Stark On Smoltz, Reds, Strasburg, Thome

ESPN.com's Jayson Stark adds the Astros to the list of teams interested in John Smoltz. Here are the rest of his rumors:

  • The Cubs could look for another bat and another starter, but it depends on how healthy Aramis Ramirez, Ted Lilly and Carlos Zambrano are.
  • Stark points out that Aaron Harang's 2011 club option becomes a more expensive $14MM mutual option if he's traded. The Reds haven't seemed willing to take on cash in a trade involving Harang or rotation-mate Bronson Arroyo. 
  • The Yanks don't appear to have interest in either Reds starter, or John Smoltz, for that matter. 
  • Don't expect any serious negotiating to occur between the Nationals, Scott Boras and Stephen Strasburg before the last minute. Most execs who Stark surveyed expect Strasburg to sign in the end.
  • The Braves could re-sign Adam LaRoche after the season, when the first baseman will hit free agency. 
  • Jim Thome still impresses scouts and should be able to find work as a DH after the season. 
  • Some teams doubt Vicente Padilla's character because the Rangers are ready to part with him even though they need pitching.
  • Some of Alex Rios' former teammates question the outfielder's work ethic and desire.  
  • Stark hears that Andy Sonnanstine and Jeff Niemann were claimed on waivers and quickly pulled back by the Rays. 
  • The Braves made a quick run at Victor Martinez before the Red Sox acquired him, but didn't get very far. 
  • Though their negotiations with Aaron Crow could theoretically continue into late spring, the Royals may impose a deadline of their own to sign their top pick.  

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