Stark On Andruw, Swisher, Hudson, Pedro

The latest from ESPN’s Jayson Stark

  • Stark looks at all the factors influencing this year’s slow-moving free agent market, talking to all sorts of anonymous execs.  It’s a good read.
  • Among all the teams, the Phillies have added the most to their payroll this winter ($30MM+).  Only ten teams raised payroll this year.  The Phils are still looking at the same cast of righthanded bench bats, and are also looking to sign a reliever for one year.  Names of interest: Joe Borowski, Rudy Seanez, Will Ohman, Joe Beimel, Dennys Reyes, and Randy Flores.  Stark notes that Flores is out until June due to shoulder surgery.
  • Andruw Jones is looking for a team that will give him playing time.  One of Stark’s sources says Braves manager Bobby Cox is "lobbying harder for Jones than the rest of the baseball operation."
  • The Braves are the top suitor for Nick Swisher, but their suggestion that the Yankees eat some of Swisher’s contract was shot down.
  • Stark has heard that Angels owner Arte Moreno is ticked at Scott Boras and Mark Teixeira for the way they handled negotiations.
  • Stark received conflicting answers on whether the Elias formulas "can be changed without a special negotiation."  It figures that the players union would push to eliminate the Jason Varitek/Juan Cruz/Orlando Cabrera situations we saw this winter.  The D’Backs may have interest in re-signing Cruz, but don’t look for a Cabrera-White Sox reunion.
  • The Yankees and Mets have not pursued Orlando Hudson, despite Hudson’s statements of their interest.  Stark sees a one-year deal with the Nationals or Dodgers in his future. 
  • One assistant GM doesn’t think the WBC will be a good gauge for Pedro Martinez‘s abilities, since he’ll be doing short stints.
  • Stark has details on Eddie Guardado‘s contract, which has interesting provisions if he is to be traded.

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