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  1. The Athletics are likely to sign Manny Ramirez before spring training

    Feb 15, 2012, 9:47 AM EDT

    Image (1) Manny%20Ramirez%20Zen.jpg for post 4173

    Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics are likely to sign Manny Ramirez just before or soon after the start of spring training. Makes sense. Nearly-free offense, at least potentially, and for at least part of the season following Ramirez serving his suspension. Wacko serial PED offenders are the new inefficiency,…

  2. NBC SportsTalk: What are the A’s doing signing Cespedes?

    Feb 15, 2012, 9:20 AM EDT

    Yoennis Cespedes

    That’s one question.  Another: why, after taunting the host, Russ Thaler, on Twitter about it all day yesterday, did I then go ahead and mispronounce Yoenis Cespedes‘ last name? We’ll never know!  But it probably had something to do with the fact that, as we were broadcasting this thing live last night, my cat was…

  3. There’s a game-fixing scandal going on in Korea

    Feb 15, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

    Korea flag

    Last November we heard about game-fixing in Taiwan.  Apparently it’s a problem in Korea now too: Baseball and basketball officials on Tuesday were scrambling to find evidence of match-fixing attempts in their professional leagues, following recent testimony by a gambling broker, who has been arrested for an alleged connection with volleyball match fixing, that other…

  4. Fears that New York teams will sign all the free agents — in 1912

    Feb 15, 2012, 6:49 AM EDT

    1911 baseball owners

    In 1912, there was a startup third major league called the United States Baseball League. It had eight teams. It played for about a month before it collapsed. It happens. A unique aspect of the USBL: the league approached the players as if they weren’t chattel. No reserve clause in the contracts. Multi-year deals. Annual free…

  5. Rays sign outfielder Jeff Salazar to minor league deal

    Feb 14, 2012, 10:18 PM EDT

    jeff salazar getty

    Marc Topkin, beat writer for the freshly-branded Tampa Bay Times, reports that the Rays inked outfielder Jeff Salazar to a minor league contract. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training, though Salazar is doubtful to earn a spot on the Rays’ Opening Day roster. The 31-year-old has not appeared in a major league…

  6. O’s avoid arbitration with Adam Jones at $6.15 million

    Feb 14, 2012, 8:55 PM EDT

    adam jones getty wide

    From beat writer Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun comes word that the Orioles have avoided arbitration with center fielder Adam Jones by agreeing to a one-year, $6.15 million contract. Jones filed for a $7.4 million salary and was offered $5 million from the O’s when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. It took a…

  7. Ozzie Guillen: Hanley Ramirez not on board with move to third base. Yet.

    Feb 14, 2012, 7:49 PM EDT

    hanley getty tall

    Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was asked Tuesday whether Hanley Ramirez is “absolutely 100 percent on board” with moving to third base this season to accommodate shortstop Jose Reyes. In his response, Guillen did not mince words (see the video at the Miami Herald‘s website): “No,” Guillen said. “No, Hanley is not 100 percent on board.…

  8. Royals exercise Ned Yost’s option for 2013

    Feb 14, 2012, 6:37 PM EDT

    Ned Yost

    Not wanting to give any impression that their manager was working under “lame duck” status, the Royals picked up the 2013 option on Ned Yost’s contract Tuesday. The 57-year-old Yost is 126-163 since replacing Trey Hillman as Kansas City’s manager in May 2010, good for a .436 winning percentage. Still, the team seems happy with…

  9. Running down the rosters: Chicago Cubs

    Feb 14, 2012, 6:13 PM EDT

    Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Marlon Byrd

    Forget about 2012 and probably 2013 as well; the Cubs are thinking long-term after luring Theo Epstein from Boston as their new showrunner. This year’s club won’t necessarily be one of the worst in baseball — the pitching depth could help it avoid that fate — but there’s also little in the way of upside…

  10. Dmitri Young worked out for the Pirates, but they didn’t make him an offer

    Feb 14, 2012, 5:07 PM EDT

    Dmitri Young Getty

    Dmitri Young shed a ton of weight as he tries to make a comeback at age 38, but he’s having trouble finding a team interested in signing him after last playing in the majors back in 2008. Young worked out for the Pirates yesterday and Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that “they…

  11. Jose Guillen still wants to play

    Feb 14, 2012, 4:27 PM EDT

    jose-guillen

    ESPN Deportes reports (sorry, Spanish) that Jose Guillen is training in the Dominican Republic and hopes to land a job with a major league club. Good luck with that, Jose. In his last season — 2010 — he was injured, ineffective, traded and then was busted for HGH shipments. What’s he gonna say at the interview? He…

  12. Must-click link: Looking back at the worst swings of 2011

    Feb 14, 2012, 3:51 PM EDT

    click here bigger

    Jeff Sullivan’s latest great thing at SB Nation is a look back at the 10 ugliest, most pathetic hacks of the 2011 season, complete with video evidence: The Ten Worst Swings Of The 2011 Season It’s pretty amazing.

  13. The Yankees may get in on the Jorge Soler action

    Feb 14, 2012, 3:29 PM EDT

    Yankees_logo-thumb-125x139-1687

    This morning we learned that the Cubs were going to sign Jorge Soler.  Apparently the fat lady hasn’t sung on that one yet: Sources: Yankees have serious interest on OFer Jorge Soler, among many teams. Cubs are not close to signing Soler, as has been reported. — Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 14, 2012   After…

  14. Jake Westbrook is in The Best Shape of His Life

    Feb 14, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT

    Jake Westbrook

    A few days ago I was lamenting the fact that we may be nearing the end of BSOHL season, but then I remembered that it really peaks when spring training starts and the writers tweet about players’ bodies a lot.  Like this: Jake Westbrook walked into Cards camp about 25 pounds lighter. Looks super trim.…

  15. Tommy Hanson changed his delivery on advice of Braves’ physical therapist

    Feb 14, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    Tommy Hanson

    After meeting with the Braves’ physical therapist Tommy Hanson has altered his delivery in an effort to avoid the shoulder problems that plagued him last season. Hanson described the change as “not drastic, but definitely different” and the Braves are also hoping it makes him tougher for opponents to steal bases on after he allowed…

  16. Rumors are swirling about the Cubs playing in U.S. Cellular Field in 2013

    Feb 14, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

    U.S. Cellular Field

    Not necessarily strong rumors. Not from any baseball insider types who usually chatter about goings on in MLB.  But this story from NBC Chicago about rumors of the Cubs moving to the south side to play in U.S. Cellular Field while Wrigley Field undergoes a renovation is interesting enough. To be sure, the story leads…

  17. Tony Gwynn has cancerous tumor removed from mouth

    Feb 14, 2012, 1:45 PM EDT

    gwynn-110109

    Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn underwent surgery today to remove a cancerous tumor from his mouth and may need “a nerve graft” from his shoulder or leg “to preserve facial functions,” according to Tom Friend of ESPN.com. Eighteen months ago Gwynn developed a malignant growth inside his right cheek, which he attributed to years of…

  18. Yankees-Indians are talking about an A.J. Burnett for Travis Hafner deal

    Feb 14, 2012, 1:31 PM EDT

    Travis Hafner

    UPDATE:  The talks are dead. 1:31 PM: This is interesting. Jon Heyman is reporting that while there is still optimism that the Yankees will trade A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh, the Angels and Indians have “checked in.” The Angels are probably a non-starter because they are one of the teams named in Burnett’s limited no-trade clause…

  19. Adam Jones and the Orioles had “preliminary discussions” about long-term deal

    Feb 14, 2012, 1:20 PM EDT

    Adam Jones

    Earlier this offseason there were some trade rumors swirling around Adam Jones, but now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles “have had some preliminary discussions about an extension” with the 26-year-old center fielder. For now the two sides are scheduled for an arbitration hearing Friday to determine if Jones will be…

  20. Matt Holliday and David Freese like to play squash

    Feb 14, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

    Squash

    Or: how you know that the offseason has dragged on long enough: 863 words on Matt Holliday and David Freese playing squash: Looking for a competitive alternative to add to their offseason workouts this winter, Freese and Holliday found squash. A cousin of racquetball, the game features a smaller ball with less bounce and tends…

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