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  1. The Mets respond to Putz's allegations

    Feb 2, 2010, 5:01 PM EDT

    UPDATE: While I had seen the actual statement the Mets released about Putz before writing the business below, I had missed this story from Marty Noble at last night. In it he relates that the Mets do, in fact, deny Putz’s claim that they told him to hide his injuries from the media.  They…

  2. Several teams looking at Kris Benson

    Feb 2, 2010, 4:50 PM EDT

    Kris Benson hasn’t pitched much recently — eight appearances last year, none in 2008 or 2007 — but his agent says he’s healthy, throwing well and expects to sign with someone in the next couple of weeks. Candidates: Diamondbacks, Cubs, Reds and Nationals. Benson is 35 now, and has long lost the luster of being…

  3. A's essentially buy Adam Rosales for $1.3 million

    Feb 2, 2010, 3:50 PM EDT

    Yesterday the A’s traded Aaron Miles and a player to be named later or cash to the Reds for Adam Rosales and Willy Taveras, only to designate Taveras for assignment approximately three minutes later. While confusing at first glance, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that the end result for the A’s is…

  4. The Professional Free Agent Showcase

    Feb 2, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

    Here’s an idea I had never considered: a “three-day mixer” called the Professional Free Agent Showcase where unemployed baseball players work out for and scouts for teams looking for talent.  The inaugural one kicks off today and lasts through Thursday at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. It’s not for Major League free agents.…

  5. Report: Blue Jays close to signing Kevin Gregg

    Feb 2, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Blue Jays are “close” to signing reliever Kevin Gregg. Last week manager Cito Gaston was asked about the Blue Jays’ closer situation and replied: We have a couple of guys that can close, [Scott] Downs, [Jason] Frasor. But we’re going to kind of throw that up in the air.…

  6. The Marlins make an offer to Russell Branyan

    Feb 2, 2010, 2:20 PM EDT

    Jayson Stark is reporting that the Marlins have made an offer to Russell Branyan. It’s a major league deal with a low base and incentives. In that way it’s probably much like the $1.4 million he made in Seattle last year, where he hit 31 dingers. Problem for him, though, is that he missed a…

  7. Mauer and Twins still talking despite yesterday's report of a done deal

    Feb 2, 2010, 1:49 PM EDT

    The latest news on Joe Mauer is that there really isn’t any news. Mark Rosen of WCCO television in Minnesota reported yesterday afternoon that Mauer and the Twins had agreed to a 10-year contract extension, which naturally got Twins fans incredibly excited. Unfortunately it turns out that Rosen’s report seems to be somewhere between premature…

  8. Happy Birthday, National League

    Feb 2, 2010, 1:20 PM EDT

    A tweet from ESPN’s Jorge Arangure reminds us that today is the National League’s 134th birthday.  The league was founded in New York by William Hulbert, the owner of the Chicago White Stockings, and the owners of the Philadelphia Athletics, the Boston Red Stockings, the Hartford Dark Blues, the Mutual of New York, the St.…

  9. Dodgers sign Reed Johnson to one-year deal

    Feb 2, 2010, 12:51 PM EDT

    Reed Johnson and the Dodgers have officially agreed to a one-year deal worth $800,000 plus another $250,000 in potential incentives. Between a part-time role and fractured foot Johnson played just 65 games for the Cubs last season, hitting .255/.330/.412 to basically match his .282/.344/.411 career mark. That production and the ability to handle all three…

  10. Ruben Amaro: "I'm not a Dummy"

    Feb 2, 2010, 12:14 PM EDT

    Despite pulling off the Halladay trade and extension, Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro has continued to get flak for not keeping Cliff Lee too and shooting for the moon in 2010.  He responded yesterday: “I was talking to some people the other day,” Amaro recalled, “and I said, ‘I’m not a dummy. I know what…

  11. Joaquin Benoit is making a comeback

    Feb 2, 2010, 11:42 AM EDT’s Jon Paul Morosi reports that Joaquin Benoit is making a comeback after sitting out all of last season following shoulder surgery. Benoit pitched eight seasons in Texas after signing with the Rangers out of the Dominican Republic as a teenager, but he’s now a free agent and Morosi notes a “handful of teams” are…

  12. Jon Miller wins the Frick Award

    Feb 2, 2010, 11:29 AM EDT

    I somehow missed this yesterday, but Giants/ESPN announcer Jon Miller was selected as the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award, which is given annually to recognize excellence in baseball broadcasting. First, a digression: There is no “broadcaster’s wing” in the Hall of Fame. Indeed, broadcasters — even Frick Award winners — are not considered…

  13. The Brewers have already sold a million tickets

    Feb 2, 2010, 10:31 AM EDT

    I mentioned this morning that Brewers fans were some of the better fans I’ve seen — a point some of you have disputed in the comments.  Fair enough, as my assessment of them is based on anecdotal “man, I’m sure having fun at this ballgame with all these Brewers fans” stuff. By some more objective…

  14. Bill Buckner: comedian

    Feb 2, 2010, 9:59 AM EDT

    Reading this, you get the sense that Bill Buckner is tired of telling the same damn story for past 23 years and tries to jazz it up. Here he is at a banquet the other night talking about Game 6: “My first thought when it happened was, ‘Wow, I get to play in a seventh…

  15. Major League Baseball sues Upper Deck

    Feb 2, 2010, 9:29 AM EDT

    The league’s marketing arm, Major League Baseball Properties, has sued card manufacturer Upper Deck for trademark infringement, claiming that they’ve  for using team logos on baseball cards without permission.  Last year baseball granted Topps the sole right to use logos and stuff, presumably forcing Upper Deck to hire the guys that used to airbrush the…

  16. Are the Mariners still trying to sign people?

    Feb 2, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    Yesterday Rob Neyer wondered whether the Mariners — who have had what most agree to be the most successful offseason of anyone — have added too many good players: I’m wondering if maybe it’s time for Jack Zduriencik to call off his little off-season shopping spree. Sure, he’s picked up Cliff Lee and Chone Figgins…

  17. The Cardinal fans' response to McGwire

    Feb 2, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    There’s an interesting story in the New York Times today about how The Greatest Fans in the World* are taking to the McGwire stuff.  As you might expect, there are some people who care a lot and some who kind of don’t.  I found the quote from a long time Cardinals fan that kicks the…

  18. Morosi: baseball should ban alcohol in the clubhouse

    Feb 2, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

    FOX’s Jon Paul Morosi thinks it’s time for the 15 or so teams that continue to provide alcohol to players in the clubhouse after the game to ban the practice: A universal ban on alcohol in major league clubhouses is long overdue. Until every team removes beer from the working quarters of its employees, each…

  19. Reyes runs without pain, is 'ready to play baseball'

    Feb 1, 2010, 8:58 PM EDT

    Jose Reyes is back, and he wants Mets fans to know he’s healthy and ready for spring training. From Reyes took a significant step (to returning to action) Monday, running five 90-foot sprints and subsequently declaring himself ready for Spring Training. “That’s how I do it,” Reyes told SNY. “I’m ready to play baseball.”…

  20. BoSox ink reliever Nelson

    Feb 1, 2010, 7:44 PM EDT

    The Red Sox on Monday inked 35-year-old right-hander Joe Nelson to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. It’ll be the second stint in the organization for Nelson, who received a World Series ring after pitching in three games and allowing five runs over 2 2/3 innings in 2004. The oft-injured reliever…

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