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  1. Red Sox looking at southpaw Rich Hill as a bullpen option

    Dec 28, 2010, 11:17 AM EDT

    rich-hill-red-sox

    Rich Hill posted incredible strikeout totals in the minors while coming up through the Cubs’ system and had a 3.92 ERA with 183 strikeouts in 195 innings in his first full season as a starter in 2007. Unfortunately because of injuries and prolonged bouts of wildness that stands as Hill’s only full season as a…

  2. This is how silly rumors get started

    Dec 28, 2010, 10:40 AM EDT

    blanton

    The sole line about Joe Blanton in this morning’s story about the Yankees’ rotation by Pete Caldera of the Record: “The Phillies’ Joe Blanton is said to be available as a possible trade target” The headline to same story: “Yanks interested in Blanton, Garcia” There isn’t a single quote or even an allusion to the…

  3. Yunesky Maya named top pitcher in Dominican winter league

    Dec 28, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    yunesky-maya-nationals

    Yunesky Maya signed a four-year, $6 million contract with the Nationals after defecting from Cuba and found himself in the majors following just five starts in the minors, but the 28-year-old right-hander struggled with an 0-3 record and 5.88 ERA in five September outings. Maya headed to the Dominican Republic to pitch winter ball and…

  4. Cardinals’ GM thinks the defense will be better

    Dec 28, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    New York Yankees' first baseman Lance Berkman falls while chasing a foul ball hit by Texas Rangers' Ian Kinsler in the fourth inning during Game 5 of their Major League Baseball ALCS playoff series in New York

    Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak thinks that team defense will be better in 2011: “I’m of the belief that the defense question is being overstated. Overall, the idea that we’ve lessened our club that much defensively I guess I understand from the comment that we traded Brendan. But I don’t see the big change. I think this is…

  5. Great moments in backhanded compliments: Jonathan Papelbon edition

    Dec 28, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    papelbon-100801

    There’s no actual news in Scott Lauber’s story about Jonathan Papelbon in today’s Boston Herald — note: there are other relievers who could take his job and if he wants a big payday next winter he had better perform in 2011 — but there’s a great line, dropped after Lauber wonders whether Papelbon was even aware…

  6. George Steinbrenner and college football

    Dec 28, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    1970s Steinbrenner

    Bill Madden has a great piece up over at the Daily News today. Inspired by the bowl game that will be played in Yankee Stadium on Thursday, Madden reminds us of George Steinbrenner’s many ties — and undeniable love — for college football.  It’s a good history lesson. Also, if you’re at all familiar with…

  7. Nolan Ryan: “we’re overpaying some free agents that probably shouldn’t be getting paid what they are”

    Dec 28, 2010, 6:18 AM EDT

    Nolan Ryan Rangers

    Bonus question: what would Nolan Ryan have made if he were a free agent on today’s market?

  8. Brewers break off negotiations with Chris Capuano

    Dec 27, 2010, 8:40 PM EDT

    Chris Capuano

    Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the club has broken off talks with free agent left-hander Chris Capuano. “Chris wants to be a starting pitcher and we don’t see a match at this time,” said Melvin. “We like Chris a lot but we both decided it was best…

  9. The Orioles are still talking with Kevin Gregg

    Dec 27, 2010, 7:01 PM EDT

    Kevin Gregg

    According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Orioles are in talks with Kevin Gregg. This isn’t really news, because we already heard this before, but it’s the holidays and people are drinking lots of eggnog and stuff. Gregg, 32, posted a 3.51 ERA along with a career-high 37 saves with the Blue Jays this past…

  10. Mets acquire shortstop Chin-lung Hu from Dodgers

    Dec 27, 2010, 5:29 PM EDT

    chin-lung-hu-dodgers

    Chin-lung Hu never really got another shot in Los Angeles after struggling as a rookie in 2008, and today the Dodgers traded the 27-year-old shortstop to the Mets for left-hander Michael Antonini. Once upon a time Hu was considered a top prospect, but his bat never developed enough to match his strong glove and now…

  11. Joe Posnanski is going Hall of Fame crazy this week

    Dec 27, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

    hall of fame

    If you’ve grown weary of all of the Hall of Fame posts I’ve been writing over the past couple of weeks you may not want to read Joe Posnanski this week. He’s doing a lengthy Hall of Fame post each day, starting with today’s introductory post in which he talks about his Hall of Fame…

  12. Brewers sign reliever Takashi Saito to one-year contract

    Dec 27, 2010, 3:44 PM EDT

    takashi-saito-braves

    Takashi Saito and the Brewers have finalized a one-year contract, with Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that the deal could pay the 41-year-old reliever up to $3.2 million based on incentives. Saito can’t handle a full workload at this point in his career, rarely pitching on back-to-back days for the Braves this year, but he…

  13. FIU baseball player Garrett Wittels arrested and charged with rape in the Bahamas

    Dec 27, 2010, 2:39 PM EDT

    Image (1) garrett%20wittels-thumb-200x186-12395.jpg for post 6535

    Remember last summer when Florida International shortstop Garrett Wittels hit in 56 straight games? And remember how the streak is still alive because his team got eliminated from the NCAA tournament?  Yeah, well, he has other things on his mind at the moment: Florida International University baseball star Garrett Wittels and a group of friends were…

  14. Desmond Jennings no sure thing to replace Carl Crawford

    Dec 27, 2010, 2:10 PM EDT

    Desmond Jennings profile

    For the past year or so most people have assumed that the Rays would replace Carl Crawford in left field with top prospect Desmond Jennings, a 23-year-old speedster who’s drawn frequent comparisons to Crawford while coming up through the minors. However, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times “the most likely scenario” for…

  15. Great Moments in trash talking

    Dec 27, 2010, 1:44 PM EDT

    Red Sox fans

    The Boston Globe’s Kevin Cullen relished spending Christmas in New Jersey because he could use the time to taunt his Yankees-fan relatives: As the snow and the wind got worse, all the people from North Jersey who were supposed to come for dinner wimped out. They called to cancel. Of course, they cited the weather.…

  16. A man struggles with tobacco addiction. But it’s not what you think.

    Dec 27, 2010, 12:44 PM EDT

    T206

    I used to think that I had a baseball card problem.  I was a mere piker compared to Amar Shah, however, who shares his tale of collecting T206 tobacco cards over at ESPN.com today: A few weeks later came the T206 tipping point. Tejal was working all day and I had the entire day to…

  17. Carl Pavano is holding out for a three-year contract

    Dec 27, 2010, 12:17 PM EDT

    Minnesota Twins starter Pavano pitches to the New York Yankees during the first inning of Game 2 of their MLB ALDS baseball playoffs in Minneapolis

    Carl Pavano and his agent smartly let Cliff Lee sign before making their move, setting him up as the top free agent starter on the market. However, that took place two weeks ago and Pavano still hasn’t made a decision despite interest from multiple teams. Minnesota and Washington (and previously Milwaukee) have been linked to…

  18. Takashi Saito is near a one-year deal with the Brewers

    Dec 27, 2010, 11:42 AM EDT

    Saito

    NPB Tracker translates and tweets an article from Nikkan Sports reporting that the Milwaukee Brewers are nearing a one-year contract with Takashi Saito worth around $3 million, including incentives. Saito was solid for the Braves last season.  He has some reliability questions concerning his shoulder and, yeah, he’s 40. Still, he would be yet another nice…

  19. Brandon Webb’s one-year deal with Rangers worth $3 million plus incentives

    Dec 27, 2010, 11:16 AM EDT

    Brandon Webb dugout

    No official details yet on Brandon Webb’s one-year contract with the Rangers, but Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the deal is worth around $3 million in guaranteed money plus undisclosed incentives. Webb earned $6.5 million to make one start in 2009 and then the Diamondbacks picked up his $8.5 million option for 2010 only…

  20. Dis of the Day: Buster Olney on Manny Ramirez

    Dec 27, 2010, 10:44 AM EDT

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

    This isn’t a slam or anything. It’s actually a fair assessment on Buster Olney’s part. But it’s not exactly the sort of way we’re used to hearing guys like Manny Ramirez described: Heard this: The Yankees have no interest in signing Manny Ramirez … if the Yankees were comfortable with having a oft-injured, right-handed DH/OF type for…

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