ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports that the Cardinals and Phillies may be better off letting their respective deadline acquisitions walk once they hit free agency. Here are the details and the rest of his rumors:
- We know that Matt Holliday's interested in staying in St. Louis. But one AL exec doubts the Cards can afford to tie up $40-50MM per year in Holliday and Albert Pujols. It could work short-term, but could prevent the Cardinals from keeping Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter. Plus, the pair of sluggers may not be worth a combined $50MM in a few years.
- One team official believes Cliff Lee's agent will be looking for a $100MM payday once the lefty hits free agency after next season (assuming the Phils pick up his 2010 option). The official says the Phillies should consider letting Lee walk after next year, instead of committing long-term to him.
- The teams that considered dealing for Johan Santana after the 2007 season aren't surprised to hear that he's having elbow trouble now, though it's not something they anticipated with any sense of certainty. However, Mets assistant GM John Ricco says he doesn't regret the way the team handled its ace.
- There are increasing indications that the Yankees don't plan on being big buyers in the free agent market this offseason. The Yankees seem more likely to keep Johnny Damon and let Austin Jackson grow into a full-time player than pursue Matt Holliday or Jason Bay.
- Stark hears that the Red Sox were the only team to claim Billy Wagner. We heard the Angels had interest, but apparently they never made a claim.
- One executive believes AL teams would have very little interest in Trevor Hoffman. Hoffman has value because of his status as a Type A free agent, which could factor in to teams' claims.
- Rival clubs expect the Blue Jays to try dealing Edwin Encarnacion after the season. He makes $4.75MM in 2010, so it won't be easy.
- The Royals are still trying to deal Ron Mahay and at least one scout expects a team or two to have interest in ther veteran lefty.