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  1. Is 600 home runs “magical?”

    Jan 14, 2011, 3:38 PM EST

    Jim Thome

    Danny Knobler asks that question in light of Jim Thome’s signing and his inevitable 600th home run: Thome is entirely likeable, by teammates, fans and writers alike. A whole bunch of people will be happy for him when he gets to 600. But will it feel magic? I’m not so sure it will. This just isn’t…

  2. Carl Pavano’s “decision expected Monday or Tuesday”

    Jan 14, 2011, 3:15 PM EST

    carl-pavano-mustache-pitching

    General manager Bill Smith said this afternoon that re-signing Jim Thome won’t keep the Twins from also bringing back Carl Pavano, telling Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “We’re very optimistic, very hopeful of bringing Carl Pavano back to this ball club.” Christensen reports that Pavano “is taking the weekend to think about the…

  3. The Stamford police are skeptical of Bobby Valentine

    Jan 14, 2011, 2:36 PM EST

    Bobby Valentine horizontal

    Bobby Valentine’s new job as Stamford, Connecticut’s Public Safety Director is not going over all that well with the people who will be under his supervision: The announcement of Valentine’s new role wasn’t met with universal acclaim, however. Sgt. Joe Kennedy, president of the Stamford police union, expressed his doubts about Valentine to the Advocate.…

  4. Mets sign utility man Willie Harris to a minor league contract

    Jan 14, 2011, 2:14 PM EST

    willie-harris-nationals

    After three seasons in Washington the Nationals weren’t interested in bringing back Willie Harris and he apparently didn’t get any major-league offers thanks to a .183 batting average last year, so the 33-year-old utility man has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mets. Prior to falling apart last season Harris was a very useful…

  5. The Cardinals sign Miguel Batista and Ian Snell

    Jan 14, 2011, 1:45 PM EST

    Braves Nationals Baseball

    I hope Cardinals fans didn’t have water in their mouths when they read the following tweet from Derrick Goold, or else they’d need new monitors: Cardinals sign Miguel Batista and Ian Snell I mean, jeez, Derrick. I know some people advocate pulling the bandage off quickly, but you really should break that kind of thing…

  6. Nationals interested in Jerry Hairston Jr. as replacement for Willie Harris

    Jan 14, 2011, 1:17 PM EST

    Image (1) hairston%20scores.jpg for post 3384

    Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals will not be re-signing Willie Harris, who spent the past three seasons in Washington, and are interesting in signing Jerry Hairston Jr. as his utility man replacement. Harris and Hairston are pretty similar, with Hairston perhaps bringing a bit more defensive value to the table, and Ladson…

  7. Blast from the past: the Phillies sign Matt Anderson

    Jan 14, 2011, 1:02 PM EST

    Matt Anderson

    This will likely be the first and the last time we blog about Matt Anderson this year, but I am a sucker for comeback stories so it’s worth a mention. The Phillies signed him. Minor league deal, of course. For those who are blanking, Anderson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 draft,…

  8. Twins re-sign Jim Thome to one-year, $3 million contract

    Jan 14, 2011, 12:26 PM EST

    Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers

    After flirting with the Rangers while searching for a multi-year deal, Jim Thome has returned to the Twins on a one-year contract. According to Kelly Thesier of MLB.com he’ll get $3 million in guaranteed money, plus incentives based on playing time, which means the Twins got Thome at a bargain rate for the second straight…

  9. Rays will have 11 of the top 75 picks in this year’s draft

    Jan 14, 2011, 12:12 PM EST

    MLB First Year Player Draft

    This morning I noted that free agents departing the Rays this offseason have signed elsewhere for a total of $215 million and since then Grant Balfour raised that figure even higher by signing a multi-year deal with the A’s. While most of the focus has understandably been on the Rays losing so much major-league talent,…

  10. The A’s sign Grant Balfour: Two years, $8.1 million

    Jan 14, 2011, 11:58 AM EST

    Grant Balfour

    UPDATE: Buster Olney reports that the deal is for two years, $8.1 million, pending a physical. 10:58 AM: Did someone mention Rays free agents signing elsewhere?  Because we have another: Grant Balfour is close to signing a deal with the Oakland Athletics. That according to Jon Paul Morosi. It’s a multi-year deal. We have no details on…

  11. OK, maybe Sox fans shouldn’t worry that much about Josh Beckett after all

    Jan 14, 2011, 11:30 AM EST

    beckett

    Yesterday I linked John Tomase’s dire warning about what the future may hold for Josh Beckett.  Today Bill at The Platoon Advantage picks Tomase’s analysis apart. Setting aside the notion that Tomase could have used more refined metrics with which to analyze Beckett, Bill observes that Tomase unwittingly stacked the deck against him: Even assuming plain…

  12. Angels, Twins, Rangers, Rays, and Blue Jays interested in Manny Ramirez

    Jan 14, 2011, 11:08 AM EST

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

    Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the Angels, Twins, Rangers, Rays, and Blue Jays are among “at least five teams” to express interest in Manny Ramirez, which is a surprise given how little speculation has surrounded him publicly throughout the offseason. Rojas writes that Ramirez has been training in Arizona in an effort to…

  13. It’ll never happen, but the Yanks need to put Joba back into the rotation

    Jan 14, 2011, 10:30 AM EST

    JOBA CHAMBERLAIN

    The Yankees have been unwavering in their position on Joba Chamberlain: he’s a relief pitcher and he always will be a relief pitcher as long as he plays for the New York Yankees.  As Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues notes, however, such a position is a horrible one, and with no less than three…

  14. Free agents departing Rays have signed for $213 million

    Jan 14, 2011, 10:18 AM EST

    Theo Epstein, Carl Crawford

    Following the Yankees signing Rafael Soriano to a three-year, $35 million deal last night Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune notes that the eight free agents departing the Rays this offseason have signed elsewhere for a total of $213 million over 19 years. That total will rise to $215 million for 20 seasons once Chad…

  15. The Royals sign Jeff Francis

    Jan 14, 2011, 9:40 AM EST

    Jeff Francis

    UPDATE: Jerry Crasnick reports that Francis will get a $2M base salary. He can make $2M more in incentives based on starts and innings pitched. Seems like a good deal. Especially considering that Brad Penny just got $3 million base, $3 million incentives. 9:40 AM: Jerry Crasnick just tweeted that the Royals have signed free agent starter…

  16. Lance Berkman is in the best shape of his life

    Jan 14, 2011, 9:24 AM EST

    Lance Berkman

    Usually, BSoML stories are mock-worthy. In Lance Berkman’s case, it’s serious business. That’s because Berkman is trying to do that which is not usually done: move right on the defensive spectrum in his mid-30s.  As Joe Strauss notes, however: Berkman is taking this very, very seriously: “If I have a repeat of last year I’m…

  17. Irony alert: Reggie Jackson tells an athlete to be quiet and humble

    Jan 14, 2011, 8:54 AM EST

    Reggie Jackson

    I don’t give a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys about the NFL playoffs and — certain strokes of unadulterated genius aside — don’t care if the Jets beat the Patriots this weekend or vice-versa.  But Mr. October Reggie Jackson does. And he’s had it with the trash-talking of the Jets’ Antonio Cromartie: Former New York Yankees’…

  18. Nice work by Scott Boras on the Rafael Soriano deal

    Jan 14, 2011, 8:00 AM EST

    Rafael Soriano Rays

    The Rafael Soriano deal represents some pretty sweet work by Scott Boras. Not just the in the sell-ice-to-Eskimos sense — the Yankees already have a pretty decent bullpen ace — but also in its structure. As was reported all over the place, the contract calls for Soriano to make $10 million this season, $11 million…

  19. The Giants are taking their World Series trophy to New York

    Jan 14, 2011, 6:10 AM EST

    1954 Giants

    To most of us, 1957 may as well be ancient history. The Giants don’t view it that way, however, and they’re doing a solid for whatever Giants fans are still left in New York from back when they skipped town: they’re taking the World Series trophy there and will put it on display in a…

  20. Pedro Martinez to open school, unsure if he’ll play

    Jan 14, 2011, 1:46 AM EST

    Pedro Martinez

    Future Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez is keeping quite busy as he decides whether or not to return to play in 2011 (don’t bet on it). The 39-year-old, who compiled a 219-100 record with a 2.93 ERA in 18 seasons, is launching a new school on Monday in his native Dominican Republic. It will…

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