UPDATE to the UPDATE: The Mariners and Bedard are now reported close to a deal

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Thumbnail image for bedard.jpgUPDATE: Now Jon Paul Morosi reports that, yes, they M’s and Bedard are close to a one year deal, though at this rate that could change five times by dinner.

And with that I’ve just about had it with the Hot Stove season.  Someone sign Johnny Damon, everyone else start playing long toss and doing wind sprints and let’s get down to some freakin’ baseball, OK?

3:18 P.M.Larry LaRue of the News-Tribune spoke with Bedard, who says no, the Mariners have not made an offer, contradicting Jim Street’s earlier reports (see below).  There is mutual interest, but at this point, nothin’s happening.

At this point I’d like to ask the question Aaron asked the other day:  If the erroneous report had come from a blogger rather than a guy with a long newspaper pedigree like Street, wouldn’t people be beefing about it?  I kinda think they would. 

9:57 A.M.: MLB.com’s Jim Street is reporting that the Mariners and Erik Bedard have reached an incentive-laden deal for 2010. Base: $1.5 million.  Bedard, as you are no doubt aware, Bedard is coming off of shoulder surgery and won’t be ready to go to start the season.  He pitched well last year before getting hurt, and assuming there are no hiccups in rehab, having him join the rotation in, say, July, would be like making a big trade or something. And this time the Mariners wouldn’t have to give up Adam Jones for him!

But before any Mariners (or Bedard fans, or Bedard’s mom) gets excited about this, it’s worth noting that Street’s report — two reports mashed into one blog post, actually — have been a bit squirrelly. Yesterday he referred to the potential deal as “rumblings in blogo-land.”  Today he says he heard it from another writer.  It’s all less concrete than even your typically mushy hot stove reports.

Blogo-land?

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.