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Stark On Zambrano, Beltran, Keppinger, Torre

Owners want a rigid slotting system like the ones in the NFL and the NBA, but ESPN.com's Jayson Stark finds it hard to believe that the MLBPA would agree to hard slotting, since it has traditionally avoided caps of any kind. One National League executive compared baseball's current slotting system to “traffic lights in the Dominican,” since he doesn’t know “what they're even there for." A hard slotting system would give teams the certainty of pre-determined bonuses, but the MLBPA wouldn't like it. Here are the rest of Stark's rumors:

  • One executive believes the Cubs could find a taker for Carlos Zambrano this winter as long as they take on most of the big righty's salary, but another executive says there's no way the Cubs could trade Big Z.
  • Executives are similarly divided on Carlos Beltran. One says trading him is "impossible," but another would take a flier on Beltran, partly because he's headed into a contract year.
  • Jeff Keppinger was claimed on waivers, so the Astros cannot trade him this month.
  • A longtime acquaintance of Joe Torre's expects the manager to sign with the Mets this winter.

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