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  1. Phillies sign Joe Blanton to a three-year, $24 million extension

    Jan 21, 2010, 2:39 PM EDT

    UPDATE: Forget that arbitration nonsense below, the Phillies just signed Blanton to a three-year, $24 million extension.  And no, Cliff Lee would not have signed for that, so I suppose the Phillies are better off today than they were yesterday. 11:30 A.M.: Lost (by me anyway) in all of the arbitration stuff these past few…

  2. The Dodgers sign Vicente Padilla

    Jan 21, 2010, 2:23 PM EDT

    Frank McCourt was quoted yesterday as saying that, yes, the Dodgers would get another pitcher before spring training.  That plan obviously failed, but they did sign Vicente Padilla to a one year deal worth $4 million today. OK, that’s not fair. Padilla pitched well for the Dodgers down the stretch last season — 4-0 with…

  3. Jim Thome is waiting by the phone

    Jan 21, 2010, 1:54 PM EDT

    Jim Thome’s name hasn’t come up much this offseason, which is somewhat surprising for a guy who hit .249/.386/.481 with 23 homers in 434 plate appearances last year and yet not all that surprising given that he hasn’t played first base regularly since 2005. Thome still crushes right-handed pitching, but as a 39-year-old designated hitter…

  4. Bryant Gumbel accuses Bagwell, Nomar and Pudge of using steroids

    Jan 21, 2010, 1:24 PM EDT

    I don’t have HBO so I missed this, but apparently on Tuesday night Bryant Gumbel ended his “Real Sports” show by reading an open letter* to Mark McGwire, taking him to task over his apology.  While it was silly because it (a) was premised on the notion that anyone should care what Mark McGwire thinks…

  5. Finally, a retired player says not everything was better 40 years ago

    Jan 21, 2010, 12:50 PM EDT

    Jim Bouton wrote my favorite baseball book of all time, so he could say just about anything at this point and remain on my good side, but it was still nice to see him give the following answer when asked recently what he thinks “about today’s emphasis on pitch counts”: I think it’s smart. If…

  6. How bad was the Angels' offseason?

    Jan 21, 2010, 12:20 PM EDT

    Bill Baer of Baseball Daily Digest thinks it was pretty damn bad: In essence, the Angels have swapped gimpy designated hitters, downgraded from Lackey to Piniero, lost Figgins and gained Rodney. Meanwhile, Roy Halladay went to Philadelphia, Cliff Lee went to Seattle, and Aroldis Chapman went to Cincinnati. The Angels wanted an ace pitcher and…

  7. Gagne has workouts scheduled for multiple teams

    Jan 21, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

    Yesterday afternoon I wrote about how the Phillies were sending a scout to Arizona to watch Eric Gagne throw, but now Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that the 34-year-old former Cy Young winner also has “tentative workouts planned” for the Rockies, Dodgers, and Blue Jays. Gagne starred for Los Angeles from 1999-2006 and he’s…

  8. For the Red Sox fan who has everything but a life: Fenway Park grass

    Jan 21, 2010, 11:01 AM EDT

    You can buy a ten pound bag of regular old grass seed for, oh, $12-15 or so. Or, you can buy a ten pound bag of regular old grass seed with a Boston Red Sox logo on it for $22: The Scotts Co. yesterday unveiled a grass-seed product that “contains actual varieties” used for the…

  9. Geovany Soto loses 40 pounds

    Jan 21, 2010, 10:29 AM EDT

    Charlie Manuel may be the biggest loser this offseason, but he has some competition in Geovany Soto: Soto didn’t wait for the new year to change his eating habits. He has dropped 40 pounds since the 2009 season ended on Oct. 4. He’ll need a new uniform. Soto went from a size 42 waist to…

  10. Who has the worst contract in baseball?

    Jan 21, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

    Matthew Carruth at FanGraphs wants you to vote on it.  His candidates: Barry Zito, Alfonso Soriano, Vernon Wells, or the write-in candidate of your choice. I think I’ll write in FOX’s broadcast contract with Major League Baseball, though in that case neither of the parties to the deal are its biggest victims. If we limit…

  11. The Rockies sign Jay Payton, Paul Lo Duca

    Jan 21, 2010, 9:31 AM EDT

    If you looked washed up when you left baseball in 2008 and are now trying to make a comeback, the Rockies are your huckleberry: The Rockies signed Payton, who didn’t play in the Majors in 2009, to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, Rockies player development director Marc Gustafson…

  12. Closeout sale on former Mets' outfielders

    Jan 21, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    The Astros have signed Cory Sullivan and the Blue Jays signed Jeremy Reed yesterday, both to minor league deals.  Both Sullivan and Reed played in the Mets’ nightmarish outfield mix last year. Sullivan once hit two triples in one inning.  It was the first time anyone had done that in over 50 years. In 2007…

  13. Murray Chass: my opinion counts and yours doesn't

    Jan 21, 2010, 8:28 AM EDT

    Former New York Times baseball writer and current curmudgeonly ass-clown Murray Chass, responding via his blog to a reader who disagreed with his Hall of Fame ballot: Does that make him right and me wrong? Of course not. Am I right? Yes. Why? Because my opinion counts and his doesn’t. My ballot was one of…

  14. Pirates reach agreement with Octavio Dotel

    Jan 21, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

    Dejan is reporting that the deal is finally done. The financial terms are still unknown, but Dejan thinks it will be for around $3 million. Not to be a big jerk about it or anything, but CTB was the first place that linked these two kids last month when we reported that the Bucs had…

  15. Angels, Pineiro strike $16 million deal

    Jan 20, 2010, 9:03 PM EDT

    According to SI.com and various other sources, the Angels and Joel Pineiro have come to terms on a two-year, $16 million contract. The signing settles as Angels rotation that lacked a fifth starter behind Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders, Scott Kazmir and Ervin Santana. Matt Palmer and Sean O’Sullivan were set to be the primary competitors…

  16. Diving into the depths: Milwaukee Brewers

    Jan 20, 2010, 7:12 PM EDT

    This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training. Milwaukee Brewers Rotation 1. Randy Wolf 2. Yovani Gallardo 3. Doug Davis 4. Manny Parra 5. Jeff Suppan 6. Dave Bush 7. Chris Capuano 8. John Halama 9. Kameron Loe 10. Carlos Villanueva 11. Chris Narveson 12. A.J.…

  17. Former 30-30 man Wilson attempts comeback

    Jan 20, 2010, 6:27 PM EDT

    ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that Preston Wilson is on the hunt for a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Wilson, 35, played for the Long Island Ducks along with fellow former major league outfielders Lew Ford and George Lombard last year and hit .302/.344/.474 with seven homers in 48 games. He had…

  18. Tim Lincecum's case shows why arbitration sucks

    Jan 20, 2010, 5:25 PM EDT

    Jon Heyman wonders how the Giants may make their arbitration case against Tim Lincecum in the event they don’t settle. After noting how easy it would be for Lincecum — two Cy Youngs, babies — he passes along a potential team strategy: The Giants could claim Lincecum’s second Cy was a “fluke” (a word I…

  19. Brewers bring back Davis for rotation

    Jan 20, 2010, 5:05 PM EDT

    The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the Brewers and left-hander Doug Davis have agreed to terms on a one-year, $5.25 million contract with an option for 2011. The deal will pay Davis $4.25 million in 2010. The option for 2011 is worth $6.5 million and includes a $1 million buyout. It will be Davis’ second stint…

  20. Diamondbacks release Byrnes, eat $11 million

    Jan 20, 2010, 4:45 PM EDT

    Arizona designated Eric Byrnes for assignment over the weekend and officially released the 34-year-old outfielder this afternoon. Byrnes was in the final season of a three-year, $30 million contract, so the Diamondbacks are eating $11 million by letting him go. Byrnes signed that deal after a career-year in 2007 that saw him hit .286/.353/.460 with…

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