Carlos Quentin, who had a breakout season with the White Sox, is back to swinging a bat a little more than two months after fracturing his right wrist.
Quentin, 26, fractured the wrist in early September but couldn't get back into the lineup before the White Sox were eliminated in the opening round of the postseason.
"I would have been ready if we had continued with the season," Quentin told the Chicago Tribune. "After we finished, I took another two to three weeks off just to make sure it healed right.
"It's doing great."
Braun lands first Silver Slugger Award: Ryan Braun, who turns 25 Monday, won his first Silver Slugger Award, which is given to the top offensive performers at each position in both leagues. The vote is conducted by Major League coaches and managers.
"Whenever you get an award at the end of the year, it means you were consistent during the season and helped your team win. It means a lot to me," Braun told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
In 151 games, Braun batted .285 with 37 home runs and 106 RBIs, with 39 doubles, seven triples and a .553 slugging percentage. His 83 extra-base hits ranked first in the National League, and his 338 total bases ranked second.
Bradley due for a raise as free agent: After having an All-Star season, Milton Bradley is expecting a big raise on the free agent market this offseason.
"With the year he had, I think he's interested in finding out what his value is on the market," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I can't blame him for that."
Bradley played in 126 games in 2008, the second-highest total in his career.
"Milton has great respect for [manager] Ron Washington and is absolutely open to returning," agent Seth Levinson said. "That being said, the Rangers allowed their exclusive window to negotiate close, and Milton will listen to the numerous clubs that have already expressed serious interest."
Versatile Swisher traded to Yankees: In an effort to boost their offense, the New York Yankees traded three players from the Chicago White Sox for Nick Swisher, Newsday reported. Swisher was attractive to the Yankees because he can play several positions.
"One of the reasons we were attracted to Nick," general manager Brian Cashman said in a conference call, "is he has the versatility, the flexibility, to play left, center, right, first. We obviously have a vacancy at first base."
The Yankees landed Swisher and Minor League pitcher Kanekoa Texeira from Chicago for infielder Wilson Betemit and Minor-League pitchers Jeffrey Marquez and Jhonny Nuñez.
Cubs are on Randy Johnson's radar: Free agent Randy Johnson's agent thinks the Big Unit would be interested in joining the Cubs.
"First, there is the Lou factor," Alan Nero told the Chicago Tribune, referring to Lou Piniella, who managed Johnson in Seattle and is the manager of the Cubs. "And second, it's the National League. There's no question the Cubs would be on his short list."
Huff secures Silver Slugger: Aubrey Huff has won his first Silver Slugger Award, recognition for being the top DH in the league. Huff, who hit 32 home runs and drove in 108 runs in 2008, said that he is honored to have been chosen.
"The fact that it is chosen by opposing coaches and managers means that others noticed the year I had," Huff said in a statement cited in the Washington Post, adding a little joke, "and that David Ortiz had an off year."
Granderson makes pitch to IOC: Curtis Granderson, who was part of a team of six that made its pitch on Sunday to the International Olympic Committee for a place at the 2016 Summer Games, cited one of his old baseball cards as one of the biggest reasons he thought baseball should be part of the Games. It was a card featuring former A's and Cardinal's slugger Mark McGwire.
"The reason that card stands out is because it had the USA logo on it," Granderson told the Detroit Free Press. "Every other team I've played for hasn't had the USA logo on the shirt."
Marlins high on Bonifacio's speed, defense: Marlins president Larry Beinfest is thrilled with the team's newest acquisition, Emilio Bonifacio. Beinfest compared Bonifacio to former Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo, who he termed "one of the all-time great Marlins."
"We're not expecting power and we did not trade for power," Beinfest told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "We want the speed. We want the utilization of the speed and we want the above-average defense."
Giants express an interest in Furcal: Add another team to the list of suitors for free agent Rafael Furcal: the San Francisco Giants.
"I'll just say we've got serious interest in each other," agent Paul Kinzer told the San Francisco Chronicle. "He likes the Giants and they've expressed serious interest."
Ibanez gets support from McLaren: Former Mariners manager John McLaren says current free agent outfielder Raul Ibanez would be a great addition for any team.
"He's a great hitter and a great guy on a team," McLaren told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "He would fit a lot of teams because he's so professional in everything he does. He can really help a team looking for a left-handed bat. He's a tough out."
Cruz targeted to replace Bradley if needed: If the Texas Rangers lose free agent Milton Bradley this offseason, they may consider Nelson Cruz for the role. After being recalled from Oklahoma City on Aug. 25, Cruz hit .330 with seven home runs, 26 RBIs and had a .421 on-base percentage.
"Nelson handled this trip through the big leagues better than he did the first couple of times," general manager Jon Daniels told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "There's a likelihood that he'll get to show it on a more regular basis."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.