The five most untradeable contracts in baseball? ESPN's Jayson Stark's poll of baseball executives say it's Alfonso Soriano, Vernon Wells, Travis Hafner, Carlos Lee, and Barry Zito. Hard to argue; check out our Bad Contract Swap Meet from last year for a look at other ugly deals. It was interesting to see Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kosuke Fukudome nab honorable mentions in Stark's poll. On to his other rumblings...
- Stark's conversations led to repeated mentions of the new collective bargaining agreement, which will go into effect in December of 2011. The uncertainty will have an impact - will 2011 draftees lack leverage, knowing that a slotting system could be installed the following year? Does it make sense to worry about Super Two status for Mike Stanton now, when that provision might not exist in 2012?
- Teams have kicked the tires on Alex Gordon, but the Royals have no interest in trading him. MLBTR's Luke Adams led a discussion post on Gordon yesterday.
- The Dodgers are scouring the trade market for starting pitching, while the Royals and Phillies seek bullpen help. The Mariners and Braves are trying to add offense. The Diamondbacks are actually more interested in starting pitching than relief, and are expected to have Chris Snyder available once Miguel Montero returns.
- A "baseball man familiar with the Nationals' thinking" expects Adam Dunn to return in 2011, though not necessarily via an in-season extension.
- A friend of Mike Lowell tells Stark the third baseman would love to play for the Twins or Angels if the Red Sox plan to trade him.
- The Phillies have recently adopted a stance against full no-trade clauses, which is reflected in the Roy Halladay and Ryan Howard extensions.