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  1. Nate McLouth will start in center this year for Atlanta

    Jan 20, 2011, 9:03 PM EST

    Atlanta Braves v San Francisco Giants, Game 1

    Braves outfielder Nate McLouth had the worst offensive season of his career in 2010, posting a miserable .190 batting average and .620 OPS across 288 plate appearances.  He was demoted to the Triple-A level at one point and he also battled a concussion near the middle of the summer. It was a brutal showing. But,…

  2. Update: Giants complete minor league deal with Suppan

    Jan 20, 2011, 7:41 PM EST

    Jeff Suppan

    UPDATE, 7:41 PM: According to Mychael Urban of CSN Bay Area, this one is done.  If Suppan manages to find a spot on the Giants’ Opening Day roster, he will earn a $1 million salary. 2:16 PM: From Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News comes word that the Giants are nearing agreement on…

  3. Reds ink Johnny Cueto to a four-year, $27M extension

    Jan 20, 2011, 6:29 PM EST

    Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds, Game 3

    From Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes comes word that the Reds have agreed to a four-year, $27 million contract extension with young right-hander Johnny Cueto. Cueto, 25 next month, was eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter.  This new extension will allow both sides to avoid an often tumultuous arbitration hearing and will…

  4. Francona: Marco Scutaro is our shortstop

    Jan 20, 2011, 5:04 PM EST

    marco-scutaro-red-sox

    There has been some chatter lately about how Jed Lowrie could take over the Red Sox shortstop job from Marco Scutaro. Theo Epstein said as much himself last week. Terry Francona gave a press conference today, however, and he says nope, not happenin’: “Scutaro’s our shortstop. (Lowrie) gives us something not a lot of teams can…

  5. The Yankees sign Andruw Jones

    Jan 20, 2011, 4:32 PM EST

    White Sox Jones hits homerun against Twins in Minneapolis

    Did someone mention scoops? Add one to Jon Heyman’s list: the Yankees have signed Andruw Jones to a one-year, $2 million contract, with another $1.2 million possible in performance-based incentives. Jones will be a fourth outfielder/DH/Designated lefty-masher next year. Between platooning at the corners, days off and injuries, he could get the same number of plate appearances…

  6. Some musings on scoops and the people who get them

    Jan 20, 2011, 4:00 PM EST

    Press

    Beyond the Box score has a chart up today tracking which baseball reporters got the most transactions scoops this winter.  Ken Rosenthal leads the pack. Jon Heyman is second. You’ll recognize all the other names based on reading “So and so reports …” posts here and elsewhere.  It’s a relatively small group of men and…

  7. Eric Chavez worked out for the Dodgers today

    Jan 20, 2011, 3:21 PM EST

    Eric Chavez

    I thought of doing something cute and copying and pasting an article about Nomar Garciaparra from a couple of years ago but changing all the names, but that would take a lot of work, so we’ll play it straight: The Dodgers worked out free-agent third baseman Eric Chavez at their Camelback Ranch-Glendale training facility in…

  8. Must-click link: Colombia — The next international talent hotbed

    Jan 20, 2011, 2:30 PM EST

    Click Here large

    ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian has an interesting story today about scouting in Colombia, which may be the next Venezuela or Dominican Republic when it comes to amateur talent.  For the story, he talked to Kansas City Royals scout Mike Toomey, who is all over that country looking for the next big thing.  The other day I…

  9. ESPN to televise 10 spring training games

    Jan 20, 2011, 2:05 PM EST

    old TV

    ESPN just announced that they will televise 10 spring training games. The schedule breaks down as follows: March 3:  Detroit vs. Atlanta – 1 p.m. ET March 14:  N.Y. Yankees vs. Boston – 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2) March 16: Boston vs. Atlanta – 1 p.m. ET March 21:  Boston vs. Philadelphia – 1 p.m. ET…

  10. The first round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft is set

    Jan 20, 2011, 12:57 PM EST

    MLB Draft

    Carl Pavano was the final Type A free agent left on the board. And now that he has re-signed with the Twins, the first-round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft is officially set. Courtesy of Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, let’s take a look at the field: 1. Pittsburgh Pirates 2. Seattle Mariners 3. Arizona Diamondbacks…

  11. The Rangers are finally ready to give Jon Daniels a contract extension

    Jan 20, 2011, 12:12 PM EST

    Chuck Greenberg, Nolan Ryan, Jon Daniels

    The Rangers have had a pretty hectic offseason. After losing to the Giants in the World Series, they found themselves in almost instant contract talks with Cliff Lee right up until mid-December. Once Lee signed with the Phillies, the Rangers countered with the additions of Brandon Webb and Adrian Beltre. Naturally, there hasn’t been much…

  12. The Mets offseason training is getting serious

    Jan 20, 2011, 11:30 AM EST

    Leading firemen

    I’m gathering from the Twitterverse that a number of Mets players are at the New York Fire Department’s training academy this morning, in full firefighter gear, going through training exercises like putting out burning cars and stuff.  The best was Dillon Gee rappelling down the side of a tower.  Take that Cashman. I like the community…

  13. Did the Yankees simply “mess up” Joba Chamberlain’s development?

    Jan 20, 2011, 10:58 AM EST

    Joba chamberlain throwing

    Bob Ryan has one of those stream-of-consciousness observation columns today. His last observation: Has any team, anywhere, at any time in history, ever messed up a valued prospect as badly as the Yankees have Joba Chamberlain? I’ve asked that question before.  And it sure seems like Chamberlain was jerked around like crazy in going back and…

  14. The Royals will definitely sell out their game on April 2nd

    Jan 20, 2011, 10:27 AM EST

    MiLB - Myrtle Beach Pelicans

    The Royals should have a big crowd on April 2nd. And not just for the Royals-Angels game scheduled that afternoon: According to team spokesman Toby Cook, the Royals are planning to hold a minor league exhibition game between its top two minor league affiliates, Class AAA Omaha and Class AA Northwest Arkansas, on April 2…

  15. Adrian Gonzalez working hard at rehabbing his shoulder. At Petco Park.

    Jan 20, 2011, 9:58 AM EST

    Newly acquired Boston Red Sox player Adrian Gonzalez smiles during a news conference at Fenway Park in Boston

    Buster Olney has a good column up today about Adrian Gonzalez‘s focus and hard work as he rehabs his shoulder this winter and prepares for the big expectations facing him in Boston this season.  But this stuck out at me: Gonzalez, a left-handed hitter who throws with his left hand, hurt his right shoulder last…

  16. Deer antlers: the hot new PED

    Jan 20, 2011, 9:31 AM EST

    Deer

    Given how many baseball players spend their offseasons hunting you’d think we would have heard about this by now, but this is the first I’ve heard of ground up deer antlers being used by athletes as a PED: They harvest the so-called velvet antler (a soft coating that covers deer antlers) in New Zealand, freeze-dry…

  17. Great Moments in Giants fandom

    Jan 20, 2011, 9:11 AM EST

    Giants fan

    I sort of hope that the Giants are good again this year because — for all of the hell I throw Philly’s way — I think Giants fans have the potential to be something special too.  Personally I’m dubious that the level of craziness we saw last fall is sustainable. But if it is, life…

  18. Shane Victorino and Charlie Manuel aren’t seeing eye-to-eye

    Jan 20, 2011, 8:41 AM EST

    Philadelphia Phillies  v Los Angeles Dodgers

    There’s a story in today’s Philadelphia Daily News about Shane Victorino and how he might bounce back from a relatively down 2010.  Charlie Manuel thinks its a matter of focus: “First of all, I think he got a little bit more home-run happy. That might have had something to do with it. But also, I…

  19. Cashman vs. the Yankees front office: here we go

    Jan 20, 2011, 6:15 AM EST

    Cashman profile

    As expected, Brian Cashman’s “I didn’t want Rafael Soriano” press conference has led to chatter about the State of the Yankees front office. Danny Knobler has some anonymice talking to him: Some people within the organization were telling friends that the divide between Cashman and the team’s Tampa operation is growing again, and even that…

  20. Duchscherer held private workouts for two AL clubs

    Jan 19, 2011, 8:59 PM EST

    Justin Duchscherer

    Free agent right-hander Justin Duchscherer may be close to finding a new team. The right-hander drew interest from the Yankees earlier this winter and, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick, held private workouts with two other American League clubs last week. Duchscherer tallied only 28 total innings last year for the A’s and sat out for…

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