-– You can keep up with VoV through Twitter by clicking here.
– Here are the WWE Survivor Series results: Team Miz (WWE United States champ The Miz, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger) d. Team Morrison (WWE Intercontinental champion John Morrison, Matt Hardy, Evan Bourne, Shelton Benjamin & Finlay); Batista d. Rey Mysterio; Team Kingston (Kofi Kingston, MVP, R-Truth, Mark Henry & Christian) d. Team Orton (Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes, CM Punk & William Regal); The Undertaker d. Chris Jericho & The Big Show to retain the World Heavyweight Championship; Team James (Mickie James, Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly, Melina & Gail Kim) d. Team McCool (WWE Women’s champ Michelle McCool, Jillian Hall, Beth Phoenix, Layla & Alicia Fox); and John Cena d. Triple H and HBK to retain the WWE Championship.
– Twins C Joe Mauer was named the AL MVP. This was a no-brainer. Yankee teammates 1B Mark Teixeira and SS Derek Jeter finished second and third, respectively. The Twins star was a near-unanimous winner, receiving 27 of 28 first-place votes. The lone dissenter gave his first-place vote to fourth-place finisher Miguel Cabrera. Mauer led the league in batting average (.365), OBP (.444), and slugging percentage (.587); a feat never before accomplished by a catcher. He also led the league by a substantial margin in Value over Replacement Player (VORP). On top of all that, he played Gold Glove defense at a premium position.
– Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said Monday that speculation about a deal that would send RHP Chad Billingsley to Toronto for RHP Roy Halladay is unfounded. The Dodgers still believe in Billingsley’s talent, despite a 5.20 post All-Star break ERA in ’09. “We would like to improve our pitching, especially starting pitching. I don’t believe we can subtract from it in order to improve it.” It’s clear who the better pitcher is now, but Billingsley, 25, is seven years younger than Halladay and boasts a similar lifetime ERA. Plus, the Dodgers would have to include a group of prospects in the trade.
– According to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, free agent 1B Nick Johnson is “drawing lots of interest” this winter. Johnson, 31, had the highest 2009 OBP of any hitter on the market this winter and an overall batting line of .291/.426/.405. His agent, Rex Gary, told Stark on Monday that more than six teams have expressed interest. The Mets, Giants and Mariners are likely among them.
– The Brewers are interested in free agent RHP Carl Pavano, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Pavano went 14-12 with a 5.10 ERA in 33 starts this past season with the Indians and Twins.
– According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Mets have “called” on free agent 1B Russell Branyan. Branyan, who turns 34 in December, posted a batting line of .251/.347/.520, a career-high 31 home runs and 76 RBI in 2009. He’s a nice fit for the Mets, who are seeking a left-handed power hitter and could stick Branyan at first base. That would leave Daniel Murphy in the outfield, unless the Mets decide to upgrade at multiple positions this offseason. Branyan rejected a one-year offer from the Mariners two weeks ago.
– The White Sox have officially signed SS Omar Vizquel to a one-year/$1.375M contract. The deal makes sense for both parties. The White Sox ink a veteran who offers the club a stellar defensive option off the bench at shortstop, second base or third base. The 42-year-old Vizquel hit only .266/.316/.345 in 177 at-bats last season, but his defense and mentorship of youngsters Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham should make the contract worthwhile for the South Siders. Vizquel, 42, hit only .266/.316/.345 in 177 at-bats last season, but his defense and mentorship of youngsters 2B Alexei Ramirez and SS Gordon Beckham should make the contract worthwhile for the South Siders.
– The NY Daily News reports OF Johnny Damon won’t take a pay cut to stay with the Yankees. “I want to continue to be on a team that can win and to play in front of great fans – and we know that the Yankees fill both of those. I think everyone knows my desire to come back. Still, every time I’ve been a free agent, I’ve ended up switching teams. It’s the nature of the beast. If people are interested, I’m going to listen.” Damon would reportedly be open to a shorter deal with New York, however, he would want a higher annual salary. Stay tuned.
– According to FOXSports.com, the Mets aren’t pursuing RHP Rich Harden. The Mets are considering a list of secondary pitchers in the event that they are unsuccessful to sign RHP John Lackey, including RHP Joel Pineiro, LHP Randy Wolf, RHP Jason Marquis and RHP Ben Sheets, however Harden isn’t one of them, according to a source. The 27-year-old right-hander was 9-9 with a 4.09 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 2009, posting a 10.91 K/9 in 141 innings, however the Mets may be a bit gun-shy given his injury-history.
– MLB.com has learned that it is almost “100 percent” certain that 1B Jorge Cantu will not be traded. The Marlins are willing to listen to offers for possible non-tender candidates, but they reportedly seem comfortable with the roughly $5M Cantu will make next season. Cantu, 27, batted .289/.345/.443 with 16 home runs and 100 RBI in 2009. If he stays in Florida, Cantu will either play first base or third base. Prospects Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez are expected to compete for the first base job during spring training.
– Mariners OF Ken Griffey Jr. can make up to $3.9M in 2010 through his incentive-laden one-year deal with the Mariners. Griffey, 40, will be given a base salary of $2.35M and can trigger more than $1.5M in incentives if he tops 400 plate appearances. Junior had no problem reaching that goal this past season (454 plate appearances) and hit .214/.324/.411 with 19 dingers and 57 RBI along the way.
– The A’s have signed 3B Dallas McPherson.
– LHP Andy Pettitte, 1B Fernando Tatis and OF Laynce Nix has filed for free agency.
– According to AM 640, the Leafs and Blackhawks are working on a trade that could become official in the coming days. Early reports suggest D Brent Sopel and a second or third-round pick headed to Toronto for an unknown return. The Blackhawks have been scouting Marlies players all week, and it’s possible that a name they’re looking into is F Jiri Tlusty. If Tlusty is involved, however, look for GM Brian Burke to push for names like F Kris Versteeg and F Patrick Sharp, as these are the guys that Burke has been targeting.
– The Canadiens have traded F Guillaume Latendresse to the Wild for F Benoit Pouliot. Latendresse scored 16 goals and 29 points in his rookie season, but has never been able to build upon that success as a power forward. If he can find a way onto one of the Wild’s top two lines, Latendresse may be able to break out in Minny.
– Canadiens F Georges Laraque has been suspended five games for his hit on Red Wings D Niklas Kronwall. Sources say that the league wanted to suspend him for four games, but Bob Gainey suggested six.
– The Wild are continue to shop G Josh Harding with the return being some offensive help.
– Wild D Brent Burns (concussion) is out indefinitely. It was initially thought that Burns was merely suffering from an illness, but he has been diagnosed with a concussion. Minnesota thinks he suffered the injury in Wednesday’s game against Phoenix.
– Rams QB Marc Bulger (broken fibia) is out three-to-six weeks. A Monday MRI revealed a fracture in his upper kneecap. With only six games left, Bulger is a candidate for injured reserve. QB Kyle Boller is next on the depth chart, but the 1-9 Rams may as well see what rookie QB Keith Null can do if Boller struggles.
– As reported here over the past few weeks, Rey Mysterio’s knee is in bad shape and he needs his ACL repaired. Batista’s brutal attack on Mysterio after their match at Survivor Series and the stretcher job that followed was the setup for him taking time off. Many within WWE are concerned that this may be it for Mysterio’s career, but it’still s too soon for that to be confirmed. He could be out up to six-to-nine months from the surgery, which would make Wrestlemania 26 the third out of the last four Wrestlemanias Mysterio has missed due to injuries.
Additionally, Unified tag champion the Big Show also needs knee surgery, according to PWInsider.com. He got choked out by the Undertaker at Survivor Series and will be off WWE television shortly. This will likely be the end of the surprisingly solid JeriShow tag team. Had Edge been ready to return to action, this would have been the perfect set up to reintroduce him into storylines and feud with Chris Jericho. Jericho and Edge were teaming together before Edge got injured and Jericho ran down Edge for being injury prone and the weak link in the team. Jericho selected Big Show as his new partner, but now that he’s on his way out as well, it should be interesting to see where Jericho winds up.
What he’ll do to TNA: “In TNA, I’m going to listen to those fans and give them what they want. I’m not going to keep shoving a bunch of terrible, horrible, stale programming down their throats. (In TNA), I’m going to take the writers and tell them, ‘Go get another job. Sit in the back. If I need you to write a jingle for a commercial, maybe we’ll use you for that.’”
On running TNA: “I’m going back to the United States to run that company – TNA. I’m going to be on-camera, I’m going to be behind-the-scenes taking care of business in the back, and if the fans scream and shout loud enough, I might even lace up the boots up, brothers, but I’m not planning on doing that. I’m planning on taking that company and turning it into the #1 promotion in the business. When I leave here, that’s the mission I’m on.”
His financial stake in TNA: “I signed a deal with Dixie Carter to come in as her partner. I know there are several people on the show – storyline-wise – who say they are part of TNA (management) such as Mick Foley and Jeff Jarrett, but this thing is for real.”