Let's take a look at the latest column from ESPN's Jayson Stark.
- Stark does the math and finds 15 potentially available closers versus six clubs in the market for one. Should result in a few bargains or teams holding on to their surpluses.
- The Mets don't seem willing to extend to four years for Francisco Rodriguez. Stark says J.J. Putz would become the Mets' top closer target if he's made available. MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone wrote a few days ago that the Mets are likely to trade for a reliever with closing experience before attempting to sign one.
- J.P. Ricciardi quote: "We won't be involved with Manny." Ricciardi last month: "He's on our radar, but maybe not on our radar like some people will report."
- Despite reports to the contrary, Stark talked to a rival executive who says Jake Peavy made it "onto [the Angels'] radar pretty hard." Stark speculates that Peavy could fit if the Halos sign Mark Teixeira.
- It seems likely that the Angels will put out an offer to Teixeira with a deadline, and then either sign him or move on.
- John Lackey's been telling friends he expects to have an extension with the Angels by Opening Day. Lackey indicated last month he'd wait to see the Halos' offensive plans before re-signing.
- Stark suspects the Players Union might be OK with C.C. Sabathia turning down a larger offer from the Yankees if he still signed for more than Johan Santana's $23MM per year. I don't really see why Sabathia would worry about the union in any regard.
- The Dodgers inquired on the asking price of Jason Varitek, with the idea of moving Russell Martin to third base in mind. They balked at Scott Boras' demand for Tek, however.
- Curt Schilling is "more likely than ever" to attempt a late June or early July comeback.
- Tons of teams have expressed some degree of interest in Raul Ibanez: the Mets, Phillies, Cubs, Cardinals, Nationals, Braves, Royals, Rays, Blue Jays, Rangers, Angels, and Mariners. Some interesting new ones in there.
- The Phillies never made a two-year, $21MM offer to Pat Burrell. Will the Phils at least offer him arbitration? The rumored offer was questionable from Day 1, as Paul Hagen said Burrell "reportedly turned down a two-year, $22MM offer" but didn't reference a specific report.
- Stark believes that the Brewers were not thrilled with the Yankees' "overbid" for C.C. Sabathia, and therefore would prefer not to trade Mike Cameron to them. Dan Graziano wrote yesterday about the Yanks' conversations for Cameron.
- Roy Oswalt wants the Astros to sign Ben Sheets, but the price tag may be too high. Stark has the following names on their radar: Randy Wolf, Mike Hampton, Freddy Garcia, Paul Byrd, and maybe Pedro Martinez. Is Drayton McLane willing to bring Andy Pettitte back? GM Ed Wade seemed interested in his chat yesterday, saying, "We'll have to see what develops down the road."
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