– RB LaDainian Tomlinson admitted he has an uncertain future with the Chargers following Sunday’s Divisional round loss. Tomlinson, 30 was asked point-blank if he thinks he’s played his last game as a Charger. “I can’t tell you that right now. I’ve heard all the speculation. But I’ll tell you what — I’ve had a heck of a time here, and if it is (over), I’ve enjoyed the ride.” At the very least, Tomlinson will be asked to take a pay cut to remain with the team that drafted him back in 2001.
– According to ESPN’s Ed Werner, Cowboys coach Wade Phillips and WR Roy Williams will return to the team next season. Under Phillips in 2009, the Cowboys won the NFC East and their first playoff game in 13 seasons. Owner Jerry Jones had strongly hinted that Phillips’ 2010 option would be picked up, and there are reports that an additional year could be tacked onto the deal. Phillips, who also serves as defensive coordinator, guided the Dallas defense to a No. 2 overall ranking in 2009. Williams is owed $9M in guaranteed money, so this wasn’t much of a question. The receiver struggled for the entire year before being phased out of the offense late. Expect him to face competition for his starting job next season.
– A Monday MRI revealed that Cardinals DB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie chipped his left tibia and injured his MCL in the Cardinals’ second-round playoff loss. The MCL was not torn and Rodgers-Cromartie’s ACL is intact. He’ll undergo tests this week to see if surgery is needed, but this gives the Cards some silver lining after Saturday’s blowout loss to New Orleans. DRC, who had six picks and three forced fumbles in 2009, figures to be fine by training camp.
– Eagles RB Brian Westbrook may have to retire, reports Philadelphia radio host Howard Eskin. Eskin says that it’s Westbrook’s troublesome left knee, not his concussions, that is the issue. Westbrook, 30, is due $7.5M in 2010 and is extremely unlikely to be back with the Eagles. He’ll visit with doctors about the knee and Eskin says B-West could have trouble passing a physical for another team. It’s looking more and more like a great career will end on a sour note.
– Impending free agent LB Karlos Dansby says he has had no contract talks with the Cardinals “whatsoever.” Locking up Dansby was a priority for Arizona late into last summer, but talks shut down during the year. “If I have to leave, that’s the way the game goes. I’ve seen a lot of people come, a lot of people go. That’s how this business goes.” Dansby, 28, will be one of the top UFAs regardless of position if he hits the market.
– WR Derrick Mason said Monday that he is leaning toward retirement. According to Ravens beat writer Aaron Wilson, Mason initially told reporters Monday that he’s “done,” then backtracked by calling himself “60-40″ to retire. The 36-year-old knows the Ravens desperately want him back, so he’s slyly putting the ball back in their court.
– During an appearance at the annual “Stars to the Rescue” benefit for Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation on Sunday, OF Jim Edmonds “challenged” his former manager to let him rejoin the Cardinals. “I’m challenging him to let me come back and play for the Cardinals again for free,” Edmonds said to the crowd. It’s hard to tell if he was serious, since there was a lot of playful banter back and forth, but a comeback is probably a longshot at this point anyway. Edmonds, who turns 40 this June, hasn’t played in the majors since the 2008 season.
– Bill Chastain of MLB.com doesn’t think DH Jim Thome will join the Rays unless the club can unload OF Pat Burrell. Chastain doesn’t doubt that the two sides are talking, but finds it unlikely that the club will carry two players who can’t contribute in the field. Burrell, who is on tap to make $9M next season, made just one start in the outfield last season while Thome is strictly a DH at this late stage of his career.
– The Jays have re-signed RHP Shaun Marcum, 28, to a one-year/$850K deal. The Blue Jays, who have set a Tuesday deadline to sign all of their arbitration-eligible players, have five left to sign: RHP Jason Frasor, RHP Shawn Camp, RHP Casey Janssen, RHP Jeremy Accardo and LHP Brian Tallet.
– The Marlins have re-signed 2B Dan Uggla to a one-year/$7.8M contract. It’s a nice raise from the $5.35M that Uggla earned in 2009. The 29-year-old hit .243/.354/.459 last year with 31 homers and 90 RBI, and will again serve as the Marlins’ starting second baseman in 2010.
– The Rangers have re-signed RHP C.J. Wilson to a one-year/$3.1M contract. That’s up from the $1.85M salary that Wilson earned in 2009. He had a 2.81 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and an 84/32 K/BB ratio in 73 2/3 innings last season and also collected 14 saves during the three trips RHP Frank Francisco made to the DL.
– Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that there has been “no recent contact” between the Yankees and free agent OF Johnny Damon. Reports of the Tigers’ interest in Damon were squashed over the weekend, leaving few possible landing spots for the 36-year-old. Many teams could use Damon, most notably the Braves, but none seem willing to match his considerable price tag. There’s still time, but he’s getting close to having to accept a contract similar to the $5M deal OF Bobby Abreu signed with the Angels last season.
– The Padres have signed UTIL Jerry Hairston Jr. to a one-year, $2.125M contract, reports MLB.com. Hairston, 34, batted .251/.315/.394 with 10 home runs and 39 RBI in 383 at-bats between the Reds and Yankees last season. In San Diego, he joins younger brother Scott, who was re-acquired by the Padres in the 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff trade over the weekend.
– Pirates RHP Tyler Yates, who was recently re-signed, was arrested on December 30 in his native Hawaii on a family abuse charge, but police have dropped both of the charges against him. The Pirates released a statement on Sunday night, which described the incident as “stemming from a disagreement between [Yates'] parents at his home in Hawaii.” The statement continued: “We were made aware of the incident and assured by Tyler that the charges were not justified. As anticipated, all charges against Tyler have since been dropped. The manner in which our players represent the Pirates organization on and off the field is something we take very seriously. We are completely satisfied with Tyler in this matter and respect his family’s privacy.” Yates, 32, posted a 7.50 ERA in 15 appearances with the Pirates last season before undergoing Tommy John surgery in July. He isn’t expected to return until late this season.
– Jose Offerman has been suspended for life by the Dominican Republic’s winter league after attacking an umpire during a playoff game on Saturday. Offerman, interim manager for the Licey Tigers, attempted to throw a punch at American umpire Daniel Rayburn in the third inning of Saturday’s game against the Cibao Giants. Rayburn, along with three other American umpires, have left the country for fear of their safety. The 41-year-old Offerman was previously arrested for attacking two players with a bat as a member of the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League in 2007.
– The White Sox have re-signed RHP Tony Pena to a one-year/$1.2M deal.
– The D’Backs have re-signed RHP Chad Qualls and LHP Aaron Heilman.
– The Yankees have re-signed RHP Chad Gaudin and LHP Boon Logan.
– The Brewers have re-signed OF Jody Gerut.
– The Pirates have signed RHP Brendan Donnelly.
– The Reds have re-signed RHP Jared Burton to a one-year/$810K deal.
– UTIL Alfredo Amezaga (knee) has been cleared to start a running program, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Amezaga, 31, underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee last July and was non-tendered by the Marlins last month. The Marlins remain interested in re-signing the versatile utility man, however he is expected to entertain offers from any and all teams after holding a workout later this week.
– The Dodgers have signed RHP Russ Ortiz, SS Nick Green and 1B Doug Mientkiewicz.
– The Pirates have signed RHP D.J. Carrasco.
– The Red Sox have signed RHP Jorge Sosa.
– The Grizzlies have signed G Jerry Stackhouse for the remainder of the season. This is in response to G Michael Redd’s season-ending knee injury.
– G Stephon Marbury has agreed to sign with the Shanxi Club of the Chinese Basketball Association. The the two-time All-Star will boost Shanxi’s ticket sales while Marbury gets to promote his brand of shoes. This is the same team that signed G Bonzi Wells last season, before Bonzi “went on holiday but failed to return on time.”
– WWE has announced that talk show host Jerry Springer will guest-host the February 15 episode of WWE Raw. The following is an updated list of the upcoming Raw guest hosts:
January 18: Jon Heder and Don Johnson
January 25: Actors James Roday and Dule Hill (stars of the USA show Psych)
February 1: Actor William Shatner
February 8: Not Yet Announced
February 15: Jerry Springer
March 15: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
– According to the PWInsider, Scott Hall was advertised to wrestle at last night’s TNA Genesis pay-per-view, but dropped out, citing a groin injury as the reason he could not compete. With that being said, he was walking gingerly backstage following the January 5 television taping.
TNA officials were reportedly scrambling because Hall’s replacement in the match, Sean Waltman, didn’t have his ring gear with him. However, the problem was addressed as Waltman ended up working the match instead of Hall. The fallback plan in case he too wasn’t able to go was Eric Young, who was not booked for the show, teaming with Kevin Nash.
There is a much internal skepticism regarding Hall’s injury as some have questioned whether he was more concerned with his physical appearance than the injury he cited.
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