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  1. Chone Figgins is moving back to third base for the Mariners

    Jan 7, 2011, 1:07 PM EST

    chone-figgins-mariners

    Last offseason the Mariners signed Chone Figgins and moved him to second base, a position he hadn’t played regularly since 2005. It didn’t go well, as Figgins compounded his disappointing production at the plate by struggling defensively, with Ultimate Zone Rating pegging him as 12.3 runs below average. Not surprisingly, with 2010 third baseman Jose…

  2. Quote of the Day: Are we sick of Phillies fans yet?

    Jan 7, 2011, 12:30 PM EST

    Phillies fans AP

    A guy on my Facebook feed who happens to be a Phillies fan wrote this as his status this morning: 37 days until Aces and catchers report! Clever. But I gotta ask: is anyone sick of this rebop yet? I know I sure am.  I mean, I appreciate how excited Phillies fans are about 2011, but…

  3. Andrew Bailey cleared to throw following elbow “clean up”

    Jan 7, 2011, 12:16 PM EST

    Andrew Bailey

    Andrew Bailey was shut down in September and underwent “cleanup surgery” to remove bone chips from his elbow, but Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that the A’s closer has been cleared to resume throwing. For now he’s throwing from 60 feet, but the plan is for Bailey to stretch things out to 120 feet by…

  4. The Cubs get Matt Garza in an eight-player deal

    Jan 7, 2011, 11:51 AM EST

    Matt Garza throwing

    UPDATE:  Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago says the deal is done: eight players are involved in the deal that sends Matt Garza from Tampa Bay to the Cubs. Specifically: the Rays will get pitching prospect Chris Archer — the Cubs’ number one prospect — outfielder Brandon Guyer, catcher Robinson Chirinos, shortstop Hak-Ju Lee and outfielder Sam…

  5. Andy Pettitte is just chillaxin’

    Jan 7, 2011, 11:32 AM EST

    Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees

    Know what job I’m glad I don’t have?  The “go hang out on the sidewalk in front of Andy Pettitte’s house and hope he comes out on his front porch and says something interesting” job: Tanned and rested, Andy Pettitte stood on his front porch last night and answered the question on every Yankees fan’s…

  6. Heath Bell says signing long-term deal with Padres “would be my dream”

    Jan 7, 2011, 11:17 AM EST

    Heath Bell

    Once the Padres traded Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox with one season remaining on his contract the assumption has been that fellow impending free agent Heath Bell isn’t long for San Diego either, but yesterday the closer told Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune that signing a long-term extension “would be my…

  7. Murray Chass goes after Mike Piazza again

    Jan 7, 2011, 10:36 AM EST

    10 METS FAYTOK

    Murray Chass, who once went off about how Mike Piazza was a steroids user because he had acne on his back, goes after Piazza again: I have been accused of being the only writer who has publicly suggested that he used steroids, but talk to any reporter who covered the Mets and they will say…

  8. Chipper Jones “should not have any restrictions coming into spring training”

    Jan 7, 2011, 10:15 AM EST

    Image (1) chipper.jpg for post 5058

    Chipper Jones has spent the offseason rehabbing his surgically repaired knee and dry-heaving on his neighbor’s lawn, and yesterday general manager Frank Wren told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he should be ready for Opening Day: I think he’s progressed very well. He had a setback earlier in the winter when he…

  9. The ten worst rotations in baseball

    Jan 7, 2011, 9:44 AM EST

    Charlie Morton

    A lot of HBT readers have baseball blogs of their own. I try my best to keep up with the ones I know about, but there are only so many hours in the day.  One reader writes a blog called Billy Beane is My Hero.  You’ve probably noticed his handle in the comments before. BBIMH’s…

  10. The Alfredo Simon case gets uglier and uglier

    Jan 7, 2011, 9:15 AM EST

    Alfredo Simon walking

    Friend-of-HBT Nick Collias has been reading about the Alfredo Simon case in the Spanish language press and passes along a coupe of articles that show just how sordid this business is getting: According to this report by Yoel Adames of ESPN Deportes, the mother of the victim, Michel Castillo, Alfredo Simon tried to bribe the family in…

  11. I’ll take “Things that may impact Andy Pettitte’s decision” for $100, Alex

    Jan 7, 2011, 8:54 AM EST

    Pettitte looks in

    I have no idea what’s taking Andy Pettitte so long to decide if he’s retiring or not. You’d think it would be pretty simple: (a) pitch for Yankees; or (b) stay home in big house with family.  I mean, sure, if there was some option (c) that represented harrowing unknowns I could see the reason…

  12. The Yankees are not really interested in Rafael Soriano

    Jan 7, 2011, 8:25 AM EST

    Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers, Game 4

    Rafael Soriano says he’d be willing to be a setup man for the Yankees. It takes two to tango, however, and Buster Olney says that the Yankees aren’t particularly interested in dancing: Heard this: As of 6 p.m. on Thursday, the Yankees are not interested in Rafael Soriano. They’ve seen a lot of $ squandered…

  13. It is virtually certain that there are already steroids users in the Hall of Fame

    Jan 7, 2011, 6:04 AM EST

    Bowie Kuhn

    As BBWAA voters try their hardest to ensure that no filthy steroids users sneak into the Hall of Fame, it’s probably a good idea that they go back and read the Mitchell Report. As they do, they should pay special attention to this passage on page 28: In 1973, a Congressional subcommittee announced that its…

  14. Sheffield “disrespected” by Rays, now 99.9% retired

    Jan 6, 2011, 10:08 PM EST

    sheffield diamonds

    Remember when Gary Sheffield showed up to the Winter Meetings and said he was just there “to advise” a couple of young players?  And then remember when he later admitted that he had an interest in playing again, specifically for the Rays? You might also remember that Rays manager Joe Maddon took Sheffield out to…

  15. Twins closing in on two-year contract with Carl Pavano

    Jan 6, 2011, 8:50 PM EST

    Carl Pavano

    According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Twins are nearing agreement on a contract with free agent right-hander Carl Pavano and it might be for only two years. Pavano was thought to be on the hunt for a three-year deal pretty much all winter and might have landed one from a non-contender like the Nationals…

  16. Brian Bannister signs contract with Yomiuri Giants

    Jan 6, 2011, 8:16 PM EST

    Brian Bannister

    Brian Bannister is taking his talents to… Japan. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the 29-year-old right-hander has agreed to a one-year contract with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Central League.  The deal also carries an option for 2012. Bannister drew very little interest from major league clubs this offseason after posting an ugly 6.34…

  17. Rangers ink Murphy to one-year deal, avoid arbitration

    Jan 6, 2011, 7:02 PM EST

    San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers, Game 5

    From MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan comes word that the Rangers have agreed to a one-year, $2.4 million contract with outfielder David Murphy. It’s a nice chunk of change for the first-year arbitration-eligible outfielder, who made just $420,670 last season while posting an impressive .291/.358/.449 batting line, 12 home runs and 65 RBI across 419 at-bats. Murphy…

  18. Joe Posnanski creates a passive-aggressive masterpiece

    Jan 6, 2011, 5:00 PM EST

    cooperstown

    Joe Posnanski’s latest post is brilliant. It’s about an imaginary “Willie Mays Hall of Fame” in which only the truly elite of the elite should be enshrined. Many people talk about such a thing, and today he envisions it. The post is long, and if you take it at face value you might get mad at…

  19. Rafael Soriano is willing to be a setup man for the Yankees

    Jan 6, 2011, 4:52 PM EST

    Rafael Soriano Rays

    Rafael Soriano‘s agent, Scott Boras, told Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com that the former Rays closer would be willing to serve as a setup man on the Yankees, saying “that door is open for a number of different reasons.” Here’s more from Boras on Soriano’s potential interest in setting up Mariano Rivera in New York: I…

  20. Picture this: 21 Hall-worthy players jamming the ballot

    Jan 6, 2011, 4:26 PM EST

    Image (1) bonds1.jpg for post 5215

    Rob Neyer does some back-of-the-envelope figuring and determines that, come 2014, there may be 21 Hall of Fame-quality players on the ballot. Most of them will be kept out because of PED prejudice, but will garner enough support to where it will likely erode support for the non-PED users who are viewed by many as…

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