Stark On Rays, Giants, Phillies, Ethier, Nationals

In today's column, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com put together his "All-Most-Immovable team" with help from front office executives from around the league.  Predictable names such as Carl Crawford, Alfonso Soriano, and Barry Zito are on the list, but Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder also made the cut.  Pujols wouldn't be a tough sell because of his slow start, according to one AL exec, but rather because of the money due to the slugger on the back end of the deal.  Here's more from Stark..

  • If the Rays and Giants shop for third basemen to replace Evan Longoria and Pablo Sandoval, they might not find many viable options. The only potentially available names Stark has heard are the Orioles' Mark Reynolds and the Twins' Danny Valencia.  One exec said that the Rays are more likely to go after someone with versatility that they can slide into a different spot upon Longoria's return.
  • The Phillies are also looking for a young third baseman and the club is working to put together a list of potential replacements for impending free agent Placido Polanco.
  • While some execs say that they would be wary of giving Andre Ethier a sizable deal for fear that he is in salary-drive mode, others think that the Dodgers have no other choice.  The cost of finding another right field, middle of the order bat will likely be just as high and alternatives such as Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher or Torii Hunter don't appear to be more trustworthy.
  • A number of clubs are bearing down on the Astros, but reviews are mixed on Wandy Rodriguez thanks in large part to his contract.  The pitcher will earn $10MM this year, $13MM in 2013, and can be bought out of his $13MM club option for 2014 with a $2.5MM payment.
  • If Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore continue to look sharp, the Nationals might not be in the market for a center fielder.
  • Stark asked a few executives if they'd roll the dice on Delmon Young as a relative free agent bargain next winter and the typical response was that they would not.  Young avoided arbitration with the Tigers this winter by agreeing to a one-year, $6.75MM deal.

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