December 21, 2014

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Baseball: Twins may keep Santana after all

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Minnesota general manager Bill Smith maintained Wednesday that Johan Santana could wind up with a surprise team in 2008: the Twins themselves.
Smith said he didn`t feel obligated to trade the two-time Cy Young Award winner just because he could walk away for nothing at the end of next season. Instead, Minnesota could try to keep him and make another attempt to re-sign him.
“I`ve said all along it`s our first choice,” Smith said. “We`d love to have him. We`d love to keep him.”
The fate of the Twins` ace has dominated baseball`s winter meetings at the Opryland Hotel this year. New York Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said his team had ended its pursuit, leaving Minnesota to decide whether to accept an offer from the Boston Red Sox that would include Jon Lester or Jacoby Ellsbury and a package of prospects.
The Mets also have told the Twins they remain interested.
Big deal is done
The Tigers and Marlins completed their blockbuster trade, an eight-player swap that sent All-Stars Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from Florida to Detroit.
The Marlins received a package of six players, including two highly rated prospects: left-hander Andrew Miller and outfielder Cameron Maybin. The teams reached a preliminary agreement Tuesday, with the deal subject to both sides being satisfied after exchanging medical records.
“Wow. Those moves put us over the top,” Detroit closer Todd Jones wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
The Tigers also sent catcher Mike Rabelo and right-handers Burke Badenhop, Eulogio De La Cruz and Dallas Trahern to Florida in a huge deal that developed quickly and took the spotlight away from the Johan Santana sweepstakes at baseball`s winter meetings.
Brewers add Riske
Free agent reliever David Riske agreed to a $13 million, three-year contract with Milwaukee, moving to the Brewers after an effective season with Kansas City.
The Brewers made a deal with Riske after recently losing free agent relievers Francisco Cordero to Cincinnati and Scott Linebrink to the Chicago White Sox. Cordero posted 44 saves for Milwaukee; no one else on the team had more than one.
The 31-year-old Riske was 1-4 with four saves and a 2.45 ERA in 65 relief appearances last season. The righty got off a rough start with a 6.97 ERA in April, then had a 1.67 ERA the rest of the way. Overall, his ERA ranked 11th among AL relievers who pitched at least 50 innings.
Union, MLB talk drugs
The baseball commissioner`s office and players` association have discussed how to handle possible discipline for some players linked to the purchase of banned drugs, but penalties have not yet been set.
ESPN.com reported that the union is negotiating with Major League Baseball on a possible
10- to 15-day suspension for outfielder Jose Guillen. The San Francisco Chronicle reported last month that Guillen ordered more than $19,000 worth of drugs – three kinds of human growth hormone, two types of testosterone and the steroids stanozolol and nandrolone – from the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center between May 2002 and June 2005.
Baseball banned HGH in January 2005. The penalty for a first offense that year was a
10-day suspension.
“I interviewed Mr. Guillen. I`ve had an ongoing dialogue with the Major League Baseball Players Association regarding the relevant facts and circumstances,” said Rob Manfred, baseball`s executive vice president of labor relations. “We do not, however, negotiate discipline. The commissioner will determine what discipline, if any, is appropriate when I conclude my investigation.”
Several others have been accused in media reports of buying HGH, among them Los Angeles Angels outfielder Gary Matthews, Cleveland pitcher Paul Byrd, St. Louis outfielder Rick Ankiel and free-agent infielder Jerry Hairston Jr.
Clippard deal set
The Washington Nationals completed their trade for right-hander Tyler Clippard, getting him from the New York Yankees for Jonathan Albaladejo after both players cleared physicals.
Reds trade Coats
The Cincinnati Reds traded outfielder Buck Coats to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named or cash.
Coats, 25, appeared in 20 games for the Reds last season after they claimed him off waivers from the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 28. Coats batted .206 with two RBIs for Cincinnati.
Whiteside honored
Boston Globe sports writer Larry Whiteside, a pioneer for blacks over nearly a half-century in journalism, was honored with the Hall of Fame`s J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.
Whiteside, who died in June at the age of 69 from complications of Parkinson`s disease, will be recognized during the Hall induction ceremonies July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.