A.J. Burnett and the Philadelphia Phillies both declined their $15 million mutual option Friday, leaving the pitcher to decide whether to exercise his $12.75 million player option. The 37-year-old Burnett went 8-18 with a 4.59 ERA in 34 starts during his first season with the Phillies and has said he isn’t sure whether he wants to pitch next season. He has until Monday to decide on the player option. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo’s $13 million option was exercised by the Milwaukee Brewers, who also exercised their half of third baseman Aramis Ramirez’s $14 million option.

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on November 1st, 2014
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Now that the offseason has officially begun, Matthew Pouliot takes a look at the top 150 free agents.

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on October 31st, 2014
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Baseball’s business season began Thursday when 121 players became free agents, a group that includes Pablo Sandoval, Michael Morse, Jake Peavy, Sergio Romo and Ryan Vogelsong of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants. James Shields, Nori Aoki and Jason Frasor of the AL champion Kansas City Royals also were among the players who became free. Top free agent pitchers also include Max Scherzer and Jon Lester.

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on October 31st, 2014
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Well, distraught Los Angeles Dodgers fans, here’s something that might cheer you up a tad bit after watching your bitter rivals win the World Series — the Dodgers are the early favorites to win the 2015 World Series, according to online sportsbook Bovada . The Washington Nationals share that honor with the Dodgers. Both teams, which were knocked out in the NLDS this season, are listed at 15/2 odds. The San Francisco Giants, whose World Series win hasn’t even dried yet, ranked fifth at 12/1. The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels are just ahead of the Giants, both carrying 10/1 odds. Here’s Bovada’s complete rundown: Los Angeles Dodgers 15/2 Washington Nationals 15/2 Detroit Tigers 10/1 Los Angeles Angels 10/1 San Francisco Giants 12/1 St. Louis Cardinals 12/1 Kansas City Royals 16/1 Seattle Mariners 18/1 Baltimore Orioles 20/1 Oakland Athletics 20/1 Pittsburgh Pirates 20/1 Atlanta Braves 22/1 Boston Red Sox 22/1 New York Yankees 22/1 Cleveland Indians 25/1 Cincinnati Reds 33/1 Tampa Bay Rays 33/1 Texas Rangers 33/1 Toronto Blue Jays 33/1 Chicago White Sox 40/1 Milwaukee Brewers 40/1 New York Mets 40/1 Chicago Cubs 50/1 Miami Marlins 50/1 San Diego Padres 66/1 Philadelphia Phillies 75/1 Arizona Diamondbacks 100/1 Colorado Rockies 100/1 Houston Astros 100/1 Minnesota Twins 100/1 For context’s sake, we’ll point out that the Dodgers topped the list when Bovada released its day-after-the-World Series odds last year too. There were listed at 7/1. The Giants were 18/1. We all know how both of those worked out. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on October 30th, 2014
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For his final game as baseball commissioner, Bud Selig was able to see the low-budget Kansas City Royals compete with the high-spending San Francisco Giants for the title. Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night featured a pair of wild-card teams that had already played during the regular season. ”It’s our job to provide hope and faith and have the system where teams can compete,” he said during the All-Star game FanFest last summer. ”Not just on the size of the market, but on what they do.” With the 19th-biggest payroll at $97 million, Kansas City fell just short of becoming the first team from among the bottom half of spenders to win the title since the 2003 Florida Marlins.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jake Peavy tried to catch a foul ball hit into the San Francisco Giants dugout on Saturday night, and sustained an injury to his right thumb that almost knocked him out of his scheduled start in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday night. Almost. Peavy told USA Today that he’s good to go, saying the swelling has gone done after getting several treatments, and what remains of the injury is a “non-issue” at this point. A few days ago, he was worried. Brace yourself for graphic details of the ickiness: The ball skipped off his right thumb, bending it all the way back and tearing off skin. Peavy has been undergoing treatment, wrapping his thumb in ice each day to calm the swelling Peavy already can find himself, a couple of times, on a running list of unusual injuries. Missing a World Series start, with the Giants on the verge of knocking out the Kansas City Royals and winning a championship for the third time in five years, would have been “devastating,” he said. Giants manager Bruce Bochy couldn’t believe the bad luck (or lack of thinking on Peavy’s part): Bochy told USA TODAY Sports: “I couldn’t believe it. Of all things, come on. But, I keep checking with him, and he tells me he’s fine.” Bochy knows he would have to rip off Peavy’s arm to keep him from starting Tuesday night’s Game 6. Hey, don’t give Peavy any ideas. He cut his left index finger with a fishing knife during spring training with the Boston Red Sox this past March. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale referred to an older injury Peavy sustained when opening a can of cat food.  He also underwent unprecedented surgery to fix his lat muscle after severing it. MORE MLB COVERAGE AT YAHOO SPORTS:  – - – - – - – David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter! Follow @AnswerDave  

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on October 29th, 2014
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As mayor of the nation’s largest city, Bill de Blasio has become accustomed to making tough decisions and moving on. ”I remember it like it was yesterday.” In an interview with The Associated Press this week, de Blasio talked about his love of baseball, his three years coaching his son’s Little League team and how he often draws upon that experience in managing a city of 8 million people. De Blasio was a city councilman a decade ago when, after first helping out with his daughter Chiara’s team, he became co-coach of his son Dante’s squad. ”He would have team meetings constantly, before and after every game,” said Patrick Gaspard, now the U.S.

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Jake Peavy’s son is eager for dad to bring home the World Series championship, and a cable car. Last year, Peavy pitched for the Boston Red Sox when they won the title. The team rode in duck boats for its victory parade, and Peavy bought one of the amphibious tour vehicles for his home in Alabama. Peavy is set to start for San Francisco in a potential clinching Game 6 on Tuesday night at Kansas City. [RELATED:  Bumgarner hopes to watch Game 6 from the bullpen ] The right-hander was at the podium with two of his young sons Monday for a news conference at Kauffman Stadium. He was asked whether his family had thought about getting a San Francisco cable car if the Giants won. Peavy took a diplomatic approach, saying any decisions would be put off until if the Giants “were fortunate to make it happen.” At which point, fifth-grader Wyatt Peavy whispered to his dad: “We picked out a trolley car.” The pitcher laughed, saying he’d wait to see what happened. Responded his son: “I think we already picked out our trolley car.” — The Associated Press

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on October 28th, 2014
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Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz has been a postseason hero several times over during his potentially Hall of Fame worthy career. This year, though, with his Boston Red Sox long eliminated from the October scene, he’s changing his role up in order to help the Red Sox and Major League Baseball honor real life heroes in the military. During a recent gathering at Fenway Park, Ortiz surprised a group of three veteran and current military members by playing tour guide for their visit. That was a big hit with the stunned group, but as CBS Boston notes , that was only the appetizer to the biggest news of the day. Before the experience was over, Ortiz also surprised each of them and their families with tickets to Game 1 of the World Series.  Tom Pittman (who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan), Doug Whalen (two tours in Iraq), Molly Alesch (an active servicewoman in the Massachusetts National Guard) and their families all arrived at Fenway Park recently, but weren’t given many details about their trip. They didn’t know Ortiz would be their tour guide, and they were even more surprised when he offered up a game of catch. That in itself would have been a day to remember, but it wasn’t done yet. When they thought their special day was over, Ortiz surprised them with tickets to Game 1 of the 2014 World Series. All three will be honored during the seventh-inning stretch as the Kansas City Royals host the San Francisco Giants in the World Series opener at Kauffman Stadium. The experience is organized by  Bank of America, the Red Sox Foundation and the Massachusetts General Home Base Program. The program is designed to surprise military veterans with a “once in a lifetime experience,” and this certainly meets the criteria. Ortiz, whose impassioned speech following the Boston Marathon bombing served as a rallying point for the city, was a great choice to get involved by the Red Sox and MLB. He doesn’t mince words or hold back when it comes to speaking his mind, or showing support for those who protect and defend his city and his new country.   “You guys are defenders, the reason why we are who we are,” Ortiz told the three, later adding, “whenever I see my kids and family  running around the back yard, it’s because of them.” That sums it up perfectly.  In addition to his role in this outstanding moment, Ortiz will have a further impact on the World Series. While he won’t be starring at the plate or slugging his way to Series MVP, he will be serving as an analyst for Fox Sports during its pre- and postgame coverage.  More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: – - – - – - – Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Post info: By GoSoxGo on October 27th, 2014
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