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  1. Dave Duncan to be away from Cardinals for all of 2012; Derek Lilliquist named pitching coach

    Jan 6, 2012, 4:36 PM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals

    UPDATE: General manager John Mozeliak told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the Cardinals do not expect Duncan to return during the 2012 season, meaning Lilliquist will take over the job without an “interim” title. ========== Longtime pitching coach Dave Duncan is taking an extended leave of absence from the Cardinals to…

  2. Yoenis Cespedes due to become free agent within two weeks

    Jan 6, 2012, 3:13 PM EDT

    Yoenis Cespedes AP

    Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes remains in limbo as he tries to establish residency in the Dominican Republic and become a free agent, but there may finally be a light at the end of the tunnel. Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that Cespedes is expected to be declared a free agent “sometime in the next 10…

  3. So much for Prince Fielder: Cubs acquire Anthony Rizzo from Padres for Andrew Cashner

    Jan 6, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    Anthony Rizzo

    Anthony Rizzo‘s future in San Diego was in doubt as soon as the Padres acquired Yonder Alonso from the Reds in the Mat Latos trade last month and today they traded Rizzo and Zach Cates to the Cubs for Andrew Cashner and Kyung-Min Na. Rizzo was awful in 49 games for the Padres as a…

  4. Georgia State Patrol fires trooper involved in crash that killed wife of Braves trainer

    Jan 6, 2012, 12:57 PM EDT

    Martin Prado, Jeff Porter

    Georgia State Patrol announced that trooper Donald Crozier was fired yesterday after being involved in the New Year’s Eve crash that killed the wife of Braves trainer Jeff Porter. Department of Public Safety commissioner Mark W. McDonough issued the following statement: Immediately following the crash, I requested the resources of the Georgia State Patrol’s Specialized…

  5. Nick Markakis facing six-week rehab from abdominal surgery

    Jan 6, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    Nick Markakis grand slam

    Nick Markakis underwent surgery yesterday to repair a torn rectus abdominus muscle and may not be ready for the beginning of spring training. Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com notes that Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman missed six weeks after undergoing the same surgery and Markakis told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that he won’t be…

  6. Angels “not looking to trade” Mark Trumbo despite logjam

    Jan 6, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    mark-trumbo-angels-spring

    By adding Albert Pujols to a roster already well-stocked with first basemen and corner outfielders the Angels created a logjam that seemingly pointed to a trade. Speculation centered on Mark Trumbo, because he’s 25 years old and the Rookie of the Year runner-up, but yesterday general manager Jerry Dipoto indicated that the Angels aren’t shopping…

  7. It’s cute watching Mike Rizzo pretend to play tough with Scott Boras over Prince Fielder

    Jan 6, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

    National League first baseman Fielder of the Brewers watches three-run home run in fourth inning during Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Phoenix

    Fact: Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals have been Scott Boras’ huckleberry for a few years now. Nothing wrong with that. They’ve signed some great guys by being willing to play ball with Boras in ways that some teams have chosen not to. But it is pretty obvious that if Boras has a big name,…

  8. Rangers interested in re-signing reliever Michael Gonzalez

    Jan 6, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

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

    Michael Gonzalez threw just seven innings for the Rangers after coming over from the Orioles in an August 31 trade, but pitched well in the playoffs and impressed the team enough that they’re interested in re-signing the left-handed reliever. Gonzalez underwent minor knee surgery shortly after the season ended and Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas…

  9. Ryan Howard is six weeks from starting baseball activities

    Jan 6, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Ryan Howard

    Ryan Howard met with a doctor yesterday and was given positive news about his recovery from a torn Achilles’ tendon suffered during his final at-bat of the playoffs in October. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Howard has been cleared “to begin some strength and power exercises” and “also will start jogging underwater.” However, he…

  10. The Orioles spoke with the Cubs about Alfonso Soriano for some reason

    Jan 6, 2012, 10:01 AM EDT

    Alfonso Soriano

    Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that the Orioles have spoken to the Cubs about a potential trade involving Alfonso Soriano. Based on various other reports in the past few days suggesting that Soriano isn’t going anywhere, it’s quite possible that this refers to past talks that similarly went nowhere. But it is fun, if for no…

  11. Attorneys for Starlin Castro: “We are confident these allegations are baseless”

    Jan 6, 2012, 9:24 AM EDT

    Chicago Cubs v San Francisco Giants

    Jay K. Reisinger and Michael P. Gillespie, attorneys for Starlin Castro, have released a statement in the wake of the report that he has been accused of sexual assault: We are aware of certain allegations that have been made against our client, Starlin Castro. We have thoroughly investigated this matter, and we are confident that…

  12. Report: Starlin Castro accused of sexual assault

    Jan 6, 2012, 8:33 AM EDT

    Starlin Castro

    Wow: WBBM Newsradio in Chicago is reporting that Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has been accused of sexually assaulting a Chicago woman last September.  No charges have been filed and he has not been arrested, but he is wanted for questioning. WBBM has obtained a police report — heavily redacted — that says Castro took to woman…

  13. Mets hire the turnaround consulting firm that handled the Rangers bankruptcy and sale

    Jan 6, 2012, 8:19 AM EDT

    Fred Wilpon

    Eno Sarris of Amazin’ Avenue reported last night that the New York Mets have hired a consulting firm called CRG Partners.  The significance?  That’s the same consulting firm Tom Hicks and the Texas Rangers hired in 2010 (a) to put them into and help them through bankruptcy and; (b) to eventually help sell the team to Chuck…

  14. Cards pitching coach Dave Duncan taking leave of absence

    Jan 5, 2012, 9:44 PM EDT

    dave duncan getty

    According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan is taking a leave of absence from the team to be with his wife, who underwent surgery in August of last year to remove a brain tumor. “As far as how long he’ll be gone, no one knows,” Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said Thursday…

  15. Mariners sign Hisashi Iwakuma to one-year, $1.5M contract

    Jan 5, 2012, 9:01 PM EDT

    hisashi iwakuma getty japan

    From ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick comes word that the Mariners have signed Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma to a one-year, $1.5 million major league contract. The agreement also carries another $3.4 million in performance-based incentives. Iwakuma, 30, registered a superb 2.42 ERA and 90/19 K/BB ratio in 119 innings last season for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of…

  16. Rockies acquire Jim Tracy’s son for righty Greg Reynolds

    Jan 5, 2012, 8:38 PM EDT

    Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks

    According to the Rockies’ official Twitter feed, Colorado has acquired infielder Chad Tracy from the Rangers for right-handed pitcher Greg Reynolds. Chad, the son of Rockies manager Jim Tracy, was a third-round pick in the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft. He posted a .259/.339/.475 batting line with 26 home runs and 109 RBI in 134 games…

  17. Rangers hire Josh Hamilton’s father-in-law as the outfielder’s new accountability partner

    Jan 5, 2012, 7:03 PM EDT

    hamilton getty

    From Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com: The Rangers have hired Josh Hamilton‘s father-in-law, Michael Dean Chadwick, as the 2010 AL MVP’s new accountability partner. Chadwick will handle part of the role that Johnny Narron vacated when he became hitting coach of the Milwaukee Brewers this offseason. Chadwick will travel on the road with the Rangers, watching…

  18. Miguel Cabrera receives probation, fine for his DUI charge

    Jan 5, 2012, 5:26 PM EDT

    Miguel Cabrera

    Miguel Cabrera‘s arrest for DUI last February was pretty spectacular, at least as far as all of the sordid details about the arrest were concerned. The resolution of it all is kind of boring, however:  Cabrera was given a $500 fine and one year of probation yesterday.  He also had his license suspended for a…

  19. Mike Adams undergoes hernia surgery, could miss start of spring training

    Jan 5, 2012, 5:10 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers pitcher Mike Adams reacts after striking out Detroit Tigers' Jhonny Peralta to end the eighth inning of Game 1 of the MLB American League Championship Series baseball playoffs in Arlington

    Mike Adams underwent hernia surgery yesterday and the Rangers right-hander may not be fully recovered in time for the start of spring training. However, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com the Rangers expect Adams to have plenty of time to be ready for Opening Day. Adams, who came over from the Padres in a July…

  20. Dodgers re-sign reliever Mike MacDougal for $1 million

    Jan 5, 2012, 4:46 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Dodgers v Pittsburgh Pirates

    Veteran reliever Mike MacDougal has re-signed with the Dodgers for a one-year contract that includes an option for 2013, with Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reporting that the deal is worth $1 million. MacDougal joined the Dodgers on a minor-league deal last offseason and threw 57 innings with a 2.05 ERA, so the fact that he’s…

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