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  1. Insurance to cover “about half” of Victor Martinez’s salary

    Jan 31, 2012, 4:17 PM EDT

    Detroit Tigers' Martinez runs bases after hitting a solo home run against the Texas Rangers in Game 3 in their MLB American League Championship Series baseball playoffs in Detroit

    Victor Martinez underwent microfracture knee surgery yesterday and is slated to undergo another surgery to repair his torn ACL in 6-8 weeks, leaving no doubt that he’ll miss the entire season. According to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com the Tigers’ insurance policy on Martinez’s four-year, $50 million contract is “expected to cover about half of the…

  2. Great Moments in Consistency: Mark Teixeira-against-the-shift edition

    Jan 31, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

    teixeira getty

    Mark Teixeira has had a tough time hitting left-handed. Teams are pulling the old Ted Williams shift on him, stationing everyone on the right side and daring him to keep pulling the ball.  Which he has been, to less-than-great results of late. Last August, the New York Times ran an article on this, and reported…

  3. Dirk Hayhurst to play ball in Italy this year

    Jan 31, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

    Dirk Hayhurst

    Dirk Hayhurst, author of “The Bullpen Gospels” and the upcoming “Out of my League,” is a personal favorite of mine. Yes, because of the books, but also because he lives in Ohio and I got to meet him last fall and I found that he is just as neat a guy in person as he…

  4. Ronald Belisario is already at Dodgers camp, but drug suspension looms

    Jan 31, 2012, 3:15 PM EDT

    Ronald Belisario AP

    Ronald Belisario missed all of last season because he couldn’t secure a visa, but this year the Venezuelan reliever has already reported to Dodgers camp in Arizona in the hopes of reclaiming a bullpen job. Of course, since nothing ever seems to come easy with Belisario he’d first have to serve a 25-game suspension for…

  5. Ruben Amaro continues to overvalue Ryan Howard

    Jan 31, 2012, 3:01 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies

    Over the weekend Ruben Amaro was quoted as saying that he’d rather have Ryan Howard on his current deal than either Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols on theirs. Like I said at the time, I’ll give him some latitude there because Howard is his guy and it’s not like he’s going to say bad stuff…

  6. Quote of the Day: Old Hoss Radbourn

    Jan 31, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT

    Old Hoss Radbourn

    Hall of Fame pitcher Old Hoss Radbourn died in 1897.  Those of you who follow the baseball rebop on Twitter, however, know that his ghost haunts social media. And despite the fact that he died 76 years before I was born, he has more than three times as many Twitter followers than me. Vexing. Anyway,…

  7. Dallas Braden throws for first time since shoulder surgery

    Jan 31, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden throws during their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto

    Dallas Braden took the mound yesterday for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery in May, throwing 25 pitches and then telling his Twitter followers that his “arm feels great” and “I wept with joy.” Braden made headlines for his perfect game in 2010 and squabble with Alex Rodriguez over mound ownership in Oakland, but…

  8. Must-click link: Derrick Hall is kicking the living crap out of prostate cancer

    Jan 31, 2012, 2:02 PM EDT

    Derrick Hall

    That’s not a medical diagnosis, of course. Diamondbacks’ CEO Derrick Hall is doing well. He had prostate cancer surgery a couple of months ago, is back at work and is working hard. Things are looking good. But as this wonderful, occasionally tear-jerking but ultimately and profoundly uplifting article by Steve Henson at Yahoo! shows, no…

  9. GM on Ryan Howard: “If he’s back by sometime in May, I’ll be happy”

    Jan 31, 2012, 1:52 PM EDT

    Ryan Howard

    A few weeks ago Ruben Amaro Jr. declined to “speculate” about Ryan Howard‘s odds of being in the Opening Day lineup, but yesterday the Phillies general manager made it very clear that no one is expecting a return that soon. Amaro told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that Howard returning from his torn Achilles’ tendon by…

  10. The Yankees have hired Jim Hendry

    Jan 31, 2012, 1:30 PM EDT

    hendry-110116.standard[1]

    When he was let go from the Cubs’ GM gig late last season, I thought “well, we won’t have Jim Hendry to kick around anymore.”  Guess I was wrong, because ESPN Chicago reports that the Yankees have hired Hendry as an assistant to Brian Cashman. In all honesty, we really don’t have him to kick…

  11. Diamondbacks, Ryan Roberts avoid arbitration

    Jan 31, 2012, 1:20 PM EDT

    Ryan Roberts

    It wasn’t quite as last-minute as their deal with Miguel Montero this morning, but the Diamondbacks have also avoided arbitration with Ryan Roberts by signing him to a one-year, $2 million contract. Roberts requested $2.275 million and Arizona countered at $1.65 million, so they settled slightly above the midpoint. Roberts didn’t get an extended opportunity…

  12. Athletics’ outfielder Michael Taylor has an offseason job

    Jan 31, 2012, 1:03 PM EDT

    Michael Taylor

    This is pretty neat.  Not as neat as the fact that Richie Hebner used to work as a grave digger in the offseason, but neat in the sense that ballplayers never actually work real jobs anymore, so it’s cool to see one who does. It’s Michael Taylor of the Oakland A’s, who spent the offseason…

  13. Daisuke Matsuzaka has first post-surgery bullpen session

    Jan 31, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

    Daisuke Matsuzaka

    Kyodo News in Japan has an update on Daisuke Matsuzaka‘s comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery. Matsuzaka threw a bullpen session yesterday for the first time since going under the knife in June, tossing around 20 pitches at the Red Sox’s spring training complex in Florida. Afterward he called it “a warmup” and said he…

  14. The Marlins in action in their new uniforms. No Photoshop this time

    Jan 31, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

    Marlins Miami new logo

    Yesterday, after I posted that Photoshopped baseball card of Jose Reyes, I was alerted to the fact that there are bona fide action photos of the Marlins — including the new Marlins — in their new uniforms.  You can see a gallery of them over at Fox Sports Florida. They came courtesy of the Miami…

  15. Diamondbacks and Miguel Montero avoid arbitration at last minute

    Jan 31, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    Miguel Montero

    Miguel Montero and the Diamondbacks had an arbitration hearing scheduled for today, but the two sides agreed to a one-year contract just moments before going in. Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that Montero will get $5.9 million, which is $200,000 less than the midpoint between his $6.8 request and the team’s $5.4 million figure. Montero…

  16. Is the Prince Fielder signing evidence of a “financial disconnect?”

    Jan 31, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

    Detroit Tigers Introduce Prince Fielder.

    Over at ESPN, columnist LZ Granderson — a Tigers fan — wonders what Prince Fielder signing for $214 million means for a cash-strapped burg like Detroit: There is absolutely nothing wrong with Fielder’s contract. And again I am excited he is on the team and feel fortunate we have an owner who doesn’t just say…

  17. Phillies sign Chad Qualls to one-year, $1.15 million deal

    Jan 31, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    Chad Qualls Getty

    Philadelphia spending $50 million on Jonathan Papelbon stands out in what has otherwise been a buyer’s market for relief pitching, but the Phillies got into the bargain-hunting action by signing Chad Qualls to a one-year, $1.15 million deal. Jose Contreras‘ health status is uncertain coming off elbow surgery, so Qualls can slide into his right-handed…

  18. Bobby V. is not too concerned about shortstop

    Jan 31, 2012, 11:04 AM EDT

    bobby valentine reuters

    Red Sox fans don’t seem to be terribly pleased with the team’s current shortstop options: Mike Aviles and Nick Punto.  But Bobby Valentine is kind of cool with it: “I’ve never seen any of the guys play except for Punto a little on television. We’ve got seven weeks together, we’ll practice together, we’ll play together, that…

  19. Indians acquire Triple-A MVP Russ Canzler from Rays

    Jan 31, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    russ canzler rays

    Russ Canzler predictably drew interest from other teams after the Rays designated him for assignment last week and Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that Tampa Bay has traded the Triple-A MVP to Cleveland for cash considerations. For a brief moment early in the offseason Canzler sat atop the Rays’ first base depth chart, but then…

  20. Skip Schumaker’s baseball card is pretty awesome

    Jan 31, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

    Skip Schumaker card

    Not sure how I missed this yesterday, but via my NBC comrade Rick Chandler over at Off the Bench, we learn that there are baseball cards way better than the Photoshopped Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols cards. Specifically, Skip Shumaker’s: That, of course, is from last season’s NLDS, when the varmint messed with Roy Oswalt…

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