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– A major league source told WEEI.com that one team has extended an offer beyond four years for free agent OF Jason Bay, with the team not being the Red Sox. The Mets are the most recent team to enter the bidding, having submitted an offer in the range of four-years/$63M. Bay has rejected the Red Sox latest contract offer and is prepared to “move on.” Bay’s agent, Joe Urbon, said, “We don’t agree with their evaluation of the player. Frankly, we have other offers on table that are of greater interest to Jason.” No word on if this was a new proposal, or if it’s the same four-year/$60M offer previously reported, but the Mets could’ve added another year. Stay tuned.
– David Lennon of NY Newsday reports that the Mets have not made an offer to free agent RHP John Lackey. This is contrary to a report earlier in the day by Buster Olney of ESPN.com. According to Lennon, the Mets have focused their efforts on free agent OF Jason Bay at the moment.
– The Yankees have non-tendered RHP Chien-Ming Wang. Wang, 29, battled through ineffectiveness and eventually injury in ’09, going 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA. Early odds have him joining Joe Torre in Los Angeles, but after undergoing right shoulder surgery in June, he won’t be able to contribute anywhere until next May at the earliest.
– The Braves non-tendered 2B Kelly Johnson. The Braves tried to get something in return for him, but no dice. He’s just two seasons removed from an .831 OPS, and should draw plenty of interest in free agency. Johnson, who turns 28 in February, batted .224/.303/.389 with eight home runs and 29 RBI in ’09. With prior experience in the outfield, he could offer himself as a Mark DeRosa-type, but from the other side of the plate.
– The Astros have officially signed RHP Brandon Lyon to a three-year/$15M contract. It’s a curious deal to give any reliever who hasn’t shown he can close. After posting a 2.86 ERA in 78.2 innings for Detroit in 2009, Lyon figures to battle RHP Matt Lindstrom for the closer’s job, with money (literally) on him winning it.
– The Nationals have officially signed C Ivan Rodriguez to a two-year/$6M contract. Pudge will serve as an overpaid bridge to young C Jesus Flores in 2010 and 2011. The 38-year-old backstop posted one of his worst career batting lines this past season, hitting .249/.280/.384, yet is getting a raise on a two-year deal.
– The Royals have signed C Jason Kendall to a two-year contract worth roughly $4M. It would have been unthinkable for him to get a two-year contract just two weeks ago, but they Royals fell victim to the mediocre veteran catcher market after C Ivan Rodriguez and C Brian Schneider stole two-year deals from their respective new teams. The 35-year-old Kendall batted just .241/.331/.305 in 452 at-bats with the Brewers in ’09, throwing out just 20% of would-be basestealers.
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has updated his blog, which you can read in its entirety at JRsBarBQ.com. Here’s what Ross said about:
Personal Responsibility as a pro athlete: There is so much money to be earned in the world of pro wrestling and MMA that if an athlete manages their money wisely meaning they receive professional help and live within their means they can establish a nice level of security to last them the rest of their days. Unfortunately, many competitors and performers forget to save their dough, they forget to file their income taxes, but they certainly remember when the new, luxury cars and Rolex’s become available.
Mark Cuban: Mark Cuban did a nice job on one of my favorite shows, ESPN’s PTI, this week further discussing his appearance on Raw last Monday in Dallas. Cuban came off well as he explained that he had fun, was a little sore from being driven thru a table and looked at being associated with pro wrestling as a positive experience. His ego seemed to be in the right place plus he did not come off as an insecure, elitist as many celeb’s and those in the media do when speaking of pro wrestling.
Dennis Miller Hosting Monday’s Raw: Wonder how kind Dennis Miller, with his caustic wit and fabulous vocabulary, will be to WWE after Miller hosts the three hour Slammy Awards this Monday night in the Slammy Capital of the World, Corpus Christi, Texas? Miller does a fair amount of observational humor and he will certainly observe some unique things this Monday….and that’s just in catering. Do Miller and Matt Striker use the same type of dictionary…curious minds might want to know…but then again.
His Own Health: “I have been feeling much better and expect the results of my blood work from the Rheumatologist to come back next week. Hopefully, that info will be good news, I refuse to think otherwise, and I will continue to get better and take one more step toward returning to work”
His WWE Contract Expiring: Working on one’s contract, as I have been focusing on for the past few days isn’t one of my favorite things to do particularly at the 11th hour and especially due to issues regarding my health not to mention that it’s the holiday season. I expect something to be worked out regarding this matter in the next week or so but I am not going to stress over it one way or another.
– Rams QB Marc Bulger (fractured shinbone) will be out at least two more weeks. Don’t expect Bulger to play again this season as he had an MRI on Friday which showed his leg is still broken.