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  1. Update: Rays, Damon just talking for now

    Jan 21, 2011, 12:15 PM EDT

    Johnny Damon

    UPDATE, 12:15 PM: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com was told by a source that the Rays are indeed talking to Damon and that an agreement could “certainly happen,” but also that nothing is close. 2:29 AM: Johnny Damon has found a new home for the upcoming season.  Well, almost. According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports,…

  2. Ozzie Guillen wasn’t pleased with Bobby Jenks or his son’s tweets

    Jan 21, 2011, 12:06 PM EDT

    Chicago White Sox manager Guillen sits in the dugout against the LA Angels during MLB American League baseball game in Anaheim

    Ozzie Guillen talked about that Bobby Jenks-Oney Guillen stuff yesterday, and he voiced some regret over his son sharing clubhouse business on his Twitter feed: Guillen said he felt ‘‘sad’’ about Jenks’ comments, which came after Jenks signed with the Boston Red Sox last month. But Guillen said his son crossed the line when he…

  3. Rangers “going after” free agent slugger Manny Ramirez

    Jan 21, 2011, 11:31 AM EDT

    Manny Ramirez, new team member of the Chicago White Sox, looks on during batting practice prior to the White Sox MLB American League baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland

    On Thursday, Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes filed a report claiming that free agent Manny Ramirez would likely sign with a new team by the beginning of next week.  Now T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com is reporting that the Rangers are “going after” him. A couple of other clubs have been linked to Ramirez, including the…

  4. Quote of the Day: Jeff Francoeur

    Jan 21, 2011, 11:07 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers Workout Session

    What if I told you that Jeff Francoeur said something insightful about major league park factors which suggested that he was aware of his strengths and weaknesses as a hitter? I’m not saying he did — please! — but I do wonder what you’d say if I told you that.

  5. Update: Dirk Hayhurst signs with the Rays

    Jan 21, 2011, 10:52 AM EDT

    Dirk Hayhurst

    UPDATE:  It’s official: Hayhurst has signed a minor league deal with the Rays.  We know this from a news release. We know it more colorfully from Hayhurt’s own tweet: Why hello there, Tampa fans. My name is Dirk. My hobbies include writing, speaking, pretending to be a giant firebreathing giraffe/moose. Oh, Fortuna, please let him…

  6. Dancing with Jose Valverde

    Jan 21, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    APTOPIX Yankees Tigers Baseball

    Jose Valverde beat teammate Ramon Santiago in a local version of “Dancing with the Stars” up in Detroit.  His secret: he’s kinda fat: Although Valverde won, Santiago refused to accept that the Tigers closer was the better dancer. Santiago said Valverde’s secret weapon — the prancing paunch on his 6-foot-4, 255-pound frame — was the…

  7. Mets sign Tim Byrdak to a minor league contract

    Jan 21, 2011, 10:08 AM EDT

    Houston Astros Photo Day

    Mike Silva of New York Baseball Digest had this one last night.  Adam Rubin of ESPN New York confirmed it this morning. The Mets have signed left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak to a minor league contract and, presumably, have invited him to spring training. There’s a real chance that Byrdak will be able to climb his…

  8. The end of an era in Minnesota

    Jan 21, 2011, 9:50 AM EDT

    Nick Punto

    Hey, it doesn’t have to be a great era. An era is an era, and that counts even for the Twins’ Nick Punto: No Twins offseason would be complete without a Nick Punto discussion. Some of us were convinced he would be the final puzzle piece, as General Manager Bill Smith assembled the spring training…

  9. Hey! A ranking in which the Mets are number one!

    Jan 21, 2011, 9:20 AM EDT

    mets logo

    And it’s not even a list of dubious achievements! I’m no Mets fan, but I have always loved this logo: the distinctive dark skyline, the white bridge symbolizing the five boroughs, the classic Mets script, the terrific color scheme of orange and blue. My only suggestion: Mr. Met should have it tattooed around his whole…

  10. Tim Wakefield wouldn’t mind pitching beyond 2011

    Jan 21, 2011, 8:51 AM EDT

    Tim Wakefield

    Tim Wakefield is only under contract through this season. And he’s going to turn 45 in August. But he still wants to pitch: “The door is always open. Until you actually see me sit down at that press conference and say that I’m going to retire, I wouldn’t count on anything right now. I just…

  11. More trouble for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

    Jan 21, 2011, 8:24 AM EDT

    Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

    We wrote back in October about the challenges facing the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Joe Posnanski said that the place was in “grave danger.”  Dr. Raymond Doswell, the museum’s interim director, wrote to me to tell me that Posnanski was overstating the problems.  Dr. Doswell will likely have to write to Sam Mellinger now too,…

  12. The Orioles raise ticket prices

    Jan 21, 2011, 6:09 AM EDT

    Camden Yards

    Pop quiz hot shot!  You’ve lost 90+ games for eight of the past ten years and your 2010 attendance was the lowest since you moved to your fancy new ballpark back in 1992. It’s time to set ticket prices for the coming year. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?! For the first time since…

  13. Nate McLouth will start in center this year for Atlanta

    Jan 20, 2011, 9:03 PM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v San Francisco Giants, Game 1

    Braves outfielder Nate McLouth had the worst offensive season of his career in 2010, posting a miserable .190 batting average and .620 OPS across 288 plate appearances.  He was demoted to the Triple-A level at one point and he also battled a concussion near the middle of the summer. It was a brutal showing. But,…

  14. Update: Giants complete minor league deal with Suppan

    Jan 20, 2011, 7:41 PM EDT

    Jeff Suppan

    UPDATE, 7:41 PM: According to Mychael Urban of CSN Bay Area, this one is done.  If Suppan manages to find a spot on the Giants’ Opening Day roster, he will earn a $1 million salary. 2:16 PM: From Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News comes word that the Giants are nearing agreement on…

  15. Reds ink Johnny Cueto to a four-year, $27M extension

    Jan 20, 2011, 6:29 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds, Game 3

    From Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes comes word that the Reds have agreed to a four-year, $27 million contract extension with young right-hander Johnny Cueto. Cueto, 25 next month, was eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter.  This new extension will allow both sides to avoid an often tumultuous arbitration hearing and will…

  16. Francona: Marco Scutaro is our shortstop

    Jan 20, 2011, 5:04 PM EDT

    marco-scutaro-red-sox

    There has been some chatter lately about how Jed Lowrie could take over the Red Sox shortstop job from Marco Scutaro. Theo Epstein said as much himself last week. Terry Francona gave a press conference today, however, and he says nope, not happenin’: “Scutaro’s our shortstop. (Lowrie) gives us something not a lot of teams can…

  17. The Yankees sign Andruw Jones

    Jan 20, 2011, 4:32 PM EDT

    White Sox Jones hits homerun against Twins in Minneapolis

    Did someone mention scoops? Add one to Jon Heyman’s list: the Yankees have signed Andruw Jones to a one-year, $2 million contract, with another $1.2 million possible in performance-based incentives. Jones will be a fourth outfielder/DH/Designated lefty-masher next year. Between platooning at the corners, days off and injuries, he could get the same number of plate appearances…

  18. Some musings on scoops and the people who get them

    Jan 20, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

    Press

    Beyond the Box score has a chart up today tracking which baseball reporters got the most transactions scoops this winter.  Ken Rosenthal leads the pack. Jon Heyman is second. You’ll recognize all the other names based on reading “So and so reports …” posts here and elsewhere.  It’s a relatively small group of men and…

  19. Eric Chavez worked out for the Dodgers today

    Jan 20, 2011, 3:21 PM EDT

    Eric Chavez

    I thought of doing something cute and copying and pasting an article about Nomar Garciaparra from a couple of years ago but changing all the names, but that would take a lot of work, so we’ll play it straight: The Dodgers worked out free-agent third baseman Eric Chavez at their Camelback Ranch-Glendale training facility in…

  20. Must-click link: Colombia — The next international talent hotbed

    Jan 20, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    Click Here large

    ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian has an interesting story today about scouting in Colombia, which may be the next Venezuela or Dominican Republic when it comes to amateur talent.  For the story, he talked to Kansas City Royals scout Mike Toomey, who is all over that country looking for the next big thing.  The other day I…

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