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  1. Could the Cardinals become a suitor for Prince Fielder?

    Dec 17, 2011, 1:09 PM EDT

    fielder getty

    After Albert Pujols signed with the Angels, the assumption was that the Cardinals would move Lance Berkman to first base and potentially make a play for free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran. However, in a series of tweets this morning, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch indicates that any such plan isn’t necessarily set in…

  2. Report: Winning bid for Yu Darvish around $48 million

    Dec 17, 2011, 10:59 AM EDT

    darvish presser

    We won’t know anything official until next week, but Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com writes that reports in Japan indicate that the winning bid for Yu Darvish came in around $48 million. If the $48 million figure proves accurate, it would fall just under the record $51,111,111 sum the Red Sox paid for exclusive negotiating rights…

  3. Yoenis Cespedes has a new scouting video

    Dec 17, 2011, 9:59 AM EDT

    Cespedes.bmp

    MLB scouts and front-office types have been buzzing about Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes for a while, but he didn’t become a hot topic among most fans until his ridiculous scouting video made him an internet sensation early last month. Well, he’s back with another one. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus got the first look at the…

  4. The Cubs are in talks with left-hander Paul Maholm

    Dec 16, 2011, 9:44 PM EDT

    Paul Maholm AP

    The Cubs have reportedly made a bid for Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish, but they have also set their sights on some lesser-heralded names for their starting rotation. According to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com, the club is currently in talks with free agent left-hander Paul Maholm. Maholm, 29, became a free agent after the Pirates declined…

  5. Nationals did not submit a bid for Yu Darvish

    Dec 16, 2011, 1:50 PM EDT

    darvish getty wide

    While everyone waits to see if reports about the Blue Jays submitting the highest bid for Yu Darvish prove accurate, we can cross another name off the list of potential homes for the Japanese ace. According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post the Nationals did not submit a bid for Darvish despite scouting him…

  6. The Cards are “realizing traction” on Carlos Beltran

    Dec 16, 2011, 1:30 PM EDT

    beltran scores getty

    I think “realizing traction” is a new hot stove expression, but I kinda like it.  Before we had “kicking the tires” and “in discussion,” but then it jumped straight to “nearing a deal” and “are close.”  We really had nothing for that middle period when kicked tire-induced discussions were merely making some progress. Yes, I…

  7. Report: The Blue Jays are the high bidders for Yu Darvish

    Dec 16, 2011, 6:30 AM EDT

    darvish getty square

    As we noted last night, nothing will be official until next week, but the New York Post is reporting that the Blue Jays have made the highest bid for negotiating rights for Japanese sensation Yu Darvish. The Post reports that “according to several sources with knowledge of the situation,” the Blue Jays owner, Rogers Communications,…

  8. Yu Darvish winner might not be revealed until next week

    Dec 15, 2011, 8:58 PM EDT

    darvish getty rectangle

    The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters were presented with the winning bid in the Yu Darvish sweepstakes on Wednesday. But it could be another several days before they reveal that information to the world. According to CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler, the Fighters have until next Tuesday to accept the bid and reveal the winning team, and they’re likely to…

  9. Hiroyuki Nakajima’s agent exploring sign-and-trade

    Dec 14, 2011, 10:43 PM EDT

    nakajima getty

    According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the agent for Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima has approached the Yankees’ decision-makers about their interest in executing a sign-and-trade. It’s a strategy that is seen more often in the NBA than MLB, but it might make sense in this case. The Yankees won the rights to Nakajima earlier this…

  10. Waiting for word on the Yu Darvish bidding…

    Dec 14, 2011, 8:04 PM EDT

    darvish getty japan

    The window for Major League Baseball teams to submit bids on free agent Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish has been closed for over three hours. We don’t know which club has won the rights to negotiate exclusively with the 6-foot-5 starter, and might not have that information for another few days, but reports are slowly trickling…

  11. When did the Red Sox get all thrifty?

    Dec 14, 2011, 6:04 PM EDT

    Larry Lucchino, Ben Cherington, Bobby Valentine, John Henry

    Nick Punto? A closer making the minimum? Nick Punto? NICK PUNTO?!? And no Yu Darvish, in case you were wondering. Now we know why the Red Sox were ticked off the White Sox sent Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays without ever shopping him around first. Picking up Mark Melancon from the Astros in return…

  12. The Yu Darvish bidding ends at 5PM

    Dec 14, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

    darvish getty wide

    You still have about a half hour to get your bids in for Yu Darvish. Bidding for the right to negotiate with the best thing to come out of Japan since … man, I dunno, lots of cool things come from Japan … ends at 5PM Eastern today. As of now it’s thought that the…

  13. Josh Willingham deal likely to start chain reaction

    Dec 13, 2011, 6:14 PM EDT

    Michael Cuddyer

    The outfield market could start unfolding quickly now with the news that Josh Willingham is about to become a Minnesota Twin. – Michael Cuddyer, who had been the Twins’ preference, appears likely to join the Rockies. Minnesota offered their veteran the three-year deal he desired, but it seems that last season’s experience was bad enough…

  14. An updated top 50 free agents

    Dec 13, 2011, 1:13 PM EDT

    National League first baseman Fielder of the Brewers watches three-run home run in fourth inning during Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Phoenix

    Taking into account recent signings and some new arrivals courtesy of the non-tender deadline, here’s a new list of the top 50 free agents available. Posted Japanese players Yu Darvish and Norichika Aoki are not included. Darvish, a right-handed pitcher, would come in at No. 2 on the list, while Aoki, an outfielder, would slide in right around No.…

  15. The Rangers aren’t really hot for Prince Fielder

    Dec 13, 2011, 8:10 AM EDT

    fielder getty

    We keep hearing reports about teams interested in Prince Fielder. Without putting too fine a point on it, however, those reports often seem to come from people who have been said to have Prince Fielder’s agent as a valued source. Others, however, specifically Ken Rosenthal, are hearing different things. Specifically with respect to the Rangers, who…

  16. Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki posted by Yakult Swallows

    Dec 12, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    Aoki

    Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Yakult Swallows have filed the necessary paperwork to post Japanese center fielder Norichika Aoki, as expected. Aoki is a three-time batting champion with a career .329 average and the 29-year-old is considered a plus defender with excellent speed, so he figures to draw a decent amount of interest…

  17. Will the Rangers try to keep up with the Angels?

    Dec 8, 2011, 6:18 PM EDT

    Jon Daniels

    The Rangers can come close to matching their AL West rivals; all they’d need to do is commit $150 million-$200 million to free agent Prince Fielder and then another $80 million-$100 million in the form of a posting fee and a contract for Yu Darvish. What’s the big deal? As things stand now, the Rangers are currently…

  18. An updated look at what’s left in free agency

    Dec 8, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

    National League first baseman Fielder of the Brewers watches three-run home run in fourth inning during Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Phoenix

    Here’s an up-to-date list of how the top 111 free agents have fared to date. Note that the list below doesn’t include Yu Darvish or Yoenis Cespedes, two of the remaining gems available to major league teams. 1. Albert Pujols (Cardinals): Angels – 10 years, $254 million 2. Prince Fielder (Brewers) 3. Jose Reyes (Mets):…

  19. Yu Darvish announces that he will be posted on Thursday

    Dec 8, 2011, 1:19 AM EDT

    darvish getty square

    Courtesy of Google’s Japanese-to-English translation service (hey, we’re doing what we can here people) comes this announcement from the personal blog of Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish: This time, having decided that Darvish posting system to use. The announcement will convey to everyone here, because most of the fans. The baseball team Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters I really…

  20. Yankees not confident they can sign Hiroyuki Nakajima

    Dec 7, 2011, 7:57 PM EDT

    nakajima wide getty

    The Yankees won exclusive negotiating rights to Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. But they’re not confident that an agreement will be reached. According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, Nakajima might return to Japan for another year because he doesn’t stand to strike it rich in the major leagues. The Yankees’ winning posting bid was only worth…

  21. Quote of the Day: Expectations are low for Hiroyuki Nakajima

    Dec 7, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT

    lowered-expectations

    Following news that the Yankees placed the winning bid for exclusive negotiating rights to Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch passed along this scouting report: Heard Nakajima’s bat could be better than Twins’ Nishioka, but not as good a fielder. “Nishioka” would be Tsuyoshi Nishioka. So that opinion suggests Nakajima’s bat “could be better…

  22. Nationals’ search for center fielder may lead to Norichika Aoki

    Dec 7, 2011, 1:13 PM EDT

    Aoki

    Dating back to the trading deadline the Nationals have been searching for a long-term solution in center field and Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that they could turn to Japanese star Norichika Aoki if other options fall through. Aoki is expected to be posted for bidding by the Yakult Swallows at some point later…

  23. Yankees win negotiating rights for Japan’s Hiroyuki Nakajima

    Dec 7, 2011, 12:25 PM EDT

    nakajima gety

    From FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Yankees have won exclusive negotiating rights for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. Rumors flew Tuesday that the Giants had made the only posting bid. Then it was the Red Sox. But both of those reports were quickly shot down. According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, the Yanks…

  24. If the Cardinals lose Albert Pujols…

    Dec 6, 2011, 8:23 PM EDT

    Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday

    Because that certainly seems to be the way things are going down at the moment. The Cardinals were supposed to be set at first base and in right field if Pujols departed, as Lance Berkman would move a first base position that fits him a whole lot better anyway and Allen Craig would take over…

  25. UPDATE: Red Sox did not submit bid for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima

    Dec 6, 2011, 5:55 PM EDT

    Hiroyuki_Nakajima AP

    UPDATE II: Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston was told by a Red Sox official that they did not post a bid for Nakajima. That makes three denials, if you include the Giants and Brewers. Does anybody want this guy? We’ll soon find out. UPDATE: Nothing confirmed yet, but Sponichi indicates that the Red Sox may have…

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