Appreciating ChiSox GM Williams, best winter contracts, more (cont.)
11. Juan Cruz, Royals, $6 million, two years.
12. Trevor Hoffman, Brewers, $6 million, one year.
13. Mike Hampton, Astros, $2 million.
Yankees 3B solution: Sweet Loretta?
There was talk at Dodgers camp that the Yankees might have interest in excellent contact hitter Mark Loretta, who could upgrade their third base situation. For now the Yankees aren't talking publicly about how they may improve their early season prospects at third base and are only saying that they've yet to speak to any teams about a third baseman.
Star/lightning rod Alex Rodriguez is expected back sometime in May, but the Yankees still may need to look into a rental. It's hard to expect career utilityman Cody Ransom to man Rodriguez's spot, even for six weeks or so. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he has fielded a few calls from agents with third basemen available but isn't scouring the trade market just yet.
Cashman wants to guard against an overpay, and opposing teams will be looking to take advantage of the Yankees' situation. Blake DeWitt is another Dodger who would make sense, but one Dodgers person suggested L.A. might want young pitcher Phil Hughes for DeWitt -- which definitely would qualify as an overpay. The Yankees would likely be willing to trade USC product Ian Kennedy but not Hughes, who's having an excellent spring.
One other interesting possibility could be Angels third baseman Chone Figgins if powerful youngster Brandon Wood looks ready to take that starting job. Figgins has long drawn interest from the White Sox, as well.
Around the camps
The Indians have enough depth among their young hitters that they could make a deal for a pitcher if need be. The players they acquired in last summer's trades have been especially impressive this spring, including outfielders Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley (who came in the Sabathia deal) and catcher Carlos Santana (who came in the Casey Blake trade).
The Padres "look like a terrible team in terms of position players," one competing GM said. And now, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, they're looking for pitching, as well.
While negotiations are just getting started, there's optimism for a long-term extension for right-hander John Lackey since the Angels did one before for him with agent Steve Hilliard.
Manager Mike Scioscia says that the Angels are taking a positive position on Ervin Santana (elbow) and remain hopeful that he won't miss too much of April. Plus, Scioscia said that Joe Saunders (shoulder) appears to be fine and Kelvim Escobar could be back as early as May.
Pudge Rodriguez has to have won himself a job somewhere with his WBC performance and unbridled enthusiasm. It's slightly absurd that it's taken this long, considering the catching inadequacies around.
Congrats to the Netherlands, which shocked the World (Baseball Classic) by beating the Dominican Republic twice -- great for them, but perhaps the D.R. could have mustered a little more offense if Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols or Manny Ramirez were playing.
What a surprise, there are PEDs on the needles from the Roger Clemens case. Clemens' lawyer Rusty Hardin, who's in contention for the title "Worst Lawyer Ever," continues to suggest that it's manufactured evidence and that Clemens didn't take steroids or HGH. Of course, unlike Clemens, Hardin is at least smart enough to make that preposterous claim only when he isn't under oath.
MLB Truth & Rumors