Rumor machine Ken Rosenthal has a new column…
- Free agent starters C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett are in no hurry to sign. Makes sense; they’re obviously special compared to the other starters on the market.
- Nationals owner Ted Lerner "has spent extensive time" with Scott Boras, presumably in regard to Mark Teixeira.
- The Cubs want to acquire their left-handed hitting outfielder before worrying about Jake Peavy. Rosenthal says the trade market is bleak, suggesting free agents such as Raul Ibanez and Milton Bradley might make sense. As we’ve said, there is no perfect fit for the Cubs’ right field vacancy (unless Brian Giles will waive his no-trade clause).
- Paul Byrd is "virtually certain" to decline Boston’s offer of arbitration. He aims to pitch near his Atlanta home – the Braves, Marlins, or Rays could work for him.
- A Rosenthal source pegged Jon Garland‘s chance of accepting arbitration at less than 50-50. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick recently indicated it was 75-25 he’d decline. Buster Olney says "some executives are stunned" that Garland will seemingly not accept.
- Rosenthal spoke to officials from two teams interested in Mariners closer J.J. Putz. The Ms haven’t decided yet whether to make him available, contrary to a previous report. Jack Zduriencik apparently doesn’t consider his club in rebuild mode.
- The Giants’ signing of Edgar Renteria: "widely panned in industry circles." Joel Sherman found the same consensus. This differs from the web, where Keith Law and Dave Cameron liked it.
- Rosenthal says the Dodgers are not pursuing Jack Wilson; those talks broke down earlier in the offseason. Who to believe? He says the Tigers are making a "more serious push."
- Phillies shortstop prospect Jason Donald is a popular trade target, but the Phils might need him to fill in for Chase Utley at the start of the season.