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  1. Source: “very strong possibility” that Andy Pettitte pitches in 2011

    Jan 26, 2011, 3:22 PM EDT

    Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees

    A source close to Andy Pettitte tells me that there is a “very strong possibility” that Pettitte is going to pitch in 2011.  He is doing his usual preseason workouts and has had no physical issues thus far. Moreover, the source tells me that Pettitte’s hesitation to confirm that he is coming back for the…

  2. Diving into the depths: Houston Astros

    Jan 26, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

    Hunter Pence

    This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training. Rotation 1. Wandy Rodriguez 2. Brett Myers 3. J.A. Happ 4. Bud Norris 5. Ryan Rowland-Smith 6. Nelson Figueroa 7. Wesley Wright 8. Jordan Lyles 9. Aneury Rodriguez 10. Cesar Carrillo The scary thing is that this probably…

  3. Mike Maroth retires

    Jan 26, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    Mike Maroth

    Back when I practiced law, there was a partner who lost a big case. Millions of dollars at stake, and his client got creamed.  We all wanted to taunt him about it afterward, but he simply said “gentlemen, it takes one hell of a lawyer to lose a case as big as that.” We thought he…

  4. Johnny Cueto and the Reds finalize long-term extension

    Jan 26, 2011, 2:15 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds, Game 3

    This afternoon the Reds officially announced the long-term contract extension with Johnny Cueto that was first reported last week. Cueto, who was arbitration eligible for the first time this season and submitted a figure of $3.9 million, gets a four-year deal worth an estimated $27 million and the Reds also hold an undisclosed team option…

  5. The other NL West divorce finally comes to an end

    Jan 26, 2011, 1:30 PM EDT

    John and Becky Moores

    Remember the other divorce involving the owner of an NL West team? That was the John Moores divorce, which prompted Moores to sell the San Diego Padres.  It was way, way less acrimonious (at least in public) than the McCourts’ divorce. There was never really any fight about the baseball team either, what with the…

  6. Joe Nathan plans to resume closing after coming back from Tommy John surgery

    Jan 26, 2011, 1:16 PM EDT

    joe-nathan-twins

    Joe Nathan is 10 months removed from Tommy John elbow surgery and told Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he plans to pick up right where he left off as the Twins’ closer once he arrives at spring training on February 17. Nathan saved 47 games in 2009 and has been the…

  7. Keith Law’s organizational rankings are out

    Jan 26, 2011, 12:54 PM EDT

    dayton moore

    As he does every year, Keith Law has released his organizational rankings. We’re talking farm systems here, not big clubs, as this will be followed up shortly — if form holds, tomorrow — by Keith’s Top 100 prospects list. Apologies, but both features are for ESPN Insider members only.  But really, these are two of…

  8. Mariners sign reliever Chris Ray to a minor league contract

    Jan 26, 2011, 12:19 PM EDT

    chris-ray-rangers

    Chris Ray was one of the youngest closers in baseball in 2006, saving 33 games for the Orioles as a 24-year-old, but his career was derailed by Tommy John elbow surgery the next season and he hasn’t been the same since, posting a 31/25 K/BB ratio in 56 innings for the Giants and Rangers in…

  9. Start printing playoff tickets: the Yankees sign Bartolo Colon

    Jan 26, 2011, 11:59 AM EDT

    Bartolo Colon

    Yesterday Brian Cashman said that he’d feel better if he signed a starter. He also said that the Yankees are a starter away from being a World Series contender. Today he signed Bartolo Colon.  Really. It’s a minor league deal.  Colon probably doesn’t even make the team.  It’s not going to prevent the Yankees from…

  10. Cuban defector Yasiel Balaguer to hold workout for Marlins

    Jan 26, 2011, 11:44 AM EDT

    Yasiel Balaguer

    Yasiel Balaguer, who defected from Cuba in November in order to become a free agent and eventually sign with an MLB team, will hold his first workout today for the Marlins, according to Michael Miller of the Miami New Times. Balaguer’s representatives have been touting the 18-year-old outfielder as an elite prospect and various media…

  11. There’s a lot more going on during a televised baseball game than you realize

    Jan 26, 2011, 11:29 AM EDT

    televised baseball

    Friend of HBT Caryn Rose — of  Metsgrrl fame — went to an event called “Art of Televised Baseball” last night, where the main attraction was SNY’s Bill Webb talking about how baseball games are produced for TV.  Lots of fun insider stuff about the decisions Webb — the director of some 145 Mets games a…

  12. MLB.com names Mike Trout baseball’s number one prospect

    Jan 26, 2011, 11:02 AM EDT

    There are a lot of competing prospect rankings out there — I’m personally partial to Keith Law’s, which will come out today, I gather — but MLB.com puts a good one out every year too.  They did yesterday, and they rank the Angels’ 19-year-old outfield prospect Mike Trout as the toppermost of the poppermost: Trout,…

  13. Justin Duchscherer is “pretty much 100 percent” healthy and wants to start

    Jan 26, 2011, 10:41 AM EDT

    Justin Duchscherer

    Justin Duchscherer missed all of 2009 and most of 2010 following hip and elbow surgeries, but the oft-injured right-hander told Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com that he’s “pretty much 100 percent” healthy. According to Ghiroli he’s held private workouts for at least five teams, and at various points this offseason Duchscherer has been linked to the…

  14. Did the Rangers push Cliff Lee to Philly?

    Jan 26, 2011, 10:34 AM EDT

    Chuck Greenberg

    Chuck Greenberg would like to be credited with an assist on the Cliff Lee-to-Philly deal: Even though Philadelphia was probably not in, they were always in the back of our mind,” Greenberg said. “I think if we wouldn’t have gone to Arkansas that last time, I think he was going to sign with the Yankees.…

  15. Does Neftali Feliz have a chance to start?

    Jan 26, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

    World Series Giants Rangers Baseball

    I hate it when awesome young pitchers who started in the minor leagues are turned into big league relievers and then everyone talks about how much better suited they are for the bullpen. Of course they’re dominant out of the pen! almost every pitcher is better out of the pen. They can throw harder. They…

  16. Nelson Figueroa is in the best shape of his life

    Jan 26, 2011, 9:13 AM EDT

    Houston Astros v New York Mets

    Astros pitcher Nelson Figueroa reminds us that spring is right around the corner: I was very fortunate for the past few years to go to the Dominican and win a few championships in the Caribbean Series. This year, going to Spring Training and not having to do all that, not having to do all that…

  17. Rocco Baldelli to announce his retirement today

    Jan 26, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

    Rocco Baldelli

    From Marc Topkin at the St. Pete Times: Rocco Baldelli would have reason to spend hours, if not days, lamenting how his once promising baseball career was cut short by injury and a mysterious illness. He won’t do that, because that’s not his nature. Plus, he’s too busy embracing the next phase of his life.…

  18. Hank Steinbrenner: “we just have to (bleeping) win”

    Jan 26, 2011, 8:23 AM EDT

    Hank Steinbrenner smoking

    Remember back when it seemed like Hank Steinbrenner had been given a lobotomy or had been sent off to an undisclosed location where the media couldn’t find him?  Yeah, that was a total drag. “We will do what we have to do to win,” Steinbrenner told The Post recently in a wide-ranging interview at Steinbrenner…

  19. Cashman clarifies his Jeter-to-the-outfield comments

    Jan 26, 2011, 5:58 AM EDT

    mlb_jeter

    Brian Cashman’s comments about Derek Jeter moving to the outfield one day caused a mini-uproar yesterday (and a fun mini-research project). Late yesterday, however,  he told Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger that people need to chill. Well, not in so many words, but that’s clearly what he meant: Later, Cashman said he was dealing merely in…

  20. The Red Sox made a pitch for Jose Bautista at the winter meetings

    Jan 25, 2011, 10:14 PM EDT

    Jose Bautista swings

    According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Red Sox made “multiple offers” for Jose Bautista at last month’s winter meetings. These conversations took place after Jayson Werth rocked the baseball world by signing with the Nationals and before the Red Sox signed Carl Crawford, but the addition of Bautista would have likely had a radical…

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