Monday, December 3, 2007
I will be at the Winter Meetings Wednesday and Thursday, but for now, here is a team by team update from what I am hearing:
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are staying the quiet this off season mostly focusing on internal needs. However, after getting a utility player in Scutaro, they are looking for a catcher, and a pitcher. From what I am hearing, they are in contact with Michael Barrett, and are eying pitcher Matt Clement. Furthermore, they have been connected to free agent Bartolo Colon, but it is unlikely he would go to Toronto.
The Orioles have received word that Erik Bedard will not resign with the team when his contract is up, suggesting they will trade him now. Also, I have received word from someone inside the Orioles organization that they are shopping Aubrey Huff and Kevin Millar. They have also been connected to catcher Michael Barrett, but would like to unload Hernandez before pursuing one. Talks with Miguel Tejada and other teams are ongoing, so expect to hear rumors all the way up to Spring Training.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays added Troy Percival to their bullpen and continue to look for more pitching. They traded Elijah Dukes meaning that Carl Crawford and Rocco Baldelli will not be going anywhere. While they are shopping Edwin Jackson, they are also trying to lock up Carlos Pena.
Boston Red Sox
Waiting on the Twins to make a move with Santana. Otherwise, they are looking for a suitor for Coco Crisp while trying to improve their bench. They are interested in finding a catcher to replace Jason Varitek, but that might have to wait. They have been linked to other pitchers on the trade block, but nothing is serious just yet.
New York Yankees
The Yankees set a deadline on the Twins but will probably withdraw that giving them more time. They want him very badly. While they added Pettitte, they are still hoping to add Luis Vizcaino and Ron Mahay.
The Indians do not have any major issues, so do not expect much. They have failed to find a suitor Josh Barfield, so that will wait probably till Spring Training. They plan to address pitching, and may look for a corner outfield. I plan to talk with Mark Shapiro later this week so I'll keep you posted.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals are trying very hard to lure Jose Guillen to signing with the Royals, and it will probably happen eventually. Also, they are trying to bring Hiroki Kuroda, but he seems heading to the Mariners. They will address pitching, of course, but might not do much more than that.
The Tigers are looking for another pitcher, while always trying to improve the bullpen. They have been in talks with Carlos Silva, Livan Hernandez, and LaTroy Hawkins, but I have not heard of any offers being made.
With the Santana trade looming over them, they are not doing much. They are looking for a center fielder, and are shopping Joe Nathan. The Brewers are interested, but they are having trouble making progress.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox are making minor upgrades while planning to make a splash somewhere soon. They are eying Kosuke Fukudome, but will probably settle for something less. While they having pitching, they may look to bring in a veteran to back the bottom end.
After the Angels acquired Garland and Hunter, they are still planning a big move. They are waiting on the Marlins to accept their offer, but might pull it off and look elsewhere. I have heard that the Cubs are somewhat interested in Reggie Willits, but not to the point where they have talked specific players. From what I am hearing, they are looking to make the big trade.'
The Athletics are shopping Dan Haren and Joe Blanton, but will probably trade other pieces to rebuild. They are looking at Tony Clark, Sammy Sosa, and Mike Piazza.
The Mariners are waiting on Hiroki Kuroda, but will probably waiting for some time. They have been tied to trades involving Richie Sexson, Raul Ibanez, and others. Ibanez to the Cubs, Sexson to the Rangers, are the most common, but the Cubs see Ibanez as a fallback to Fukudome.
The Rangers are shopping Gerald Laird. They are looking for outfield help in return. Not sure where they are looking, but I think they would be smart to try and add either Aaron Rowand or Andruw Jones. Other names that come to mind that are available through trades are Juan Pierre, Josh Hamilton, Matt Murton, Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, and Austin Kearns.
The Braves are looking into Steve Finley as a possible platoon with one of their young outfielders. From what I have heard, he has been roaming the lobby and if he is down there Wednesday, I will try and talk with him. Otherwise, they will look for a lefty reliever because Mahay is likely on his way out. Maybe Will Ohman. Ohman is being courted by the Rockies and Braves though.
They are looking to trade Miguel Cabrera, but they will have to accept the Angels trade to move ahead. It would not surprise me though if a team came in with a big offer a took Cabrera off the market. They are shopping Sergio Mitre and Dontrelle Willis, but will probably hold onto both.
New York Mets
They are eying pitcher Erik Bedard while looking for veteran pitchers on the market. They are talking with Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, hoping they can turn their troubled seasons around into years like Orlando Hernandez and Oliver Perez did.
The Phillies are eying pitchers, and Aaron Rowand. They are hoping to bring Hiroki Kuroda away from the West Coast, but will probably be unsuccessful. The Phillies have a lot of internal issues, but would like to add a pair of pitchers.
I talked with an executive of the Nationals who told me that they have talked with Jason Jennings. They are looking at an incentive laden contract. By offering Chad Cordero for Rickie Weeks, it shows they are looking to trade him. Maybe if the Red Sox miss out on Santana they will move Papelbon and trade for Cordero, probably not though. They have improved their outfield, but should look to improve their pitching before anything else.
The Astros are looking for a closer while shopping Luke Scott and Chris Burke. They added Kaz Matsui, and that was good, but now their focus is on the bullpen. They missed out on Brett Tomko and Randy Wolf, so now they are looking elsewhere.
The Brewers are in talks with Scott Rolen, and because it is being kept so quiet, I think talks are progressing nicely. Otherwise, they are shopping Bill Hall and are looking to land some more bullpen help. They won't trade any of their young guys, so expect them to hit the market.
St. Louis Cardinals
They are looking to trade Scott Rolen. The Brewers and Rangers are the top suitors. Chris Duncan might be on his way to the Indians, that is if the Pirates cannot work a deal with them. They also plan to sign a big name pitcher, probably Carlos Silva or Kyle Lohse. They have also been connected to Pedro Feliz, but only if they trade Rolen.
The Cubs are eying Kosuke Fukudome. If they cannot land him, they will look to Rual Ibanez, or maybe Corey Patterson. They have a lot of young pitching, and could package them in a trade for something else, but I'm not sure what. They do not seem interested in something like that. They are looking for another middle infielder but might just settle for Mike Fontenot and Eric Patterson for the time being.
The Pirates are looking to finalize their outfield, while shopping Matt Morris. They are looking for young pitchers as well, especially because their GM specializes in development.
The Reds are shopping Josh Hamilton and other young players for a solid pitcher. They will also look to improve their bullpen, having talked with LaTroy Hawkins and Jeremy Affeldt. I have heard they have also talked to the Blue Jays about Jeremy Accardo, maybe for Josh Hamilton.
Although this has not been confirmed, I am hearing the Diamondbacks are the front runners for Hiroki Kuroda, who is looking to go to a contender. They may also trade some of their young players for solid pitching prospects. It is possible with the trade for Chris Carter that they may bring back Tony Clark and trade Connor Jackson for prospects.
Los Angeles Dodgers
I do not see the Dodgers doing much this off season. Joe Torre was their greatest upgrade and that should make the team a lot better. I think Ned Colletti has realized what he has with his young talent, and he may look to trade a pair for a solid pitcher, I do not see him unloading them for one player. They are interested in Andruw Jones, and have made an offer to him, but I'm not sure he will accept it.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants are looking to add Andruw Jones as well, but I would not be surprised if they trade for Cabrera. They are looking for corner infielders and maybe another outfielder, and hope to address that this week. It is possible we could see them go after Richie Sexson.
San Diego Padres
The Padres are very serious about Kosuke Fukudome. While they are closing in on an extension with Peavy, they are working very hard to lure Fukudome to San Diego. They will probably bring back Michael Barrett, and may look for a second outfielder if they land Fukudome. They are looking in house for second base, but I expect them to be pretty active this week.
The Rockies are hoping to lock up Matt Holliday this offseaon and hope to build upon their playoff run. They are talking with Marcus Giles for second base, and are nearing a deal for Jeremy Affeldt.