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MLB off season thread  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2014 05:34 pm
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lobo316



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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Toronto Blue Jays have promoted Gary Allenson to manage their Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo.

It's a move up for Allenson, who spent last season managing the Blue Jays' Double-A affiliate in Manchester, N.H.

The 58-year-old is in his second season with Toronto and has 19 seasons of experience managing at the minor league level. He also has six years of coaching experience at the major league level, split between the Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers.

Allenson is a former catcher, who spent most of his six-year major league career with Boston, before closing with Toronto.

In Buffalo, he replaces Marty Brown, who decided not to return with the team in December.

Allenson's staff will include pitching coach Randy St. Claire and hitting coach Richie Hebner.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2014 05:35 pm
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ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals and longtime broadcaster Mike Shannon have finalized a multiyear contract extension.

Shannon will be entering his 56th season with the organization in 2014, counting his playing career, and 42nd as a broadcaster.

Shannon will not work about 50 road games next season. Terms were not disclosed.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2014 05:37 pm
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Three teams have emerged as favorites to land prized Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who flew back to Japan on Saturday after a brief sojourn to the United States, according to a report from Sports Hochi, a Japanese news outlet.

With third baseman Alex Rodriguez officially suspended for the entire 2014 campaign, the Yankees boast considerably more financial flexibility than they would've had, and have been linked to the 25-year-old for some time now. Reportedly eager to avoid the $189-million luxury tax threshold, the Yankees' current 2014 payroll amounts to roughly $155 million, a number that will rise after raises are calculated for arbitration-eligible players.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, are reportedly prepared to go "all out" to sign the highly-coveted right-hander, who earned his second career Sawamura Award in 2013 after posting a 1.27 ERA and a perfect 24-0 record over 212 innings with Nippon's Rakuten Golden Eagles. However, the spendthrift club has already committed more than $206 million towards their 2014 payroll and have already augmented their rotation this offseason, signing veteran righty Dan Haren to a one-year deal.

The Angels, however, remain desperate for starting pitching and haven't brokered any particularly expensive deals this offseason -- the biggest contract they handed out went to reliever Joe Smith, who signed a three-year, $15-million deal -- possibly freeing up some money for the former Nippon Star.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2014 05:38 pm
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lobo316



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CHICAGO (AP) Outfielder Dayan Viciedo and the Chicago White Sox have agreed to a $2.8 million one-year contract and avoided arbitration.

Viciedo, 24, hit .265 with 14 homers and 56 RBIs last year, when he also made $2.8 million in his second full season with the club. He ranked third among AL outfielders with 12 assists.

Viciedo is a career .264 hitter with 45 home runs and 153 RBIs over four seasons with the White Sox.

The deal announced Monday leaves the White Sox with two remaining arbitration-eligible players: infielder Gordon Beckham and outfielder Alejandro De Aza.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2014 10:07 pm
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lobo316 wrote: The Chicago Cubs listened to their fans and delivered something the franchise has lacked for most of its 138-year history. No, not a World Series championship, their previous being in 1908.

On Monday, the Cubs announced the first official mascot in their modern history -- Clark, a "young, friendly Cub" who wears a baseball cap backward and will greet fans as they enter Wrigley Field.

"The Cubs are thrilled to welcome Clark as the team's official mascot," Cubs senior director of marketing Alison Miller said in a statement. "Clark is a young, friendly Cub who can't wait to interact with our other young Cubs fans. He'll be a welcoming presence for families at Wrigley Field and an excellent ambassador for the team in the community."

As they prepared for a $300 million renovation of Wrigley Field, the Cubs partnered with Northwestern University to conduct a survey and found that there was a desire for the 100-year-old park to be more "family-friendly."

Clark, named after the Clark and Addison intersection where Wrigley is located, will be introduced during a charity appearance Monday night.

The Cubs say Clark's great-grandfather Joa was the franchise's original live Bears mascot in 1916.

The Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are now the only teams in Major League Baseball without official mascots.




Courtesy of Chicago CubsClark is the first official Cubs mascot in their modern history.

Anyone else think the Pedobear is planning to show up for a photo-op?

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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2014 11:52 pm
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khawk wrote: lobo316 wrote: The Chicago Cubs listened to their fans and delivered something the franchise has lacked for most of its 138-year history. No, not a World Series championship, their previous being in 1908.

On Monday, the Cubs announced the first official mascot in their modern history -- Clark, a "young, friendly Cub" who wears a baseball cap backward and will greet fans as they enter Wrigley Field.

"The Cubs are thrilled to welcome Clark as the team's official mascot," Cubs senior director of marketing Alison Miller said in a statement. "Clark is a young, friendly Cub who can't wait to interact with our other young Cubs fans. He'll be a welcoming presence for families at Wrigley Field and an excellent ambassador for the team in the community."

As they prepared for a $300 million renovation of Wrigley Field, the Cubs partnered with Northwestern University to conduct a survey and found that there was a desire for the 100-year-old park to be more "family-friendly."

Clark, named after the Clark and Addison intersection where Wrigley is located, will be introduced during a charity appearance Monday night.

The Cubs say Clark's great-grandfather Joa was the franchise's original live Bears mascot in 1916.

The Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are now the only teams in Major League Baseball without official mascots.




Courtesy of Chicago CubsClark is the first official Cubs mascot in their modern history.

Anyone else think the Pedobear is planning to show up for a photo-op?

After 138 years, do the Cubs need a freaking mascot now?  It seems bush league.  Next thing you know, the Yankees will finally get a mascot too, a large Puerto Rican man from the Bronx who sells kids drugs and tells them that he's Manny Ramirez's third cousin but still prefers the Yankees to the Sox.   



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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2014 03:15 am
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lobo316



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NEW YORK (AP) Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Will West had been given a 100-game suspension for violations of baseball's minor league drug program, a penalty that will be added to the 50-game ban from last summer that he hasn't completed.

Major League Baseball said Tuesday that the 21-year-old left-hander tested positive for an amphetamine and had a third positive test for a drug of abuse. He was suspended on Aug. 5 for a drug of abuse and has 30 games remaining to serve.

West made two starts and one relief appearance last summer for the Arizona League Brewers, compiling a 5.06 ERA.

There have been six suspensions this year under the minor league program.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2014 03:16 am
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CINCINNATI (AP) The Reds have agreed to a minor league deal with left-hander Jeff Francis, who pitched in their farm system during the 2012 season.

The 33-year-old starter split time between the rotation and the bullpen for Colorado last season. He made 12 starts and 11 relief appearances, going 3-5 with a 6.27 earned run average.

The Rockies made him a first-round pick - the ninth overall - in the June 2002 amateur draft. He has a career record of 70-78 with a 4.94 ERA. He pitched for Colorado in all but the 2011 season, when he was 6-16 with a 4.82 ERA in 31 starts with Kansas City.

The Reds signed him to a minor league deal for 2012. He spent two months at Triple-A Louisville before rejoining Colorado.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2014 03:16 am
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CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago White Sox have agreed to a minor league contract with pitcher Brian Omogrosso.

The right-hander appeared in 12 games last season with the White Sox, allowing 17 earned runs in 16 1-3 innings. He also made 10 appearances for Triple-A Charlotte.

The White Sox announced the move on Tuesday.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2014 03:18 am
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BALTIMORE (AP) Outfielder Delmon Young and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a minor league contract.

Young split time with Philadelphia and Tampa Bay last season, hitting a combined .260 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs in 103 games.

The 28-year-old, who will report to big league training camp, has played eight seasons in the majors. His best season was in 2010, when he batted .298 with 21 homers and 112 RBIs in 153 games for Minnesota.

He has a career batting average of .261, including .303 against left-handed pitchers.

Young could serve as the right-handed designated hitter, a role filled last year by Danny Valencia, who was traded to Kansas City last month.

Young was used exclusively in right field last season but has also played left field and center.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2014 05:48 pm
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Outfielder Nyjer Morgan, returning to Major League Baseball after a season in Japan, has reached agreement on a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians.

The deal includes an invitation to the team's big league spring training camp.

Morgan confirmed the signing in an email to ESPN.com on Tuesday. A source said that if Morgan makes the Indians' big league roster and reaches specified incentives, the total value of his contract would exceed $1 million.

Morgan, 33, is a .280 career hitter with 117 stolen bases in parts of six seasons with Pittsburgh, Washington and Milwaukee. His most productive season came in 2009, when he hit .307 with 42 steals for the Pirates and Nationals.

During his time in the majors, Morgan attracted a following and agitated opponents through his fast-talking, high-energy alter ego, "Tony Plush.'' He spent last year with the Yokohama DeNa BayStars, hitting .294 with 11 home runs in the Japan Central League.

Morgan is the second free-agent outfielder this month to sign a minor-league deal with Cleveland that comes with an invitation to big league camp. Last week the Indians added Jeff Francoeur, who split the 2013 season between Kansas City and San Francisco.

Michael Bourn, Michael Brantley and Ryan Raburn return from Cleveland's 2013 outfield. The Indians signed former Texas Rangers outfielder David Murphy to a two-year deal earlier this offseason.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2014 05:50 pm
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Reigning Cy Young Award winners Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers were among the 146 players who filed for salary arbitration Tuesday after being unable to work out long-term contract extensions with their teams.

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price, Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Mark Trumbo, Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters and first baseman Chris Davis, and Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann also filed.

Players are set to swap proposed salaries with their clubs Friday, and hearings will be scheduled for next month in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Kershaw, 25, is in his final season before free agency and could command a record deal for an arbitration-eligible player. With two Cy Young awards in the past three seasons and three straight ERA titles, Kershaw made $11 million last season. The last pitcher to win two Cy Young awards entering his final year of arbitration, Tim Lincecum, signed a two-year deal with the San Francisco Giants with an average annual value of $20 million.

The Dodgers haven't had a case reach arbitration since 2007.

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen and catcher A.J. Ellis also filed Tuesday. Jansen is eligible for arbitration for the first time. Ellis made $2 million in 2013 and is in his second season of eligibility.

The Dodgers figure to blow past the luxury tax threshold again and could break their own National League payroll record. After signing their three arbitration-eligible players, they will have 24 players under contract at a combined salary of more than $240 million.

Of the 133 players who filed last year, none went to hearings -- the first time since the process began in 1974 that every case settled. After peaking at 35 hearings in 1986, the number of cases argued hasn't reached double digits since 2001.

Players in arbitration averaged a 119 percent increase last year, according to a study by The Associated Press.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2014 05:51 pm
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Mark Mulder has been invited to spring training with the Los Angeles Angels, nearly six years after he last pitched in the major leagues.

The Angels announced a deal Tuesday with the 36-year-old Mulder and 18 additional non-roster invitees.

Mulder won 103 games over nine major league seasons with Oakland and St. Louis, including a 21-win season in 2001. The left-hander struggled with arm injuries and surgery over his final two campaigns with the Cardinals, throwing his most recent major league pitch on July 9, 2008.

Mulder worked as a television analyst before retooling his delivery and beginning a comeback attempt late last year.

He agreed to a deal two weeks ago with the Angels, hoping for a shot to earn a spot on their pitching staff in spring training.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2014 05:52 pm
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SAN DIEGO (AP) Seth Smith and the San Diego Padres have agreed to a $4.5 million, one-year contract to avoid arbitration.

The outfielder was acquired on Dec. 3 from the Oakland Athletics for right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson. Smith, a left-handed hitter, batted .253 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs last year.

His contract is not guaranteed.

With Tuesday's announcement, the Padres have six remaining players in arbitration: right-handers Andrew Cashner, Ian Kennedy and Tyson Ross; infielders Everth Cabrera and Chase Headley; and infielder-outfielder Kyle Blanks.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2014 05:53 pm
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HOUSTON (AP) Veteran infielder Cesar Izturis is among the 24 non-roster players the Houston Astros have invited to major league spring training.

Izturis was an All-Star in 2005. He hit .209 in with 11 RBIs in 63 games for Cincinnati last season.

Other free agent invitees are outfielder Adron Chambers, right-hander Peter Moylan and infielder Gregorio Petit.

Among the Houston minor leaguers invited to camp are 2012 top overall pick shortstop Carlos Correa, who is considered Houston's top prospect, and right-hander Mark Appel, the overall No. 1 pick last summer.

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