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  1. Twins re-sign Jim Thome to one-year, $3 million contract

    Jan 14, 2011, 12:26 PM EDT

    Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers

    After flirting with the Rangers while searching for a multi-year deal, Jim Thome has returned to the Twins on a one-year contract. According to Kelly Thesier of MLB.com he’ll get $3 million in guaranteed money, plus incentives based on playing time, which means the Twins got Thome at a bargain rate for the second straight…

  2. Rays will have 11 of the top 75 picks in this year’s draft

    Jan 14, 2011, 12:12 PM EDT

    MLB First Year Player Draft

    This morning I noted that free agents departing the Rays this offseason have signed elsewhere for a total of $215 million and since then Grant Balfour raised that figure even higher by signing a multi-year deal with the A’s. While most of the focus has understandably been on the Rays losing so much major-league talent,…

  3. The A’s sign Grant Balfour: Two years, $8.1 million

    Jan 14, 2011, 11:58 AM EDT

    Grant Balfour

    UPDATE: Buster Olney reports that the deal is for two years, $8.1 million, pending a physical. 10:58 AM: Did someone mention Rays free agents signing elsewhere?  Because we have another: Grant Balfour is close to signing a deal with the Oakland Athletics. That according to Jon Paul Morosi. It’s a multi-year deal. We have no details on…

  4. OK, maybe Sox fans shouldn’t worry that much about Josh Beckett after all

    Jan 14, 2011, 11:30 AM EDT

    beckett

    Yesterday I linked John Tomase’s dire warning about what the future may hold for Josh Beckett.  Today Bill at The Platoon Advantage picks Tomase’s analysis apart. Setting aside the notion that Tomase could have used more refined metrics with which to analyze Beckett, Bill observes that Tomase unwittingly stacked the deck against him: Even assuming plain…

  5. Angels, Twins, Rangers, Rays, and Blue Jays interested in Manny Ramirez

    Jan 14, 2011, 11:08 AM EDT

    Chicago White Sox designated hitter Manny Ramirez smiles in the dugout during their MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim

    Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the Angels, Twins, Rangers, Rays, and Blue Jays are among “at least five teams” to express interest in Manny Ramirez, which is a surprise given how little speculation has surrounded him publicly throughout the offseason. Rojas writes that Ramirez has been training in Arizona in an effort to…

  6. It’ll never happen, but the Yanks need to put Joba back into the rotation

    Jan 14, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    JOBA CHAMBERLAIN

    The Yankees have been unwavering in their position on Joba Chamberlain: he’s a relief pitcher and he always will be a relief pitcher as long as he plays for the New York Yankees.  As Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues notes, however, such a position is a horrible one, and with no less than three…

  7. Free agents departing Rays have signed for $213 million

    Jan 14, 2011, 10:18 AM EDT

    Theo Epstein, Carl Crawford

    Following the Yankees signing Rafael Soriano to a three-year, $35 million deal last night Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune notes that the eight free agents departing the Rays this offseason have signed elsewhere for a total of $213 million over 19 years. That total will rise to $215 million for 20 seasons once Chad…

  8. The Royals sign Jeff Francis

    Jan 14, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

    Jeff Francis

    UPDATE: Jerry Crasnick reports that Francis will get a $2M base salary. He can make $2M more in incentives based on starts and innings pitched. Seems like a good deal. Especially considering that Brad Penny just got $3 million base, $3 million incentives. 9:40 AM: Jerry Crasnick just tweeted that the Royals have signed free agent starter…

  9. Lance Berkman is in the best shape of his life

    Jan 14, 2011, 9:24 AM EDT

    Lance Berkman

    Usually, BSoML stories are mock-worthy. In Lance Berkman’s case, it’s serious business. That’s because Berkman is trying to do that which is not usually done: move right on the defensive spectrum in his mid-30s.  As Joe Strauss notes, however: Berkman is taking this very, very seriously: “If I have a repeat of last year I’m…

  10. Irony alert: Reggie Jackson tells an athlete to be quiet and humble

    Jan 14, 2011, 8:54 AM EDT

    Reggie Jackson

    I don’t give a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys about the NFL playoffs and — certain strokes of unadulterated genius aside — don’t care if the Jets beat the Patriots this weekend or vice-versa.  But Mr. October Reggie Jackson does. And he’s had it with the trash-talking of the Jets’ Antonio Cromartie: Former New York Yankees’…

  11. Nice work by Scott Boras on the Rafael Soriano deal

    Jan 14, 2011, 8:00 AM EDT

    Rafael Soriano Rays

    The Rafael Soriano deal represents some pretty sweet work by Scott Boras. Not just the in the sell-ice-to-Eskimos sense — the Yankees already have a pretty decent bullpen ace — but also in its structure. As was reported all over the place, the contract calls for Soriano to make $10 million this season, $11 million…

  12. The Giants are taking their World Series trophy to New York

    Jan 14, 2011, 6:10 AM EDT

    1954 Giants

    To most of us, 1957 may as well be ancient history. The Giants don’t view it that way, however, and they’re doing a solid for whatever Giants fans are still left in New York from back when they skipped town: they’re taking the World Series trophy there and will put it on display in a…

  13. Pedro Martinez to open school, unsure if he’ll play

    Jan 14, 2011, 1:46 AM EDT

    Pedro Martinez

    Future Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez is keeping quite busy as he decides whether or not to return to play in 2011 (don’t bet on it). The 39-year-old, who compiled a 219-100 record with a 2.93 ERA in 18 seasons, is launching a new school on Monday in his native Dominican Republic. It will…

  14. Yankees agree to deal with Rafael Soriano

    Jan 13, 2011, 8:52 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers, Game 4

    Brian Cashman sure slow-played this one. Despite insisting last week that the Yankees would not surrender their first round pick in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft in order to sign a remaining Type A free agent, the Bombers agreed to terms on Thursday night with reliever Rafael Soriano.  Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the…

  15. Adam Rosales gets foot surgery, doubtful for Opening Day

    Jan 13, 2011, 8:11 PM EDT

    Oakland Athletics v Texas Rangers

    Adam Rosales has a secret.  Or, he did. The A’s utilityman informed Jane Lee of MLB.com on Thursday that he underwent surgery on his right foot on December 8 and will need another two or three months to get back to 100 percent health. In other words, Rosales is not going to be ready when…

  16. Padres nearing agreement with catcher Gregg Zaun

    Jan 13, 2011, 6:54 PM EDT

    Gregg Zaun

    From Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune comes word that the Padres are “close to” agreement on a contract with free agent catcher Gregg Zaun. Zaun drew interest from the Cardinals and Mariners back in early December, but those talks never went anywhere and he’s been off the radar for the past month-plus.  The…

  17. Tony Gwynn Jr. could be the Dodgers’ starting center fielder

    Jan 13, 2011, 5:37 PM EDT

    tony-gwynn-jr-padres

    Tony Gwynn Jr. was non-tendered by the Padres, but ESPN Los Angels reports that he may be good enough to start for the Dodgers: As he prepared to leave baseball’s quarterly owners’ meetings, [Ned] Colletti said Gwynn’s speed and defensive ability were strong enough that if he can return to form offensively — he hit…

  18. UPDATE: Frank Robinson released from hospital

    Jan 13, 2011, 5:04 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals

    UPDATE: Not only is Robinson already out of the hospital, he’s returned to the owners meetings. ========== Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Frank Robinson has been hospitalized “after experiencing dizziness and irregular heartbeat at the owners meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona.” According to Shaikin the 75-year-old Hall of Famer “was alert and…

  19. Dodgers general manager rules out signing Johnny Damon

    Jan 13, 2011, 4:50 PM EDT

    Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees

    Yesterday manager Don Mattingly reiterated that the Dodgers won’t be bringing back Manny Ramirez and today general manager Ned Colletti also ruled out signing free agent Johnny Damon. Colletti also indicated that the Dodgers are unlikely to sign Scott Podsednik, telling Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that he’s instead focusing on right-handed-hitting options…

  20. So we’re really doing this Eric Chavez thing, huh?

    Jan 13, 2011, 4:22 PM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v Oakland Athletics

    If I were Bill Simmons, right about now I’d say something like “I wish there was someplace you could bet on things like ‘the date on which Eric Chavez hits the disabled list, the date on which its reported that his career is likely over and the date on which he says he’s coming back…

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