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  1. The Wilpons are no strangers to Ponzi schemes

    Jan 31, 2011, 9:31 AM EST

    Fred Wilpon

    Alison Cowan of the New York Times reports that the Bernie Madoff affair was not the first time the Wilpons have had to pay back money as a result of getting in early on a Ponzi scheme: But for the owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, it is not the first time they have had their…

  2. Manny Ramirez is in the best shape of his life

    Jan 31, 2011, 9:12 AM EST

    Manny Ramirez

    This is a bit of a stretch. Neither he nor his agent used those words, and that’s normally what triggers this kind of post.  But this is fun anyway: Marc Topkin, who covers the Rays for the St. Pete Times, waited for Manny Ramirez as he arrived at the Tampa airport last night: He was…

  3. Let them use ‘roids

    Jan 31, 2011, 8:48 AM EST

    syringe

    One of these sorts of articles comes down the pike every six to eight months or so, and I usually link them: Laws and ethics are not based on what is easy and what is hard to control. They are based on standards of justice and what is ethically right. The reason I believe doping…

  4. The Orioles sign Justin Duchscherer

    Jan 31, 2011, 8:20 AM EST

    Justin Duchscherer

    Jerry Crasnick reports that the Orioles have signed Justin Duchscherer.  The Baltimore Sun says that the deal is for $700K guaranteed, a base salary of $1.1 million if he makes the roster and as much as $4.5 million if he makes 30 starts. This sounds like a great deal for Baltimore.  If Duchscherer can stay healthy,…

  5. HBT Weekend Wrapup

    Jan 31, 2011, 5:20 AM EST

    Office at Night

    I spent my weekend with a bad back and a couple of books about artists with some serious psycho-sexual issues. Let’s see how the baseball world spent its weekend.

  6. Hanley Ramirez has ‘hunger of a rookie?’ It’s about time

    Jan 31, 2011, 1:32 AM EST

    spt-hbt2-hanley-ramirez-110130.standard[1]

    Look out world, Hanley Ramirez is ready to play hard this season. No more fooling around for this kid. No more treating ground balls with that special Roger Dorn flair. No more strutting around like he taught Abner Doubleday the nuances of the game. No more spotting the pitcher a pitch or two in each…

  7. O’s looking to acquire Duchscherer, might have made offer

    Jan 30, 2011, 4:38 PM EST

    Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics

    There are only a couple of free agents remaining on the open market who could have real value in 2011.  Justin Duchscherer is one of them. The 33-year-old right-hander boasts an excellent 3.13 career ERA and 1.14 career WHIP across eight major league seasons.  He has struggled to stay healthy in recent years, but his…

  8. Rockies sign Betancourt to two-year contract extension

    Jan 30, 2011, 3:14 PM EST

    San Diego Padres v Colorado Rockies

    According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, the Rockies have reached agreement on a two-year contract extension with reliever Rafael Betancourt.  The deal also carries a club option for 2013. Betancourt, 35, has been one of the most reliable setup men in baseball for the past several seasons, especially recently in Colorado.  Since coming over…

  9. UPDATE: Reds, Volquez reach deal, avoid arbitration

    Jan 30, 2011, 3:02 PM EST

    Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Volquez reacts after giving up a run to the Philadelphia Phillies during the second inning in Game 1 of the MLB National League Division Series baseball playoffs in Philadelphia

    UPDATE: Mark Sheldon of MLB.com says this one is done. Saturday, 5:37 PM: Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the Reds and Volquez are close to an agreement on a one-year, $1.6 million contract. Saturday, 3:31 PM: Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer earlier today that he expects…

  10. Rangers ink Dave Bush to minor league contract

    Jan 30, 2011, 2:42 PM EST

    Dave Bush

    From Jamey Newberg of The Newberg Report comes word that the Rangers have signed right-hander Dave Bush to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.  It’s a deal that carries a $1 million base salary and another $1 million in performance-based incentives, if the veteran is able to land a spot on…

  11. Mets likely to host 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field

    Jan 30, 2011, 2:03 PM EST

    Billy Joel's "The Last Play At Shea" Premieres At Citi Field

    Mets owner Fred Wilpon announced Friday that he is looking to sell a 20-25 percent stake in the club in order to secure funds that will help his family bounce back from their involvement with Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme.  A ton of bargain hunters have already stepped forward, including a group of investors led by…

  12. Morneau not yet 100 percent, but moving in that direction

    Jan 30, 2011, 12:49 PM EST

    Minnesota Twins Justin Morneau speaks with reporters after he takes batting practice before the start of the Twins' American League baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Minneapolis

    It has been close to seven whole months since Twins first baseman Justin Morneau took a knee to the head in Toronto and suffered a concussion that would put an end to his 2010 season. He’s now working out regularly down at the Twins’ spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida and is making good…

  13. Brewers optimistic about reaching deals with Weeks, Marcum

    Jan 30, 2011, 11:35 AM EST

    Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers

    The Brewers have already settled on salaries for 2011 with arbitration-eligible players Prince Fielder ($15.5M), Carlos Gomez ($1.5M), Kameron Loe ($1.25M) and Manny Parra ($1.2M). They have only two unsettled cases: Rickie Weeks and Shaun Marcum. According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Brewers expect to reach agreements with both within the…

  14. Padres claim Samuel Deduno off waivers from Colorado

    Jan 30, 2011, 10:58 AM EST

    deduno throwing

    The Rockies claimed 25-year-old Clayton Mortensen off waivers from the A’s last week and designated right-hander Samuel Deduno for assignment in order to clear a 40-man roster spot. Deduno, though, was teamless for only a short period of time. According to MLB.com’s transactions page, the Padres claimed the 27-year-old off waivers on Saturday evening. Deduno…

  15. Russ Springer calls it a career at age 42

    Jan 30, 2011, 9:53 AM EST

    Russ Springer

    From Bob Tompkins of the Alexandria Daily Town Talk (via MLB Trade Rumors) comes word that veteran reliever Russ Springer has decided to hang up his cleats for good. The 42-year-old native of Alexandria, Louisiana broke into the majors back in 1992 as a reliever for the Yankees.  He played for 10 different teams throughout…

  16. Troy Glaus may sit out this season

    Jan 30, 2011, 8:44 AM EST

    Troy Glaus

    The winter has been a bit rude to free agent first baseman Troy Glaus. The 34-year-old drew mild interest from the Rockies in early December, but talks never went anywhere and he wasn’t linked to another club the rest of the way.  Now, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, he is considering retirement.  Or at…

  17. Blue Jays, Frank Francisco avoid arbitration with $4 million deal

    Jan 29, 2011, 5:33 PM EST

    frank-francisco-rangers

    Right on cue, the Blue Jays just announced via their Twitter feed that they have avoided arbitration with reliever Frank Francisco by agreeing to a one-year, $4 million contract. Francisco, who was acquired from the Blue Jays for Mike Napoli earlier this week, requested $4.875 million and was offered $3.5 million from the Rangers when…

  18. Rangers and Mike Napoli avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Jan 29, 2011, 5:18 PM EST

    Cleveland Indians v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

    The Rangers and Mike Napoli avoided arbitration today by agreeing to a one-year, $5.8 million contract, according to to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Napoli, who was just acquired from the Blue Jays for Frank Francisco earlier this week, requested $6.1 million and was offered $5.3 million from the Angels when arbitration figures were exchanged last…

  19. Marlins sign Shawn Hill to a minor league contract

    Jan 29, 2011, 5:01 PM EST

    Shawn Hill Jays

    The Marlins have signed Shawn Hill to a minor league contract, reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. The 29-year-old right-hander will receive an invite to major league spring training and will make $600,000 if he makes the team. The native Canadian was released by the Blue Jays in November after posting a 2.61 ERA and 14/4…

  20. UPDATE: Chone Figgins says he wants to stay — and win — in Seattle

    Jan 29, 2011, 2:12 PM EST

    Chone Figgins running

    UPDATE: According to a Tweet by John Hickey of AOL Fanhouse, Chone Figgins says he wants to stay “and win in Seattle.” He might be waiting a while. For what it’s worth, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that Figgins has not been asked to waive his limited no-trade clause, which includes…

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