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  1. Royals pick up closer Joakim Soria’s $6 million option

    Oct 31, 2011, 5:40 PM EDT

    soria wide getty

    In a no-brainer move the Royals have exercised their $6 million option on closer Joakim Soria. Soria had the worst overall numbers of his career and was briefly demoted from the closer role, but was his usual self from June 1 on with a 2.58 ERA and 41/7 K/BB ratio in 38 innings. In addition…

  2. Reds’ $12 million options: Brandon Phillips picked up, Francisco Cordero declined

    Oct 31, 2011, 5:11 PM EDT

    Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds

    Cincinnati has exercised its $12 million option on second baseman Brandon Phillips, but made closer Francisco Cordero a free agent by declining his $12 million option. Cordero will get a $1 million buyout instead and joins an already crowded closer market, although the Reds have repeatedly indicated that they’d like to re-sign him for a…

  3. By keeping Fausto Carmona and trading for Derek Lowe the Indians are betting on ground balls

    Oct 31, 2011, 4:48 PM EDT

    Fausto Carmona

    Picking up Derek Lowe for what’s essentially a one-year, $5 million contract is a smart move for the Indians, as he pitched much better than his ERA suggests this season and if healthy should be a solid third or fourth starter. Shortly before trading for Lowe the Indians also exercised their $7 million option on…

  4. Picture of the Day: Tony La Russa, Triple-A infielder

    Oct 31, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

    IF Tony LaRussa, age 26

    Via the Iowa Cubs’ official Twitter feed, here’s Tony La Russa as a 26-year-old Triple-A infielder in 1971:

  5. The Rangers are going to make a decision on Neftali Feliz’s role before spring training

    Oct 31, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

    Neftali Feliz, Ron Washington

    Last year there was a lot of hemming and hawing over whether Neftali Feliz — who started all the way through the minor leagues before a year of closing — would return to the rotation.  He started some in the spring, some words were offered to the effect that he’d start, but ultimately Ron Washington…

  6. Red Sox decline $3 million option on Dan Wheeler

    Oct 31, 2011, 3:49 PM EDT

    Wheeler_Dan

    Dan Wheeler can be added to the list of free agent relievers, as the Red Sox declined their $3 million option on the 33-year-old right-hander. Wheeler had a decent season as low-leverage bullpen arm in Boston, throwing 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 39/8 K/BB ratio. He has trouble keeping the ball in the…

  7. The Rangers want Josh Hamilton to play left field full time

    Oct 31, 2011, 3:31 PM EDT

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

    Anthony Andro of Fox Sports Southwest hears that the Rangers want Josh Hamilton to play left field full time, ending whatever is left of his career as a center fielder. He’s only played a handful of games out there the past two seasons, of course, but even that seems a bit much for the increasingly…

  8. White Sox exercise $3.75 million option on Jason Frasor

    Oct 31, 2011, 3:15 PM EDT

    Jason Frasor

    When the White Sox acquired Jason Frasor from the Blue Jays in July the assumption was that they made the move to get him for the second half of this season and all of next season, and sure enough they’ve exercised the reliever’s $3.75 million option for 2012. Frasor earned $3.5 million this season while…

  9. Rockies decline $11 million option on Aaron Cook

    Oct 31, 2011, 2:50 PM EDT

    Aaron Cook

    Colorado has declined Aaron Cook‘s $11 million option for next season, choosing a $500,000 buyout instead after injuries limited the 32-year-old right-hander to 97 ineffective innings. Cook was a workhorse for the Rockies from 2006-2008, but has thrown just 158, 128, and 97 innings during the past three seasons while posting a 4.94 ERA. General…

  10. Bryce Harper Tebows

    Oct 31, 2011, 2:32 PM EDT

    Detroit Lions v Denver Broncos

    This is the most inevitable thing in the history of things. Via MLB.com, here’s Bryce Harper’s new Twitter avatar: I know it’s fun to hate on Tim Tebow — I totally get it — but I’d bet that, in person, Harper is about 10,000 times more insufferable than Tebow.

  11. Type A and Type B free agent rankings

    Oct 31, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT

    type a or type b

    MLB Trade Rumors has been reverse-engineering the free agent ranking system all season, providing regular updates on Type A and Type B players, and now they’ve gotten their hands on the official rankings from Elias Sports Bureau. No big surprises, although as usual there are some head-scratchers. I wrote last offseason about how the compensation…

  12. The Mets are bringing in, lowering the fences

    Oct 31, 2011, 2:01 PM EDT

    Citi Field

    Everyone talks about Citi Field’s large dimensions, but nobody ever does anything about them.  Oh, wait: The Mets announced Monday they are moving the walls in by as much as 12 feet next season, lowering the height to 8 feet and changing the color to blue. In addition to the blue outfield walls they’re going…

  13. Angels owner says GM Jerry Dipoto “has complete power”

    Oct 31, 2011, 1:48 PM EDT

    Jerry Dipoto, Mike Scioscia

    In the wake of Tony Reagins stepping down as Angels general manager there were reports about how manager Mike Scioscia was truly running the show, but in introducing Jerry Dipoto yesterday owner Arte Moreno said the new GM “has complete power.” Here’s what Dipoto said about Scioscia’s influence on roster moves: I didn’t wake up…

  14. Phil Plantier is a hitting coach? Really?

    Oct 31, 2011, 1:17 PM EDT

    Phil Plantier

    In case you missed it, the Padres announced over the weekend that they had hired Phil Plantier as their new hitting coach, replacing Randy Ready. It was a pretty meteoric rise for a guy who was coaching at Point Loma Nazarene University three years ago. Plantier was the Mariners’ minor league hitting coordinator in 2010…

  15. Derek Lowe traded to the Indians

    Oct 31, 2011, 12:59 PM EDT

    Braves starting pitcher Lowe raises his glove over his face after a run scored in the third inning by Phillies Oswalt in Atlanta

    We weren’t expecting that. Jon Heyman reports that the Braves have traded Derek Lowe to the Cleveland Indians. Buster Olney says that the Braves will eat $10 million of the $15 million left on Lowe’s contract and that the Indians will send back “second tier” player(s) in return. UPDATE: The player going from Cleveland to…

  16. Carlos Zambrano scheduled to make nine starts in Venezuela

    Oct 31, 2011, 12:48 PM EDT

    zambrano getty wid

    Carlos Zambrano will participate in the Venezuelan winter league in an effort to catch up on all the pitching he missed while suspended by the Cubs, with Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reporting that he’s scheduled to make nine starts for Los Caribes de Anzoategui. Zambrano’s last game action came way back on August…

  17. Next year’s odds: Too soon?

    Oct 31, 2011, 12:33 PM EDT

    gambling poster

    At what point do the Phillies fans stop eating crow over their team’s failure to fulfill the championship expectations of which they were all convinced and move on to that blind, “we’re number 1!” stuff for 2012 that we know will come and love so very much when it does? Heck, why not now?  Gambling…

  18. Pirates decline 2012 options on Maholm, Snyder, and Doumit

    Oct 31, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

    Paul Maholm

    In a trio of expected moves the Pirates have declined their 2012 options on left-hander Paul Maholm, catcher Chris Snyder, and catcher/outfielder Ryan Doumit. Maholm was due $9.75 million and has failed to develop into more than a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter at age 29, so Pittsburgh will instead give him a $750,000 buyout. Snyder was…

  19. Braves pick up option on Eric Hinske; decline option on Nate McLouth

    Oct 31, 2011, 12:03 PM EDT

    Nate McLouth

    The Atlanta Braves just announced that they have picked up the club option on Eric Hinske and declined the option on Nate McLouth. This is not surprising. McLouth’s 2012 option price was $10.65 million and, in case you’ve been living under a rock, you know that McLouth is not a $10 million player. Heck, he…

  20. Indians bring back Fausto Carmona, cut loose Grady Sizemore

    Oct 31, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

    Grady Sizemore

    Fausto Carmona will stay with Cleveland in 2012 after the team exercised his $7 million option, but the Indians made Grady Sizemore a free agent by choosing a $500,000 buyout rather than pay him $8.5 million following another injury wrecked season. Once upon a time Sizemore was one of the best young players in baseball…

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