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  1. Josh Willingham is in Minnesota for his pre-signing physical

    Dec 14, 2011, 11:22 PM EDT

    willingham getty wide

    The Twins have refused to acknowledge that they are close to a three-year, $21 million contract agreement with outfielder Josh Willingham. But all indications point to the deal being just about complete. According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Willingham arrived in Minnesota on Wednesday for his pre-signing physical — a process that will…

  2. Hiroyuki Nakajima’s agent exploring sign-and-trade

    Dec 14, 2011, 10:43 PM EDT

    nakajima getty

    According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the agent for Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima has approached the Yankees’ decision-makers about their interest in executing a sign-and-trade. It’s a strategy that is seen more often in the NBA than MLB, but it might make sense in this case. The Yankees won the rights to Nakajima earlier this…

  3. Coco Crisp drawing interest from the Dodgers and Cubs

    Dec 14, 2011, 9:29 PM EDT

    coco crisp getty

    The market for Coco Crisp is heating up a bit. According to Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, the Cubs and Dodgers have expressed interest, and have even engaged in discussions recently with representatives for the 32-year-old outfielder. Crisp batted just .264/.314/.379 with eight homers and 54 RBI in 583 plate appearances this past season for the…

  4. Waiting for word on the Yu Darvish bidding…

    Dec 14, 2011, 8:04 PM EDT

    darvish getty japan

    The window for Major League Baseball teams to submit bids on free agent Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish has been closed for over three hours. We don’t know which club has won the rights to negotiate exclusively with the 6-foot-5 starter, and might not have that information for another few days, but reports are slowly trickling…

  5. Cardinals nearing one-year deal with lefty J.C. Romero

    Dec 14, 2011, 7:18 PM EDT

    romero ap

    From FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Cardinals are nearing a one-year contract agreement with left-hander J.C. Romero. Romero posted a pedestrian 4.01 ERA and 19/15 K/BB ratio in 24 2/3 innings this year between the Phillies and Rockies. But he was effective against left-handed batters, holding them to a .231/.318/.231 slash line, and…

  6. When did the Red Sox get all thrifty?

    Dec 14, 2011, 6:04 PM EDT

    Larry Lucchino, Ben Cherington, Bobby Valentine, John Henry

    Nick Punto? A closer making the minimum? Nick Punto? NICK PUNTO?!? And no Yu Darvish, in case you were wondering. Now we know why the Red Sox were ticked off the White Sox sent Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays without ever shopping him around first. Picking up Mark Melancon from the Astros in return…

  7. Giants re-sign Guillermo Mota to one-year, $1 million deal

    Dec 14, 2011, 5:17 PM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves

    Last week Guillermo Mota was said to be close to re-signing with the Giants and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that it’s a done deal, as the veteran reliever gets a one-year, $1 million contract. Mota earned $925,000 in 2011 after inking a minor-league deal with the Giants, throwing 80 innings with a 3.81…

  8. The Yu Darvish bidding ends at 5PM

    Dec 14, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

    darvish getty wide

    You still have about a half hour to get your bids in for Yu Darvish. Bidding for the right to negotiate with the best thing to come out of Japan since … man, I dunno, lots of cool things come from Japan … ends at 5PM Eastern today. As of now it’s thought that the…

  9. Bill Smith returning to Twins a month after being fired as GM

    Dec 14, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

    Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins

    Minnesota fired Bill Smith as general manager on November 7, replacing him with former GM Terry Ryan, but they talked about wanting to keep him as part of the organization in a different role and apparently Smith is willing to stay. Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com reports that Smith is close to returning in a “special…

  10. Red Sox sign Nick Punto for two years and $3.5 million

    Dec 14, 2011, 3:50 PM EDT

    Mark Kotsay, Nick Punto

    This morning the Red Sox traded infielder Jed Lowrie to the Astros in a deal for reliever Mark Melancon and it didn’t take them long to replace him, with Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reporting that Boston has signed Nick Punto to a two-year, $3.5 million contract. Punto was paid just $750,000 by the Cardinals and…

  11. The Nationals are interested in Mike Cameron

    Dec 14, 2011, 3:27 PM EDT

    Mike Cameron

    When last we heard about Mike Cameron he was being released by the Marlins after having a verbal confrontation with a flight attendant. Based on that — and based on the fact that he hit .203/.285/.359 last year, I figured we had seen the last of him. Guess not: the Nationals are looking at him…

  12. General manager Walt Jocketty calls Reds’ lack of moves “very frustrating”

    Dec 14, 2011, 2:57 PM EDT

    Walt Jocketty

    Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has come up empty on various attempts to make a significant move this offseason and called it “very frustrating.” “It’s all I’ve been working on, trying to improve our pitching,” Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s been an extension of the winter meetings. But we’re still not…

  13. The Orioles and Braves have discussed Martin Prado and Jair Jurrjens

    Dec 14, 2011, 2:41 PM EDT

    Jair Jurrjens

    File this under “stuff that would be interesting if the Orioles had anything the Braves wanted,” but Rosenthal and Morosi report that the Orioles and the Braves have had discussions about a trade involving Martin Prado and/or Jair Jurrjens. As a Braves fan I’m not opposed to seeing Jurrjens moved. I worry about his health…

  14. Michael Cuddyer signing with Rockies “could happen today”

    Dec 14, 2011, 1:50 PM EDT

    cuddyer wide getty

    Josh Willingham‘s three-year, $21 million deal with the Twins isn’t finalized yet, but it sounds just about official and that means the man he’s replacing in Minnesota, Michael Cuddyer, could also be on the verge of choosing a new team. Cuddyer has been linked to Colorado all offseason and Troy Renck of the Denver Post…

  15. So, financially speaking, how screwed are the Wilpons?

    Dec 14, 2011, 1:37 PM EDT

    Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

    With news the other day that the Wilpons took another big loan to help keep Mets’ operations afloat, new questions are being raised regarding just how poorly off Fred Wilpon really is. Over at Amazin’ Avenue, Dan Lewis breaks it down in amazing detail.  Detail which you should all read if, for no other reason,…

  16. Joel Zumaya threw for more than 50 scouts today

    Dec 14, 2011, 1:16 PM EDT

    Detroit pitcher Zumaya injures arm after pitching to Twins Young during their MLB baseball game in Minneapolis

    Joel Zumaya took a big step in his latest comeback today, throwing for scouts in Houston to show he’s recovered from a fractured elbow that’s kept him out since mid-2010. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that “more than 50 scouts” were in attendance, passing along word that Zumaya threw 93-96 miles per hour. One of…

  17. Gettin’ the band back together: the Cubs have some interest in Varitek, Wakefield

    Dec 14, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox

    Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs have some interest in Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield. Nothing is imminent, and this sounds a lot more like someone sayin’ “ya know, we could do this …” than anything else. Still, it would be fun. Sort of like that time the Saints hired Bum Phillips…

  18. Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann are Rays pitchers most likely to be shopped

    Dec 14, 2011, 12:44 PM EDT

    wade davis getty

    Tampa Bay has all kinds of starting pitching depth, leading to speculation that they’ll try to cash some of it in for lineup help at some point. Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times examined all the rotation options and concluded that Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann are the most likely starters to be traded…

  19. Rick Santorum likes his fantasy baseball teams to be clean

    Dec 14, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

    Rick Santorum

    Presidential candidate — hey, don’t look at me like that; he’s still running! — Rick Santorum did a podcast with Politico and the topic of fantasy baseball came up.  Seems Santorum is an avid and, apparently, quite successful fantasy player. Who knew? The fun part: Santorum does not approve of players who use PEDs. Not…

  20. Closer found? Red Sox get Mark Melancon from Astros for Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland

    Dec 14, 2011, 11:52 AM EDT

    Mark Melancon

    Boston may still add a veteran closer to replace Jonathan Papelbon, but in the meantime they’ve picked up a potential ninth-inning option in right-hander Mark Melancon, who saved 20 games for the Astros this year. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Red Sox are sending infielder Jed Lowrie and pitching prospect Kyle Weiland to…

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