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  1. Red Sox near deal with Japanese left-hander Itsuki Shoda

    Feb 12, 2011, 8:59 AM EDT

    Red Sox logo

    Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a Nikkan Sports report which says the Red Sox are expected to sign Japanese left-hander Itsuki Shoda to a minor league contract. Alex Speier of WEEI.com translates the report, where Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein is quoted as saying a deal is near completion and that Shoda…

  2. Ryan Franklin says former teammate Brendan Ryan was routinely late with Cardinals

    Feb 11, 2011, 9:55 PM EDT

    brendan-ryan-cardinals2

    When the Cardinals shipped Brendan Ryan off to the Mariners in December, we heard rumblings that the gifted gloveman had fallen out of favor with some of his teammates. Now we have some of the details. According to Gerry Spratt of the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin said during an appearance on KFNS…

  3. On second thought, Johan Santana has begun throwing a baseball

    Feb 11, 2011, 8:45 PM EDT

    Johan Santana throwing

    The other night I wrote that Johan Santana was focusing on arm strengthening exercises before picking up a baseball. Turns out that wasn’t completely accurate. Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York earlier today that Santana has already played catch three times while rehabbing near his home in Florida. Mets…

  4. UPDATE: Nick Swisher has hired Dan Lozano, not Scott Boras

    Feb 11, 2011, 7:15 PM EDT

    swisher-101021

    UPDATE: OK, maybe not. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Nick Swisher has hired Dan Lozano as his new agent, not Scott Boras. Oh well. We’re pretty sure Boras will find a way to get along just fine without him. 11:27 PM: Robinson Cano switched agents last week, going from Bobby Barad to Scott Boras,…

  5. Could the investigation into the Mets open MLB’s books?

    Feb 11, 2011, 6:57 PM EDT

    Fred Wilpon

    After speaking with a variety of legal experts and those around the baseball world, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com warn that the current litigation into the Wilpons’ involvement in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme may result in an exposure of MLB’s financial records. Here’s what one former club president had to say: “This is…

  6. Elijah Dukes is now a rapper. And he used to smoke weed before Nats games.

    Feb 11, 2011, 5:25 PM EDT

    Washington Nationals Photo Day

    The guys over at Nationals Enquirer directed my attention to this Tampa Tribune story about former Rays and Nationals outfielder Elijah Dukes.  Seems that Dukes is now a rapper known as “Fly Eli.”  He’s got an album ready to drop, as the kids say, and has concerts scheduled and all of that.  Oh, and like…

  7. James Loney and Dodgers avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Feb 11, 2011, 5:10 PM EDT

    James Loney swinging

    James Loney and the Dodgers had an arbitration hearing scheduled for next Friday, but the two sides will avoid the process by agreeing to a one-year, $4.875 million deal. Loney requested $5.25 million and the Dodgers countered at $4.7 million, so they’re settling for $100,000 below the midpoint. Loney will be arbitration eligible again in…

  8. In which a bear is interviewed about Mark Buehrle

    Feb 11, 2011, 4:22 PM EDT

    Bear

    Trust me: the headline makes sense once you read the story. And I can’t help but think that the bear makes some damn fine points.

  9. Edinson Volquez turned down a four-year deal from the Reds

    Feb 11, 2011, 4:18 PM EDT

    Edinson Volquez

    Cincinnati handed out new multi-year contracts to Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, and Bronson Arroyo this offseason, spending more than $150 million in the process, but the Reds’ attempts to do the same with Edinson Volquez were denied. Volquez told the Dominican newspaper El Caribe that the Reds offered him “a four-year contract, the…

  10. Milton Bradley cleared of all charges

    Feb 11, 2011, 3:48 PM EDT

    Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees

    Milton Bradley’s attorney released the following statement this afternoon, as reported by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “The allegations against Milton Bradley were thoroughly investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office,” the statement read. “Both agencies determined there was no basis to file charges and no charges were filed … As…

  11. Chuck Tanner: 1929-2011

    Feb 11, 2011, 3:19 PM EDT

    Portrait of Baseball Manager Chuck Tanner Posing Against the Blue Sky

    Former White Sox, A’s, Pirates and Braves manager Chuck Tanner has died. He was 81. Tanner bounced around the majors as a player from the mid-to-late 50s, but he’ll be remembered as a manager. Perhaps the most quintessential “player’s manager”  of all time.  This served him well for the most part.  He got his start…

  12. Jered Weaver, beware: Players who lose arbitration hearings usually aren’t long for the team

    Feb 11, 2011, 3:17 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers

    Most teams do whatever they can to avoid arbitration hearings, because presenting a case for why a player doesn’t deserve the money he’s asking for can often lead to hurt feelings. Presenting that case well enough for the three-person arbitration panel to rule in favor of the team can be particularly ugly and Sam Miller…

  13. Famous people are lining up to not own the Mets

    Feb 11, 2011, 2:45 PM EDT

    Seinfeld Mets

    I guess it’s because it’s New York and everyone is bored, but there have been a plethora of reports — and calling them “reports” is actually an insult to the act of reporting — linking famous rich people and the Mets in the wake Wilpon’s announcement that he’s looking for minority owners.  There was the…

  14. Brian Cashman doesn’t believe CC Sabathia lost 30 pounds

    Feb 11, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT

    scale help

    Earlier this week Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported that CC Sabathia lost 30 pounds during the offseason, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman isn’t buying it. Here’s what Cashman told Wallace Matthews of ESPN.com after seeing Sabathia in person recently: I don’t believe it. I saw him at the B.A.T. dinner and he didn’t look…

  15. The University of California cuts its baseball team; UCLA meets with Charlie Sheen

    Feb 11, 2011, 1:31 PM EDT

    UC Berkeley baseball

    Notable University of California baseball players include Jeff Kent, Andy Messersmith, Jackie Jensen, Bob Melvin, Darren Lewis and Brandom Morrow. There will be no more, however, because we learned today that Cal has decided to drop its baseball program entirely: The University of California announced today it will not reinstate its baseball program despite vigorous…

  16. Michael Bourn switched agents to Scott Boras too

    Feb 11, 2011, 1:16 PM EDT

    michael-bourn-astros

    Last week Robinson Cano left his agent for Scott Boras and this morning Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that Nick Swisher is doing the same, but Boras’ stable of prominent clients isn’t done growing yet. Stephen Goff of Examiner.com reports that Astros center fielder Michael Bourn recently dropped his representation at SFX…

  17. Matt Holliday willing to defer money to help keep Albert Pujols

    Feb 11, 2011, 12:21 PM EDT

    pujols-and-holliday

    During a radio interview this morning Matt Holliday said he’d be willing to defer some of his salary in an effort to help the Cardinals sign Albert Pujols to a long-term deal. Matthew Leach of MLB.com has a transcript of the comments: I deferred $2 million a year for the whole contract and I would…

  18. The Orioles and Jeremy Guthrie avoid arbitration

    Feb 11, 2011, 12:08 PM EDT

    Image (1) jeremy%20guthrie.jpg for post 5627

    The Orioles and starter Jeremy Guthrie avoided arbitration today by agreeing to a one-year, $5.75 million contract. They split the difference between Guthrie’s demand of $6.5 million and the team’s offer of $5 million. Guthire had a really nice year last year, posting a 3.83 ERA as the Orioles’ workhorse. If the O’s are even superficially…

  19. Maybe I just don’t understand new media

    Feb 11, 2011, 11:44 AM EDT

    iPad

    UPDATE:  Rovell was wrong.  It’s ten bucks on top of the print edition to get the digital edition too, not ten dollars more for the digital edition only.  I don’t see an option for digital-only, however. Is that available? Anyone? Bueller? Sports Illustrated is apparently coming out with a digital subscription for smart phones and…

  20. Was A-Rod’s first deal the worst free agent signing of all time?

    Feb 11, 2011, 10:42 AM EDT

    AlexRodriguezAP

    Andy MacPhail thinks it was the first A-Rod deal. At least that’s what he told a law school seminar yesterday: “Alex Rodriguez to Texas was the worst signing in the history of baseball in my view,” MacPhail said. “Why? Because he played as well as you can possibly ask the kid to play. He had…

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