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  1. The first round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft is set

    Jan 20, 2011, 12:57 PM EDT

    MLB Draft

    Carl Pavano was the final Type A free agent left on the board. And now that he has re-signed with the Twins, the first-round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft is officially set. Courtesy of Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, let’s take a look at the field: 1. Pittsburgh Pirates 2. Seattle Mariners 3. Arizona Diamondbacks…

  2. The Rangers are finally ready to give Jon Daniels a contract extension

    Jan 20, 2011, 12:12 PM EDT

    Chuck Greenberg, Nolan Ryan, Jon Daniels

    The Rangers have had a pretty hectic offseason. After losing to the Giants in the World Series, they found themselves in almost instant contract talks with Cliff Lee right up until mid-December. Once Lee signed with the Phillies, the Rangers countered with the additions of Brandon Webb and Adrian Beltre. Naturally, there hasn’t been much…

  3. The Mets offseason training is getting serious

    Jan 20, 2011, 11:30 AM EDT

    Leading firemen

    I’m gathering from the Twitterverse that a number of Mets players are at the New York Fire Department’s training academy this morning, in full firefighter gear, going through training exercises like putting out burning cars and stuff.  The best was Dillon Gee rappelling down the side of a tower.  Take that Cashman. I like the community…

  4. Did the Yankees simply “mess up” Joba Chamberlain’s development?

    Jan 20, 2011, 10:58 AM EDT

    Joba chamberlain throwing

    Bob Ryan has one of those stream-of-consciousness observation columns today. His last observation: Has any team, anywhere, at any time in history, ever messed up a valued prospect as badly as the Yankees have Joba Chamberlain? I’ve asked that question before.  And it sure seems like Chamberlain was jerked around like crazy in going back and…

  5. The Royals will definitely sell out their game on April 2nd

    Jan 20, 2011, 10:27 AM EDT

    MiLB - Myrtle Beach Pelicans

    The Royals should have a big crowd on April 2nd. And not just for the Royals-Angels game scheduled that afternoon: According to team spokesman Toby Cook, the Royals are planning to hold a minor league exhibition game between its top two minor league affiliates, Class AAA Omaha and Class AA Northwest Arkansas, on April 2…

  6. Adrian Gonzalez working hard at rehabbing his shoulder. At Petco Park.

    Jan 20, 2011, 9:58 AM EDT

    Newly acquired Boston Red Sox player Adrian Gonzalez smiles during a news conference at Fenway Park in Boston

    Buster Olney has a good column up today about Adrian Gonzalez‘s focus and hard work as he rehabs his shoulder this winter and prepares for the big expectations facing him in Boston this season.  But this stuck out at me: Gonzalez, a left-handed hitter who throws with his left hand, hurt his right shoulder last…

  7. Deer antlers: the hot new PED

    Jan 20, 2011, 9:31 AM EDT

    Deer

    Given how many baseball players spend their offseasons hunting you’d think we would have heard about this by now, but this is the first I’ve heard of ground up deer antlers being used by athletes as a PED: They harvest the so-called velvet antler (a soft coating that covers deer antlers) in New Zealand, freeze-dry…

  8. Great Moments in Giants fandom

    Jan 20, 2011, 9:11 AM EDT

    Giants fan

    I sort of hope that the Giants are good again this year because — for all of the hell I throw Philly’s way — I think Giants fans have the potential to be something special too.  Personally I’m dubious that the level of craziness we saw last fall is sustainable. But if it is, life…

  9. Shane Victorino and Charlie Manuel aren’t seeing eye-to-eye

    Jan 20, 2011, 8:41 AM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies  v Los Angeles Dodgers

    There’s a story in today’s Philadelphia Daily News about Shane Victorino and how he might bounce back from a relatively down 2010.  Charlie Manuel thinks its a matter of focus: “First of all, I think he got a little bit more home-run happy. That might have had something to do with it. But also, I…

  10. Cashman vs. the Yankees front office: here we go

    Jan 20, 2011, 6:15 AM EDT

    Cashman profile

    As expected, Brian Cashman’s “I didn’t want Rafael Soriano” press conference has led to chatter about the State of the Yankees front office. Danny Knobler has some anonymice talking to him: Some people within the organization were telling friends that the divide between Cashman and the team’s Tampa operation is growing again, and even that…

  11. Duchscherer held private workouts for two AL clubs

    Jan 19, 2011, 8:59 PM EDT

    Justin Duchscherer

    Free agent right-hander Justin Duchscherer may be close to finding a new team. The right-hander drew interest from the Yankees earlier this winter and, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, held private workouts with two other American League clubs last week. Duchscherer tallied only 28 total innings last year for the A’s and sat out for…

  12. Twins finally reach two-year, $16.5M pact with Pavano

    Jan 19, 2011, 7:25 PM EDT

    New York Yankees v Minnesota Twins, Game 2

    Finally, according to Ken Davidoff of Newsday, the Twins have officially reached agreement with right-hander Carl Pavano. It was reported almost 13 days ago that the two sides had reached a compromise on a two-year contract, but it took another few meetings for all of the financial terms to be worked out. Pavano will earn…

  13. Padres finalize contract with reliever Chad Qualls

    Jan 19, 2011, 7:08 PM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals v Arizona Diamondbacks

    It was reported last week that the Padres and right-hander Chad Qualls were close to agreement on a one-year contract.  That deal is now official and Corey Brock of MLB.com has the financial terms. Qualls will make $1.5 million this season and another $1.05 million if his club option for 2012 is not exercised. The…

  14. Brad Lincoln is in the best shape of his life

    Jan 19, 2011, 5:40 PM EDT

    Brad Lincoln

    Not just the best shape. The best possible shape.  That’s serious business: At the end of the season, Lincoln talked about plans to get a personal trainer during the offseason. The focus, Lincoln explained, would be more on his legs and core than in years past. “I am going to get my body in the…

  15. And people wonder why I love knuckleballers

    Jan 19, 2011, 5:03 PM EDT

    RA Dickey pitch

    R.A. Dickey spent some time tweeting via the New York Mets Twitter feed today.  A question from a reader and Dickey’s answer: Q: Do you enjoy Faulkner & if so what’s ur favorite work of his? A: I do enjoy Faulkner. Hands down Absalom, Absalom! I defy you to name a pitcher who can throw 100…

  16. Rockies ink Joe Crede to a minor league contract

    Jan 19, 2011, 4:43 PM EDT

    crede with white sox ring

    Joe Crede is back in action. After sitting out for all of the 2010 season in recovery from back surgery, the veteran third baseman inked a minor league contract on Wednesday afternoon with the Rockies.  This according to the club’s official Twitter feed. The deal also comes with an invitation to spring training, where Crede…

  17. Voiding contracts for bad behavior: case studies

    Jan 19, 2011, 4:14 PM EDT

    Sidney Ponson

    This morning I explained how hard it is for a team to void a player’s contract and why the Mariners are unlikely to be able to do so in the case of Milton Bradley.  I hadn’t seen Larry Stone’s take on it from last night in which he went through three recent case studies: Denny…

  18. The Mariners decline to name a permanent replacement for Dave Niehaus. Good for them.

    Jan 19, 2011, 3:45 PM EDT

    Dave Niehaus

    A couple of weeks ago it was reported that the Mariners were considering forgoing naming a permanent replacement for the late Dave Niehaus in favor of using a revolving cast of part-time broadcasters to fill the void. Today they announced that they’ll do exactly that: Randy Adamack, the Mariners’ vice president of communications, confirmed Wednesday…

  19. Mike Pelfrey will be the Mets’ Opening Day starter

    Jan 19, 2011, 3:22 PM EDT

    Mets Brewers Baseball

    Being the Opening Day starter is a nice little honor to bestow on a pitcher. Especially on teams that don’t have an undisputed ace. It’s a manager’s way of saying “we have confidence in you.” Of saying “you’re The Man now, dog.” Or something like that. The Mets have named theirs. It’s Mike Pelfrey who…

  20. Jerry Hairston Jr. agrees to one-year deal with Nationals

    Jan 19, 2011, 2:56 PM EDT

    Jerry Hairston Jr

    Our own Aaron Gleeman mentioned the possibility last week and now the deal is done. Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Jerry Hairston Jr. has agreed to terms with the Nationals. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Hairston signed a one-year, $2 million contract with another $1 million in performance-based incentives. Hairston, who turns 35…

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