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  1. Pablo Sandoval has lost ten pounds? I’ll believe it when I see it

    Dec 1, 2010, 8:22 AM EDT

    Giants' Sandoval reacts during workouts in preparation for the Major League Baseball's World Series in San Francisco

    Last year I closely followed Camp Panda, Pablo Sandoval’s allegedly intense workout regimen that was intended to get the portly young superstar in shape.  That didn’t happen.  Sandoval reported to spring training in more or less the same shape he had been in in 2009 and got larger as the season progressed, ultimately losing his…

  2. The real reason for expanded playoffs

    Dec 1, 2010, 6:17 AM EDT

    Bud Selig defiant

    Today Jeff Passan of Yahoo! takes the idea of an expanded playoffs apart piece-by-piece.  His criticisms track my own in their concern with (a) this being nothing but a money grab; (b) devaluing the  regular season; (c)  creating perverse competitive incentives among contenders; and (d) doing nothing to make the game better like, say, instituting…

  3. Jeter and agent met in Florida Tuesday with Yanks officials

    Nov 30, 2010, 9:43 PM EDT

    New York Yankees v Texas Rangers, Game 6

    Craving more Derek Jeter news?  Of course you are. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, met Tuesday in Tampa, Florida with Yankees officials. The two sides had not spoken in several days, according to Rosenthal, and wanted to touch base.  It’s not clear if contract numbers were discussed, but…

  4. Giants reach one-year, $6.5M deal with Miguel Tejada

    Nov 30, 2010, 8:22 PM EDT

    tejada in blue padres

    Brian Sabean strikes again. According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, the Giants have agreed to a one-year, $6.5 million contract with veteran infielder Miguel Tejada.  The contract will also include about $500,000 in pefromance-based bonuses. Tejada no longer has good range at shortstop and batted just .269/.312/.381 over the course of the 2010 season. …

  5. Grant Balfour surprisingly declines Rays’ arbitration offer

    Nov 30, 2010, 7:43 PM EDT

    Grant Balfour

    Tonight is the deadline for potential free agents to either accept or decline arbitration offers.  There won’t be many surprises, but we’ll keep tabs on the more shocking decisions. Here’s one. According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, right-hander Grant Balfour has decided to decline the Rays’ offer of arbitration and will test…

  6. Frank Francisco will accept Rangers’ offer of arbitration

    Nov 30, 2010, 6:50 PM EDT

    francisco in blue

    From T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com comes word that Rangers reliever Frank Francisco has decided that he will accept the club’s offer of salary arbitration. Francisco could have tested the open market in search of a multi-year contract, but he was labeled as a Type A free agent this fall and that probably scared off potential…

  7. The Dodgers are thinking about signing Jason Varitek too?

    Nov 30, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

    varitek

    And you thought Johnny Damon was nuts. Rosenthal mentions another potential Dodger target: Jason Varitek. This may be a bit more iffy than a lot of rumors because, according to Rosenthal, the Dodgers are looking at a ton of different catchers as they try to figure out if Russell Martin can still play.  But the…

  8. Pierzynski is “talking to the White Sox and some other teams”

    Nov 30, 2010, 5:19 PM EDT

    Pierzynski_1

    Asked about his free agency while doing a radio interview this morning, A.J. Pierzynski replied that he’s “talking to the White Sox and some other teams” and “everyone knows the White Sox would be right up there as my first choice.” Chicago declined to offer Pierzynski arbitration because he likely would have accepted and locked…

  9. Lance Berkman wants $7 million

    Nov 30, 2010, 5:06 PM EDT

    Berkman Yanks

    Jeff Passan – in the same post in which he passed along that Greinke news — said that free agent Lance Berkman is seeking a one-year deal worth $7 million. The A’s are scheduled to meet with him soon, and they’d probably like to have a veteran DH with Berkman’s skills.  I have this feeling…

  10. Rockies plan to non-tender reliever Manny Delcarmen

    Nov 30, 2010, 4:46 PM EDT

    manny-delcarmen-rockies

    Manny Delcarmen threw just eight innings for the Rockies after they acquired him from the Red Sox on August 31 and now Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that they plan to non-tender the arbitration-eligible reliever, making him a free agent. Delcarmen didn’t pitch well during that brief stint in Colorado, but obviously eight…

  11. Report: Zack Greinke has no problem going to New York, and the Yankees and Royals are talking

    Nov 30, 2010, 4:26 PM EDT

    Zack Greinke

    The conventional wisdom is that Zack Greinke — he of the history of anxiety disorder and a massive no-trade clause that keeps him from going to 20 teams — would never agree to go to the Yankees.  Too much pressure. Too much media.  Too much everything.  Jeff Passan at Yahoo!, however, talked to someone who…

  12. The Cardinals trade for Ryan Theriot

    Nov 30, 2010, 4:05 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies

    The Cardinals just acquired Ryan Theriot from Dodgers in exchange for righty Blake Hawksworth. On one the one hand: sure.  The Cardinals need some help on the infield, as Brendan Ryan was just atrocious this year. On  the other hand: Theriot ain’t exactly an All-Star himself, and his OPS was only marginally higher than Ryan’s…

  13. Astros and catcher Humberto Quintero avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Nov 30, 2010, 3:47 PM EDT

    humberto-quintero-astros

    Arbitration eligible for the third time, Humberto Quintero and the Astros have avoided the process by agreeing to a one-year, $1 million contract. Quintero made $610,000 and $750,000 in his first two seasons of arbitration eligibility. He received a career-high 276 plate appearances this year, but hit just .234 with a measly .579 OPS to…

  14. The Dodgers are interested in Johnny Damon

    Nov 30, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

    Johnny Damon

    Or so Ken Rosenthal reports.  I can’t imagine why they’d want to go with another aging, ex-Red Sox defensive liability in left field after getting rid of Manny Ramirez, but there’s a lot I don’t understand about this world. If the Dodgers do sign Damon, it would just be the latest in a series of…

  15. Must-click link: Derek Jeter in all 29 non-Yankees uniforms

    Nov 30, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

    derek jeter beckett royals

    Last month ESPN photo-shopped a Red Sox uniform onto Derek Jeter and that made the internet rounds for a while, but now our friends at Beckett Media have taken the next step and put together fake baseball cards featuring Jeter wearing all 29 non-Yankees uniforms. Beckett: 29 Derek Jeters you won’t see in 2011 I…

  16. The Cardinals may owe the City of St. Louis money. And the City of St. Louis doesn’t seem to care.

    Nov 30, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

    Busch Stadium

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports today that a group that is against public funding for stadiums — they’re actually called “the Coalition Against Public Funding for Stadiums” — is giving the city of St. Louis hell over the fact that it apparently isn’t keeping tabs on whether the Cardinals are keeping the promises they made…

  17. Rangers sign Japanese reliever Yoshinori Tateyama

    Nov 30, 2010, 2:19 PM EDT

    Yoshinori Tateyama

    Japanese reliever Yoshinori Tateyama has signed a one-year contract with the Rangers that also includes team options for 2012 and 2013. Unlike higher-profiles Japanese players such as Hisashi Iwakuma and Tsuyoshi Nishioka there was no “posting fee” required to negotiate with Tateyama, as he’s a 35-year-old veteran who was simply a free agent following 12…

  18. Oliver Perez is throwing in the low 90s. And a digression about Culiacan, Mexico

    Nov 30, 2010, 1:58 PM EDT

    Oliver Perez Mets

    When Mets fans heard that Oliver Perez was getting rocked in the Mexican Winter League, they were cautiously optimistic that it would cause the team to finally part ways with the guy. I mean, if you can’t make it in Culiacan,* how are you supposed to handle the Big Apple? But now it seems that…

  19. Red Sox get free draft pick as Felipe Lopez declines arbitration

    Nov 30, 2010, 1:48 PM EDT

    felipe-lopez-cardinals

    At first glance it seemed odd when the Red Sox signed Felipe Lopez for the final week of the season. They were no longer really in the playoff picture and he wouldn’t have been eligible for the postseason roster anyway. He appeared in just four games before becoming a free agent. So why did they…

  20. Reader Dissent: Derek Jeter edition

    Nov 30, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

    Derek Jeter

    We’ve talked a lot about how, for Casey Close to get any leverage, he has to get another team in on the Derek Jeter bidding.  But there are other constituencies at his disposal. No, they’re not as strong as having a competing offer on the table, but there is a certain brand of Yankees fan…

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