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  1. Josh Hamilton is looking for a new “accountability partner”

    Dec 15, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    josh hamilton getty

    Among other duties Johnny Narron has served as Josh Hamilton‘s “accountability partner” since 2009, but he left the team last month to become the Brewers’ new hitting coach and now the Rangers are searching for a new person to keep the former MVP in line on the road. “We’re working on it,” Hamilton told Richard…

  2. Sounds like the Red Sox would like Jason Varitek to take a job with the team

    Dec 15, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Jason Varitek

    There was that little report yesterday about how the Red Sox are still thinking of keeping Jason Varitek. Which makes no baseball sense because they already have two catchers who are better than Jason Varitek. Today Ben Cherington went on WEEI and expounded on that a bit, saying that they want to keep Varitek “in…

  3. Carlos Zambrano is “climbing mountains and running on the beach”

    Dec 15, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    Carlos Zambrano

    Carlos Zambrano took the mound in the Venezuelan winter league yesterday for the first time since a line drive off the face on November 18 left him needing 16 stitches. Zambrano faced 13 batters and tossed four hitless, scoreless innings, with Carrie Muskat of MLB.com noting that eight of his twelve outs came on ground…

  4. Arte Moreno: “Dumb owner of the year?” Um, no.

    Dec 15, 2011, 10:03 AM EDT

    Arte Moreno

    Repoz at Baseball Think Factory is a renaissance man. In addition to being able to drop references to things no one has thought of since the Ford administration, he (a) has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Ass Ponys back catalog (I think he has “Mr. Superlove” on vinyl); and (b) manages to find all of the loony…

  5. Mark Melancon is not enough: the Sox are still looking for relievers

    Dec 15, 2011, 9:25 AM EDT

    Andrew Bailey

    The Red Sox traded for Mark Melancon this week, but Buster Olney reports that they’re not done with the pen. In fact, they’re still pursuing other relievers, including Andrew Bailey of the Athletics. No word on Ryan Madson or Darren Oliver, but those are other names that have been discussed. Makes sense. If last year…

  6. The Rangers are discussing a five-year extension for Derek Holland

    Dec 15, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

    Derek Holland

    Evan Grant reports that the Rangers are in discussions for a long term deal, thought to be for five years, for Derek Holland. Holland is already team-controlled through 2015, but after next season he would become arbitration eligible and a guy with his win totals would probably stand to make a pretty penny through arbitration…

  7. Sport has not lost its innocence. It never had it to begin with.

    Dec 15, 2011, 8:15 AM EDT

    ryan braun wide getty

    Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times is around 60 years-old but it was just last Saturday that he lost his innocence. At least that’s what I’m taking from his column today.  Because if you take it at face value it says that after nearly 40 years of writing and reporting, the the Ryan Braun drug thing is…

  8. Josh Willingham is in Minnesota for his pre-signing physical

    Dec 14, 2011, 11:22 PM EDT

    willingham getty wide

    The Twins have refused to acknowledge that they are close to a three-year, $21 million contract agreement with outfielder Josh Willingham. But all indications point to the deal being just about complete. According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Willingham arrived in Minnesota on Wednesday for his pre-signing physical — a process that will…

  9. Hiroyuki Nakajima’s agent exploring sign-and-trade

    Dec 14, 2011, 10:43 PM EDT

    nakajima getty

    According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the agent for Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima has approached the Yankees’ decision-makers about their interest in executing a sign-and-trade. It’s a strategy that is seen more often in the NBA than MLB, but it might make sense in this case. The Yankees won the rights to Nakajima earlier this…

  10. Coco Crisp drawing interest from the Dodgers and Cubs

    Dec 14, 2011, 9:29 PM EDT

    coco crisp getty

    The market for Coco Crisp is heating up a bit. According to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, the Cubs and Dodgers have expressed interest, and have even engaged in discussions recently with representatives for the 32-year-old outfielder. Crisp batted just .264/.314/.379 with eight homers and 54 RBI in 583 plate appearances this past season for the…

  11. Waiting for word on the Yu Darvish bidding…

    Dec 14, 2011, 8:04 PM EDT

    darvish getty japan

    The window for Major League Baseball teams to submit bids on free agent Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish has been closed for over three hours. We don’t know which club has won the rights to negotiate exclusively with the 6-foot-5 starter, and might not have that information for another few days, but reports are slowly trickling…

  12. Cardinals nearing one-year deal with lefty J.C. Romero

    Dec 14, 2011, 7:18 PM EDT

    romero ap

    From FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Cardinals are nearing a one-year contract agreement with left-hander J.C. Romero. Romero posted a pedestrian 4.01 ERA and 19/15 K/BB ratio in 24 2/3 innings this year between the Phillies and Rockies. But he was effective against left-handed batters, holding them to a .231/.318/.231 slash line, and…

  13. When did the Red Sox get all thrifty?

    Dec 14, 2011, 6:04 PM EDT

    Larry Lucchino, Ben Cherington, Bobby Valentine, John Henry

    Nick Punto? A closer making the minimum? Nick Punto? NICK PUNTO?!? And no Yu Darvish, in case you were wondering. Now we know why the Red Sox were ticked off the White Sox sent Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays without ever shopping him around first. Picking up Mark Melancon from the Astros in return…

  14. Giants re-sign Guillermo Mota to one-year, $1 million deal

    Dec 14, 2011, 5:17 PM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves

    Last week Guillermo Mota was said to be close to re-signing with the Giants and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that it’s a done deal, as the veteran reliever gets a one-year, $1 million contract. Mota earned $925,000 in 2011 after inking a minor-league deal with the Giants, throwing 80 innings with a 3.81…

  15. The Yu Darvish bidding ends at 5PM

    Dec 14, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

    darvish getty wide

    You still have about a half hour to get your bids in for Yu Darvish. Bidding for the right to negotiate with the best thing to come out of Japan since … man, I dunno, lots of cool things come from Japan … ends at 5PM Eastern today. As of now it’s thought that the…

  16. Bill Smith returning to Twins a month after being fired as GM

    Dec 14, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

    Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins

    Minnesota fired Bill Smith as general manager on November 7, replacing him with former GM Terry Ryan, but they talked about wanting to keep him as part of the organization in a different role and apparently Smith is willing to stay. Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com reports that Smith is close to returning in a “special…

  17. Red Sox sign Nick Punto for two years and $3.5 million

    Dec 14, 2011, 3:50 PM EDT

    Mark Kotsay, Nick Punto

    This morning the Red Sox traded infielder Jed Lowrie to the Astros in a deal for reliever Mark Melancon and it didn’t take them long to replace him, with Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reporting that Boston has signed Nick Punto to a two-year, $3.5 million contract. Punto was paid just $750,000 by the Cardinals and…

  18. The Nationals are interested in Mike Cameron

    Dec 14, 2011, 3:27 PM EDT

    Mike Cameron

    When last we heard about Mike Cameron he was being released by the Marlins after having a verbal confrontation with a flight attendant. Based on that — and based on the fact that he hit .203/.285/.359 last year, I figured we had seen the last of him. Guess not: the Nationals are looking at him…

  19. General manager Walt Jocketty calls Reds’ lack of moves “very frustrating”

    Dec 14, 2011, 2:57 PM EDT

    Walt Jocketty

    Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has come up empty on various attempts to make a significant move this offseason and called it “very frustrating.” “It’s all I’ve been working on, trying to improve our pitching,” Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s been an extension of the winter meetings. But we’re still not…

  20. The Orioles and Braves have discussed Martin Prado and Jair Jurrjens

    Dec 14, 2011, 2:41 PM EDT

    Jair Jurrjens

    File this under “stuff that would be interesting if the Orioles had anything the Braves wanted,” but Rosenthal and Morosi report that the Orioles and the Braves have had discussions about a trade involving Martin Prado and/or Jair Jurrjens. As a Braves fan I’m not opposed to seeing Jurrjens moved. I worry about his health…

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