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  1. Josh Johnson set to begin throwing program this weekend

    Dec 1, 2011, 10:03 PM EDT

    Florida Marlins' pitcher Josh Johnson speaks during an interview after the team announced their new uniforms in Miami

    The Marlins have spoken with nearly all of the top free agents on the market this winter, including shortstop Jose Reyes, first baseman Albert Pujols, left-hander C.J. Wilson and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. But Miami’s primary addition for 2012 could very well come from within. Josh Johnson, 27, posted a dominant 2.30 ERA and 186/48 K/BB…

  2. Angels visited with Aramis Ramirez, likely to make offer

    Dec 1, 2011, 8:38 PM EDT

    aramis ramirez getty

    From FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal comes word that members of the Angels’ front office paid a visit recently to free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez and an offer is likely coming soon. Ramirez struggled with injuries and inconsistency during the latter part of his tenure in Chicago, but he posted a bounceback .871 OPS with 26…

  3. Rangers “optimistic” about locking up Mike Napoli this winter

    Dec 1, 2011, 7:25 PM EDT

    napoli reuters

    Rangers catcher Mike Napoli is currently scheduled to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2012 season. But the Texas front office is hoping that he won’t even get a whiff of the open market. According to FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, the Rangers are going to attempt to sign Napoli to a…

  4. It’s a crime that Edgardo Alfonzo isn’t on the Hall of Fame ballot

    Dec 1, 2011, 6:40 PM EDT

    Edgardo Alfonzo - 1999 Topps

    I know I’m just about the only one who gets upset about these things. And, yeah, there probably are better uses of my time. But how could anyone look at these two infielders and decide that the second is the one worthy of a spot on the Hall of Fame ballot? Player A: .284/.357/.425, 146 HR, 744…

  5. Giants courting shortstop Alex Gonzalez

    Dec 1, 2011, 6:11 PM EDT

    Alex Gonzalez

    This isn’t good news for the National League’s worst offense. According to both ESPN Deportes and FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Giants are talking to Alex Gonzalez about becoming their new shortstop. Gonzalez, who turns 35 in February, hit .241/.270/.372 with 15 homers, 56 RBI and a dreadful 126/22 K/BB ratio in 564 at-bats for the…

  6. Logan Morrison to undergo minor right knee surgery Monday

    Dec 1, 2011, 5:47 PM EDT

    Florida Marlins v Oakland Athletics

    Logan Morrison revealed yesterday that his right knee was still giving him problems after a pair of outfield collisions and ongoing tendinitis, saying surgery might be needed. Sure enough, Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that Morrison will go under the knife Monday for what’s being described as a “minor” operation. According to…

  7. Baseball players like their stimulants: the annual drug report is released

    Dec 1, 2011, 5:34 PM EDT

    syringe

    Major League Baseball and the MLBPA just released the annual public report from the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program’s Independent Program Administrator. Which is basically the State of Drugs in Baseball report. Highlights: There were 3868 drug tests given for PEDs in 2011; Thirteen tests resulted in positives which resulted in discipline, 12 of…

  8. Tweet of the Day: Chantel Kendall says hello

    Dec 1, 2011, 5:11 PM EDT

    chanel tweets

    As Craig noted in his “Baseball Wives” recap this morning, my favorite cast member is Jason Kendall‘s ex-wife, Chantel Kendall. She happens to be on Twitter, so naturally I creepily attempted to interact this afternoon and … well, this happened: I’m aiming for an appearance on Season 2. Or maybe a “Baseball Blogger Wives” spin-off?

  9. Theo Epstein says the Cubs want to keep Matt Garza

    Dec 1, 2011, 4:31 PM EDT

    Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs

    We heard recently that the Cubs are looking to shop Matt Garza. Even today we heard that they were going to try to do so “aggressively.”  But Theo Epstein isn’t having it: “He is exactly the type of guy we’d like to build around,” Epstein told reporters at Wrigley Field. “We need starting pitching.” Two…

  10. Yankees turned down meeting with free agent C.J. Wilson

    Dec 1, 2011, 3:51 PM EDT

    cj wilson blister

    There have been plenty of reports about the Yankees’ lack of interest in C.J. Wilson and now Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York writes that they don’t even want to meet with him. Marchand reports that Wilson’s agent requested a meeting to discuss the free agent left-hander and “the Yankees said no.” That doesn’t preclude…

  11. The players ratify the labor deal

    Dec 1, 2011, 3:38 PM EDT

    Selig and Weiner

    The deal was obviously done, but today the MLBPA announced that the union membership has ratified the new collective bargaining agreement. Some of our previous thoughts on the CBA can be read here, here and here.  The upshot: great for peace and notable issues like HGH testing and tobacco and stuff, worrisome for what it does…

  12. Orioles acquire catcher Taylor Teagarden from Rangers

    Dec 1, 2011, 2:20 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners

    UPDATE: Done deal. Connolly says the Rangers are getting minor-league pitcher Randy Henry and a player to be named later for Teagarden. =========== Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have been talking to the Rangers about catcher Taylor Teagarden as they search for a new backup for Matt Wieters. Teagarden is…

  13. There’s more than one way to deal with PEDs and the Hall of Fame

    Dec 1, 2011, 2:00 PM EDT

    McGwire Palmiero

    This morning I laid out my general approach to how I’d deal with PEDs and the Hall of Fame. The shorthand: I’m a discounter. I try my best to take the accomplishment of established PED users down a bit. In this way I’m making an extremely rough and dirty era adjustment.  I know it’s not…

  14. Tal Smith got two weeks’ severance pay after 35 years with the Astros

    Dec 1, 2011, 1:48 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Pirates v Houston Astros

    When the Astros fired Tal Smith last week after 35 years in the organization the longtime team president was upset with how the situation unfolded, saying he learned the news through the media and hadn’t spoken to new owner Jim Crane in months. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com has a few more details about Smith’s firing,…

  15. White Sox’s rebuild may involve shopping starters John Danks and Gavin Floyd

    Dec 1, 2011, 1:16 PM EDT

    Seattle Mariners v Chicago White Sox

    John Danks could be on the trading block if he can’t agree to a long-term contract extension with the White Sox and Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago reports that negotiations are at a “stalemate.” According to Padilla the White Sox made Danks several offers “not that long ago” and were rebuffed, so they haven’t even…

  16. They never learn: someone else is making a long commitment to Barry Zito

    Dec 1, 2011, 12:59 PM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks

    And you thought seven years was a long commitment to Barry Zito: Barry Zito, one of the great hunks of Giants baseball, is headed to the altar. The three-time All Star pitcher and his fiancee, 25-year-old actress Amber Marie Seyer — a former Miss Missouri USA — showed up at the Marin County clerk’s office Nov.…

  17. Rockies grant Astros permission to interview Bill Geivett

    Dec 1, 2011, 12:44 PM EDT

    226ASP6179944780

    Rockies assistant general manager Bill Geivett is a candidate for the Astros’ general manager opening, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. McTaggart writes that the Rockies granted the Astros permission to interview Geivett, although the Rangers did the same with Thad Levine earlier this week and he ultimately decided to withdraw his name from consideration…

  18. Mariano Rivera is going to have surgery on his vocal cords tomorrow

    Dec 1, 2011, 12:26 PM EDT

    Mariano Rivera

    Mariano Rivera doesn’t talk much. He’s more of the silent assassin type.  But he’s been having some trouble lately: polyps on his vocal cords. He’s going to have surgery tomorrow to have them removed. The polyps are non-cancerous things and recovery time should be quick. Obviously it won’t have much if any impact on his…

  19. Yonder Alonso is in–you guessed it–the best shape of his life

    Dec 1, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

    Alonso_Yonder

    Add another name to the ever-growing “best shape of my life” list. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer caught up with Yonder Alonso today and reports that the Reds prospect has lost about 18 pounds already this offseason. Alonso hired a personal chef and switched up his workout routine in order to prepare for potential…

  20. Bobby Valentine is getting a two-year deal

    Dec 1, 2011, 11:34 AM EDT

    Bobby Valentine

    Jon Heyman reports that Bobby Valentine’s deal with the Red Sox is a two-year deal. Makes sense for a couple of reasons. For one thing, if Valentine hasn’t had deep playoff runs with this Red Sox team by the end of 2013, he’s basically failed. It’s a win-now team and he has to win now,…

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