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  1. Cuban defector Gerardo Concepcion works out for Rangers

    Jan 24, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    Gerardo Concepcion

    Gerardo Concepcion, the 18-year-old pitcher who established residency in the Dominican Republic to become a free agent after defecting from Cuba, worked out for the Rangers yesterday. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that team president Nolan Ryan was part of the Rangers group on hand to watch Concepcion in the Dominican Republic, adding that “the…

  2. “Moneyball” nominated for Best Picture

    Jan 24, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

    moneyball poster

    The Oscar nominations came out this morning. I’ve seen three of the Best Picture nominees. That is easily the most I’ve seen by nomination time in years. Maybe a decade. Having kids sort of kills your moviegoing mojo. There’s a decent chance I would have posted about this anyway because, hey, it’s the offseason and…

  3. Rangers still looking to trade reliever Koji Uehara

    Jan 24, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Koji Uehara

    Koji Uehara quickly fell out of favor in Texas’ bullpen after coming over in a midseason trade from Baltimore and his name has been linked to various trade rumors all offseason, so not surprisingly Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that the Rangers are still shopping him. According to Durrett the Blue Jays are among…

  4. Longtime Phillies broadcaster Andy Musser dies

    Jan 24, 2012, 9:50 AM EDT

    Musser

    Longtime Phillies broadcaster Andy Musser died on Sunday. He was 74. While non-Phillies fans always think — and almost exclusively think — of Harry Kalas or Richie Ashburn when they think of Phillies broadcasters, Musser was no less of a fixture in the booth, helping call all but two games during his 26-year tenure. Ray…

  5. Great Moments in Photoshop: Albert Pujols playing first base for the Angels … now!

    Jan 24, 2012, 9:21 AM EDT

    Shark

    Derrick Goold got a hold of the 2012 Topps Albert Pujols card.  Which features him playing first base in a game situation.  For the Angels.  Which is awesome because he hasn’t, you know, done that yet. See it here. It’s not like this is new or unprecedented. Back when I collected cards in the 70s…

  6. Darvish wants to become “the best pitcher in the world”

    Jan 24, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers Introduce Yu Darvish

    Reason I was out the past few days: trip to Texas. Reason for the trip to Texas: none of your beeswax, frankly, but know this: the entire time I was there I barely heard a single word about the Rangers. Maybe that’s because I was doing way too much of this. Hard to say. All…

  7. Ryan Braun may be innocent

    Jan 24, 2012, 8:20 AM EDT

    ryan braun wide getty

    We’ll obviously have official word sometime soon, but yesterday Dan Patrick had something interesting to say on his radio show about the reigning NL MVP’s drug test and appeal: Braun may get off scott free. There was nothing definitive in his comments — a lot of it was Patrick’s gut feeling based on a conversation…

  8. UPDATE: Orioles and Wilson Betemit agree to two-year contract with an option

    Jan 24, 2012, 1:09 AM EDT

    Kansas City Royals v Colorado Rockies

    UPDATE: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun is now reporting that the O’s and Betemit have agreed to a two-year deal with an option for a third year. Exact terms aren’t yet available, but it’s a bit of a surprise to see him get a multi-year deal at this point of the offseason. And from…

  9. Padres and Clayton Richard avoid arbitration with one-year, $2.705 million contract

    Jan 23, 2012, 11:36 PM EDT

    Kansas City Royals v San Diego Padres

    According to the Associated Press, the Padres and Clayton Richard have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.705 million contract. Richard was arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason. The 28-year-old southpaw requested $3.1 million and was offered $2.35 million by the Padres when arbitration figures were exchanged last week, so the two sides…

  10. New Astros’ owner says he’s considering changing team name

    Jan 23, 2012, 9:33 PM EDT

    Jim Crane Getty image

    New Astros owner Jim Crane unveiled some fan-friendly initiatives earlier today, including lower ticket prices, partial rebates for season ticket holders, lower concession prices and relaxed policies on outside food and beverage. While those are all well and good, they were overshadowed by some interesting comments about the team’s future as they prepare for a…

  11. UPDATE: Red Sox agree to one-year, $3 million contract with Cody Ross

    Jan 23, 2012, 8:53 PM EDT

    Cody Ross

    9:14 PM: According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, Ross will make a $3 million base salary with the chance to earn more in bonuses based on plate appearances. 8:53 PM: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Red Sox and Cody Ross have agreed to a contract. No word on the terms yet, but Michael…

  12. Omar Vizquel agrees to minor-league deal with Blue Jays

    Jan 23, 2012, 8:47 PM EDT

    vizquel-110915.standard[1]

    UPDATE: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick originally reported that Vizquel was getting a one-year deal, but it’s actually a minor-league deal with a spring training invite. He’s expected to battle Mike McCoy and Luis Valbuena for a utility infield job. 8:00 PM: While we haven’t heard much about Omar Vizquel this winter, we’re happy to pass along word…

  13. Blue Jays and Brandon Morrow close to three-year extension

    Jan 23, 2012, 7:45 PM EDT

    brandon-morrow-blue-jays

    According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca, the Blue Jays and right-hander Brandon Morrow are nearing a three-year, $20 million contract extension. The proposed deal includes a $10 million option for 2015 or a $1 million buyout. An official announcement could come as soon as tomorrow. Morrow requested $4.2 million and was offered $3.9 million from the…

  14. White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf says Ozzie Guillen didn’t quit on team

    Jan 23, 2012, 7:05 PM EDT

    Ozzie Guillen Getty

    Ozzie Guillen threatened retaliation over the weekend for some recent comments by right-hander Jake Peavy which implied that he quit on the White Sox last September by stepping down as manager with two games remaining in the season. Guillen hasn’t said anything on the matter since and it appears White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is doing…

  15. UPDATE: Angels, Orioles, Phillies and Blue Jays pursuing Francisco Cordero

    Jan 23, 2012, 6:40 PM EDT

    Francisco Cordero

    UPDATE: According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels, Orioles, Phillies and Blue Jays are pursuing Cordero. Those are likely our four finalists. 6:40 PM ET: MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports that free agent Francisco Cordero is down to four teams and expects to make a decision by the end of the week.…

  16. The case of the Texas Rangers and the incredibly shrinking strikeout rates

    Jan 23, 2012, 5:48 PM EDT

    Adrian Beltre, Mike Napoli

    One of things that really stood out when I was doing projections over the last month was how the 2011 Rangers had a bunch of guys that didn’t strike out anywhere near as much as usual. In fact, seven of their nine veterans with at least 400 plate appearances last season set new career-lows when…

  17. No more lone dissenter, as all 30 owners approve Bud Selig’s new contract extension

    Jan 23, 2012, 4:43 PM EDT

    Bud Selig

    MLB announced that the 30 owners unanimously approved Bud Selig’s new two-year contract extension, which wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy except for reports last week saying the vote had 29 yays and one nay. That one dissenting vote was Padres owner John Moores, according to the Associated Press: Owners deferred a vote on the proposed transfer…

  18. Jesus Montero-for-Michael Pineda swap is finally official

    Jan 23, 2012, 4:06 PM EDT

    pineda and montero getty wide

    UPDATE: Montero passed his physical, so it’s now a done deal. ========== The multi-player deal between the Yankees and Mariners headlined by Jesus Montero and Michael Pineda is moving closer to completion. Montero was delayed from taking a physical due to weather, plane and visa problems in his native Venezuela, but Larry Stone of the…

  19. Willie Harris agrees to minor-league deal with Reds

    Jan 23, 2012, 2:52 PM EDT

    New York Mets v St Louis Cardinals

    Veteran role player Willie Harris has signed with the Reds, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Harris played last season with the Mets, hitting .246 with two homers and a .668 OPS in 283 plate appearances, and reportedly drew interest from the Nationals earlier this offseason. Harris is a career .240 hitter with…

  20. Roy Oswalt turned down the “very interested” Tigers

    Jan 23, 2012, 1:13 PM EDT

    oswalt glove getty

    Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com–who was a longtime beat writer in Detroit–reports that the Tigers “were very interested” in Roy Oswalt, but “he didn’t want to go to Detroit.” There’s been plenty of speculation that the Red Sox dumped Marco Scutaro and his $6 million salary on the Rockies in order to clear the payroll space…

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