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  1. The Mets are dropping a minor league team

    Dec 21, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

    mets logo

    Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger reports that the Mets are dropping one of their minor league teams: “For 2012, we will be conducting our three Rookie League teams in Kingsport, TN and out of our facility in the Dominican Republic and will not operate a team in the Gulf Coast League,” read a statement sent…

  2. Prince Fielder to the Orioles “just isn’t going to happen”

    Dec 21, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

    Prince Fielder

    Baltimore has been linked to Prince Fielder at various points this offseason, but locally their odds of actually signing the free agent slugger are perceived as very slim. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes that “the Orioles aren’t going to give eight or more years or $18 or more million per year to a…

  3. Ex-manager Edwin Rodriguez says Marlins will “have a tough time” moving Hanley Ramirez to third base

    Dec 21, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

    hanley-ramirez-edwin-rodriguez

    Edwin Rodriguez, who was fired as Marlins manager in part because of his poor relationship with Hanley Ramirez, appeared on MLB Network Radio today and was asked about the team’s plan to move the career-long shortstop to third base following the Jose Reyes signing. Not surprisingly, Rodriguez thinks it may not go over particularly well…

  4. The top ten HBT posts of 2011

    Dec 21, 2011, 11:31 AM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez and Cameron Diaz

    Gleeman and I spend a lot of time chatting during the day, and one of the few recurring topics of conversation that doesn’t involve Coen Brothers movies is the correlation between meaningful stories and stories that get a lot of traffic. While we don’t set out to write about things that will make people click…

  5. Cubs re-sign outfielder Reed Johnson to one-year contract

    Dec 21, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    Chicago Cubs' Reed Johnson watches a 2-RBI against the Boston Red Sox during their MLB Interleague baseball game at Fenway Park

    Free agent outfielder Reed Johnson has agreed to a one-year contract with the Cubs, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Johnson has always been an ideal fourth outfielder because he can handle all three spots defensively, puts up strong numbers versus left-handed pitching, and isn’t totally overmatched versus right-handers once in a while. At age…

  6. The hit and run play: is it worth it?

    Dec 21, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    Third Base Coach

    The hit and run play: when it works and the batter pokes a single through the right side of the infield resulting in runners on the corners and nobody out, boy, it’s a thing of friggin’ beauty.  When it doesn’t and results in a strike-em-out/throw-em-out double play it’s the most maddening thing on the planet.…

  7. Runner-up Blue Jays bid more than $50 million for Yu Darvish

    Dec 21, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    darvish getty japan

    Texas secured exclusive negotiating rights to Yu Darvish with a $51.7 million bid and apparently Toronto finished runner-up for the Japanese ace, as Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star reports that the Blue Jays submitted a bid in excess of $50 million. General manager Alex Anthopoulos predictably declined to give any details about the Blue…

  8. BBWAA members don’t seem terribly pleased by the BBWAA’s statement on Bill Conlin

    Dec 21, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Bill Conlin

    As Matthew noted last night, the BBWAA issued a statement in the wake of the Bill Conlin ugliness.  It was strange to see it and, in my mind, pretty ill-advised. Why say anything now? Given the gravity of the allegations, who gives a damn about what it all means for the Spink Award?  While I…

  9. Orioles turned down Braves’ offer for Adam Jones

    Dec 21, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles

    Two weeks ago there was a report that the Orioles were willing to listen to offers on center fielder Adam Jones and now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that they turned down the Braves’ offer of Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado, and an unnamed “pitching prospect.” It’s tough to evaluate that offer without knowing…

  10. Carlos Beltran expected to sign this week

    Dec 21, 2011, 9:50 AM EDT

    Carlos Beltran

    Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Carlos Beltran is expected to sign this week.  He apparently has multiple offers of between two and three years. Among the teams in play: the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Rays, Cardinals and one other NL team. Guess that one other team isn’t the Braves. Because that…

  11. The Red Sox and “several other teams” have expressed interest in Andruw Jones

    Dec 21, 2011, 9:18 AM EDT

    Andruw Jones

    Mark Feinsand says that, despite the fact that everyone assumed Andruw Jones would be back with the Yankees in 2012, talks have sort of been going nowhere and now other teams — including the Boston Red Sox — are calling on Jones. And why not? Jones hit .247/.356/.495 with 13 homers and 33 RBI in 222…

  12. NBC SportsTalk: Is Yu Darvish worth the price?

    Dec 21, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

    darvish getty square

    I was on NBC SportsTalk last night, talking about Yu Darvish.  Feel free to watch the clip for my analysis of his prospects in the major leagues. Of course, if you read HBT you’ve read as much, so don’t assume I’m breaking new ground. No, the real reason you should watch it is because I…

  13. What will your $20 million get you if you buy into the Mets?

    Dec 21, 2011, 8:15 AM EDT

    Rich and Famous

    As we know, the Wilpons are selling off minority stakes in the New York Mets. They want multiple investors to give them $20 million a pop for a non-controlling interest. Now, anyone familiar with close corporations knows that having that kind of stake in such a business — especially a family business — is an…

  14. UDPATE: Cubs and Reds “close” to trade involving Sean Marshall and Travis Wood

    Dec 21, 2011, 12:48 AM EDT

    Chicago Cubs v Colorado Rockies

    UPDATE: Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago reports that the deal is “close” and that the Cubs would receive two minor-leaguers along with Wood. 10:29 PM ET: The Reds landed Mat Latos in a blockbuster deal over the weekend, but they aren’t done on the trade front. Ken Rosenthal on FOXSports.com reports that they are currently discussing…

  15. UPDATE: Ronald Belisario to serve 25-game suspension for violating MLB’s drug policy

    Dec 21, 2011, 12:40 AM EDT

    Ronald Belisario AP

    UPDATE: Belisario is expected to report to spring training on time after securing his visa, but he won’t be on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster. According to Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, he must serve a 25-game suspension for violating MLB’s drug policy. No word on the exact nature of…

  16. Rangers and Mike Napoli have discussed contract extension

    Dec 20, 2011, 9:33 PM EDT

    napoli reuters

    The Rangers may end up spending over $120 million in order to sign right-hander Yu Darvish, but that isn’t going to stop their efforts to lock up some of their core players. According to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, the Rangers have had “several conversations” with Mike Napoli‘s representatives about a multi-year contract. He earned $5.8 million…

  17. Red Sox among four teams interested in Francisco Cordero

    Dec 20, 2011, 8:15 PM EDT

    Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds

    UPDATE: Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that Cordero would prefer to return to the Reds. 8:15 PM: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported earlier this afternoon that the Red Sox have “increased dialogue” with free agent closer Francisco Cordero. Alex Speier of WEEI.com hears similar information from his sources, but he was also told by Cordero’s agent,…

  18. BBWAA defends Bill Conlin in statement following allegations

    Dec 20, 2011, 7:08 PM EDT

    Winner of J.G. .Taylor Spink Award Sportswriter Bill Conlin speaks at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown

    One would think the BBWAA would be feeling a bit embarrassed right now after having bestowed its highest honor on Bill Conlin a year before he was accused of child molestation and opted to resign from the Philadelphia Daily News. But then, this is the BBWAA we’re talking about. Here’s the official release on its…

  19. Spink Award winner Bill Conlin accused of sexually abusing children

    Dec 20, 2011, 6:20 PM EDT

    Bill Conlin

    Four people, three women and a man, accused longtime Philadelphia Daily News columnist Bill Conlin of molesting them as children in the 1970s, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Nancy Phillips reported Tuesday. Conlin, who is honored in the Baseball Hall of Fame after receiving the 2011 J.G. Taylor Spink award, retired from his post at the Daily News…

  20. Rockies sign Casey Blake to one-year, $2 million contract

    Dec 20, 2011, 5:30 PM EDT

    Casey Blake

    During today’s press conference for Michael Cuddyer the Rockies also announced that they’ve agreed to terms with Casey Blake on a one-year contract. Blake missed most of the season with a pinched nerve in his neck that required surgery and talked about possibly being forced to retire, but he’ll give it another go at age…

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