– The Rangers have signed RHP Yu Darvish to a 6-year/$60M contract with $10M in performance-based incentives. Combined with the record $51,703,411 posting fee that was put up last month for exclusive negotiating rights, the Rangers have committed over $111M to the 25-year-old. That’s a lot of money, but given that Darvish posted a 1.44 ERA and 276/36 K/BB ratio across 232 innings last year in Nippon Professional Baseball, it could very well be worth it. He’s a potential MLB ace.
– According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers would be interested in signing free agent 1B Prince Fielder, 27, to a “shorter-term” deal. Fielder’s agent, Scott Boras, is said to be looking for something close to the 10-year/$240M contract that Angels’ 1B Albert Pujols signed in December.
– Phillies’ LHP Cole Hamels’ agent John Boggs told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that he doesn’t expect his client to sign a long-term contract similar to Angels’ RHP Jered Weaver’s 5-year/$85M deal with the Angels. ”I don’t think it’s a parallel. That contract is great for Jered. I understand it. But he took a different path and left a lot of money on the table. He came up through the Angels system and grew up in their backyard. He’s pitching where he grew up. That situation appeals to him. It’s a similar situation to when I had Tony Gwynn. Without getting into specifics of what we’re looking for, the Weaver situation is unique to Weaver.” The Phillies and Hamels avoided arbitration on Tuesday by agreeing to a 1-year/$15M contract, but the 28-year-old can become a free agent next offseason. While Boggs said they will give the Phillies “every opportunity” to keep Hamels for the long-term, he also expects his client to be compensated as an “elite pitcher.” Stay tuned.
– Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Red Sox are still showing interest in a trade for White Sox’ RHP Gavin Floyd. The Red Sox discussed potential trades for Floyd and LHP John Danks during the Winter Meetings last month, but nothing came of it. The 28-year-old is set to earn $7.5M this season while his contract includes a $9.5M club option for 2013. Chicago could get a nice package back for him given how few quality starting pitchers remain available.
– According to ESPN’s Enrique Rojas, SS Orlando Cabrera, 37, has announced his retirement from baseball. Cabrera struggled to find suitors on the open market this winter after batting just .238/.267/.307 in 477 plate appearances last season between the Indians and Giants. O-Cabs was a .272/.317/.390 lifetime hitter in over 1,900 major league games. He had 123 career home runs and tallied 2,055 career hits.
– The Rockies have signed LHP Jamie Moyer to a minor league contract. The 49-year-old is coming off Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery but should be back to 100% by the start of spring training. Colorado seems like the worst place for him to try and get back on track, but he didn’t have many other options.
– The Rays have signed LHP David Price ($4.35M), OF B.J. Upton ($7M) and RHP Nick Badenhop ($1.075M) to 1-year contracts, avoiding arbitration. Price, 26, went 12-13 with a 3.49 ERA last season. Upton batted .243 with 23 homers and 81 RBIs. Badenhop went 2-3 with a 4.10 ERA in 50 appearances for the Marlins
– The Angels have signed SS Erick Aybar to a 1-year/$5.075M contract, avoiding arbitration. The Gold Glove shortstop batted .279 last season with career-highs of 10 homers, 59 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 143 games last season.
– The Tigers haves signed RHP Max Scherzer, OF Delmon Young and UTIL Don Kelly to 1-year contracts, avoiding arbitration. Scherzer went 15-9 with a 4.43 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 33 starts. Young appeared in 40 games for the Tigers last season after coming over from Minnesota and hit .274 with five doubles, a triple, eight home runs and 32 RBI. Kelly batted .245 with eight doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 28 RBI in 113 games.
– The Nationals have signed RHP Jordan Zimmerman ($2.3M), LHP Tom Gorzelanny ($3M) and RHP Tyler Clippard ($1.65M) to 1-year contracts, avoiding arbitration. Zimmerman went 8-11 with a 3.18 ERA last season. Clippard, a 2011 All-Star, finished 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 72 appearances.
– The Indians have signed RHP Justin Masterson to a 1-year/$3.825M contract, OF Shin-Soo Choo to a 1-year/$4.9M, B Jack Hannahan to a 1-year contract, RHP Chris Perez to a 1-year/$4.5M contract and RHP Joe Smith to a 1-year/$1.75M contract, avoiding arbitration. Masterson had a breakout season in 2011, going 12-10 with a 3.21 ERA. He also led the Indians with 158 strikeouts and 33 starts. Choo, 29, batted .259 with eight homers and 36 RBIs in 85 games. Hannahan batted .250 (80-for-320) with eight homers and 40 RBIs in 110 games. Perez, 26, had 36 saves in 40 tries, becoming a 2011 All-Star. Smith went 3-3 with a 2.01 ERA in 71 games.
– The Rangers have signed RHP Mike Adams to a 1-year/$4.4M contract, RHP Mark Lowe to a 1-year/$1.7M contract and OF David Murphy to a 1-year/$3.625M contract, avoiding arbitration. Adams went 5-4 with a 1.47 ERA between the Padres and Rangers as one of the league’s premiere setup men. Lowe was 2-3 with a 3.80 ERA and one save in 52 games for the AL champions last season. Murphy batted .275 with 11 homers and 46 RBI in 120 games with the Rangers in 2011.
– The Braves have signed OF Michael Bourn ($6.845M), RHP Jair Jurrjens ($5.5M) and LHP Eric O’Flaherty ($2.49M) to 1-year contracts, avoiding arbitration. The Braves also signed RHP Peter Moylan to a minor league contract. Bourn led the NL in stolen bases for the third straight year with 61. Jurrjens was selected for his first All-Star game and went 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA. O’Flaherty had best year of his career with a 0.98 ERA in 78 appearances.
– The Twins have signed LHP Francisco Liriano ($5.5M) and LHP Glen Perkins ($4.3M) to 1-year contracts, avoiding arbitration.
– The Rockies have signed OF Dexter Fowler to a 1-year contract, avoiding arbitration. Fowler hit .266 with five homers and 45 RBIs.
– The Athletics have signed RHP Brandon McCarthy and RHP Joey Devine to 1-year contracts, avoiding arbitration. McCarthy went 9-9 with a 3.32 ERA in 25 starts. He posted career highs in wins, starts, complete games (five), innings pitched (170 2-3) and strikeouts (123). His 123 strikeouts to 25 walks set an A’s record for strikeout-to-walk ratio at 4.92. Devine went 1-1 with a 3.52 ERA in 26 relief appearances before going back to the minors.
– The Yankees have signed RHP Joba Chamberlain ($1.675M) and RHP David Robertson ($1.6M) to 1-year contracts, avoiding arbitration. Chamberlain went 2-0 with a 2.83 ERA in 27 relief appearances before surgery on June 16. Robertson was 4-0 with one save and a 1.08 ERA in a team-high 70 relief appearances.
– The Blue Jays have signed 2B Kelly Johnson ($6.375M) and OF Ben Francisco ($1.537M) to 1-year contracts, avoiding arbitration. Johnson was acquired Aug. 23 from the Arizona Diamondbacks. He posted a .270 average with three home runs and nine RBIs with Toronto. Francisco hit .240 with six home runs and 34 RBIs in 2011 for the Phillies.
– The Reds have signed RHP Homer Bailey to a 1-year/$2.425M contract, avoiding arbitration. Bailey is coming off his best season, setting career highs in starts, wins, innings and strikeouts. He went 9-7 with a 4.43 ERA in 22 starts with 106 strikeouts in 132 innings.
– The Mets have signed RHP Mike Pelfrey ($5.688M), RHP Ramon Ramirez ($2.65M), RHP Manny Acosta ($888K) and OF Andres Torres ($2.7M) to 1-year contracts, avoiding arbitration. Pelfrey was 7-13 with a 4.74 ERA last year.
– The Cardinals have signed RHP Kyle McClellan to a 1-year deal, avoiding arbitration. The 27-year-old was 6-6 with a 4.21 ERA in 17 starts last season.
– The Pirates have signed RHP Jeff Karstens to a 1-year/$3.1M contract, avoiding arbitration. The 29-year-old went 9-9 with a 3.38 ERA in 2011, posting career highs in wins, strikeouts (72) and innings (162 1-3).
– The Royals have signed LHP Jonathan Sanchez ($6.5M), RHP Luke Hochevar ($3.51), RHP Felipe Paulino ($1.9M) and OF Mitch Maier ($865K) to 1-year contracts, avoiding arbitration. Sanchez went 13-9 record and a 3.07 ERA with the Giants last season. Hochevar, a former No. 1 overall pick, went 11-11 with a 4.68 ERA, leading the Royals in innings (198), strikeouts (128). Paulino went 4-6 with a 4.11 ERA. Maier, 29, hit .232 and drove in seven runs last season.
– The Mariners have signed RHP Brandon League to a 1-year/$5M contract, LHP Jason Vargas to a 1-year/$4.5M contract, RHP Shawn Kelley to a 1-year/$600K contract and LHP Oliver Perez to a minor-league contract, avoiding arbitration. Vargas made a career-high 32 starts in 2011, going 10-13 with a 4.25 ERA. League, a 2011 All-Star, finished the year with 37 saves. He appeared in 65 games and went 1-5 with a 2.79 ERA. Kelley missed most of last season after having partial Tommy John surgery during the 2010 season. He appeared in 10 major league games and gave up no runs and seven hits in 12 2-3 innings. In the minors, Kelley was 1-1 with a 1.53 ERA in 15 starts. Perez spent all of the 2011 season pitching for Double-A Harrisburg in the Washington Nationals organization.
– The Astros have signed OF Jack Cust to a 1-year/$600K contract with a 2013 team option, and have signed LHP J.A. Happ to a 1-year/$2.35M contract, avoiding arbitration. Cust, 33, hit .213 with three homers and 23 RBIs in 67 games for the Mariners. Happ went 6-15 with a 5.35 ERA in 28 starts.
– The Marlins have signed RHP Juan Carlos Ovideo to a 1-year/$6M contract and RHP Edward Mujica to a 1-year/$1.625M contract, avoiding arbitration. Oviedo had 36 saves in 42 chances last year with a 4.06 ERA. He has 21 blown saves over the past three seasons. Mujica went 9-6 with a 2.96 ERA in 67 games last season, his first with the Marlins.
– Contrary to reports, Oilers’ F Taylor Hall (face) will not miss the remainder of the season, and is looking to get back into the lineup as soon as possible, but remains out indefinitely. Hall’s mom also told the media that Taylor will be wearing a helmet during pre-game skate from now on (insert momma joke here). Hall tweeted about the injury:
“The reports that I’m out for the season aren’t true. I am going to be back as soon as possible. Thanks for all the get well responses.”
Head coach Tom Renney said,
“He’s doing much better. Swelling has gone down, he’s got a clear head, he had a good night’s sleep. All that being said, I would call it doubtful for (Thursday), which I don’t think would surprise anyone. If you talked to Taylor he would say he’s hopeful, but we’ll see.”
– The Blues have signed G Brian Elliott to a 2-year/$3.6M extension with a $1.8M cap hit. He’ll earn $1.7M next season and $1.9M in 2013-14. GM Doug Armstrong said, “Brian came in here and helped stabilize our goaltending and make it one of the top tandems in the NHL. Having Brian and Jaro signed through the 13-14 season our goaltending is set. Along with Ben Bishop and Jake Allen in Peoria, our depth at goaltender has never been stronger.” Elliott has been excellent this year, sporting a 15-5-1 record with a .937 SV%, a 1.68 GAA and five shutouts. Elliott signed a 1-year/2-way contract this past summer.
– Sabres’ G Ryan Miller addressed the possibility of a trade prior to the deadline. The 31-year-old is having the worst season of his NHL career this season, posting an 11-13-2 record with a 3.12 GAA and a .898 SV%. Miller said:
“I have not and will not ask for a trade. I will fall on the ‘sabre’ before that. Please no one ask me again.”
– Panthers’ D Ed Jovanovski (broken hand) is expected to miss 2 months. Jovo, 35, injured his hand in a first-period fight against the Bruins on Monday. He has two goals and eight points in 43 games this season.
– Flames’ F Curtis Glencross (knee) will travel back to Calgary Wednesday to be evaluated by team doctors. He is expected to miss the next two games at least, and could be out for more. Glencross limped off the ice Tuesday against San Jose in the second period and was seen wearing a brace when he left the arena. He leads the Flames with 18 goals and has 33 points in 45 games.
– Bruins’ D Zdeno Chara and Senators’ F Daniel Alfredsson have been named the captains for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game. The pair will choose their teammates schoolyard pick’em-style on January 26 in a fantasy draft-like format. Chara spoke about being named captain, and about whether or not he’d take any Canucks on his team, and who he’d pick last overall:
– The Panthers have traded F Evgenii Dadonov and F A.J. Jenks to the Hurricanes for F Jonathan Matsumoto and F Mattias Lindstrom. Matsumoto has played in 41 games with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL this season, recording 34 points. Lindstrom has two assists and 10 minutes in penalties in 21 games so far this season with Tingsryds AIF of the Swedish Elite League. Dadonov played 15 games with the Panthers this season, totaling two goals and one assist. Jenks was originally selected in the fourth round, 100th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Panthers and has split time this season between the Rampage and the Cincinnati Cyclones of the East Coast Hockey League.
– The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Steelers’ OC Bruce Arians “might not return in 2012″ after considering retirement. Arians nearly retired at the end of the 2010 season due to health problems, but ended up returning for a fifth year as Steelers coordinator. Coach Mike Tomlin hinted at his season-ending press conference he expected Arians to return in 2012. The Steelers have ranked in the top half of the league in yards gained each of the past three seasons.
– According to the Miami Herald, Broncos’ OC Mike McCoy believes he is the leading candidate for the Dolphins’ head-coaching job. He’ll have a second interview with the Dolphins on Thursday. McCoy turned down an interview opportunity with the Raiders, and a source tells the Herald that Oakland brass was “not thrilled” being turned down. Packers OC Joe Philbin and in-house candidate Todd Bowles are also in the mix.
– WWE Hall of Fame ring announcer Howard Finkel announced that yesterday marked 35 years since becoming a ring announcer.
– WWE Hall of Famer “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase turns 58 years old today (Wednesday).
– WWE has released a new promo video hyping the upcoming WWE Network, including “Countdown” and more:
– Torrie Wilson and her boyfriend, Yankees’ 3B Alex Rodriguez were spotted at last night’s Heat vs. Spurs game.
– According to Amazon.com, the second edition of the WWE Encyclopedia will be released on September 3, 2012. The updated volume will include entries on WWE Superstars that debuted in 2009, 2010 and 2011. It is 400 pages and will be released by Brady Games.
– UFC president Dana White recently confirmed via Twitter a major change for the UFC On FOX 2 event, which is scheduled for January 28, 2012. Mark Munoz, who was originally scheduled to face Chael Sonnen in the evening’s co-main event, is now officially off the card due to injury. White stated that Sonnen will now fight U.K. bad-boy Michael Bisping in the semi-headline bout, a fight that fans will likely eat up like delicious chicken. “Munoz is injured and out of the FOX fight. Now it’s Chael Sonnen vs. Mike Bisping Jan. 28, and the winner will fight Anderson for the title.”
– Shannon Spruill (aka Daffney) says she is proceeding with her workers’ compensation claim against TNA Wrestling stemming from injuries she sustained while working for the organization in 2009 and 2010.
“Great day today. Just wanted to let everybody know that the Workers’ Comp Claim is going well. Although it’s been a long road, I continue to keep my head up. Hoping for some good results.”
Spruill stated last March immediately following her departure from TNA Wrestling that she had filed a workers’ compensation claim against the organization. There were issues between Spruill and management regarding her medical expenses being covered after she suffered a concussion taking a bump through a board covered with barbed wire at the October 18, 2009 pay-per-view event Bound for Glory.
Creative writer Vince Russo and former Director of Talent Relations Terry Taylor pressured Spruill into performing the spot, reasoning that it was important for the ongoing feud between Abyss and Mick Foley. Spruill, who was hesitant on the idea, was assured that she would be fine. She suffered a concussion taking the maneuver and was taken to an Orlando, Florida area hospital via ambulance. Spike TV wouldn’t allow TNA to air the spot during the following episode of iMPACT! due to their policy on men-on-women violence.
Spruill’s emergency room visit resulted in a substantial medical bill, which Taylor stalled TNA from paying and ultimately was not. She also claimed she was pressured to continue performing after suffering two additional concussions. She suffered a concussion after being hit on the head with a toolbox by Tara following their match on the February 18, 2010 episode of iMPACT!. On April 20, 2010, she was injured in a dark match against an obese inexperienced worker named Miss Betsy and was taken to an Orlando area hospital, where she was diagnosed with a concussion, as well as a deeply bruised sternum and a severe stinger.
– Canadian Kelsey Serwa (torn left ACL) will miss the remainder of the 2011-12 World Cup season. The 22-year-old suffered the injury on January 19 during a race in France. Serwa won the first two World Cup races of the season and was leading the overall standings at the time of her injury. Serwa captured the ski cross world championship last year and also captured a gold medal in the X Games.
“I stepped on the pole of the girl in front of me before a jump. I caught my leg and it got me all twisted and rotated — I was flying through the air. I landed on my feet but I was still rotating. I’m done for the year.”
“I’ll have to save it for another year. I’m just going to rest and recover, try to keep my muscle (strength) and stay in a positive mindset.
“You hear of so many examples of people coming back before they are ready. I will see where I am at the start of next season.”