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Countdown to Spring Training: 10 Players Who May Show Up to Camp Out of Shape

As the football season begins to wind down, the 2011 MLB season is right around the corner with Spring Training beginning in mid-February.  

With many interesting signings during the offseason, some of the league’s most dominant players have decided to switch cities and play for another organization, such as Rafael Soriano and Cliff Lee.  

As Spring Training is quickly approaching, take a look at 10 players who are the most likely to show up to camp out of shape.


* Stats compiled from ESPN

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Kansas City Royals Send Zack Greinke to Milwaukee Brewers for Multiple Prospects

Once it was announced that Cliff Lee was signing with the Philadelphia Phillies, Zack Greinke began to receive the most attention among pitchers, with various teams attempting to acquire the 2009 Cy Young winner.

ESPN’s Buster Olney has reported that Greinke has been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, early Sunday morning, for outfielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar and pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress.  Royals shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt is also expected to be involved in the trade, along with $2 million.

Greinke was drafted sixth overall in 2002 and won the AL Cy Young in 2009 after pitching to a 16-8 record with a 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts.  If this deal does indeed go through, the Brewers pitching rotation will consist of Randy Wolf, Chris Narveson, Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke.

The deal is not yet official, awaiting pending physicals and approval from commissioner Bud Selig.  

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MLB: Magglio Ordonez Signs One-Year, $10 Million Contract With Detroit Tigers

A baseball source close to ESPN has confirmed that Magglio Ordonez and the Detroit Tigers have reached an agreement to a one-year, $10 million contract.  

Back in October, Detroit declined Ordonez’s $15 million option, but the team stated that they would want Magglio to return if he successfully recovered from a season-ending ankle injury that occurred in July of last year.

Earlier this offseason, the Tigers spent $66.5 million to sign catcher Victor Martinez and relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit.  Infielders Brandon Inge and Jhonny Peralta have also re-signed with Detroit, making this offseason quite successful so far.  

In 84 games last season, Magglio Ordonez hit .303 with 12 home runs, 59 RBIs, and 56 runs scored.  Throughout his 13-year MLB career, Ordonez has recorded 2,072 hits, 289 home runs, 1,204 RBIs, 92 stolen bases, and a batting average of .312.

It is expected for Magglio Ordonez to return to right field in the 2011 season for the Detroit Tigers. Ordonez’s agent, Scott Boras, told The Detroit News, “Magglio is very loyal to Mike Ilitch(Tigers owner) and very happy to be coming back to Detroit.  All parties came together to make this happen.”  

Boras could not reveal if Ordonez received multiple-year offers from other organizations, but he did confirm that there was some increased interest by other teams which were offering more money than Detroit.

With some extremely valuable and talented free agents still remaining, the Tigers may continue searching for more weapons to add to their already impressive roster.

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MLB Rumors: Nationals Trade Josh Willingham to Oakland A’s For Two Young Players

It has been reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney that the Washington Nationals have agreed to a trade that would send outfielder Josh Willingham to the Oakland Athletics for two young players, one of which has some major league experience.

The two players are currently unidentified, but a source in Oakland had confirmed earlier today that there were serious talks surrounding the Athletics’ interest in Willingham. Prior to the winter meetings, there were multiple sources claiming that Willingham would indeed be traded before the 2011 season and apparently those sources were accurate.

Josh had high hopes of signing a multi-year contract extension with the Nationals, but now he must move on to another city. The Oakland A’s weren’t the only organization interested in Willingham. It has been reported that three or four teams have also showed some type of interest in the 31-year-old outfielder during the winter meetings.

The complete terms of this deal are currently disclosed, pending the physicals of all three players involved. There is only one year left on Willingham’s current contract, and a re-negotiation has yet to be discussed. If a new contract is not agreed to, then Willingham can become a free agent after the 2011 season.

Last season with the Washington Nationals, Willingham played in 114 games, hitting .268 with 16 home runs, 56 RBI’s, and eight stolen bases in 370 at-bats. He missed the final month and a half of play due to a knee injury.

Oakland adds some more fire power to their lineup after acquiring designated hitter Hideki Matsui earlier this week.

An announcement regarding the complete details of this trade may be made as early as Thursday night.  

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Derek Jeter: the New York Yankees Would Not Be the Same Without No. 2

Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees have been in negotiations for some time now, with disagreements on both ends.  Jeter is already an all-time Yankee great who feels like he deserves more than the Yankees have offered.

The Yanks offered Jeter a three-year, $45 million contract, which has led to a lot of headlines in the media.  Jeter believes that he has done a lot for this franchise and would like more years and more money. 

This is a concern for general manager Brian Cashman because he, along with the Yankee organization, has some questions about Jeter’s current and future performance. 

Jeter is turning 37 in June and did not perform to his usual standards last season, batting a career-low of .270, leading many to believe that he is approaching the final breath of his productive career.  However, I find that hard to believe. 

Jeter would not want to come back, requesting more than three years at that, if he was not confident in his game and did not think he could recover after a disappointing season.

Co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner told the Associated Press this past Tuesday:

“As much as we want to keep everybody, we’ve already made these guys very, very rich, and I don’t feel we owe anybody anything monetarily.  Some of these players make more than their bosses.” 

Steinbrenner went on to say:

“Negotiating is always a process…I know he wants to stay.  It’s going to come down to what’s fair for everybody considering all circumstances.”

This may be true but the Yankees must consider what this would to do the image of their franchise.  Right now Jeter is the centerpiece of this organization, loved by Yankee fans and respected by all.  If things don’t work out and Jeter doesn’t re-sign with New York, the Yankees would just not be the same.

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