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  1. The Astros set a Monday deadline for arbitration eligible players

    Jan 22, 2010, 2:07 PM EDT

    The Astros aren’t going to dilly-dally for the next three or four weeks on their arbitration cases. If you’ve got pending litigation with them, they want it to be over by Monday or just forget it: Astros general manager Ed Wade said Friday he has informed the agents for the club’s three remaining arbitration players…

  2. Quote of the Day: Adolphus Busch IV*

    Jan 22, 2010, 1:20 PM EDT

    Mr. Busch is part of the family that founded Anheuser-Busch, which in turn owned the Cardinals until the year before Mark McGwire came to town. I suppose that entitles him to speak out just as much as anyone else: “McGwire has chosen to come out of the closet at the perfect time – alongside a…

  3. A's prospect Grant Desme is leaving baseball for the priesthood

    Jan 22, 2010, 12:50 PM EDT

    FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports that A’s outfield prospect Grant Desme is retiring from baseball at age 23 “in order to pursue the priesthood.” Seriously. Baseball America recently ranked Desme as the team’s eighth-best prospect following a breakout season that saw him hit .288/.365/.568 with 31 homers and 40 steals in 131 games between two…

  4. Angels getting Brian Stokes for Gary Matthews Jr.

    Jan 22, 2010, 12:36 PM EDT

    Still no word yet on the money involved, but ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Angels’ return for Gary Matthews Jr. is reliever Brian Stokes, who has a 5.02 career ERA. Stokes was fairly useful over the past two seasons, posting a 3.82 ERA in 103.2 innings, but he’s basically a 30-year-old, run-of-the-mill middle reliever.…

  5. Any chance the Brewers extend Prince Fielder?

    Jan 22, 2010, 12:20 PM EDT

    MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy wonders whether the Brewers are going to try to approach Prince Fielder with a contract extension. Doug Melvin wisely tells McCalvy that he wouldn’t tell him about any talks even if they happened, and then adds: “But at some point, we said we want to get together. It has to be the…

  6. Baseball's four decade club

    Jan 22, 2010, 11:20 AM EDT

    I heard someone say the other day that if they remade “Back to the Future” today, Marty McFly would only go back to 1980. I’m not sure anything has made me feel as old as that in some time, but this comes close: As soon as Vizquel steps onto the field in 2010, he will…

  7. Mets interested in Sheets, Wang

    Jan 22, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    Going from the totally wacky in Mets land to the fairly reasonable, the Mets are reported interested in Ben Sheets and Chien-Ming Wang.  Unlike the Matthews move, this should be encouraging for Mets fans.  Health will determine how far well lineup fares in 2010, and there’s a not a lot the team can do about…

  8. Report: Mets get Gary Matthews from the Angels

    Jan 22, 2010, 10:40 AM EDT

    Heyman tweets it.  Details to come later. I can only hope for the Mets’ sake that the Angels are either throwing in someone useful or else they’re eating a bunch of that money (UPDATE: Heyman says they will eat a lot of money). Either way, this smells like panic over the Carlos Beltran knee thing. …

  9. Glanville: "too many players made a different choice than McGwire did"

    Jan 22, 2010, 10:29 AM EDT

    I taunted Doug Glanville pretty badly an hour ago and I feel kinda bad about it, so to make up I’d like to link his excellent NYT column yesterday in which he absolutely nails the McGwire thing: In McGwire’s admission, he explained how he was doing his job, and his torment and regret seemed genuine…

  10. It's Official: The Phillies sign Shane Victorino for 3 years, $22 million

    Jan 22, 2010, 9:49 AM EDT

    UPDATE:  The deal has now been announced by the team. Thursday, 8:02 P.M.: A source is telling me that the Phillies and Shane Victorino have reached a deal on a three-year, $22 million contract.  The team could announce it as early as tomorrow. Jim Salisbury had reported earlier this week that Victorino and the team…

  11. Are you Old School or are you new school?

    Jan 22, 2010, 9:32 AM EDT

    Are you a fan of old school baseball? New school? Were you even aware that there are many, many other schools to which you could belong? Confused? You won’t be if you check out Jason’s excellent and extensive analysis of what it truly means to be “___ school.“ I’m disappointed, however, that Jason did not…

  12. Rob Neyer has a fantasy baseball game

    Jan 22, 2010, 9:03 AM EDT

    ESPN’s Rob Neyer sits up in his little cottage up in the Pacific Northwest making people think that he’s this calm, peaceful guy who just researches and writes about baseball all day, but he’s really a ruthless multi-media kingpin: Imagine Sports Inc., a leading online fantasy sports gaming company, today announced a deal with baseball…

  13. The story behind Jason Bay's aborted deal with the Red Sox

    Jan 22, 2010, 8:28 AM EDT

    “I was shocked to say the least that I was being told to have knee surgery in order to get the contract, particularly since I wasn’t hurt.” – Jason Bay That quote comes from an interesting story from WEEI’s Rob Bradford, telling us what went down between Jason Bay and the Red Sox last summer. …

  14. When is Ron Villone going to apologize to Mark McGwire?

    Jan 22, 2010, 7:34 AM EDT

    Eventually people will start playing baseball again and all of this will be forgotten. Until then we’ll have old timers like Fergie Jenkins saying silly things like this: Ferguson Jenkins says Mark McGwire owes an apology to all those pitchers who gave up his home runs. The Hall of Fame ace sent an open letter*…

  15. More bad news for Freddy Sanchez

    Jan 22, 2010, 12:31 AM EDT

    Giants manager Bruce Bochy revealed to San Francisco’s KNBR Radio late Thursday evening that second baseman Freddy Sanchez underwent an arthroscopic procedure recently on his left shoulder and might not be ready by Opening Day. “He’s going to be a little delayed,” Bochy said in a phone interview. “It’ll be close if he can go…

  16. Royals ink Rick Ankiel to one-year contract

    Jan 21, 2010, 11:55 PM EDT

    According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Royals and outfielder Rick Ankiel have agreed to terms on a one-year, $3.25 million contract with a $6 million mutual option for 2011. Scott Boras strikes again.  Ankiel seems like a fine human being and we should all applaud his transformation from headcase pitcher to homer-hitting outfielder,…

  17. Verlander, Tigers nearing long-term talks

    Jan 21, 2010, 7:31 PM EDT

    Tigers ace Justin Verlander told MLB.com’s Jason Beck on Thursday that he expects to engage in long-term contract talks with the club soon after his 2010 salary is decided.  Verlander requested $9.5 million and was offered $6.9 million from the Tigers when arbitration figures were exchanged on Tuesday.  The two sides obviously disagree on his…

  18. Diving into the depths: St. Louis Cardinals

    Jan 21, 2010, 5:29 PM EDT

    This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training. St. Louis Cardinals Rotation 1. Adam Wainwright 2. Chris Carpenter 3. Kyle Lohse 4. Brad Penny 5. Mitchell Boggs 6. Jaime Garcia 7. Kyle McClellan 8. Lance Lynn 9. P.J. Walters 10. Adam Ottavino The Cardinals still figure…

  19. Bill Lee: "Jim Rice was a pain in the a–"

    Jan 21, 2010, 4:49 PM EDT

    This isn’t exactly news, but it’s a slow day and slow days are made for Bill Lee rambling about stuff. Here’s Lee comparing and contrasting Andre Dawson and Jim Rice: “Hawk’s a leader. He led by example through pain and suffering, going out there every day and laying it on the line. Character! I’d take…

  20. Matt Stairs is in the best shape of his life

    Jan 21, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

    No, really: Matt Stairs still hoping to land a job at age 41, has dropped 31 pounds this winter, reports ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. Stairs has gone from 230 pounds to 199 — the lightest he’s been in about 15 years. Stairs lost the weight on the Nutrisystem program. It’s a pretty sad comment that Charlie…

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