The Padres like that Brad Hawpe posted a .903 OPS two years ago and is still just 31 years old, writes ESPN.com's Buster Olney. The team's front office is confident in Hawpe's ability to play first, but club execs don't know what they'll get from the longtime Rockie at the plate. Here are the rest of Olney's rumors:
- Olney suggests a player’s inability to play the field seriously compromises his value, since teams would prefer to have roster flexibility. Though Michael Young may become the Rangers’ regular DH, his ability to play all over the infield is a plus that players like Jim Thome and Vladimir Guerrero cannot offer.
- Executives wonder “where the heck [Manny] Ramirez is going to land – if anywhere.” As Olney notes, Ramirez has the potential to become a distraction.
- Russell Branyan can still play first base when healthy, which is why one GM believes he’ll find a job. “He’ll get a shot someplace," the GM said.