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  1. Hot Stove Roundup: Lackey, Willingham, Crawford, Hardy

    Nov 14, 2009, 5:43 PM EDT

    We’re just one week away from when the free agency floodgates open, meaning that we’re in the calm before the Hot Stove storm. Here’s a few links to keep you busy on this Saturday: – David Lennon of Newsday writes that the Mets intend to be serious bidders for free agent starter John Lackey. General…

  2. Tigers would like to have Verlander 'for a long time'

    Nov 14, 2009, 1:28 PM EDT

    Whether you buy the rumors of a possible Curtis Granderson trade or not, their most valuable asset is ace Justin Verlander. The 26-year-old workhorse was 19-9 with a 3.45 ERA in 2009, leading the majors with 35 starts, 240 innings pitched and 269 strikeouts. While stopping short of deeming any player “untouchable,” general manager Dave…

  3. Does Crawford want out of Tampa?

    Nov 14, 2009, 12:53 PM EDT

    According to a report from Mike Silva’s New York Baseball Digest, Carl Crawford is “livid” over management’s decision to pick up his $10 million option for next season and now wants out of Tampa. Says a source with the knowledge of the situation: “He wants out of Tampa bad. He had a handshake agreement with…

  4. Alfonzo wants one last shot with Mets

    Nov 14, 2009, 11:43 AM EDT

    According to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, Edgardo Alfonzo wants one more shot to end his career with the Mets. “My dream is to retire with the Mets colors,” Alfonzo said. “That’s my dream. That’s what I’m praying for, maybe it will happen, maybe not, but dreams sometimes come true, you know. Alfonzo…

  5. Giants prospect Villalona loses U.S. visa

    Nov 13, 2009, 7:08 PM EDT

    The Giants confirmed Friday that top prospect Angel Villalona has lost his U.S. visa after being charged with killing a man in the Dominican Republic. The 19-year-old Villalona was recently released from jail after reportedly agreeing to pay the family of the man he allegedly killed a total of $140,000. Villalona was given a $2.1…

  6. Stubborn Uggla doesn't want to budge

    Nov 13, 2009, 6:20 PM EDT

    While it seems as though most of his suitors view him as a third baseman or outfielder, Dan Uggla isn’t interested in moving off second base, his agent told Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown. “Danny Uggla’s been a full-time second baseman for the last four years,” agent Jeff Borris said. “He’s performed exceptionally well at that…

  7. Former prospect Figueroa passes away from lupus

    Nov 13, 2009, 5:15 PM EDT

    Jonathan Figueroa, a longtime minor leaguer who pitched in the Dodgers system, passed away from lupus at age 26. The native of Venezuela was initially billed as a top prospect after a spectacular pro debut in 2002. He went 7-3 with a 1.42 ERA and a 105/39 K/BB ratio in 75 innings between the Rookie…

  8. Mariners sign shortstop Wilson for $10 million

    Nov 13, 2009, 4:59 PM EDT

    The marriage didn’t start off as anyone wanted, but the Mariners announced on Friday that they’ve re-signed free agent Jack Wilson to a two-year deal through 2011. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dejan Kovacevic says the contract is worth $10 million. Wilson was a bust in his first two months with the team after coming over from…

  9. Agent says Ben Sheets plans to pitch in 2010

    Nov 13, 2009, 3:50 PM EDT

    At the general manager meetings in Chicago earlier this week Doug Melvin was asked about the status of former Brewers starter Ben Sheets and replied that “no one has heard from” him after a lost year following elbow surgery. In an effort to clear up Sheets’ status agent Casey Close told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick that…

  10. Brewers decline Looper's $6.5 million option

    Nov 13, 2009, 2:55 PM EDT

    Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin has made it very clear that acquiring starting pitching is the Brewers’ biggest priority this offseason, even trading J.J. Hardy to the Twins for Carlos Gomez in part to clear payroll space for rotation help. Despite that this afternoon the Brewers declined their $6.5 million option on Braden Looper, choosing…

  11. Video of the Day: Riggleman's press conference

    Nov 13, 2009, 2:01 PM EDT

    During yesterday’s press conference announcing him as the Nationals’ manager Jim Riggleman explained why the job is “the dream of a lifetime.” Also of note from the video is general manager Mike Rizzo explaining that he chose Riggleman in large part because they “got along very, very well” during the final three months of this…

  12. Twins may give oft-injured Crede another year

    Nov 13, 2009, 1:24 PM EDT

    While the Twins wait to see whether prospects Danny Valencia or Luke Hughes will emerge as a long-term answer at third base, the Minneapolis Star Tribune‘s Joe Christensen reports that they’re considering re-signing Joe Crede to another one-year deal. When he signed with the Twins last winter Crede was coming off a season in which…

  13. Red Sox, Mets join list of teams linked to Lackey

    Nov 13, 2009, 12:35 PM EDT

    Not surprisingly, various reports following the general manager meetings in Chicago earlier this week note that the Mets and Red Sox were among teams to have talks with John Lackey’s agent. Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald describes the Red Sox as “still in the fact-gathering stage” while David Lennon of New York Newsday suggests…

  14. Angels talking to Tigers about Granderson

    Nov 13, 2009, 11:45 AM EDT

    Ken Davidoff of New York Newsday reports that “the Angels and Tigers have conversed about a Curtis Granderson trade, even though the Angels already have an All-Star center fielder in Torii Hunter.” Apparently the Angels are interested in using Granderson in left field, with Bobby Abreu in right field and Juan Rivera at designated hitter.…

  15. Sign stealing: a waste of time, but easy enough to defend against

    Nov 13, 2009, 10:55 AM EDT

    ESPN’s Buster Olney reproduces an email he received from former major league catcher Brent Mayne talking about sign stealing and mound visits and stuff. It’s pretty illuminating.  Among the the tidbits he offers are that most hitters don’t want stolen signs flashed to them by their teammates anyway. I can see that: how much time…

  16. John Wetteland released from the hospital, cites blood pressure and heart rate as the problem

    Nov 13, 2009, 10:25 AM EDT

    Following up on John Wetteland’s hospitalization yesterday, MLB.com is now reporting that Wetteland was released last night.  Yesterday, the local sheriff called it a “mental health issue.”  It’s also been reported that he was complaining of being depressed and contemplating suicide. Meanwhile, anonymous sources in the Mariners organization dispute the notion that there was a…

  17. The Nats get smart: they move Guzman to second and seek a glove for short

    Nov 13, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

    The Nationals have made a lot of smart moves since tossing Jim Bowden over the side last year. Giving the reins to Mike Rizzo is one. Setting aside their Boras-phobia and paying for Strasburg was another.  Sticking with Jim Riggleman was the right move in my mind as well.  The latest?  Making it clear that Cristian Guzman…

  18. Shin-Soo Choo gets boned, and other thoughts on the Silver Slugger Awards

    Nov 13, 2009, 9:20 AM EDT

    The Silver Slugger Awards were announced last night. Like the Gold Gloves, the Silver Slugger is voted on by managers and coaches and stuff. Which makes little damn sense. We’ve long been in a world where offensive contributions can be quantified objectively — especially compared to defense — so why there’s a vote involved is…

  19. The Rangers are interested in Vlad

    Nov 13, 2009, 8:50 AM EDT

    Ken Rosenthal reports that the Texas Rangers are interested in Vlad Guerrero. Makes all kinds of sense. The Rangers obviously want and need a DH, as evidenced by their recent flirtation with the idea of bringing back Milton Bradley.  Also, as Rosenthal notes, Vald has killed the ball in Texas. Of course, a lot of…

  20. Johnny Damon is pricing his way out of New York

    Nov 13, 2009, 8:20 AM EDT

    SI’s Jon Heyman listened to Scott Boras hold court up at the GM meetings in Chicago, and reports that (a) Boras thinks that Damon should get a four-year deal; (b) Damon doesn’t want less than his current $13 million; (c) the Yankees are saying that they are “absolutely not” going to offer him four years …

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