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– Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he has extended a formal offer to free agent OF Matt Holliday. The ball is now in agent Scott Boras’ court. Financial terms of the offer have not been revealed and may never leak out, but the Cardinals are clearly ready to get the ball rolling in some sort of direction. If they get a “no” from Boras and Holliday, it might be time time for offseason Plan B.
– Sources have informed Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that the Yankees and free agent OF Johnny Damon are far apart on contract negotiations. Damon is represented by super agent Scott Boras, who drives a hard bargain no matter the situation. According to Rosenthal’s sources, Damon, 36, wants a three-year/$39M deal or a four-year/$52M deal and the Yankees aren’t willing to give him more than two years/$19M.
– According to MLB.com’s Noah Coslov, the White Sox have signed RHP J.J. Putz to a one-year/$3M deal. Putz, 32, posted an ugly 5.22 ERA and 1.64 WHIP during an injury-riddled 2009. He managed a 3.89 ERA in ’08 with the Mariners and a 1.38 ERA and 40 saves in 2007.
– Sources have informed Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that the Mariners are interested in free agent RHP Jason Marquis. The M’s are known to be chasing RHP John Lackey, RHP Ben Sheets, LHP Doug Davis and LHP Jarrod Washburn, among a few other lower tier starters. Marquis went 15-13 with a 4.04 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 2009 and is being courted by the Orioles, Nationals and Phillies. He made $9.875M this year.
– The Phillies have offered RHP Chan Ho Park a one-year deal/$3M deal, according to the Wilmington News Journal’s Scott Lauber. Park isn’t likely to accept the offer, especially after watching three relievers getting unjust money.
– The Rays have signed RHP Rafael Soriano to a one-year/$7.25M contract. The Rays snagged him from the Braves on Thursday for RHP Jesse Chavez. The 29-year-old Soriano posted a 2.97 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and a lights-out 102/27 K/BB ratio in 75 2/3 innings this past season and will serve as closer in Tampa next year.
– The current plan is to not shoot any major angles for the Royal Rumble PPV until the January 4 or 11, meaning that the December 21 and 28 Raw shows will be kind of “lame-duck” shows that are used to further build guys like Kofi Kingston and Sheamus. The original plan was to shoot a big Rumble angle at the January 11 Raw but that probably has changed to the January 4 show after TNA announced their big special.
– With the record low rating for ECW this week, speculation regarding the show’s future on SyFy remain. With the current TV deal expiring soon, WWE has been working to freshen the show up to help the ratings. There was talk of a magazine style show that didn’t work out. One recent idea was to drop everything ECW related and focus the entire show on new talents from the brands. Changes are still being discussed for the SmackDown brand but word is that there won’t be any major decisions made until after the first of 2010.
– Hulk Hogan’s son Nick appeared in a Clearwater, Florida court yesterday regarding a lawsuit related to his 2007 2007 car crash that left friend John Graziano permanently brain damaged.
While giving a deposition, Hogan was probed by lawyers for the plaintiffs about dysfunction and “issues” in the Graziano family. According to RadarOnline.com, Nick had told the lawyers that there was violence in the Graziano family and the Hogans talked about having John Graziano move in with them.
When a lawyer asked about what type of issues John was dealing with, Nick said that John hated certain types of people. Upon further questioning from the lawyer, Nick clarified who John Graziano hated. “Homos,” Nick said. “He wanted to kill homos.”
The room grew silent and one lawyer put his head in his hands. John Graziano’s father Edward sued the Hogans after the 2007 car crash. Edward was later arrested on charges of trying to kill his wife and recently had his home foreclosed on, according to the Radar report.
– WWE Raw this Monday will emanate from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas with Dennis Miller at the Special Guest Host. The show will feature the 2009 Slammy Awards and will be a three-hour broadcast.
– Contrary to rumours, Cavaliers F Shaquille O’Neal has not retired.