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  1. Mariners sign reliever Chris Ray to a minor league contract

    Jan 26, 2011, 12:19 PM EDT

    chris-ray-rangers

    Chris Ray was one of the youngest closers in baseball in 2006, saving 33 games for the Orioles as a 24-year-old, but his career was derailed by Tommy John elbow surgery the next season and he hasn’t been the same since, posting a 31/25 K/BB ratio in 56 innings for the Giants and Rangers in…

  2. Start printing playoff tickets: the Yankees sign Bartolo Colon

    Jan 26, 2011, 11:59 AM EDT

    Bartolo Colon

    Yesterday Brian Cashman said that he’d feel better if he signed a starter. He also said that the Yankees are a starter away from being a World Series contender. Today he signed Bartolo Colon.  Really. It’s a minor league deal.  Colon probably doesn’t even make the team.  It’s not going to prevent the Yankees from…

  3. Cuban defector Yasiel Balaguer to hold workout for Marlins

    Jan 26, 2011, 11:44 AM EDT

    Yasiel Balaguer

    Yasiel Balaguer, who defected from Cuba in November in order to become a free agent and eventually sign with an MLB team, will hold his first workout today for the Marlins, according to Michael Miller of the Miami New Times. Balaguer’s representatives have been touting the 18-year-old outfielder as an elite prospect and various media…

  4. There’s a lot more going on during a televised baseball game than you realize

    Jan 26, 2011, 11:29 AM EDT

    televised baseball

    Friend of HBT Caryn Rose — of  Metsgrrl fame — went to an event called “Art of Televised Baseball” last night, where the main attraction was SNY’s Bill Webb talking about how baseball games are produced for TV.  Lots of fun insider stuff about the decisions Webb — the director of some 145 Mets games a…

  5. MLB.com names Mike Trout baseball’s number one prospect

    Jan 26, 2011, 11:02 AM EDT

    There are a lot of competing prospect rankings out there — I’m personally partial to Keith Law’s, which will come out today, I gather — but MLB.com puts a good one out every year too.  They did yesterday, and they rank the Angels’ 19-year-old outfield prospect Mike Trout as the toppermost of the poppermost: Trout,…

  6. Justin Duchscherer is “pretty much 100 percent” healthy and wants to start

    Jan 26, 2011, 10:41 AM EDT

    Justin Duchscherer

    Justin Duchscherer missed all of 2009 and most of 2010 following hip and elbow surgeries, but the oft-injured right-hander told Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com that he’s “pretty much 100 percent” healthy. According to Ghiroli he’s held private workouts for at least five teams, and at various points this offseason Duchscherer has been linked to the…

  7. Did the Rangers push Cliff Lee to Philly?

    Jan 26, 2011, 10:34 AM EDT

    Chuck Greenberg

    Chuck Greenberg would like to be credited with an assist on the Cliff Lee-to-Philly deal: Even though Philadelphia was probably not in, they were always in the back of our mind,” Greenberg said. “I think if we wouldn’t have gone to Arkansas that last time, I think he was going to sign with the Yankees.…

  8. Does Neftali Feliz have a chance to start?

    Jan 26, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

    World Series Giants Rangers Baseball

    I hate it when awesome young pitchers who started in the minor leagues are turned into big league relievers and then everyone talks about how much better suited they are for the bullpen. Of course they’re dominant out of the pen! almost every pitcher is better out of the pen. They can throw harder. They…

  9. Nelson Figueroa is in the best shape of his life

    Jan 26, 2011, 9:13 AM EDT

    Houston Astros v New York Mets

    Astros pitcher Nelson Figueroa reminds us that spring is right around the corner: I was very fortunate for the past few years to go to the Dominican and win a few championships in the Caribbean Series. This year, going to Spring Training and not having to do all that, not having to do all that…

  10. Rocco Baldelli to announce his retirement today

    Jan 26, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

    Rocco Baldelli

    From Marc Topkin at the St. Pete Times: Rocco Baldelli would have reason to spend hours, if not days, lamenting how his once promising baseball career was cut short by injury and a mysterious illness. He won’t do that, because that’s not his nature. Plus, he’s too busy embracing the next phase of his life.…

  11. Hank Steinbrenner: “we just have to (bleeping) win”

    Jan 26, 2011, 8:23 AM EDT

    Hank Steinbrenner smoking

    Remember back when it seemed like Hank Steinbrenner had been given a lobotomy or had been sent off to an undisclosed location where the media couldn’t find him?  Yeah, that was a total drag. “We will do what we have to do to win,” Steinbrenner told The Post recently in a wide-ranging interview at Steinbrenner…

  12. Cashman clarifies his Jeter-to-the-outfield comments

    Jan 26, 2011, 5:58 AM EDT

    mlb_jeter

    Brian Cashman’s comments about Derek Jeter moving to the outfield one day caused a mini-uproar yesterday (and a fun mini-research project). Late yesterday, however,  he told Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger that people need to chill. Well, not in so many words, but that’s clearly what he meant: Later, Cashman said he was dealing merely in…

  13. The Red Sox made a pitch for Jose Bautista at the winter meetings

    Jan 25, 2011, 10:14 PM EDT

    Jose Bautista swings

    According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Red Sox made “multiple offers” for Jose Bautista at last month’s winter meetings. These conversations took place after Jayson Werth rocked the baseball world by signing with the Nationals and before the Red Sox signed Carl Crawford, but the addition of Bautista would have likely had a radical…

  14. The Blue Jays sent $5 million to the Angels in the Vernon Wells deal

    Jan 25, 2011, 8:59 PM EDT

    Tony Reagins

    OK. Calm down, everybody. This all makes sense now. According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Blue Jays did indeed send cash to the Angels to help cover some of Vernon Wells’ massive contract. The whopping sum of $5 million, in fact. Heyman writes that the “teams apparently just didn’t want to disclose” that money…

  15. Diving into the depths: Los Angeles Angels

    Jan 25, 2011, 8:10 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers

    This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training. Rotation 1. Jered Weaver 2. Dan Haren 3. Ervin Santana 4. Joel Pineiro 5. Scott Kazmir 6. Trevor Bell 7. Hisanori Takahashi 8. Matt Palmer 9. Tyler Chatwood 10. Anthony Ortega The Angels have the fine top four,…

  16. Darryl Strawberry thinks Wally Backman will be the next manager of the Mets

    Jan 25, 2011, 7:42 PM EDT

    Wally Backman

    Here we go again. According to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, Darryl Strawberry believes Wally Backman will be the next manager of the Mets. “Wally will be the next manager of the Mets, in my opinion. I don’t have much say, but I thought he would’ve been the right choice for them. Not taking…

  17. Ranking the rotations: 1-30

    Jan 25, 2011, 7:00 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v San Francisco Giants, Game 5

    Now that my projections for the upcoming Rotoworld fantasy annual are complete, I’ll be having some occasional fun with them in here over the following few weeks. To start with, let’s look at how the rotations shape up, according to my fantasy rankings. As part of my projections, each player gets a score. All I’ve done here…

  18. Astros, Wandy Rodriguez agree to three-year, $34 million extension

    Jan 25, 2011, 6:37 PM EDT

    Wandy Rodriguez ap

    Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the Astros and left-hander Wandy Rodriguez have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a three-year, $34 million contract extension. The deal also includes a vesting option for 2014 which could net him as much as $44.5 million, according to Alyson Footer, Sr. Director of Social Media for the Astros.…

  19. You’re wrong, Calcaterra: Mets fans most certainly do live and die with their team

    Jan 25, 2011, 5:35 PM EDT

    Sad Mets fan

    A couple of weeks ago I wrote this about Mets fans: I don’t think there’s a fan base of its size in all of sports that has a more balanced take on things. Mets fans love ‘em when they win. When they don’t, well, they’re not gonna cry about it and make their lives miserable.…

  20. Mariners GM says Milton Bradley “is going to come in and compete for a starting position”

    Jan 25, 2011, 5:11 PM EDT

    Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees

    Last week Milton Bradley was arrested and charged with a felony after allegedly threatening a woman, which is the latest in a long line of on- and off-field “incidents” involving the troubled outfielder who’s played for eight teams in 11 years. At the time there was speculation the Mariners might simply get rid of Bradley,…

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