MLB notebook: Names added to HOF ballot

In this 2001 file photo, New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams warms up for a game against...

In this 2001 file photo, New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams warms up for a game against the Kansas City Royals.

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:53 PM ET

Outfielders Bernie Williams and Ruben Sierra are among 13 first-time candidates on the 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot released Wednesday.

They join holdovers Jack Morris and Barry Larkin, who were named on at least half the ballots last year when Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were chosen for induction.

Other newcomers include: Pitchers Terry Mulholland and Brad Radke; outfielders Tim Salmon, Jeromy Burnitz and Brian Jordan; second basemen Tony Womack, Bill Mueller and Eric Young; third baseman Vinny Castilla; catcher Javy Lopez; and infielder-catcher Phil Nevin.

Others returning to the ballot include: First basemen Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff and Mark McGwire; outfielders Dale Murphy and Tim Raines; shortstop Alan Trammell; third baseman-designated hitter Edgar Martinez; and pitcher Lee Smith.

Players may stay on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive 5% of the vote each year.

Candidates must be named on 75% of the ballots to gain entry into the Hall. Results will be announced Jan. 9.

BOSOX RILED UP OVER VALENTINE

Bobby Valentine hasn't even set foot in Fenway Park as Boston's manager, but some Red Sox are riled up already.

The Red Sox are expected to announce Thursday that they are replacing the laid-back Terry Francona with an opposite personality -- the brash, combative Valentine.

Let the whining in Beantown begin.

Some Red Sox players have been "grumbling to each other" through texts and phone calls about Valentine's hiring, ESPN.com reported Wednesday.

"They're going to have a mess on their hands," a Red Sox source said, when asked about Valentine becoming manager.

Among other points of contention: There are reports the Red Sox brass earlier assured players that Valentine wouldn't be hired; and that his hiring wasn't general manager Ben Cherington's idea -- Valentine was imposed upon him by owner John Henry and president Larry Lucchino.

Valentine, 61, has a reputation as a no-nonsense manager who publicly criticized players through his previous stints with the New York Mets and Texas Rangers.

EPSTEIN MAKES MOVE

The Chicago Cubs signed free-agent outfielder David DeJesus to a two-year contract Wednesday reported to be worth $10 million. It was the first significant player signing by new chief executive Theo Epstein.

DeJesus, 31, spent his first eight seasons with the Kansas City Royals before joining the Oakland Athletics last year. He is a career .284 hitter with 71 homers and 436 RBI and has a reputation as a solid defender.

Last season, the left-handed hitter batted .240 with 10 homers and 46 RBI.

BRIEFLY

Former talk-show host Larry King is a minority investor in Dennis Gilbert's bid to buy the Dodgers, the Los Angeles Times reports. Gilbert, who pursued the Texas Rangers last year, has the financial backing of two high-ranking executives with Imperial Capital, an investment bank ... After testing the free-agent market Ramon Santiago has decided to remain in Detroit, signing a two-year contract with the Tigers. The utility infielder could get a chance to become the first-stringer at second base ... The Philadelphia Phillies have signed eight players to minor-league contracts, including veteran pitcher Scott Elarton, 35. The right-hander last pitched in the majors in 2008 with Cleveland.


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