Cries of poverty ring through GM meetings (cont.)
7. Judging Roy. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos wisely said he has no objection to making trades within the division, and presumably that includes a deal for the pitcher he called "the best Blue Jay player ever." The biggest mistake of deposed GM J.P. Ricciardi was not seriously considering a trade to the Red Sox and Yankees, two of the biggest-spending teams. Anthopoulos understands the necessity of putting their rivalries aside. The Red Sox and Yankees are both expected to look hard at Halladay, whose value isn't quite the same now that he's a year closer to free agency. The Phillies could have some interest (though GM Ruben Amaro said they are concentrating on third and the bullpen), while the Angels could make a stealth move. The Yankees already have one $23-million pitcher, and the Red Sox have a Josh Beckett extension to consider, complicating things. But one thing most agree on is that Halladay will go somewhere.
8. California dreamin'. While teams are drooling over the possibility of Adrian Gonzalez -- the Mets and Red Sox might head that list, too -- new Padres GM Jed Hoyer seems in no hurry to deal him. "Why would they trade (Gonzalez)?" asked one GM. "He's a great player, he's making little and he's theirs for two more years." All good points.
Around the Majors
Versatile slugger Mark DeRosa has received inquiries from the Dodgers, Mariners, Yankees, Nationals, Giants, Phillies, Rangers and Orioles so far. He was nearly as popular at the trade deadline, too.
The Phillies' decision not to exercise Pedro Feliz's seemingly reasonable $5.5-million option has shaken up some agents. But perhaps they will spend even more money on the third-base position. They're looking hard at Chone Figgins, who would give them three leadoff types in their lineup. They could also consider a more traditional choice in Adrian Beltre, who's an even better defender than Feliz. DeRosa, a University of Pennsylvania product, and Placido Polanco, the ex-Phil, are two more possibilities.
The Yankees are one team that may look at Granderson, a very good player who struggled against lefties last year. The two Chicago teams also make some sense for the Chicago product, especially the Cubs, who want to move Kosuke Fukudome to right field and Milton Bradley elsewhere. While the Cubs and Rangers are at an impasse regarding Bradley (they appear to be a few million apart), that's still the deal that makes the most sense, as that's where Bradley thrived.
The Orioles will consider Joe Crede to replace Melvin Mora at third base.
John Smoltz is aiming to pitch this year. "He's working out and feeling good. He thinks he tried to come back too quick with Boston," agent Keith Grunewald said.
Reliever Mike Gonzalez appears very popular in the free-agent market. There are loads of bullpen options, but he can set up, he can close and he's left-handed, making him about the most desirable of the lot.
Minaya said some teams have shown interest in Luis Castillo. The Dodgers are one team to have spoken to the Mets. How about Castillo for his old Marlins teammate Juan Pierre?
The Nationals are going with a safe choice for manager in Jim Riggleman. But a case could be made that they needed to do something daring. They need fans, attention and publicity, not to mention a turnaround expert. Bobby Valentine would have made a perfect choice for them.
MLB Truth & Rumors