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  1. Ryan Westmoreland to see first game action since brain surgery

    Dec 5, 2011, 11:30 PM EDT

    ryan westmoreland

    Red Sox outfield prospect Ryan Westmoreland is getting back on the field a year and a half after surgery to remove a cavernous malformation from his brain stem. The 21-year-old Westmoreland will serve as a designated hitter in Dominican instructional league games this week. The current plan is for him to get one at-bat Thursday…

  2. The Royals are interested in James Shields, but it would cost them

    Dec 5, 2011, 11:06 PM EDT

    james shields getty

    We mentioned earlier tonight that the Royals have interest in Athletics’ left-hander Gio Gonzalez as they look to upgrade their starting rotation, but Bill Chastain of MLB.com reports that they have also expressed interest in Rays right-hander James Shields. However, the asking price is high. Really high. According to Chastain, the Rays want closer Joakim…

  3. Terry Francona to replace Bobby Valentine on Sunday Night Baseball

    Dec 5, 2011, 10:36 PM EDT

    File image of Boston Red Sox manager Francona walking back to the dugout during their MLB American League baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park in Boston

    Three cheers for awkward trades. ESPN just announced during the Monday Night Football halftime show that Terry Francona will indeed replace Bobby Valentine in the broadcast booth for Sunday Night Baseball alongside Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser. He’ll also make appearances on Baseball Tonight, starting later this evening. Francona was fired as Red Sox manager following…

  4. UPDATE: Nationals GM denies making six-year offer to C.J. Wilson

    Dec 5, 2011, 10:00 PM EDT

    CJ Wilson necklace

    UPDATE III: Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post hears that the Nats had little, if any, interest in Wilson from the start. Mark Buehrle remains their top target. UPDATE II: If you’re wondering why C.J. Wilson hasn’t accepted that six-year offer from the Nationals yet, well, it’s because it’s apparently not true. Nationals general manager…

  5. Red Sox confident David Ortiz will return with two-year deal

    Dec 5, 2011, 9:54 PM EDT

    Boston Red Sox v Kansas City Royals

    Jon Heyman of SI.com writes that the Red Sox “seem pretty confident” that David Ortiz will return on a two-year deal if he doesn’t accept arbitration. Ortiz, 36, earned $12.5 million this season while batting .309/.398/.554 with 29 home runs, 96 RBI and a .953 OPS over 605 plate appearances. Heyman was recently told by…

  6. Dmitri Young is making a comeback

    Dec 5, 2011, 9:38 PM EDT

    Dmitri Young AP

    Yesterday it was Manny, today it’s Da Meat Hook. Dmitri Young is in attendance at the Winter Meetings in Dallas and word from multiple baseball scribes is that he is in the best shape of his life. Really. According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, he has lost 70 pounds (!) and is hoping to make…

  7. Report: Albert Pujols’ wife wants him to leave agent

    Dec 5, 2011, 9:23 PM EDT

    Albert Pujols, Deidre Pujols

    The Deadspin expose on agent Dan Lozano may not have swayed Albert Pujols, but it did get to his wife, according to SI.com’s Jon Heyman. Heyman says that the Deadspin stories on Lozano are the talk of the winter meetings, and that while Pujols has maintained he’s staying with his agent, his wife wants him to break off…

  8. UPDATE: The Reds may not be a match for Jurrjens

    Dec 5, 2011, 9:00 PM EDT

    Jair Jurrjens

    UPDATE: Or not. Mark Sheldon of MLB.com hears that the Reds do not appear to be seriously pursuing Jurrjens. Another issue is that the two sides don’t match up well for a deal. The Braves are said to be looking for a power-hitting outfielder in return while the Reds best trade chips — Yonder Alonso…

  9. The Astros are still trying to sell, sell, sell

    Dec 5, 2011, 8:52 PM EDT

    Carlos Lee

    If the Astros have their way, their most expensive player in their final year in the National League could be rehabbing reliever Brandon Lyon. Even without a permanent general manager employed, the Astros are at the winter meetings shopping Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers and Carlos Lee, according to Scott Miller of CBS Sports. While Rodriguez is…

  10. Octavio Dotel has met with the Tigers and Brewers

    Dec 5, 2011, 8:33 PM EDT

    Octavio Dotel

    Octavio Dotel‘s next contract figures to make some wonder why the Cardinals didn’t just exercise their $3.5 million option. According to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, the Brewers, Cardinals, Mets, Reds and Tigers have all inquired about the free agent reliever. Dotel’s reps have already met with the Brewers and Tigers. Dotel, 37, had a 3.50 ERA…

  11. Bob Apodaca, Rick Peterson won’t be joining Bobby Valentine in Boston

    Dec 5, 2011, 8:15 PM EDT

    red sox logo

    Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com was told by an “industry source” that neither Rockies’ pitching coach Bob Apodaca or former major-league pitching coach Rick Peterson are candidates to join Bobby Valentine’s staff in Boston. Apodaca served as the Mets’ pitching coach with Valentine from 1996-1999. He has worked with the Rockies in the same capacity since…

  12. UPDATE: Giants did not submit bid on Hiroyuki Nakajima

    Dec 5, 2011, 7:33 PM EDT

    Hiroyuki_Nakajima AP

    UPDATE II: So much for that. Giants general manager Brian Sabean confirmed to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that they did not submit a bid for Nakajima. UPDATE: John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that the report of the Giants submitting a bid on Nakajima is inaccurate. 10:37 AM: According…

  13. The Diamondbacks have made an offer to Joe Saunders

    Dec 5, 2011, 7:17 PM EDT

    Joe Saunders

    Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he has made a contract offer to the arbitration-eligible Joe Saunders. Piecoro hears that it’s likely a two-year deal, which jibes with what Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported last week. Saunders, who was acquired from the Angels as part of the Dan Haren…

  14. The Royals are interested in Gio Gonzalez

    Dec 5, 2011, 7:02 PM EDT

    Gio Gonzalez

    The Royals are currently scouring the trade market for starting pitchers and according to Jon Heyman of SI.com, they have expressed interest in Athletics’ left-hander Gio Gonzalez. We heard late last month that the Marlins discussed a potential deal with the A’s, but balked at the asking price of either Logan Morrison or Mike Stanton.…

  15. UPDATE: Twins, Matt Capps come to terms on one-year, $4.75 million deal

    Dec 5, 2011, 6:55 PM EDT

    Matt Capps

    9:10 p.m. EST update: Capps will earn $4.5 million in 2012, according to ESPN 1500’s Darren Wolfson. The option is worth $6 million and includes a $250,000 buyout. 6:55 p.m. EST update: Capps and the Twins have a deal for one year with an option for 2013, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports. /// Matt…

  16. Red Sox didn’t match Marlins’ offer to Heath Bell

    Dec 5, 2011, 6:40 PM EDT

    Heath Bell

    In the news conference to announce his signing with the Marlins on Monday, Heath Bell said the Red Sox made him an offer, but that it came up short of the three-year, $27 million pact he got from the Marlins. “I thought, ‘Red Sox would be cool. I’ve got an inside track. I know [Adrian…

  17. UPDATE: Dodgers sign Jerry Hairston Jr. to two-year, $6 million deal

    Dec 5, 2011, 6:23 PM EDT

    Jerry Hairston Jr.

    6:25 p.m. EST update: FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal says the deal is done. Hairston will receive $6 million over two years, plus incentives, from the Dodgers. He’ll serve as a backup in both the infield and outfield, and he could push Juan Uribe for playing time at third base if Uribe struggles to bounce back from…

  18. Report: Brewers giving up on re-signing Prince Fielder

    Dec 5, 2011, 6:05 PM EDT

    National League first baseman Fielder of the Brewers watches three-run home run in fourth inning during Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Phoenix

    ESPN’s Buster Olney chimes in with the news a lot of Milwaukee fans have been dreading hearing: Brewers indicating to others they are pretty much out on Prince Fielder, and are moving on. Moving on to whom is an open question. While the Brewers are believed to be willing to spend $20 million per year to keep Fielder, they’re…

  19. Mets inquire on free agent reliever Chad Qualls

    Dec 5, 2011, 5:55 PM EDT

    Chad Qualls Getty

    Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mets have inquired about free agent reliever Chad Qualls. Qualls posted a 3.51 ERA and 43/20 K/BB ratio over 74 1/3 innings with the Padres this season. The 33-year-old right-hander enjoyed most of his success at the spacious PETCO Park, posting a 2.09 ERA at…

  20. Marlins, Nationals, Rangers, and Twins make offers to Mark Buehrle

    Dec 5, 2011, 5:28 PM EDT

    Mark Buehrle

    Mark Buehrle has been linked to half the teams in baseball, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Marlins, Nationals, Rangers, and Twins are the teams known to have made the free agent left-hander a contract offer. Rosenthal writes that Minnesota’s offer is “not as strong” as the others, which he says are for…

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