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  1. League, Umps about to reach a new labor deal

    Dec 22, 2009, 1:10 PM EST

    I didn’t even know that the umps’ labor deal  was close to expiring. But apparently it is, and apparently they’re about to ink a new one without any NBA-style strife. The only changes of note: the league wants more flexibility to assign umpires to the playoffs and World Series, moving away from the seniority/carousel system…

  2. Who will the Yankees get to play left field?

    Dec 22, 2009, 12:40 PM EST

    On the surface trading Melky Cabrera for Javier Vazquez clears the way for Johnny Damon to re-sign with the Yankees, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that they still view him as “too expensive” after last week’s back-and-forth with agent Scott Boras. Sherman also notes that parting with Cabrera probably doesn’t make…

  3. Yankees fan convicted of killing Red Sox fan

    Dec 22, 2009, 12:09 PM EST

    The Rivalry has a body count: A New Hampshire woman has been convicted of second-degree murder for hitting a man with her car after he taunted her for being a New York Yankees fan . . . [Ivonne Hernandez] was accused of killing 29-year-old Matthew Beaudoin in a Nashua parking lot in May 2008. Hernandez…

  4. Is Bay still a possibility for the Red Sox?

    Dec 22, 2009, 11:37 AM EST

    I can’t see it. You have Cameron, Ellsbury, and Drew in the outfield. You have Ortiz at DH. Where on Earth would Jason Bay play, and why would the Red Sox pay him five years regardless? Yet you have the Boston Herald’s Mike Silverman saying “It remains unlikely, but still within the realm of possibility,…

  5. The Yankees get a hefty luxury tax bill

    Dec 22, 2009, 11:05 AM EST

    The luxury tax is an arrangement by which teams [cough! — the Yankees — cough!] whose payroll exceeds a certain figure determined each year are taxed on the excess amount. The tax is paid to the league which then puts the money into its “industry-growth fund.” I guess the industry as grown so it wouldn’t…

  6. Relax Braves fans, this deal is not so bad

    Dec 22, 2009, 10:37 AM EST

    Longtime reader ECP comments:  “C’mon now, Craig, it’s the Braves!  It’s your team; you are allowed to add some acerbic commentary!  How do you REALLY feel about this?” I’ll be honest, I feel rather “meh” about it. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you I’m excited about Melky freakin’ Cabrera, because I’m…

  7. REPORT: Yankees acquire Javier Vazquez and a reliever from the Braves for Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn

    Dec 22, 2009, 9:50 AM EST

    Multiple sources, including Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman and the Daily News’ Mark Feinsand are reporting that the Yankees and Braves have agreed to a trade in which the Braves will send starter Javier Vazquez and reliever Boone Logan to the Yankees in exchange for Melky Cabrera, lefty Mike Dunn…

  8. Lowell contradicts the Sox brass on what he said about his thumb

    Dec 22, 2009, 9:12 AM EST

    Red Sox’ assistant GM Ben Cherington on Mike Lowell and his thumb over the weekend: “Even at the end of the playoffs, in our exit physical, he barely made mention of it.” Mile Lowell, speaking about his thumb to WEEI’s Rob Bradford last night: “I was in constant and open communication about my thumb situation…

  9. Aaron Harang to the Dodgers is not dead

    Dec 22, 2009, 8:30 AM EST

    Jeff Passan of Yahoo! says that the Harang-to-the-Dodgers deal still has a bit of life to it, and that the trade could still happen with George Sherrill going to Cincinnati. What use does Cincinnati have for Sherrill? None, really — and they’re even willing to eat $10 million of the $14 million owed Harang for…

  10. So which pitcher are the Yankees targeting?

    Dec 22, 2009, 8:00 AM EST

    I went to bed assuming that Buster or Rosenthal or Feinsand one of those guys would have the Yankee trade story all nailed down by the time I woke up. Then I remembered that reporters and general managers sleep too. So no new news on the Yankees’ pursuit of a pitcher.  Feinsand does have a…

  11. Milton Bradley: 'Everyone gets him wrong'

    Dec 22, 2009, 2:29 AM EST

    Larry Stone of the Seattle Times found some people to say some nice things about new Seattle Mariner Milton Bradley, and it seems the man Lou Piniella called a “piece of s***” might not be so foul after all. “Everyone gets him wrong, man,” said reliever Eddie Guardado, who was a Texas teammate of Bradley’s…

  12. Where in the world is Erik Bedard?

    Dec 22, 2009, 1:14 AM EST

    Watching guys like Rich Harden and Jason Marquis get rich this offseason brings a question to mind: Where in the world is Erik Bedard? No one is expecting the left-hander to get a huge contract this offseason, but you’d think there would at least be a little bit of buzz over the oft-injured, frequently surly,…

  13. Seattle and Toronto swapping Brandons: Morrow for League in the works

    Dec 21, 2009, 11:51 PM EST’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mariners “have reached a tentative agreement” to trade Brandon Morrow to the Blue Jays for Brandon League and an unnamed prospect. Morrow being on the move is no surprise given that he’s been the subject of trade rumors all offseason, but the assumption had been that the Mariners would…

  14. The Yankees are about to land a pitcher

    Dec 21, 2009, 11:37 PM EST

    UPDATE:  It’s not Zambrano, according to Feinsand. The Cubs haven’t asked him to waive his no-trade clause as of this evening, which would seem to be a precursor to any serious talks. I’m starting to get more enamored of the Javy Vazquez stuff. For one thing, the Braves are about the only other team in…

  15. An ugly trade averted

    Dec 21, 2009, 8:20 PM EST

    Jayson Stark writes about a four-way trade involving Milton Bradley and a bunch of other bad contracts that could have happened but didn’t: According to sources familiar with that discussion, Bradley would have wound up in Tampa Bay for Pat Burrell. Burrell would have landed temporarily in Chicago, until the Cubs could have found a…

  16. The Nats are making a push for Matt Capps

    Dec 21, 2009, 7:50 PM EST

    Jerry Crasnick reports that the Nationals, fresh off of signing Jason Marquis, are making a push to sign Pirates’ castoff Matt Capps. I’ve written way too much about Matt Capps in the last eight days. The point wasn’t that Matt Capps was something special, but that his situation wasn’t handled all that well by the…

  17. Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you

    Dec 21, 2009, 7:20 PM EST

    Friend and Yankees blogger Jason at IIATMS is really, really happy that his team did not sign Jason Marquis. I think the funniest part of this Christmas blessing is that both Jason the blogger and Jason the pitcher are Jewish.

  18. The Negro Leagues Strat-O-Matic game is fantastic

    Dec 21, 2009, 6:53 PM EST

    Though not an avid player, I really like Strat-O-Matic. Though I’ve never met him in person, I’ve known Scott Simkus, the man behind the Negro Leagues version of Strat-O-Matic for a year or two.  At the Winter Meetings a couple of weeks ago I sat next to the Los Angeles Times’ Kevin Baxter in the…

  19. Justin Duchscherer to find a home soon

    Dec 21, 2009, 6:27 PM EST

    ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that pitcher Justin Duchscherer has received offers from three clubs, and will soon settle on a team. There has been a lot of chatter about the Yankees being interested lately, but that seems a little late to the game, and no word of an offer has yet seeped out of Yankeeland.…

  20. Rumor: Jason Bay and the Angels?

    Dec 21, 2009, 5:48 PM EST

    No news of talks or entreaties, overtures , pleas or even furtive whispers, but ESPN’s Rumor Thingy — which is what I’m going to call it until they start putting up names of the people who write them — talks to an anonymous executive who thinks that Jason Bay might fit well in Anaheim, should…

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