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  1. Negotiations between Cole Hamels and Phillies “are heating up”

    Mar 6, 2012, 3:15 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds

    Cole Hamels‘ agent is in Florida this week and Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that long-term contract negotiations with the Phillies “are heating up.” According to Salisbury, agent John Boggs has already met with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. once and plans to do so again later this week. Asked to describe the present status…

  2. Cuban defector Leonys Martin left out of Rangers’ center field competition

    Mar 6, 2012, 2:57 PM EDT

    Leonys Martin, Mike Dayly, Jon Daniels

    The Rangers spent far more than anyone expected to land 23-year-old Cuban defector Leonys Martin last year, signing him for $15.5 million over five years. He was generally impressive in the minors in his U.S. debut, but manager Ron Washington told the Dallas Morning News today that he’s still not close to helping the team:…

  3. Picture of the Day: Thanks for the $51.5 million

    Mar 6, 2012, 2:39 PM EDT

    mccutchen and bob nutting

    Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review snapped this shot of Andrew McCutchen, fresh off his $51.5 million contract extension, chatting with the man who’ll be signing his paychecks, Pirates owner Bob Nutting:

  4. Johan Santana throws two scoreless innings in Grapefruit League debut

    Mar 6, 2012, 2:18 PM EDT

    Johan Santana AP

    Johan Santana made his Grapefruit League debut this afternoon and threw two scoreless innings against the Cardinals. It was Santana’s first game action since pitching in the instructional league in October and his first appearance against major league competition since undergoing surgery to repair a torn capsule muscle in his left shoulder of September of…

  5. Michael Morse scratched from Nationals lineup with lat strain

    Mar 6, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

    Michael Morse

    Michael Morse was a last-minute scratch from the Nationals’ lineup today with a strained lat muscle. He’s listed as day-to-day for now, but lat strains tend to linger. Bryce Harper replaced Morse in the lineup today, but presumably the Nationals wouldn’t let the injury impact Harper’s timetable unless Morse was sidelined for an extended period.…

  6. Bobby Abreu thinks he can pitch

    Mar 6, 2012, 1:30 PM EDT

    Bobby Abreu

    I was walking around morning workouts when I encountered Bobby Abreu throwing the ball with Torii Hunter in the outfield. Torii Hunter has nine gold gloves, by the way, so this exchange was a lot of fun. Abreu: Don’t think about it. Just get the ball … [throws] … and release. Hunter: Uh-huh. Abreu: Perfect…

  7. Brian Wilson scheduled to make spring debut Sunday

    Mar 6, 2012, 1:20 PM EDT

    brian wilson getty wide

    Brian Wilson‘s achy elbow is feeling good enough that the Giants closer is slated to make his spring training debut Sunday. Wilson admitted recently that he pitched through elbow problems throughout most of last season, but he threw live batting practice over the weekend and is scheduled to do so again tomorrow. Chris Haft of…

  8. Bryce Harper emulates Ichiro Suzuki for infield single

    Mar 6, 2012, 1:04 PM EDT

    Bryce Harper Getty

    Bryce Harper is highly-regarded for his elite power potential, but he took a page out of Ichiro Suzuki‘s book in order to beat out an infield single last night against the Mets. With junkballing left-hander Daniel Herrera on the mound, Harper took a bit of a leaning start out of the box and slapped a…

  9. Red Sox shut down Carlos Silva with shoulder injury

    Mar 6, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

    carlos-silva-cubs-spring

    Bobby Valentine said today that Carlos Silva is already out of the running for the Red Sox’s rotation because of shoulder inflammation. Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports that Silva has been “shut down” indefinitely, which leaves Alfredo Aceves, Felix Doubrant, Vicente Padilla, Aaron Cook, and Andrew Miller competing for the No. 5 starter gig. Silva…

  10. Scenes from Spring Training: The Angels are loose

    Mar 6, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

    Tempe Diablo

    The past two years of spring training trips have followed the same pattern: early in the trip I get to the ballpark early, acting all professional and reportery with my notepad and the desire to tell stories.  By the end of the trip I’m just grooving on it all, realizing that most ballplayers don’t have…

  11. Three-time All-Star Carlos Guillen announces retirement

    Mar 6, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    Detroit Tigers Carlos Guillen heads for first base after being walked by Oakland Athletics pitcher Fautino De Los Santos during the seventh inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Detroit, Michigan

    Carlos Guillen, who signed a minor-league contract with the Mariners on February 1, announced his retirement today. Guillen had a remarkable career, transitioning from light-hitting shortstop to an impact bat who played all over the diamond, but injuries limited him to just 81, 68, and 28 mostly ineffective games during the past three seasons. He…

  12. Charlie Manuel on Chase Utley’s spring debut: “It’s going to be a while yet”

    Mar 6, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    utley ap

    Placido Polanco is recovered enough from offseason hernia surgery to make his spring training debut yesterday, but Chase Utley remained out of the Phillies’ lineup with no immediate plans for his return to game action. Manager Charlie Manuel told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that “it’s going to be a while yet” before Utley debuts and…

  13. Josh Johnson feels good after first start since last May

    Mar 6, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

    Josh Johnson AP

    The Marlins enter spring training with plenty of excitement after changing their name, logo and uniforms and making some pretty splashy additions, but they’ll have a tough time contending if they don’t get the old Josh Johnson back. He took a step in the right direction yesterday. Johnson threw 41 pitches over 1 2/3 scoreless…

  14. Should the Yankees be worried about Michael Pineda’s missing velocity?

    Mar 6, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    New York Yankees starter Pineda warms up on the mound during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater

    Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com has a worrisome report about Michael Pineda‘s velocity early in Yankees camp, writing that “scouts yesterday had Pineda at 88-91[miles per hour]” after he averaged 94.7 mph with his fastball last season. He also quotes a scout as saying “and there was some effort to get to 91.” And then while…

  15. Injured Evan Longoria “won’t join the lineup anytime soon”

    Mar 6, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    Evan Longoria

    Evan Longoria‘s bruised right hand has not healed as quickly as hoped and Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reports that he “won’t join the lineup anytime soon.” Longoria had hoped to play today, but swelling in his hand kept him from getting through a batting practice session yesterday and now the Rays third baseman…

  16. Astros catcher Humberto Quintero leaves camp to have back examined in Houston

    Mar 6, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Houston Astros v Florida Marlins

    Backup catcher Humberto Quintero has left Astros camp and traveled to Houston to have his injured back examined by team doctors. Quintero told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com that he’s “feeling better,” but players tend not to leave spring training and fly to another state unless the injury has people worried. He’s hoping to get a…

  17. Alex White may be charged with “extreme DUI”

    Mar 6, 2012, 9:18 AM EDT

    alex white ap

    When Rockies starter Alex White was arrested for DUI over the weekend, he told officers that he only had “two drinks.”  Everyone who gets pulled over for DUI says that, of course, but White’s lie, it appears, was particularly egregious: A breath test administered after White was pulled over Saturday night measured his blood-alcohol content…

  18. Springtime Storylines: Are the Pittsburgh Pirates getting any closer to breaking .500?

    Mar 6, 2012, 8:49 AM EDT

    Pirates Spring Baseball

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up first: The Pirates. Yarrr? The Big Question: Are the Buccos getting closer to snapping their streak of losing seasons? Most of…

  19. Greetings from Tempe, Arizona

    Mar 6, 2012, 7:36 AM EDT

    Angels logo

    I’d have a nice picture of an Arizona sunrise here for you, but as I am typing this it is 5AM local time and it’s still dark. Stupid body, thinking it’s still on Eastern Standard Time.  I’m guessing the sun will be up soon anyway. It’s the desert. The sun tends to shine here. I…

  20. Josh Geer returns to mound after overcoming skin cancer

    Mar 5, 2012, 11:00 PM EDT

    Josh Geer

    Josh Geer, who made 22 starts for the Padres between 2008 and ’09, is back competing for a job with San Diego this spring after missing most of last season following surgery to deal with skin cancer. MLB.com has the story. After making two Triple-A starts, Geer was diagnosed with Stage III melanoma last April.…

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