Some afternoon links…
- Baseball America's Conor Glassey reports that Bryce Harper passed his GED exam, which will allow him to attend junior college next year and be eligible for the 2010 draft. Harper is the odds on favorite to go first overall.
- Now that they've taken care of third base and the bench, Andy Martino of The Philadelphia Inquirer says the Phillies will focus on their bullpen. He notes that GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is "intrigued by low-risk/high reward types," which is why the team recently kicked the tires on J.J. Putz. ESPN's Buster Olney mentions Brandon Lyon as a name to watch as well.
- Mark Feinsand of The NY Daily News has some hot stove related quotes from Yankees' manager Joe Girardi.
- Marlins' president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said "we're definitely going to be active" at the Winter Meetings next week, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia's recent winter ball injury (he felt tingling and numbness in his right arm) could making catching a priority for the Rangers next week, writes T.R. Sullivan on MLB.com.
- The Rays have released righty Ramon Ramirez, according to Marc Topkin of The St. Petersburg Times. Ramirez was claimed off waivers from the Reds back in early November.
- Dejan Kovacevic of The Pittsburgh Post Gazette says the Pirates are one of the teams interested in Bobby Crosby. This morning we learned that about six teams were interested in the former Rookie of the Year.
- SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that even though the Mets asked for his medical records, they are not going after Hideki Matsui.