Quick Hits: Harden, Wheeler, Padres, Votto, Mets

Links for Tuesday as news and rumors pick up after a holiday lull… 

  • Free agent right-hander Rich Harden is drawing interest from teams that would use him either as a starter or a reliever, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Harden posted 9.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 82 2/3 innings as a starter for the Athletics in 2011.
  • The Twins continue eyeing affordable right-handed relievers and have been in touch with the agent for Dan Wheeler, according to Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com. Wheeler, who has also drawn some interest from the Pirates, sits below a couple of pitchers on the Twins’ list.
  • The Pirates have had discussions with free agent left-hander Paul Maholm, but it remains highly unlikely that he'll return to Pittsburgh, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  • The Mat Latos trade improved a Padres farm system that already ranked among the game’s best, Jim Callis of Baseball America wrote in this week’s edition of Ask BA.
  • One MLB executive suggested to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the Cubs and Blue Jays may prefer to pass on Prince Fielder, since Joey Votto projects to hit free agency two years from now when both Chicago and Toronto could have stronger teams (Twitter link).
  • Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com provides contract details for Mets relievers Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco, who both agreed to terms during the Winter Meetings.


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