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  1. Jim Thome has a job waiting for him with the White Sox when he retires

    Jan 28, 2012, 11:13 AM EDT

    Jim Thome

    41-year-old Jim Thome isn’t done mashing taters off big league pitchers, but he has a job waiting for him when he retires. According to Chuck Garfen of CSNChicago.com, White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said at SoxFest last night that he and Thome have a handshake deal for the veteran slugger to work for the team when…

  2. Edwin Jackson has multiple three-year offers on the table

    Jan 28, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

    Edwin Jackson Getty

    While it looks like Roy Oswalt is close to deciding where he’ll sign, the market for Edwin Jackson is finally beginning to heat up. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Jackson has multiple three-year offers on the table. It’s not clear who the offers are from, but there was a report earlier this week that…

  3. UPDATE: No deal yet between Cardinals and Roy Oswalt

    Jan 28, 2012, 8:31 AM EDT

    oswalt wide getty

    UPDATE: Oswalt’s agent, Bob Garber, told Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors this morning that there’s “no chance” of his client pitching out of the bullpen. 8:31 AM: Hold your horses, everyone. When most of us went to bed, it appeared as though Roy Oswalt was St. Louis-bound. That may still be the case, but…

  4. Bud Selig expects expanded playoffs to begin this season

    Jan 28, 2012, 12:33 AM EDT

    Bud Selig

    We’re just a little over two months away from the start of the 2012 season, but we still have no confirmation on when the expanded playoff format will take effect. Commissioner Bud Selig aims to change that real soon. According to Jim Owczarski of CSNChicago.com, Selig was in attendance at SoxFest on Friday night to…

  5. The intriguing Baltimore Orioles lineup

    Jan 27, 2012, 8:02 PM EDT

    Matt Wieters, Adam Jones

    Or how bad can your team really be when your seven, eight and nine hitters all have a chance to reach 25 homers. This is the Orioles lineup as I currently perceive it: 2B Brian Roberts SS J.J. Hardy RF Nick Markakis CF Adam Jones C Matt Wieters DH Wilson Betemit 1B Mark Reynolds 3B…

  6. Brad Penny is drawing interest from the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan

    Jan 27, 2012, 7:15 PM EDT

    Detroit Tigers v Baltimore Orioles

    UPDATE: My guess was way off. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that Penny is “weighing an opportunity” with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Japan’s Pacific League. 7:15 PM: Brad Penny was pretty awful with the Tigers last season. In addition to his 5.33 ERA over 31 starts, his strikeout rate of 3.67 K/9 was the lowest in…

  7. Jeff Keppinger a smart pickup for thrifty Rays

    Jan 27, 2012, 6:20 PM EDT

    Jeff Keppinger

    Counting on Carlos Pena, Matt Joyce and Luke Scott to fill key roles this year, the Rays had set themselves up to have huge problems against lefties in the bottom half of the order. That was alleviated somewhat today with the signing of Jeff Keppinger. Of course, Keppinger doesn’t play the same position as any…

  8. The Red Sox signed John Maine to a minor league deal

    Jan 27, 2012, 5:35 PM EDT

    John Maine

    The last we heard about John Maine was last summer when it was reported that he might retire. And he hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2010. But Soxprospects.com reports that he’s signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox. Don’t expect much here. Maine had an ERA north of 7 in Colorado Springs…

  9. The Giants and Xavier Nady have “mutual interest”

    Jan 27, 2012, 4:45 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks

    Looks like the Giants are looking at a youth movement. Hank Schulman on Twitter: Next name to watch for Giants: Xavier Nady. There’s some mutual interest, but almost certainly on a minor-league deal + invite. He could be a useful bat depending on his health, but coming off a 248/.287/.359 season, he’s not exactly a tonic…

  10. Rays make room for Jeff Keppinger by dropping Triple-A MVP Russ Canzler

    Jan 27, 2012, 4:16 PM EDT

    keppinger giants getty

    This hasn’t been a good couple weeks for Russ Canzler. Last season he won the International League MVP award after hitting .314 with 18 homers, 40 doubles, and a .930 OPS for Durham, made his big-league debut in September with a handful of at-bats, and for a while at least it looked like the 25-year-old…

  11. Phillies, Hunter Pence avoid arbitration for $10.4 million

    Jan 27, 2012, 3:48 PM EDT

    Hunter Pence

    Hunter Pence and the Phillies won’t be needing an arbitration hearing, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the two sides have agreed to a one-year deal worth $10.4 million. Pence submitted an $11.8 million request while Philadelphia countered at $9 million, which is a very big spread relative to other filings and may have…

  12. Lew Wolff is pretty brave

    Jan 27, 2012, 3:28 PM EDT

    Lew Wolff

    The A’s fan base is not exactly a happy one. The best players are being shipped off. Again. Costs are being cut. Division rivals are spending like there’s no tomorrow. The owner has behaved as though the very act of playing baseball in Oakland these past few years and for the next few is some…

  13. Astros sign Zach Duke to minor-league deal

    Jan 27, 2012, 2:45 PM EDT

    Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks

    Zach Duke, who spent last season with the Diamondbacks, has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Astros. Duke was once considered a top prospect for the Pirates, but had a 4.54 ERA over six seasons in Pittsburgh before being traded to Arizona last offseason. He posted a 4.93 ERA in 77 innings split between…

  14. Kenshin Kawakami is headed back to Japan

    Jan 27, 2012, 1:48 PM EDT

    Kawakami  throwing

    Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along reports from Japan that Kenshin Kawakami has agreed to a deal with the Chunichi Dragons following a disappointing three-year stretch with the Braves. Kawakami inked a $23 million contract with Atlanta in 2009 and had a solid rookie season for the Braves, tossing 156 innings with a 3.86…

  15. Jeff Francoeur is the finest man in all of baseball

    Jan 27, 2012, 1:28 PM EDT

    Kansas City Royals Photo Day

    No, I’m not being sarcastic. I have seen the freakin’ light. Read on. Everyone knows that I have a long history of allowing Jeff Francoeur — or, rather, the idea of Jeff Francoeur — drive me crazy.  I never liked his game. I mocked the claims of his surrogates in the media that he was…

  16. Cleveland’s League Park still exists, is getting a $5 million renovation

    Jan 27, 2012, 12:50 PM EDT

    League Park

    Things I did not know: Cleveland’s League Park, in which Cy Young pitched for the Cleveland Spiders in 1891 and which was home to the Cleveland Indians until 1946, still stands. At least partially.  And the city of Cleveland has somehow found some money to help renovate it: City Architecture is wrapping up plans that…

  17. Giants sign Ryan Theriot to one-year, $1.25 million contract

    Jan 27, 2012, 12:19 PM EDT

    Ryan Theriot

    Ryan Theriot has agreed to a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the Giants that includes $750,000 in potential incentives, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Theriot has been a starter for most of the past five seasons, but his performance ceased warranting regular playing time several years ago. He hit just .271 with a .321…

  18. The Mets may experience the largest payroll decline in baseball history

    Jan 27, 2012, 12:03 PM EDT

    mets logo

    This is fun. From Adam Rubin of ESPN New York: After general manager Sandy Alderson revealed the organization lost $70 million last year, the Mets appear poised to have the biggest one-year payroll drop in MLB history — roughly $52 million. That would surpass the former record: $48.4 million by the Texas Rangers from 2003 to 2004,…

  19. Frank White and the Royals are having an ugly breakup

    Jan 27, 2012, 11:40 AM EDT

    frank white royals

    Frank White played his entire 18-season career for the Royals, spent years after that coaching and broadcasting their games, and has a statue in front of Kauffman Stadium. Yet last month the team fired White as their part-time television announcer and yesterday he took a new job on the independent league Kansas City T-Bones’ coaching…

  20. Say what you want, but Miguel Cabrera has the right attitude about playing third base

    Jan 27, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

    Miguel Cabrera

    We’ve pretty much beat the whole Prince Fielder-to-Detroit, Miguel Cabrera-to-third base stuff into the ground, but I think there’s room for one more little nugget. From Michael Rosenberg’s story about it all in the Detroit Free Press: Cabrera wants to play the field; when I asked him last week what he wanted to improve most…

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