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  1. Justin Smoak is in, you guessed it, the best shape of his life

    Jan 26, 2012, 1:52 PM EDT

    smoak rounds bases

    Not to steal Calcaterra’s gimic, but we can add another name to the “best shape of my life” list thanks to this tweet from MLB.com Mariners beat reporter Greg Johns: Griffin says Justin Smoak weighs 220 now, down from 234 when came to Seattle, and is in excellent condition. — Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) January 26,…

  2. The Dodgers were a …Mystery Team in the Prince Fielder bidding

    Jan 26, 2012, 1:35 PM EDT

    fielder getty face

    Interesting report from Jon Heyman. Seems that the Dodgers were involved in the Prince Fielder bidding. Like, seriously involved: The Dodgers were a surprise entrant in the sweepstakes, making a major push to sign the star slugger with an offer that guaranteed him seven years but provided a sweet four-year opt-out. And for a couple…

  3. Jason Motte, Cardinals skip arbitration with $1.95 million deal

    Jan 26, 2012, 1:16 PM EDT

    motte reuters

    Jason Motte emerged as the Cardinals’ closer late last season and now he’s getting a big raise, as the right-hander avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.95 million contract. Motte submitted a $2.4 million request while the Cardinals countered at $1.5 million, so they’re settling for the exact midpoint. Motte, who’s arbitration eligible for…

  4. Indians place Fausto Carmona on restricted list

    Jan 26, 2012, 12:51 PM EDT

    Fausto Carmona, Roberto Hernandez Heredia

    Fausto Carmona‘s legal situation may drag on well into spring training, but in the meantime the Indians have placed the right-hander on the restricted list after he was arrested in the Dominican Republic for falsifying his identity. Carmona, who was revealed to be Roberto Hernandez Heredia and three years older than his listed age of…

  5. Tigers fans don’t care how much money Prince Fielder makes

    Jan 26, 2012, 12:37 PM EDT

    Image (1) Tigers%20logo%20old.gif for post 4853

    I’ve been critical of the Prince Fielder contract. So have the majority of my counterparts around the baseball blogosphere. It’s a lot of money for a guy who doesn’t fit ideally into that roster and it may cause some issues later, yadda, yadda yadda, etc. But Tigers fans don’t really care.  At least the ones…

  6. Jason Isringhausen unlikely to re-sign with Mets

    Jan 26, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    jason-isringhausen-mets-spring

    Back in August the Mets turned down a chance to trade Jason Isringhausen, pulling him off waivers when the reliever was claimed by an interested in team, but now Dan Martin of the New York Post reports that they’re unlikely to re-sign him anyway. Isringhausen completed a successful comeback last season and provided the Mets…

  7. Braves CEO: we’re not selling the team; and, oh, our TV deal is awful

    Jan 26, 2012, 12:03 PM EDT

    Image (1) Braves%20logo.gif for post 4936

    Braves fans were spoiled when Ted Turner owned the team. The games were broadcast all over the country and they spent on whatever they felt like it because Turner was simply mad. Mad, I say.  Ah, those were the days. In recent years the team has been owned by Liberty Media Corporation. That has been…

  8. Koji Uehara turned down deal to Blue Jays, but still likely to be traded by Rangers

    Jan 26, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    Koji Uehara

    Koji Uehara exercised his limited no-trade clause by turning down a trade to the Blue Jays earlier this week, but T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that there’s still “a pretty good chance” the Rangers will end up dealing the 35-year-old reliever. Uehara struggled after coming over from the Orioles in a July 30 deal for…

  9. The Prince Fielder deal is official, press conference at 2pm today

    Jan 26, 2012, 11:05 AM EDT

    Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks

    The Prince Fielder contract is now official. And the terms were pretty much what was reported:  $23 million in each of the next two seasons and $24 million per season over the final seven years of the contract. A total of $214 million over nine. The real significance of this, however, is that this will be…

  10. Nationals sign former Phillies closer Brad Lidge for setup gig

    Jan 26, 2012, 10:51 AM EDT

    Brad Lidge

    UPDATE: It’s a done deal, as Lidge gets a one-year contract worth $1 million. ========== Longtime closer Brad Lidge is on the verge of signing with the Nationals as a setup man, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Lidge failed to save at least 15 games last season for the first time since 2003, as…

  11. The White Sox will wear throwback uniforms this year

    Jan 26, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

    White Sox throwbacks

    Given all of the bad uniform choices the White Sox made over the years, when I heard that they’d be doing throwback uniforms in 2012 my heart skipped a beat.  But it turns out that they’re going with a conservative and even tasteful choice: I always liked those. Probably because I have a framed copy…

  12. Andrew Bailey avoids arbitration with Red Sox for $3.9 million

    Jan 26, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics

    Acquired from the A’s last month, Andrew Bailey has avoided arbitration with the Red Sox by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3.9 million. Bailey submitted a $4.7 million figure for arbitration while the Red Sox countered at $3.35 million, so he ends up accepting $100,000 less than the midpoint. And he can make up…

  13. MLB.com releases its top-100 prospects list

    Jan 26, 2012, 9:50 AM EDT

    Matt Moore

    It’s top-prospects season.  The two lists I watch for each year are Jonathan Mayo’s at MLB.com and Keith Law’s at ESPN.  Mayo just came out with his. I was mildly surprised that he has Matt Moore in the top spot ahead of Bryce Harper. But only mildly. When you strip away the hype over Harper,…

  14. The Orioles would consider a four-year deal for Edwin Jackson

    Jan 26, 2012, 9:28 AM EDT

    Edwin Jackson

    Edwin Jackson‘s free agent expectations have gone down as the winter has dragged on.  In recent days we’ve even heard-tell that he’d consider a one-year deal.  But never fear, Edwin! Dan Connolly reports that the Orioles may come riding to the rescue: In fact, I’ve been told the club would consider a four-year deal for…

  15. The Cardinals’ offer to Roy Oswalt sounds light

    Jan 26, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

    oswalt glove getty

    For the last two days we’ve been talking about Roy Oswalt, the Red Sox, Cardinals and Rangers.  It sounds like he’s leaning toward the latter two. Now, after this tweet from Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, it sound like the latter one. Hearing that Cards made bid approaching $5M on Oswalt weeks ago…

  16. Chicago ad agencies angry at the Cubs for hiring a New York firm

    Jan 26, 2012, 8:21 AM EDT

    Don Draper

    I’m guessing a baseball team hiring service providers like lawyers, accountants and ad agencies from other cities is pretty common, but I’m drawn to this story anyway. Why? Because I was years behind watching “Mad Men,” and in the last month or so I have been catching up, often by watching two episodes or sometimes…

  17. Reds sign lefty Jeff Francis to minor league contract

    Jan 25, 2012, 11:14 PM EDT

    jeff francis ap

    From Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com comes word that the Reds have reached agreement on a minor league contract with free agent lefty Jeff Francis. The deal carries an invitation to major league spring training, where Francis will presumably get a shot at landing a spot in Cincinnati’s starting rotation. Francis, 31, posted a troubling 4.82 ERA…

  18. Eric Wedge ‘leaning’ toward dropping Ichiro from leadoff spot

    Jan 25, 2012, 10:48 PM EDT

    suzuki_ichiro

    The Seattle Mariners remain in a transition phase, attempting to undo the messes of Bill Bavasi while playing in a beefed up AL West division that includes two teams — the Rangers and Angels — that are throwing money around like they just got some magic pants. A big part of that transition will involve…

  19. Angels make offer to free agent reliever Luis Ayala

    Jan 25, 2012, 10:31 PM EDT

    ayala getty

    According to MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez, the Angels have “tendered a formal offer” to free agent right-hander Luis Ayala. Whether it’s a major league or minor league contract offer is not yet known. Ayala is also drawing free agent interest from a “handful” of other teams, according to Gonzalez’s source, and is “still weighing his options.” The…

  20. UPDATE: Rays reach contract with infielder Jeff Keppinger

    Jan 25, 2012, 9:43 PM EDT

    keppinger giants getty

    From Marc Topkin of the newly-named Tampa Bay Times comes word that the Rays are “closing in on a major-league deal” with infielder Jeff Keppinger. An agreement could be finalized later this week. Keppinger batted just .277/.300/.377 with six home runs and 35 RBI across 399 plate appearances last season between the Astros and Giants, and…

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