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  1. The Angels sign Scott Downs to a three-year, $15 million contract

    Dec 10, 2010, 6:21 PM EDT

    Scott Downs

    UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com confirms it. The Angels have signed Downs to a three-year, $15 million contract. He could earn an additional $1 million based on games finished. Downs, who turns 35 in March, posted a 2.64 ERA and 48/14 K/BB ratio over 61 1/3 innings this past season. The southpaw has a 2.36…

  2. Pirates “are trying hard to deal” Ryan Doumit

    Dec 10, 2010, 5:42 PM EDT

    ryan-doumit-pirates

    Earlier this week Pittsburgh added Matt Diaz to the outfield mix with a two-year, $4.25 million contract and now Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the Pirates “are trying hard to deal” Ryan Doumit despite general manager Neal Huntington calling him the team’s starting right fielder just a few days ago. Doumit made 91 of…

  3. “”If you love baseball, you loved Ron Santo”

    Dec 10, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

    Ron Santo

    They held Ron Santo’s memorial service in Chicago today. Bud Selig spoke. Tom Haudricort transcribed his remarks. In addition to the words in that headline, he  included a great anecdote about the man: “The move of the Milwaukee Braves to Atlanta in the mid-1960s left a void in the lives of everyone in my family.…

  4. Mike Schmidt thinks that Jayson Werth kid has potential

    Dec 10, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

    Jayson Werth shades

    Mike Schmidt — the baseball player, not the New York Times reporter — has a column today in which he questions the wisdom of the Washington Nats’ deal with Jayson Werth. I question the wisdom of it too, as do a lot of people. But what is striking about Schmidt’s criticism is that it’s based…

  5. UPDATE: Orioles re-sign Cesar Izturis following J.J. Hardy trade

    Dec 10, 2010, 4:45 PM EDT

    cesar-izturis-orioles

    UPDATE: That was quick. Baltimore has re-signed Izturis to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million in base salary, so he’ll go from starting shortstop to backing up Hardy and second baseman Brian Roberts. ========== Yesterday the Orioles made a shrewd move to address their hole at shortstop, sending a pair of minor-league relievers to the…

  6. UPDATE: Brewers sign backup catcher Wil Nieves

    Dec 10, 2010, 4:16 PM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals

    UPDATE: Done deal. Nieves gets a non-guaranteed contract worth $775,000. ========== Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Brewers are close to signing veteran catcher Wil Nieves, who played this year with the Nationals. Nieves is a run-of-the-mill backup with a good defensive reputation and an anemic bat, hitting .227 with a .570 OPS for…

  7. Ed Price is “certain” the Rays will trade Matt Garza

    Dec 10, 2010, 4:04 PM EDT

    Matt Garza throwing

    Yesterday I reported that the Rays and Cubs were talking about a Matt Garza trade. Today Ed Price from FanHouse tweets that one major league source is “certain” that the Rays will trade Garza and predicts that it will be to the Cubs. Man, I hope Ed and I aren’t talking to the same guy.…

  8. Jorge Cantu “seriously being considered by Diamondbacks”

    Dec 10, 2010, 3:40 PM EDT

    Jorge Cantu

    Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that Jorge Cantu is “seriously being considered by the Diamondbacks” as an option at first base. Cantu was horrendous for the Rangers after they acquired him a midseason deal with the Marlins and barely played in the postseason as rookie Mitch Moreland emerged as the primary first baseman. He’s always…

  9. Breaking down Jeter’s contract bonuses

    Dec 10, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

    mlb_jeter

    Ken Davidoff of Newsday reports on the specifics of Derek Jeter’s contract, including some of the bonus terms: $4 million for winning the MVP Award; $2 million for placing second through sixth in the MVP voting; $1.5 million for winning the Silver Slugger award; $500,000 for winning the Gold Glove; $500,000 for winning the LCS…

  10. Did Chuck Greenberg undermine Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels?

    Dec 10, 2010, 3:13 PM EDT

    Chuck Greenberg

    Interesting angle on the Rangers’ pursuit of Cliff Lee from Evan Grant today. He thinks Chuck Greenberg “made what could be a very dangerous spur-of-the-moment decision,” in getting involved in the Lee negotiations directly, effectively overruling and undercutting team President Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels who had made it clear as of Wednesday that…

  11. And now for some Winter Meetings flavor

    Dec 10, 2010, 2:32 PM EDT

    IMG_1361

    Two writers I met and hung out with at the Winter Meetings were Eno Sarris of FanGraphs and Rotoworld (and several other sites) and Amanda Rykoff of espnW.  Both were cool people in person, and both have some sharp and funny observations about the behind-the-scenes aspects of the Winter Meetings today: Eno breaks down the…

  12. Pavano “will wait until after the weekend to make a decision”

    Dec 10, 2010, 2:21 PM EDT

    carl-pavano-mustache-pitching

    Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post spoke to agent Tom O’Connell about Carl Pavano’s status and reports that the free agent right-hander “will wait until after the weekend to make a decision.” Pavano is said to be drawing interest from the Twins, Nationals, and Brewers, so it may come down to which team is willing…

  13. Adrian Gonzalez: “I haven’t signed any contract” with Boston

    Dec 10, 2010, 1:19 PM EDT

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

    Various reports following the Red Sox’s trade for Adrian Gonzalez suggested that the two sides had a preliminary agreement in place for a long-term contract extension, but were delaying an official announcement in part to avoid the luxury tax ramifications for 2011. That may still be the case, as the whole point of the maneuvering…

  14. The Orioles offer Kevin Gregg two years, $8-10 million

    Dec 10, 2010, 1:01 PM EDT

    Kevin Gregg

    Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have offered reliever Kevin Gregg between $8-10 million a year for a two-year deal. (note: Yikes! Sorry for scaring you people. It’s that much for both years, not each year). Gregg is OK, but nothing special, having saved 37 games in 43 chances last year.…

  15. Ryan Garko leaves MLB, signs with Korean team for $300,000

    Dec 10, 2010, 12:47 PM EDT

    garko1

    Ryan Garko spent 2007-2009 as a starting first baseman for the Indians and Giants, but played most of this season at Triple-A after being claimed off waivers by the Rangers. And now he’s headed to Korea. Apparently unable to land a major-league deal as even a part-time player, Garko has signed with the Samsung Lions…

  16. Royals “in listen-only mode” for Zack Greinke trade talks

    Dec 10, 2010, 12:19 PM EDT

    Zack Greinke

    General manager Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that the Royals are “in listen-only mode” when it comes to Zack Greinke trade talks. “I haven’t made one call to one organization asking them if they’re interested in Zack Greinke,” Moore said. Of course, that’s ultimately meaningless. Moore doesn’t have to make…

  17. Russell Martin is leaning toward the Red Sox

    Dec 10, 2010, 12:09 PM EDT

    martin in catching gear

    Mark Feinsand of the Daily News passes along word that Russell Martin, though considering offers from the Jays, Yankees and Red Sox, is leaning towards accepting the Red Sox offer. I assume the reason for this is that he thinks he has a better chance of getting playing time in front of Saltalamaccia and Varitek…

  18. After whiffing on top targets, A’s shift focus to Hideki Matsui

    Dec 10, 2010, 11:47 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers

    Oakland left the winter meetings empty handed despite several attempts to make a big splash, which has Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle thinking that the A’s will turn their attention to signing Hideki Matsui. Matsui’s agent, Arn Tellem, told Slusser that he expects to begin fielding offers over the weekend and indicated that…

  19. Here’s what I think happens with Cliff Lee

    Dec 10, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

    cliff lee in delivery

    I don’t just sit and pontificate about free agent or trade destinations very often, but it’s a slow day, so here goes: I predict that the Yankees are going to get Cliff Lee, with Lee selecting the seven-year deal off that “menu” of offers the Yankees are reported to have given him; I predict that…

  20. No, the Cardinals aren’t trying to change Colby Rasmus. But his father is taking shots at the organization…

    Dec 10, 2010, 11:03 AM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals Photo Day

    “Not satisfied with the current product, the Cardinals are trying to change center fielder Colby Rasmus.” That’s how I headlined my piece Thursday night — a piece that detailed a new contact-oriented hitting approach for the young Cardinals outfielder with direct quotes from his father, Tony Rasmus. After a bit of digging I learned that…

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