Arbitration numbers, team signings, there’s a lot of stuff to get to, so grab a beverage and have a seat.

Breaking news, folks: a story broke at about 1PM today saying that the Twins have agreed to sign pitcher Ramon Ortiz to a 1-year, $3 million contract. This is very upsetting that in the wake of arbitration numbers, they throw around a few mill at a pitcher who had 16 losses last season and has a 4.85 career ERA. More on the signing (which is pending a physical) on Monday.

First off, the Twins signed a familiar face on Tuesday: Matt LeCroy. Michael Cuddyer‘s best man agreed to a minor league contract that would give him $500,000 if he makes the majors. Matt would be a decent pinch-hitting option against lefties, as he has a .301 average with 18 HR and 42 RBI against them in the past 3 years and 249 at bats.

The Braves and Pirates made a fairly big trade on Wednesday, as Pittsburgh agreed to send closer Mike Gonzalez (3-4, 24 saves, 2.17 ERA) to Atlanta in exchange for slugger Adam LaRoche. LaRoche hit 32 home runs last season while driving in 90.

J.J. Putz, the Seattle Mariners’ closer for last season, agreed to a huge deal for him, worth $13.3 million over 3 seasons. He gets a $1.5 million signing bonus for his 2.30 ERA and 36 saves in 43 chances. It’s a big risk by Seattle, because last season was only Putz’s third full season in the majors, and it really was a career year. On the other hand, Putz could put up better numbers in the following seasons and he’d be getting paid less than he’d be worth.

Slammin’ Sammy “Bat Corker” Sosa has been offered a contract by the Texas Rangers, the same team that employed such “sluggers” as Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro. Sosa didn’t play in 2006 after hitting 14 HR in 102 games as an Oriole in 2005. It’s impossible for Sosa to avoid the talks about him possibly using steroids to help him hit 66 HR in the history home run chase of 1998.

The Chicago White Sox and 3B Joe Crede came to an agreement on Tuesday to avoid arbitration. Crede will receive $4.94 million for one year. He has hit 92 home runs in the past 4 seasons, and is a cornerstone to the Sox’s offense.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reached agreements with 3 players on Tuesday, including star closer Francisco Rodriguez. He will get $7 million for one season. Reliever Scot Shields will make $3.4 million and infielder Robb Quinlan (born in St. Paul, Minnesota) will make $1.85 million over the next two years.

Twins blogger Seth Stohs, after answering the questions I had for him in an interview, sent some questions of his own. He has posted the interview on his blog . He sent a lot of readers to my blog by posting a link on his, so please reciprocate that action by checking out my answers on his blog.

Now, for arbitration numbers. There are three primary guys for the Twins: Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, and Michael Cuddyer. The Twins offered $4 million, $3.3 million, and $3 million respectively. Morneau wants $5 mil, Mauer $4.5 and Cuddyer $4.25. The Twins will need to decide, within about a month, who they want to sign right now and who they think they can beat in arbitration.

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