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  1. A look at the closer market minus Jonathan Papelbon

    Nov 11, 2011, 6:40 PM EDT

    Ryan Madson

    The Phillies just went and bought themselves the best closer available this winter. Now we’ll see who else is ready to ante up. Here’s how I ranked the available closers in the top 111 free agents: 6. Papelbon 12. Heath Bell 14. Ryan Madson 16. Francisco Rodriguez 24. Francisco Cordero 40. Joe Nathan 45. Jonathan…

  2. Jamey Carroll is useful, but he’s not a starting shortstop

    Nov 11, 2011, 6:09 PM EDT

    Jamey Carroll

    This is really a pretty amazing story, though it’s one that probably won’t have a happy ending. According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal and ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Twins and infielder Jamey Carroll have agreed to terms on a two-year, $7 million contract. That in itself doesn’t seem like a particularly bad move. However, according to both…

  3. What it’s like to play in Venezuela

    Nov 11, 2011, 5:42 PM EDT

    Venezuela flag

    Jon Paul Morosi interviewed an American baseball player who played in the Venezuelan Winter League. The player, who asked to remain anonymous, spoke frankly about the good — and there’s a lot of good — as well as the bad and the ugly about it all. Read it all because it’s all worth reading. But…

  4. Report: Red Sox will pursue Ryan Madson and Heath Bell

    Nov 11, 2011, 5:12 PM EDT

    red sox logo

    We’ve already talked about the Phillies’ side of things already regarding the Jonathan Papelbon deal, but what about the fallout for the Red Sox? It once looked like Daniel Bard was the natural heir apparent for the ninth inning role, but whether it had to do with his struggles in September or not, it appears…

  5. Silver lining: it’s possible the Papelbon signing won’t cost the Phillies a draft pick

    Nov 11, 2011, 4:38 PM EDT

    Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox

    I’m still reeling from the Jonathan Papelbon signing, but I suppose there is one thing that makes it slightly less odious than first considered: as Ken Rosenthal notes, the signing may not cost the Phillies their first-round pick. That’s because signings this offseason are going to be covered by the new collective bargaining agreement and…

  6. UPDATE: Jamey Carroll, Twins agree to a two-year deal

    Nov 11, 2011, 3:38 PM EDT

    Carroll_Jamey

    UPDATE: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that the Twins are the lucky winners of the Jamey Carroll derby and are closing in on a multi-year deal.  He’s expected to be their starting shortstop.  Terms aren’t disclosed, but I presume it won’t be four years, $50 million.  UPDATE:  Rosenthal says it looks like two-years, $7 million.  Seems…

  7. Four years and $50 million for Papelbon? Seriously, Philly?

    Nov 11, 2011, 3:14 PM EDT

    papelbon getty

    There were many, many potential closers on the market this morning. None had signed yet. None made the sort of money Jonathan Papelbon did last year, have the mileage on their arms that he does and most of them aren’t his age.  Yet, somehow, Ruben Amaro decided that Papelbon needed a four-year, $50 million deal.…

  8. UPDATE: Phillies, Jonathan Papelbon agree to four-year, $50 million contract

    Nov 11, 2011, 2:42 PM EDT

    Jonathan Papelbon

    UPDATE III: Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that Papelbon is guaranteed $50 million over four years while the vesting option is believed to be easily attainable. UPDATE II: If you were somehow on the fence about this deal being excessive, this should push you overboard and then some. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that Papelbon…

  9. The Diamondbacks set a Monday deadline for Aaron Hill

    Nov 11, 2011, 1:57 PM EDT

    aaron hill getty

    Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com reports that the Diamondbacks have a multi-year offer on the table for Aaron Hill.  They want an answer from him by Monday. The fact of the offer is not news — Nick Piecoro reported this earlier this week — but then it was said to have been an open-ended thing with…

  10. Marlins better off flirting with Jose Reyes than signing him

    Nov 11, 2011, 1:22 PM EDT

    Jose Reyes

    Trying to motivate Hanley Ramirez by talking to a shortstop who could supplant him in Miami… that’s a great idea. Actually signing said injury-prone shortstop to a contract worth in excess of $20 million per year… that might not work out so well. Jose Reyes would certainly help the Marlins, just like he’d help every team…

  11. Josh Hamilton had sports hernia surgery

    Nov 11, 2011, 1:02 PM EDT

    josh hamilton getty

    Josh Hamilton had an MRI last night on the old groin.  It was reported beforehand that if the MRI revealed a sports hernia, he’d have surgery within 48 hours.  Guess what? It did and he did. Hamilton underwent surgery in Dallas this morning.  Sports hernia surgery is not terribly major, from what I gather, and…

  12. “Deep down” Terry Francona wants to manage the Cubs

    Nov 11, 2011, 12:03 PM EDT

    Terry Francona

    It’s getting so damn touchy-feely in baseball these days.  Yesterday we heard about how the Phillies don’t just like, but “really like” Jonathan Papelbon (is that more than like-like? Hurm).  Today we learn that “deep down,” Terry Francona wants to manage the Cubs: For his part, Francona says he is “trying to stay under the…

  13. Venezuelan justice minister on Ramos kidnapping: “We have faith in the swift clarification in this case”

    Nov 11, 2011, 11:29 AM EDT

    Florida Marlins v Washington Nationals

    Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com has what is the first truly encouraging words about the Wilson Ramos case so far. The upshot: it sounds like the Venezuelan government — which has been widely criticized for being ineffectual in such cases and blamed for creating the environment in which some lawlessness has been allowed to thrive, actually…

  14. Is this a pic of the Marlins new home uniforms?

    Nov 11, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Marlins cap

    There’s no truth to the rumor that we’re changing the name of this site to MarlinsBallTalk.  It just feels that way. Anyway: the Marlins will officially unveil all of their newness — name, logo, uniforms, etc. — tonight, but David Villavicencio has snagged what looks like a sneak peak from what appears to be season…

  15. Yoenis Cespedes had a private workout for the Marlins

    Nov 11, 2011, 9:54 AM EDT

    Yoennis Cespedes

    The Marlins talk big about every free agent, but one guy they seem just as well-positioned to sign as anyone is Yoenis Cespedes, and as Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports, they had a private workout for the guy yesterday. “We had our top baseball people there,” [Marlins president David] Samson said. “They…

  16. Still no word from Wilson Ramos’ kidnappers

    Nov 11, 2011, 9:25 AM EDT

    Wilson Ramos

    This is getting worrisome: Adam Kilgore reports that Wilson Ramos‘ family still hasn’t heard from the kidnappers. Now, as that expert we linked to yesterday suggested, it’s possible that they actually have been contacted and that everyone involved thinks it best to not let that information out, but man, this is not any less unsettling…

  17. Report: Jose Reyes “almost a done deal” for the Marlins

    Nov 11, 2011, 8:58 AM EDT

    Jose Reyes

    We knew that the Marlins met with Jose Reyes on Wednesday, but Jorge Sedano of 790 AM The Ticket in Miami tweeted last night that Reyes is “almost a done deal” in Miami. This would certainly be a major deal for the Marlins.  It would mean Hanley Ramirez would have to move, most likely to…

  18. Nolan Ryan: the Rangers are not interested in Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols

    Nov 11, 2011, 8:32 AM EDT

    ryan-nolan-101030

    A lot of people want to put Prince Fielder in a Texas Rangers jersey, but Nolan Ryan tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the Rangers are in the Mitch Moreland business: “We truly believe Mitch’s career is ahead of him,” said Ryan. “Making a seven-or-eight year deal for Fielder or Pujols is not something our…

  19. Pete Rose may be banned, but he advises A-Rod, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce

    Nov 11, 2011, 8:15 AM EDT

    Pete Rose

    “Banned.”  You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means: Rose regularly attends games each season in Cincinnati and Philadelphia, two of the places where he played during his 23-year career, and is often introduced to players. “Then they end up texting me all the time,” Rose said. “I…

  20. Marlins to meet with Albert Pujols “within the next few days”

    Nov 10, 2011, 10:16 PM EDT

    pujols getty

    Finally, some news to pass along concerning this offseason’s top free agent: Albert Pujols. According to MLB.com’s Matthew Leach, the 31-year-old first baseman is scheduled to meet with Marlins officials in Miami “within the next few days.” The meeting will probably be similar to the one that free agent shortstop Jose Reyes took part in…

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