Bruce sell video games

    Feb 14, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    2011 Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game

    Here’s the commercial for this season’s “MLB 2K” video game, featuring new Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover girl Kate Upton teaching the finer points of joystick control to Justin Verlander, David Price, C.J. Wilson, and Jay Bruce:

  19. Why doesn’t Johnny Damon have a job? Because he wants 3000 hits

    Feb 14, 2012, 10:58 AM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles

    At least that’s what Joel Sherman of the New York Post is reporting: … executives from three teams that had interest in Damon expressed concerns a fixation with 3,000 has diminished an attribute that greatly contributed to the perception of Damon as a winning player: patient, tough at-bats. And statistics appear to confirm the criticism.…

  20. Royals exercise 2013 option on manager Ned Yost

    Feb 14, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    Ned Yost

    Last year we saw what can happen when a veteran manager of a young, suddenly decent team has a contract that expires at the end of the season, but the Royals have ensured they won’t have a Jim Riggleman situation by exercising their 2013 option on Ned Yost before spring training even begins. Yost, who…

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