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Some more links to check out as you celebrate the end of the work week…
- MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez confirms that the Red Sox did indeed meet with John Lackey's agent. This morning we learned that Boston expressed preliminary interest in the free agent hurler.
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Rangers asked the Rays about outfielder B.J. Upton as part of their offseason routine, but no talks are ongoing.
- Rockies' GM Dan O'Dowd said that they will only look at a one year deal for the arbitration eligible Jorge De La Rosa, according to Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- ESPN's Keith Law writes that Indians' closer Kerry Wood could be a "nice pickup on the cheap for a team unwilling to go multiple years" on some of the free agent closers. Wood is owed $10.5MM in 2010, with an $11MM club option for 2011 that could vest based on games finished.
- The Pirates intend to be more aggressive in Japan, says MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch. Picking up Akinori Iwamura will help put the team on the radar of Japanese players looking to come to the U.S.
- ESPN's Peter Gammons writes about the impact of the economy on the free agent market, among other things.
- Giants' prospect Angel Villalona had his visa revoked by the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic, reports Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. Villalona was charged with killing a man in the Dominican back in September.
- Ben Kabak at River Ave. Blues takes a look at each of the Yankees' five arbitration eligible players.
Let's close out this Sunday evening with a few links…
- Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune runs down the Cubs' offseason wish list. Unsurprisingly, getting rid of Milton Bradley is the top priority.
- The agent for Scott Podsednik claims that the lines of communication with the White Sox are still open, despite GM Ken Williams' reluctance to re-sign the 33-year-old, writes the Tribune's Mark Gonzales. Scotty Pods' chances of returning decreased after the club took on salary in the trade for Mark Teahen.
- Giants prospect Angel Villalona is out on bail, says ESPN's Enrique Rojas (via Twitter). Villalona was charged with murder back in September.
A few Monday evening links….
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs argues Joe Torre is making the Dodgers worse by giving Ronnie Belliard playing time at the expense of Orlando Hudson. Belliard is outperforming Hudson lately, and keeping Hudson on the bench is saving the Dodgers some money, but Cameron thinks that playing Belliard at second base in October would hurt the team's World Series chances.
- Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that Giants prospect Angel Villalona has pleaded innocent to the charge of murder. Still, Baggarly says it's anyone's guess whether Villalona will ever play baseball again.
- After some recent speculation that the Marlins might attempt to move Josh Johnson, imaginations are already running wild. Roch Kubatko at the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network wonders what kind of prospects it could take to get Johnson to Baltimore.
The Giants have the fifth overall pick in the June draft. It’s a shame teams can’t trade picks, because the San Francisco’s needs don’t really match up with the likely best available talent.
Jim Callis provided interesting speculation in issue 0808 of Baseball America‘s print magazine. Callis suggested that the Giants may lean toward pitching in June even though the best available talent will be at first base. This is because top prospect Angel Villalona is moving from third to first and the Giants may not want to create a future logjam.