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  1. Wait, might the Rangers have won the Darvish bidding?

    Dec 19, 2011, 1:33 PM EDT

    darvish getty wide

    We’ve heard several reports — or maybe one report repeated by a bunch of people — that the Blue Jays are the high bidder for the Yu Darvish posting fee.  But Buster Olney hears something else: Most folks guessing/assuming Jays have won Darvish bidding. But just got off the phone with an AL exec who…

  2. Dodgers sign reliever John Grabow to minor-league contract

    Dec 19, 2011, 12:44 PM EDT

    Grabow_John

    John Grabow has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Dodgers, according to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors. To get a sense for how far Grabow’s stock has fallen, consider that he just finished a two-year, $7.5 million contract with the Cubs that was signed shortly after they acquired him from the Pirates in…

  3. Hunter Pence’s “recovery is going well” after hernia surgery

    Dec 19, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

    He can't believe it either.

    Hunter Pence underwent sports hernia surgery shortly after the Phillies were knocked out of the playoffs and told Bernardo Fallas of the Philadelphia Daily News that “the recovery is going well” so far. Pence explained that he’s already been cleared to run and swing a bat, so he seems to be on track with the…

  4. Mickey Mantle: Kansas City Royal

    Dec 19, 2011, 11:34 AM EDT

    Mickey Mantle AP

    In the New York Times Dave Anderson speculated where big names in baseball history, from Ty Cobb on through the big stars of the 60s, would have gone if they had free agency. For each player it reads like this basically: Mickey Mantle, the Yankees’ country kid out of Commerce, Okla., who was never completely…

  5. Two weeks later Mets finally announce Frank Francisco deal

    Dec 19, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    Frank Francisco

    Two weeks ago the Mets signed reliever Frank Francisco to a two-year, $12 million contract. Today they finally announced the move, officially adding Francisco to the 40-man roster. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News joked that perhaps Francisco’s physical exam took 14 days to administer. He does have a pretty lengthy injury history,…

  6. Padres re-sign Jeremy Hermida to minor-league deal

    Dec 19, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners

    Last month Jeremy Hermida was said to be headed to Japan and then when that fell through San Diego dropped him from the 40-man roster, but Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that the Padres have re-signed Hermida to a minor-league contract. That means he’ll remain off the 40-man roster, making the path back to the…

  7. The Hall of Fame case for Jeff Bagwell

    Dec 19, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Jeff Bagwell

    Last week Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times made the Hall of Fame case for Tim Raines.  He did it in decidedly non-advanced stats terms in order to preempt the “you sabermetricians and your voodoo sorcery!” objections.  If you read it and still can’t call Tim Raines a Hall of Famer there’s no helping you.…

  8. Brewers will work out Norichika Aoki after winning negotiating rights for $2.5 million

    Dec 19, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    Aoki

    Milwaukee placed the high bid for exclusive negotiating rights to Norichika Aoki and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Brewers plan to work out the Japanese center fielder before deciding what type of contract to offer him. Evaluating a player in person, on your terms, seems like an obvious thing for teams to do…

  9. We have an update for the NBC SportsTalk app for Android and you should get it

    Dec 19, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

    Android

    The 1.1 update for the NBC SportsTalk app on Android was released over the weekend and it’s now available for download — for free! — at the Android Market. In addition to some new functionality and some cosmetic updates, that whole issue where it, um, forces itself closed every other time you use it has…

  10. The Yu Darvish winner will be announced tonight

    Dec 19, 2011, 9:27 AM EDT

    darvish getty japan team

    The Nippon-Ham Fighters will announce the winner of the Yu Darvish sweepstakes Tuesday morning, Japan time, which means we’ll know who gets the chance to negotiate with him tonight. It was reported on Friday that the Blue Jays are the likely top bidders.  We’ll see. The fact that it has not been confirmed by a…

  11. The Dbacks sign Jason Kubel

    Dec 19, 2011, 8:54 AM EDT

    kubel getty wide

    The Twins have been trying to keep him. The Reds talked to him. But the Dbacks got him: Jason Kubel is heading to Arizona. Tom Krasovic was the first to report Kubel signing with the Diamondbacks. The exact terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but it’s two years and an option year per Rosenthal.…

  12. Meanwhile, in an alternate universe where the Barry Bonds prosecution was “a triumph” for the prosecution

    Dec 19, 2011, 8:12 AM EDT

    lawsuit gavel

    ESPN’s legal expert Lester Munson has been in love with the Barry Bonds prosecution for several years now. Specifically, the Barry Bonds prosecutors as well as the feds behind the BALCO investigation. And it has led to some pretty wacky analysis of that case on his part. He was wildly incorrect about earlier evidentiary rulings.…

  13. Orioles sign OF Endy Chavez to one-year deal

    Dec 18, 2011, 7:17 PM EDT

    Endy Chavez, Kerwin Danley, Miguel Olivo

    Confirming a report out of the Dominican Republic, FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi says the Orioles have signed Endy Chavez to a one-year deal. No word yet on the terms, but the deal shouldn’t be worth much more than $1 million. Chavez, who turns 34 in February, hit .301/.323/.426 in 256 at-bats for the Rangers after…

  14. Yankees’ bid fell short for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish

    Dec 18, 2011, 4:39 PM EDT

    darvish tall getty

    From Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger comes this update on the Yankees’ effort to land righty Yu Darvish: The Yankees submitted a bid. But the only way they can emerge with Darvish is if it proves to be the highest on the table, and the person with knowledge said the Yankees’ bid will not…

  15. Pirates “optimistic” about Andrew McCutchen extension

    Dec 18, 2011, 3:05 PM EDT

    Andrew McCutchen

    Pirates GM Neal Huntington told fans at Saturday’s PirateFest that he is “optimistic” about signing Andrew McCutchen to a long-term extension before the 25-year-old center fielder reaches free agency. This according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. McCutchen isn’t eligible for salary arbitration until after the 2012 season and won’t hit free agency until the winter of 2015,…

  16. Indians in “serious talks” for outfielder Mike Cameron

    Dec 18, 2011, 1:42 PM EDT

    mike cameron ap

    As first reported by Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, then confirmed by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Indians are in serious talks with the representatives for veteran outfielder Mike Cameron. The Indians are also interested in Andy LaRoche. Cameron hit just .203/.285/.359 with nine homers and 27 RBI over 78 games between the…

  17. Cubs speaking with agent Scott Boras about Prince Fielder

    Dec 18, 2011, 12:08 PM EDT

    fielder getty brewers

    Another day, another take on the Cubs’ level of interest in free agent first baseman Prince Fielder. According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, the Cubs’ decision-makers first expressed a desire to sign Fielder back at the general managers meetings in mid-November and have kept an open line of communication with agent Scott Boras ever…

  18. Cardinals maintaining strong interest in Carlos Beltran

    Dec 18, 2011, 10:51 AM EDT

    beltran getty

    From FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal comes this: The Cardinals did extensive background work on free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran last week and maintain strong interest in him, according to major league sources. Rosenthal goes on to say that other teams “remain in the mix” and that Beltran is considering “two- and even three-year” offers, but the Cardinals may have become the front-runner…

  19. Cubs, Padres talking Matt Garza-Anthony Rizzo trade?

    Dec 18, 2011, 9:46 AM EDT

    garza ap

    According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio, the Padres have expressed interest in acquiring right-handed starter Matt Garza from the Cubs in a package trade that would include 22-year-old first baseman Anthony Rizzo. It’s not yet known which other names are involve in the talks, or how far along the negotiations are.…

  20. Albert Pujols’ contract carries $10M in milestone incentives

    Dec 18, 2011, 8:34 AM EDT

    pujols moreno getty

    The Angels signed first baseman Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $254 million free agent contract earlier this month. All of that money is guaranteed, and now it has been revealed that the massive deal also carries $10 million worth of milestone-based incentives. According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, Pujols will get an additional $3…

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