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  1. Mariners re-sign catcher Josh Bard to minor league deal

    Jan 5, 2011, 10:16 AM EDT

    josh-bard-mariners

    Seattle has signed Josh Bard to a minor-league contract for the second straight offseason. Last year he spent most of the first half at Triple-A before joining the Mariners for good in early July and hitting .214 with a .634 OPS in 39 games while backing up Adam Moore. This time around he’ll compete with…

  2. Olney: The Rays would prefer to trade Garza next summer

    Jan 5, 2011, 9:46 AM EDT

    Matt Garza throwing

    After the back-and-forth on the Adrian Beltre deal I’m not 100% inclined to believe those who naysay a potential transaction, but this is worth noting: contrary to reports last night, Buster Olney says that the Rays are not close to trading Matt Garza and would rather trade him next summer at the deadline instead. We’ve…

  3. Even after Boras was cleared, the New York Times continues to pound him

    Jan 5, 2011, 9:25 AM EDT

    Boras sulking

    Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times was fed a line by Major League Baseball sources over the Scott Boras loans to Edward Salcedo. He was told that they were scandalous and wrong and that they violated union rules and he reported the daylights out of it. Yesterday, the union said, nope, no rules…

  4. On Hall of Fame day, the BBWAA site got hacked

    Jan 5, 2011, 8:58 AM EDT

    BBWAA site.bmp

    This is what the BBWAA website looked like as of a couple of minutes ago.  I’m assuming that they’ve dispatched a crack team of technical experts to fix the problem and restore order. Of course since, by definition, the IT experts are computer geeks I’m guessing half the BBWAA membership is leaning over their shoulders…

  5. Congressman doesn’t believe Palmeiro lied

    Jan 5, 2011, 8:46 AM EDT

    Palmeiro Orioles

    Rafael Palmeiro’s positive drug test may forever doom his Hall of Fame case, but to the extent that those who would vote against him do so by virtue of his finger-wagging performance in front of Congress, this may be of interest: The former head of the Congressional subcommittee that Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Jose…

  6. Getting a late start this morning. Please blame football.

    Jan 5, 2011, 6:47 AM EDT

    Allstate Sugar Bowl - Ohio State v Arkansas

    Because I still have a soft spot for my alma mater despite its many trespasses (and the fact that it’s freakin’ football) I stayed up late last night watching the Sugar Bowl. Go Bucks. A couple of observations: Anyone who complains about baseball being a slow, draggy sport should just can it. This was a…

  7. Cubs reportedly close to acquiring Matt Garza

    Jan 5, 2011, 2:18 AM EDT

    garza-nohitter-100726

    The Chicago Cubs are close to making a deal to acquire starting pitcher Matt Garza from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. The report, which did not mention what players the Rays might be seeking in such a deal, said that the Cubs became frontrunners to acquire Garza after…

  8. Report: Preliminary forensics test could clear Alfredo Simon in shooting

    Jan 5, 2011, 12:28 AM EDT

    File photo of Baltimore Orioles' Alfredo Simon pitching against the New York Yankees during a MLB spring training baseball game in Tampa

    Take this news with a grain of salt, but Alfredo Simon’s lawyer told CNN tonight that a “preliminary forensics test” could clear the pitcher in the shooting death of 25-year-old Michael Esteban Castillo. “The ballistics tests have been favorable,” lawyer Carlos Olivares told CNN in a telephone interview. “We are waiting for the formal report.”…

  9. UPDATE: Adrian Beltre took physical with Rangers today

    Jan 4, 2011, 11:07 PM EDT

    Adrian Beltre swinging

    UPDATE: According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, Adrian Beltre took his physical with the Rangers earlier today. The contract will be officially announced during a press conference tomorrow. 9:41 PM: It’s almost a done deal. According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Adrian Beltre will be in Texas tonight in order to undergo…

  10. UPDATE: Mariners, Brendan Ryan still working on contract

    Jan 4, 2011, 9:54 PM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals

    UPDATE: According to Greg Johns of MLB.com, the Mariners and Brendan Ryan have not officially agreed to a new contract, though a deal is believed to be close. 3:45 PM: Three weeks after acquiring Brendan Ryan from the Cardinals for pitching prospect Maikel Cleto the Mariners have avoided arbitration with the infielder by agreeing to…

  11. Report: Braves and Dan Uggla agree to five-year, $62 million extension

    Jan 4, 2011, 8:23 PM EDT

    Florida Marlins v San Francisco Giants

    Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Braves and Dan Uggla have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a five-year, $62 million contract. Some thought Uggla may have been pushing his luck when he turned down a four-year, $48 million extension from the Marlins in November, leading to a trade to the Braves. But you see,…

  12. Report: Nationals sign Adam LaRoche to two-year deal

    Jan 4, 2011, 8:02 PM EDT

    Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants

    It was more of a matter of “when” than “if,” but according to Peter Gammons of MLB Network, the Nationals have signed Adam LaRoche to a two-year contract. He’s expected to take a physical on Thursday in order to finalize the deal. Terms aren’t yet known, but Jen Royle of MASNSports.com reported last week that…

  13. Report: Mets have offered Chris Young more than $1 million guaranteed

    Jan 4, 2011, 6:26 PM EDT

    Chris Young throwing

    Shortly after the Mets added Chris Capuano as an option for their starting rotation last night, there were a few reports that suggested the club wasn’t done looking for additional help. With that in mind, Buster Olney of ESPN.com hears that the Mets’ offer to free agent right-hander Chris Young includes a guaranteed salary of…

  14. Must-click link: Adrian Beltre freaks out if you touch his head

    Jan 4, 2011, 5:19 PM EDT

    Click Here large

    This probably qualifies somewhere between “weird” and “the greatest thing I’ve ever seen,” but apparently Adrian Beltre really, really hates when people touch the top of his head. So naturally his teammates on the Red Sox last season–and Victor Martinez, in particular–did it frequently to upset him in the dugout, hilarious evidence of which you…

  15. Who the heck is Barry Stanton?

    Jan 4, 2011, 5:17 PM EDT

    mystery man

    Since that ESPN ballot started making the rounds, complete with a guy named Barry Stanton voting for B.J. Surhoff and Tino Martinez of all people, the most frequent question populating my email box and Twitter feed is “who the heck is Barry Stanton?” Some folks over on this BTF thread did some Googling, and it…

  16. Deep Thought: The Yankees’ imminent downfall is going to disappoint a lot of people

    Jan 4, 2011, 4:09 PM EDT

    Brian Cashman

    I was just on a radio show. As has been the case with every radio show I’ve been on in the past couple of months, the Yankees came up. Today’s hosts were way more reasonable about it than most have been, but there has been a pretty common thread to these things: somewhat restrained glee…

  17. Behold: the worst Hall of Fame ballot you’ll see this year

    Jan 4, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

    BJ Surhoff.php

    ESPN has a whopping 18 Hall of Fame voters in its employ, and today they released their ballots. It’s hard to follow because they do it by player (you have to read the names underneath) but Jason at IIATMS has made a grid out of it.  The following ballot submitted by ESPN news editor Barry…

  18. Kevin Gregg signs two-year, $10 million deal with Orioles

    Jan 4, 2011, 2:48 PM EDT

    Kevin Gregg

    Kevin Gregg has been linked to the Orioles for most of the offseason and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the two sides have finally agreed to terms on a deal. According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun he’ll get $10 million for two years, and the contract also includes a vesting option…

  19. Jayson Stark makes a damn good point about the Hall of Fame ballot

    Jan 4, 2011, 2:36 PM EDT

    Jeff Bagwell

    Today Jayson Stark makes a point about the Hall of Fame ballot that I hadn’t even considered: writers leaving suspected PED users off their Hall of Fame ballots are, perversely, making it harder for the suspected non-users like Fred McGriff and Dale Murphy to make the hall. How is that? Because not everyone thinks like…

  20. UPDATE: Beltre’s deal with the Rangers: six-years, $96 million

    Jan 4, 2011, 2:00 PM EDT

    Adrian Beltre

    UPDATE:  T.R. Sullivan fills in the details of the Adrian Beltre-Rangers deal: The Rangers still have work to do before they finalize an agreement with free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. But the deal is far enough along, according to sources, that it would be worth $96 million over six years. It would also include a…

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