Buster Olney's latest blog entry at ESPN.com focuses on Ryan Braun, who Olney thinks could eventually take over Albert Pujols' title of the National League's best hitter. The article also includes a few hot-stove notes….
- Olney hears from talent evaluators that the trade market for starting pitching probably won't really develop for at least another month or two. Unless they can dump salary, teams likely won't be looking to move any starters quite yet. Derek Lowe and his $15MM price tag are mentioned as a potential salary dump.
- The Royals haven't put Juan Cruz on waivers yet, meaning he'll probably be placed there Monday and clear on Wednesday. Olney speculates that the Cubs, in need of a setup man, could kick the tires on Cruz.
- As the Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly suggested last night, Garrett Atkins' job could already be in jeopardy after Rhyne Hughes' promotion. When MLBTR talked to baseball execs in March about offseason moves, the Orioles' signing of Atkins was nominated as one of the worst.
- Olney says the perception around the league is that owner Tom Hicks is creating roadblocks for the sale of the Rangers in the hopes of securing more cash. Because of complications with the sale, baseball's other owners will likely have to throw in more money.