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  1. Cubs reportedly close to acquiring Matt Garza

    Jan 5, 2011, 2:18 AM EST

    garza-nohitter-100726

    The Chicago Cubs are close to making a deal to acquire starting pitcher Matt Garza from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. The report, which did not mention what players the Rays might be seeking in such a deal, said that the Cubs became frontrunners to acquire Garza after…

  2. Report: Preliminary forensics test could clear Alfredo Simon in shooting

    Jan 5, 2011, 12:28 AM EST

    File photo of Baltimore Orioles' Alfredo Simon pitching against the New York Yankees during a MLB spring training baseball game in Tampa

    Take this news with a grain of salt, but Alfredo Simon’s lawyer told CNN tonight that a “preliminary forensics test” could clear the pitcher in the shooting death of 25-year-old Michael Esteban Castillo. “The ballistics tests have been favorable,” lawyer Carlos Olivares told CNN in a telephone interview. “We are waiting for the formal report.”…

  3. UPDATE: Adrian Beltre took physical with Rangers today

    Jan 4, 2011, 11:07 PM EST

    Adrian Beltre swinging

    UPDATE: According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, Adrian Beltre took his physical with the Rangers earlier today. The contract will be officially announced during a press conference tomorrow. 9:41 PM: It’s almost a done deal. According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Adrian Beltre will be in Texas tonight in order to undergo…

  4. UPDATE: Mariners, Brendan Ryan still working on contract

    Jan 4, 2011, 9:54 PM EST

    Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals

    UPDATE: According to Greg Johns of MLB.com, the Mariners and Brendan Ryan have not officially agreed to a new contract, though a deal is believed to be close. 3:45 PM: Three weeks after acquiring Brendan Ryan from the Cardinals for pitching prospect Maikel Cleto the Mariners have avoided arbitration with the infielder by agreeing to…

  5. Report: Braves and Dan Uggla agree to five-year, $62 million extension

    Jan 4, 2011, 8:23 PM EST

    Florida Marlins v San Francisco Giants

    Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Braves and Dan Uggla have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a five-year, $62 million contract. Some thought Uggla may have been pushing his luck when he turned down a four-year, $48 million extension from the Marlins in November, leading to a trade to the Braves. But you see,…

  6. Report: Nationals sign Adam LaRoche to two-year deal

    Jan 4, 2011, 8:02 PM EST

    Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants

    It was more of a matter of “when” than “if,” but according to Peter Gammons of MLB Network, the Nationals have signed Adam LaRoche to a two-year contract. He’s expected to take a physical on Thursday in order to finalize the deal. Terms aren’t yet known, but Jen Royle of MASNSports.com reported last week that…

  7. Report: Mets have offered Chris Young more than $1 million guaranteed

    Jan 4, 2011, 6:26 PM EST

    Chris Young throwing

    Shortly after the Mets added Chris Capuano as an option for their starting rotation last night, there were a few reports that suggested the club wasn’t done looking for additional help. With that in mind, Buster Olney of ESPN.com hears that the Mets’ offer to free agent right-hander Chris Young includes a guaranteed salary of…

  8. Must-click link: Adrian Beltre freaks out if you touch his head

    Jan 4, 2011, 5:19 PM EST

    Click Here large

    This probably qualifies somewhere between “weird” and “the greatest thing I’ve ever seen,” but apparently Adrian Beltre really, really hates when people touch the top of his head. So naturally his teammates on the Red Sox last season–and Victor Martinez, in particular–did it frequently to upset him in the dugout, hilarious evidence of which you…

  9. Who the heck is Barry Stanton?

    Jan 4, 2011, 5:17 PM EST

    mystery man

    Since that ESPN ballot started making the rounds, complete with a guy named Barry Stanton voting for B.J. Surhoff and Tino Martinez of all people, the most frequent question populating my email box and Twitter feed is “who the heck is Barry Stanton?” Some folks over on this BTF thread did some Googling, and it…

  10. Deep Thought: The Yankees’ imminent downfall is going to disappoint a lot of people

    Jan 4, 2011, 4:09 PM EST

    Brian Cashman

    I was just on a radio show. As has been the case with every radio show I’ve been on in the past couple of months, the Yankees came up. Today’s hosts were way more reasonable about it than most have been, but there has been a pretty common thread to these things: somewhat restrained glee…

  11. Behold: the worst Hall of Fame ballot you’ll see this year

    Jan 4, 2011, 3:00 PM EST

    BJ Surhoff.php

    ESPN has a whopping 18 Hall of Fame voters in its employ, and today they released their ballots. It’s hard to follow because they do it by player (you have to read the names underneath) but Jason at IIATMS has made a grid out of it.  The following ballot submitted by ESPN news editor Barry…

  12. Kevin Gregg signs two-year, $10 million deal with Orioles

    Jan 4, 2011, 2:48 PM EST

    Kevin Gregg

    Kevin Gregg has been linked to the Orioles for most of the offseason and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the two sides have finally agreed to terms on a deal. According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun he’ll get $10 million for two years, and the contract also includes a vesting option…

  13. Jayson Stark makes a damn good point about the Hall of Fame ballot

    Jan 4, 2011, 2:36 PM EST

    Jeff Bagwell

    Today Jayson Stark makes a point about the Hall of Fame ballot that I hadn’t even considered: writers leaving suspected PED users off their Hall of Fame ballots are, perversely, making it harder for the suspected non-users like Fred McGriff and Dale Murphy to make the hall. How is that? Because not everyone thinks like…

  14. UPDATE: Beltre’s deal with the Rangers: six-years, $96 million

    Jan 4, 2011, 2:00 PM EST

    Adrian Beltre

    UPDATE:  T.R. Sullivan fills in the details of the Adrian Beltre-Rangers deal: The Rangers still have work to do before they finalize an agreement with free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. But the deal is far enough along, according to sources, that it would be worth $96 million over six years. It would also include a…

  15. Arthur Rhodes’ one-year deal with Rangers includes vesting option for 2012

    Jan 4, 2011, 1:44 PM EST

    Arthur Rhodes

    Arthur Rhodes and the Rangers agreed to terms on a one-year contract last week, but the deal finally became official yesterday and the monetary details have been revealed. Rhodes will make $3.9 million this season and the deal also includes a $4 million option for 2012 that vests if he appears in at least 62…

  16. The man who sold the BBWAA on Bert Blyleven

    Jan 4, 2011, 1:31 PM EST

    Blyleven Angels

    Yesterday Jon Heyman made a reference to “the small coterie of Internet zealots” who are responsible for getting BBWAA voters to change their minds about Bert Blyleven and push him to the brink of election to the Hall of Fame.  While Heyman was unbelievably snotty in writing it like he did, he wasn’t technically wrong.  There…

  17. UPDATE: Vlad Guerrero may not be in the Angels’ future after all

    Jan 4, 2011, 12:59 PM EST

    World Series Rangers Giants Baseball

    UPDATE: Mark Saxson of ESPN Los Angels says that Vlad is not part of the Angels’ Plan B. That’s the speculation from the Los Angeles Times’ Mike DiGiovanna: Adrian Beltre, according to numerous media reports, is closing in on a deal with the Texas Rangers, a move that would be a considerable blow to the…

  18. Rays “have expressed interest in” Manny Delcarmen

    Jan 4, 2011, 12:46 PM EST

    manny-delcarmen-rockies

    In their ongoing effort to rebuild the bullpen the Rays “have expressed interest in” Manny Delcarmen, according to Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times. Delcarmen was traded from the Red Sox to the Rockies in August and then non-tendered last month after posting a 4.99 ERA and 38/32 K/BB ratio in 52 innings between…

  19. The Mariners may not formally replace Dave Niehaus any time soon

    Jan 4, 2011, 12:30 PM EST

    Dave Niehaus

    How do you replace a broadcasting legend?  As Larry LaRue reports, the Seattle Mariners may just avoid a replacement for the late great Dave Niehaus altogether: Out of respect for Niehaus, his family and fans, the team has not conducted a single interview – and may not. Among the options the Mariners are considering is…

  20. Brandon Webb’s “goal” is to be ready by Opening Day

    Jan 4, 2011, 11:47 AM EST

    brandon-webb-spring-training

    Brandon Webb hasn’t pitched in a big-league game since Opening Day of 2009, yet the former Cy Young winner still isn’t certain he’ll be recovered enough from shoulder surgery to begin the season in the Rangers’ rotation. Asked if he’ll be ready for Opening Day, Webb told Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com: I set timetables last…

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