It's Thursday, and that means it's time to dig in and feast on Jayson Stark's latest rumor-packed column.
- The Braves have shifted their focus from starting pitching to an impact bat in left field. Stark suggests Raul Ibanez, Jason Bay, and Xavier Nady would make sense. Matt Holliday would be too costly; Adam Dunn is not mentioned.
- We have seen the surprising rumor that the Angels could pursue C.C. Sabathia. However, Stark's sources are in agreement with Bill Plunkett - the Angels are likely to stand pat.
- Francisco Rodriguez wants four years and more than $60MM, a dangerous record-breaking commitment. The Halos aren't even sure if they'd do three years and a vesting option.
- There have been no recent extension talks between the Angels and Vladimir Guerrero, but his $15MM option for '09 is an easy call.
- As we've written before, A.J. Burnett is like a rental, but worse. He either pitches well and opts out or pitches poorly and you're stuck with him. Stark adds that despite Burnett's willingness to pitch for the Cubs, he's not on their list. The Cubs are still planning a run at Sabathia. The Brewers are also serious about the Cleveland ace.
- The Mets might shop Oliver Perez, but I'd be surprised if he draws much interest.
- The Blue Jays were already one of Adam Dunn's ten no-trade teams. His no-trade rights switched from full to ten teams on June 15th.
- Bill Bavasi talked to the Reds about bringing Ken Griffey Jr. back to Seattle, but Lee Pelekoudas isn't interested.
- Interesting Indians players who might be available: Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, and Franklin Gutierrez.
- The Yankees aren't interested in Erik Bedard, but the Phillies are. The teams have differing opinions on whether Bedard's surly demeanor would present a problem.
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