#orioles deal with Grant Balfour in serious jeopardy due to issues with physical that a source said "need to be resolved."
CBSSports.com "In a trade/free-agent market with some very good starting pitchers but only one ace unless you really think Chris Sale, Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels will be traded (I don't) or Japanese superstar Masahiro Tanaka will post (that's apparently pretty iffy, too, at least at the moment), you'd have to..." December 19
Hardball Talk "We heard back in October that the Phillies had offered former manager Charlie Manuel a job to stay with the organization. While the 70-year-old was still hoping to land another managerial job elsewhere, with the Tigers’ vacancy mentioned as one possibility, nothing ever came of it. According to..." December 19
Foxsports.com "Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy joined "The Buzz" podcast Wednesday and said there's a chance that MLB pitchers could have the option of wearing special protective headgear as early as the 2014 season. He said the headgear would look like a hat but would be able to protect a..." December 19
Fort Worth Star-Telegram "An estimated 300 fans stood in line Wednesday night in southwest Fort Worth for what might be their final glance at Nelson Cruz. The free-agent outfielder hopes he and the Texas Rangers can find an agreement that would keep him swinging for the fences at Rangers Ballpark, but didn’t seem..." December 19
Chicago Tribune "Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro had $3.6 million seized from his bank accounts Wednesday for refusing to pay 3 percent of his contract to a baseball school in the Dominican Republic, according to published reports. Castro’s father, Diogenis Castros, reportedly signed the agreement with..." December 19
#Royals are at payroll limit, so chances of bringing back Ervin Santana on 1-year deal are remote even if his price dropped.
New York Times "Less than two days after the highly sought Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka said he wanted to pitch in Major League Baseball next season, there was still no definitive word from his team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, whether it would let him leave. But on Thursday morning, several Japanese..." December 19
Cleveland Plain Dealer "The Indians officially announced the signing of right-hander John Axford on Thursday to a one-year $4.5 million deal. The two sides agreed on the deal Monday, but Axford needed to pass a physical. Axford, 30, will be the Indians closer even though he spent much of last season as a set-up man..." December 19
CBSSports.com "The White Sox and left-hander Scott Downs have agreed to a one-year contract worth $4M or so with a vesting option for 2015, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has confirmed. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says the vesting option could raise the total value to $8 million. Downs, 37, had a 2.49 ERA (155..." December 19
New York Daily News "Gary Sheffield made plenty of money during his career, but the slugger believes the value of playing in a stacked lineup might outweigh the almighty dollar. That’s why Sheffield believes Robinson Cano could ultimately regret his decision to bolt the Bronx for Seattle, where he signed with the..." December 19
New York Post "The words haven’t changed. “No matter what happens this winter, he’s going to come in and compete for that position,” Brian Cashman, the Yankees’ general manager, said of David Robertson and the team’s closer spot. The actions, however? Or to be more precise, the inaction? Those speak quite..." December 19
CSN Bay Area "The narrative of the A’s quest for a new ballpark took yet another twist Wednesday. Citing “knowledgable sources,” the East Bay Express reported that Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber are interested in buying the A’s and building a waterfront ballpark in Oakland at the Howard Terminal..." December 19
Dallas Morning News "It will be working Christmas for Texas Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison. But he considers it a gift, nonetheless. Harrison, whose 2013 season included more surgeries (three) than major league starts (two), will return to the pitching mound next week for the first time since he underwent a..." December 19
CSN Philly "A couple of interesting names are among the latest batch of players signed to minor-league contracts by the Phillies and invited to major-league spring training camp. Catcher Lou Marson, who was drafted by the Phillies in 2004 and traded to Cleveland in a package for Cliff Lee in 2009, has..." December 19
True Blue L.A. "Per MLB calculations, the Dodgers had the second-highest payroll in baseball in 2013, less than $150,000 shy of the Yankees. The Dodgers last week got hit with a competitive balance tax bill for the first time, and will have to pay roughly $11.4 million for their 2014 payroll, per the..." December 18
Baseball America "Another one of Cuba’s best players has left the island, the latest in a wave of defections that isn’t expected to slow down. Rusney Castillo, a 26-year-old center fielder who had been one of the top players in Cuba, has left the country to pursue a contract with a major league team, Baseball..." December 18
Yahoo! Sports "Superagent Scott Boras does some of his finest work in the latter stages of free agency. And in the case of Shin-Soo Choo, he faces yet another challenge in a career built on slaying them: find Choo a contract for the $140 million the New York Yankees offered him even after they signed Jacoby..." December 18
MLB Trade Rumors "Doumit, who will turn 33 on April 3, is coming off a down season in which he batted .247/.314/.396 and dealt with concussion issues late in the year. However he's just one year removed from a strong .275/.320/.461 showing with a career-high 18 homers for the Twins. Though he's not considered a..." December 18
Eric Chavez has deal with dbacks
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Brewers have interest in aging free agent Michael Young as a possible option for their void at first base. Rosenthal reports the Dodgers, Nationals and Rockies also are "in the mix" for Young. What gives credence to this report is the former..." December 18
Rotoworld "The 29-year-old Guzman has split time between first base and corner outfield in recent years, owning a career .259/.324/.418 line over four seasons with the Padres. Jackson changes teams after being claimed off waivers from the Cardinals by the Astros earlier this offseason. The infielder slashed..." December 18
MLB Trade Rumors "The Rockies have acquired left-hander Franklin Morales from the Red Sox in exchange for infielder Jonathan Herrera, according to Ian Browne and Thomas Harding of MLB.com (Twitter link). In a second tweet, Harding adds that minor league right-hander Chris Martin is also headed to the..." December 18
CBSSports.com "To recap, the Oakland Athletics play in a rapidly deteriorating venue that attracts fans only on the basis of self-styled irony. A desired move to San Jose isn't going to happen any time soon because of the Giants' territorial claim to the area and because of MLB's unwillingness to force the..." December 18
Mariners showing continued interest in free agent Ervin Santana, sources say. @FOXSports1
Looks like Rakuten is not giving up on Tanaka. Hochi says they are going to offer him an $8m salary. http://t.co/PJRk1Cqa0U
CBSSports.com "The Angels and Raul Ibanez have agreed to a one-year contract, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The deal is worth $2.75 million with incentives that could push the total value to $5 million. Ibanez, 41, hit .242/.306/.487 (123 OPS+) with 29 home runs for the Mariners this past season. He..." December 18
Miami Herald "The Marlins have trotted out five different players as their primary third baseman since trading Miguel Cabrera in 2007. Casey McGehee will make it six. McGehee, a 31-year-old free agent who spent last season playing in Japan following five years in the majors, has agreed to a 1-year..." December 18
Sources: Joaquin Benoit deal with San Diego is done, pending physical.
Pittsburgh Tribune Review "The Pirates spoke to the Mets about trading for first baseman Ike Davis, a source told the Tribune-Review on Tuesday. Davis is a left-handed hitter who has shown a blend of power and on-base skills throughout his career. If acquired, he would presumably platoon with Gaby Sanchez at first..." December 18
Source: Cubs are interested in catcher Kurt Suzuki.
Lookout Landing "The Mariners are in desperate need of outfield depth, and reports are coming in that they've found it—or, at least, a buy-low option. The Mariners are on the cusp of re-signing Franklin Gutierrez to a one-year deal. In all likelihood, it's the deal Jason Bay received last year. There are likely..." December 18
Over The Monster "The official luxury tax penalties have been released, and, for the second year in a row, the Red Sox narrowly avoided going over the $178 million threshold. According to the Associated Press, the Sox finished 2013 $225,666 short, despite a series of mid-season additions both expensive and cheap...." December 18
San Francisco Chronicle "Imagine AT&T Park flanked by giant shipping cranes - that's pretty much the vision A's boosters have for a 38,000-seat ballpark at the Port of Oakland, just west of Jack London Square. The $500 million waterfront ballpark is being proposed by a team led by Clorox chairman and CEO Don Knauss and..." December 18
Rangers doing significant background work on Masahiro Tanaka. Have room for one significant expenditure. May slow movement on Shin-Soo Choo.
Kendrys Morales is being pursued by NL teams as well as AL teams, according to agent Scott Boras. @FOXSports1
Forbes.com "It was a very good year for Major League Baseball; as in historic. According to a source speaking on condition of anonymity, for 2013 MLB gross revenues will exceed $8 billion for the first time, ever. While exact figures were not revealed, baseball will end 2013 with revenues between $8-$8.5..." December 17
New York Post "Alex Rodriguez is about to seal a multimillion dollar deal for a tell-all book about his legal battle with MLB, with which he plans to lift the lid on the “full dirt of Major League Baseball’s tactics” he claims have been used against him. Sources exclusively tell Page Six that HarperCollins..." December 17
Balfour deal with #orioles: 2 years, $14 million with $500,000 deferred each year. Per source.
Baltimore Sun "The longest tenured Oriole looks like he has left for pinstripes. Veteran second baseman Brian Roberts, who has played his entire 13-year career with the Orioles and has been the face of the franchise through many of those seasons, has agreed to a one-year deal worth $2 million plus incentives..." December 17
CBSSports.com "With Monday's official announcement that Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball have agreed to a new posting system, the focus now shifts completely to whether or not phenom Masahiro Tanaka will be posted. We know his team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, want to keep him, though..." December 17
Hardball Talk "Matt Thornton, whose $6 million option for 2014 was declined by the Red Sox, has signed a two-year, $7 million deal with the Yankees according to Jack Curry of YES Network. After a five-year run as one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball Thornton showed some signs of slipping this..." December 17
Chicago Sun-Times "The White Sox on Monday traded closer Addison Reed to the Arizona Diamondbacks for third baseman Matt Davidson, a power-hitting prospect who will join a trio of other newly acquired players in what general manager Rick Hahn called a ‘‘new core’’ for the team. Davidson, 22, is considered a..." December 17
CSN Philly "The Phillies' entire roster is available for the right price, and as Buster Olney reminded on Monday, that includes shortstop Jimmy Rollins. The Phils shopped Rollins at the 2013 trade deadline but a move was never worked out, mostly because Rollins stated his desire to remain with the team..." December 17
Sources: Balfour close to joining #Orioles on two-year contract.