– According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Marlins have offered 1B Albert Pujols a 10-year/$200M contract. The Cardinals offered Pujols a 9-year/$200M deal last winter, but that was before the 2011 season was played out. Miami executives met with agent Dan Lozano twice on Monday night at baseball’s Winter Meetings and upped the offer from nine to 10 years in their final chat of the evening. The Cardinals have likely been asked to make some sort of counter-offer on Tuesday. Let the bidding war officially begin.
– Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Angels are “making a serious push” to sign free agent LHP C.J. Wilson. It will likely require at least 4-5 years and probably over $15M per season to sign him, though. The Nationals, Marlins, Red Sox and Rangers have all been connected to Wilson, though the Nats’ and Red Sox’ interest doesn’t appear to be high.
– According to SI’s Jon Heyman, the Twins have offered UTIL Michael Cuddyer a 3-year/$25M contract. The Twins have also sparked up discussions with OF Josh Willingham as a possible alternative. Cuddyer batted .284/.346/.459 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI over 584 plate appearances this past year for Minnesota. He turns 33 in March.
– According to the Denver Post’s Troy Renck, the Reds and Rockies have discussed a trade that would send RHP Edinson Volquez to Colorado and RHP Huston Street and a prospect to Cincinnati. Volquez had a decent September but still wound up with a 5.71 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 108 2/3 total innings. Street posted a strong 3.86 ERA and 55/9 K/BB ratio in 58 1/3 frames, but he’s owed $8M salary in 2012.
Sticking with Street, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, the Orioles are still discussing a trade with the Rockies for Street. The O’s interest dates back a few weeks, though Troy Renck of the Denver Post was told Monday that it had “cooled.”
– The Rockies have acquired RHP Kevin Slowey from the Twins for a PTBNL. Slowey went 0-8 with a 6.67 ERA in 59 1/3 innings in an injury-riddled season for the Twins. He’s entering his second year of salary arbitration.
– According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the A’s asking price on RHP Andrew Bailey is currently “too much” for the Rangers to seriously consider. The Red Sox, Angels, Mets and Padres have also called GM Billy Beane about his closer, but those teams may come to the same conclusion that the Rangers have. Bailey, 27, is under team control through 2014 and is a dominant closer when healthy.
– Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Cardinals are shopping RHP Kyle Lohse in an effort to make room in the rotation for the signing of LHP Mark Buehrle. Lohse is set to earn $11.875M in 2012 and he has a no-trade clause. Despite a 3.39 ERA and 1.17 WHIP this past season, it’ll be difficult to trade him. Buehrle reportedly has three-year offers from a few teams in the $36-39M range.
– Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Dodgers and RHP Aaron Harang have reached a 2-year/$12M deal. Harang, 33, posted solid 3.64 ERA in 170 2/3 innings for the Padres in 2011.
– According to Patrick Newman’s NPB Tracker, the Seibu Lions will accept and announce the winning posting bid for SS Hiroyuki Nakajima on December 7. It’s unknown which team made the winning bid, though Mets’ manager Terry Collins did hint Monday that his team had interest. The Giants and Brewers have been ruled out. Nakajima, 29, batted .297 with 16 home runs, 100 RBI and 21 stolen bases this past year in Japan’s top pro league.
– Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Cubs and Angels have been the most active teams for the Rockies’ 3B Ian Stewart. Morosi reported over the weekend that the Orioles, Mariners, Pirates and D’Backs are also in the mix. The 26-year-old batted just .156/.243/.221 with zero homers and a .464 OPS over 136 plate appearances at the major-league level this season. He projects to make around $2M in his second year of arbitration.
– Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski confirmed Monday that he recently traveled to the Dominican Republic to scout Cuban OF Yoenis Cespedes. At least four top Tigers’ officials, including Dombrowski, have reportedly watched Cespedes over the past month. The 26-year-old has drawn attention from a large numbers of MLB teams, but the Tigers, Marlins and Yankees are considered the early front-runners. According to ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes, Cespedes’ agent is telling interested clubs that his client wants a $60M contract. Dombrowski believes he could be posted for free agency soon, perhaps within the week.
– The Bears have no interest in retired QB Brett Favre, a source tells ESPN’s Ed Werder. ESPN Chicago reported Monday that Favre “would listen” if the Bears contacted him, adding that the 42-year-old has been working out and staying in shape. Chicago won’t even entertain the possibility, though, despite QB Caleb Hanie’s six interceptions and 40.8 passer rating over the last two weeks. It looks like they’ll sink or float until QB Jay Cutler (thumb) returns to action.
– The Clippers are reportedly offering a 5-year/$40M contract to RFA F DeAndre Jordan. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Jordan still seems “destined” to sign an offer sheet with another club and force the Clippers to match. The team as said that they will match any offer, and it would be a huge surprise to see him land anywhere else but back in Los Angeles.
– Despite earlier reports that the Blazers were very close to using their amnesty clause on F Brandon Roy, the team announced Monday night that wasn’t the case, and that Roy was penciled in as a starter this season. Team president Larry Miller said, ”Our plan right now is not to use the amnesty. We expect Brandon to be a part of this team when the season starts.” Roy has told the team his knee feels good and that he is prepared to start or come off the bench. Nate McMillan said recently that he expects Roy to start over G Wesley Matthews and G Nicolas Batum, but that he also go Roy’s OK to come off the bench if his knee acts up. “We know bringing him off the bench last year wasn’t that productive. This year he is sounding like if that is the case, he will accept it a little better.” It’ll be interesting to see just how long Roy’s knees hold up.
– F Caron Butler will meet with the Los Angeles Clippers again on Tuesday. Butler met with the team on Monday night following a trip to Chicago to see the Bulls. Butler’s agent said that they were “really impressed” with the team and can see the Clippers winning. He’s still scheduled to meet with the Spurs on Thursday, and doesn’t sound any closer to signing just yet.
– Lilian Garcia confirmed on Monday night that she is indeed returning to WWE. She tweeted:
“Yes! It’s true!! All happening so fast! I am returning to WWE as the SmackDown Announcer!! So excited!! And video trailer out tomro! Big wk”
– Following Monday’s RAW Supershow, here’s the updated card for WWE’s upcoming Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view:
TLC Match For The WWE Championship: CM Punk vs. The Miz vs. Alberto Del Rio
World Heavyweight Title Match: Mark Henry vs. Big Show.
Ladder Match With Sledge Hammer Hanging Above The Ring: Triple H vs. Kevin Nash
United States Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder
WWE: Tables, Ladders & Chairs takes place on Sunday, December 18, 2011.
– Pregnant WWE Diva Kharma is engaged to be married. According to TMZ.com, her fiance proposed to her several months ago – and presented her with a very unique engagement ring – it’s actually a wrestling ring with a diamond, set inside of a normal ring. No official date has been set for the wedding yet but TMZ reports that Kharma is looking to tie the knot in June of 2012. Kharma, who is currently out on maternity leave, is still a member of the WWE roster. While most people expect her to return to WWE once she delivers her baby and recovers, there have been others within the company who are skeptical that a new mother will immediately go back to work traveling 4+ days per week. It’s worth noting that Kharma was trending worldwide on Twitter during RAW, despite the fact that she hasn’t been on WWE television in many months.
– WWE has been cracking down very aggressively on Twitter accounts that impersonate or parody their superstars and overall product. With their huge push to integrate Twitter into the WWE Universe, the company is said to be overly-protective about fans being mislead by other parties trying to benefit from their intellectual property. Several Twitter accounts have been shut down in the past few weeks as a result of this new policy.
– WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was not backstage at Monday’s RAW, which is a rare thing. With Vince gone, Triple H was in charge of things backstage. Among the WWE personalities backstage were AJim Ross, Sean Waltman, Layla and former diva Cherry.
– The main event of next Monday’s 3-hour Slammy RAW will be World Heavyweight champion Mark Henry vs. John Cena.
– The nominees for the 2011 WWE Superstar of the Year are: John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk, The Miz, Alberto Del Rio.
– THQ’s WWE ’12 video game has reportedly sold over 350,000 copies in North America.
– The Jets have claimed F Ben Maxwell off waivers from the Ducks.