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  1. Holliday to stay with Cardinals for $120 million

    Jan 5, 2010, 6:20 PM EDT

    Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Matt Holliday will return to the Cardinals on a seven-year, $120 million contract, a deal that Holliday later confirmed on ESPN Radio. The contract becomes the fourth-largest ever given to an outfielder, behind Manny Ramirez’s eight-year, $160 million deal with Boston, Alfonso Soriano’s $136 million…

  2. The Sox will play Cameron in center, Ellsbury in left

    Jan 5, 2010, 6:10 PM EDT

    Most people suspected this already, but the Red Sox have officially decided that they’ll play the newly acquired in centerfield and shift Jacoby Ellsbury to left field.  It makes sense: Cameron has played all of three games in left field — none of which with the Green Monster behind him — while Ellsbury has played…

  3. The Jason Bay Press Conference

    Jan 5, 2010, 5:40 PM EDT

    I riffed on it earlier today, but if you’re interested in seeing the unadulterated version — complete with his “I signed with the Mets because I want to win” line — here you are:

  4. The Mariners to sign Gutierrez to a four-year extension

    Jan 5, 2010, 5:08 PM EDT

    Busy day in Seattle. Dave Cameron, backed up by Francisco Blavia, tweets that the Mariners are on the verge of signing the arbitration-eligible Franklin Gutierrez to a four-year extension valued at $20.5 million. (UPDATE: Rosenthal now confirms it). In addition to solidifying the M’s centerfield for some time, it means that Dustin Ackley — who…

  5. UPDATE: Randy Johnson announcing retirement tonight

    Jan 5, 2010, 4:51 PM EDT

    UPDATE: Rosenthal confirms that Johnson is retiring. He also notes that Johnson is moving his conference call to 7 P.M. tonight so as not to interfere with the Hall of Fame announcement tomorrow. 3:49 P.M.: Several baseball writers have tweeted that Randy Johnson has announced a conference call tomorrow.  My guess is that he’s not…

  6. Mariners to acquire Casey Kotchman from the Sox

    Jan 5, 2010, 4:35 PM EDT

    With a Youkilis and a Beltre in the fold, Casey Kotchman didn’t have a home in Boston. Now, according to Buster Olney, it looks like he’ll be shipped off to Seattle.  The deal — which is being reported as “close” but not final, is for a minor leaguer. Kotchman would likely start in Seattle. Kotchman…

  7. Thank God, a coherent Hall of Fame column at SI

    Jan 5, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

    Yesterday Sports Illustrated upchucked Jon Heyman and Dan Shaughnessy’s Hall of Fame columns on an unsuspecting and unprepared populace. To atone for those sins, they run Joe Posnanski’s today.  Ahhh, sweet, fresh coherence . . . Best part: he comments on all 26 players on the ballot, including the Kevin Appiers and Eric Karroses (Karroi?)…

  8. Kelly Shoppach signs a two-year deal with the Rays

    Jan 5, 2010, 3:27 PM EDT

    The Indians didn’t want to go to arbitration with Kelly Shoppach because they figured he’d get $2.5 million or so, so they traded him to Tampa Bay. Today Shoppach avoided arbitration altogether by signing a two-year, $5.5. million deal with a club option for 2012. The Rays recently signed Dioneer Navarro to a one-year, $2.1…

  9. Glaus is officially a Brave

    Jan 5, 2010, 2:58 PM EDT

    Troy Glaus passed his physical today and the Braves officially announced his signing.  For what it’s worth, he’ll wear number 25. At least until they call Ryan Church back to retire it in a couple of years.

  10. The Marlins drop "Florida"

    Jan 5, 2010, 2:25 PM EDT

    From their road jerseys at least. They’ve dropped the Marlin-jumping-over-the-F thing from the sleeve too.  This comes in advance of the team renaming themselves the “Miami Marlins” once they move into their new park in 2012. I like the name “Miami Marlins” because alliteration rocks.  I also hope that the team puts “Miami” on the…

  11. Behind the Music: the Fred McGriff Tom Emanski commercial

    Jan 5, 2010, 1:55 PM EDT

    You’ve seen the commercials for years: “Major League superstar” Fred McGriff in some off-brand hat and jersey endorsing the Tom Emanski Defensive Drills video.  I never flip away when that spot airs. It’s positively sublime. McGriff, sure, but those little leaguers going through their drills is pretty sweet too. I always wonder which of those…

  12. Jason Bay press conference highlights

    Jan 5, 2010, 1:23 PM EDT

    The Mets unveiled their newest bauble a couple of hours ago. After giving him a New York Rangers jersey with his name on it — seriously — Bay faced the press. The whole thing is here if you want to read it. Here are the highlights: Asked about leaving the Sox, Bay said that he…

  13. Beltre could make $10 million in 2011. Maybe.

    Jan 5, 2010, 12:56 PM EDT

    Ken Rosenthal (and others) have reported this morning that Adrian Beltre’s 2011 option could double from $5 million to $10 million based on incentives. What incentives? Rosenthal just tweeted that he gets the extra $5 million if he makes 640 plate appearances. For what it’s worth, Beltre has made 640 plate appearances thrice in his…

  14. More drip, drip, drip from the Matt Holliday faucet

    Jan 5, 2010, 12:25 PM EDT

    A lot of you get sick of the little piece-by-piece rumor mill of the hot stove season, preferring that we wait until there’s a solid news story instead of a mere rumor to talk about something.  I understand why you feel that way, but I disagree with that approach for the simple reason that I…

  15. Shelley Duncan, Austin Kearns sign with the Indians

    Jan 5, 2010, 11:51 AM EDT

    Shelley Duncan would have probably been a nice addition to any number of teams last year, but he had the misfortune of being one of the few — the Yankees — that had absolutely no use for him. So he ended up sitting in Scranton last season, where he hit 30 homers. Now he’s going…

  16. Why most arbitration cases settle

    Jan 5, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

    Arbitration season starts in earnest today, as the filing period for arbitration begins. Players and teams will exchange figures on Jan. 19th. The hearings begin on February 1st. Arbitration, most people don’t realize, is basically litigation, and as is the case with litigation, most arbitration cases settle. Ninety percent, in fact. There are a number…

  17. The General Manager Gap

    Jan 5, 2010, 10:57 AM EDT

    There are a lot of reasons why the NL has been getting its butt handed to it by the AL in recent years. Money is one, the DH is another. Matt Klaassan of FanGraphs has another theory:  better GMs in the AL than in the NL. He doesn’t rank them, really. He simply creates two…

  18. The Braves should make Johnny Damon an Adrian Beltre offer

    Jan 5, 2010, 10:25 AM EDT

    Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution spends some time imagining Johnny Damon in a Braves uniform, observing that Atlanta could afford to sign him if they could do a one- or two-year below $10 million. And he thinks that Damon would consider it because (a) he hasn’t received better offers; and (b) he’s told some…

  19. Miguel Olivo signs; Royals fans weep; Dayton Moore should be fired

    Jan 5, 2010, 9:55 AM EDT

    As reported by Troy Renck last week, the Colorado Rockies finalized their agreement with Miguel Olivo yesterday: one year and $2 million, with a club option for 2011. Good for the Rockies.  Even if the Rockies exercise Olivo’s option — which is $2.5 million — they will have saved $1.5 million over what Yorvit Torrealba…

  20. Francisco Liriano is "throwing the living fire out of the ball"

    Jan 5, 2010, 9:25 AM EDT

    And with this quote from Ron Gardenhire about Francisco Liriano, we officially begin to transition from the hot stove season to the “Player X is in the best shape of his life” season: “I just got a report that he’s throwing the living fire out of the ball down in the Dominican (Republic). He threw…

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