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  1. Yankees, Red Sox only teams hit with luxury tax bills

    Dec 22, 2011, 7:23 PM EDT

    red sox and yankees logos

    It’s time for baseball’s biggest spenders to pay up. According to the Associated Press, via NBCSports.com, the Yankees were hit with a $13.9 million luxury tax bill from MLB on Thursday and the Red Sox were asked to pay $3.4 million. For the Yanks, it’s their lowest luxury tax bill since 2003, down from $18…

  2. Report: Gio Gonzalez traded to the Nats for four top prospects

    Dec 22, 2011, 4:12 PM EDT

    Gio Gonzalez

    There were multiple reports in the past hour or so that the Athletics were moving close to trading Gio Gonzalez, with most suggesting the Nationals as the most likely destination and some random Red Sox speculation.  Now Keith Law reports that a deal has been struck:  Gonzalez to the Nationals for four prospects: A.J. Cole, Brad…

  3. Twins sign Jason Marquis to one-year, $3 million contract

    Dec 22, 2011, 3:04 PM EDT

    Jason Marquis

    Minnesota has filled the final spot in its rotation with Jason Marquis, signing the veteran right-hander to a one-year deal worth $3 million. By replacing Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel with Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit the Twins saved a ton of money for 2012 and beyond, but they also sliced their payroll from $115…

  4. Cardinals have “intensified talks” with Carlos Beltran

    Dec 22, 2011, 2:33 PM EDT

    beltran getty

    Cleveland’s actual level of interest in Carlos Beltran is unclear, but there’s no doubt that St. Louis is legitimately making a strong run at the free agent outfielder. According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch the Cardinals have “intensified their talks” with Beltran and are likely offering him at least a two-year…

  5. Nationals agree to one-year contract with Mark DeRosa

    Dec 22, 2011, 2:04 PM EDT

    derosa getty wide

    Mark DeRosa will try to get his career back on track in Washington. Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the oft-injured veteran infielder has agreed to a one-year contract with the Nationals, who plan to use him as a bench player. DeRosa just completed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Giants during which he…

  6. Rockies drawing plenty of trade interest in Seth Smith

    Dec 22, 2011, 1:40 PM EDT

    Seth Smith, Carlos Gonzalez

    Colorado has been shopping Seth Smith all offseason and now that the Rockies have signed Michael Cuddyer those efforts figure to increase, with Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reporting that they’re getting interest from a handful of teams. According to Morosi the Mariners, A’s, Braves, Mets, and Rays have talked to the Rockies about Smith, who…

  7. Mets sign catcher Rob Johnson to minor-league contract

    Dec 22, 2011, 12:50 PM EDT

    rob-johnson-mariners

    Some people might say this is a slow news day, but I beg to differ because the Mets have signed catcher Rob Johnson to a minor-league contract. Johnson figures to compete with Mike Nickeas for the job backing up starter Josh Thole. Johnson spent the first seven years of his pro career with the Mariners…

  8. The Braves won’t trade Jair Jurrjens within the division

    Dec 22, 2011, 12:35 PM EDT

    jurrjens throws getty

    The Braves seem pretty set on trading Jair Jurrjens. I’m OK with that. They have oodles of starting pitching coming up through the system and they’re not going to be able to keep both Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson as each of them get expensive.  Trade JJ and get a shortstop or a bat or some…

  9. How can we even think about what the Bill Conlin story means for the Hall of Fame?

    Dec 22, 2011, 10:52 AM EDT

    Bill Conlin

    I’ve tried really hard to not think too deeply about what the Bill Conlin allegations might mean for the Hall of Fame. For a couple of reasons, really. For one thing, the Spink Award, which makes Conlin “a Hall of Famer,” isn’t really an induction into the Hall of Fame. It’s really just the inclusion…

  10. Red Sox “backing off” free agent closer Francisco Cordero

    Dec 22, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    Francisco Cordero

    Earlier this week the Red Sox were said to be among a handful of teams pursuing free agent Francisco Cordero, but now John Tomase of the Boston Herald reports that they’re “backing off” and “it appears we can cross Cordero off their list of potential closers.” Tomase suggests that Cordero’s desire for a multi-year deal…

  11. So did anyone come close to the Rangers’ bid for Darvish, or not?

    Dec 22, 2011, 9:24 AM EDT

    darvish getty japan team

    Yesterday we heard that the Toronto Blue Jays came really close to the Rangers’ $51.7 million bid for Yu Darvish.  As the day wore on into night, however, multiple reports surfaced suggesting that, no, the Jays didn’t bid that high and that in fact no team came anywhere close to what the Rangers’ bid. I’ll…

  12. The Indians are interested in Carlos Beltran too

    Dec 22, 2011, 9:01 AM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v Cincinnati Reds

    Yesterday it was said that five teams were on Carlos Beltan’s short list. Four were named. Which means … Mystery Team. Sadly, Buster Olney put his Jessica Fletcher pearls on and solved that mystery: the Cleveland Indians. Ken Rosenthal confirms and argues that Beltran may be a good fit in Cleveland. Not sure I’m buying…

  13. Nightmare fuel: Seasons Greetings from the Atlanta Braves

    Dec 22, 2011, 8:14 AM EDT

    Moylan.bmp

    In the past few days I’ve come to grips with the fact that the Braves aren’t gonna get a shortstop. And I learned that they’re getting into a dumb copyright fight with Disney. These are the usual sort of things that make one roll one’s eyes at the team they love, but it’s survivable. Not…

  14. Angels interested in veteran left-hander Darren Oliver

    Dec 22, 2011, 12:25 AM EDT

    darren oliver getty

    Anaheim apparently isn’t done spending yet. According to MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez, the Angels are looking to add a free agent reliever to their bullpen and have been in contact recently with the representatives for veteran southpaw Darren Oliver. Oliver, 41, posted a 2.29 ERA and 44/11 K/BB ratio in 51 innings this past year for…

  15. Nationals nearing one-year contract with Mark DeRosa

    Dec 21, 2011, 11:08 PM EDT

    derosa getty wide

    From FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Nationals are “close to signing” free agent veteran Mark DeRosa to a one-year contract. Presuming the deal gets done, DeRosa will function as a super utilityman next season in Washington. He has experience playing all over the infield and is capable of playing either corner outfield position. DeRosa, 36,…

  16. Twins close to agreement with free agent Jason Marquis

    Dec 21, 2011, 10:33 PM EDT

    jason marquis getty

    According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Twins are nearing agreement on a contract with free agent right-hander Jason Marquis. Marquis posted an underwhelming 4.43 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 23 starts between the Nationals and Diamondbacks in 2011, fanning only 76 batters and walking 43 across 132 innings before fracturing his right fibula on…

  17. White Sox reach five-year, $65M extension with John Danks

    Dec 21, 2011, 9:27 PM EDT

    john danks ap

    Cancel the fire sale in Chicago. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the White Sox have agreed to a five-year, $65 million contact extension with left-handed starter John Danks. The deal will be made official soon after Christmas. After the White Sox traded closer Sergio Santos and his team-friendly three-year, $8.25 million contract to the…

  18. Red Sox to name Bob McClure as next pitching coach

    Dec 21, 2011, 8:54 PM EDT

    mcclure getty wide

    As first reported by Jim Bowden of ESPN and Sirius XM Radio, the Red Sox are preparing to name Bob McClure as their next pitching coach. McClure was a major league pitcher from 1975-1993, posting a 3.81 career ERA over 1158-plus innings. He joined the coaching ranks in 1999, first serving as a pitching instructor…

  19. Cardinals sign Eugenio Velez to minor league contract

    Dec 21, 2011, 7:42 PM EDT

    eugenio velez getty

    From Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch comes word that the Cardinals have inked utilityman Eugenio Velez to a minor league contract. They also signed left-hander R.J. Swindle to a similar deal. Velez collected no hits in 40 plate appearances this past year for the Dodgers and posted a brutal .164/.246/.309 batting line in…

  20. Mariners could make Brandon League available

    Dec 21, 2011, 6:29 PM EDT

    Brandon League

    Even though Ryan Madson, Francisco Cordero and Brad Lidge remain available in free agency, much of the recent closer talk has been regarding trade possibilities. Now perhaps Brandon League can be added to the list of available closers that includes Andrew Bailey and maybe Joel Hanrahan. According to FOXSports.com, the Mariners are getting hits on League…

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