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Baseball Insider: February 1, 2009 - February 7, 2009

A-Rod Tested Positive For Steroids

According to an exclusive report in Sports Illustrated, the game's highest-paid player, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, tested positive for two separate anabolic steroids during urine tests in 2003. The story is being report on the magazine's web site, si.com, with Selena Roberts and David Epstein getting byline credit for...

By Cameron Smith  | February 7, 2009; 12:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  Rangers, Yankees  
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Nats Mystery Man: Josh...

*Only one Nat (Dmitri Young) has ever had as many homers as his 26 in '06. *Only one Nat (Dmitri Young) can equal his career slugging average of .472. *Only one Nat (Ryan Zimmerman) has ever had as many RBI in a year as his 89 in '07. *Only one...

By Thomas Boswell  | February 7, 2009; 11:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Odalis Perez (4.34 ERA) vs. Randy Wolf (4.30)

So, the Nats signed southpaw Odalis Perez to a minor league contract in the last day. He'll "have a chance to make the team in spring training." That's as low budget as you can go. Guess they won't be going after Randy Wolf who, just a couple of weeks ago,...

By Thomas Boswell  | February 6, 2009; 5:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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The Worst Draft Pick in History

That's an ugly title to toss at somebody, but there can be little argument that Matt Bush -- No. 1 overall pick of the 2004 draft -- deserves it. I'd feel worse about saying that about a kid, except that this story in the San Diego Union-Tribune about the Padres'...

By Dave Sheinin  | February 6, 2009; 3:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Rangers Sign Jason Jennings

With Ben Sheets out of the picture because of elbow surgery, the Rangers turned to another NL starter to try and fix one of the gaping holes in their rotation, signing former Rockies pitcher Jason Jennings to a minor league deal late last night. As might be expected, Troy Renck...

By Cameron Smith  | February 6, 2009; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rangers  
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Why the Orioles May Be Poised For a Breakthrough

In 2007, the Tampa Bay Rays lost 96 games, yet still felt they weren't too far away from being contenders, and saw 2008 as an opportunity to take a significant step forward. But they had allowed 944 runs in 2007, worst in the majors, and also finished last in the...

By Dave Sheinin  | February 6, 2009; 9:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Another Sheets Comparison: Freddy Garcia

Yesterday, Dave wrote about Ben Sheets' impending elbow surgery and how he may be the unlucky subject of an economic slowdown. As he pointed out, Sheets probably would have earned a significant contract, elbow injury or no, in past years. Not this year. Instead, Sheets is heading to elbow surgery,...

By Cameron Smith  | February 6, 2009; 7:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Brewers, Rangers  
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Seattle Signs Tyler Johnson, Five Lefties Remain

In what seems like a minor deal, the Mariners signed left-handed specialists Tyler Johnson today, convincing the former Cardinal to accept a minor league deal, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. Johnson is the ultimate high-injury risk, high-reward guy in any bullpen. He missed all of 2008 with...

By Cameron Smith  | February 5, 2009; 6:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Mariners  
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Uh-Oh: Ben Sheets May Need Elbow Surgery

Of all the unsigned players still out there on the free agent market, Ben Sheets may have been the biggest shock. He's not old, like Pudge Rodriguez or Ken Griffey Jr. He wasn't making exorbitant demands, like Manny Ramirez. He isn't a defensive liability, like Adam Dunn. Why wasn't anyone...

By Dave Sheinin  | February 5, 2009; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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San Diego Signs Cliff Floyd

Slugging outfielder Cliff Floyd isn't done quite yet. An oft-injured team leader, Floyd is on the move again, this time heading to Southern California after signing a one-year deal with the Padres. According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the major league deal (no minor league component) will pay Floyd less...

By Cameron Smith  | February 5, 2009; 11:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Padres, Rays  
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Orioles Sign Parrish

The Orioles signed on another pitcher today, coming to terms on a minor league agreement with John Parrish. The 31-year-old is expected to compete for one of the back end rotation spots in Baltimore. Coming off a year with a 2.97 AAA ERA -- and a 4.04 mark during some...

By Cameron Smith  | February 4, 2009; 2:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Orioles  
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On Manny: Brinksmanship and Conspiracy Theories

By this point, everyone knows the story with Manny Ramirez: He wants four-years and $100 million. The Dodgers don't want to offer him more than two years. Protracted arguments develop. Neither side is happy. Yet throughout all of these public machinations aimed at bringing Manny back to the Dodgers, there's...

By Cameron Smith  | February 4, 2009; 10:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Nationals, Yankees  
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Rangers Add Eddie Guardado

Every Day Eddie Guardado is on the move again, and he's headed back south. According to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, Guardado and his former club -- he was traded from the Rangers to the Twins in late August -- agreed to a minor league deal stuffed with incentives on Tuesday night....

By Cameron Smith  | February 3, 2009; 10:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Rangers  
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Rockies, Atkins Avoid Arbitration, Too

The Colorado Rockies took care of their most weighty arbitration concern, agreeing to a one-year deal with third baseman Garrett Atkins worth $7.05 million. The Denver Post's Troy E. Renck broke the deal, which also includes an interesting incentive proviso: the third baseman can earn an additional $125,000 if he...

By Cameron Smith  | February 3, 2009; 7:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rockies  
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Tigers, Verlander Avoid Arbitration

According to Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman, the Tigers and ace Justin Verlander avoided an arbitration hearing by agreeing to a new contract this afternoon. Heyman is reporting that the deal is a one-year pact for $3.675 million, slightly closer to the $3.2 million the Tigers offered than Verlander's desired $4.1...

By Cameron Smith  | February 3, 2009; 5:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tigers  
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Orioles Sign Ty Wigginton

Ty Wigginton left Tampa Bay at just the wrong time, with the Rays becoming a model franchise, all their young, talented pieces coming to maturity at just the right time. Evidently he's now hoping that he can get in on the same youth movement at the right time in Baltimore....

By Cameron Smith  | February 3, 2009; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Orioles  
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Tuesday Triple Play: MacPhail, Selig, Wilkerson

1. So, apparently, Jim Bowden isn't the only GM in baseball -- or in the Greater Washington-Baltimore metropolis, for that matter -- who has given in to the impulse for getting the old band back together. Just as Bowden has stocked the Nationals' front office and roster with ex-Cincinnati Reds...

By Dave Sheinin  | February 3, 2009; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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New Ramirez Offer, Same Ramirez Result

Just when you thought there might be some movement on the Manny Ramirez front, we find out that there officially isn't any ... and there might not be for awhile. Monday afternoon, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti confirmed that the team had offered the slugging outfielder a second offer, this time...

By Cameron Smith  | February 3, 2009; 4:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Dodgers  
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Why Did the Mets Pick Perez Over Lowe?

Yes, we really asking that as a question because, to be honest, we have absolutely no idea why they did. Believe it or not, the terms of the two starters' contracts are a lot closer than you may think. Lowe's new deal with the Braves calls for $60 million over...

By Cameron Smith  | February 2, 2009; 7:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Braves, Mets  
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Mets Re-Sign Oliver Perez

The numbers: three years, $36 million, according to the New York Post. A shorter deal than Perez would have liked, but one that will allow him to re-enter free agency again at the age of 30, still in his prime. So here is the Mets' projected rotation, not necessarily in...

By Dave Sheinin  | February 2, 2009; 3:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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O's Get Their Cub: Hill Acquired

Well, that post was prescient. Some five hours after we talked here about how Baltimore would try to act quickly to get Rich Hill, before other teams could get in on the act, Baltimore GM Andy McPhail closed the deal, acquiring the 28-year-old pitcher for a player to be named...

By Cameron Smith  | February 2, 2009; 12:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Cubs, Orioles  
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Five Guys (Through Age 28)

Five sluggers through age 28 ABs....Runs...HR.....RBI.....BB....OPS 3871....699....278...672....797....899 3757....623....218...629....533....866 3903....662....252...733....580....879 3886....644....245...780....449....852 3427....573....272...670....806....904 Who are they? Adam Dunn Reggie Jackson Darryl Strawberry Jose Canseco Harmon Killebrew Most homer runs, runs and walks through age 28: Dunn. Where are the Nationals?...

By Thomas Boswell  | February 2, 2009; 12:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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O's Trade For Hill Will Come Soon ... Or Not at All

According to multiple sources out of Baltimore last night, the Orioles are closing in on a trade for Cubs starting pitcher Rich Hill, with the potential for a deal as early as today. That's a good thing for Baltimore because, if they don't land Hill soon, someone else will in...

By Cameron Smith  | February 2, 2009; 4:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Cubs, Orioles  
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Rays Add One, Shoot for Two More

If the Rays' prior offseason moves seemed a bit surprising -- it didn't seem that many pegged Tampa Bay as a possible destination for Pat Burrell -- the team's newest addition may take the cake. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Rays reached an agreement with 40-year-old left-handed reliever Brian...

By Cameron Smith  | February 1, 2009; 2:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Rays  
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