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MLB Rumors: Latest Buzz on Adrian Beltre, Rafael Soriano and Derrek Lee

The latest MLB rumors on Adrian Beltre, Rafael Soriano and Derrek Lee are here, and Bleacher Report has the inside track on where these players may be headed, for how many years and for how much. 

Beltre leads the class of remaining free agents, and although there are only a few teams reportedly in the sweepstakes, there may be a few dark-horse candidates that no one else is talking about.

As for Soriano, he represents the best remaining relief pitcher on the free-agent market, yet his name hasn’t appeared in many Hot Stove reports. While pitchers like Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler have found new homes, Soriano remains available.

Derrek Lee talks have heated up over the last week or so, and it appears he may be the closest to signing with a new team. 

All these discussions, speculations, predictions and more are in the latest addition of MLB Rumors.

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MLB Rumors: Are Adrian Beltre and Derrek Lee Ready To Cash In?

It has been an eventful 2010 off-season for Major League Baseball. Some of the league’s biggest names have changed uniforms, most notably Cliff Lee (back to the Phillies), Carl Crawford (Red Sox), Adrian Gonzalez (Red Sox) and Jayson Werth (Nationals). 

Of the remaining free agents, Adrian Beltre and Derek Lee seem to be the best position players still without a contract. Rumors are swirling all over the board as to the possible value of Beltre’s contract, and where Derek Lee will choose to play ball for the 2011 season. 

Besides Beltre and Lee, trade talks are ever-present, and prospective suitors also have other moves on the brain. Here are the most recent rumors, with speculation as to what they actually mean for Beltre, Lee, other free agents, and the teams involved.

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MLB Power Ranking: The 100 Best Players in Baseball History

Ranking the top 100 baseball players of all-time is no easy task. It’s hard to juggle players from the dead-ball era, the middle 20th century and modern times.

Even more complicated is how to rank players at different positions. Where do you place the game’s dominant closers? How about starting pitchers? No matter how lights-out they may be, they still sat on the bench for most of their teams’ games.

Then, of course, comes the prickly situation of cheating, whether proven, admitted or alleged. Should ballplayers be penalized for the use of performance-enhancing drugs? Corked bats? How about the spitball?

It all adds up to a lively debate that we encourage you to join as Bleacher Report presents The Top 100 Baseball Players of All Time.

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Jamie McCourt Wins L.A. Dodgers Divorce Case, So What Happens Next?

The Los Angeles Times reported this morning Jamie McCourt, estranged wife of Frank McCourt, has won the the divorce case, giving her the title of “partner” in ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

The case has dragged on through a series of court dates, mediations and appeals, before “Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon granted Jamie McCourt’s plea to throw out a 2004 marital agreement that would have left her without an ownership share in the Dodgers.”

The ruling breaks down this way: Jamie McCourt now has a percentage of the team and the organization as a whole becomes part of her financial assets.

When sifting through all the media reports, text, and politics of the matter, the basic principles are difficult to find. 

Frank McCourt will now have to pursue other legal avenues if he plans to contest his ex-wife in this matter, while Jamie will discuss what to do with her share of the team. It is unclear what motives Jamie has for the team, or if she will remain with the organization at all.

There is a possibility Jamie contested her lack of ownership because she sees a profitable investment from the venture as The Dodgers have had the second highest attendance number in Major League Baseball for years, right behind the Yankees and play in the countries second largest city. Winning her share of the team means she can either fight through legislation for years and profit from the income, or sell her stake of the team for one massive dollar amount to the highest bidder, or to Frank.

The ruling in favor of Jamie by no means ends the feud, or any problems the organization might run into during the upcoming years of litigation that is sure to follow. On the bright side, daily operations and payroll will not be immediately affected by this small resolution.

For example, Vicente Padilla was signed today to a one-year deal worth $2 million, pending a physical. Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said he planned to increase the payroll, and has done so. With just a couple tweaks of the existing roster, the Dodgers may be just fine while the small army of McCourt legislators handle the issue behind the scenes.

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Adam Dunn Signs with White Sox: LA Dodgers’ Free-Agent Power Options Diminishing

When the Winter Meetings begin on Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers front office will have already accomplished several of their objectives. General Manager Ned Colletti filled out the rotation by re-signing Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda before bringing back Jon Garland.

Following the starting rotation, Colletti turned his attention to second base, acquiring Juan Uribe with a three-year pact that sent waves through the free agent Hot Stove. In a corresponding move, Ryan Theriot was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for another bullet point on the GM’s list. The Dodgers received reliever-starter swing-man Blake Hawksworth, the inning-eater LA was targeting.

However, there are still two main concerns: A catcher with a broken hip and a power bat to complement the other two outfielders.

Many reports on the signing of Uribe stated the veteran second baseman is the solution to the Dodgers’ power search, but in 10 Major League seasons, he has never hit more than 24 home runs in a single season. Uribe is certainly a powerful infielder, but is he a considerable increase in production? 

With reports of Adam Dunn signing with the White Sox, legitimate power options seem to be drying up. Adrian Beltre is still on the market, but his price tag is well out of the Dodgers’ range. The team payroll is now over $100 million for 2011, and a three-year, $21M contract tendered to Uribe leaves little room for another blockbuster free-agent signing.

For this reason, it is possible the Dodgers will remain busy in the Winter Meetings. The gathering in Orlando will be the best time for LA to negotiate possible trades for a catcher or utility infielder. A power bat could also be found on another team’s roster. 

The Dodgers’ trade stock is not the highest it’s ever been, but there are still some moves to be made. If the Dodgers trade for an outfielder or a catcher, there are still a few options left on the free agent market, but those signings may also trigger trades.

Outfielder Johnny Damon is still available, and multiple sources say the Dodgers have increased interest in him. If the Boys in Blue were to land Damon, they would need to clear some payroll, which may trigger a Russell Martin sign-and-deal.

Colletti has said he wishes to retain Martin, but also voiced his concerns with the health of the workhorse backstop.

Yorvit Torrealba is off the market after a new contract with the Texas Rangers, but several other catchers remain free agents. The most attractive option is the return of Rod Barajas. The catcher’s agent has said Barajas wishes to test the market, but hasn’t ruled out returning to LA, and the Dodgers would likely welcome the homecoming.

It appears the team’s next move is hinging on the next 24 hours, as the deadline to sign arbitration-eligible players will pass. If the Dodgers choose to sign Martin, he may be capable of earning $6M, but the Dodgers would be more likely to sign him if that number comes down, with $4M being in the appropriate range.

Free agent catchers include Miguel Olivo, Benji Molina and AJ Pierzynski. If the Dodgers don’t tender Martin, one of these names could be coming to LA, and AJ Ellis would be considered a permanent backup. The likelihood of two AJs on the roster is slim, however, as Pierzynski’s agent has mentioned his client would like to remain in Chicago.

Stay tuned to Dodgerland in the next few days, the Dodgers just might make more moves before the meetings.

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Padilla and Barajas May Still Be Dodgers in 2011 Despite Arbitration Snub

According to the team website, the Dodgers declined to offer arbitration to veterans Vicente Padilla, Rod Barajas and Scott Podsednik, making them unrestricted free agents.

However, declining to offer a player arbitration is not a signal that the team is ready to move on. Multiple media outlets have reported the Dodgers remain in talks with all three players. General Manager Ned Colletti has mentioned several times that he is still very interested in resigning Padilla to fill out the remainder of the rotation.

Tops on the Dodgers’ agenda is finding a consistent backup for Russell Martin, should the young, workhorse catcher need additional breaks in the upcoming season. 

Another area of concern is the outfield, and it seems Podsednik may not be the answer in Los Angeles. It is possible that the team and the speedy outfielder are on different pages concerning length of contract and yearly salary.

The Dodgers believed the $2 million was a decent figure to offer, but Podsednik may see this off-season as a chance to find a contending team. The outfielder is no stranger to the free agent market, and has played for six teams in his ten-year Major League career.

Rumors from the Hot Stove says Padilla is seeking a multi-year deal in the range of $5-7M a season. That estimated figure is slightly higher than the Dodgers’ estimated price range. Typically, during the free agent period looks similar to a pawn shop in several ways: Both sides are offering amounts higher than they expect to get, the media attempts to ballpark the information for the public.

When both sides exchange numbers, both sides typically attempt to meet in the middle if common interest remains in the venture. As negotiations continue, Padilla will test the market to see if another team has more to offer before deciding where to play next season.

Padilla still has a decent chance of playing in Dodger Blue next season, as he is not viewed as a Type A free agent. Due to nagging injuries, Padilla may be seen as a risk to other teams.

For Barajas, a late-season spark of offense may be attractive to other teams, and he most likely fares a slightly better chance on the free agent market. He will likely find a back-up role in the National League, and talks will certainly heat up between the Dodgers and the veteran.

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Dodgers’ Musical Bases: Weighing Five LA Second Baseman Possibilities for 2011

One of the main concerns for GM Ned Colletti and the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason is finding a permanent solution for second base. For Dodgers fans, the last few seasons have been confusing in the middle infield, as several journeyman veterans and utility players have stepped in, taking turns manning the right side of the infield.

The upcoming season appears to be heading in the same direction. However, it is also possible with major names on the free agent market, the Dodgers will be able to sign a solid fielder with a productive bat to a multi-year deal.

With the future beyond the 2011 season in mind, let’s examine the possibilities of a second baseman with stability-type qualities for the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Also check out: One Spot Left: Should the LA Dodgers Sign Vicente Padilla or Brandon Webb?

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One Spot Left: Should the LA Dodgers Sign Vicente Padilla or Brandon Webb?

As the Hot Stove heats up and the weather cools down, names are flying around like bugs on Joba Chamberlain. 

Among the more notable ideas is the Dodgers’ interest in Brandon Webb. Los Angeles has already re-signed Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda to new contracts, leaving just one spot left in what could be a very solid starting rotation.

So far, early returns suggest the rotation will look something like this: Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda and either Vicente Padilla or Brandon Webb.

The Dodgers appear close to signing Webb, as there is a significant difference between the dollar figure and years Padilla is looking for and what LA is willing to offer.

Looking at the two pitchers side-by-side, there are small pros, and major cons for both.

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NL MVP Predictions: Move Over Pujols, Carlos Gonzalez Will Be 2010 MVP

It’s time to usher in a new player to the league’s elite, and he may just be Major League Baseball’s biggest secret.

Carlos Gonzalez finished the 2010 season with numbers that far and away defeat those of past MVPs, but did anyone notice? They should have, because he’s for real. Gonzalez may have topped Albert Pujols this season, and voters should take notice.

As the MVP voting heats up, here are three reasons why Carlos Gonzalez should come out on top.

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LA Dodgers’ Dark Horse Winter: 5 Potential Unexpected Additions for Next Year

This offseason marks a turbulent time for Major League Baseball, as several key names around the league are free agents, and many of them have already begun the steps towards a new team and a new beginning. 

By now, experts and analysts everywhere are already buzzing about the possibilities of blockbuster trades and big-name free agent signings.

Los Angeles Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has leaked to the media his plan to add starting and relief pitching, and maybe acquire a power bat if the price is right.

With this in mind, let’s explore the possibilities no one is talking about.

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