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  1. Ryan Garko leaves MLB, signs with Korean team for $300,000

    Dec 10, 2010, 12:47 PM EDT

    garko1

    Ryan Garko spent 2007-2009 as a starting first baseman for the Indians and Giants, but played most of this season at Triple-A after being claimed off waivers by the Rangers. And now he’s headed to Korea. Apparently unable to land a major-league deal as even a part-time player, Garko has signed with the Samsung Lions…

  2. Royals “in listen-only mode” for Zack Greinke trade talks

    Dec 10, 2010, 12:19 PM EDT

    Zack Greinke

    General manager Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that the Royals are “in listen-only mode” when it comes to Zack Greinke trade talks. “I haven’t made one call to one organization asking them if they’re interested in Zack Greinke,” Moore said. Of course, that’s ultimately meaningless. Moore doesn’t have to make…

  3. Russell Martin is leaning toward the Red Sox

    Dec 10, 2010, 12:09 PM EDT

    martin in catching gear

    Mark Feinsand of the Daily News passes along word that Russell Martin, though considering offers from the Jays, Yankees and Red Sox, is leaning towards accepting the Red Sox offer. I assume the reason for this is that he thinks he has a better chance of getting playing time in front of Saltalamaccia and Varitek…

  4. After whiffing on top targets, A’s shift focus to Hideki Matsui

    Dec 10, 2010, 11:47 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers

    Oakland left the winter meetings empty handed despite several attempts to make a big splash, which has Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle thinking that the A’s will turn their attention to signing Hideki Matsui. Matsui’s agent, Arn Tellem, told Slusser that he expects to begin fielding offers over the weekend and indicated that…

  5. Here’s what I think happens with Cliff Lee

    Dec 10, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

    cliff lee in delivery

    I don’t just sit and pontificate about free agent or trade destinations very often, but it’s a slow day, so here goes: I predict that the Yankees are going to get Cliff Lee, with Lee selecting the seven-year deal off that “menu” of offers the Yankees are reported to have given him; I predict that…

  6. No, the Cardinals aren’t trying to change Colby Rasmus. But his father is taking shots at the organization…

    Dec 10, 2010, 11:03 AM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals Photo Day

    “Not satisfied with the current product, the Cardinals are trying to change center fielder Colby Rasmus.” That’s how I headlined my piece Thursday night — a piece that detailed a new contact-oriented hitting approach for the young Cardinals outfielder with direct quotes from his father, Tony Rasmus. After a bit of digging I learned that…

  7. Quote of the Day: Seven-year contract offer edition

    Dec 10, 2010, 10:31 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers v New York Yankees, Game 3

    Some words of wisdom on the, er, wisdom of a seven-year deal from a quite unlikely source.

  8. CC Sabathia says Yankees, not Red Sox, are the team to beat

    Dec 10, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    sabathiaALCS-thumb-320x195-3637

    Asked yesterday what the Red Sox adding Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to their lineup does to the AL East picture, CC Sabathia predictably responded that the Yankees remain the team to beat in 2011. You want me to say the Red Sox are the favorites? I mean … I think the Yankees. If you…

  9. Would Cliff Lee’s salary be “off the books” in Texas?

    Dec 10, 2010, 9:39 AM EDT

    Cliff Lee

    Buster Olney raises an interesting point in his column today. One I’ve never really heard about or considered: that a team like the Rangers may, in effect, consider Cliff Lee’s salary separate and apart from the rest of the payroll: I’ve heard of situations where an owner will tell his general manager that he —…

  10. The Rays are interested in Jason Giambi

    Dec 10, 2010, 8:50 AM EDT

    Jason Giambi, Yorvit Torrealba

    The Red Sox have added Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. The Yankees have locked up their core players and may have Cliff Lee shortly.  Think the Rays are worried? Ha! Think again: Hearing that the Rays have expressed interest in Jason Giambi. I know that he wants to continue playing. That settles it. If Tampa…

  11. My daughter doesn’t like baseball geeks

    Dec 10, 2010, 8:25 AM EDT

    In which my daughter — who I call Mookie, because it makes her angry — tells me what she thinks of baseball geeks.

  12. Does signing a PED-connected player raise “ethical issues?”

    Dec 10, 2010, 6:57 AM EDT

    alderson at podium

    It seems that Sandy Alderson was asked by reporters yesterday if signing catcher Ronny Paulino was an “ethical and public relations” problem in light of Paulino’s suspension for taking a banned stimulant last year. Not surprisingly, Alderson said no, it was not. People can ask what they want to ask of course, but I don’t…

  13. Reds ink Jay Bruce to six-year, $51M contract extension

    Dec 9, 2010, 11:42 PM EDT

    Cincinnati Reds v Philadelphia Phillies, Game 2

    From ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick comes word that the Reds have signed outfielder Jay Bruce to a six-year, $51 million contract extension with a seventh-year club option that could bring the total worth of the deal to $63 million. Bruce was a first-year arbitration-eligible player.  He could have taken a path that would have meant negotiating…

  14. Done: Pads acquire Jason Bartlett for two youngish relievers

    Dec 9, 2010, 11:21 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Bartlett tags out Texas Rangers' Andrus as he attempted to steal in the sixth inning during their MLB baseball game in St. Petersburg

    UPDATE: This one’s done, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times.  Despite reports of a “twist,” the only hold-up now is a routine physical for all three involved players. WEDNESDAY: From MLB.com’s Corey Brock comes word that the Padres have landed shortstop Jason Bartlett from the Rays in exchange for two relievers —…

  15. What the heck was that? Rangers conference call edition

    Dec 9, 2010, 10:08 PM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers, Game 5

    The ears of the baseball world perked up around 8:45 p.m. ET this evening when Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News — and other Rangers beat writers — announced that majority owner Chuck Greenberg was going to be hosting a conference call at 9 p.m. ET.  A Lee announcement?  Something big? The Fort Worth…

  16. Rangers arrange sudden conference call, say little

    Dec 9, 2010, 9:15 PM EDT

    New York Yankees v Texas Rangers, Game 1

    According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers have scheduled a sudden conference call for 9 p.m. ET. Co-owner Chuck Greenberg is going to speak, probably about Cliff Lee.  No one’s sure yet if it’s anything major, but Rangers officials did fly down to Arkansas earlier today to meet with the prized…

  17. Not satisfied with the current product, the Cardinals are trying to change center fielder Colby Rasmus

    Dec 9, 2010, 8:24 PM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers

    A follow-up to this post can be found right HERE. ********* The drama continues between the Cardinals’ coaching staff and young outfielder Colby Rasmus. It was only six months ago that the now 24-year-old Rasmus requested a trade away from St. Louis because of a tarnished relationship with Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.  And it…

  18. Russell Martin now has contract offers from four teams

    Dec 9, 2010, 7:28 PM EDT

    martin in catching gear

    It’s Russell Martin Night here on Hardball Talk.  Well, unofficially. Martin has already drawn contract offers from the Red Sox and Yankees.  Now the Blue Jays have also made an offer, according to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger, and a darkhorse team has sent in a multi-year proposal. Martin hit just .248/.347/.342 this past…

  19. Yanks make offer to Russell Martin, want him as a starter

    Dec 9, 2010, 6:55 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Dodgers' Russell Martin hits an RBI double to score Casey Blake against the New York Mets during the eighth inning of their MLB National League baseball game in Los Angeles

    The hot stove has been set to a low setting as the baseball world migrates back from the Winter Meetings in Olrando, Florida.  But at least one free agent is still feeling the heat. Aaron told you a few hours ago that the Red Sox had made an official contract offer to catcher Russell Martin. …

  20. Martin in “serious discussions” with Yanks, Red Sox and Jays

    Dec 9, 2010, 4:51 PM EDT

    Russell Martin dodgers

    Russell Martin’s agent said today that the rehabbing catcher is in “serious” talks with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Blue Jays after the Dodgers all but ruled out a return by signing both Rod Barajas and Dioner Navarro. According to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com the Red Sox have made an offer to Martin, who was…

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