Quick Hits: Playoffs, La Russa, Ordonez, Wood

On this date in 2005, the Mets signed Carlos Beltran to a seven-year, $119MM contract. Beltran enjoyed some tremendous seasons and endured some difficult moments with the Mets, who traded him to San Francisco last summer. Here are today's links…

  • An extra wild card team is far from a sure thing for 2012, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark, as "big scheduling obstacles remain" to be worked out before baseball can expand its playoffs for this fall.
  • Tony La Russa has been "informally offered" Joe Torre's old job as MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations, reports USA Today's Bob Nightengale (via Twitter).  La Russa has given no indication that he is interested in the job. 
  • Magglio Ordonez intends to play in 2012, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. The free agent outfielder is making progress in his recovery from right ankle surgery.
  • Kerry Wood said on the Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN 1000 that there's "nothing new" to report on his near-deal with the Cubs.
  • Dan Johnson, the unlikely hero of the Rays’ exhilarating comeback in the final game of the regular season, tells Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he’s still looking for a job.
  • Dodgers scout Carl Loewnstine continues working as he battles bone cancer, Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes. Loewnstine will be honored this weekend at a banquet benefiting the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation in California.
  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and David Laurila of FanGraphs discussed the role of information in the decision making process of an MLB front office.
  • The Red Sox don’t expect to offer guaranteed deals to free agent pitchers, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. The asking price for Hiroki Kuroda and Roy Oswalt is dropping, but those pitchers aren’t likely to sign in Boston, Heyman writes.

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