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  1. Rays sign LHP Choate to one-year deal

    Dec 12, 2009, 1:58 PM EST

    Ken Davidoff of New York Newsday reports that left-hander Randy Choate has avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract with the Rays. Choate, 33, posted a 3.47 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over 61 appearances with Tampa Bay in 2009. He was especially effective against left-handed hitters, holding them to a miniscule .141 batting average.…

  2. Alex Cora hurt himself, of course

    Dec 12, 2009, 1:29 PM EST

    Uh-oh. Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog informs us that Alex Cora injured his back while playing with Criollos de Caguas in the Puerto Rican Winter League last week. Cora, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets earlier this month. He batted .251/.320/.310 with one home run, 18 RBI and 31 runs scored in…

  3. Braves still trying to find a taker for Johnson

    Dec 12, 2009, 1:06 PM EST

    The Braves are holding out hope that they can find a taker for second baseman Kelly Johnson before tonight’s non-tender deadline, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports. Johnson, 27, batted .224/.303/.389 with eight home runs and 29 RBI in 303 at-bats with the Braves in ’09, losing his starting second base job to Martin Prado (.307/.358/.464).…

  4. Atkins to be non-tendered by Rockies

    Dec 12, 2009, 11:53 AM EST

    As expected, the Rockies will non-tender third baseman Garrett Atkins on Saturday. Atkins, who turns 30 today (Happy Birthday, Garrett!), batted .226/.308/.342 with nine home runs and 48 RBI last season, losing his hold on the starting third base job to Ian Stewart by June. Atkins was featured in my “Non-tender tango” series two weeks…

  5. Mets' offer for Bay is heavily backloaded

    Dec 12, 2009, 11:42 AM EST

    According to a team source, the Mets’ four-year, $63 million offer to Jason Bay is heavily backloaded, reports Bart Hubbach of the New York Post. The contract is worth roughly $10 million in the first season, increasing to near $20 million in the final year. Backloaded deals are nothing new for the Mets, as Carlos…

  6. Braves ink Diaz to one-year deal

    Dec 12, 2009, 11:18 AM EST

    Matt Diaz avoided arbitration by signing a one-year, $2.55 million contract with the Braves, reports MLB.com. He earned $1.2375 million in 2009. Diaz, who turns 32 in March, batted .313/.390/.488 in ’09, establishing career-highs with 13 home runs and 58 RBI. Only six National League outfielders with at least 350 plate appearances were better than…

  7. Rosenthal is a pretty good match-maker

    Dec 12, 2009, 10:37 AM EST

    After providing plenty of rumors and news all week at the winter meetings, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com has a doozy of an idea regarding Roy Halladay and the Phillies: You want a blockbuster? How about one that includes not one, but two former Cy Young Award winners? I have no proof that the Phillies are…

  8. Cards offer to Holliday under $18 mil. per season

    Dec 12, 2009, 10:10 AM EST

    Yesterday we heard that the Cardinals tendered a formal contract offer to free agent outfielder Matt Holliday. Though no specific terms were mentioned at the time, this morning Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch cites ‘a source familiar with the process’ as saying the offer did not top $18 million per season. This is…

  9. Pirates sign Cedeno to one-year deal

    Dec 12, 2009, 9:47 AM EST

    Ronny Cedeno avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.25 million contract with the Pirates, reports Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Cedeno made $822,500 last season. Cedeno, who turns 27 in February, batted .208/.256/.337 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI in 341 at-bats between the Mariners and Pirates in ’09. It isn’t saying…

  10. Today is non-tender day

    Dec 12, 2009, 8:38 AM EST

    Welcome to non-tender day, everybody. Yes, today is the deadline for teams to decide whether to tender contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man roster. It’s usually done with a player between three and six years of service time coming off injury or a team simply doesn’t feel the player is worth a new contract.…

  11. Brewers out of money, but do they need to be?

    Dec 11, 2009, 9:46 PM EST

    Indications are that the Brewers are just about out of cash after signing Randy Wolf and LaTroy Hawkins for their pitching staff at the meetings. They do have an offer out to Craig Counsell, but they could well be done adding significant free agents. Except they clearly don’t need to be. According to MLB.com’s Adam…

  12. Friday evening notes: Angels, Diamondbacks, Mets

    Dec 11, 2009, 8:59 PM EST

    *Jose Arredondo will have Tommy John surgery and miss the 2010 season, a source told ESPN”s Jorge Arangure. That explains his struggles. Arredondo burst onto the scene with 10 wins and a 1.62 ERA out of the pen in 2008, but he came in at 6.00 in 45 innings during a dreadful 2009. With Arredondo…

  13. Peter Gammons' Farewell Column at ESPN

    Dec 11, 2009, 7:30 PM EST

    We’re not going to be without Peter Gammons. Indeed, if anything, we’re going to see a better, more comfortable Peter Gammons next season covering beats he truly loves for NESN and MLB.com.  But his departure from ESPN is notable given that, for many of us, it is only though ESPN that we know of him…

  14. Last-place Royals downgrade to Kendall

    Dec 11, 2009, 6:57 PM EST

    The Royals got 31 homers and 101 RBI in 618 plate appearances from their two primary catchers on their way to finishing 65-97 last season. Now they’re going to someone who had two homers and 43 RBI in 526 plate appearances. That’s the way it is in Kansas City. Dayton Moore’s two biggest priorities after…

  15. Rich Harden desperately wants to stay healthy

    Dec 11, 2009, 5:47 PM EST

    Rich Harden’s new deal gives him $11.5 million reasons to want to stay healthy. This piece at MLB.com talks about what he’s doing to make that elusive goal come to pass: Harden has been searching for answers and believes he is getting there. He works with a private physiotherapist in Phoenix and has worked hard…

  16. Flores still the 'win-now' catcher for Nationals

    Dec 11, 2009, 5:17 PM EST

    It’s a common occurrence for contenders to go for the sure thing, rather than trust the youngster. When it comes to surety versus ceiling, surety often prevails with teams that already expect to win 90 games. But what about with the teams all set to lose 90 games? When the Nationals signed Ivan Rodriguez, the…

  17. The Mariners look at Marquis

    Dec 11, 2009, 4:51 PM EST

    This morning Morosi at FOX had the Mariners interested in John Lackey and Jarrod Washburn.  Now he’s got them looking at Jason Marquis as well. Or, as Morosi puts it, Seattle is looking at “virtually every free-agent starter, it seems.” He adds Ben Sheets and Doug Davis too. So, John Lackey, Jarrod Washburn, Jason Marquis,…

  18. Ex-Tiger Thames of interest to Jays, Tribe

    Dec 11, 2009, 4:30 PM EST

    Sources told FOXSports.com that the Indians and Blue Jays are looking at free agent Marcus Thames. Thames, who was released by the Tigers after six seasons in Detroit, would likely sign cheap if it meant getting a chance to play regularly. The soon-to-be 33-year-old has a career 797 OPS in 1,549 at-bats and he’s an…

  19. There's a new group in the running for the Rangers

    Dec 11, 2009, 4:28 PM EST

    Well, an old-new group, as Houston businessman Jim Crane had previously been mulling an offer before dropping out a month ago.  Now he’s back, reports MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.  That makes three in the bidding: Crane, Pittsburgh sports lawyer Chuck Greenberg and Beverly Hills insurance man, former agent, and alleged inventor of free agency, Dennis Gilbert.…

  20. If the Yankees non-tender Wang, he's gone

    Dec 11, 2009, 4:00 PM EST

    Tomorrow is the deadline for teams to decide whether or not to tender their non free-agent players a contract for next year.  If the player is non-tendered he is granted free agency. Teams can still negotiate with a player that is non-tendered, however, and often do. This won’t be the case with Chien-Ming Wang, according…

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