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  1. Jose Tabata cleared to resume hitting following broken bone in hand

    Dec 19, 2011, 9:45 PM EDT

    Florida Marlins v Pittsburgh Pirates

    According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, Jose Tabata was cleared to resume hitting last week after being shut down in September due to a broken bone in his left hand. Tabata received clearance from doctors while he was in Pittsburgh for the Pirates’ caravan and PirateFest events and immediately began hitting in the indoor cage. “I…

  2. Report: Nationals “pushing hard” to land Gio Gonzalez from Athletics

    Dec 19, 2011, 8:40 PM EDT

    Gio Gonzalez

    Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Nationals are “pushing hard” to acquire left-hander Gio Gonzalez from the Athletics. No word on the specific players being offered by Washington, but Rosenthal hears the two sides are discussing a four-for-one deal. Gonzalez has drawn interest from several teams this winter. The 26-year-old left-hander is arbitration-eligible for…

  3. Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters “definitely” plan to accept high bid for Yu Darvish

    Dec 19, 2011, 7:48 PM EDT

    darvish presser

    Just a quick mini-update while we patiently (or anxiously, depending upon your fandom) wait to learn who had the top bid for Yu Darvish. No big news yet, but Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters have “definitely” decided to accept the top bid. Hardly a shocker, as Franz Lidz of SI.com reported…

  4. Yoenis Cespedes close to establishing residency in Dominican Republic

    Dec 19, 2011, 7:06 PM EDT

    yoenis cespedes getty

    While we’re all waiting to find out who had the top bid for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish, the sweepstakes for Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is about to begin. According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, Cespedes could be granted residency in the Dominican Republic this week. Edgar Mercedes, Cepsedes’ representative in the Dominican, said that the 26-year-old has…

  5. Jason Kubel an odd fit, but he can help Arizona

    Dec 19, 2011, 6:43 PM EDT

    Jason Kubel

    Adding a non-star to play left field shouldn’t have been a priority for the Diamondbacks, but I’m not buying all of the talk that Jason Kubel is a downgrade for Arizona. That’s not to say it’s not possible. Gerardo Parra hit .292/.357/.427 in 445 at-bats and won a Gold Glove as the Diamondbacks’ primary left…

  6. Jimmy Rollins’ deal is finalized: $38 million guaranteed

    Dec 19, 2011, 5:28 PM EDT

    Jimmy Rollins

    We had this all yesterday, but I heard Tim Tebow was doing stuff so as Americans we were all obligated to pay attention and thus you may have missed it. But now it’s final and has been officially announced by the team. It breaks down as $33 million over the next three seasons, and an $11…

  7. Bobby Abreu would welcome a trade

    Dec 19, 2011, 4:48 PM EDT

    Bobby Abreu

    Ken Rosenthal hears that Bobby Abreu would like to be traded by the Angels. He won’t ask for one, though, because that’s not his style. Passive-aggressive is just the worst, no? Anyway, the idea is that the little 1B/DH/OF mix in Anaheim is fairly crowded at the moment and will be even more so if,…

  8. Mike Cameron chooses Nationals over Indians

    Dec 19, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

    Mike Cameron

    Washington and Cleveland were reportedly fighting over Mike Cameron. I’m not sure if this qualifies as winning or losing the fight, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the 38-year-old outfielder has decided to sign with the Nationals. Cameron defied father time for years, remaining very productive offensively and excellent defensively into his mid-30s, but…

  9. Bryan Stow speaks to NBC’s “Rock Center”

    Dec 19, 2011, 2:35 PM EDT

    Bryan Stow Thanksgiving

    Over the weekend we saw a brief preview of the first interview of Bryan Stow since his attack on Opening Day, to be featured tonight on NBC’s “Rock Center.”  Today we have the entire thing. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to watch Stow struggle with daily tasks and conversation. It’s also light…

  10. Diamondbacks couldn’t get Hiroki Kuroda to say yes

    Dec 19, 2011, 1:46 PM EDT

    Hiroki Kuroda

    Two weeks ago the Diamondbacks reportedly made Hiroki Kuroda a contract offer, but general manager Kevin Towers revealed today that they couldn’t get the free agent right-hander to give them an answer. Arizona signed Jason Kubel instead, paying $15 million over two years for a left fielder who isn’t even a clear upgrade over incumbent…

  11. Wait, might the Rangers have won the Darvish bidding?

    Dec 19, 2011, 1:33 PM EDT

    darvish getty wide

    We’ve heard several reports — or maybe one report repeated by a bunch of people — that the Blue Jays are the high bidder for the Yu Darvish posting fee.  But Buster Olney hears something else: Most folks guessing/assuming Jays have won Darvish bidding. But just got off the phone with an AL exec who…

  12. Dodgers sign reliever John Grabow to minor-league contract

    Dec 19, 2011, 12:44 PM EDT

    Grabow_John

    John Grabow has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Dodgers, according to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors. To get a sense for how far Grabow’s stock has fallen, consider that he just finished a two-year, $7.5 million contract with the Cubs that was signed shortly after they acquired him from the Pirates in…

  13. Hunter Pence’s “recovery is going well” after hernia surgery

    Dec 19, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

    He can't believe it either.

    Hunter Pence underwent sports hernia surgery shortly after the Phillies were knocked out of the playoffs and told Bernardo Fallas of the Philadelphia Daily News that “the recovery is going well” so far. Pence explained that he’s already been cleared to run and swing a bat, so he seems to be on track with the…

  14. Mickey Mantle: Kansas City Royal

    Dec 19, 2011, 11:34 AM EDT

    Mickey Mantle AP

    In the New York Times Dave Anderson speculated where big names in baseball history, from Ty Cobb on through the big stars of the 60s, would have gone if they had free agency. For each player it reads like this basically: Mickey Mantle, the Yankees’ country kid out of Commerce, Okla., who was never completely…

  15. Two weeks later Mets finally announce Frank Francisco deal

    Dec 19, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    Frank Francisco

    Two weeks ago the Mets signed reliever Frank Francisco to a two-year, $12 million contract. Today they finally announced the move, officially adding Francisco to the 40-man roster. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News joked that perhaps Francisco’s physical exam took 14 days to administer. He does have a pretty lengthy injury history,…

  16. Padres re-sign Jeremy Hermida to minor-league deal

    Dec 19, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners

    Last month Jeremy Hermida was said to be headed to Japan and then when that fell through San Diego dropped him from the 40-man roster, but Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that the Padres have re-signed Hermida to a minor-league contract. That means he’ll remain off the 40-man roster, making the path back to the…

  17. The Hall of Fame case for Jeff Bagwell

    Dec 19, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Jeff Bagwell

    Last week Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times made the Hall of Fame case for Tim Raines.  He did it in decidedly non-advanced stats terms in order to preempt the “you sabermetricians and your voodoo sorcery!” objections.  If you read it and still can’t call Tim Raines a Hall of Famer there’s no helping you.…

  18. Brewers will work out Norichika Aoki after winning negotiating rights for $2.5 million

    Dec 19, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    Aoki

    Milwaukee placed the high bid for exclusive negotiating rights to Norichika Aoki and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Brewers plan to work out the Japanese center fielder before deciding what type of contract to offer him. Evaluating a player in person, on your terms, seems like an obvious thing for teams to do…

  19. We have an update for the NBC SportsTalk app for Android and you should get it

    Dec 19, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

    Android

    The 1.1 update for the NBC SportsTalk app on Android was released over the weekend and it’s now available for download — for free! — at the Android Market. In addition to some new functionality and some cosmetic updates, that whole issue where it, um, forces itself closed every other time you use it has…

  20. The Yu Darvish winner will be announced tonight

    Dec 19, 2011, 9:27 AM EDT

    darvish getty japan team

    The Nippon-Ham Fighters will announce the winner of the Yu Darvish sweepstakes Tuesday morning, Japan time, which means we’ll know who gets the chance to negotiate with him tonight. It was reported on Friday that the Blue Jays are the likely top bidders.  We’ll see. The fact that it has not been confirmed by a…

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