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  1. Does Pujols’ self-imposed deadline really matter?

    Feb 13, 2011, 5:05 PM EST

    St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates

    Albert Pujols told the Cardinals a couple of months ago that he wants all negotiations involving a possible contract extension to stop once he arrives at spring training so that he can avoid distractions and focus on getting ready for the start of the regular season. That self-imposed deadline is just three days away and…

  2. D’Backs, Johnson have arbitration hearing Wednesday

    Feb 13, 2011, 3:39 PM EST

    Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks

    Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reported last week that the Diamondbacks and second baseman Kelly Johnson had scheduled an arbitration hearing for Tuesday, February 15. According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, that was one day off. The two sides have officially set up a hearing for Wednesday, February 16. Johnson requested a $6.5 million…

  3. Joel Hanrahan expected to win Pirates’ ninth inning gig

    Feb 13, 2011, 2:12 PM EST

    St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates

    With the start of spring training each year comes the start of position battles — two or three guys, fighting for one roster spot or one particular gig. The Braves have a position battle going on in the back end of their bullpen, where Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters are vying to become Billy Wagner‘s…

  4. La Russa: Edmonds may still be “hobbled”

    Feb 13, 2011, 12:50 PM EST

    Cincinnati Reds v Arizona Diamondbacks

    The Cardinals signed veteran outfielder Jim Edmonds to a minor league contract earlier this month and gave him an invitation to spring training. He doesn’t have a guaranteed roster spot and will have to earn his way on to the big league roster with a strong showing in Grapefruit League games. It will be a…

  5. Pedro might try to return for the last few months of 2011

    Feb 13, 2011, 11:28 AM EST

    Boston Red Sox

    Veteran right-hander Pedro Martinez is busy opening a school in his native Dominican Republic and he is not thinking about pitching in the major leagues. Yet. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, “those in the know” think that Pedro might return for the last couple months of the 2011 season if he finds…

  6. Mat Latos’ innings will not be limited this season

    Feb 13, 2011, 10:03 AM EST

    San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks

    The Padres are ready to turn Mat Latos loose. Completely. The 23-year-old right-hander posted a stellar 2.92 ERA and 1.08 WHIP across 31 starts last season as a big league sophomore, striking out 189 batters and walking only 50. His strikeout total might have been even higher and his rate stats might have fallen even…

  7. At least one GM thinks Cards will reach deal with Pujols

    Feb 13, 2011, 8:55 AM EST

    Albert Pujols

    Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols will arrive at spring camp in Jupiter, Florida on Wednesday and has informed the club that he wants all talks regarding a contract extension to cease once he unpacks his things. The clock isn’t ticking, it’s screaming. If you kept up with the story last week, it was all about doom…

  8. Aaron Harang says struggles stemmed from 2008 relief appearance

    Feb 12, 2011, 5:50 PM EST

    Aaron Harang throwing

    It wasn’t too long ago that Aaron Harang was considered one of baseball’s most durable workhorses. For example, he tossed a total of 677 2/3 innings between 2005-07. Only Brandon Webb and Johan Santana logged more innings during that time period. Harang had a very respectable 3.50 ERA over his first 11 starts into the…

  9. Indians still have interest in Jeremy Bonderman

    Feb 12, 2011, 4:22 PM EST

    Jeremy Bonderman pitching

    Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Indians still have interest in free agent right-hander Jeremy Bonderman, but only on a minor league deal. The Indians have also been connected to veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood, but Hoynes writes that they naturally aren’t willing to give him the one-year, $4 million contract he…

  10. Tony Gwynn discusses his recovery from cancer

    Feb 12, 2011, 3:00 PM EST

    Tony Gwynn ap

    Tony Gwynn recently discussed his recovery from cancer with Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. As you may remember, the Hall of Famer was diagnosed with cancer of the parotid gland last August. We learned last month that radiation and chemotherapy forced him to use a walker to get around, but Gwynn tells Hernandez that surgery…

  11. No seriously, Billy Wagner is not coming back

    Feb 12, 2011, 1:30 PM EST

    Billy Wagner

    Yesterday I tweeted, mostly jokingly, that Billy Wagner was still on the Braves 40-man roster. Many others have continued to notice the same thing, fueling rumors that the left-hander isn’t ready to retire. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution did his best to dispel that notion last night, writing that there has been no indication…

  12. Must-click link: Joe Maddon-themed “Choose Your Own Adventure”

    Feb 12, 2011, 12:10 PM EST

    click here bigger

    Ever wanted to wear some hip dark frames and manage a major league baseball team? Of course you do. Well, Here’s your chance! CB Jones of Rays-centric blog DRaysBay has put together a brilliant “Choose Your Own Adventure” game where you star as Joe Maddon. I won’t give away too much, but the game begins…

  13. Milton Bradley may not be out of hot water yet

    Feb 12, 2011, 11:10 AM EST

    Milton Bradley sitting

    Milton Bradley’s attorney released a statement yesterday saying that his client has been cleared of all charges in regards to a felony arrest for making threats against his wife last month. According to the Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has a different take on the situation. “That’s a very optimistic…

  14. Roger Clemens jokes about throwing bat at Mike Piazza

    Feb 12, 2011, 10:15 AM EST

    Roger Clemens Piazza bat

    Roger Clemens made a paid appearance yesterday at a charity event for the Connecticut Sports Foundation’s annual celebrity dinner and memorabilia auction. The event was a celebration of the 2000 Subway Series between the Yankees and Mets, so naturally there was plenty of nostalgia on the menu. The Rocket wasn’t willing to comment on his upcoming…

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

    Feb 12, 2011, 8:59 AM EST

    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…

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

    Feb 11, 2011, 9:55 PM EST

    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…

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

    Feb 11, 2011, 8:45 PM EST

    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…

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

    Feb 11, 2011, 7:15 PM EST

    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,…

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

    Feb 11, 2011, 6:57 PM EST

    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…

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

    Feb 11, 2011, 5:25 PM EST

    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…

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