Santana's options may widen(cont.)
Posted: Thursday December 6, 2007 12:28PM; Updated: Thursday December 6, 2007 4:24PM
Around the Majors
There was some talk of the Tigers quickly flipping Dontrelle Willis to the Mets because of payroll concerns but it appears that idea died when the trade was consummated and Willis was announced as a new Tiger. In that brief talk, even catcher Ivan Rodriguez was discussed. However, there appears to be no suggestion of any of that now, and it seems the Tigers will happily stick with their two-man haul of Willis and Miguel Cabrera. Can't blame 'em.
There has, however, been some suggestion the Tigers would consider talking trade about Brandon Inge, Marcus Thames, Nate Robertson and perhaps even Jeremy Bonderman. But if they'd truly talk about Bonderman, presumably they'd have to get another fine pitcher back in trade.
The Brewers and Astros are among teams bidding for Eric Gagne, who has to be a closer wherever he goes (he was almost perfect as a closer in Texas last year, then perfectly awful as a setup man in Boston). Perhaps he could return to Texas, too, where he thrived.
The Blue Jays' offer of outfielder Alex Rios for young pitching sensation Tim Lincecum makes sense. The Giants have almost no offense to speak of (who could possibly bat third or fourth for them now?). But trading Lincecum would be an awfully big gamble, the type teams don't take anymore.
Andruw Jones got his wish to go to the Dodgers, spurring longer and more lucrative tries from the Royals and Giants to sign for $36.2 million over two years and giving himself a chance to reprove himself after a dreadful year. Jones' batting average slumped to .222 last season but he does have a .317 career average in the NL West.
The signing of Jones probably means either of two excellent young outfielders -- Kemp or Ethier -- could be had in trade since Juan Pierre is untradeable with his $9 million annual salary.
The potential trade of Pirates star outfielder Jason Bay to the Indians for a package including pitcher Cliff Lee was either "dead'' or "fiction,'' depending upon whom you ask. Either way, it doesn't look too promising.
There's been some decent groundwork laid between the D-Backs and A's regarding Haren. Talented outfielder Carlos Gonzalez would be part of the package, but the D-Backs have made Chris Young, Stephen Drew, Mark Reynolds, Tony Pena and Justin Upton untouchable. They would seem to be the very players that would interest Oakland. The A's could have interest in Jose Valverde. But without those untouchable players, it might not be easy.
Mike Piazza is being shopped around here. But it isn't known whether he can catch, and his best offers may come from Japan.
The Giants are looking at Aaron Boone. Apparently, the Marlins don't even want to spend to bring back Boone. Florida's payroll could go lower than $15 million, which is half what they get in revenue sharing. The Marlins' profit should be substantial by this point.
Jose Guillen's reported brush with HGH and steroids didn't hurt him one bit in free agency. Royals GM Dayton Moore was right about the $55 million for Gil Meche last year (I already conceded that one, and apologized for it). But $36 million for Guillen? That seems like a stretch. If I am wrong, I will make it two straight years of apologies to Moore.
The D'backs, Royals, Mariners and Dodgers are bidding on Hideki Kuroda, with the offers expected to approach $15 million a year.
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