– Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols has re-iterated that he will not discuss a long-term extension with the team during the 2010 season.
– A friend of OF Johnny Damon’s told the Bergen Record recently that the free agent outfielder has considered retiring. “Johnny is completely in the family mode right now,” the friend told the Record’s Bob Klapisch. Damon batted .282/.365/.489 with 24 home runs and 82 RBI last year for the Yankees but has drawn very little interest this winter. If he drops his asking price a bit, maybe he’ll get a few more phone calls. Reports had him asking for $10M annually as recently as last week.
– As previously reported, the rumours of the Blue Jays signing former 1B Carlos Delgado are false. Noah Coslov of MLB.com heard whispers out of Puerto Rico that the Blue Jays had come to terms with their former first baseman, but this is completely untrue. Delgado, 37, has received mixed reviews of his play in Puerto Rico thus far as he searches for a new major league contract.
– The Cubs are among the teams interested in free agent OF Rocco Baldelli, according to the St. Petersburg Times. The Yankees have also expressed interest but are reportedly dealing with a small budget crunch at the moment. Baldelli hit .253/.311/.433 with seven home runs and 23 RBI in 150 at-bats last season for the Red Sox. The 28-year-old is seeking a role as a utility outfielder.
– According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are reviewing RHP Chien-Ming Wang’s medical records. The Cards have four pitchers locked into their starting rotation for 2010, but would love to add a reliable fifth. They’ve kept a line of contact open with John Smoltz though his demands remain fairly high. Wang, who is still only 29 years of age, had back-to-back 19-win seasons in 2006-2007. He has battled injuries the last few years but claims to be healthy now.
– Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Angels are “in” on the bidding for free agent RHP Joel Pineiro. The Mets and Dodgers have also been linked closely to Pineiro this offseason but his demands apparently remain sky high. The 31-year-old was 15-12 with a 3.49 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 32 starts in ’09 and his 60.2% groundball rate led the entire league. Still, not many clubs are going to buck up the three-year/$30M contract he is thought to be seeking.
– The Rockies have re-signed RHP Huston Street to a three-year/$22.5M contract. Street must take a physical before his extension becomes official, but he should pass the exam without any issues. The 26-year-old right-hander converted 35 saves last season while posting a 0.91 WHIP.
– The Rockies and RHP Rafael Betancourt avoided arbitration Tuesday by agreeing to a two-year/$7.55M contract. The 34-year-old Betancourt posted an impressive 1.78 ERA in 25 1/3 innings with the Rockies last year and a 2.73 ERA overall. He will serve as a setup man for RHP Huston Street for the next two seasons, at least.
– The Red Sox have signed RHP Jonathan Papelbon to a one-year/$9.35M deal, RHP Ramon Ramirez to a one-year/$1.55M deal and RHP Manny Delcarmen to a one-year/$905K deal.
– The Dodgers have re-signed 1B James Loney, C Russell Martin, LHP George Sherrill and RHP Hong-Chih Kuo to one-year deals. All four players were eligible for salary arbitration. Martin’s contract is for $5.05M, Loney will make $3.1M, Sherrill gets $4.5M and Kuo will earn $950K.
– The Cardinals have re-signed OF Ryan Ludwick to a one-year/$5.45M deal.
– The Mets have re-signed OF Jeff Francoeur, RHP Shawn Green and RHP Pedro Feliciano. Francoeur will make $5M, Feliciano at $2.9M and Green at $975K.
– The Giants have re-signed C Bengie Molina to a one-year/$4.5M deal. The 35-year-old Molina can earn an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses based on games started.
– The Jays have signed OF Jeremy Reed and RHP Steven Register. They settled with five pitchers by agreeing to one-year deals with RHP Jason Frasor ($2.65M), LHP Brian Tallet ($2M), RHP Jeremy Accardo ($1.08M), RHP Shawn Camp ($1.15M) and RHP Casey Janssen ($700K).
– The White Sox have re-signed LHP John Danks to a one-year/$3.45M deal.
– The Phillies have re-signed RHP Chad Durbin to a one-year/$2.125M deal.
– The Rangers have re-signed OF Josh Hamilton to a one-year/$2.35M deal, RHP Colby Lewis to a two-year/$5M deal and RHP Chris Ray to a one-year/$975K deal.
– The Angels have re-signed RHP Jered Weaver to a one-year/$4.265M deal, as well as signing C Mike Napoli, 2B Howie Kendrick and OF Reggie Willits to one-year deals. Napoli will make $3.6M, Kendrick will get $1.75M and Willits will receive $625K.
– The Dodgers have re-signed RHP Jonathan Broxton to a two-year/$11M deal and OF Andre Ethier to a two-year/$15.25M deal.
– The Twins have re-signed RHP Carl Pavano to a one-year/$7M deal.
– The Rays have re-signed SS Jason Barlett, RHP Matt Garza and RHP J.P. Howell to one-year deals worth $3M, $3.35M and $1.8M respectively.
– The Pirates have re-signed LHP Zach Duke to a one-year/$4.3M deal, and claimed OF Brandon Jones off waivers from the Braves.
– The D’Backs have re-signed SS Stephen Drew to a one-year/$3.4M deal.S
– The Nationals have re-signed OF Josh Willingham to a one-year/$4.6M deal. They also re-signed C Jesus Flores, C Wil Nieves and RHP Jason Bergmann to one-year deals worth $750K, $750K and $700K respectively.
– The Brewers have re-signed 2B Rickie Weeks to a one-year/$2.75M deal.
– The Astros have avoided arbitration by signing OF Michael Bourn, RHP Matt Lindstrom and C Humberto Quintero to one-year deals worth $2.4M, $1.625M and $750K respectively.
– The Padres have re-signed RHP Mike Adams to a one-year/$1M deal.
– The Marlins have re-signed INF Jorge Cantu and RHP Leo Nunez to one-year deals worth $6M and $2M respectively.
– The Braves have re-signed RHP Peter Moylan to a one-year/$1.25M deal.
– The Pirates have traded SS Brian Bixter to the Indians for INF Jesus Brito.
– There’s major heat on TNA backstage interviewer and radio shock jock Bubba The Love Sponge after some pretty tasteless comments he made over the weekend regarding the earthquake in Haiti.’ As everybody is aware of by now, an earthquake devastated the country of Haiti last week and tens of thousands are feared dead. Bubba the Love Sponge is apparently sick of the United States efforts to help another country when we have so many issues at home to address and wrote on Twitter, “F- Haiti”
No matter how you feel about the United States’ foreign policy and its political stance on spending American dollars to help other nations in need, the comment was pretty foolish.
As a result of the “F- Haiti” comment, Bubba was told by TNA management to stay home over the weekend and not to attend the TNA production meetings headed into Sunday night’s Genesis pay-per-view.He was reportedly supposed to be part of an angle involving The Band at Genesis. Regarding that situation, he wrote on Twitter:
“here in orlando things r all messed up. Was suppose to be at the prod meeting @11 they called and said not 2 come???”
“I was suppose 2bpart of the outsiders deal and somebody over ruled hogan on it and I sat in the back all night about”
Bubba has since posted an apology regarding his Haiti comment:
“I am going to say this one time and one time only. First of all a real man sometimes has to take a step back and maybe look at something they said or did so that being said I would like to apologize for my comments regarding Haiti in the world of live radio that I operate. Sometimes u say things that u can’t take back. So I’m man enough now to say I’m sorry for those I offended.”
It has been confirmed by the PWInsider that Awesome Kong attacked radio show host and TNA backstage personality Bubba the Love Sponge at yesterday’s iMPACT! taping in Orlando. Kong was reportedly upset due to the “F*ck Hati” tweet Bubba posted on his Twitter account over the weekend. She has been taking part in fundraising efforts for the relief fund for Haiti. Bubba was sent home from yesterday’s taping, as was Kong.
– The Cowboys are denying a report from their own website that head coach Wade Phillips has signed a three-year extension. “There is no announcement and nothing has been finalized,” director of public relations Rich Dalrymple said of a possible Phillips deal. The story has since been removed from the team’s website, and the Cowboys say there will be no announcement on Tuesday. They’re expected to address’ Phillips future in a press conference later this week.
– Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he expects both DB Ed Reed and WR Derrick Mason to return in 2010 as opposed to retiring. Both veterans are still playing at a high level. Reed may need some time to get over the Ravens’ playoff loss, but it’s hard to picture him going out at age 31. Expect him to play through the painful nerve impingement in his neck in 2010. Mason has indicated that he will make a decision “quickly and definitively.”
– WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon is taking full control over WWE Studios after ending distribution relationships with Lionsgate and 20th Century Fox, according to an article from entertainment industry publication Variety. Will will now be able to “fully own and exploit” all aspects of its movies. WWE has announced new partnerships with Samuel Goldwyn Films for theatrical releases and Vivendi Entertainment for DVD releases, but Vince McMahon says WWE has “learned a great deal” about the business to handle all aspects of movie making.
“This is an opportunity for us to completely control everything from the production all the way through to release. We’re putting our money where our mouth is.”
WWE plans to film nine movies by 2012. All filming will take place in the city of New Orleans, which will save WWE a bundle in production costs due to the city’s tremendous tax breaks. To crank out 9 movies by 2010, WWE plans to film the movies one after the other, with minimal down time in between. McMahon also said one of main reasons they want to control the production and distribution of WWE movies is to better market each film toward their TV audience. He admits WWE hasn’t done a great job working with other distributors.
“There’s a much larger number that we’re not reaching. We have the resources, we just need to leverage all of it. There are so many different things that we can do.”
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