Jason Giambi has a broken rib

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Whatever chance Jason Giambi had of making the Indians’ active roster out of spring training is gone now, as the veteran designated hitter suffered a broken rib from being hit by a pitch Friday.

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealerreports that Giambi is expected to be sidelined for 3-4 weeks and he was already no sure thing to make the team on a minor-league contract, although this does provide an opportunity for the Indians to simply place him on the disabled list and put off a 25-man roster decision until later.

Giambi is extremely popular in the Indians’ clubhouse and has been viewed as sort of a player/coach for a while now, but he hit just .183 with a .653 OPS in 71 games last season and wasn’t much better in 2012.

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Yankees agree to a four-year, $52 million contract extension with outfielder Brett Gardner

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

From Jack Curry of the YES Network comes word that the Yankees are on the verge of signing outfielder Brett Gardner to a four-year, $52 million contract extension. The deal, which will officially begin in 2015, also includes a $12.5 million club option (or $2 million buyout) for the 2019 season.

Gardner was arbitration-eligible for the third and final time this winter, so the new contract covers four years of free agency (with a possible fifth).

Gardner, 30, batted .273/.344/.416 with 24 steals and 81 runs in 145 games last year for New York.

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UPDATE, 1:51 p.m. ET: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that it’s a done deal.

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A.J. Burnett isn’t retiring and is open to leaving the Pirates

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

For the past several months the assumption has been that A.J. Burnett would either retire or return to pitch for the Pirates, with calling it a career at age 37 seemingly being in the lead of late.

However, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review the free agent right-hander “will return to pitch in 2014″ and “will be open to pitching for a club other than the Pirates.”

As both Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez would attest to the free agent pitching market was already very well-stocked for this late in the offseason and Burnett was one of the best starters in the NL last season, throwing 191 innings with a 3.30 ERA and 209 strikeouts.

It’ll be interesting to see if teams are willing to make a multi-year commitment for big money and/or if Burnett is even looking for multiple years considering he apparently gave strong consideration…

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Baseball Hall of Fame Voting: The Writers Need to be Benched

Originally posted on Nicole Capone:

By Nicole Capone

Sportswriters are currently involved in the voting process for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but I think they should be kept out of it.

The rules state that only active and honorary members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, who have been active baseball writers for at least ten years, shall be eligible to vote. They must have been active as baseball writers and members of the Association for a period beginning at least ten years prior to the date of election in which they are voting.

It is clear that if a writer has been writing for the sport for at least ten years, they know what they are talking about. They also have to know the game very well after ten or more years. But, just like any other person out there, a writer would eventually come to form opinions on players and pick…

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KMADD Moda ~ Baseball Tee RINGER

Originally posted on Roy Mildor:

KMADD Moda ~ Baseball Tee RINGER

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No unpacking needed – this product is ready to wear! Try the DEMO today.

KMADD uses Standard Sizing (XS, S, M, L, XL) – please check note card and wear alpha for the best fit.

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R.B.I. Baseball will return in 2014

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

R.B.I. Baseball was the most popular baseball video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was not the best baseball game for the NES — that title belongs to Baseball Stars — but R.B.I. had player name licensing from the MLBPA and came out with yearly editions so it flourished over Stars and the also-under-appreciated Bad News Baseball and Bases Loaded during the late 80s and early 90s.

Now all you millions of R.B.I. Baseball fans get to take another ride. MLBAM, the league’s interactive media wing, has announced a spring launch for an R.B.I. Baseball reboot on all current-generation consoles and mobile devices. There isn’t much more information yet — only a Twitter feed, a one-page website and a logo — but the game is coming and will be the first attempt at a console product for the MLBAM folks.

We’ll assume that the R.B.I. Baseball 2014 presentation…

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Indians ink Nyjer Morgan to minor league contract

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Indians have reached agreement on a minor league contract with free agent outfielder Nyjer Morgan. He will be a non-roster invitee to major league camp this spring.

Morgan spent the entire 2013 season playing for the Yokohoma Bay Stars of Nippon Professional Baseball and posted a promising .294/.361/.434 batting line with 11 home runs and 50 RBI in 108 games. He hit just .239/.302/.308 with three homers and 16 RBI in 122 games for the Brewers in 2012.

The 33-year-old will be battling for a bench job with the Tribe.

If he makes the Opening Day roster, Morgan can earn more than $1 million.

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MLB needs to assure the players that the A-Rod case does not set a new precedent

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

[nbcsports_video src=http://vplayer.nbcsports.com/p/BxmELC/nbcsportsembed/embed/select/IB9XlD9G8rGb width=620 height=381]

Everyone is squawking about MLB officials going on “60 Minutes” last night. I don’t think it’s the biggest thing in the world. It’s unseemly for MLB to basically take a victory lap like that, but I doubt they would have if A-Rod and his lawyers hadn’t been pulling those kinds of stunts themselves. Which, of course, followed many MLB leaks and things going back months. No one is covered with glory when it comes to the discretion angle of this nearly year-long affair.

That said, it’s possible to view MLB’s willingness to make a public case like this as an extension of their willingness to break with the automatic penalties of the Joint Drug Agreement that I described on Saturday. Dispensing with the clearly-delineated penalties of the JDA and grabbing a Commissioner’s discretion to suspend for hundreds of games in a first offense. Making P.R…

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A-Rod sues Major League Baseball and the MLBPA in an effort to get his suspension overturned

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

We knew it was coming and here it is: Alex Rodriguez sued Major League Baseball and its players’ union Monday, seeking to overturn his 162-game suspension. The best part: as part of his suit, he had to attach the arbitrator’s decision from which he appeals. We’ll be going through it here at HBT soon and finding all the fun bits. The takeaway from arbitrator Horowitz, however?

“While this length of suspension may be unprecedented for a MLB player, so is the misconduct he committed,” Horowitz wrote in his decision Saturday.

The claims against the union revolve around A-Rod’s contention that it “completely abdicated its responsibility to Mr. Rodriguez to protect his rights” and “this inaction by MLBPA created a climate in which MLB felt free to trample” on Rodriguez’s confidentiality rights.

Read the full complaint here

As we’ve said before, the likelihood of A-Rod getting the arbitrator’s decision overturned is low

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Orioles sign Delmon Young

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Eddie A. Encina of the Baltimore Sunreports that the Orioles have signed Delmon Young to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Young hit .260/.307/.407 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI over 103 games last season between the Phillies and Rays. The 28-year-old owns an underwhelming .705 OPS dating back to 2011.

The Orioles have been very quiet this offseason, so they still have questions between the DH spot and left field. Young has enjoyed success against left-handed pitching during his career, so he could carve out a place for himself on the Opening Day roster assuming no significant additions are made between now and spring training.

UPDATE: According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, Young will receive a $1 million salary if he makes the Orioles and can earn an additional $750,000 with incentives.

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