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  1. Astros sale approved, team will move to AL West in 2013

    Nov 17, 2011, 12:41 PM EDT

    astros logo

    MLB commissioner Bud Selig announced Thursday afternoon that the sale of the Houston Astros from former owner Drayton McLane to new owner Jim Crane has been unanimously approved. This according to CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler. As part of the agreement, the Astros will be moved to the American League West in 2013, with Crane getting a $70 million discount…

  2. UPDATE: Tigers sign Gerald Laird to one-year deal

    Nov 17, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

    Cincinnati Reds v St. Louis Cardinals

    UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Tigers and Laird have agreed to a one-year deal, pending a physical. 12:30 PM: It’s backup catcher day here on Hardball Talk. Thanks for joining us. Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com hears that the Tigers are “on the verge” of bringing back veteran backstop Gerald Laird. They were…

  3. The Mets’ search for investors is moving slowly

    Nov 17, 2011, 12:03 PM EDT

    File image of New York Mets chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon talking to reporters at a news conference in New York

    When David Einhorn backed out of buying into the Mets, the Mets announced that rather than finding one big sugar daddy that they’d look for multiple sugar babies instead. Investors looking to give them, say $20 million a pop.  The search for such beasts has been ongoing, but it’s not going quickly: At this point,…

  4. Phillies re-sign backup catcher Brian Schneider

    Nov 17, 2011, 11:40 AM EDT

    schneider phillies

    UPDATE: It’s a done deal. Heyman reports that Schneider will make $800,000 next season with the chance at an additional $200,000 with incentives. He doesn’t specify, but we can assume this is strictly a one-year deal. 11:40 AM: Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Phillies have re-signed catcher Brian Schneider, pending a physical. We…

  5. Brewers looking into contract extensions for Greinke, Marcum

    Nov 17, 2011, 10:55 AM EDT

    greinke getty

    Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that the Brewers expect to explore contract extensions with Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum. Call it the Fielder Dividend, as Doug Melvin seems content to spread out the money that might have been used to pay for Prince, using it to lock up the pitchers who — Marcum’s postseason follies…

  6. The Mets are considering a reunion with Endy Chavez

    Nov 17, 2011, 10:19 AM EDT

    Endy Chavez catch

    The Mets are bringing in the fences and bringing back Banner Day and some vintage uniforms, so it’s only appropriate that Andy Martino of the New York Daily News hears that they are also considering a reunion with fan favorite Endy Chavez. Chavez is remembered fondly for his time with the Mets, including an iconic…

  7. Mystery Team Alert: Albert Pujols edition

    Nov 17, 2011, 9:46 AM EDT

    pujols smile getty

    We know the Marlins have made an offer to Albert Pujols.  And we know that the Cardinals, obviously, are continuing to talk to him.  Both Tim Brown of Yahoo! and Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch say, however, that at least three teams are “actively jockeying” for El Hombre. No one knows the third team,…

  8. Look on Eddie Murray’s works, ye mighty, and despair!

    Nov 17, 2011, 9:17 AM EDT

    Robinson Statue

    I offered my weird neurotic take on statues back in September. Short version: they creep me out because they remind me of my own mortality. Yes, I’ll take it up with my therapist at some point.  Meanwhile, in Baltimore: A club source has confirmed the Orioles will erect bronze statues of their players enshrined in…

  9. The Mets have new (old) uniforms

    Nov 17, 2011, 8:52 AM EDT

    Mets new uniform1

    The Mets are celebrating their 50th anniversary season in 2012. Once you ignore the fact that it’s actually their 51st season you’ll actually enjoy it, I’m sure. Anyway, in honor of the occasion, the Mets have done something that a ton of Mets fans — and many non-Mets fans, myself included — have wanted them…

  10. Do the Red Sox have any idea what they’re doing in their managerial search?

    Nov 17, 2011, 8:27 AM EDT

    Liverpool Football club's co-owner, John

    The Red Sox seemed pretty interested in Dale Sveum for their managerial opening and now the Cubs have him. Or, will have him, assuming that he accepts their offer.  And it seems like he should because the Red Sox apparently decided against him: Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner, who met with Sveum…

  11. Cubs offer manager’s gig to Brewers’ Dale Sveum

    Nov 16, 2011, 11:26 PM EDT

    dale sveum getty

    The Cubs’ search for a new skipper could be over. According to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum was offered the vacant position at some point Wednesday night. Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona took himself out of the running on Wednesday morning and Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux has reportedly…

  12. Dale Murphy’s Hall of Fame case warrants only two pages

    Nov 16, 2011, 11:00 PM EDT

    Dale Murphy - 1986 Topps

    On Monday, we learned of a 12-page brochure supporting Juan Gonzalez’s Hall of Fame candidacy that’s currently making the rounds. As it turns out, the pitch for fellow two-time MVP Dale Murphy is a bit lighter. Longtime Braves GM John Schuerholz sent out a letter to voters appealing for Murphy that started with a personal note…

  13. C.J. Wilson is looking for a six-year, $120 million contract

    Nov 16, 2011, 10:08 PM EDT

    2011 World Series Game 7 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals

    From Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated comes word that free agent left-hander C.J. Wilson is seeking a six-year contract worth “close to” $120 million. Wilson is a shining light on a free agent market short on quality starting pitching and he might be able to land a six-year deal with so many teams desperate for…

  14. Rockies met with Milton Bradley’s representatives

    Nov 16, 2011, 9:24 PM EDT

    bradley argues getty

    Last we heard of Milton Bradley, he was being accused of threatening to kill his wife and then vehemently denying those accusations. A real pleasant situation. But this is baseball’s hot stove season and Bradley just so happens to be a major league free agent. Rumors rest for no man. Or something. According to Gordon…

  15. Eric Chavez hoping to continue playing career in 2012

    Nov 16, 2011, 8:07 PM EDT

    chavez getty

    Veteran infielder Eric Chavez was said to be “leaning heavily” toward retirement back in early October, but he never filed papers and has now decided that he’s not yet ready to call it quits. According to beat writer Wally Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com, Chavez’s agent has been telling front office executives that the 33-year-old will “definitely” return…

  16. 45-year-old Tim Wakefield wants to pitch another season

    Nov 16, 2011, 7:00 PM EDT

    Tim Wakefield

    Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield finally got his 200th win on his ninth try on Sept. 13. Now he’s hoping to add a few more to the total. According to agent Barry Meister, Wakefield wants to come back and pitch another season in 2012. Meister said it would be a “shame” if Wakefield didn’t finish his career…

  17. Koby Clemens barred from winter ball after going AWOL

    Nov 16, 2011, 6:30 PM EDT

    Houston Astros v Detroit Tigers

    Friend-of-HBT Nick Collias just tipped us off to a report from Puerto Rico about how Koby Clemens — son of Roger and property of the Houston Astros — has been barred from international play after abandoning his winter ball team, the Mayagüez Indians, last Wednesday. According to the report by Karla Pacheco Alvarez at the Puerto Rican…

  18. Report: Dodgers looking at sub-$100 million payroll in 2012

    Nov 16, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT

    Frank McCourt , Matt Kemp

    While there was talk last month about the Dodgers potentially being a player for Albert Pujols or Prince Fiedler this winter, it’s clear that’s not happening. Sources told FOXSports.com that the Dodgers will enter 2012 with a payroll “well under” $100 million. The team opened 2011 with a $104.1 million payroll. The moves the Dodgers…

  19. Kerry Wood and Cubs interested in working out another deal

    Nov 16, 2011, 5:03 PM EDT

    kerry-wood-cubs

    Last offseason Kerry Wood turned down bigger offers to rejoin the Cubs and earlier this month he expressed interest in doing it again, saying that he liked the team’s move to hire Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. It sounds like the feeling is mutual, as Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that Wood recently had…

  20. Actual baseball team meets with Sidney Ponson’s agent for some reason

    Nov 16, 2011, 4:40 PM EDT

    Sidney Ponson

    Every year something happens in the offseason that makes me think that I can’t handle the looniness anymore. That the hot stove season has reached its nadir. After which I say that I cannot handle another weird rumor or report. When I say “not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!”…

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