Joey Votto is the player of the month for ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, who hears from a scout that the Reds’ first baseman is more feared than anybody in the National League, including Albert Pujols. Here are the rest of Stark’s rumors:
- One NL executive thinks the Mariners are so far from winning that they should be listening to offers for Felix Hernandez, who is under team control through 2014. Yesterday, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports heard from a number of executives who expect King Felix to stay put for now.
- An AL official says the Rangers are the most likely candidate to trade for a high-profile reliever this summer. Their bullpen has taken a number of hits, with Neftali Feliz and Darren O’Day on the DL and Alexi Ogando moving to the rotation.
- Stark hears that the only players available now are those with “awful contracts.”
- Despite the buzz about Mark DeRosa and the Marlins, Stark hears that the Giants and Marlins have not had serious discussions about the currently-injured utility player.
- The Phillies will find it hard to add payroll this summer, but they’re eyeing potentially available bats.
- Though Jonathan Papelbon will likely test the free agent market after the season, Stark gets the impression that the reliever could re-sign in Boston after all.