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  1. UPDATE: Twins, Josh Willingham near three-year, $21 million contract

    Dec 13, 2011, 11:15 PM EDT

    willingham getty

    11:15 PM ET: Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Twins and Willingham are “very close” to a three-year, $21 million contract. UPDATE III: Hold up. Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com and Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune are both hearing that a deal between the Twins and Willingham isn’t done. What’s more, Christensen…

  2. The Mariners are suddenly in the mix for Michael Cuddyer

    Dec 13, 2011, 9:57 PM EDT

    Michael Cuddyer

    Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reported earlier tonight that at least one unidentified club was in the hunt for free agent Michael Cuddyer. Well, now we know who that might be. Morosi and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com are both reporting that the Mariners are now talking to Cuddyer. We haven’t heard much about Seattle this…

  3. Athletics and Dallas Braden agree on one-year contract

    Dec 13, 2011, 8:45 PM EDT

    Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden throws during their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto

    The Athletics and Dallas Braden avoided arbitration today by agreeing on a one-year contract, the team announced. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that he’ll make a $3.35 million base salary and could earn an additional $400,000 with performance-based incentives. He made the same salary in 2011 and was arbitration-eligible for the second…

  4. Jimmy Rollins’ agent is talking to a mystery team

    Dec 13, 2011, 7:30 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v St Louis Cardinals - Game 3

    The Brewers and Cardinals settled on their shortstops over the past week, but Jimmy Rollins‘ agent is still determined to find some sort of leverage in contract negotiations with the Phillies. With that in mind, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that Rollins’ agent Dan Lozano is having “dialogue” with a second team which he has…

  5. Josh Willingham deal likely to start chain reaction

    Dec 13, 2011, 6:14 PM EDT

    Michael Cuddyer

    The outfield market could start unfolding quickly now with the news that Josh Willingham is about to become a Minnesota Twin. – Michael Cuddyer, who had been the Twins’ preference, appears likely to join the Rockies. Minnesota offered their veteran the three-year deal he desired, but it seems that last season’s experience was bad enough…

  6. GM says Johan Santana “might not be” ready for Opening Day

    Dec 13, 2011, 3:50 PM EDT

    johan santana face getty

    In talking about the Mets’ rotation plans general manager Sandy Alderson categorized Johan Santana as a “question mark” and told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that the former Cy Young winner “might not be” ready for Opening Day. Santana planned to return from shoulder surgery to pitch for the Mets down the stretch, but…

  7. Is race and personality affecting coverage of the Ryan Braun story?

    Dec 13, 2011, 3:36 PM EDT

    braun wide getty

    Ray Ratto of CSNBayArea.com wants to know why people are inclined to give Ryan Braun the benefit of the doubt at the moment when they weren’t so willing to do so with Barry Bonds: So why, then, is there such an eagerness to find Braun’s seemingly implausible story so believable, or at least defensible by…

  8. Josh Willingham to decide on new team within 48 hours

    Dec 13, 2011, 2:20 PM EDT

    willingham reuters

    Josh Willingham will sign within the next 48 hours, agent Matt Sosnick told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Sosnick indicated that Willingham has narrowed his choices down to three teams, two of which are believed to be the Twins and Indians. Minnesota has had a three-year, $25 million offer on the table to…

  9. Takashi Saito’s one-year deal with Arizona worth $1.75 million

    Dec 13, 2011, 1:48 PM EDT

    takashi-saito-brewers-spring

    Arizona’s one-year contract with Takashi Saito will pay the reliever $1.75 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Milwaukee was interested in re-signing Saito, but Francisco Rodriguez accepting arbitration took them out of the running for other free agents and left the right-hander settling for the same salary he earned in 2011. Saito is 41…

  10. Scott Boras has a 73-page book on Prince Fielder

    Dec 13, 2011, 1:30 PM EDT

    Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks

    Every year a story comes out about the big binder full-o-love that Scott Boras puts together for his top free agent clients. Glossy and filled with over-the-top claims, they sound like an outrageous amount of fun. More fun when they involve questionable dudes like Oliver Perez — remember how he was the next Sandy Koufax?…

  11. An updated top 50 free agents

    Dec 13, 2011, 1:13 PM EDT

    National League first baseman Fielder of the Brewers watches three-run home run in fourth inning during Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Phoenix

    Taking into account recent signings and some new arrivals courtesy of the non-tender deadline, here’s a new list of the top 50 free agents available. Posted Japanese players Yu Darvish and Norichika Aoki are not included. Darvish, a right-handed pitcher, would come in at No. 2 on the list, while Aoki, an outfielder, would slide in right around No.…

  12. Aramis Ramirez backloaded his contract to help with Brewers’ payroll crunch

    Dec 13, 2011, 12:44 PM EDT

    Aramis Ramirez

    Francisco Rodriguez accepting arbitration from the Brewers stretched their payroll to the limit, so Aramis Ramirez‘s three-year, $36 million deal is heavily backloaded. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Ramirez will get just $6 million in 2012, leaving $30 million to paid for the other two seasons, and $6 million of his…

  13. Cardinals choose cash instead of players to complete July swap with Blue Jays

    Dec 13, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

    stack of money

    As part of July’s eight-player swap with the Blue Jays that was headlined by Colby Rasmus and Edwin Jackson the Cardinals received three players to be named later or cash considerations. Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that St. Louis has opted for cash instead of players in all three instances, although the exact dollar amounts…

  14. Carlos Beltran is drawing interest from the Rockies

    Dec 13, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies

    Carlos Beltran has been linked to surprisingly few teams this offseason, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Rockies have shown interest in the switch-hitting outfielder. However, they’ve shown even stronger interest in Michael Cuddyer, with Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reporting that Colorado made him a three-year offer worth more than $25 million in…

  15. Red Sox sign Kelly Shoppach to replace Jason Varitek as backup catcher

    Dec 13, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    shoppach_kelly

    Kelly Shoppach was the Red Sox’s second-round pick in 2001 and debuted for them in 2005, but was traded to the Indians in the Coco Crisp swap that offseason and went on to establish himself as a solid backup catcher who crushes left-handed pitching. Now he returns to Boston to fill that exact role, with…

  16. Union head Michael Weiner releases a statement about Ryan Braun

    Dec 13, 2011, 11:05 AM EDT

    braun tall getty

    Steroids stories breaking when no other news is going on means that everyone is gonna get out in front of it. Like, way in front of it. This stuff with Ryan Braun went down on Saturday and I think people have already decided what his grandchildren’s legacy is going to be as a result. But…

  17. Astros catcher Jason Castro out again following foot surgery

    Dec 13, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    jason-castro-astros-injury

    Jason Castro missed the entire season following knee surgery for a torn ACL suffered during spring training and now the Astros catcher may not be ready for next spring because of another operation. Castro was in the Arizona Fall League in order to make up for all the playing time he missed, but the 2008…

  18. The Orioles are about to sign Tsuyoshi Wada

    Dec 13, 2011, 10:01 AM EDT

    Tsuyoshi Wada

    UPDATE: The deal is for two year and $8.15 million.  Even if he’s not much more than serviceable, that’s a good deal for the O’s. 10:01 AM: Dan Connolly reports that the Orioles are nearing a deal with Tsuyoshi Wada, late of the Softbank Hawks of the NPB. It’s not yet finalized, but it’s a multi-year deal. Wada, a…

  19. Derek Jeter gives his hookups autographed baseballs

    Dec 13, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

    Derek Jeter

    From the New York Post:  Things that Derek Jeter can get away with that just about no one else on the planet can get away with: “Derek has girls stay with him at his apartment in New York, and then he gets them a car to take them home the next day. Waiting in his…

  20. Shocker: John Rocker admits to steroid use

    Dec 13, 2011, 8:55 AM EDT

    John Rocker

    I’m nonplussed. Like I totally lack plus. Plus-free zone here. Not a single plus was given this day. Via Neyer, comes Mike Silva’s interview with John Rocker from the other night in which the pumped up fireballer with anger issues — shockingly — admitted to using steroids during his career. Here’s Silva: I was surprised…

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