Slow day here as the Super Bowl rapidly approaches. Let's take a look back at the top stories from the previous week:
- Tigers fans can rejoice, knowing that their ace is locked up for the next five years. Justin Verlander agreed to an extension that will pay him $80MM through the 2014 season. Verlander received slightly more than Felix Hernandez on what will be a backloaded contract that pays him $20MM per season over the final three years of the deal.
- Extension talks are in the works for perhaps the game's two best players; Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer are in the midst of trying to work out long-term deals of their own. The Cardinals aren't acknowledging their talks with the media, while the Mauer talks are said to be progressing well. We heard rumors of a possible ten-year contract for Mauer this week, though they were refuted soon after. Mark Reynolds is another player that's said to be discussing a multi-year deal.
- Reynolds' former teammate, Orlando Hudson, found a home this week when he signed a one-year, $5MM deal with the Twins. This will be the third team in three years for the O-Dog, who should solidify Minnesota's lineup nicely. Hudson turned down a one-year deal for less money with Washington, and a reported two-year deal with Cleveland for a chance to contend with the Twins. I was a little surprised to hear that Hudson turned down two years, but hey, who wouldn't want to bat in the middle of Denard Span, Joe Mauer, and Justin Morneau?
- As expected, it didn't take the Nationals long to react after missing out on Hudson. They'd been linked to Adam Kennedy previously, and the veteran infielder inked a one-year, $1.25MM contract with the club the next day.
- The Reds signed Orlando Cabrera to a one-year, $3.02MM deal this week. O-Cab will serve as an offensive upgrade to Paul Janish, but he'll need a bounceback year with the glove after posting a UZR/150 of -13.7 last season.
- Erik Bedard's two-year tenure in Seattle was injury-riddled and disappointing, but he'll have a chance to make up for it in 2010. The lefty signed a one-year, $1.5MM deal with the Mariners, which includes incentives that could add another $7MM or so to the total. Bedard won't be ready to open the season, but figures to be able to go in May. The M's also added Ryan Garko during the week.
- The Jays signed Kevin Gregg to a one-year, $2.75MM deal with two club options that could take the deal to $11.5MM total over three seasons. Gregg allowed 1.7 home runs per nine innings in 2009, second among all relievers with 60+ innings to Jensen Lewis. He'll likely need to improve that mark for Toronto to pick up the options. Unfortunately for Gregg, moving to the AL East isn't exactly the best place to go to achieve that goal.
- The Rockies signed Melvin Mora to a one-year deal worth $1.3MM. He'll fill a utility role for Colorado after playing third base exclusively for the past several seasons.
- The Padres are set to sign Yorvit Torrealba to a one-year, $1.25MM deal. Torrealba's deal has a mutual $3.5MM option for the 2011 campaign.
- The Reds and A's swapped some small, but still bad contracts at the beginning of the week, when Willy Taveras was sent to Oakland along with Adam Rosales in exchange for Aaron Miles and a PTBNL or cash. Miles never played a game for the A's, and Taveras was designated for assignment just hours after being acquired.
- Last but not least, talks on a two-year deal are not going well between the Giants and Tim Lincecum. It looks like the case will go to an arbitration hearing, and you've gotta figure that Lincecum has a pretty strong case. One way or the other, he seems likely to break the $10MM record for a first-year arbitration player, currently held by Ryan Howard.
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