A few links to check out while we wait to see if the Rays can avoid falling out of first place for the first time in nearly two months…
- The Reds have made initial contact with the representatives for Yasmani Grandal according to John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer. GM Walt Jocketty said they will continue talks this week with 2010's 12th overall draft pick.
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier mentions that when Felix Doubront started for the Red Sox last night, he became the first Latin American player signed and developed by the Theo Epstein regime to reach the big league. ESPN's Jorge Arangure mentions (via Twitter) the Boston hasn't had a homegrown Latin American position player since the early 1990's.
- Meanwhile, MLB.com's Peter Gammons says (via Twitter) that only two teams were willing to take Manny Ramirez off Boston's hands two years ago even if they footed the bill: the Marlins and Dodgers. The Red Sox's requests for Mike Stanton and Andre Ethier were met with "no thank yous."
- MLB.com's Corey Brock, Brittany Ghiroli, and Gina Mizeli spoke to Oscar Salazar, who reflected on the trade that send him from the Orioles to the Padres last year.
- The Rockies will look at the middle infield market, but ESPN's Buster Olney tweets they're likely to just ride out Troy Tulowitzki's absence with what they have in house. He does however mention that Dan Uggla is one name to watch.
- Both Jhonny Peralta and Kerry Wood offered up the stock "it's out of my control" response when asked about the possibility of being traded, according to Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
- Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post says the idea of the Rockies' acquiring Cliff Lee is wishful thinking. The team would have to get back in the playoff race and show it can compete without Troy Tulowitzki before ownership would consider adding Lee's salary to the payroll.
- The Cardinals had interest in signing Ben Sheets this winter according to Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but the righthander's price was too high. “If he wants to prove his value here, we’d have interest,” said manager Tony La Russa. “It turns out he had value that wasn’t going to work.”