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Tag:NL East
Posted on: December 22, 2011 7:11 pm
 

Logan Morrison: Fake Twitter reporter

By Matt Snyder

Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison is quite the character, and he's built a pretty big following on Twitter based mostly on his sense of humor. I'll say this, even if he's not always hilarious, he's definitely interesting. Thursday afternoon, Morrison decided to play a prank on his followers by "reporting" that "Prince to Seattle is a done deal." Screen-grab:



Obviously, Morrison wasn't serious -- as he later pointed out -- but even more obviously, a good amount of people believed him. My first thought when I saw the tweet was, "here we go, tons of people will believe him." Sure enough, a good amount did -- witness the "50+" retweets (though, in fairness, lots of them knew it was a joke). Still, chalk one up for Morrison on the prank front for today, as he achieved exactly what he wanted to.

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Posted on: December 22, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 10:15 pm
 

Gio Gonzalez traded to Nats for four prospects



By Matt Snyder


The Washington Nationals have landed left-handed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has confirmed. In return, the A's will receive a veritable killing that is usually reserved for an ace-type pitcher. Tommy Milone, Brad Peacock, Derek Norris and A.J. Cole are headed to Oakland's system in a trade that was first reported by ESPN.com. In fact, Peacock and Milone are probably going to be thrown into the A's starting rotation. UPDATE: CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reports that the Nationals will also get right-handed pitcher Robert Gilliam.

"It's 99 percent done," Gonzalez said (Associated Press). "It's pending a physical and I'm just waiting to hear from my agent."

On the Washington end, they are getting a 26-year-old lefty who isn't eligible to be a free agent until 2016. Gonzalez was 16-12 with a 3.12 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 202 innings last season for the A's. Of course, he also led the majors with 91 walks. Still, he's pretty tough to hit, holding opposing hitters to a .230 batting average and .336 slugging percentage last season.

With Gonzalez alongside Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, the Nationals have a formidable trio to lead their rotation for several years. Further, with John Lannan and Chien-Ming Wang -- and Ross Detwiler as insurance -- the Nats have a very strong rotation top to bottom. They are coming off their best NL East finish since the move to Washington -- third place -- as they'd previously finished in last place five times and fourth place once.

Gilliam, 24, appears to be a throw-in. He was 12-7 with a 5.04 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in High-A ball last season. He did strike out 8.5 batters per nine innings, though.

More Hot Stove
As for the A's, they are clearly rebuiling, just as we've known all winter. They already traded All-Star pitcher Trevor Cahill to the Diamondbacks and are still rumored to be close to trading closer Andrew Bailey.

This deal will go a long way toward setting up the future, and -- as I mentioned earlier -- Milone and Peacock probably step into the rotation with Brandon McCarthy and two others (Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden are still recovering from season-ending surgeries) immediately.

Milone is a 24-year-old left-hander. He was 12-6 with a 3.22 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 155 strikeouts in 148 1/3 innings in Triple-A last season. He was then promoted to the big-league club and made five starts, with decent success. He had a 3.81 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 26 innings with 15 strikeouts and four walks (and two of those were intentional).

Peacock was pretty dominant last season at three different levels. The 23-year-old right-hander started the season in Double-A, where he went 10-2 with a 2.01 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 129 strikeouts in 98 2/3 innings. He then struck out a batter per inning in Triple-A for nine starts and was moved up to the Nationals. In 12 big-league innings, Peacock only gave up seven hits and one run (0.75 ERA).

Norris, 22, is a high-on-base, power-hitting catcher. Last season, he hit just .210 but had a .367 on-base percentage with 20 home runs in Double-A. He also stole 13 bases and threw out 40 percent of would-be base-stealers.

Cole, 19, is a bit away from the bigs but has high upside according to many scouting services. The 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher went 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA for Class-A Hagerstown last year, but he also struck out 108 batters in 89 innings.

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Posted on: December 22, 2011 1:38 pm
 

Nats, Mets each make depth signing

By Matt Snyder

The Washington Nationals have agreed to sign utility infielder Mark DeRosa, pending physical, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has learned. Also in NL East news, the Mets announced via press release that they have signed catcher Rob Johnson to a minor-league contract.

DeRosa, 36, hit .279/.351/.302 in just 97 plate appearances last season for the Giants, as a serious wrist injury badly hampered him. He was a key cog in the Cubs' 2008 division championship and hit 23 home runs in 2009, but injuries and inconsistency have held DeRosa back since then. Still, he's said to be a great clubhouse guy and can still play three infield positions. Perhaps most importantly is first base, as DeRosa can back up Adam LaRoche -- who is returning from a season-ending injury -- and leave Michael Morse in left field. It's also conceivable that DeRosa could make spot starts at third to spell Ryan Zimmerman.

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Johnson, 28, hit a paltry .190 with a .544 OPS last season in 199 plate appearances for Padres. So he's a really poor hitter. There's a reason he keeps finding work, however, and that is because he works well with pitchers. He also threw out more than 35 percent of would-be base stealers in 2010 for the Mariners. As things currently stand, the Mets have Josh Thole slotted as the starting catcher, with Johnson competing for the backup job with guys like Mike Nickeas and Lucas May.

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Posted on: December 21, 2011 9:59 pm
 

Meet the Mets, step right up and buy the Mets

Mr. Met

By C. Trent Rosecrans

For $250 you can get a share in the NFL's Green Bay Packers, earning a nice little certificate and the right to call yourself a part owner of the Super Bowl champs. But for just $19,999,750 more, you can hang out with Mr. Met, and can you really put a price tag on that?

The Mets are searching for 10 or so minority partners to buy four-percent shares in New York's National League franchise for a paltry $20 million each.

The New York Times recently got the summary sheet for interested bidders and passed along the listed perks:

• Access to Mr. Met, although the terms of access are vague. For my $20 million, I want a night of debauchery in Las Vegas with Mr. Met -- nothing like a guy with a giant baseball head making it rain.

• A business card that says "owner." Of course, I already have one of those because you can get a whole box of 200 on the internet for $20 (just $20, not $20 million).

• An invitation to a "owner's workout day" so you can run around the bases at Citi Field. I did that once before too, but it was kid's day and they said I couldn't run the bases because I was too old, but I didn't listen and did it anyway. And it only cost me a $23 ticket from a scalper. 

• A parking spot. I don't really need it, I prefer to take the subway when I go to Citi Field.

• A chance to throw out a first pitch every year. From the field, not the stands as you curse out David Wright.

• A team executive that will help with tickets and other needs, although extra tickets may cost extra.

• Hot dogs, green grass all out at Shea, guaranteed to have a heck of a day. 

Presumably, you also get an invitation to the comedic stylings of the Wilpon family revue. Oh, and there are promises that an investor can get their money back after six years. Seriously, how could a financial deal with the Wilpons not work out? I know I'll be checking my piggy bank and see if I can maybe talk them into a cool looking certificate too. 

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Category: MLB
Posted on: December 21, 2011 2:56 pm
 

Former manager questions Marlins' moves

Edwin Rodriguez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Even before the Marlins signed Jose Reyes, the questions about Hanley Ramirez's willingness to move to third base were raised. And since Miami signed Reyes, those questions have remained unanswered.

There's been speculation, of course, but there's only been cryptic Twitter responses from Ramirez himself.

At this month's winter meetings in Dallas, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen did his best to put aside the rumblings that Ramirez would refuse to move from shortstop and create a problem -- "I only care about what Hanley says on Feb. 20, when we start spring training," Guillen said earlier this month. "I mean, from now on, people can say whatever."

One of the people saying "whatever" is former Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez, who spoke to MLB Network Radio on Wednesday about Ramirez and third base.

"I think it's going to be [a] very interesting situation to say the least," Rodriguez told Jim Memolo and Todd Hollandsworth (via the Sun Sentinel). "Knowing Hanley, he's a very proud player. It's going to be very hard for him to move out of shortstop. He's a big league shortstop. He's an All-Star shortstop. In my opinion I think they are going to have a tough time trying to convince him to move to third base. Even if he does that, move to third base, beginning of the season, I think it's going to be very interesting to watch how everything develops, how Reyes takes the front pages and how the people start talking about the All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes. It will be very interesting to see how Hanley will handle all that."

Rodriguez, also said he thought it was a mistake to sign Reyes instead of using that money to increase the offer to Albert Pujols.

That said, Rodriguez, who will manage in the Indians' minor-league system next year, said he believed the Marlins were approaching Ramirez's move the right way and if Ramirez buys in, it would be a successful move.

Ramirez backed Rodriguez before the Marlins replaced him with Jack McKeon.

Ramirez will be 28 on Friday, which is the same age Alex Rodriguez was when he traded from Texas to the Yankees. As good as Ramirez is, he's not as good as Rodriguez or as good defensively as Reyes. At some point, you'd hope he'd just set aside his pride and play the position that gives his team the best chance to win. With Reyes on board, that's third base.

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Posted on: December 20, 2011 1:23 pm
 

Mets, Rockies discussing possible Young trade

By Matt Snyder

The Colorado Rockies are discussing a trade with the New York Mets that would ship Eric Young Jr. to New York, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has learned.

Young, 26, hit .247/.342/.298 for the Rockies last season. Yes, that's a slugging percentage of less than .300, which is abysmal. Young does have great speed, though, as he stole 27 bases in 31 attempts. Unless the Rockies trade Seth Smith, Young is stuck as the Rockies' fifth outfielder, so dealing him could mean they keep Smith as the extra outfielder behind Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer. Smith could then start when Cuddyer spells Todd Helton at first.

Young's fit on the Mets would appear to be as the fourth outfielder and also insurance for newly-acquired center fielder Andres Torres, who struggled last season. Fernando Martinez is also in house, but the New York Post reports the Mets are considering shopping the formerly-hyped prospect.

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Posted on: December 20, 2011 12:40 pm
 

Citizens Bank Park undergoing makeover

By Matt Snyder

Inspired by colleague Brian Stubits' post about the awesome mask Philadelphia Flyers' goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (and I thought Rzepczynski was hard to spell) is going to wear for the 2012 NHL Winter Classic, I decided to grab some pictures of the transformation going on at Citizens Bank Park. This is all being done in preparation for the game between the Flyers and the New York Rangers on New Year's Day.

For more on the actual Winter Classic, make sure to head on over to Eye On Hockey. We'll just stick to the stadium, as this is a baseball blog.

Here's a view from the first-base side of the stadium. The rectangle in the middle that isn't yet covered is where the actual action will happen in the Winter Classic.



This appears to be the press box view, where you can get a look at all the changes, including the temporary seating being added to center field.



An even higher view, which is pretty breathtaking. Again, that free rectangle along the upper half of the infield is where the ice will be set and the action will take place.



And the view from the right-field corner.



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Posted on: December 20, 2011 11:45 am
 

Wade re-joins Phillies, prepared for backlash

By Matt Snyder

Former Phillies and Astros general manager Ed Wade is back with the Phillies, this time in a scouting capacity. He will be a major- and minor-league scout while also helping with arbitration cases, the team announced Tuesday.

But that's not really why we're writing about it. No, this story is only interesting because of a quote from Wade.

"I'm prepared for the remarks that I only traded with the Phillies so [Phillies general manager] Ruben [Amaro, Jr.] would give me a job if I got fired," Wade said (Zachary Levine via Twitter).

Now that's funny. Does Wade listen to Houston sports talk radio or read message boards? Sure sounds like it.

Wade is close friends with Amaro -- in fact, Philly.com notes Wade is the Godfather to one of Amaro's daughters, but that hasn't been the problem for Astros fans. Wade has also traded Brad Lidge, Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence to the Phillies over the past several seasons in three different trades, making it kind of a running joke amongst many baseball fans.

Hey, at least Wade is ready to take the flack.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com