Spring Training is in the air at last... let's run down the last seven days as baseball sneaks up on us:
- The Rangers and reigning AL MVP Josh Hamilton agreed to terms on a two-year, $24MM contract buying out his final two years of arbitration eligibility. Like his NL counterpart Joey Votto, Hamilton's deal doesn't delay his free agency.
- More drama circulated around Hamilton's teammate, Michael Young, who has requested to be traded. As of Thursday, it sounds like Young isn't going anywhere though. We know the Rangers reportedly lost one trade partner when the Rockies backed out of negotiations on Tuesday.
- We saw two arbitration cases go to hearings this week: Ross Ohlendorf beat the Pirates to earn a $2.025MM contract, while Jered Weaver lost his hearing to the Angels who will pay the 2011 strikeout king $7.365MM.
- The Indians signed Orlando Cabrera to a Major League deal; he'll compete for the team's second base job where he'd pair with another Cabrera (Asdrubal) up the middle if he succeeds.
- The Orioles avoided arbitration with a couple of players, agreeing to a one-year deal with Jeremy Guthrie and also with Luke Scott. Guthrie will earn $5.75MM while Scott will get a $6.4MM payday.
- The Dodgers avoided arbitration with James Loney, agreeing to a one-year deal that will pay the first baseman $4.875MM.
- Jose Bautista set a deadline for his extension talks, stating that he wouldn't discuss a new deal after his arbitration hearing on Monday.
- Speaking of deadlines, Albert Pujols set his for the Cardinals at Feb. 16. As of Friday, word was that the chances of an extension before the season were nearly nonexistent.
- We learned this week that Edinson Volquez rejected a four-year extension from the Reds, while the Brewers re-opened their negotiations on a long-term deal for Rickie Weeks.
- Having already traded Mike Napoli, the Blue Jays are also interested in dealing the other half of their return for Vernon Wells -- Juan Rivera.
- Add Michael Bourn to the ever-growing list of Scott Boras clients. The Houston center fielder switched agents on Friday.
- International signings this week saw the Nationals ink a pair of Dominican prospects and six other teams sign international free agents as well. Also, the Red Sox are nearing a minor league deal with Japanese lefty Itsuki Shoda.
- Some of this week's minor league signings included Casey Fossum with the Mets, Manny Delcarmen with the Mariners, and Luis Ayala with the Yankees, who also voided their deal with Luis Vizcaino. Vizcaino tore his Achilles Tendon in Winter ball. Check our Transactions section for all the minor moves this week.
- Bengie Molina is talking to a couple of unnamed teams about playing in 2011, but the 36-year-old World Series veteran is still undecided about whether or not he'll play.
Cardinals Extend Matt Carpenter Diamondbacks To Sign Oliver Perez Nationals Sign Mike Gonzalez Rick Ankiel To Retire Rangers Sign Joe Saunders Indians Acquire Justin Sellers, Designate David Cooper Guillermo Mota Retires Braves To Sign Yenier Bello Athletics Acquire Jake Elmore Carl Pavano Retires Yankees Extend Brett Gardner Yankees Agree To Terms With Andrew Bailey Giants Sign Tyler Colvin Orioles Sign Nelson Cruz Red Sox Sign Chris Capuano Braves Extend Andrelton Simmons Reds Extend Homer Bailey Braves Extend Frank Wren, Fredi Gonzalez Orioles Sign Ubaldo Jimenez Dempster Won't Pitch In 2014 Braves Extend Craig Kimbrel
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