Rosenthal’s Latest: Lohse, Hunter, Contreras

The latest trade and signing rumors from Ken Rosenthal:

  • Rosenthal believes Alex Rodriguez‘s ability to play shortstop could increase the number of suitors.  Take a look at the free agents – there may not be a single viable option at short this winter.  Still, the number of suitors for Rodriguez is severely limited by his massive contract requirement.  Not too many clubs aside from the Yankees and Red Sox can get in on $240MM over eight years or whatever.  The lack of available, reasonably priced shortstops could compel the Braves and Orioles to aggressively shop Edgar Renteria and Miguel Tejada.
  • As a 29 year-old free agent starter with decent stuff, Scott Boras could sell Kyle Lohse as the next Gil Meche this winter.  Meche’s work in the season’s first three months would only aid the wishcasting.  I put up a little Lohse history here, writing that his deal will likely fall somewhere between Jason Marquis and Meche.  Other free agent starters who will be under 30 for the 2008 season: Carlos Zambrano, Jason Jennings, Joe Kennedy, and Byung-Hyun Kim.
  • Rosenthal believes the Rangers will bid on Torii Hunter this winter unless they acquire a proven center fielder this summer.  He mentions that Jon Daniels set his sights on Shane Victorino but the Phils would rather trade Michael Bourn.  Unless the Rangers get a proven guy they will still go after Hunter.
  • The Mariners scouted Jose Contreras and Matt Morris recently, but both were lousy.  I still think Jennings could sneak in there as the best available starter, but he too hasn’t pitched well in July.  Definitely seems like the Mariners will snag some kind of starter.
  • Rosenthal disputes Evan Grant’s report of the Brewers and Indians showing interest in Kenny Lofton.  The Brewers are getting Bill Hall back soon and the Indians have some outfielders on the road to recovery as well.  Perfect, this frees him up for the Cubs!
  • Rosenthal mentions the same teams I did for Kevin Millar, but sees an August deal as a possibility.  Waiting until August doesn’t seem to make sense for the Orioles, as things get trickier then.
  • The Padres could trade Scott Linebrink in order to make payroll room for a starter.  Or they could just sign Brian Lawrence.  I discussed some other options for the Friars here.

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