– Jeff Hardy had a verbal agreement to return to WWE at a certain date, so his appearance on iMPACT! last night surprised many within the company. Vince McMahon was no-selling it at today’s television tapings. Hardy has apparently signed a short-term contract with TNA, though no word yet on how short.
– According to John C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins are “still in the game” for Cuban LHP Aroldis Chapman and are believed to have increased their $13M offer (the Red Sox’ offer currently stands at about $15.5M). According to Rodriguez, Chapman told one associate that he plans to come to terms with a team in the “next three or four days.” The Marlins won’t offer the 21-year-old fireballer the richest deal, but they hope South Florida can be enough of a drawing card. An unnamed source told Rodriguez that Chapman is expected to sign with either the Angels or Blue Jays for around $21M.
– The Rangers are “definitely interested” and are “definitely talking” to the representatives for OF Vladimir Guerrero, according to MLB.com. Vlad has murdered balls in the Rangers’ home ballpark whenever given the chance and would fit in well as the club’s new DH. Guerrero, 34, batted just .295/.334/.460 in 2009 with 15 dingers last season, which should keep his cost low. He has a 394/.471/.705 batting line in 50 career games in Arlington.
– According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have been “intrigued with” free agent SS Miguel Tejada this winter. The Cards haven’t been able to pull the trigger on an offer yet because they’ve been deeply entrenched in negotiations with OF Matt Holliday. Tejada, 35, batted .313/.340/.455 with 14 home runs and 86 RBI last season. If he’s willing to slide to third base talks could run rather smoothly, though his asking price might also need to come down some.
– According to CBSSports.com, the Twins are making an offer to LHP Jarrod Washburn in the ballpark of one-year/$6M. The team has LHP Doug Davis and RHP Jon Garland as backups. The Mets are rumoured to be interested in all three pitchers as well. In addition, if Washburn gets signed, the Twins are believed to be thinking about trading a pitcher somewhere in order to get a third baseman. Names that have been mentioned include Padres’ 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, Marlins’ 2B Dan Uggla and Brewers’ 3B Mat Gamel. Stay tuned.
– The Rockies have officially re-signed C Chris Iannetta to a three-year/$8.35M contract extension with a $5M club option for 2013. The new deal essentially buys him out of his final three years of arbitration and includes a club option for his first season of free agency. Iannetta, 26, batted .228/.344/.460 with 16 home runs and 52 RBI in 289 at-bats in ’09 and will battle for playing time with C Miguel Olivo this year.
– The Mariners are set to re-sign OF Franklin Gutierrez to to a four-year/$20.5M deal.
– The Redskins have signed Mike Shanahan to a five-year contract that will make him their head coach and executive VP of football operations. He’ll be introduced Wednesday at 2PM ET. The deal is for five years and roughly $7M annually, which is considerably less than initial reports of $10M. However, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is paying Shanahan $3.5M a year after firing him in January 2009, and will continue to do so through 2011. The “executive VP of football operations” title confirms that Shanahan will have final say over personnel. Assuming he brings in a defensive coordinator that can keep that side of the ball strong, the move looks ideal for Washington because of Shanahan’s offensive track record. The Skins finished 2009 as a top-ten defense, but were 22nd in total offense.
– According to the PWInsider, there is serious discussion within TNA officials of putting a weekly Monday night show live to compete head-to-head with WWE Raw. Stay tuned.
– Avalanche F Brett Clark (cheekbone) will undergo a medical procedure on his injured right cheekbone soon. He is slated to miss a few days with the injury and wear a full face shield when he comes back. Clark was injured a week ago when he took a shot from Sens F Alexei Kovalev off his face. Stay tuned.
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