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News Roundup

I'm back in California now, which paradoxically means that I can follow the Pirates more closely, because my internet connection is better.

-P- Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn were easily elected to the Hall of Fame. Without doing much research, I'd say I probably would have also voted for former Pirates Goose Gossage and Bert Blyleven. Gossage got very close and it looks like he'll eventually get in. Both Ripken and Gwynn were easy calls. Mark McGwire didn't get even 25% of the vote, so, unless proof that he never took steroids surfaces (or something), it seems unlikely he'll get in any time soon.

-P- Javy Lopez has agreed to a cheap one-year deal with the Rockies. I know Coors Field doesn't seem to be the hitters' haven that it used to be, but this is a great career move for Lopez. After a terrible year in 2006, he'll try to rebuild his career Jeromy Burnitz-style. So I guess what I'm saying is, Dave Littlefield had better set aside $6 million for Lopez in 2009.

-P- The Jays signed pitchers Jason Frasor and John Thomson to cheap one-year deals. This is really good for the Jays - Frasor isn't a bad pitcher, and he'll make less than $1 million. And Thomson at $500,000 plus incentives could be the bargain of the offseason, especially if Thomson has the clean bill of health Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi says he does. He's had a weird career because he's pitched so much in hitters' parks, but Thomson is an average starter or better if he can get back to where he was pre-injury.

-P- Miguel Cairo re-upped with the Yankees, signing for $750,000. Cairo's worthless and that's $400,000 more than the league minimum that the Yankees shouldn't have needed to spend, but they're the Yankees - what do they care?