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  1. The eroding free agent catcher market

    Nov 17, 2011, 6:57 PM EDT

    Ramon Hernandez

    Thursday saw the fifth free agent catcher come off the board with the Tigers’ signing Gerald Laird and perhaps a sixth, with Jose Molina and the Rays reportedly nearing an agreement. Here’s the list of those off the market: Rod Barajas: Pirates – one year, $4 million Henry Blanco: D’Backs – one year, $1.2 million Matt…

  2. Bryce Harper, Wil Myers finish among AFL’s top performers

    Nov 17, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT

    2011 XM All-Star Futures Game

    The Arizona Fall League regular season came to a conclusion Thursday, so let’s take a quick look at some of the stats. Here are the OPS leaders: 1. Jedd Gyorko (3B Padres): .437/.500/.704, 5 HR in 71 AB 2. Mike Olt (3B Rangers): .349/.433/.764, 13 HR in 106 AB 3. Wil Myers (OF Royals): .360/.481/.674, 4 HR in 86…

  3. So who gave Ian Kennedy a first place Cy Young vote?

    Nov 17, 2011, 5:34 PM EDT

    Ian Kennedy

    I am a much older and wiser man than I used to be and thus I no longer make a big fuss out of the actual vote tabulations when it comes to awards voting and that sort of thing.* But some things are confusing, such as how Ian Kennedy got a first place vote for…

  4. C.J. Wilson to meet with the Angels

    Nov 17, 2011, 5:09 PM EDT

    C.J. Wilson Getty

    Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com says that C.J. Wilson will visit the Angels on Monday. And he’ll no doubt meet with many other teams. But I gotta say, Wilson on the Angels would be intriguing.  Because if he does — and if he does it at something approaching the $120 million figure it’s reported he wants…

  5. Red Sox owners have met with Bobby Valentine

    Nov 17, 2011, 3:41 PM EDT

    valentine in suit

    Remember last year when Bobby Valentine was rumored to be in the running for every single managerial job there was?  Yeah, that was fun.  Well buckle up, because here we go again. Ken Rosenthal reports — confirmed by Gordon Edes — that Red Sox ownership has reached out to Bobby V. and that the interest is mutual.…

  6. The Dodgers are looking Kuroda, Harang, Capuano and Francis

    Nov 17, 2011, 3:24 PM EDT

    dodgers logo

    The Dodgers have a Cy Young Award winner in their rotation, but they’re looking to round it out with some more moderate talent.  Specifically, as Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports, they are wanting to sign either (a) Hiroki Kuroda; Aaron Harang; Chris Capuano; or Jeff Francis. None of them — with the…

  7. Cubs officially hire Dale Sveum as manager

    Nov 17, 2011, 2:39 PM EDT

    Dale Sveum

    Well, it’s officially official. According to ESPN’s Gordon Edes, the Cubs have announced that Dale Sveum will become the team’s next manager. He’s to be introduced at a press conference scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday in Chicago. Sveum was offered the job on Wednesday evening after a second in-person interview, then issued his official acceptance on Thursday…

  8. Report: Theo was the one who leaked Boston’s dirty laundry last month

    Nov 17, 2011, 2:33 PM EDT

    Theo Epstein

    Of course you remember the Boston Globe report from last month in which the beer and fried chicken thing — not to mention Terry Francona’s divorce and pain medication issues — came to light.  Since it came out people have been saying that it was a “front office leak,” and have been blaming ownership for…

  9. Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw captures NL Cy Young Award

    Nov 17, 2011, 2:07 PM EDT

    kershaw getty wide

    The Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced Thursday that Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw has been voted the National League Cy Young Award winner for 2011. Kershaw, 23, registered a sparkling 2.28 ERA in 33 starts this year, striking out 248 batters and walking only 54 across 233 1/3 innings. He snagged 27 of 32 possible first-place votes…

  10. Red Sox, Cubs table Epstein compensation talks

    Nov 17, 2011, 1:45 PM EDT

    Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein speaks at a news conference at Wrigley Field in Chicago

    Remember that Nov. 1 deadline for the Theo Epstein compensation to be worked out? It’s going to take a whole lot longer. The Red Sox and Cubs have decided to halt their talks until after the Rule 5 draft takes place on Dec. 8. The Boston Globe reported today that the Red Sox are still…

  11. Cubs expected to introduce manager Dale Sveum on Friday

    Nov 17, 2011, 1:18 PM EDT

    sveum getty large

    As reported late last night, Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum has been offered the Cubs’ vacant managerial position. He hasn’t officially accepted, but the expectation is that he will at some point Thursday evening, with a Friday press conference to follow. Here’s the Chicago Tribune‘s Phil Rogers: Sveum, 47, went 7-5 as an interim skipper for the…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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,…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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,…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

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