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  1. Anatomy of the Halladay swap

    Dec 20, 2009, 11:46 AM EDT

    If you’re snowed in like me, or just have a few minutes to kill before football dominates the day, I recommend reading Andy Martino’s excellent piece from the Philadelphia Inquirer recounting Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro’s pursuit of ace Roy Halladay. Of course, the Phillies tried for Roy Halladay in July, but the talks were…

  2. Quote of the day: Aardsma on Bradley trade

    Dec 20, 2009, 10:29 AM EDT

    “As long as he plays the right way, comes to spring training ready to work and ready to be part of the team that we have–good guys put their nose to the ground and bust their butts–we’ll take anybody.”“It’s good to have a power left-handed bat (in) Safeco (Field). His ability never has been the…

  3. Non-tendered Wang is a popular free agent

    Dec 20, 2009, 10:02 AM EDT

    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that free agent right-hander Chien-Ming Wang is drawing interest from 15 teams, according to his agent Alan Nero. Wang, who turns 30 in March, was non-tendered by the Yankees last Saturday after posting a 9.64 ERA in ’09 and undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in June. Nero wouldn’t reveal…

  4. A's close to deal with Coco Crisp

    Dec 20, 2009, 9:02 AM EDT

    According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, the Athletics are close to signing free agent outfielder Coco Crisp to a one-year contract worth between $4.5 million-5 million. The Padres also expressed interest in the 30-year-old outfielder, but Crisp elected to join Oakland’s crowded outfield, instead. I’m guessing it’s for the contract security, which also reportedly includes…

  5. Rangers, Red Sox to move on with Lowell deal off

    Dec 19, 2009, 10:15 PM EDT

    The Mike Lowell-for-Max Ramirez deal is off, with the Rangers canceling the trade after a physical determined Boston’s third baseman would need surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. The surgery has a recovery timetable of 6-8 weeks, so Lowell should be fine for the start of spring training. Still, the Rangers didn’t want to…

  6. The Mike Lowell trade is off

    Dec 19, 2009, 9:22 PM EDT

    The Boston Herald’s Mike Silverman tweets that Mike Lowell needs thumb surgery and that the deal with the Rangers is dead. Rob Bradford of WEEI — not subject to 140 characters because he blogged it rather than tweeted it — says that it’s a torn radiall colateral ligament, that surgery will happen after Christmas, and…

  7. Here comes Santa Kruk, here comes Santa Kruk

    Dec 19, 2009, 3:42 PM EDT

    Because Steve Phillips’ mock press conferences weren’t cringe-inducing enough, ESPN will feature a series of “Santa Kruk” segments during SportsCenter next week, in which he will present gifts to some major league teams (watch them all here, if you dare). Among them, a “goat catcher” for the Cubs, a rocket scientist for the Astros and…

  8. Nats cornering the market for middle-of-the-road starters

    Dec 19, 2009, 2:23 PM EDT

    Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com writes that the Nationals are making a “strong push” for free agent right-hander Jon Garland. According to the report, Garland wants a three-year deal while the Nationals would prefer two years. Garland, 30, was 11-13 with a 4.01 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 33 starts this past season, earning $6.25 million.…

  9. With new deal, Reds keeping Rolen through 2012

    Dec 19, 2009, 2:01 PM EDT

    With the Reds hurting for payroll relief, Scott Rolen has agreed to restructure his contract with an extension that will carry him through the 2012 season, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports. Rolen, who turns 35 in April, was set to earn $11 million next season, but under the terms of the new agreement, he will…

  10. Lowell to meet with Rangers on Saturday

    Dec 19, 2009, 11:56 AM EDT

    Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that Mike Lowell will fly to Texas on Saturday to meet with the Rangers’ front office and take a physical. The Rangers have a preliminary agreement to trade catcher Max Ramirez to the Red Sox in exchange for Lowell and cash considerations, however the trade has been on hold for…

  11. Should Holliday learn from Damon?

    Dec 19, 2009, 11:39 AM EDT

    Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that Matt Holliday should learn a lesson from Johnny Damon’s negotiations with the Yankees: As this drags on, we can only wonder if or when the Cardinals will withdraw from the Holliday auction and redirect their money to other players. Will Holliday lose out in St. Louis…

  12. Jason Michaels is the envy of MLB outfielders, for now

    Dec 19, 2009, 10:59 AM EDT

    Here’s a surprising tidbit. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com writes that Mike Cameron, Andruw Jones and Jason Michaels are the only outfielders to sign major league contracts this winter. He doesn’t count Ken Griffey Jr. since he re-signed with the Mariners before hitting the market, nor does he include Hideki Matsui, who didn’t play a single…

  13. Bob Klapisch is tweaking Mets fans

    Dec 19, 2009, 9:52 AM EDT

    He thinks the Mets should let other GMs know that Johan Santana is available: Of course, the Wilpon family will do no such thing. They invested $137.5 million in the great lefthander and aren’t about to admit failure. But the current Mets core is beginning Year 5 of a golden era that wasn’t and considering…

  14. LaRoche hasn't heard from Braves

    Dec 19, 2009, 8:46 AM EDT

    Adam LaRoche batted .325/.401/.557 with 12 home runs, 40 RBI and a .957 OPS in 212 at-bats after being scooped up from the Red Sox on July 31, playing a huge part in the Braves’ late playoff run. Sure, we’re all accustomed to LaRoche’s second-half surges — .909 OPS lifetime, as opposed to .773 before…

  15. No doubt about it now: Cubs should have fired Hendry

    Dec 18, 2009, 6:18 PM EDT

    The Cubs finally got off their collective butts on Friday by pulling the trigger on the Milton Bradley-Carlos Silva deal and closing in on an agreement with Marlon Byrd, but let’s face it, they were better off when they were doing nothing. The offseason’s proceedings have only made it increasingly clear that Jim Hendry is…

  16. Carlos Silva is a "battler"

    Dec 18, 2009, 5:40 PM EDT

    I hope Bert Blyleven makes the Hall of Fame this year. I’m happy Bert Blyleven writes for NBC Sports.com.  I also wish I had some of what Bert Blyleven was smoking when he went on the radio this afternoon and gave us the Carlos Silva scouting report: “What the Cubs got is, if he’s healthy,…

  17. The Phillies exercise Jimmy Rollins' option for 2011

    Dec 18, 2009, 5:10 PM EDT

    It’s early to be doing this, but $8.5 million for Rollins is a really good deal, even if he’s not the player he was a couple of years ago. FanGraphs’ magic-player-value-contraption has him being worth north of $10 million in 2009, and that was probably his worst year since he became a regular, at least…

  18. The Cubs are close to signing Marlon Byrd

    Dec 18, 2009, 4:34 PM EDT

    Chicago had been waiting to move Milton Bradley before bringing in someone else to take his place in the outfield. Now they’ve moved Bradley, and according to Dallas Morning News blogger Evan Grant, they’re close to signing Marlon Byrd. Grant says what a lot of others have said: the Cubs were interested in both Byrd…

  19. Firestone becomes official tire of Major League Baseball

    Dec 18, 2009, 4:20 PM EDT

    Outside of the Big Bust Challenge Trade, there isn’t a lot happening in baseball today, so let’s look at little stuff. Stuff like Firestone becoming the Official Tire of Major League Baseball.  I just left the business world, so I don’t care about the synergies and cross-promotional opportunities involved here, but there were still a…

  20. Arizona makes offer to suddenly popular Kelly Johnson

    Dec 18, 2009, 3:52 PM EDT

    Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have officially made an offer to Kelly Johnson and speculates that it’s worth around $2 million for one season. Johnson has been linked to quite a few teams since being non-tendered by the Braves last week, with Piecoro noting that the Cardinals, Nationals, and Astros…

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