As promised, new Astros GM Ed Wade has touched base with a ton of free agents. We already knew about Luis Castillo, Jon Lieber, Scott Linebrink, Torii Hunter, Aaron Rowand, and Tom Glavine (see Astros rumor archive).
Today we've got more names to add to the list, courtesy of Jose de Jesus Ortiz. The most interesting one: closer Francisco Cordero. Buster Olney's thinking is that the Astros contacting Cordero indicates a willingness to trade incumbent closer Brad Lidge. Olney spoke to one executive who predicted Cordero would get $40MM this winter. That sounds about right. Cordero's agent, the delightfully named Bean Stringfellow, represented Billy Wagner for his landmark four-year, $43MM deal in November of 2005. If several teams decide they need to have an All-Star closer, I could see bidding getting closer to $50MM for Cordero. Or even a five-year deal.
The Astros are also poking around on a couple of second baseman, despite their supposed satisfaction with Chris Burke. Aside from Castillo, Wade has contacted Tadahito Iguchi and Kaz Matsui. That trio pretty much sums up the second base market.
By the way, Olney also notes that any notion of the Astros making Roy Oswalt available is false.
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