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  1. Is John Lackey taking a physical for the Red Sox?

    Dec 14, 2009, 12:01 PM EDT

    I put this in the form of a question, because the very guy tweeting qualifies it. It’s FanHouse’s Ed Price who is tweeting the Lackey-Sox rumor, but his own tweet says he’s “Working to confirm.”  Price is a nice fellow, but he’s been a bit quick on the draw before. Such as last week when…

  2. Cardinals prospect David Freese charged with suspected DWI

    Dec 14, 2009, 11:52 AM EDT

    General manager John Mozeliak has repeatedly said that the Cardinals are comfortable going with 26-year-old prospect David Freese as their Opening Day third baseman, so he can’t be too happy with this news from the weekend: David Freese was arrested in St. Louis County early Saturday morning on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, Maryland Heights…

  3. Santana Claus returns to Venezuela

    Dec 14, 2009, 11:29 AM EDT

    Great story about Johan Santana’s annual trip to his hometown in the remote mountains of Venezuela, where he spreads holiday cheer: He lives in Florida in the off-season, but late every year, he returns to Tovar, bearing gifts by the truckload. He organizes the Cy Youngazo, or the Great Cy Young, where he hands out…

  4. The Yankees sniff around Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherer

    Dec 14, 2009, 11:00 AM EDT

    With Sabathia, Burnett and Pettitte ensconced 1-2-3, and with the Yankees talking up Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes as starters, and with the team tendering contracts to Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre, one would think that the last thing they’d need is another couple of starting pitchers.  According to Mark Feinsand of the Daily News,…

  5. A jersey tour with Jason Grilli

    Dec 14, 2009, 10:45 AM EDT

    Jason Grilli makes one of the most boring episodes of “Cribs” ever. He doesn’t even get out to the garage to show us the Bentleys or upstairs to show us “where the magic happens.” Gotta love the hate on Calgary, however, which Grilli calls “probably the worst place to have a baseball team ever.”

  6. Bay and the Sox had a deal in place last summer

    Dec 14, 2009, 10:30 AM EDT

    So reports Tony Massarotti in the Globe over the weekend.  Apparently it was derailed by health concerns on the part of the Sox’ medical staff. Specifically, the part of the medical staff — Mike Reinold — who was just promoted to head trainer, which may be part of what is firming up the Sox’ resolve…

  7. The Blue Jays reach deals with Dustin McGowan, Jose Bautista

    Dec 14, 2009, 10:00 AM EDT

    It’s for $500,000 for McGowan. Adam LaRoche understands the significance of that amount. McGowan was pretty awesome in 2007 and 2008, winning 14 games with a 3.62 ERA and 169 strikeouts in 32 starts.  Then there were concerns of overuse, then there was shoulder surgery. Last summer J.P. Ricciardi said that McGowan’s rehab had hit…

  8. Let's spend a week talking about revamping the draft

    Dec 14, 2009, 9:30 AM EDT

    The biggest item on the table when the Collective Bargaining Agreement is renegotiated at the end of 2011 will be the amateur draft.  And it’s not just one item, really, it’s a handful of them, including (a) internationalizing the draft; (b) instituting “hard slotting” for bonuses; and (c) allowing the trading of draft picks, among…

  9. Adam LaRoche wants $31.5 million, in talks with Seattle

    Dec 14, 2009, 8:58 AM EDT

    There’s word that free agent first basemen Adam LaRoche is seeking a three-year deal worth $31.5 million. Is it just me, or is demanding $10.5 million a year oddly specific?  I get this image of LaRoche sitting on a bus in the minors, riding from town-to-town in the Carolina league, wishing that, one day, he’d…

  10. The Lowell for Ramirez deal could fall through

    Dec 14, 2009, 8:28 AM EDT

    First it was Mike Lowell’s thumb, and now Max Ramirez’s wrists are getting closer scrutiny reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.  That and “at least one other issue unrelated to either player’s physical condition,” are holding up the deal.  If I had to guess I’d say that the “other issue” is the Commissioner’s office, which usually…

  11. Damon: "The Yankees haven't made an offer"

    Dec 14, 2009, 8:00 AM EDT

    Johnny Damon, walking back the rumors from the weekend: “My friends and family are calling to tell me about this offer and what I want and it’s all wrong.  The Yankees haven’t made an offer and I haven’t told them what I want. Everything else is not true. Two years, four years, all that happens…

  12. Nationals re-sign non-tendered Olsen

    Dec 13, 2009, 8:51 PM EDT

    Scott Olsen, who was non-tendered Saturday after making $2.8 million last season, has already agreed to reup with the Nationals, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. The deal is worth a guaranteed $1 million, but the rehabbing left-hander will be able to earn up to $4 million if he starts 33 games. Olsen went 2-4 with…

  13. Top 111 Free Agents: the non-tender edition

    Dec 13, 2009, 6:04 PM EDT

    With the batch of non-tenders helping to repopulate the ranks, it seemed like a good time to present an updated top 111 free agents. Players are listed based on how I think teams view them, rather than any personal feelings. The original list can be found here. 1. Matt Holliday 2. John Lackey 3. Jason…

  14. The Matt Capps' saga continues…

    Dec 13, 2009, 4:17 PM EDT

    Earlier today, Craig had some thoughts on how Pirates general manager Neal Huntington treated right-hander Matt Capps, who was non-tendered on Saturday. I’m beginning to think that Huntington announced that he would tender contracts to all of his arbitration-eligible players only to attempt to drum up some late trade interest in the 26-year-old reliever. It…

  15. Blue Jays ink John Buck to one-year deal

    Dec 13, 2009, 2:11 PM EDT

    The Blue Jays have signed catcher John Buck to a one-year, $2 million contract, reports Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. Buck was non-tendered by the Royals on Saturday. The 29-year-old backstop batted .247/.299/.484 with eight home runs and 36 RBI in 186 at-bats in ’09, throwing out 16% of would-be basestealers. He has a .235/.299/.484 career…

  16. Scott Boras can't be serious

    Dec 13, 2009, 1:27 PM EDT

    When Scott Boras talks, people listen. Take the winter meetings, for instance. He’s bombastic. He’s outrageous. And sometimes he’s very close to pushing his luck. The Yankees recently acquired the younger and more-athletic Curtis Granderson in a blockbuster three-team trade, providing general manager Brian Cashman with some flexibility in negotiations for veteran free agent outfielder…

  17. Akinori Iwamura says goodbye to Tampa Bay

    Dec 13, 2009, 11:33 AM EDT

    Akinori Iwamura, who was traded from the Rays to the Pirates last month, took out a full-page ad in Sunday’s edition of the St. Petersburg Times, thanking the fans of Tampa Bay: “I hope you’ll remember me with good thoughts for my efforts on the field and even for my “Rayhawk” haircut during our run to…

  18. Dave Duncan could fix Chien-Ming Wang

    Dec 13, 2009, 11:14 AM EDT

    Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan said Chien-Ming Wang, who was non-tendered by the Yankees on Saturday, intrigues him as a free agent, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Wang likely won’t be able to contribute until next May as he recovers from shoulder surgery, and he hasn’t pitched a full season since 2007,…

  19. Report: Brewers have deal for Counsell

    Dec 13, 2009, 9:59 AM EDT

    According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Brewers have a tentative agreement in place to re-sign free agent infielder Craig Counsell. The 39-year-old Counsell was believed to be seeking a two-year contract this winter, but the length and terms of the new contract are not yet known. Counsell came out of nowhere…

  20. Lowell's right thumb holding up trade to Texas

    Dec 13, 2009, 9:31 AM EDT

    This week’s proposed trade of Mike Lowell and cash to the Rangers for catcher Max Ramirez currently stands in transaction limbo. Why? Blame Lowell’s right thumb. The Rangers are reportedly satisfied with the status of Lowell’s right hip, but they are reviewing an injury to Lowell’s thumb that hampered him over the final weeks of…

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