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  1. ESPN.com’s Keith Law rates Padres as top farm system

    Feb 8, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    Keith Law published his annual farm system rankings over at ESPN.com and has the Padres in the top spot, noting that “there are so many prospects here with high floors, players who would be top-10 or top-five in other systems but are 11-20 here.” After the Padres at No. 1 he has the Rays, Blue…

  2. MLB announces “Fan Cave” finalists and HBT is endorsing a candidate

    Feb 8, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    mlb fan cave

    MLB just announced the 50 finalists for this season’s “Fan Cave” and there’s now an online vote to determine who makes the cut. HardballTalk is officially endorsing Lindsay Guentzel, because she’s great and knows baseball. And also because she was a guest on my podcast last night to talk about the whole “Fan Cave” selection…

  3. Donald Trump’s son-in-law is a Dodgers bidder

    Feb 8, 2012, 11:35 AM EDT

    dodgers logo

    What would irk you more: if the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers were born in the 1980s, or if he was the son-in-law of Donald Trump?  What if he were both? Jared Kushner, born into a prominent New York real estate family and son-in-law of Donald Trump, has emerged as a candidate in the…

  4. Melvin Mora isn’t retired, but did turn down the Rangers

    Feb 8, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants

    Melvin Mora didn’t play after being released by the Diamondbacks in June and was said to be retiring in December, but then changed his mind a few weeks ago and is now looking for a new team at age 40. However, he apparently wasn’t willing to play in Texas. Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning…

  5. Hall of Fame to begin a drug education program

    Feb 8, 2012, 11:03 AM EDT

    syringe

    Sadly, it’s not for Hall of Fame voters (presentation: “HGH: it really does nothing, dudes, so just chill, OK?”), it’s for the kids: The Baseball Hall of Fame is starting a drug education program for students and young adults … The Hall plans to promote a healthy lifestyle that is free of PEDs. The program will be called…

  6. Mitch Moreland “feeling great” after November wrist surgery

    Feb 8, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    moreland getty

    Mitch Moreland underwent wrist surgery in November that was expected to sideline him for 8-12 weeks, but yesterday the Rangers first baseman told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com that he’s “feeling great” and has been taking swings four times per week with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh. Moreland might be slightly behind everyone else at the beginning…

  7. The Marlins may make an offer to Yoenis Cespedes today

    Feb 8, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

    cespedes

    The Miami Marlins’ desire to land Yoenis Cespedes is no secret. They’ve been talking about it forever. They have been way out front in saying how much they want to push hard to market the team to the Latino community.  And to that end, Jayson Stark reports that the Marlins may very well make an offer…

  8. Red Sox sign 17-year-old Australian pitcher Daniel McGrath

    Feb 8, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    australian flag

    They haven’t landed Roy Oswalt, but the Red Sox did sign a pitcher yesterday in 17-year-old Australian left-hander Daniel McGrath. McGrath is still in high school, so according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com he’ll fly to America to briefly attend spring training in Florida and then head back to Australia to play for the under-18…

  9. Bryce Harper wants to be the next Joe Namath

    Feb 8, 2012, 9:57 AM EDT

    Joe Namath

    Bryce Harper has a role model. Sure, that role model retired 15 years before Harper was born, but it’s a role model all the same: Harper doesn’t plan to make any adjustments off the field. Known to speak his mind on Twitter, Harper plans to be himself. Harper is a sports history buff, and he…

  10. The Yankees are still trying to peddle A.J. Burnett

    Feb 8, 2012, 9:31 AM EDT

    New York Yankees Burnett pitches to the Detroit Tigers during the first inning of Game 4 in their MLB  American League Division Series baseball playoffs in Detroit

    Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees are still trying to trade A.J. Burnett. The purpose — apart from the totally understandable and desirable deburnettification effects such a move would create  — is to shake free some payroll to sign a DH or Eric Chavez or someone: … the Yankees are…

  11. George Brett’s company sued over false medical claims

    Feb 8, 2012, 9:10 AM EDT

    George Brett

    You’re not gonna believe this, but some people have the nerve to suggest that Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett’s claims that cheap jewelry has healing powers is … false. I know, I’m shocked too, because I get all of my medical treatment from trinkets and baubles and things. Indeed, I was ordered to undergo…

  12. Lance Lynn is in the Best Shape Of His Life. Or close to it.

    Feb 8, 2012, 8:39 AM EDT

    lance lynn getty

    Best Shape Of His Life stories can come in all shapes and sizes. They don’t necessarily have to involve superstars, and they don’t always need to be presented in full-length feature articles. There are no rules for this phenomenon, you see. There is a logo now, but there are no rules. Enter Cardinals right-hander Lance…

  13. Reds haven’t made progress on Brandon Phillips extension

    Feb 8, 2012, 7:53 AM EDT

    brandon phillips ap

    Last we heard, the Reds had tabled long-term negotiations with second baseman Brandon Phillips due to differing opinions on his market value. And it seems not much has changed. Reds GM Walt Jocketty told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon on Tuesday that the team isn’t any closer to locking up Phillips, who is currently on track to…

  14. 2012 projections: top 10 second basemen

    Feb 8, 2012, 12:17 AM EDT

    Robinson Cano

    The top 10 at second base is led by the one player at the position I have projected to hit .300 this year: .882 – Robinson Cano (Yankees) – 638 AB – .882 in 2011 .859 – Ian Kinsler (Rangers) – 560 AB – .832 in 2011 .855 – Chase Utley (Phillies) – 532 AB…

  15. The 911 call from James Loney’s freeway incident is released

    Feb 7, 2012, 10:28 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants

    TMZ has the audio of the 911 call from a witness at the scene after James Loney crashed into several cars with his Maserati on an L.A. freeway in November. The call, which is nearly five minutes in length, begins with Loney passed out in the driver’s seat, but the witness becomes frantic after the…

  16. Rangers and Elvis Andrus avoid arbitration by agreeing to three-year deal

    Feb 7, 2012, 9:21 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics

    UPDATE: The deal is believed to be in the range of $14-15 million total and doesn’t include any club options, reports Rosenthal and Morosi. The Rangers likely would have preferred to get some of his free agent years as part of the deal, but that was probably a long shot given that Andrus is represented…

  17. The Marlins and Emilio Bonifacio went to an arbitration hearing today

    Feb 7, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT

    New York Mets v Florida Marlins

    It was announced yesterday that the Marlins lost their arbitration hearing to right-hander Anibal Sanchez, but the club went right back at it today, this time stating their case against Emilio Bonifacio. Bonifacio, who is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, requested $2.2 million and was offered $1.95 million from the Marlins when arbitration figures…

  18. Josh Hamilton has a new accountability partner

    Feb 7, 2012, 8:16 PM EDT

    Josh Hamilton

    Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that the Rangers have hired Shayne Kelley as a major league staff assistant and that one of his duties will be to serve as Josh Hamilton‘s new accountability partner. Kelley has a pretty diverse background, serving as the Royals’ minor league strength and conditioning coach for two seasons and the team…

  19. Dmitri Young will work out for the Pirates next week

    Feb 7, 2012, 7:45 PM EDT

    dmitri young getty

    We’ve chronicled Dmitri Young’s comeback attempt for a couple of months now. Thanks to no longer eating like a viking, the 38-year-old has trimmed down pretty significantly in hopes of scoring a spring training invite. Well, after working out for the Phillies late last month, it appears he has another lead. Jim Bowden of ESPN.com…

  20. The Royals and Alex Gordon are close to a one-year contract

    Feb 7, 2012, 7:10 PM EDT

    alex gordon getty

    According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, the Royals and Alex Gordon “appear close” to agreeing on a one-year deal in order to avoid arbitration. Gordon, who is arbitration-eligible for the third time this offseason, filed for $5.45 million and was offered $4.15 million by the Royals when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. Dutton estimates…

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