Quick Hits: Rays, LaRoche, Orioles, Kinsler, Ryu

The strategic question for the Rays is whether they can get more by being pre-emptive and making a trade with a team that doesn't want to get shut out of a high-priced open market or instead waiting on  those teams that do miss out in free agency, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.  Here's more Sunday afternoon linkage..

  • Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo told Jim Bowden of ESPN Radio (via Twitter) that Adam LaRoche is the club's number one priority right now as signing him would help make the rest of the winter easy for them.  The first baseman declined the Nats' qualifying offer on Friday.
  • While some have wondered if the Orioles could be interested in Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun doesn't see it happening.  For starters, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette likes the Orioles' options at second base which include Ryan Flaherty, Brian Roberts, Robert Andino, and the recently-acquired Alexi Casilla.
  • A scout in Korea told David Lennon of Newsday (via Twitter) that the teams most aggressive in scouting Hyun-Jin Ryu were the Rangers, Cubs, Tigers, Indians, Blue Jays, Twins, and obviously the Dodgers.  The Yankees and Mets were not in on the left-hander.
  • New Rockies manager Walt Weiss is expected to be demanding right off the bat in his first foray into the job on a professional level, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.

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