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Sunday News and Notes: Carlos Beltran signs with Houston Astros

The Winter Meetings begin today, so expect the rate of signings and trades to increase dramatically this coming week.

Carlos Beltran will go from Arlington to Houston
Carlos Beltran will go from Arlington to Houston
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tribe News

Cleveland Indians have Terry Talkin' free agents, new labor agreement -- Terry Pluto (photos) |

MLB does not have a true salary cap, although the luxury tax (which is continuing) threshold does provide effectively a salary ceiling for the biggest markets. But even with that in place, it is difficult for a small or medium market club to be able to be perennial contenders because of the nature baseball's TV deals (with local money far outpacing national contracts).

Sports season-ticket clubs are all-year gatherings - Crain's Cleveland Business

The Indians began their season-ticket rewards program in 2012, though I'd suspect the 2016 results will be a much more effective way to retaining customers than perks.

MLB News

Sources: Astros, Carlos Beltran agree to terms |

Beltran was an option for the Indians, but instead he'll play for the Astros (mostly as a DH). The deal is one year, $16M with full no-trade protection.

Venezuelan players rally behind Omar Vizquel, threaten WBC boycott |

After Miguel Cabrera intervenes, Omar Vizquel back as Venezuela manager |

After [personal] issues arose between Vizquel and Venezuelan GM Carlos Guillen, Vizquel was at one one point removed as manager of the WBC team. But after many prominent MLB players intervened on Vizquel's behalf, including MIguel Cabrera, the former Tribe shortstop has been officially reinstated.

Bud Selig among candidates for Hall of Fame |

Keep in mind that this is a different group of people than the one voted on by the writers. Selig is one of 10 people on the "Today's Game" ballot that will be voted on by a 16-man committee. Others on the ballot include: Albert Belle, Mark McGwire, Orel Hershiser, Lou Piniella, and John Schuerholz.