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  1. Buster Olney’s Hall of Fame ballot is unique

    Dec 22, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

    roberto alomar indians-thumb-270x270-4767

    Buster Olney’s Hall of Fame selections are buried in his column today. He doesn’t explain his picks there, but I think it’s safe to say that no one will have a ballot quite like his: Roberto Alomar, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines, Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, and Mark McGwire. There’s obviously no PED stigma for Olney (which he has explained in…

  2. Phillies may wait to trade Joe Blanton until Carl Pavano signs

    Dec 22, 2010, 11:19 AM EDT

    blanton

    Joe Blanton being on the trade block following Philadelphia’s signing of Cliff Lee is no surprise, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com speculates that the Phillies may wait to trade Blanton until after free agent Carl Pavano signs. Rosenthal notes that Blanton and Pavano have had similar results and reports that the Nationals are among at…

  3. A third option for the Orioles at first base

    Dec 22, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    Troy Glaus third base

    The Orioles have a three-year $21 million offer on the table to Adam LaRoche. For reasons that remain unclear, he has not jumped at it yet.  Realizing that maybe going three-years on LaRoche isn’t the best idea, they have reportedly contacted Derrek Lee, who may be amenable to a one-year deal.  Makes sense. Know what…

  4. Rich Harden to compete for rotation spot with A’s, but bullpen also an option

    Dec 22, 2010, 10:48 AM EDT

    rich harden a's

    Rich Harden’s one-year, $1.5 million contract with the A’s became official yesterday and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that he’ll compete for a rotation spot in spring training, with a spot in the bullpen looming as the fallback option. Harden indicated that he’d prefer to remain a starter, but told Slusser that…

  5. Bobby Jenks’ contract with Red Sox includes incentives for games finished

    Dec 22, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    Bobby Jenks

    General manager Theo Epstein has made it very clear that Jonathan Papelbon remains the Red Sox’s closer, but it’s worth noting that Bobby Jenks’ new two-year, $12 million deal with Boston includes $1 million in incentives each season based on games finished. According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, Jenks can earn $200,000 for each of…

  6. Zack Greinke is already paying dividends for Milwaukee

    Dec 22, 2010, 10:03 AM EDT

    Brewers-Getting Greinke

    Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Zack Greinke deal is going over well with Brewers fans: Rick Schlesinger, the team’s executive vice president for business operations, said Tuesday that between Sunday afternoon and Monday night the team sold 1,100 new season-ticket packages. “Those are brand new account holders whom I’m convinced wouldn’t…

  7. Five teams — including the Yankees — are interested in Jeff Francis

    Dec 22, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    Jeff Francis

    Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mets, Nationals, Pirates, Rangers and Yankees have shown interest in Jeff Francis, who most recently pitched for the Rockies.  Some of those other teams have been mentioned before, but this is the first time anyone has reported the Yankees’ interest. As Drew noted over the weekend, Francis was rusty at times…

  8. Hey! There’s a mystery team interested in Brandon Webb!

    Dec 22, 2010, 9:07 AM EDT

    Brandon Webb

    Brandon Webb is being pursued by the Rangers, Cubs and maybe the Nationals.  And, according to Jerry Crasnick, there’s “an unidentified NL Central team” interested as well. You can’t fool me with your calm, precise and non-inflammatory rhetoric, Jerry. That’s a mystery team.  Don’t worry, I’m a lawyer and I checked. You don’t have to pay…

  9. Jack Morris won more games in the 80s than anyone. So what?

    Dec 22, 2010, 8:26 AM EDT

    Jack Morris

    So much of the Hall of Fame support for Jack Morris is premised on the idea that he won more games in the 80s than anyone.  FanHouse’s John Hickey wrote about that just yesterday. There are many others who have and will as well.  Question: why does that matter? Any single decade is an arbitrary…

  10. Oh joy! It’s Dan Shaughnessy’s Hall of Fame column

    Dec 22, 2010, 7:20 AM EDT

    dan shaughnessy

    Dan Shaughnessy has a Hall of Fame vote. Every year he uses his Hall of Fame column to trot out his latest pejorative terms for bloggers or even just younger baseball writers.  Last year he called us “stat geeks, those get-a-lifers who are sucking all the joy out of our national pastime.”  He’s not as creative this…

  11. Yankees sign pitcher off Hank Steinbrenner’s youth team

    Dec 22, 2010, 12:34 AM EDT

    Yankees_logo-thumb-125x139-1687

    The New York Yankees have been crowing about how frugal they are lately. Seriously. First, general manager Brian Cashman talked about how his team’s luxury tax tab was reduced to $18 million this season. “Atta baby. And right now we’re in the $170s,” he said, referring to a 2011 salary number that could actually fall…

  12. Report: Mets not currently talking with Freddy Garcia

    Dec 21, 2010, 9:49 PM EDT

    Freddy Garcia

    The Mets have been fairly quiet so far this winter and it looks like it will stay that way, at least until after the new year. According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, the Mets are not “engaging further” with Freddy Garcia, beyond what was initially reported earlier this month. They would…

  13. Must-click link: Catching up with Matt Sosnick

    Dec 21, 2010, 8:30 PM EDT

    click here bigger

    Fresh off negotiating multi-year contract extensions for clients Jay Bruce and Ricky Nolasco, agent Matt Sosnick fielded some questions from Jason Rosenberg of It’s About the Money. The entire interview is worth a gander, as is Rosenberg’s first — and much lengthier — interview with Sosnick from 2008. However, I found this succinct answer to…

  14. Bert Blyleven vs. Jack Morris: The 1987 ALCS

    Dec 21, 2010, 7:40 PM EDT

    blyleven

    No, I’m not going to go over the entire candidacies of both. Suffice to say I support Blyleven for the Hall of Fame and not Morris. Those who have it the other way around say that Morris was better than his statistics and Blyleven worse. And, sure, there are cases in which statistics don’t tell…

  15. The Yankees and Red Sox pay the luxury tax

    Dec 21, 2010, 6:24 PM EDT

    stack of money

    According to the Associated Press, the Yankees and the Red Sox were the only two teams that paid MLB’s luxury tax for the 2010 season. The Yankees were hit with an $18 million tax, which was actually their lowest total since the first year of the system in 2003. They paid a whopping $25.7 million…

  16. Orioles “renew talks with Derrek Lee” while waiting for Adam LaRoche to make a decision

    Dec 21, 2010, 5:40 PM EDT

    Derrek Lee braves

    Getting tired of waiting for Adam LaRoche to accept or decline their reported three-year, $21 million offer has caused the Orioles to “renew talks with Derrek Lee,” according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Zrebiec reports that a deal with LaRoche was believed to be imminent at one point, but now the two sides…

  17. Theo: Papelbon is the closer

    Dec 21, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

    papelbon-100801

    Ian Browne tweets that Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said today that despite Jonathan Papelbon’s shakiness last year, despite the signing of Bobby Jenks and despite the fact that Daniel Bard is pretty tough stuff himself, he has assured Papelbon that he is still the team’s closer. And that assurance will matter until the…

  18. What kind of reception would the first active gay baseball player receive?

    Dec 21, 2010, 4:28 PM EDT

    John Amaechi

    I don’t think it would be quite what most of us expect. And I think that what he’d face would be even more daunting than dealing with simple bigotry.

  19. Mariners trade Rob Johnson to Padres for PTBNL or cash

    Dec 21, 2010, 4:16 PM EDT

    rob-johnson-mariners

    Designated for assignment by the Mariners last week, Rob Johnson has been traded to the Padres for a player to be named later or cash. Presumably something like $1.75. Johnson hit .200 with a .282 on-base percentage and .302 slugging percentage in 534 plate appearances for the Mariners, which adds up to a .584 OPS…

  20. Twins finished runner-up in bidding for Hisashi Iwakuma

    Dec 21, 2010, 3:42 PM EDT

    Hisashi Iwakuma pitching

    Minnesota won the exclusive negotiating rights to Tsuyoshi Nishioka with a $5.3 million bid and eventually signed the Japanese infielder to a three-year, $9.25 million contract, and this afternoon general manager Bill Smith revealed that the Twins also finished runner-up in the bidding for Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. In an interview with Patrick Reusse and…

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