– The Orioles have signed former-Oriole 3B Miguel Tejada to a one-year/$6M deal. The 35-year-old batted .313/.340/.455 with 46 doubles in 2009 as an Astro.
– The Astros have signed OF Hunter Pence to a one-year/$3.5M deal.
– OF Johnny Damon told the Newark Star-Ledger’s Marc Carig Saturday that he expects to sign with a team within the next week. Damon, 36, batted .282/.365/.489 with 24 home runs, 82 RBI and 107 runs scored with the Yankees last season but he’s had trouble finding a club that is willing to meet his lofty contract demands. He made $13M in 2009 and was likely hoping for double-digit millions this winter, which simply won’t happen.
– Orioles GM Andy MacPhail believes LHP Erik Bedard is not close to a decision on where to pitch in 2010. “[Bedard] sort of told us from the get-go that this wouldn’t be an early decision, that this was something that probably would move closer to the reporting date in spring training,” said MacPhail. The 30 year old was 5-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 15 games for the Mariners this past year while battling injuries. The Orioles and Royals are thought to be the top contenders for his services.
– A source tells Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times that there’s a “50-50″ chance DH Jim Thome returns to the White Sox. A source close to the Thome camp said, “It’s 50-50 now, which couldn’t be said [Thursday]. Jim is just waiting to hear.” This seems to contradict manager Ozzie Guillen’s “designated-hitter by committee” idea. No surprise, the source said that the White Sox are atop the list of teams the 39-year-old Thome would like to play for, but he also has interest in the Twins.
– 1B Jason Giambi is expected to sign a one-year deal with the Rockies, reports ESPN’s Andrew Marchand. Giambi batted .292/.452/.583 in 31 plate appearances after joining the Colorado Rockies late last season. He’ll serve as a pinch-hitter and backup first baseman.
– A trainer who previously admitted supplying Jose Canseco with steroids now says he also gave performance enhancing-drugs to Mark McGwire. Curtis Wenzlaff, arrested in 1992 for steroids distribution, told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that McGwire’s goal was to get “bigger, faster, stronger,” according to excerpts released Friday. The interview is to be broadcast Sunday morning.
“There are other things you can take for health that are anabolic, but it wouldn’t be that type of combination. If Paris Hilton were to take that array, she could run over Dick Butkus.”
McGwire last week admitted for the first time that he used steroids and human growth hormone on and off for a decade, including when he set the season home run record with 70 in 1998. He said he took performance-enhancing drugs for health, not for strength.– The Phillies have signed RHP Jose Contreras.
– Newsday reports that the Mets are pursuing RHP John Smoltz and RHP Ben Sheets. If Sheets and Smoltz fall through, RHP Jon Garland, LHP Erik Bedard and RHP Chien-Ming Wang are also options.
– The Jays have signed RHP Shawn Hill and acquired RHP Merkin Valdez from the Giants.
– The Padres have signed OF Matt Stairs.
– The Reds have signed RHP Jose Arredondo.
– The Rangers have signed C Toby Hall.
– The Astros have signed C Kevin Kash and OF Cory Sullivan.
– The Rockies have signed OF Jay Payton.
– The Giants have signed RHP Santiago Casilla.
– Athletics prospect OF Grant Desme has announce his retirement from baseball to enter the priesthood, walking away after a breakout season in which he became MVP of the Arizona Fall League.
– OF So Taguchi, 40, has signed with the Orix Buffaloes
– Panthers F Nathan Horton (fractured tibia) is expected out four-to-six weeks. Horton has 17 goals and 29 assists in 51 games this season.
– The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports that the Jazz are trying to trade F Ronnie Brewer to the Grizzlies in exchange for some future first-round picks (not this year’s). Memphis has two other first-round picks that it got in trades with the Nuggets and Lakers that are apparently available. If a trade for Brewer doesn’t work out, the Grizz are rumoured to be looking at Heat F Dorell Wright.
Memphis is also apparently thinking about signing free-agent G Von Wafer, who failed a physical in late December that kept the team from signing him. He had signed with Euroleague club Olympiacos Piraeus back in August, but was waived in December. He wanted to return to he NBA but he apparently wasn’t physically ready, and has since been rehabbing his back in Louisiana.
– According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, steroid trafficker David Jacobs said before his death in 2008 that he had supplied the drug for then-Falcons QB Michael Vick. The Morning News did not publish the allegation at that time because authorities had never said Vick was part of the ongoing investigation into which players were using Jacobs’ services. But new information shows that Vick was indeed questioned about steroids and HGH when he was being investigated for his involvement in a dog fighting ring back in 2007, giving the paper reason to shed light on the story now. Vick told federal investigators at the time that he had never used performance-enhancing drugs.
– ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Tom Cable will stay on as Raiders head coach in 2010. Cable did get his team to play hard down the stretch for a second straight season. Cable’s playcalling duties are likely to be stripped in favour of offensive coordinator target Hue Jackson, though. In the last year of his contract, Cable enters 2010 in a lame-duck position.
– With seven days left until Strikeforce: Miami, CEO Scott Coker was able to finalize the main card of the event by securing Wes Sims (22-12-1) to fight Bobby Lashley on January 30, 2010 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. Stirkeforce had been struggling to land a quality fighter to face the former WWE superstar for months, and after it looked as though the fight was going to be have to be pushed back to future date, the promotion was able to put together this excellent match-up at the midnight hour.
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