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  1. Hall of Fame voters owe nothing to the past

    Jan 18, 2011, 4:30 PM EST

    cooperstown

    This morning I wrote about Jim Reeves’ column in which he said he believed that voting for the Hall of Fame was his “sacred duty” and that it was his aim to keep Cooperstown “clean and pure.” My take was more one of amusement, but this afternoon The Common Man has a much more focused…

  2. Padres sign veteran catcher Gregg Zaun to minor league deal

    Jan 18, 2011, 4:16 PM EST

    Gregg Zaun

    San Diego signed Gregg Zaun to a minor-league contract and the veteran catcher will get an invitation to spring training, where he’ll compete for the backup job with Rob Johnson. Zaun missed most of last season following June shoulder surgery and will be 40 years old in April, but if healthy he’s a far superior…

  3. Comment of the Day: Monica Foster speaks

    Jan 18, 2011, 3:58 PM EST

    Lenny Dykstra

    The woman Lenny Dykstra is accusing of forging checks left a comment on our post from earlier today. Take it away Monica Foster: Thanks Craig Calcaterra and MSNBC Hardball* for having a common sense view on this spectacle I wound up in. The only person lying in this situation is Dykstra. He needs to come…

  4. Armando Galarraga designated for assignment

    Jan 18, 2011, 3:35 PM EST

    Armando Galarraga

    It’s been a weird year for Armando Galarraga. The near-perfect game. Being turned into an unexpected role model for forgiveness. Being sent down to Toledo for eight games.  Looking like the odd man out in the rotation this winter. Unexpectedly reaching a deal avoiding arbitration late yesterday. And then this today: One day after agreeing…

  5. Aaron Heilman to re-sign with Diamondbacks as a starter

    Jan 18, 2011, 3:19 PM EST

    aaron-heilman-diamondbacks

    Earlier this offseason Aaron Heilman expressed a desire to give starting a try after spending the past five seasons exclusively as a reliever and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that he’ll get an opportunity to do that after re-signing with the Diamondbacks. Heilman appeared in 70 games for Arizona last season, all out of the…

  6. Bunches and bunches of random guys avoid arbitration

    Jan 18, 2011, 3:05 PM EST

    Handshake

    Like we said earlier: tons of signings today. We’ve been highlighting the bigger names, but many, many more players are avoiding arbitration. Among the more notable ones: Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox, $2.4 million; J.J. Hardy, Orioles. $5.5 million; Carlos Quentin, White Sox, $5.05 million; Kevin Kouzmanoff, Athletics, $4.75 million; Martin Prado, Braves, $3.1 million; Boone…

  7. Cody Ross parlays big postseason into $6.3 million for 2011

    Jan 18, 2011, 2:44 PM EST

    cody ross giving high five

    Cody Ross earned $4.65 million last season and was available to any team willing to claim him (and his remaining salary) off waivers in mid-August. San Francisco made a claim, with some reports speculating they did so mostly to block San Diego from doing the same, and then Ross slugged five homers in 15 playoff…

  8. The weirdest contract clauses this winter

    Jan 18, 2011, 2:30 PM EST

    Wonka contract

    Jayson Stark has created a minor empire focusing on the small stuff. I don’t mean that negatively. His general reporting is fine work, but his signature is picking out the weird and obscure stats and other assorted baseball minutiae. Sometimes his trivia leads us astray — we really don’t need to know who the six players…

  9. Papelbon, Red Sox avoid arbitration: $12 million

    Jan 18, 2011, 2:00 PM EST

    papelbon-100801

    In what could very well be his last year as the Red Sox’ closer Jonathan Papelbon has agreed to a $12 million contract for 2011, avoiding arbitration. At least I guess it’s his last year. I and a lot of other folks were half-convinced that the Sox would non-tender Papelbon this winter, letting him take…

  10. After letting half the bullpen walk as free agents, Twins give $7.15 million to Matt Capps

    Jan 18, 2011, 1:48 PM EST

    Matt Capps, Joe Mauer

    The offseason bullpen exodus in Minnesota is now complete, as Jon Rauch signed with the Blue Jays and Brian Fuentes signed with the A’s. They join Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain in leaving the Twins after that quartet combined to throw 45 percent of the team’s relief innings last season while posting a 2.98 ERA.…

  11. Prince Fielder, Brewers agree on a $15.5 million deal for 2011

    Jan 18, 2011, 1:31 PM EST

    Prince Fielder

    Prince Fielder and the Brewers avoided arbitration today with a $15.5 million deal in what will be his last arbitration contract.  The deal makes Fielder the highest-paid Brewer of all time, passing Zack Greinke, who has held the title for a couple of weeks. Attention Reds fans who keep asking me why the team would…

  12. Mets sign Scott Hairston to a minor league contract

    Jan 18, 2011, 1:13 PM EST

    Scott Hairston, Angel Hernandez

    Scott Hairston has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mets, according to Ted Berg of SportsNet New York (and later confirmed by Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com). Hairston managing only a minor-league deal is surprising, because while he’s been overmatched as an everyday player he’d be an excellent fit for any number of teams as…

  13. Gil Meche announces his retirement

    Jan 18, 2011, 1:04 PM EST

    Gil Meche

    This is kind of a shocker: Royals starter Gil Meche has announced his retirement.  This despite the fact that he has about $12 million left on his contract. Of course Meche has had chronic shoulder trouble since 2009.  Much of it due, one presumes, to Trey Hillman absolutely grinding him into dust.  Rany Jazayerli has…

  14. For Clint Barmes a .656 OPS in 2010 equals $4 million for 2011

    Jan 18, 2011, 12:15 PM EST

    Clint Barmes

    Among the many reasons why Houston trading for Clint Barmes two months ago struck me as a misguided move is that he was in line for a sizable salary via arbitration and … well, he just isn’t very good. Sure enough, today the Astros avoided arbitration with Barmes by signing him to a one-year deal…

  15. The Phillies are the Terminator

    Jan 18, 2011, 12:01 PM EST

    Terminator

    Zoo With Roy is a pretty righteous Phillies blog. Today ZWR features a video mashup done by Petzrawr of the equally-righteous (yet sadly defunct) TheFightins.com. In it, the Phillies are portrayed as the Terminator. It’s a great analogy, really. Because just like the Terminator, the Phillies kick ass for a long time and then end up…

  16. So, what would it take for the Angels to trade for Evan Longoria?

    Jan 18, 2011, 11:33 AM EST

    Evan Longoria Rays

    Sam Miller over at the OC Register is fed up with the same thing I get fed up with from time to time: people proposing truly dumb trades. They usually take the form of a reader suggesting that their rooting interest trade for Stud Player X, while giving up … nothing. Or close to it.…

  17. Jim Thome’s one-year deal worth up to $4.4 million

    Jan 18, 2011, 11:17 AM EST

    Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers

    Jim Thome turned down more money from the Rangers to re-sign with the Twins for just $3 million in upfront cash, but Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has the details on the contract’s incentives: * $200,000 for 200 plate appearances * $300,000 for 300 plate appearances * $300,000 for 350 plate appearances *…

  18. There will be a ton of arbitration-avoiding deals today

    Jan 18, 2011, 10:58 AM EST

    Handshake

    Today is the deadline for teams and players to submit their arbitration figures.  This is important because once figures are submitted, negotiating positions tend to harden, what with each side saying exactly what they want. As a result, there will be a lot of deals today involving arbitration-eligible players seeking to avoid submitting figures. We’ll…

  19. Stephen Strasburg: Public Administration Scholar

    Jan 18, 2011, 10:30 AM EST

    strasburg-110117.standard[1]

    Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has a story up today about Stephen Strasburg and his rehab. Strasburg is working out, writing in his journal, staying positive and … going to college: He’s resisted video games. In an effort to work toward a degree, he took two public administration classes at San Diego State. SDSU,…

  20. Heath Bell signs for $7.5 million in final season of arbitration

    Jan 18, 2011, 10:16 AM EST

    Heath Bell

    With one season remaining until he can become a free agent, Heath Bell and the Padres have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $7.5 million contract. Bell, who made $1.255 million in his first season of arbitration and $4 million last year in his second season of eligibility, has said he’d like to sign…

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