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  1. The A's are "in the thick" of the Aroldis Chapman bidding

    Dec 30, 2009, 7:59 AM EDT

    So says Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, citing “major league sources.” Slusser notes that the A’s have been known to make a coup or two on the international market, having signed Michael Ynoa two years ago, outbidding the Yankees for the young Dominican pitcher’s services, so it’s not at all silly to think…

  2. Moyer's body suddenly remembers it's 47

    Dec 30, 2009, 2:53 AM EDT

    If Jamie Moyer did indeed make a deal with the devil, it appears that ol’ Beelzebub has decided it’s time to cash in. Moyer, who has had an amazing ability to avoid major health issues over the course of his 23-year career – a career spent baffling hitters with an array of marshmallow fastballs, Bugs…

  3. UPDATE: Cards reportedly offer Holliday 8-year deal

    Dec 29, 2009, 10:13 PM EDT

    UPDATE: MLB.com is reporting that the Cardinals have offered Matt Holliday an 8-year contract for about $16 million per season. The story also speculates that if a mystery team were to enter the Holliday mix it could be the Seattle Mariners. ****** ESPN’s Buster Olney is reporting that the St. Louis Cardinals are becoming increasingly…

  4. Red Sox talking to Boras about Beltre

    Dec 29, 2009, 9:11 PM EDT

    The Boston Red Sox said goodbye to Jason Bay today, and with a good dose of humor in some corners. So what do the Red Sox do now? According to Gordon Edes at ESPN Boston, they are keeping a quiet dialogue going with agent Scott Boras about free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. Now the…

  5. Quote of the Day: Neyer on the Bay signing

    Dec 29, 2009, 7:30 PM EDT

    We’ve given you in depth analysis of the Jason Bay signing, but sometimes less is more. Here was Rob Neyer’s take within minutes of the announcement, focusing on how, despite Bay’s apparent preferences, he wound up with the Mets instead of the Red Sox: We can probably figure Bay’s pride was a factor, along with…

  6. UPDATE: OK, the Mets may not yet have signed Bengie Molina

    Dec 29, 2009, 6:30 PM EDT

    Amazin’ Avenue, via Pat Andriola, says that ESPN 1050 is saying that the Mets have signed Bengie Molina.  No one else has this yet, but it wouldn’t be terribly unexpected if it happened.  Last we heard they were fighting over length-of-deal, with Molina wanting three years and the Mets wanting one year plus an option.…

  7. Thinnest rumor of the year: Jim Thome and the Tigers

    Dec 29, 2009, 6:00 PM EDT

    How thin? I’m going to base it on a single tweet from MSG Network’s Tina Cervasio, who said that she saw Jim Thome in a suburban Detroit hotel a few minutes ago.  Does that mean Thome is talking to the Tigers? Hey, why not!  TMZ is getting into sports gossip, you know. If that works…

  8. Mark DeRosa was tired of being Plan B

    Dec 29, 2009, 5:00 PM EDT

    Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch, passing along Mark DeRosa’s answer to a question about the Cardinals never getting around to making him an offer this winter: “I was just tired of being a lot of teams’ Plan B.” Can’t say as I blame him. No one wants to be stepped over. People want to go…

  9. With Bay signing, Mets put their eggs into one basket, again

    Dec 29, 2009, 4:31 PM EDT

    If there was ever a winter for the Mets to forgo their obsession with stars and improve their depth instead, this was the one. Injuries practically everywhere on the diamond devastated the team in 2009, forcing the team to turn to such non-entities as Angel Berroa, Lance Broadway and Wilson Valdez. It’s certainly true that…

  10. Bay's physical might not be a formality

    Dec 29, 2009, 4:03 PM EDT

    We’ll have more analysis of the Bay signing later — my favorite reader comment so far compares it to the Mets getting Kevin McReynolds in 1987 — but in the meantime, know that it’s not necessarily a done deal.  We passed along reports over a month ago that Bay’s health might be a concern. Jerry…

  11. Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, and the Junior Circuit

    Dec 29, 2009, 3:15 PM EDT

    In response to my article earlier this afternoon comparing Matt Holliday and Jason Bay, several commenters focused on the fact that Bay out-performed Holliday in their respective time as American Leaguers. In fact, one commenter went so far as to say that Holliday “stunk” during his brief AL stint. For several years now there’s been…

  12. REPORT: Jason Bay signs with the Mets

    Dec 29, 2009, 2:44 PM EDT

    UPDATE: Joel Sherman tweets that it’s a four year, $66 million deal, but with an “easy vest” for a fifth year.  Depending how easy, it may as well be a five year deal. 2:14 P.M: WFAN’s Mike Francesa just announced that the Mets have signed Jason Bay pending a physical. No details yet — Francesa…

  13. Death threat over a Dodgers cap? Sure, that's reasonable.

    Dec 29, 2009, 2:00 PM EDT

    Given how territorial New Yorkers seem to be, maybe that whole bring a third team to New York thing is too dangerous an idea: A baseball fan threatened to kill a stranger who was wearing a Los Angeles Dodger’s hat in a Brooklyn diner yesterday. According to the Post, 38-year-old suspect Marcos Esteban — who…

  14. Jayson Stark makes the case for Barry Larkin

    Dec 29, 2009, 1:30 PM EDT

    I’ve been planning to write something touting Barry Larkin’s Hall of Fame candidacy because he’s one of several deserving players on this year’s ballot not getting enough love, but in the meantime here’s the next best thing (or maybe even the slightly better thing) … ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark used some numbers from an article I…

  15. Lester Rodney 1911-2009

    Dec 29, 2009, 1:00 PM EDT

    Most of you probably never heard of Lester Rodney. And for good reason. His claim to fame was being the sports editor for The Daily Worker, the newspaper of American Communist Party from the 1930s to the 1950s.  I read scores of back issues of the Daily Worker for a class I took in college.…

  16. Who's better: Matt Holliday or Jason Bay?

    Dec 29, 2009, 11:51 AM EDT

    As right-handed-hitting left fielders with big bats and questionable gloves Matt Holliday and Jason Bay have been linked together as free agents. Some teams like Holliday more than Bay, some teams like Bay more than Holliday, and whatever the case one has often been described as an alternative to the other. Now that the market…

  17. Scott Boras: the teflon agent

    Dec 29, 2009, 11:25 AM EDT

    Buster Olney has an article up about Scott Boras over at ESPN today. It’s framed with a “I guess we’ll wait and see what Boras does” kind of thing, but the meat of it — and Buster’s probable intention — is to catalog some of Boras’ screwups in recent years.  The highlights: Having Jason Varitek…

  18. Why are the Yankees pretending to have a budget this year?

    Dec 29, 2009, 10:55 AM EDT

    Well, they have some budget. I mean, eventually we’ll would reach a point where the Yankees actually can’t afford to meet payroll. I just think that number is way higher than the $198 million they’re claiming to be held to this year.  So why are they sticking to this likely artificial budget? Because next year…

  19. Jeff Pearlman probably needs to stop writing about the Pirates

    Dec 29, 2009, 10:30 AM EDT

    Mere days after writing an article for Sports Illustrated about the Pittsburgh Pirates that he kicked himself over for being “mediocre,” Jeff Pearlman posts about what he feels to be another Pirate misstep: the July 2008 trade of of Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the Yankees for Daniel McCutchen, Jose Tabata, Jeff Karstens and…

  20. The 2000s in a nutshell

    Dec 29, 2009, 10:00 AM EDT

    I think I’ve read two dozen decade-in-baseball retrospectives in the past week, but they all seem to come back to this nugget, articulated today in the Star-Ledger’s version: The 2000s were dominated by steroids and everything we learned about them: how widespread they were, who juiced, who was responsible and how it impacted the game.…

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