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  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. The Giants lose their Merkin

    Jan 20, 2010, 4:25 PM EDT

    Look kids, a trade:  Reliever Merkin Valdez was just sent to Toronto for cash considerations. The Giants had DFA’d him to make room for Aubrey Huff. Hard to believe that he’s only 28, because Valdez — who used to go by the name Manny Mateo — feels like he’s been around for years. I mean,…

  14. Lincecum can use some of that arbitration money to pay pot fines

    Jan 20, 2010, 4:01 PM EDT

    On the same day that he filed an arbitration request of $13 million, Tim Lincecum was ordered to pay $513 in fines to resolve October marijuana charges. Lincecum was originally charged with two misdemeanor counts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession following an October 30 traffic stop in Washington, but the incident has been reduced…

  15. Tommy Lasorda is the best

    Jan 20, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

    I was never a big Tommy Lasorda fan back when he was a manager, but I kind of like retired old man Tommy Lasorda. He was a hoot working the room and telling war stories at the Winter Meetings. Reminded me of my late father-in-law, who also happened to be a large and jolly Italian…

  16. Edmonds is serious about comeback and multiple teams are interested

    Jan 20, 2010, 2:51 PM EDT

    While appearing at a Cardinals charity event earlier this week Jim Edmonds challenged manager Tony La Russa to consider him for a comeback, saying that he’d play for the minimum salary after sitting out all of 2009. It was tough to tell whether Edmonds was half-joking or not, but apparently he’s serious. St. Louis radio…

  17. UPDATE: OK, maybe Johnny Damon isn't contemplating retirement

    Jan 20, 2010, 2:13 PM EDT

    UPDATE:  Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets “I’m told by someone who knows Damon well that he’s not considered retiring.”  That makes more sense, of course, as many of you in the comments have suggested that this could very well be a negotiating ploy. The real question is whether O’Brien knows this because the…

  18. Maybe Molina just didn't want to play for the Mets

    Jan 20, 2010, 1:49 PM EDT

    MetsBlog.com’s Matthew Cerrone wrote an interesting article about Bengie Molina’s surprising decision to return to the Giants yesterday after seemingly being all but signed with the Mets. Molina inked a one-year, $4.5 million deal with San Francisco, but Cerrone reports that New York’s offer–which was made in mid-December–included $1 million more in salary for this…

  19. And now some financial perspective

    Jan 20, 2010, 1:29 PM EDT

    As we’ve passed over several dozen million dollar contracts these past few days for players I’d wager a plurality of baseball fans have never even heard of, it’s probably worth remembering how the other half live: Baseball’s minor leaguers are getting a small raise–in the form of meal money. MLB team owners last week approved…

  20. Rangers take $5 million gamble on Colby Lewis' return from Japan

    Jan 20, 2010, 12:50 PM EDT

    Colby Lewis was one of the game’s best pitching prospects while coming up through the Rangers’ farm system, with Baseball America ranking him as their No. 32 overall prospect in 2003, sandwiched between Adrian Gonzalez at 31 and Josh Hamilton at 33. That season he made 26 starts for the Rangers as a 23-year-old rookie,…

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