Mets' options at first base, early trading block names, more (cont.)
6. Jon Garland, Diamondbacks, SP: Noted innings-eater could help someone.
7. DeRosa, Indians, 3B: A poor man's Casey Blake. The Indians are currently fielding offers for the super-utilityman.
8. Huff, Orioles, 1B: Baltimore probably will want a decent-sized haul.
10. Jason Giambi, A's, 1B: One-dimensional player could provide a jolt of power. Still, one competing exec summed it up like this: "limited value."
11. Atkins, Rockies, 3B: Professional hitter perpetually on the block. Prospect Ian Stewart makes Atkins expendable.
12. Adrian Beltre, Mariners, 3B: Dynamic defender but hasn't hit like he did at the end in L.A. Angels are said to like him.
13. Huston Street, Rockies, CL: On the block almost since arriving in Colorado.
14. Russ Springer, A's, RP: Dependable bullpen arm years after brief retirement makes obvious trade fodder.
15. Branyan, Mariners, 1B: Tattooing the ball at Seattle's Safeco -- no easy thing. Finally emerging?
16. Johnson, Nationals, 1B: Trading block staple.
17. Orlando Cabrera, A's, SS: Very good player with short shelf life everywhere he goes.
18. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers, OF: Vesting options for this year and next make contract dangerous. Besides, Detroit expects to contend in tight AL Central.
20. Oswalt, Astros, SP: A frequent subject of summer trade talk, but McLane can never pull the trigger on longtime star.
21. Brian Giles, Padres, OF: High price ($9 million) and fading power (2 HR, 15 RBIs, .168 average) make market dubious.
22. Berkman, Astros, 1B: Too beloved to trade.
Around the majors
Arizona's out-of-the-box managerial pick of A.J. Hinch has ruffled a few feathers. Pitching coach Bryan Price, who resigned, publicly said others were more deserving than front-office man Hinch. And Danny Knobler of cbssports.com reports that Kirk Gibson was hoping to get the job. The D-backs did at least consider minor-league manager Brett Butler plus Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, if that makes Gibby feel better. Probably not.
The Brewers suffered a blow when vastly improving infielder Rickie Weeks was lost for the year with a wrist injury suffered on a swing in St. Louis. But they aren't in such a terrible spot at second. They have the perennially clutch Craig Counsell plus Casey McGehee, a spring standout. Brewers GM Doug Melvin said he heard from the agent for Ray Durham, though he seems disinclined to go that route again. Plus, the Brewers will have top shortstop prospect Alcides Escobar play some second in the minors, just in case.
The callup of prospect Mat Gamel, 23, who homered Monday in St. Louis, potentially gives the Brewers yet another big-time hitter. Mike Cameron predicted great things for Gamel when I saw them this spring.
Ryan Braun is one terrific outfielder, no kidding. The move of Braun from third base to left field is one of the smartest things any team has done in years.
The Dodgers briefly tried to lock up Chad Billingsley this winter, and probably wish they had.
Joey Votto is undergoing more tests to determine what caused his dizziness. The Reds can ill afford to lose him. "He's the difference between us contending and not contending," one Reds person said.
MLB talked to umpire Paul Schrieber about putting his hand on Magglio Ordonez, but didn't fine him. Schreiber's intentions weren't bad after Ordonez started to argue a called strike three, so that's the right call by baseball. But next time, please, no touching.
Jerry Manuel calling Ryan Church "the guy" was reminiscent of John McCain calling Barack Obama "that guy." Both men denied there's a rift after Manuel was so angered by Church missing third base in the Mets' heartbreaking 3-2 defeat Monday in L.A. But I'd have to say, I don't believe Manuel's in love.
I don't care about his strikeout-to-walk ratio (32-to-20), the Braves' young Jair Jurrjens looks like a star in the making to me.
The otherwise feisty, scrappy, heady Twins are psyched out at Yankee Stadium (three wins in their last 26 games at YS, new and old). There I said it.
As the days go by, I am more impressed by the Blue Jays.
Speaking of which, my bad that I omitted Vernon Wells from my list of top center fielders altogether. Also my bad that I left out Cameron. There are a lot of very good center fielders (that's no excuse, by the way). But there's only one great one. And sorry, Steve Phillips, that would be Carlos Beltran.
A-Rod looks like he's having fun, like he doesn't have a care in the world.
I don't care what anyone says. Derek Jeter, 34, doesn't look old to me. In fact, he looks better going to his left than he has in years.
On the other hand, it's like Papi's aged a decade in a year (.203, no home runs). Last weekend's head-clearing session apparently didn't work.
Rare cinema advice: I'd just ignore Oakland's record while watching Moneyball, and enjoy the show when it comes out.
Sonya Keller is the winner of a not-so-valuable prize as my 2,500th Twitter follower (an old press pass or All-Star pin to be named later), if she wants to claim it. So far, no. Keller, I noticed, is following only me. What kind of person would follow only one person, and make that one person me, anyway? While I have given up my dream to beat Nick Swisher's Twitter site (130 grand followers, and counting) -- unlike me, he says consistently upbeat stuff like "AMAZING. 3 straight walk offs" -- I did pass the Twitter sites of the Cardinals, Tigers, Orioles, Padres and Angels in the last couple days. To follow me, click on SI_JonHeyman.
MLB Truth & Rumors