This is about the time where everyone and anyone's name will fly around in a trade rumor. Last year I heard something about Eric Gagne for Kerry Wood, I mean seriously. Here's some fun gossip from benmaller.com
(notorious rumor monger) and a few other newspapers joining in the fun:
"The Cardinals are among those teams interested in the availability of Los Angeles Angels outfielders Steve Finley and Darin Erstad in addition to the Cincinnati Reds' Austin Kearns and Adam Dunn. Accompanied at the meetings by assistant GM John Mozeliak and vice president for player personnel Jerry Walker, Jocketty also confirmed the club's interest in free agents Brian Giles and Jacque Jones."
"Likely landing spots Brian Giles: 1. Cardinals (three years, $27 million overcomes the West Coast disadvantage for Larry Walker's replacement). 2. Dodgers. 3. Cubs (but if his heart is into returning to his original organization, the Indians would love to do a two-year deal)."
"Kevin Millar, who attended both World Series games in Houston two weeks ago, is expected to have to take a pay cut from his 2005 salary of $3.5 million. Several teams, including the Astros, Orioles, Twins, Dodgers and Angels, are said to have interest."
"Out of Arlington,
some have speculated that veteran lefthander Kenny Rogers will bring his assault to Houston."
"If Clemens, 43, decides to retire, the Astros might be in the market for another starter."
"A realistic goal for the Astros would be somebody like Florida Marlins outfielder Juan Encarnacion or San Diego Padres catcher Ramon Hernandez [if Brad Ausmus leaves via free agency]."
"Likely landing spots for Nomar Garciaparra: 1. Dodgers (a return to his native SoCal where he could be valuable at third, short - while Cesar Izturis recovers from Tommy John surgery - or left). 2. Cubs (to play left field). 3. Mariners (to play left)."
"I know that the Cubs have picked up the $2.5 million option on Todd Walker for 2006, but I hear that the Indians still like him and might try to work a deal for him. Walker batted .305 with 12 homers and 40 RBI. They see him as able to play first, second and third bases. The idea is to get a good, veteran hitter in reserve, especially if one of the starting infielders is injured. The Indians have tried to trade for him in the past."
"Likely landing spots for Rafael Furcal: 1. Cubs (four years, $36 million). 2. Braves. 3. Mets (but the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Astros might jump in, as well)."
"Likely landing spots for Johnny Damon: 1. Red Sox (his heart wins, four years, $42.5 million). 2. Cubs (if they don't get Rafael Furcal to lead off). 3. Dodgers (certain people are born for Hollywood)."
"Florida might turn to a cheap stopgap shortstop for 2006 (a free agent such as Royce Clayton or Neifi Perez) if they're not comfortable assuming Robert Andino will win the job. Andino, who could use a year at Triple A, was hitting .241 in the Arizona Fall League, where the Marlins' best position player has been highly-skilled Double A OF Reggie Abercrombie (.310). Free agent SS Nomar Garciaparra would be another one-year option. FYI: Three-time Gold Glove SS and Miami Springs resident Rey Ordonez, 34, out of baseball more than a year, wants to make a comeback and would love a chance to win a backup job with the Marlins."
"[Jon]Daniels may be the youngest GM in the game and one of the least connected, but as he tackles a slew of Rangers issues ranging from potential trades
(Kevin Mench's name is very popular) to free agency to filling out his front office staff, Daniels said he won't make inroads by slapping backs and telling stories. A number of teams, including Kansas City, the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh, have all inquired about Mench, who recently switched agents. He is now represented by Beverly Hills Sports Council, which also represents Michael Young, Rod Barajas and Gary Matthews. "He's one of a number of our players who are attractive to other teams," Daniels said. "We are by no means looking to trade Kevin or any of our players."
"LHP B.J. Ryan: Rare left-handed closer. Cubs interested.
Yankees want him to set up Rivera."
"The Reds are almost certain to move an outfielder among Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey, Austin Kearns and Wily Mo Pena (Kearns is most likely to go).
Can't find much other than they re-upped GM Doug Melvin for a few years and LHP Jarrod Washburn (Wisconsin native) would probably like to pitch there. Lyle Overbay has to be available and indications are it would only be for a starting pitcher.
Deciding which over-the-hill and retread players they can target come February once everyone else has signed. I did find this little tidbit:
"He [GM Dave Littlefield] would like to add power bats
at two of three positions - first base, third base and right field - while also taking steps to shore up the right-handed relief pitching, including possibly finding someone who can close. Among the possibilities are Cincinnati outfielder Wily Mo Pena, Milwaukee first baseman Lyle Overbay, Tampa Bay first baseman/third baseman/outfielder Aubrey Huff and third baseman Hank Blalock and outfielder Kevin Mench of Texas."
Nothing but off-the-wall rumors, but they're fun to discuss, enjoy!!!!