Rumor guru Ken Rosenthal checks in with a new column this afternoon.
- The White Sox are legitimately in the mix for Miguel Cabrera, but many stars would have to align for it to get done. Suitors with better prospects would have to balk, and the Sox would have to part with Josh Fields and Gio Gonzalez. Kenny Williams might even have to cash Jon Garland in and turn around and flip that prospect in a Cabrera deal. Regardless, it's clear that Williams is once again thinking big.
- Let's face it: the Twins aren't retaining free agents Torii Hunter or Carlos Silva. You gotta know when to fold 'em - maybe it's best to punt 2008 and trade both Johan Santana and Joe Nathan now. Rosenthal says that philosophy is gaining some steam in the organization. Both Santana and Nathan are only under contract for one year, but both are signed well below market prices. That means that any mildly competitive team could entertain the notion of acquiring one of them for a big boost. Baseball Prospectus values Santana at $25MM and 8.1 wins next year (he earns $13.25MM). They put Nathan at $15MM and 6 wins (he earns $6MM).
- The A's are another team that could take one step back in order to take two steps forward. Billy Beane has Joe Blanton and Dan Haren, two solid young pitchers each under team control for three seasons. That's a big advantage over the other frontline names who might be available. Santana and A.J. Burnett have one year. Jake Peavy and Erik Bedard have two. Haren for three years is huge. Blanton is under team control but Haren is actually under contract.
- The Rays have gotten in touch with Michael Barrett's people. Will Barrett's Type A status become an issue? Only if the Padres dare offer him arbitration. If I had to guess I'd say they won't offer, but it's a close call. Troy E. Renck recently mentioned Barrett has drawn interest from six clubs, perhaps including the Rockies and Marlins. I'm sure the Rockies would not give up their #25 overall pick to the Padres just to sign Barrett. The Marlins' sixth overall pick next year is protected.
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