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  1. O’s and A’s expressing the most interest in Manny Ramirez

    Feb 2, 2012, 8:38 PM EDT

    manny getty

    Oakland’s interest in Manny Ramirez has been public knowledge for the past couple of weeks. But the Athletics are not alone. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles are also exploring the thought of making an offer to the 39-year-old free agent slugger. Ramirez made only 17 total plate appearances last year for the…

  2. Cubs sign Cuban left-hander Gerardo Concepcion

    Feb 2, 2012, 7:16 PM EDT

    concepcion_742562375

    From reporter Jorge Ebro of Miami’s El Nuevo Herald comes word that Cuban left-hander Gerardo Concepcion agreed to a “multimillion dollar” contract on Thursday evening with the Chicago Cubs. Concepcion was named the Rookie of the Year in Cuba’s Serie Nacional for 2010-2011 after posting a solid 10-3 record, 3.36 ERA and 53/43 K/BB ratio across…

  3. Why not have Stephen Strasburg debut on June 1?

    Feb 2, 2012, 6:35 PM EDT

    Strasburg throws a pitch against the Florida Marlins during the first inning of their MLB National League baseball game in Washington

    The idea already made plenty of sense. Now it seems like the obvious choice with Edwin Jackson getting inserted into Washington’s rotation. Adding Jackson to a rotation that already included Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan gives the Nationals seven viable starters, with Chien-Ming Wang and Ross Detwiler currently in reserve (Tom Gorzelanny could…

  4. Indians even more left-handed in wake of Kotchman addition

    Feb 2, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT

    Travis Hafner, Carlos Santana, Shin-Soo Choo

    With Casey Kotchman penciled in over Matt LaPorta at first base, the Indians are now looking at the following lineup against right-handed pitching: CF Grady Sizemore – L SS Asdrubal Cabrera – S RF Shin-Soo Choo – L C Carlos Santana – S DH Travis Hafner – L 2B Jason Kipnis – L 1B Casey Kotchman –…

  5. “I feel like we’re being invaded, like it’s 1965 all over again”

    Feb 2, 2012, 5:24 PM EDT

    dominican republic flag-thumb-175x116-6120

    Those are the words of Astin Jacobo, a buscon from the Dominican Republic. He, and many like him, are not at all pleased about what appears to be inevitable: Major League Baseball expanding the draft to the D.R.. Or maybe it is, um, evitable. As this story from The Economist suggests, there are some who are…

  6. Casey Kotchman to sign with the Indians

    Feb 2, 2012, 4:47 PM EDT

    kotchman getty

    Jon Heyman reports that Casey Kotchman is going to sign with the Indians. According to Paul Hoynes, it’s a one year deal for $3 million plus incentives. Earlier this week he was rumored to be going to the Orioles, but that apparently went nowhere. Kotchman had a nice 2011 with the Rays, hitting .306/.378/.422 in…

  7. Casey McGehee is in the Best Shape of his Life

    Feb 2, 2012, 4:12 PM EDT

    Casey McGehee

    From Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Hearing [Casey] McGehee will enter spring training at 208 pounds, down from 231 at end of 2011, cut body fat in half. Just a mere weight loss isn’t enough to qualify for BSOHL, but when you have a body fat cut too, that makes it rate, baby.

  8. So, what to make of Scott Boras’ winter?

    Feb 2, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

    Boras thinking

    Before Prince Fielder signed for $214 million, people were saying that Scott Boras was having a bad offseason for his free agents.  Then, all of  a sudden, everyone was saying how awesome he was.  Then today Edwin Jackson signed a one-year deal that, in my view anyway, is a borderline bargain for the Nationals. Then…

  9. MLB’s worst position situations: 2012 edition

    Feb 2, 2012, 2:58 PM EDT

    Jason Bourgeois, Jordan Schafer, Brian Bogusevic

    After declaring the Houston Astros in position of the game’s worst rotation earlier today, I thought it’d be fun to look at the rest of the worst. So here are MLB’s most gruesome position situations heading into the 2012 season: Catcher: Dodgers – A.J. Ellis, Matt Treanor, Tim Federowicz The Dodgers let the slugging-heavy Rod Barajas…

  10. Zack Greinke, soon to be a free agent, is agent-free

    Feb 2, 2012, 2:44 PM EDT

    greinke getty

    You’d think that a guy who has been portrayed as not being able to handle a lot of distractions wouldn’t want to be in the business of handling his own business affairs as he enters his final season before free agency.  But more so than the social anxiety stuff, Zack Greinke has been defined by…

  11. UPDATE: The Nationals sign Edwin Jackson to a one-year deal

    Feb 2, 2012, 1:49 PM EDT

    Edwin Jackson Getty

    UPDATE: That was a quick targeting. Heyman reports that the Nationals and Jackson have a deal. Jackson was seen in an airport, presumably on his way to Washington for a physical.  The shocker: it’s reportedly a one-year deal. Heyman says it’s in the $8-12 million range. Which, yes, we’ve heard that Jackson was willing to…

  12. Aaron Gleeman talks about pants, podcasts, unibrows and blogging and stuff

    Feb 2, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

    Aaron Gleeman

    Aaron was on the FanGraphs Audio Podcast with Carson Cistulli.  Among the highlights: “It’s tough, it’s tiring to be around people when you’re working” Truth. People frighten and scare bloggers. Aaron also gives out our blogging secrets. Like, the stuff about how we read Twitter all day. And how his name starting with two As…

  13. To ESPN, the Pirates and Astros are “other”

    Feb 2, 2012, 12:40 PM EDT

    Dangerfield

    UPDATE:  ESPN has tried to improve it. 12:40 PM: Pirates blogger Jon Anderson of The “Mc” Effect was reading ESPN.com this morning when he noticed this fun little poll about the NL Central: Look, I’m not gonna pick either the Astros or the Pirates to win the NL Central this year, but I think they’re…

  14. The DH has tainted hitting records? Really?

    Feb 2, 2012, 12:11 PM EDT

    Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees - Game 5

    Terrence Moore of MLB.com would like you — and every single development in baseball since, I dunno, 1965, to get off his lawn: No question, baseball’s home run records are tarnished by those who spent part of their careers with artificially enhanced bodies, or have been suspected of it. That said, why don’t folks talk much…

  15. John Lannan loses arbitration hearing against Nationals, will make $5 million in 2012

    Feb 2, 2012, 11:45 AM EDT

    Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals - Game Two

    We have the results of the first arbitration hearing of the offseason. According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, left-hander John Lannan lost his hearing against the Nationals and will earn a $5 million salary this season. Lannan, 27, requested a $5.7 million salary when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. Both sides stated…

  16. The Official 2012 BSOHL Roster

    Feb 2, 2012, 11:30 AM EDT

    Atlas

    Reader Kopy has been doing the Lord’s work: he’s been keeping track of all of the Best Shape of His Life guys as we post them.  Seriously, dudes: news you can use. Kopy has periodically updated them in the comments of BSOHL stories, but I figure it’s worth putting them in a post.  So, here…

  17. Indians and Rafael Perez avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Feb 2, 2012, 11:11 AM EDT

    Rafael Perez Getty

    Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that the Indians and lefty reliever Rafael Perez avoided arbitration by agreeing on a one-year, $2,005,000 contract. According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, he can earn an additional $25,000 if he makes 55 appearances this season. Perez, who was arbitration-eligible for the third time this winter, requested $2.4 million and…

  18. Ranking the rotations: 2012 edition

    Feb 2, 2012, 10:45 AM EDT

    Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay

    Last year’s attempt was quite a hit, so let’s try it again, with a somewhat different methodology. Here’s how the 30 rotations stack up, according to my projections. I’ll go strictly by ERA here, taking the top five pitchers on the staff. Along with the ERA totals are the combined inning projections for the five…

  19. Bobby Valentine is the Newt Gingrich of baseball managers

    Feb 2, 2012, 10:24 AM EDT

    Bobby Valentine

    The Baseball Crank is both a baseball expert and a contributor to the conservative blog Redstate. So he has special insight into all of this.  And he has basically blown my mind with his latest post:  Think about it. Both are essentially relics of the 1990s who have spent a good deal of the past…

  20. Chris Tillman is in the Best Shape of His Life

    Feb 2, 2012, 10:09 AM EDT

    Chris Tillman

    BSOHL stories are usually reserved for veterans looking to rebound from a decline.  But even a 23 year-old can be in the BSOHL. Just ask Orioles’ pitcher Chris Tillman: “I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been, at least stronger,” he said. “All the running has definitely helped. I truly believe I’m better than I’ve…

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