ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported earlier today that Toronto are close to a 5 year, $55 million deal with P A.J. Burnett, contradicting earlier reports that the Cardinals had the former Marlins starter locked up.

Fox Sports/The Sporting News’ Ken Rosenthal continues his winter winning streak by being the first to report the Indians are in serious talks with reliever Trevor Hoffman.

The A’s have acquired P Chad Gaudin from Toronto in exchange to for a player to be named later. I’ve always thought “Percy” was a wonderful name.

Pittsburgh has signed free agent P/blogging fiend C.J. Nitkowski, an absolute longshot to make the major league club, to a minor league deal.

In addition to Buck Martinez (above) being named manager of the US squad for the forthcoming World Baseball Classic, Tommy Lasorda has been appointed Ambassador At Large for the tournament. This is not a joke.

Mike Piazza, currently unsigned, will catch for the Italian team. This too, is not a joke.