The Cubs' acquisition of Carlos Silva for Milton Bradley, the Tigers' decision to let Magglio Ordonez's 2010 option vest and the Yankees' decision to put Phil Hughes in the starting rotation all make Jon Heyman's list of the year's best non-free agent moves. Here are Heyman's latest rumors, from SI.com:
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik isn't waving the white flag yet. He says the AL West is winnable and wants to see how the M's play "in the next couple weeks" before deciding whether to sell.
- Every executive Heyman spoke to expects Cliff Lee to choose free agency over an in-season extension, no matter what uniform he's wearing this summer.
- The Yankees now seem like the favorites to sign Lee this winter, but could they acquire the lefty during the season? They will call the Mariners in case they like the asking price for Lee, but the Yanks don't seem like a fit.
- Bryce Harper will look for a record bonus, according to an NL executive. Heyman's sources say Harper will be aiming for considerably more than $12MM. Stephen Strasburg, who signed for $15.1MM last summer, could be considered a bargain since he has generated lots of excitement (and revenue) in Washington. Harper and agent Scott Boras can point to the buzz around Strasburg in their negotiations with the Nats.