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  1. How do the best-shape-of-their-life guys end up performing?

    Jan 11, 2011, 8:49 AM EST

    Matt Stairs

    Fun stuff from Dave Cameron, as he went back and tracked all of the players who were referred to as being “in the best shape of their lives” last February to see how they performed in 2010. The results: So, what can we conclude from the position player side of “The Best Shape Of Their…

  2. The Mets may not release Castillo after all

    Jan 11, 2011, 8:23 AM EST

    $$19SPYANKEESMURRAY

    Remember that report over the weekend about the Mets maybe releasing Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez?  Maybe it’s just Perez: Contrary to a weekend report that had the Mets considering releasing Luis Castillo, a club source Monday said the club has every intention of bringing him to spring training to compete for the second base job in…

  3. Stats for dummies: Beware the “Luck Dragon”

    Jan 10, 2011, 11:56 PM EST

    betancourt-110111.standard[1]

    Have trouble understanding Sabermetrics? Do advanced metrics make your ears bleed? Bradley Woodrum is here to help. Woodrum, who writes about the Tampa Bay Rays at DRaysBay.com, has created a rather entertaining video explaining the statistic of Fielding Independent Pitching. It’s 1:43 of good wholesome fun and a straightforward explanation of why the stat is a…

  4. Former No. 1 overall pick Kris Benson retires

    Jan 10, 2011, 11:38 PM EST

    Kris Benson throwing

    From the hardly shocking news department: Kris Benson told Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com that he has decided to retire. “I’m done,” the 36-year-old said by phone from his home outside Atlanta. “I decided pretty much after this past season that I wasn’t going to pursue anything. I’ve been putting way too much into it…

  5. UPDATE: Brad Penny tells us he’s close to signing a contract

    Jan 10, 2011, 9:30 PM EST

    Brad Penny cards

    UPDATE: Buster Olney of ESPN.com hears that the Tigers are looking like the front-runners to sign Penny. 8:30 PM: Brad Penny just cut out the middleman and gave us the latest update on his job search via his Twitter account. “Getting close to finding my new home. Should know by the end of the day.”…

  6. Don Cooper doesn’t want the White Sox to mess with Chris Sale

    Jan 10, 2011, 7:55 PM EST

    Chris Sale throwing

    The White Sox just officially announced a two-year, $4 million contract with left-handed reliever Will Ohman. When the agreement was initially reported on Saturday, many immediately speculated (including myself) that his addition to the bullpen would push Matt Thornton to the closer role and Chris Sale to the rotation if Jake Peavy isn’t ready for…

  7. Reds sign Fred Lewis to a one-year contract

    Jan 10, 2011, 6:15 PM EST

    Fred Lewis high five

    The Reds have signed outfielder Fred Lewis to a one-year contract, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that he’ll make a $900,000 base salary, plus incentives. Lewis was non-tendered by the Blue Jays in December after batting .262/.332/.442 with eight home runs, 36 RBI, 17 stolen bases and a 745…

  8. The Red Sox hire Chili Davis as a minor league hitting coach; fundamentally shift the balance of power in the AL East

    Jan 10, 2011, 5:42 PM EST

    Chili Davis

    The Red Sox hired Chili Davis to be the hitting coach for the AAA Pawsox today. That’s swell. Nice guy. Good hitter. But probably not worth this tweet from Heyman: red sox announce hiring of chili davis as pawsox hitting coach. 1 of best/smartest guys in game. yankees still hibernating. You know, there’s a lot to…

  9. Mariners sign Adam Kennedy to minor league contract

    Jan 10, 2011, 5:20 PM EST

    Adam Kennedy, Chris Denorfia

    Adam Kennedy, whose $2 million option for 2011 was declined by the Nationals last month, has agreed to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training from the Mariners. Kennedy started 85 games for the Nationals last season, including 75 at second base, but hit just .249 with a .327 on-base percentage and .327…

  10. The Cubs snag backup catcher Max Ramirez from the Red Sox and it probably doesn’t matter

    Jan 10, 2011, 4:53 PM EST

    max-ramirez-rangers

    Five days ago the Red Sox claimed backup catcher Max Ramirez from the Rangers. They’d wanted him since a trade of Mike Lowell for him fell through last year.  Guess they didn’t want him too bad, though, because they waived him today when they signed Hideki Okajima. The Cubs have now claimed Ramirez. For anyone wanted…

  11. Pablo Sandoval is in the best shape of his life?

    Jan 10, 2011, 4:17 PM EST

    Giants' Sandoval reacts during workouts in preparation for the Major League Baseball's World Series in San Francisco

    Maybe not. But Hank Schulman says that the Panda is on his way there: Yes, yes, yes. You’ve heard this before. You’re skeptical, and you should be, until you see what he looks like in spring training. Nevertheless, I’ve heard from a number of folks that Pablo Sandoval‘s conditioning work at a private facility in…

  12. The Rangers are interested in Jim Thome

    Jan 10, 2011, 3:40 PM EST

    Jim Thome

    Buster Olney reports that the Rangers are “actively trying to lure” Jim Thome to Texas.  I think all teams who negotiate with players are “actively trying to lure” them, but thank you to Buster for livening up the vocabulary on this Monday afternoon. Thome would be an interesting fit in Texas. Like all big power…

  13. Are the Cardinals in deep trouble if they don’t lock Pujols up before spring training?

    Jan 10, 2011, 3:09 PM EST

    Albert Pujols

    Anthony Castrovince on the Albert Pujols situation: But if Pujols’ long-term status remains uncertain going into and through the season, then the drama surrounding the situation could easily eclipse the circus involving Jeter and the Yanks earlier this winter. Because with Pujols, we’re talking about the game’s premier player. In his prime. And while the…

  14. Jason Bartlett signs a two-year deal with the Padres

    Jan 10, 2011, 2:09 PM EST

    Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees

    The Padres snagged Jason Bartlett from the Rays a month ago, and now they have him locked up for two years.  It’a an $11 million contract extension with a vesting option for 2013. The deal buys out Bartlett’s final arbitration season and his first year of free agency Not a bad deal for San Diego. 2010 was…

  15. Call off the Bartolo Colon watch

    Jan 10, 2011, 1:27 PM EST

    bartolo colon released-thumb-240x157-1926

    Remember when Bartolo Colon was reported to be in the best shape of his life and the Yankees were maybe interested and, hey, he’s pitching pretty good down in the winter league and everything? Yeah, well: Colon failed to secure a win for the third straight game in the postseason, allowing four runs in five…

  16. Red Sox finalize one-year deal with Hideki Okajima

    Jan 10, 2011, 12:57 PM EST

    Hideki Okajima

    Last week Hideki Okajima was said to be close to re-signing with the Red Sox and now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that the two sides have finalized a one-year contract worth $1.75 million in guaranteed money and another $550,000 in potential incentives. Boston non-tendered Okajima last month rather than pay what likely would have…

  17. Witnesses will say that Alfredo Simon did not fire the fatal shot

    Jan 10, 2011, 12:47 PM EST

    Alfredo Simon walking

    Personally I’d like to never think about shootings again. But as long as the information is out there I suppose we need to pass it along: The agent for Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon said there are several witnesses in the Dominican Republic who are willing to come forward and testify that the pitcher could not…

  18. Great moments in resume building

    Jan 10, 2011, 12:25 PM EST

    Oakland Coliseum

    Irwin Raij appears to be a crackerjack sports lawyer. Really: his bio is littered with major accomplishments counseling major league sports teams.  If I had one percent of his juice back when I was practicing I would have made partner and cared about my business more and never would have started this blog.  So when…

  19. Carlos Gonzalez expected to finalize $80 million contract today

    Jan 10, 2011, 11:44 AM EST

    Carlos Gonzalez rockies

    Carlos Gonzalez and the Rockies agreed to a seven-year, $80 million contract extension last week and the two sides are expected to finalize the deal today after Gonzalez undergoes a physical exam in Colorado. Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Gonzalez flew in from Venezuela yesterday and will visit a doctor today, with…

  20. Jeff Pearlman believes Craig Biggio was a ‘roider

    Jan 10, 2011, 11:36 AM EST

    Craig Biggio

    Say what you want about Jeff Pearlman’s take on steroids in baseball, but at least he’s consistent. He was on Mike Silva’s NYBD podcast last night, and doubled down on his accusations: For the record, Pearlman reiterated his position on Jeff Bagwell saying he was “so certain he used steroids from being around that team,…

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