NL West Notes: Niese, Smith, Quentin, Cuddyer

We've already seen the Rockies make a big signing and the Padres swing a trade today, so let's check what else is cooking in the NL West….

  • Jonathon Niese "is believed to be available in a package built around" Rockies outfielder Seth Smith, reports Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports.  Smith's name has been whispered in the trade rumors all winter and he could be even more expendable now that Colorado has agreed to terms with Michael Cuddyer.  The Mets hadn't had any "significant" talks about Niese, though the Rockies were known to be one of the several teams interested in the young southpaw.
  • Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd "is having a very good winter. If he can add another strong arm or two, he has a chance at a great winter," writes Scott Miller for CBSSports.com.  Miller also examines how Cuddyer's clubhouse presence was an important factor in the Rockies' decision to sign him.
  • The Padres have the payroll space to trade for an available slugger like Carlos Quentin, writes Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  With free agent hitters wary of coming to Petco Park, the trade market is San Diego's best avenue for finding a bat, Rosenthal/Morosi note.  They also mention Quentin's past with Padres GM Josh Byrnes in Arizona, though it was Byrnes who dealt Quentin to the White Sox in 2007 when Byrnes was the Diamondbacks' general manager.
  • There is no risk of Frank McCourt trying to keep ownership the Dodgers, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.  Doing so "would put hundreds of millions of dollars at risk to try a 'hail Mary' strategy," Shaikin writes.
  • Padres owner Jeff Moorad should speed up his purchase of the team from John Moores, opines Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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