Versatile Figgins drawing plenty of interest (cont.)
Around the majors
New Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said he wouldn't discuss the availability of superstar pitcher Roy Halladay (other GMs expect him to go somewhere), but Anthopoulos said he has no great aversion to consider trading within his division, which is something predecessor J.P. Ricciardi made clear he did not want to do. That should significantly help Halladay's value, as the Red Sox look like a probable repeat pursuer and the Yankees can't be ruled out, either. Although, Halladay's overall value is down since he is a half year closer to free agency than he was last summer.
The Mets are interested in Joel Pineiro, who's said to want a three-year deal for $30 million. Minaya met with Pineiro's agent, Arn Tellem. The Cardinals helped resurrect Pineiro's career, but they do not seem likely to pursue him -- not with so much else on their docket. Similarly, Rick Ankiel, Troy Glaus and Khalil Greene are expected to leave via free agency.
Braves GM Frank Wren said they would look to field offers on a couple of their starting pitchers. That includes Derek Lowe, who could draw interest from the Yankees as an alternative to John Lackey. "We're in a position where people know we have an excess in starting pitching," Wren said. He said they could go use one of their starters in another role but that that's "unlikely." The Braves are looking for offense, and a corner outfielder with power would fit them.
The Dodgers don't seem likely to pursue top free-agent pitcher Lackey, who seeks at least a five-year deal. L.A. has made it almost policy to keep contracts to three years lately and is more likely instead to look for innings-eaters in the hopes that talented young starters Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley prove able to fill the top of the rotation.
Boras hinted that the asking price for Johnny Damon will be four years by pointing out that the Yankees gave Jorge Posada a four-year deal in his mid 30s and saying they'll surely do the same for Derek Jeter next winter. Boras also mentioned that Damon is one of five players ever to play 140 games in 14 straight years, the others being Pete Rose, Brooks Robinson, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. The Yankees are believed willing to go to two years for Damon.
Felix Hernandez's agent, Alan Nero, said in regards to contract talks that are expected to get going this winter for his 23-year-old superstar client: "He's very content. We're not in a hurry."
Cubs GM Jim Hendry said he wasn't going to spend a lot of money on a closer since Carlos Marmol has the talent to do the job.
The Cubs will, however, be in the market for a center fielder once they trade Bradley. Kosuke Fukudome is considered excellent in right field whereas he's only average in center.
There's validity to FoxSports.com's report that Tigers pitcher Edwin Jackson could be available. Could the mistake of trading Jackson be repeated again this winter?
Jason Varitek will decide on Thursday whether to pick up his $3 million option and remain with the Red Sox.
It remains uncertain whether Randy Johnson and other stars who are 40 or approaching that age will return to play, but Omar Vizquel's longtime agent Adam Katz is looking for a job for the potential Hall of Fame shortstop who turns 43 in April. Katz says Vizquel has drawn interest from several teams.
Katz, who was also Sammy Sosa's longtime agent, didn't want to discuss his old client's new lighter side. "Don't ask," Katz said when asked about it.
My top choices on the new veterans Hall of Fame ballot are 1) Marvin Miller, and 2) Whitey Herzog.
MLB Truth & Rumors