Hey everybody, I'm back from my trip. I hope you enjoyed the posts from Tom and Jeff in the meantime. California was actually colder than Chicago is right now, go figure.
Jayson Stark had a new column up at ESPN.com yesterday; let's dissect the trade rumors.
- Stark quotes scouts doubting whether Miguel Tejada's power will ever return. Over the last year and a half or so, the Orioles had all sorts of young players they could've acquired for Tejada. Names like Felix Pie, Rich Hill, Brandon McCarthy, Ryan Sweeney, Ervin Santana, Erick Aybar have surfaced before. Tejada earns $12MM this year, $13MM in '08, and another $13MM in '09. That doesn't sound too bad but one more year of declining power might change my opinion.
- Seems the D-Rays would like to trade Elijah Dukes for a solid reliever. A few teams might bow out because of Dukes' past, but in my experience most don't care. I could see a match with the Padres, as they will need a center fielder if Mike Cameron leaves.
- Stark says the hottest free agent could be "30 year-old Chunichi Dragons center fielder Kosuke Fukudome, who will be an unrestricted free agent." I have learned from Mike Plugh that Fukudome is best in right field, but might be able to get by in center. Plugh thinks Fukudome will get $12-15MM annually for three or four seasons. Will Carroll has connected the Red Sox to Fukudome, while Phil Rogers suggested the Cubs. This is going to be one of the bigger stories of the winter, I think.
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