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  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Darren Oliver’s deal: $4 million plus an option

    Jan 9, 2012, 5:44 PM EDT

    darren oliver getty

    Darren Oliver‘s signing with the Blue Jays — which we’ve known about for a while — was actually announced today, complete with terms: he gets $4 million for 2012 with a $3 million team option for 2013. There is a $500K buyout of that option, so his guaranteed money is $4.5 million. Not bad for…

  10. Must-click link: Remembering Greg Spira

    Jan 9, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT

    click here bigger

    I didn’t know Greg Spira well, but got a chance to see him each year at the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) convention and he was a great guy despite getting a raw deal health-wise. He’ll definitely be missed and Evan Drellich of MLB.com wrote a very nice remembrance of Spira and his baseball…

  11. Mets put former top prospect Fernando Martinez on waivers

    Jan 9, 2012, 4:36 PM EDT

    Fernando Martinez

    In need of 40-man roster spots after signing Ronny Cedeno and Scott Hairston the Mets have placed former top prospect Fernando Martinez on waivers, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. In his early days as a prospect Martinez was rumored to be the centerpiece of nearly every potential Mets trade and Baseball America…

  12. Nine Hall of Fame ballots were returned blank

    Jan 9, 2012, 4:23 PM EDT

    cooperstown

    There were 573 ballots returned to the Hall of Fame this year. Nine of them came in blank. Blank ballots vex me. If they are genuine assessments that no one — not one single candidate — on the ballot is worthy, they strike me as evidence of a voter whose standards are unreasonably high and…

  13. So what happened lower down on the Hall of Fame ballot?

    Jan 9, 2012, 3:31 PM EDT

    jack morris-thumb-250x375-4861

    Hooray for Barry Larkin. Now let’s look farther down the ballot and see what’s what.  We’ll do this in random notes format: Jack Morris’ uptick from 53.5% in 2011 to 66.7% this year is, on the surface, a good thing for his candidacy. Not many guys who get that many votes fail to make it.…

  14. Barry Larkin elected to the Hall of Fame

    Jan 9, 2012, 3:06 PM EDT

    Barry Larkin

    We’ve seen this coming for a while, but now it’s official: Barry Larkin — and no one else — has been elected to the Hall of Fame. As you know, 75% of the vote is required for induction.  Larkin was named on 86% of the ballots. Following him were: Jack Morris, with 66.7% of the…

  15. Dear BBWAA: please lower your Hall of Fame voting standards

    Jan 9, 2012, 2:12 PM EDT

    Tim Raines

    Dave Cameron makes a well-reasoned appeal to the BBWAA to lower its Hall of Fame voting standards and let more dudes into Cooperstown: To me, an inclusive hall is a better hall, and one I’d be more interested in visiting. I won’t begrudge someone who holds a small hall perspective, but I would ask them…

  16. Would you believe a Hall of Fame ballot with Don Mattingly and no one else?

    Jan 9, 2012, 1:14 PM EDT

    Don Mattingly

    Better believe it because it’s true. It belongs to Rick Carpiniello. He’s a hockey blogger, by the way. Still gets to vote for the baseball Hall of Fame because, well, I have no idea, but one must not question the logic of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. They’ve been there and you haven’t and…

  17. Johnny Giavotella expects to be ready for spring training following hip surgery

    Jan 9, 2012, 12:44 PM EDT

    Kansas City Royals Photo Day

    Johnny Giavotella underwent hip surgery in October to repair a torn labrum and recently had a checkup with the doctor who performed the operation, telling Dick Kaegel of MLB.com that he “will definitely be 100 percent by spring training.” Giavotella has already started to “run, hit, and throw” so his focus now is on adding…

  18. Hiroki Kuroda to decide where he’ll sign “in the next couple of days”

    Jan 9, 2012, 12:20 PM EDT

    kuroda throws getty

    Per NPB Tracker, Hiroki Kuroda — who, rumor has it, could be had on a one-year deal — has reportedly informed the Hiroshima Carp that he intends to pitch in the Major Leagues in 2012, not return to Japan as has been suggested a few times. Moreover, Kuroda reportedly intends to decide on where he’ll sign “within…

  19. The Rangers are offering Yu Darvish “Dice-K money”

    Jan 9, 2012, 11:50 AM EDT

    darvish getty japan team

    Jon Heyman reports that the Texas Rangers are “offering about ‘Dice K money”” to Yu Darvish and that, as such, a deal is not close at the moment. Matsuzaka’s deal with the Red Sox was for six years and $52 million, and that seems way light of what most people have been projecting Darvish is…

  20. Anonymous New York Met: “We’ve become the Oakland A’s”

    Jan 9, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

    mets logo hat

    New York Magazine has a feature called “Workplace Confidential.” In it people anonymously dish dirt or vent spleen about their jobs and employers. Wanna hear from a bikini waxer who has a problem with female anatomy? Wanna hear from a plastic surgeon who says that liposuction is useless? That’s the place to go. Yesterday one appeared from…

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