– Mariners’ OF prospect Greg Halman was stabbed to death in the Netherlands on Monday morning. Halman was just 24 years of age. Dutch police were called to a home in the port city of Rotterdam and found Halman bleeding from a stab wound. They were unable to resuscitate him. Halman’s 22-year-old brother was arrested as a possible suspect and is being questioned by police. There aren’t many more details available at this time. Halman batted .299/.358/.441 with three homers and 15 RBI in 40 games this year for Triple-A Tacoma.
– The Pirates have signed SS Clint Barmes to a 2-year/$10.5M contract. The 32-year-old is expected to start at shortstop for the Pirates in 2012 after batting .244/.312/.386 with 12 homers and 39 RBI in 123 games this year for Houston.
– According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Reds and A’s are discussing a potential RHP Andrew Bailey trade. Bailey, 27, registered a 3.24 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 41 2/3 innings this year with 24 saves. He can be a dominant closer when healthy. A trade for Bailey would likely put an end to the Reds’ negotiations with RHP Francisco Cordero.
– According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the Nationals are visiting LHP Mark Buehrle on Monday at his home in the St. Louis area. Kilgore says the Nats have identified Buehrle as their “top free agent choice” this winter. He’s also drawing interest from many other teams, so Washington may have to overpay in the style that landed Jayson Werth last winter. But they’ve shown a willingness to spend in recent years, and an in-home visit from team officials signifies a strong amount of interest in him. Buehrle, 32, posted a 3.59 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 31 starts this past season for the White Sox.
– According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers have expressed interest in bringing back RHP Frank Francisco. Texas will need a closer if RHP Neftali Feliz is shifted to the rotation next spring, and Francisco has proven capable of handling the job in the past. The 32-year-old posted a 3.55 ERA and 53/18 K/BB ratio in 50 2/3 innings this year for Toronto. He’s also drawn mild interest from the Mets.
– According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles have inquired about Rockies’ RHP Huston Street. Street, who is owed $7.5M in 2012, has also drawn trade interest from the Blue Jays and Mets so far this winter. The 28-year-old posted a 3.86 ERA and 55/9 K/BB ratio over 58 1/3 innings in 2011, collecting 29 saves in 33 opportunities. The Rox will want a significant return.
– CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler reports that the Orioles are “talking to” KoreanRHP Chong Tae-Hyon. Tae-Hyon is a free agent in his native Korea, so his price tag won’t include a posting fee. The submariner has been a successful reliever in international tournaments and Korean pro ball since the early 2000s. Tae-Hyon, 32, would be the first player to ever move directly from Korea’s top professional league to MLB.
– Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter wants to move RHP Jim Johnson into the 2012 starting rotation. Johnson hasn’t made a start in the big leagues since the 2006 season, but he was drafted as a starter and had some minor league experience in the role. The 6-foot-5 right-hander registered a sparkling 2.67 ERA and 1.11 WHIP across 91 innings (69 relief appearances) this past year.
– The Bears confirmed Monday that QB Jay Cutler (fractured right thumb) will need surgery. The Bears will not give a timetable, saying they’re hopeful Cutler can return before the end of the regular season. Initial reports had Cutler out 6-8 weeks, making a Week 17 return a best-case scenario. Expect Chicago to rely heavily on RB Matt Forte and the run-game as they try and make the playoffs.
– Sabres’ D Tyler Myers (broken wrist) underwent surgery today and will be sidelined one month.
– Devils’ impending UFA F Zach Parise will assess his future with the New Jersey Devils at the end of the season. ”I think any player in the situation I’m in has to look at everything. For me, most importantly you look at the team. You look at the area you live in. You look at everything from top to bottom because it’s hopefully where you’re going to spend the rest of your career. So you have to be sure you do your research on everything and make sure it’s somewhere you want to be and where you are comfortable.” Parise is making $6M this season and could demand much more if he lands on the open market. He has six goals and 11 points in 18 games.
– WWE doctor Michael Sampson has confirmed that Sin Cara (ruptured patella tendon) will undergo surgery and miss 6-9 months. Cara suffered the injury during last night’s Survivor Series PPV.
– John “Bradshaw” Layfield, who was notorious for being abusive towards co-workers during his WWE tenure, inexplicably ranted on former colleague Marc Mero Sunday night on Twitter. Layfield wrote regarding Mero, who he worked with from 1996-1998,
“If Johnny B Bad had sucked it would have been an improvement! Mero absolutely sucks as a wrestler and human being. Sorry to u fans of his.”
“Sorry, can’t describe in 140 characters why Mero is a POS. No one who knew him sticks up for him-that should tell u something.”
Both posts have since been deleted.
In June and July 2007, Mero commented on the Chris Benoit murder-suicide, appearing on numerous cable news programs and criticizing both the wrestling industry and WWE (the erstwhile employer of Benoit). His comments drew the ire of WWE employees such as Ken Anderson, who labeled him a “goof” and a “silly bastard”, and Dave “Fit” Finlay, who claimed Mero had “nothing to do with this business.” Mero now works as an inspirational speaker in Orlando, Florida and heads the non-profit organization Champion of Choices, Inc. According to his Facebook page, he is the “happiest person on the planet.”
– Speaking to WWE Magazine, The Rock addresses his critics within WWE, or rather, two particular “insecure and jealous” Superstars. They ask the multi-time champion, “Some guys in the locker room aren’t too happy with your return. Do you feel you need to earn their respect, or do you feel they need to earn your respect?” The Great One responds,
“Of course, a few guys have been very vocal about their unhappiness with me coming back. It doesn’t bother me at all. It just proves that they lack perspective.
“Returning to WWE is an incredible opportunity for me. But much bigger than me, it’s an incredible opportunity for the business and, at the end of the day, all we want to do is elevate WWE to new heights never seen before and make the fans happy. For example, when Hulk Hogan returned to WWE, I loved it, because I knew it was going to be incredible for the business. We made history together and made millions and millions of fans happy.
“Always remember that the ones who were vocal and disapproving about me coming back—and we all know who the two are—are the ones who are most insecure and jealous. Maybe one day they’ll smarten up and understand the greater perspective.”
– Several WWE Superstars commented on the Survivor Series pay-per-view last night:
The Rock: “Last night at Survivor Series, TEAM BRING IT rocked the Garden and electrified the world. Proud of U. #BootsToAsses”
Beth Phoenix: “@EveMarieTorres Ill give her credit…i had to obliterate her cuz she just wont quit..but tmrws a new day..and Eve.u will cry. #pinupstrong”
Eve Torres: “It was an honor to compete at The Garden tonight. Thank you NYC. & thank u @TheBethPhoenix for reminding me how badly I want what you have.”
Jim Ross: “No shock @TheRock was on his game after 7+ years away. He’s gifted. If Rock/Cena left u ‘wanting more’ then what occurred worked. #SauceIt”
Zack Ryder: “Thank you NYC…Thank you Broskis…… #RyderRevolution”
Wade Barrett: “Once again, I illustrated supreme leadership and in-ring skills tonight. The #BarrettBarrage is legit. No prisoners. No arguments.”
Kofi Kingston: “As always, MSG was epic. The feeling never gets old. Thanks for all the compliments on the gear too by the way! Tomorrow we do it again!”
– The storyline between CM Punk and Michael Cole is expected to continue. As seen at Survivor Series last night, Cole was wearing the sling on his arm from the recent Punk attack.
– WWE terms trending last night during Survivor Series included The People’s Elbow, The Miz, The Rock, CM Punk, Anaconda Vice, MSG Chants, The Fink, Alberto Del Rio, Daniel Bryan, HBK, Macho Man, Sexual Chocolate, Big Show vs. Mark Henry, Hunico, RKO, Team Barrett, Kofi Kingston, Sin Cara, Randy Orton, Mason Ryan, Cody Rhodes, Glam Slam, Beth Phoenix, Dolph Ziggler, JoMo and WeWantRyder.
– Colt Cabana was trending worldwide on Twitter during Survivor Series because WWE posted this video before the WWE Championship Match where Punk said he was going to go win the strap. Punk concludes his message by saying “Colt Cabana, how ya doing?”
– NBA stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony will headline a four-game “Homecoming Tour” with other NBA All-Stars beginning in December. The tour will go to Akron, Ohio for its first stop on December 1, followed by New Orleans on December 4, Chicago on December 7 and New Jersey on December 10. All four headliners are committed for the full tour, and all proceeds will benefit the players’ charitable foundations while sponsor Google Plus will stream each game live for fans to see.