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  1. The Hall of Fame Ballot to end all arguments

    Dec 3, 2010, 10:59 AM EDT

    blyleven

    This Hall of Fame ballot, organized by category, perfectly encapsulates my thinking on the eligible players.  Really, I could probably avoid writing the three dozen Hall of Fame posts I plan on doing this winter simply by linking to this thing each time a guy’s name comes up.  I won’t, but I could. Wezen-Ball does…

  2. Pirates cut Lastings Milledge rather than pay him $1 million

    Dec 3, 2010, 10:47 AM EDT

    Milledge waits

    Once upon a time Lastings Milledge was a top prospect whose on-field upside was clouded by his problematic personality. Three teams and 1,655 plate appearances later, it turns out maybe he just wasn’t all that good. Milledge has hit just .269 with a modest .723 OPS in his five-season career, including .277 with a .712…

  3. Buster Olney thinks Jeter will sign today

    Dec 3, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

    mlb_jeter

    There’s not much else to that, but in today’s column, Olney says of the Yankees and Jeter “I’ll bet they reach an agreement today.” Buster isn’t one for bold predictions, so I wonder if he has some intelligence. Gosh, I hope not. I fell like I have a couple dozen more Derek Jeter posts in…

  4. Jim Thome reiterates plans to play in 2011 at age 40

    Dec 3, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers

    Free agent Jim Thome has successfully avoided media attention since finishing an amazing season that saw him hit .283 with a 1.039 OPS while stepping in for an injured Justin Morneau, but yesterday his agent told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the future Hall of Famer “has no intention of retiring” at…

  5. HBT will be at the Winter Meetings next week

    Dec 3, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

    Disney World

    Peter Gammons was interviewed about hot stove stuff and he was asked about what happens at the Winter Meetings: It’s a lot of lobby wandering. You got everybody there and it’s fun. You see Alderson go into an elevator with (Cubs general manager) Jim Hendry and all of a sudden you start working to see…

  6. The Diamondbacks agree to a contract with Zach Duke

    Dec 3, 2010, 9:38 AM EDT

    Zach Duke throwing

    Lost in all of the midnight non-tender deadline stuff was the fact that the Diamondbacks agreed to a one-year deal with pitcher Zach Duke, who they acquired from Pittsburgh last week.  If they couldn’t do a deal, the Dbacks were going to non-tender him rather than go to arbitration. The contract: $4.25 million. In like,…

  7. Adrian Beltre: “If everything was close to the same, I would go back to Boston”

    Dec 3, 2010, 9:20 AM EDT

    beltre batting

    I can’t recall a free agent ever saying “oh, screw that town. Man, I hate it. I’d scrub toilets for a living before playing there,” but I still think it’s somewhat notable when a player praises a potential destination. Like Adrian Beltre did yesterday regarding Boston: “I got used to seeing that park full in…

  8. The Yankees are talking to Carl Crawford

    Dec 3, 2010, 8:51 AM EDT

    Carl Crawford running

    I’ve been skeptical of any real Yankee interest in Carl Crawford because (a) their outfield seems quite nice as currently-constructed; and (b) even if we scoff at the Yankees “budget,” they do claim to have one and it’s hard to see how Crawford would fit in it if they’re also going to extend Jeter, re-sign…

  9. Would you believe that the Red Sox bid for Mariano Rivera?

    Dec 3, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    rivera1

    The reports of Mariano Rivera’s signing last night were accompanied by brief asides that he turned down other offers from other teams.  So who were they? Jon Heyman is the only one I’ve seen naming names.  He says the Angels and — get this — the Red Sox were involved. Heyman says they each offered…

  10. Ron Santo 1940-2010

    Dec 3, 2010, 8:01 AM EDT

    Ron Santo

    Awful news: Chicago Cubs great Ron Santo has died at age 70. Santo had been battling bladder cancer, lapsed into a coma on Wednesday and died yesterday. Ron Santo was one of the most productive and consistent players of the 1960s and early 70s.  Because of the low overall offensive profile of the era, however,…

  11. Yankees, Dodgers discussed — then nixed — a Russell Martin trade

    Dec 3, 2010, 5:56 AM EDT

    Russell Martin dodgers

    Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times reports that the Yankees and Dodgers had serious discussions about a Russell Martin-for-Francisco Cervelli trade last night.  It got to the point where the teams were exchanging medical information and everything, but it fell through.  It’s unclear if Martin’s health — he’s had issues with his hip…

  12. Yankees reach two-year, $30 million agreement with Rivera

    Dec 2, 2010, 11:24 PM EDT

    rivera in delivery

    Well, the Yankees have wrapped up negotiations with one of their veteran free agents. Red Christian of the New York Daily News reports that closer Mariano Rivera has agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth $30 million and that the agreement will be finalized on Friday. Rivera’s talks went smoothly because he wasn’t asking…

  13. M’s trade Jose Lopez to Rockies for minor league pitcher

    Dec 2, 2010, 11:04 PM EDT

    lopez swing

    Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik is widely regarded as one of the smartest and most forward-thinking front office executives in all of baseball.  Things didn’t work out in 2010, when the M’s finished with a hideous 61-101 record, but the man they call “Jack Z” is again earning his reputation this winter. According to Shannon Drayer…

  14. White Sox reach two-year deal with A.J. Pierzynski

    Dec 2, 2010, 10:35 PM EDT

    A.J. Pierzynski

    A few hours ago, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Blue Jays were close to a contract with free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski.  That was incorrect. From Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com comes word that the White Sox have agreed to a two-year deal with Pierzynski, possibly worth $8 million. Pierzynski, 33, hit…

  15. A’s have indeed made “big offer” to Adrian Beltre

    Dec 2, 2010, 9:49 PM EDT

    beltre batting

    ESPN.com’s Jayon Stark passed along an odd rumor earlier today, stating that the A’s and Adrian Beltre were close to agreement on a contract and that the deal might be finalized by this evening. It’s now past 9:30 PM in the east and nothing has been signed. Beltre is a Scott Boras client and Boras…

  16. UPDATE: Jays not near deal with catcher A.J. Pierzynski

    Dec 2, 2010, 8:23 PM EDT

    pierzynski walking to dugout

    From Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times comes word that the Blue Jays are close to an agreement with free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Cowley buried the news in a story about the White Sox signing Adam Dunn, so it’s possible that he doesn’t fully trust the source that passed along the information.  But a…

  17. Francisco Rodriguez will plead guilty to assault Friday

    Dec 2, 2010, 7:08 PM EDT

    k-rod in bullpen

    The Mets’ new management regime has already committed to using Francisco Rodriguez at closer next season, but that doesn’t mean the right-hander can put the events of August 11 behind him.  At least, not yet. According to the New York Daily News, Rodriguez will plead guilty Friday in a New York court to an assault…

  18. Javier Vazquez hoping physical therapist can help him find lost velocity

    Dec 2, 2010, 5:31 PM EDT

    Javier Vazquez Yankees

    Earlier this week I wrote about how Javier Vazquez’s significant drop in velocity this season makes him far from a sure thing to bounce back in 2011 simply because he was leaving New York and returning to the National League. Vazquez apparently feels the same way, because Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports…

  19. The White Sox may get Adam Dunn AND Paul Konerko

    Dec 2, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

    Chicago White Sox Konerko watches his first hit of five against Minnesota Twins during the first inning of their American League baseball game in Minneapolis

    Adam Dunn is all but done. And talk about changing the balance of power, here’s the latest tweet from Joe Cowley: Several Sox players are under the belief that not only is Dunn done deal, but PK [Paul Konerko] is close. Seems the demise of JR’s checkbook is exaggerated I have no idea if a…

  20. Braves non-tender Matt Diaz after five years in Atlanta

    Dec 2, 2010, 4:49 PM EDT

    matt-diaz-braves

    Matt Diaz has been added to the non-tender pile, as the Braves cut the 33-year-old outfielder loose after five seasons in Atlanta. Diaz has alternated good years and bad years for the Braves, and when his batting average slumps like it did this season his modest pop, swing-at-everything approach, and poor defense make him a…

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