The always-interesting Ken Rosenthal has another column up, chock full of rumory goodness. The man knows how to work the phones like no other. Some highlights:
- Rosenthal considers the possibility that Curt Schilling could be the easy choice for the best available free agent starter after this season, with John Smoltz off the board. Even if Carlos Zambrano is out there, Schill would be a better option for teams looking to go short-term. Rosenthal says the Red Sox could revisit extension talks, even though it seemed just a month ago that Schilling was certain to hit the open market. One year and $13MM still looks pretty solid for the Sox.
- The Orioles may make an offer to Alex Rodriguez, should he opt out of his contract at year's end. It's admittedly a longshot, though the O's did win the bidding for Miguel Tejada back in December of '03. If not A-Rod, then the Orioles will chase a "premium center fielder." Translation: Ichiro, Andruw, or Torii. Seems unlikely that Corey Patterson, a Scott Boras client, returns to Baltimore in 2008.
- Rosenthal feels that the Tigers are "almost certain" to exercise Ivan Rodriguez's $13MM option for 2008. I agree with that one, especially given the $3MM buyout price. If the best available catchers are indeed Michael Barrett and Paul Lo Duca, Barrett has the clear advantage. The Cubs don't have any catchers in the pipeline (most teams don't) so I can't see why they wouldn't just give him what he wants. Most likely the Cubs would get a discount.