Quick Hits: Wilson, Allen, Swisher, Maholm, Tigers

Ten years ago today, the Angels signed Alberto Callaspo as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela. He spent four years in their farm system before being traded to the Diamondbacks for Jason Bulger. After a stint with the Royals, Callaspo ended up back with the Halos following a mid-summer trade last year.

Here are today's batch of links…

  • MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith appeared on this week's edition of the Beyond The Box Score Podcast, so head on over and give it a listen.
  • C.J. Wilson told MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan that he's not thinking about his upcoming free agency, mentioning that the Rangers has never offered him a long-term deal.
  • The Russell Branyan signing seems to indicate that the Diamondbacks don't see Brandon Allen as a fit anymore, says Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic (Twitter links). He adds that Arizona gauged Allen's trade value at the winter meetings, and he's heard that the Rays were high on him in the past.
  • Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher said he and former agent Joe Bick "just grew apart," which is why he signed on with Dan Lozano recently, reports Ken Davidoff of Newsday.
  • Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm that he's not a fan of performance-based incentives because of the uncertainty they create.
  • Paul Maholm told Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he's willing to discuss an extension with the Pirates, which pleasantly surprised GM Neal Huntington. "Paul's done some good things for this organization," said the GM. "We'll give it due consideration." The team holds a $9.75MM club option for Maholm's services in 2012 after he earns $5.75MM in 2011.
  • John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press points out that there is no dead weight on the Tigers' $105MM payroll. Detroit paid close to $24MM for Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis last season, who gave them 43 1/3 IP with a 4.98 ERA (all by Willis).
  • Larry Stone of The Seattle Times spoke to Yankees GM Brian Cashman about last summer's near trade for Cliff Lee. Cashman said he's glad he didn't agree to Seattle's revised offer after seeing Lee sign with Philadelphia. "Now I'm like, I've got one of the premier hitting talents here, and I didn't have a two-month rental," said the GM, referring to top prospect Jesus Montero.

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