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Playing for the future (cont.)

Posted: Friday August 17, 2007 11:12AM; Updated: Friday August 17, 2007 12:23PM
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Sammy Sosa has cleared waivers, SI.com has learned, and it's still a surprise there's little interest in the 600-homer hitter who's been productive and angelic for Texas.

• The Phillies were hoping to keep Aaron Rowand for about $10 million a year. But after seeing Eric Byrnes, a corner outfielder, get that very amount from Arizona, Rowand just might test the market. And the White Sox, who never really replaced Rowand's production in center field after trading him, can't be ruled out. Club owner Jerry Reinsdorf is a fan, although that price may be steep for how the Sox perceive Rowand.

• The White Sox are a team that will surprise with its moves, but one person said he believes they have identified Paul Konerko and Javier Vazquez as "their guys," in addition to the just-extended Mark Buehrle, who has no-trade powers for now. So don't expect any of those core players to be traded.

• Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters appeared ready to return to Georgia Tech until the last minute, when the sides, millions apart earlier, settled at $6 million. Considering the lack of top-notch catching around, this was a coup for the Orioles and their new president Andy MacPhail.

• "There's no better pitcher in baseball than Erik Bedard right now," one club exec said recently of the Orioles star and Cy Young candidate. And it's hard to disagree too much (though I'll always vote for Johan Santana). Agent Mark Pieper, who also reps Melvin Mora, is in a tremendous position as Baltimore embarks on negotiations it hopes can keep Bedard a year or two into his free-agent years.

• Brewers owner Mark Attanasio told me at the All-Star Game, "Watch out for the Cardinals." And he wasn't kidding. They're now only 2 1/2 games out in a division the leaders don't seem to want lately.

• The Brewers are a remarkable 0-15 in Chris Capuano's past 15 starts. Which is about as bad as you can do. Word is they're considering removing him from the rotation. Perhaps they should have thought of that five starts ago.

Derek Jeter apparently didn't want to talk about Gary Sheffield's latest claims to the New York Times, which in summary was he meant what he said before (about Joe Torre treating African-Americans differently than whites). "I ain't talking about none of that stuff," said Jeter. Which is a little surprising, since Jeter has always been in Torre's corner, and presumably can't be thrilled about Sheffield's characterization of him as "not all the way black," especially since he and Sheffield have always been friendly, even before they became teammates.

Kyle Farnsworth was booed last night at Yankee Stadium. But Sheffield was booed much louder. Which shows that the fans are paying attention.

Jason Giambi was considered to have been forthright in telling his steroids story to baseball drug czar George Mitchell, and short of putting Giambi on a lie detector, they can't know for sure. In any case, it's more than any other active player has given them to go on. And commissioner Bud Selig would have looked disingenuous to punish Giambi after threatening to discipline him for failing to testify. So Selig had no choice but to let Giambi play.

• In addition to being upset by prep pitching phenom Rick Porcelllo's $7.3 million deal Tigers deal, Selig wasn't exactly thrilled the Tigers gave fifth rounder Casey Crosby, an Illinois high school left-handed pitcher, $750,000, and sixth rounder Cale Iorg, a shortstop headed for Arizona State, $1.5 million, also both from Detroit. I still say, good for the Tigers to identify top talent and then procure it.

• The Tigers have called up 20-year-old phenom outfielder Cameron Maybin and he will be in uniform tonight at Yankee Stadium.

• Tiger in the tank: Rehabbing reliever Joel Zumaya hit 99 on the gun for Toledo Wednesday night. And Fernando Rodney's been throwing 98 for Detroit.

• Not too managers have done a better job than Washington's Manny Acta. "It's unbelievable," one competing GM said. "They have the worst team in baseball." Well, not if you look at the record, they don't.

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