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  1. Prince Fielder-to-the-Mariners talk is “extremely overblown”

    Jan 10, 2012, 3:08 PM EDT

    Prince Fielder

    There have been random reports that Prince Fielder is talking to or at least is interested in talking to the Seattle Mariner. And, sure, it makes some amount of sense given the Mariners’ needs.  But Jerry Crasnick spoke with two agents who have had contact with people in Seattle, and it sounds like there’s nothing…

  2. What if Ted Williams was a free agent?

    Jan 10, 2012, 2:35 PM EDT

    Ted Williams

    Ted Williams was once asked by a reporter where he’d play if he was a free agent and could sign with any team.  You get a few guesses at which team it was before you click through. OK, did you click though? He only gives some basic reasoning, but I could totally see that.  At the…

  3. Kendrys Morales cleared “to begin running on his own power”

    Jan 10, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    morales getty

    After visiting with a specialist in Colorado last week Kendrys Morales has been cleared “to begin running on his own power,” according to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. Morales hasn’t played since breaking his ankle in May of 2010, suffering multiple setbacks along the way after initially hoping to be ready for Opening Day of last…

  4. Checking in with R.A. Dickey on Mount Kilimanjaro

    Jan 10, 2012, 1:40 PM EDT

    R.A. Dickey

    As we’ve noted a couple of times, Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. As in, he’s doing it right now.  And the New York Times is running his journal entries.  Don’t read it if you prefer your ballplayers to say stuff like “I just want to help the ballclub” and “I just want…

  5. Mets re-sign 40-year-old Miguel Batista to minor-league deal

    Jan 10, 2012, 1:21 PM EDT

    Miguel Batista

    As part of their ongoing effort to stockpile cheap pitching depth the Mets have re-signed 40-year-old right-hander Miguel Batista to a minor-league contract. Batista was called upon to make a spot start in the Mets’ season finale and shockingly threw a complete-game shutout against the Reds to lower his ERA to 3.60, but his overall…

  6. Report: Bud Selig to get a two-year extension

    Jan 10, 2012, 12:41 PM EDT

    Bud Selig

    Bill Madden hinted at this over the weekend — and of course, we always knew this –but Buster Olney is now reporting that Bud Selig is not going to retire at the end of 2012 as promised. Instead, he’s going to get a two-year extension to stay on as Commissioner.  The vote should happen this week…

  7. Buster Posey aiming to take batting practice and run the bases in early February

    Jan 10, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    posey wide

    Time for another update on Buster Posey‘s recovery from the broken leg that ended his sophomore season on May 25. Chris Haft of MLB.com reports that Posey has now progressed to 30- and 60-yard sprints along with additional agility drills and “mild distance running.” Posey has yet to go through live batting practice and isn’t…

  8. Chipper Jones is feeling his age

    Jan 10, 2012, 11:45 AM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals

    Over at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Carroll Rogers has a Q&A with Chipper Jones.  There’s some stuff in there about how he’s lost a bunch of weight and is eating better, but I can’t in good conscience say that he’s In the Best Shape of His Life.  Because Jones — who has always come off as…

  9. Cardinals to be honored by President Barack Obama at the White House next week

    Jan 10, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    Obama First Pitch

    To celebrate their World Series title the Cardinals are scheduled to be honored by President Barack Obama at the White House on January 17. Albert Pujols is not expected to be part of the visit and according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch the Cardinals may also head to Washington without their…

  10. Did Lou Whitaker’s presence hurt Alan Trammell’s Hall of Fame case?

    Jan 10, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

    Alan Trammell

    Larkin is in, Trammell is not, and likely won’t ever be.  This despite the fact that they were remarkably similar players.  Grant Brisbee takes that up over at SB Nation today and, after doing the standard statistical comparison, he adds a couple of new wrinkles to that now-familiar lament.  The first: Trammell suffered because Cal…

  11. Hiroyuki Nakajima returns to Japan after failing to sign with Yankees

    Jan 10, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    nakajima getty

    Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima failed to reach an agreement with the Yankees after they bid $2 million for his exclusive negotiating rights, so he’s returning to his old team in Japan. Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker notes that Nakajima has signed a one-year deal with the Seibu Lions worth around $3.6 million, adding that the…

  12. Quote of the Day: Jon Heyman on Jack Morris

    Jan 10, 2012, 10:33 AM EDT

    Jack Morris

    Jon Heyman has been a Jack Morris supporter for a long time.  And that’s fine. He’s in the majority — the two-thirds majority as of yesterday — in believing that Morris is a Hall of Famer. But he tweeted this a few minutes ago and it rather irks me: Look, if you like Jack Morris…

  13. Orioles sign Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen to three-year deal

    Jan 10, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    wei-yin chen

    Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen and the Orioles have agreed to a three-year contract with a team option for 2015. No official word yet on the money involved, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the deal is expected to be worth $11-12 million. Chen threw 165 innings with a 2.68 ERA and 94/31…

  14. Look! Up in the sky! It’s …Saber Boy

    Jan 10, 2012, 10:01 AM EDT

    Up in the sky

    Every superhero has an origin story. This is the origin story for Saber Boy.  The scene: last night, after Randy Miller of the South Jersey Courier-Post revealed that he was one of the nine Hall of Fame voters who submitted blank ballots. Friend of HBT, Bill from The Platoon Advantage, inquired about his voting approach on…

  15. Paul Maholm’s deal with the Cubs: one year, $4.25 million with a team option

    Jan 10, 2012, 8:56 AM EDT

    Paul Maholm AP

    As we passed along last night, Paul Maholm has agreed to a contract with the Chicago Cubs. We now know the terms of the deal: it’s a one-year, $4.25 million contract with a $6.5 million option for 2013. Given that Maholm had an option for over $9 million that the Pirates declined, this is a pretty…

  16. NBC SportsTalk: What do Bonds and Clemens face in next year’s Hall of Fame vote?

    Jan 10, 2012, 8:26 AM EDT

    Barry Bonds headshot

    I went on NBC SportsTalk on the NBC Sports Network last night to talk about the Hall of Fame vote. As you might expect, Larkin, Bagwell and the specter of a candidate backlog including guys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens came up. Also: I used the word “boned” on live television which in hindsight…

  17. UPDATE: Paul Maholm agrees to contract with Cubs

    Jan 9, 2012, 11:06 PM EDT

    Paul Maholm

    UPDATE: Paul Maholm just indicated on his Twitter account that he has agreed to terms with the Cubs: “Looking forward to seeing the fans at Cubs convention this weekend and getting to know all the guys. It’s gonna be fun.” 1:42 PM: Just days after trading Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins for Chris Volstad the…

  18. Juan Nicasio throws to hitters five months after broken neck

    Jan 9, 2012, 9:32 PM EDT

    Juan Nicasio , Bob Apodaca

    Rockies’ right-hander Juan Nicasio suffered a fractured C-1 vertebrae when he was hit by a comebacker last August, but he continues to show remarkable signs of progress. According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Nicasio has begun throwing to live hitters in a controlled environment. “He’s been throwing to hitters with an L screen…

  19. Rangers and Derek Holland table extension talks

    Jan 9, 2012, 8:25 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners

    We learned last month that the Rangers and Derek Holland were discussing a five-year contract extension with a club option for a sixth year. The two sides have made little progress in the past few weeks, so Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports that they have decided to table contract talks for now. This comes on…

  20. Cubs and Tigers “down the road” in trade talks regarding Matt Garza

    Jan 9, 2012, 6:57 PM EDT

    garza getty

    Citing “excellent baseball sources,” David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com reports that the Cubs and Tigers are “down the road in discussions” of a deal that would send right-hander Matt Garza to Detroit for a package of prospects. No word of the prospects being discussed, but Kaplan mentions right-hander Jacob Turner, third baseman Nick Castellanos and left-hander Casey…

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