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  1. Nationals nearing one-year contract with Mark DeRosa

    Dec 21, 2011, 11:08 PM EDT

    derosa getty wide

    From FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Nationals are “close to signing” free agent veteran Mark DeRosa to a one-year contract. Presuming the deal gets done, DeRosa will function as a super utilityman next season in Washington. He has experience playing all over the infield and is capable of playing either corner outfield position. DeRosa, 36,…

  2. Twins close to agreement with free agent Jason Marquis

    Dec 21, 2011, 10:33 PM EDT

    jason marquis getty

    According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Twins are nearing agreement on a contract with free agent right-hander Jason Marquis. Marquis posted an underwhelming 4.43 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in 23 starts between the Nationals and Diamondbacks in 2011, fanning only 76 batters and walking 43 across 132 innings before fracturing his right fibula on…

  3. White Sox reach five-year, $65M extension with John Danks

    Dec 21, 2011, 9:27 PM EDT

    john danks ap

    Cancel the fire sale in Chicago. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the White Sox have agreed to a five-year, $65 million contact extension with left-handed starter John Danks. The deal will be made official soon after Christmas. After the White Sox traded closer Sergio Santos and his team-friendly three-year, $8.25 million contract to the…

  4. Red Sox to name Bob McClure as next pitching coach

    Dec 21, 2011, 8:54 PM EDT

    mcclure getty wide

    As first reported by Jim Bowden of ESPN and Sirius XM Radio, the Red Sox are preparing to name Bob McClure as their next pitching coach. McClure was a major league pitcher from 1975-1993, posting a 3.81 career ERA over 1158-plus innings. He joined the coaching ranks in 1999, first serving as a pitching instructor…

  5. Cardinals sign Eugenio Velez to minor league contract

    Dec 21, 2011, 7:42 PM EDT

    eugenio velez getty

    From Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch comes word that the Cardinals have inked utilityman Eugenio Velez to a minor league contract. They also signed left-hander R.J. Swindle to a similar deal. Velez collected no hits in 40 plate appearances this past year for the Dodgers and posted a brutal .164/.246/.309 batting line in…

  6. Mariners could make Brandon League available

    Dec 21, 2011, 6:29 PM EDT

    Brandon League

    Even though Ryan Madson, Francisco Cordero and Brad Lidge remain available in free agency, much of the recent closer talk has been regarding trade possibilities. Now perhaps Brandon League can be added to the list of available closers that includes Andrew Bailey and maybe Joel Hanrahan. According to FOXSports.com, the Mariners are getting hits on League…

  7. PSA: Joe Buck is on Twitter

    Dec 21, 2011, 5:21 PM EDT

    Joe Buck

    Hey guys, you can quit talking smack about Joe Buck in our comment threads. If you have any smack to talk about Joe Buck, tell the man himself at his new Twitter account: @Buck. So far it appears to be him and not some assistant doing PR tweets. Which is always a plus.  And he…

  8. Royals sign Twins castoff Jose Mijares for $925,000

    Dec 21, 2011, 4:50 PM EDT

    Mijares_Jose

    Non-tendered by the Twins last week, Jose Mijares has quickly found a new home in the AL Central. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the 27-year-old reliever has agreed to a one-year deal with the Royals, who plan to use him as a left-handed specialist. Mijares had a terrible 2011 season, walking…

  9. Cubs and Reds agree to Sean Marshall-for-Travis Wood swap

    Dec 21, 2011, 4:33 PM EDT

    Chicago Cubs v Colorado Rockies

    Last night Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago broke the news that the Cubs and Reds were working on a trade involving Sean Marshall and Travis Wood, and now he’s reporting that the two sides have agreed to a deal “in principle.” According to Levine the Cubs will send Marshall to the Reds for Wood and…

  10. Cubs to hire Bill Buckner as Single-A hitting coach

    Dec 21, 2011, 2:44 PM EDT

    "The Summer of 86: The Rise and Fall Of The World Champion Mets" Premiere

    Bobby Valentine wanted to add Bill Buckner to his Red Sox coaching staff, but the team’s upper management reportedly balked at the idea and now Buckner has taken a minor-league gig elsewhere. Jeremy Schaap of ESPN.com reports that the Cubs have hired Bucker as their new hitting coach for the Single-A Boise Hawks, which makes…

  11. The Cubs are on track for “a complete and total rebuild”

    Dec 21, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein speaks at a news conference at Wrigley Field in Chicago

    Still thinking the Cubs are going to get in on Prince Fielder? Think again. David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com reports that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are looking to completely blow things up and that Fielder is not in the offing: “After speaking with several baseball sources over the past few days I am hearing that a…

  12. Brewers sign infielder Cesar Izturis to minor-league contract

    Dec 21, 2011, 1:20 PM EDT

    cesar-izturis-orioles

    Milwaukee replaced Yuniesky Betancourt with Alex Gonzalez at shortstop and the Brewers have added some more middle infield depth by signing Cesar Izturis to a minor-league deal, according to Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com. Izturis lost his starting job when the Orioles traded for J.J. Hardy last offseason and missed all but 18 games with injuries…

  13. The BBWAA makes a second attempt at an official statement

    Dec 21, 2011, 12:56 PM EDT

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

    Yesterday’s official statement by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Bill Conlin was a dud. So they’ve tried again. This time an actual writer — BBWAA president Bill Shaikin — puts his name to it: “We were shocked and saddened to learn of the allegations involving Bill Conlin and we extend our sympathies to…

  14. Andy LaRoche agrees to minor-league deal with Indians

    Dec 21, 2011, 12:48 PM EDT

    Andy LaRoche

    Cleveland has been adding some formerly intriguing names as minor-league depth and the latest is Andy LaRoche, who agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training. LaRoche, whose brother Adam LaRoche is the Nationals’ first baseman, will join guys like Felix Pie and Jose Lopez in competing for a spot on the…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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.…

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