Halladay sweepstakes could be another Yankees-Red Sox bout (cont.)
More trade talk
1. Adrian Gonzalez: Any acquiring team would have to put together a tremendous package for the superstar player with the most reasonable multiyear contract in baseball ($10.5 million over the next two years). The silliest rumor so far had Gonzalez possibly going in a three-way trade with Paul Konerko going to the Angels and prospects to the Padres. Beyond the fact the Angels have a great first baseman in Kendry Morales, Konerko's high contract makes him a giveaway at this point.
2. Derek Lowe or Javier Vazquez: The Braves are expected to take offers on Lowe and/or Vazquez as they expect to pare down from six established starters to five. The Yankees could have some interest in Lowe, "but not at $16 million a year for three years," one person familiar with their thinking said. Vazquez was terrific last year, but one GM said, "Wherever he does go, he should stay in the National League."
3. Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu or Matt Lindstrom: The Marlins are looking to trade some pieces to clear space on their already microscopic payroll, and in addition to Uggla (Giants or Orioles) and perhaps Cantu, they are said to be fielding inquiries on the reliever Lindstrom, as well.
4. Mike Jacobs, Brian Bannister: The Royals are looking for suitors for some arbitration-eligible players.
5. Curtis Granderson, Edwin Jackson, Brandon Inge, other Tigers: All three of those Tigers have tradeable contracts. Granderson ($25.75 million over three years) makes sense for the Yankees, Cubs and others, Inge ($6.6 million) for the Phillies, Orioles or Angels and Jackson (arbitration eligible) for just about everyone.
6. Reds players: Some GMs haven't seen an urgency so far in the Reds to trade their high-priced players (Bronson Arroyo, Francisco Cordero and Brandon Phillips) and wouldn't be shocked if they kept them all.
7. Milton Bradley: The Cubs are eager to unload him, with the Rangers, Rays and Giants appearing to be the most likely -- and perhaps softest -- landing spots for the talented-yet-troubled outfielder.
Talk of the past is in McGwire's future
Mark McGwire is a smart guy and student of hitting who has the potential to make a fine hitting coach for the Cardinals. But he doesn't need the money and it's believed a big part of the reason he's coming back as Cardinals hitting coach is to resurrect a reputation that went from sterling to badly tarnished after his poor performance at the congressional hearings. People in baseball say McGwire is expected to come clean this winter.
McGwire's rep is such that he gets less than 25 percent of Hall of Fame vote, and he was obviously a lot better player than that. With his flagging rep in mind, McGwire is expected to speak publicly about his past in coming weeks. The belief is that he will do it sometime before the holidays, but it's probably hard to pin down a virtual hermit on an exact date for coming clean.
Around the majors
Around a dozen teams have inquired about versatile Mark DeRosa, as the Los Angeles Times added three (Mets, Twins and Cardinals) to my original list of eight. The Phillies are a nice fit for the University of Pennsylvania product. My original eight were the Yankees, Mariners, Nationals, Dodgers, Phillies, Rangers, Orioles and Giants.
Chone Figgins, who can play the same positions (third, second and outfield), probably has a similar list.
Joel Pinero interests the Mets. And it doesn't hurt that Arn Tellem's company reps him (Tellem is close to Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, and the pair made the deal for Francisco Rodriguez last year).
No shocker Sandy Alomar Jr. left the Mets to join the staff of friend Manny Acta in Cleveland, especially after his father Sandy Sr. was fired by the Mets. Razor Shines is likely to move from third base to first base for the Mets (where he won't be able to wave runners home -- he had 18 thrown out last year), while Dave Jauss is one of a few candidates for the third-base coaching job.
Congrats to Zack Greinke, who deserved the Cy Young. Against the seven AL teams with at least 85 wins, he was 7-3 with a 1.03 ERA. Not bad.